About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.

Definition of Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Prayer has been defined or described in many ways.

Here are nine different descriptions of prayer, by various authors: 

1.  Prayer is asking and receiving.  According to E.M. Bounds, “Prayer is the outstretched arms of the child for the Father’s help.  Prayer is the child’s cry calling to the Father’s ear…Prayer is the seeking of God’s greatest good, which will not come if we do not pray.”

2.  Prayer is approaching God’s throne.  According to Spurgeon, “True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God.”  I would say it this way: it is the approach of the Holy Spirit in our soul that drives us to the throne.

3.  Prayer is our service due Him.  According to E. M. Bounds, “Prayer is not a duty which must be performed, to ease obligation…

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The Capitol Tragedy: A Planned Coup by the Left

I heard the most interesting and revealing interview of Michele Bachmann the other day regarding what happened on January 6th at the Capitol. I organized my notes in 10 points.

Michele Bachmann on the Scene

Michele Bachmann, a former Minnesota Congress woman, was on the scene at the Trump Rally and also in the Capitol. She came to pray and to speak to a few high-ranking government leaders (like Mike Pompeo). While she was in the capitol the riots started, and she said she was so surprised to hear some people say that it was Trump supporters that were the rioters.  According to what she had observed, Trump supporters were “the nicest people.” Many of them came mainly to pray. What she experienced among Trump supporters was an atmosphere of happiness; “like a happy family reunion.” She said, there were no unhappy or mad people; no shouting or swearing.

Rioters were a Professional Group

Bachmann said, the agitators that stormed into the Capitol were not Trump Supporters. They were professional people; the same people who showed up at Minneapolis and Portland to riot.

Identity Theft by Imposters

The premise of the left and the media (and now most people) is that Trump followers, especially Christians, did the rioting. But it was imposters, according to Bachmann, that put on Trump clothing that did the rioting. She said (and I agree) that it is a case of “identity theft.” They stole President Trump’s identity and his follower’s identity. They made them to look like terrorists. But none of that is true. The media, even Fox News, gave a false narrative. Bachmann said, “What they were saying was not what I observed.”

Some Good People Were Swept Up in The Excitement

Bachmann said that besides the destructive and violent agitators, there were also a few good people who came to the Trump rally that got swept into what was happening. They actually went into the Capitol but did not do violence. This was the testimony of one man who said that he went into the capitol but tried to be respectful.

Weeping Trump Supporters

Bachmann witnessed that there were some Trump supporters that were weeping. They were there mainly for the purpose of prayer and fasting for America, and they suddenly were realizing that they were being used. Their identity was being stolen just as their votes were stolen.

A Planned Coup

Leading up to the tragic events, there was nothing but prayer and peacefulness. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a group of agitators stormed toward the Capitol and broke in. In Bachman’s opinion, it was a planned coup. And there seems to be evidence to prove it: 1) The agitators in some places were let into the Capitol, by Capitol police, and were not stopped. They did nothing to stop them. 2) They even opened the gates to let them in (very odd). 3) They knew how to get to Pelosi’s office. Bachman testified that it is very hard to find places in the Capitol if you have never been there before. It seems obvious that they had it all mapped out. 4) It seems apparent that the agitators had been planning this and that they had help from some people (on the left) who knew their way around.

Purpose of the Coup

It is apparent to me that the left is desperate to try to discourage conservatives to be involved with Trump and in politics. Some supporters are being told by others, “Will you now renounce Trump.” Also, I think the left has been given a poor image because of the riots in Minneapolis and Portland and other cities. And so, this attempt at identity theft is what they dreamt up to even the score—to make conservative Christians look bad. How sad is that?

The Hypocrisy of the Left

The left described the terrible riots in Minneapolis and Portland as “peaceful protests.” But now that conservatives are blamed for what happed at the Capitol, everything is reversed. Nothing was peaceful. And all Trump supporters are now being blamed by the media for the riots—all 75 million of us.

What is Ahead for the Country? None of it is Good.

  • A one-party rule—Democrats
  • Persecution of Christians and conservatives; and a loss of our freedoms
  • An economy that won’t work
  • More taxes
  • Fewer jobs
  • Inflation
  • More viruses and vaccines
  • More of the LGTB agenda
  • An anti-Israel agenda and a return to Iran deal
  • We will probably never have a legitimate election again
  • We are fast headed for a global government: the great reset, etc.

A Word of Encouragement for Christians

Cling to the word of God and be filled with His Spirit. Speak the truth and walk in the truth. We need to find outlets that tell us the truth. Look up and eagerly wait for His coming!

Daniel 9:24: Christ Will Make an End of Israel’s Sin

Studying Bible Prophecy

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Daniel 9:24

24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.  NASB

In this second point of promise, “to make an end of sin,” the focus is on the fact that Israel’s sins will be taken away and their hearts will be made clean.  “To make” suggests that someone makes it happen.  That someone is Christ.  In Hebrews 9:26 we read, “…He has been manifested to put away sin…”

Thus this prophecy points to what Paul said in Romans 11:26-27,

 “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
27 “And this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Ezekiel 36:25-29 shows us…

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Communication with God

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

Prayer is not only petition, it is also something more basic—it is soul to soul communication with God.  And this really must come first, before we ask God for anything.  For this is the heart of prayer.  Before we can expect Him to listen to our requests we must have made contact with His soul by our soul.

I got this idea from Jim Downing in his book Meditation, where he suggests that various passages in the Psalms (e.g. Ps. 62:5, 130:6, 25:1) “indicate that coming into contact with God involves the soul.”  And he stated that “Theologians in general agree as to the soul’s principle powers…the mind, the affections and the will.”

So I am suggesting that “coming into contact with God” with our souls is really what prayer is.  True prayer, therefore, will involves the mind, the affections (the…

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The Lord’s Prayer: The Last Three Petitions

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:11-13

In previous blog posts I first wrote on the invocation, “Our Father.”  And then I wrote on the first three petitions, which have to do with God and His glory: with His character and holiness, with His kingdom, and with His will.

Now we come to the last three petitions that have to do with our needs and desires. Though this prayer outline is quite brief, it is all inclusive: the needs of the body, the soul, and the spirit are all included. Nothing is left out. The needs of the body are termed as “our daily bread.” The needs of the soul are termed as “forgiveness.” And the needs of our spirit are termed as our deliverance from evil.

Our daily bread

This request is for our material needs: everything that is necessary for our living. And notice that this is the first petition having to do with what we need, suggesting that God cares that we be healthy in our life.

And just because He knows all our needs even before we ask, doesn’t mean that we should not ask Him. We should ask Him every morning because He desires us to speak with Him every day. And He also wants us to realize our dependence on Him; that we cannot live for one day without Him.

Forgive us

In the first section, “And forgive us our debts,” we must recognize that “us” is in reference to anyone who is in the family of God; all others are excluded. So, this prayer is only for His children. Next, know that He will give us forgiveness immediately if we ask (look at 1 John 1:9).

In the next part, “as we forgive our debtors,” notice that it says “as” we forgive our debtors, not “because” we forgive them. Hence, our forgiveness is not based on our work of forgiving others. Rather, we should see it altogether. In the family of God, He gives us the desire and the strength to forgive others; and He also forgives us. It is in the new nature of believers to forgive as God forgives.

We could see it this way: the proof that we are forgiven of God is that we forgive others. And if we have not forgiven others than this is an indication that God has not forgiven us—that we are not His children.

Deliverance from evil

The first part, “And lead us not into temptation,” is asking God not to allow us into any situation where we are liable to be tempted by Satan or the flesh. It is the same as in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where we can ask God to give us a way of escape from temptation. The second part, “deliver us from evil,” is asking God to show us that way of escape and then give us the power to get out of there—or He may just remove the power of evil from us, just as He tamed the lion in front of Daniel (you know the story).

Now here are three reasons why we should pray this third petition:

1. So that our fellowship with him may not be broken.

2. So that we will have a right relationship with Him.

3. So that we can get to know Him.

To Finish the Transgression: Israel’s Rejection of Her Messiah Will Come to an End — From Daniel 9:24

Studying Bible Prophecy

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Daniel 9:24

 Seventy weekshave been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. NASB

Transgression spoken of here is certainly what Daniel had prayed about in verse eleven: “Yes all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice…”  Therefore, Israel’s transgression was a blatant disobedience to God, which is rebellion against God and a rejection of His laws and teachings.

But the definite article attached to the word in verse 24—the transgression—suggests that there is a more specific transgression that Israel as a nation is guilty of.  We don’t see the definite article in verse eleven, I suppose because Daniel is not aware of any specific sin…

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What To Do If You Are Arrested For Being A Conservative Christian?

Since January 6th, since all of the blame for the Capitol break-in was put on Trump followers, we can anticipate a crackdown on all trump followers—many of which are Christians.

If you have listened to the media, especially the left-wing media, you will hear that they are blaming all Trump followers (who are conservatives) for not only the break-in at the Capitol, but for many other things. Yes, we will be blamed for many things, and arrested.

We have already experienced the take-down of Parler, which is a conservative social media company. Hence, conservatives have been stripped of their freedom of speech just because they are conservative, and because they are getting in the way of the left-wing global agenda.

Believe me, it will get worse and worse. The Bible promises it (read 2 Timothy 3:13).

What should we do when we are wrongly arrested and persecuted? How should we act? The Bible tells us exactly what to do, and it insures us of a blessed hope even in persecution.

What to do?

1. We should rejoice and be glad.

Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:12).

2. We should love and pray for our persecutors.

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt. 5:44-45).

3. We should not worry about what to say in our defense.

But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak. 20 “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matt. 10:19-20).

4. We should reach out and bless our persecutors.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not (Rom. 12:14).

What will be our reward?

1. Blessing.

Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matt. 5:11-12).

But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Peter 4:13-14).

2. We will be rewarded in Heaven.

Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matta. 5:12).

Confidence in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z.

When we think about confidence, even when we say the word “confidence,” it makes us feel good doesn’t it?  It gives us a lift, gives us energy, strength and courage.  And I suppose that is because the word is so much associated with positive energy.  And whether we believe it or not, that energy comes from God.  It is a special gift that He has given to all people—the energy, the drive to believe and have hope in themselves and in the gifts that they possess.  Yes, we are all created in His image; and since God Himself has self-confidence—believing and having hope in Himself—all people down deep within themselves have this same self-confidence too.  It is inherent in the way He has created us.

But listen to this: God gives a special confidence (a more powerful and more…

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Daniel 9:24: Seventy Weeks Have Been Decreed for Israel

Studying Bible Prophecy

Daniel 9:24

Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.  NASB

 

 Have been decreed forThis term may reveal more than you think.  It could either be translated as “are determined for,” “are decreed for,” or “have been decreed for.”  The preposition “for” may also be translated as “upon.”  The basic meaning of this verb is “cut” or “divide.”  According to Barns, “The meaning would seem to be, that this portion of time—the seventy weeks—was “cut off” from the whole of duration, or cut out of it, as it were, and set by itself for a definite purpose.”  Dr. Leon Wood (from Thomas Ice’s commentary) says, “The thought is that…

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