WHY PRAY?


Prayer is the backbone of the Christian walk and without it, nothing can be accomplished in Heaven or earth. By the very power of our tongues’ confession we can move mountains,  fell giants and change the destiny of peoples and nations.

Many of our brothers and sisters have such a small vision of themselves that they don’t even believe that their prayers are heard. Why? Because they’ve not received a revelation of their identity in Christ.

The effectual, fervent prayer of a man or woman avails much Jam 5:17. Two main descriptive adjectives describe what kind of prayer moves God.  The original translation of fervent means to boil, to be hot, having fervor and zeal. According to Strong’s concordance, effectual,  means to energize or be energized. Barclay describes prayers as empowering contact with God. It’s not only a gateway to God for us, but is a channel to God for us! This should get us exited  because we are being plugged into the divine, all-encompassing power  of our almighty Heavenly Father.

Sometimes, we come into God’s presence as if it’s a chore or obligation. I definitely can understand that in light of the daunting, evil things transpiring around the world at present. Even the most passionate prayer intercessor can get disheartened and weary from travailing in prayer. I know that at times, as Holy Spirit  impress on me to pray about horrific events, particularly the ISIS invasion , (and their barbarically bloody way of Jihad) and the fetus marketing  I’m worn out when done and just want t get under the covers.

I would like to share with you how to get reignited with zeal and passion by reading about and meditating on the great prayer warriors of the Bible and how their prayers succeeded. Let us remember that some of them were fearful or young, but God uses those who are not equipped, but available and willing.

Moses

Moses had such an intimate relationship with God, that he was able to reason with the Lord.  His people, the Israelites resorted to idolatry while He was giving Moses the commandments on  Mount Sinai. God told Moses to go down quickly because he was about to consume His own people. Moses prayerful reply was reminding Jehovahah of the covenant He’d made with Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Then the Lord relented. When an intercessor knows his identity in His Heavenly Father, he is able to stand in the gap fr the people he leads. Many times Moses tried to convince God from not destroying the people because of unbelief and rebellion. Most of us are also familiar with Moses most famous exploit, parting the Red Sea.

Gideon

Gideon was a man called out by God as a judge during the period of the Judges  An angel of the Lord appeared and  called him a mighty man of valor!  Gideon replied that his clan, Manasseh was the weakest clan and he was least in his father’s house. His prayerful response was asking the Angel why his people were in such derision and ended his discourse with asking if he could lay out a fleece to prove His promise. God was gracious and listened to Gideon’s reasoning. From henceforth, Gideon boldly destroyed his father’s  Baal altar and later subdued the vicious Midainites! No matter what background or station in life, when God calls us to do great exploits, we can be assured that we will be victorious because He has called us to do it!

Joshuah

Since Joshua’s first escapade with the eleven other spies, he continued to be bold and faithful to God’s commands. He and Caleb didn’t flinch when they saw the size of the giants who occupied the land they were ordained to possess. num 13  Caleb had a different spirit than the other spies.  When Caleb announced to the Isrealites that the protection of the Anakim, ( a certain race of giants) was gone, they still protested because of intimidation of Caleb;s confidence that they tore their clothe and wanted to stone, Joshua, Caleb and Moses. The Lord was angry about their lack f faith and cowardice and  said that the only ones who would enter the promised land would be  Joshua and Caleb. These two men were greatly  favored and revered militarily. In another amazing miraculous episode, Joshua asked Gd to still the sun from going down so he and the army could finish ff their adversaries, 

Nehemiah:

Nehemiah was another beloved man f God who had a heart fr his people the Jews. He was cup bearer to King, Artaxerxes

Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favorin the presence of this man.”

Nehemiah was of an excellent spirit, compassionate and focused to organize the rebuilding of the beloved city, Jerusalem. The walls were breached in many places and broken down completely in others. Even the people’s spirits were broken, but he planned, organized and followed through with the rebuild ed. There were  several daunting adversaries intimidating the workers and who wanted to assassinate Nehemiah. Nevertheless, He prayed and those below him prayed fr God’s strength and success.anon

King Jehoshaphat

2 Chron 20 tells of King Jehoshaphat suddenly being encompassed-by the Moabites, Ammonites and other gro.  He was very afraid and had the people fast.

Lord, the God of our ancestors, you alone are God in heaven. You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You are so powerful that no one can oppose you. You, our God, drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave this land to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever. They have lived in it and have built a sanctuary in honor of your name in it, saying, ‘If calamity, sword, flood,[c] plague, or famine comes upon us, we will stand before this temple, before you, because your name is in this temple. We will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 10 So look here! The Ammonites, the Moabites, and those from Mount Seir—the people you wouldn’t let Israel invade when they came out of Egypt’s land, so Israel avoided them and didn’t destroy them— 11 here they are, returning the favor by coming to drive us out of your possession that you gave to us!12 Our God, won’t you punish them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We don’t know what to do, and so we are looking to you for help.”

The Holy Spirit came upon the attending prophets and told King Jehoshaphat that the Lord would be with them and t not be afraid.  The King prepared for the victory by appointing singers to give praise before the Lord. They were to march in front f the army. The Lord launched a surprise attack n the armies and thousands f corpses all lay n the ground.

There are many other  stories of the great conquests by  God’s leaders, prophets, kings and servants and time just doesn’t permit me to share them all. They all had several things in common.

Queen EstherEsther

Queen Esther’s story is most amazing because she  started out as an orphan. Her cousin, Mordecia  adopted  and raised her. Esther’s Jewish name is Hadassah and she ended up being chosen as King Xerxes new queen after his former Queen Vashti was dethroned.  From all the many maidens, Esther excelled over them all. But the king  did not know her heritage.   Esther was faced with the greatest crisis of her life when Mordecai revealed an insiduos plane where Haman, the king’s second man in commend, caused King Ahaseraus to write a decree that all the Jews in the Land should be destroyed. When Mordecai found out, he told Esther.  She then called all the people of Susa to fast for three days as well as her maidens.  Esther knew her God and knew that He would deliver her and her people. The king could not change his decree, but  Mordecia convinced her that  it may be her destiny “for such a time as this” to stand and deliver her people. As it turned out, Esther requested to see the King and he heard her request. The king issued a Deere where the Jews would be able to defend themselves if any came to harm them. For this reason was the great queen Esther revered and the Jews celebrate the  holiday of Purim.

https://regalgraces.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/esther-image-influence-and-status-4/comment-page-1/#comment-36

Daniel

Devote American Christian saints today complain that we are vexed by our  perverted culture, but there is nothing new under the sun. Daniel and  his friends were taken away and forced to live the Babylonian culture. He spent his whole life serving in the royal court of Babylon.Despite the influences of the pagan culture., Daniel thrived, communing intimately with His God. He was so focused, that he prayed three times a day, with his windows opened toward Jerusalem. Daniels’ captorss acknowledged that Daniel’s outstanding wisdom, training and intelligence was from His mighty God.  That dedication to God paid off when Daniel had to endure being thrown int the lion’s den;  Fellow servants of the King, came to accuse Daniel of not obeying the decree to worshiping him alone. The king was grieved because he loved Daniel and so revered the exceptional live he lived because of his God, Yahweh. They pressured the king and Daniel was thrown  into the lion’s den.

In the morning. after a sleepless night, the king rushed to the den were Daniel was and cried, “Daniel, servant of the living Gd, has your God delivered you from the lion’s?” He knew who the true God was. God is always near too those of a broken and contrite spirit. Gd always hears the cries of His children who are in covenant with Him. Do you disbelieve God’s almighty power and ability to save? I urge you to test Him. Taste and see…that He truly is good! You’ll not be disappointed.

God’s great prayer warriors have  several things in common

  • They were totally commuted to God
  • They were focused on Him alone being the victory over whatever challenge they had to face.
  • They were courageous
  • Most important, they knew how to worship and revere Him

Jesus, our advocate, intercedes on our behalf. Rom 8:34 When the disciples asked him how to pray, He gave us The Lord’s prayer as a templet. We should always remember  that He isn’t a magic genie or Santa Claus. He is Holy and we should enter in with reverence and honor Him for who He is… Creator of heaven and earth and God of the universe. Blessed are we that whenever we’re in a sudden bind and  can only say a quick prayer, God immediately hears us!  Let us thank Him for all our miracles and provision.

Whenever we feel our prayers aren’t being answered or we feel we are unworthy to have our prayer heard, we should recall and meditate on these aforementioned brethren who believed in their great God and loving father, for He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! If we are in covenant with Father and abide in the vine, every prayer is always heard. It is time for us to enter boldly, with confidence and reverence and expectation.

 

 

 

 

PEOPLE 101


I’ve finished reading “My Time In Heaven, A True Story of Dying and Coming Back” by Richard Sigmund. It is inspirational. timely and healing after having a major falling out with a person who I thought was a confidant. Betrayal, being misunderstand and falsely accused is never a pleasant experience, but I know that the sooner I “get over it,” the sooner I move forward in my life.I’m always refreshed after I’ve poured out my honest feelings to the Lord, forgiven and prayed for the person who hurt me.

From chapter to chapter, Richard shares his experiences in heaven and in the presence of God. There are unimaginable treasures in Heaven that God has meticulously crafted just for us. According to his book, nothing on earth could compare to such amazing perfection and joy! As a “people” person, I wished that everyone could read this book and feel compelled to reach out to Jesus Christ and to enjoy their eternal destiny with Him I

I came to Chapter 19, “The Other Place.” Jesus took Richard to hell. I couldn’t imagine the horrific demons, their torturing methods and the stench that would await those who have rejected the great sacrifice Jesus gave us on the cross. I stared to weep as he focused on a poor soul and his torment. I had to put the book down for a while, I wept so hard. It was difficult reading and even more painful to imagine torment was forever. I asked God to allow me to be share the Gospel salvation message with as many as I could. I also thanked Him allotted us a yet another tiny window of time to accomplish the urgent task of evangelizing more souls. I wondered why anyone wouldn’t do anything possible to avoid going there.The enormity of this reality and the after life continued to move my spirit to weeping. I know it breaks God’s heart to see so many of His precious creation go to a place never meant for them.

I took a break from reading the book, but continued pondering the afterlife. Jesus said, “Many or called, but few chosen.” I sadly marveled about evil, hatred and calamity enveloping America and the world. God reminded me that His people were to be the shining lights that bring healing to the nations! Many of His people are mean and condemning. Many have also back-slidden and left the fold because of brutish pastors and elders who spiritually abused or misunderstood them.

Jesus is the gentle shepherd who says, “Come to me, Ye who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” He was the greatest teacher, soul-sculptor and counselor. He hand-picked his disciples, patiently grooming them in His own special way. Do you want to know the secrets of “soul-sculpting”? Sit and listen at Jesus feet. Are you a pastor, an elder, a husband or father? Sit quietly at Jesus feet and learn of Him, for He is lowly and humble. Every servant-leader realizes that if he wants people to receive of him, He must be willing to be as a servant first!

Jesus hated hypocrisy and venomously rebuked the Pharisees. They loved to scrutinize and condemn…thus their tactics brought few into the kingdom. He scolded,

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”
Mat 23 2-4

The amazing thing about the Jewish leaders were that they highly educated and memorized even the smallest issues of the law. They were intoxicated by their own self-importance and intellect. So are many modern Christians today. Instead of the lost being attracted to the Gospel, they are repelled. Many of today’s pastors, priests and Rabbi’s are no different that the Pharisees of old, who loved to control their converts. Their hearts were closed to what Holy Spirit has to say. When loves is omitted, the letter of the law kills…but the Spirit brings life. 2 Cor 3:6.

Follower or Christ, I’d run in the opposite direction if your pastor hammered you with restrictions of his own making and limitations not in the Bible. God allow you to think for yourself and question. Test the spirits. 1 Jn 4:1

Recently, the Lord allowed me to learn a new lesson. My health had taken a dive and I was desperate for relief. I was introduced to a highly skilled christian health practitioner who was adamant about 100% committment to her strict protocol. I was sent long letters with long lists of supplements and healing machines and costly herbs. I was already grappling with strained family relationships, caring for my house and husband. Our budget was strained with the cost of the ladies’ protocol. On list of my protocol had 29 things to do and eat! I felt very weighed down. progress was slow, but I felt better as the weeks went by. A few months later, she mailed me a ten-paged letter blasted me as being rebellious, disobedient and unthankful! I was so shocked, I had to fall on my face in deep prayer and seeking wisdom from the harsh words.

It took me about a week to address all the emotion in that letter. I took it to prayer and asked Father God what the lesson was. This Sunday, my pastor preached about what true freedom in christ was and the light came on! God was giving me a taste of what it’s like to be under spiritual bondage. I was depressed and entrapped by the law and walking under condemnation. Continuing in prayer and sharing the contents of the letter with other godly, wise women, I realized my relationship with this woman was not communicated in love, for Christ always calls us into loving correction and restoration.

This lesson was needful and worthy to be included with my other my other areas of expertise. I’ve mentored people from all walks of life. I’ve learned that people have deeply ingrained patterns of thinking, habits and mindsets modeled by dysfunctional parents, teachers, relatives and pastors. During Jesus’ ministry, he met many wounded and misunderstood people. Encountering them face to face, His goal was to set them at ease. He instantly knew their struggles, shame and hopelessness.

As we follow Jesus last directing to make disciples of all men, Are we attracting the lost to Father? I’ve heard many non believers say that Christians are mean. They preach one thing, yet do the opposite. In general, the unsaved are repelled by condemnation. Jesus said, “I’ve not come to condemn the world but to save it.”

Peter is our example of Jesus’ loving discipleship. Jesus responded to Peter’s impulsiveness and zeal with patience and guidance. As I recall the Peter/Jesus discourses. In one episode Jesus marvels at Peter’s willingness to step out of the boat and walk on water. In another, He rebuked Peter for wielding the sword to cut off the high priest’s servants ear.
The Lord reminds me of His patience with me as I minister to people He’s brought my way and will bring my way in the future.

As a youth counselor for Youth Advocate Program in Eatontown, NJ from 1989 to 1992, I mentored up to seven kids, (aged 8 to 17) from a variety of family crisis situations. One seventeen year old was Hispanic and lived at home with his mother, (who spoke no English) and his two younger sisters. Both of the girls were clinically depressed and their father was incarcerated. There was a great stronghold of depression in that house. Under my mentoring, this young man’s demeanor changed. I asked him to help me keep the kids in line and he flourished in that leadership capacity! I also remember God’s faithfulness with all seven kids kids safety and welfare while they rode with me. I gained great understanding and compassion and learned much about family dynamics and relationship order. The kids learned to honor, respect and help each other and it was amazing to see them connect regarding all the activities and workshops I planned for them. They knew I cared for them and I could feel their love for me! Looking back, I marvel gratefully, for God gifting me with the ability to so potential and greatness in all the kids.

Around the same time, I enjoyed a six month stint as a Behavior Modification counselor for Nutri-System Weight Loss centers. My clients were professional adults: policemen, professors, judges and CEOs who clamored to enroll in my crowded classes. My reputation preceded me. They’d heard the testimonies of previous clients’ weight-loss and lifestyle successes. I remember the passion and excitement I had each morning, getting ready for work. It was amazing that God gave me such a platform having just graduated from Brookdale Community College! I was humbled to positively influence, these financially successful, but unhealthy people. After only several weeks, our regional supervisor came from out-of-state to sit in on one of classes to see what the ado was about!
Though I wasn’t allowed to preach or mention Jesus, I was allowed freedom to bring my own creativity and victory stories to support the curriculum. The client was attentive and felt my interest and concern as they sought my guidance for their new, healthy lifestyle. I asked God everyday to bless my work and He answered many prayers. My main tool was connection by looking each person in the eye with love, gave many hugs and listened with my heart.

My boot camp of PEOPLE 101 continued several years later. Executive Director, Carolyn Eyerman and project Coordinator, Joan Hodum faced me during my interview for the position of Program Coordinator of a new ministry, (Love In the Name of Christ). The program would prepare single moms, dislocated and poor women returning to the work force from the welfare rolls. I’d also oversee a business clothing boutique and business mentoring outreach. I didn’t feel ready, (just coming out of another long illness) but obediently followed God’s leading to apply and accept the position. My six years at Love Inc, fine-tuned my people/mentoring skills for my present responsibilities as a an ordained minister/hospice councilor and worship leader. I also learned so much from the supportive staff members at Love Inc. They were always there for me and taught me all about walking in God’s love, power and guidance.

I don’t believe any pastor, leader or teacher should be in a position of leadership unless they have extensive experience with (“soul sculpting).” How can one truly mete out the divine love, patience and counseling Jesus gave unless one has truly spent time in the Lord’s presence and quality one on one time with people God sends? Sometimes broken hearts can be so deep, they have to be excavated.

Jesus said, “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefor and repent” Rev 3:19 True discipleship must be balanced by Holy Spirit compassion and the discipline of guidance and correction. Jesus never beat his disciples as many pastor beat their sheep too harshly. We know the necessity discipline, for it’s no different from our earthly parents and teachers. This grooms us for the partaking of His holiness, Heb 12:3-11.

The best servant/leader straddles successfully nurturing with discipline. Under these conditions, a person will be whole, full of joy, peace, purpose and the Holy Spirit. They do great exploits. Dan 11:32

Until the non believers see Christians loving each other in America, they will scorn and laugh at our powerlessness and disunity. They’ll also be mesmerized by the occult, witchcraft and New Age gurus.

On thing is most needful. Near the end of Richard Sigmund’s book, Jesus said,

" My people have lost their compassion, I highly desire compassion in my children. In this they show my Father's love"

I pray that we all look in the mirror and ask ourselves, do we truly have the Father's compassion. Are we more concerned about our Facebook social status, designing and maintaining our websites and soliciting funds for our new building or soup kitchen. God is not concerned about any of that. He is concerned about the condition of broken souls. He is seeking willing and compassionate servants to heal, transform and restore. He has a plan for everyone. Jer 29, 11

Are you listening and acting with love in your heart today?