Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Importance of Prayer and Praying Right

1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Today, June 29, 2014 marks the start of Ramadan which is one of the most holy periods in the Islamic faith. Ramadan is a 30 day period of prayer, fasting, self-examination, charity. The reading of the entire Quran is encouraged and fighting is not allowed. It is a time of increased religious devotion.

My question today is; have you ever been to a church that did 30 days of prayer and fasting ANNUALLY? I can’t say I’ve heard of any except one, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a foreign policy think-tank, has determined that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

I’m not here to condemn Islam, but to impress upon you the importance of prayer. In fact, Jesus expected his followers to pray and to pray right. We’re not supposed to pray for temporal things, but spiritual prayers – prayers pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

For example, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray Jesus replied, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

Many times we pray all kinds of worldly prayers, more money, better jobs, etc., and most often they’re not even close to being in God’s will. James 4 says, we ask (pray) amiss and thus don’t receive from God.

As our first scripture says, we can have confidence in knowing that if we pray in God’s will, he will hear us and by extension we will have what we pray for.

If you’re not sure how to pray in God’s will, look into His word or pray in the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit will only pray the will of God. Romans 8:26 says it this way:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

If your prayer life is not where you would like it to be, the Apostle Paul has over 80 prayers in the New Testament. All of them are in the will of God so it’s safe to use them verbatim. I’ll leave you with three prayers that I believe every Christian should be praying:

  1. Ephesians 1:15-23
  2. Ephesians 3:14-19
  3. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

Pride

Proverbs 16:18

(18) Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

Today June 28, 2014 the LGBTQ Community is holding their annual “Gay Pride Parade” and it’s quite ironic that they would call it that.

You see, from the beginning pride has been the downfall of God’s creation. Satan, the most prideful of all, thought he could take the place of God and in the end was banished from God’s presence and sent to earth with a third of his rebellious followers.

Pride can also come in a more subtle form as we see in the Garden of Eden; where Adam and Eve, who didn’t consult God or adhere to his word, allowed Satan to convince them to eat the forbidden fruit.

Today the same pride is in the church, where we have all knowledge, but little understanding of the gospel. We don’t seek God for his wisdom which he provides freely and without limit. We go about doing our own thing and living anyway we like purporting to be Christian.

James 1:5

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

What’s worse is we have people encouraging and teaching others to do the things which are not permitted by God, just like Satan did in the garden. It’s a subtle deception masked in words like, anti-bullying, acceptance and diversity.

Romans 1:21-27

 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

The scriptures are very clear. We are to love one another, but we’re also supposed to exhort, rebuke and disciple others in the truth. Some may be offended by the scriptures and say those who preach it are homophobic, but what they can’t say is that their homosexual practices are right or natural. Yes, they may have been born with homosexual tendencies, but it still doesn’t make it right. I’ll expand on that in another post.

Christians, don’t take my strong stance as justification to hate or judge. Rather, use it to show love and patience to anyone else who lacks an understanding of our faith and God. 

Prayer: Father, we sin without even knowing and are prideful without understanding. Forgive me Lord for not seeking your wisdom and being disobedient to your word. Today I humble myself before your throne and ask that you show me how to share the truth in a loving way. You said that there will be some who will take offence, but that we are to count it a blessing to be persecuted for your name’s sake. Father enlighten all those who read this post and let them know that you are a loving God who makes a way where there seems to be no way. I love you for your truth. Help me to walk in your truth. Amen.

I AM

Exodus 3:13-15

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

I am the one who makes all things new.

I am the one who promises and never fails.

I am the one that keeps covenant.

I am the one living in you to do great and mighty things.

I am the one who watches over you.

I am the one who is bringing my word and my plans to pass.

I am the one who is building my church. You are my church; a holy habitation.

I am coming and I am already here.

I am the alpha and omega, beginning and the end. I am eternal.

I am your comforter.

I am your provider.

I am the one you can trust.

I am one that cannot lie.

I am your healer.

I am your maker.

Tell the world who I AM.

I AM THAT I AM. I AM God. I change not.

I am Yahweh!

You’re Called to Leadership

Exodus 18:14, 17-18, 21

14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.

18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

The work of God is bigger than any one person.

In the above scripture Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, noticed that if Moses kept trying to do everything himself he would burn-out and so he advises Moses to identify leaders and appoint them according to their ability…some over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Moses’ role was to take the most important and pressing cases and bring them before God.

Remember Jesus also had twelve close disciples and hundreds of others. When He gave the Great Commission “go and make disciples” (paraphrased), the understanding was that He had already given the twelve apostles everything they needed to complete the mission. He also would send the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them. We have that same gift.

I heard this quote once that says “you cannot teach what you do not know and you cannot lead where you will not go.”

I believe in the body of Christ we’re all called to leadership and to bear fruit. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 13:23

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Seek God and enquire of him about who is your ten. Be faithful to the ten and he will give you the fifty, one hundred and so on.

Prayer: Father I know you’ve placed in me your word and power. Show me those whom you’ve given me to empower and train up in your word. Mould me into the leader you’ve called me to be for your glory. Amen.