The following article is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z.
The way I see it, the way God gets a hold of us and brings us to into prayer is by first creating in us a desire for Himself and for what He wants to give us by showing us that we have a need or a lack. Next, He, in His own way, gets a hold of us and shows us that He can fill that lack; He shows us that He is the great provider and lover. As He desires us and draws us to Himself He continues to create in us a greater and greater desire for Him. The more we are united with Him in love the more we desire Him and what He wants to give us; hence, the more we have a desire to pray.
Since the election of the new President (Jan. 20), I’ve been feeling rather sad. And I’m wondering why. I guess I feel that righteousness in the country and in the world is not being done. Good people are being stopped and stepped on, and bad people are being praised. The media, who are supposed to just report the news are really Satan’s instruments of deception. Our new president who has taken every step to prop up sin and to put our country on a path to destruction, is being praised and worshipped as if he is the new Savior of mankind.
Meanwhile, our former President, who has done so many good things for our country—in spite of being harassed and ridiculed every minute of every day for the last four years—is now being impeached. For what? For inciting a riot, which he did not do. He was trying to bring justice to an unjust election.
So, this is why I am feeling sad. But I must break out of this mood, with prayer, and look toward heaven. I can be comforted by the good news (in 1Thess. 4:15-17) that soon …
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Such wonderful news to think about!
Though we live in the world we must not let the world get us down. For we have been raised up with Christ and we sit with Him in the heavenly places. And He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Though we should pray for the country and the world, we must set our mind on things above where Christ is, not on all the things of this world. For our real life is hidden with Christ in God. Soon, when He comes and we see Him, we will be revealed with him in glory (Eph. 1:3; Col. 3:1-4).
I have been blogging about promises made to Israel as a direct result of the seventy weeks (of years) according to the determined purpose of God. They have been labeled as goals or accomplishments; however, we must also see them as the promises of God—things that will definitely happen as it has been decreed by God as Israel’s future.
In this third Israeli promise, the work of Christ’s atonement is in view. Thus, the promise points to the second part of Hebrews 9:26: “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Italics are for emphasis). His blood shed on Calvary will make atonement for Israel’s long standing iniquity. This work of atonement will affect the entire process of their salvation—their repentance, conversion and regeneration, as seen in the first two phases (click HERE and HERE)—making it all of God’s work and nothing of their…
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…
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
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.
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.
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…
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?
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).
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…
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 for. This 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…
The following article is an excerpt from this book.
Prayer is all about carrying burdens, not only the burdens of people but the burdens of God. He calls us to be burden bearers with Him for people, for the sake of His kingdom.
THE BURDEN OF GOD
Throughout the Bible we see the great love and compassion of God toward all people. Psalms 86:15 tells us, “He is full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”
Jesus was and is full of compassion toward us too. While He was on this earth He was always going about from city to city preaching and teaching God’s good news; and He was healing all who were sick and diseased. And when He saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:35-36). And now…