Why We Pray

There are many reasons to pray of course. But there are two reason I see very distinctly in Col. 4:2-4

Alertness
Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
– We pray because it’s in prayer that we begin to “see” with Spiritual eyes and heart. The Devil’s tactics and wiles are unseen and unfelt without the power of the Holy Spirit within us. It is by the Spirit we are given the ability and “vision” to see his wiles. And receive instruction in how to combat these tactics. The Lord has made us warriors to fight the battle of Christ against the Devil in our personal walks with Him. However, we must enter into the presence of walking with the Living Christ. Only His armour is sufficient for this battle.

Others

Col.  4:3 …that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”
After we have received grace and understanding of how to overcome, Christ will give us a Word to others on how to also fight and WIN this battle against the Devil. The devil walks around seeking whom he may devour. He is also no respecter of persons. He will take down any and all. There is no mercy with him, or forgiveness. He is through and through evil. I like to think of Keith Green’s song, “Dear John Letter”, when I think of how evil the devil is. Keith calls this the Dear John Letter, because he’s writing a letter to the Devil. Sometimes it is good to tell the Devil off, he deserves nothing else. It is good for our faith and soul to see him as clearly as the enemy, that we owe him nothing. He knows how and when to get us. He knows more about our downfalls than I think we do! But the Lord sees it all, and knows it all. Hence, the reason we should stay so in tune and connected with Jesus, so He can constantly keep us in tune with what the devil is doing.  Eph. 5:18 also says to be “alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” So not only in word, but in prayer for the saints to also overcome the Enemy.

This is no reason to fear, but instead gives us insight and special grace of how to overcome. The Lord makes the way easy and the burden Light, but if we ignore the Lord, He will also ignore us and will withold this grace from us. Then we will fall into the pit of dispair and be as the Enemy is to the Lord.

Focus on new life.

phloxAs I was watering my plants tonight, I started looking at this one and the Christian life. 

A lady I work for me gave me these. I hesitated at first to take them, but she insisted and almost nearly forced me too! I didn’t know what they were at the time.

So I took them home. She gave me a pot, good dirt, these plants, and some others that I took out because they looked dead. 

After potting these plants, they started to look not so healthy.I almost threw them out to plant cucumbers instead. After all, the soil she gave me was really good! But I waited a few more days. You could say I judged their condition and almost assumed them worthless.

The next time I went to her house, her plants were blooming. They were phlox! and not Missouri phlox but Ohio phlox (there’s a dfference!) These are my favorite wild flower. In ohio they grow like crazy alongside the roads and they smell amazing. No wonder the Lord wanted me to have them so much! He knew! :))

Maria asked me about the plants she gave me. I told her they didn’t really look very good. She said it was probably because of the “shock” of being uprooted and repotted.

How often do we judge other Christians because we see their brown leaves and do not wait for the blooms? Some have been uprooted and gone through intense changes.

But if we focus on the growth we forget about the brown leaves. This plant looks unhealthy on the bottom but on the top there is new life and beautiful flowers. In time, this plant, Lord willing, will produce more healthy green leaves, and it’s oldness and dryness will have gone away.

Mat_7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 

Shhhh……Be quiet!

Shhhh…..Be quiet!
Can you hear Him?
What is He saying?
Do you know His voice today?
Where is He? Is He near in your troubles and heartache?
Are your many worries, cares, and anxieties crowding His voice?
Shhhh…..Be quiet!
He knows you and what you need!
He knows how to carry you!
He is the creator of all things!
He knows how to keep His own, like a newborn with worries, cries, and needs.
And He knows best how to meet and care for those!
Shhhh…..Be quiet!
Are your cares and anxieties taking root?! 
Then His love is surely not taking root.
Take the axe, cut it out!
Don’t be belittled by the Enemy in thinking you cannot overcome.
It need not worry you, when your Father is a King!
Shhhh…..Be quiet!
Let’s rest! Don’t let it bequeath you, or be put underneath you!
You have a Father, who cares affectionately and indefinitely for you
Believe and let Him be the love that wraps you and keeps you.
His love is in you and around you!
What else is needed in this life but to be with Him.
Shhhh…..Be quiet!
Have you not read Psalm 139?
Let His word draw and keep you.
Let His praise embrace you.
Keep trying and believing that every mountain is overcome in this life.
Or else failure will haunt you!

 

Mat 11:15 Listen, every one who has ears!  (Weymouth)
Psa_116:7  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Hope in His Promises

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Ps. 118:8 NIV

Do it! Choose Jesus Christ! Deny yourself, take up the Cross, and follow Him–for the world must be shown. The world must see, in us, a discernible, visible, startling difference.

Put your trust in Him. Not in people or circumstances or dreams or programs or plans, not in any human notion of what will or won’t happen, but in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of Daniel and all the others–the God whose Son went through the darkest valleys so that you and I might be saved.
If somebody was willing to give his life for you, would you trust Him? Of course you would. Jesus loved you then. He loves you now. He’ll be loving you every minute of every hour of every day of the rest of your life, and no matter what happens, nothing can separate you from that love. I know it’s true. I have found that sure and steadfast Refuge in my Lord and Savior–the only real safety–the Everlasting Arms! I’ve walked with God a long time. I know He keeps His promises.

Elisabeth Elliot

Secure in the Everlasting Arms

Taking Courage in His Carriage

I often think of taking courage, as “buck up and take it” kind of courage. But the other day, I was thinking and praying out loud, and instead of saying courage, the word “carriage” came to my mind.

The reason we can have courage is because of His carriage. He carries us. If we know the Lord for who He is, His strength, His love and devotion towards our good, we will have courage. When we are not having courage to do His will, it is because we are either outside of His will, or are not expecting Him to do great things and receive His blessing and goodness upon us.

When we think about how great big God is and add it to His love for us, we see the Red Sea part before our eyes.

The man cried, “I believe. Help my unbelief.” Then Jesus rebuked the evil spirit out of His son. He will do things and answer our prayers in order to help our belief in Him! Some times the answer, is what increases our faith. But “we receive not, because we ask not.” But the man asked! Therefore, he received! His cry was desperate, but he needed help in believing fully in what has seemed impossible for so many years. With Jesus all things are possible, and Jesus proved this to Him. He understands the feeling of our infirmities, therefore He understands our weaknesses in believing fully.

This is the Lord “carrying” this man. Our faith is not our own. It is given to us by Him. But we must ask, seek, knock to receive faith. Faith is by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The grace to endure to the end is impossible!  But with Him ALL things are possible! So get into His carriage, because He will give you courage!

He tells us to carry our cross (Mt. 8:34), but He also says, I will help you get through,by bearing this cross too.

A Prayer for the Church

Written by Charles Spurgeon

“Once more we pray that You will bless Your church. Lord, quicken the spiritual lives of Your believers. You have given to Your church great activity, for which we thank You. May that activity be supported by a corresponding inner life. Do not let us get busy here and there with Martha, and forget to sit at Your feet with Mary (Luke 10:39-42). Lord, restore to Your church the love of strong doctrine. May Your truth yet prevail. Purge out from among Your church those who would lead others away from the truth as it is in Jesus, and give back the old power and something more. Give us Pentecost–yes, many Pentecosts in one–and may we live to see Your church shine forth as clear as the sun, as fair as the moon, and as ‘terrible as an army with banners’ (Song 6:4).”

The Marriage of Rest

In Psalm 132, David is praying for the Lord to come to dwell with him.  He says that he will not sleep, until he finds a place for the Lord to dwell. (vs. 4,5) He was so zealous for the Lord’s house that he lost sleep! The Lord too is looking for a place to dwell…a resting place. A place to have His Spirit.

We so often emphasize our need for rest. In Hebrews, we are told to labour into that rest. The rest that is found when trusting in Christ! But He too is seeking rest. True resting in Him cannot occur, unless He can truly rest in us. He will only rest in us as we take up our cross daily by choosing His will and not our own.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
1Jn_4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1Jn_4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
This is another reason we purge ourselves of self and sin. Not for self’s rest, but for Him. Because He too needs a habitation. He desires and longs to fill our hearts with His presence. (Ps. 132:13,14) To abide with us in unity.
He has been preparing a home for us already. He is now looking for a people that He too can dwell in. Shall we desire and long for the home, if we have not given our hearts to be a home and rest for Him? If two become one, they each surrender their lives fully. Christ’s promises are only for those who obey and surrender all. He has already paid the price and gave His life. Now He is looking for a people who will do the same for Him.
In whom you also are being built up together to become a fixed abode for God through the Spirit. Eph 2:22 (Wymth)
Rest in Him, and Him resting in us. It is Him overtaking self. This is the crucifixion of self. But we must allow Him full reign in our hearts. Otherwise He cannot fully dwell and live there.

When two people get married there is a rest in dwelling together. In submitting to one another’s wills, they come to a place of unity and surrender. How much should Jesus and the church also enter into this unity of rest.

We can only really truly rest in the Lord, if He is able to rest in us. His presence brings us rest from the fight around us and within. His Spirit is where we see deliverance from sin, self, and the temptations that come. We see this rest, by yielding our members for His purpose.

“Therefore……

….present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Rom 12:1

Quotes by Thomas Watson

God’s people have no charter of exemption from trouble in this life.
While the wicked are kept in sugar–the godly are often kept in brine.
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sick bed often teaches more than a sermon.
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We can best see the ugly visage of sin, in the looking-glass of affliction.
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What if we have more of the rough file–if we have less rust!
Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin.
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Time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29). If our lives are short–then our trials cannot be long.
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Afflictions quicken our pace in the way to Heaven.
Though the cross is heavy–we have but a little way to carry it.
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Affliction is the touch-stone of sincerity. “You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried . . . You laid afflictionupon us” (Psalm 66:10, 11). Hypocrites may embrace religion in prosperity–but he is a true Christian who will keep close to God in a time of suffering. “All this is come upon us–yet have we not forgotten You!” (Psalm 44:17).
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The stones which are cut out for a building are first hewn and squared. The godly are called “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5). God first hews and polishes them by affliction–that they may be fit for the heavenly building. The house of bondage prepares for the house not made with hands.
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Afflictions on the godly make them better–but afflictions on the wicked make them worse. The godly pray more (Psalm 130:1). The wicked blaspheme more, “Men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God” (Rev. 16:9).
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Affliction of the godly is like bruising spices, which are most sweet and fragrant.
Affliction of the wicked is like pounding weeds, which makes them more unsavory.
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When affliction or death comes to a wicked man, it takes away his soul.
When it comes to a godly man, it only takes away his sin, “We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Affliction works out sin–and works in grace.
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It is one heart-quieting consideration, in all the afflictions that befall us, that God has a special hand in them: “The Almighty has afflicted me!” (Ruth 1:21).
Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission–than the axe can cut of itself without a hand.
Job eyed God in his affliction–he does not say, “The Lord gave–and the devil took away;” but “The Lord gave–and the Lord has taken away.” Whoever brings an affliction to us, it is God who sends it.
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Afflictions work for good. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm 119:71). Joseph’s brethren throw him into a pit; afterwards they sell him; then he is cast into prison–yet all this worked for his good. “You thought evil against me–but God meant it unto good!”
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King Manasseh was bound in chains; this was sad to see–a crown of gold, exchanged for fetters. But it wrought for his good, for, “So the LORD sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request. So the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God!” (2 Chr. 33:11-13)
Manasseh was more indebted to his iron chain, than to his golden crown!
The one made him proud–the other made him humble.
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God sweetens outward pain, with inward peace.
“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16:20).
God’s afflicting rod has honey at the end of it.
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David says, “My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15).
If our times were in our own hand–we would have deliverance too soon.
If they were in our enemy’s hand–we would have deliverance too late.
But my times are in God’s hand–and God’s time is ever best.
Deliverance may tarry beyond our time; but it will not tarry beyond God’s time.
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Afflictions work for good, as they conform us to Christ. His life was a series of sufferings, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). He wept, and bled.
Was His head crowned with thorns–and do we think to be crowned with roses? 
It is good to be like Christ–though it be by sufferings.
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God loves a thankful Christian. Job thanked God when He took all away: “The Lord has taken away–blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives, Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew God would work good out of it.
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Every bird can sing in spring–but some birds will sing in the dead of winter.
A Christian will bless God, not only in the spring–but in the winter of affliction.
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“His mercies are new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). Mercy comes in as constantly as the tide; nay, how many tides of mercy do we see in one day!
We never eat–but mercy carves every bit to us;
we never drink–but in the golden cup of mercy;
we never go abroad–but mercy guards our steps;
we never lie down in bed–but mercy draws the curtains of protection close around us.
Shall we receive so many good things at the hand of God–and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10)
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Our mercies far outweigh our afflictions.
For one affliction–we have a thousand mercies!
The sea of God’s mercy swallows up a few drops of affliction!
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Affliction quickens the spirit of prayer. Jonah was asleep in the ship–but at prayer in the whale’s belly! Perhaps in a time of health and prosperity we pray in a cold and formal manner, we put no coals to the incense; we scarcely minded our own prayers, and how should God mind them?
Then God sends some cross or other affliction to make us take hold of Him. “They poured out a prayer, when Your chastening hand was upon them!” (Isaiah 26:15); now their prayer pierced the heavens! In times of trouble, we pray earnestly and fervently.
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When God puts His children to the school of the cross, He deals with them tenderly.
He will not lay a giant’s burden upon a child’s back.
Nor will He stretch the strings of the instrument too much, lest they should break.
If God sees it good to strike with one hand–He will support with the other.
Either He will make our faith stronger–or render the yoke lighter.
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God loves His people, when He is giving the bitter drink of affliction.
God’s rod and God’s love–they both stand together.
Let us feel God’s hand–so that we may have His heart.
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Afflictions add to the saints’ glory.
The more the diamond is cut–the more it sparkles.
The heavier the saints’ cross is–the heavier shall be their crown!

Stick to Your Particular Ministry by Zac Poonen

In Chapter 2 of Ezekiel, we see a man who is totally under God’s authority. The Lord said to him, “Stand up. I want to speak to you.” The Spirit came into Ezekiel as God spoke and set him on his feet. The Lord said, “Listen carefully. I am sending you to the nation of Israel.”

As we wait upon God, though we may not hear an audible voice like Ezekiel did, it is possible to have just as real and as certain a sense of calling and a sense of God sending us as Ezekiel had. It may take time.

When I started my ministry, I did not know immediately what my ministry was going to be. But as the years went by, I began to discover what it was. Now as I look back, I find fulfilment. But I know so many people who have tried to drag me away from the ministry God had called me to.

The Lord says, “I am sending you with a particular ministry.” It is very important that you learn to wait upon God and hear what God is speaking to you and what He has called you for. Sometimes you might choose God’s second best.

I remember, about 30 years ago, when I was in a lot of financial difficulty – I didn’t have much at that time – a Christian organisation invited me to be its director and offered me a good salary, a free car, free telephone, free house, etc., etc., if I accepted their offer. It was a Western organisation working in India. I said, “No. I can’t do that because even though I am in need, God has not called me to sit behind a desk and be an administrator. God has called me to go around preaching the Word.” I am so thankful that I did not accept their offer. It was a temptation – not a temptation to sin, but to choose something God had not called me to. When I look back now, I can see that if I had accepted their offer, I would not have sinned. I would still have been serving the Lord, but not in the ministry that God had planned for me.

I want you to realize that God has a specific task for you. It is wonderful to realize that truth when you are young. Wait on the Lord and say, “Lord, show me Your perfect plan for me.” It won’t become clear in one day. But over a period of years, it will become clearer and clearer. And as it becomes clear to you, stick to it at any cost – and you won’t have any regret when you stand before the Lord one day.

Only in Hearing are We Saved

It’s in the Strait and Narrow
that the waters overflow and grace abounds.
Not in lakes and ponds do waters flood.
But in the rivers
are often floods!
So obey the strait and narrow
in order to gush His waters of grace.

In the pressures of life
are we made right.
By turning us into gold
He does come as Light.
We are His jewels made in the quarry where pressure is much
And beauty and crystal-shine is too.
Under the deep dark, layers of mud and yuck,
and we too in this world of dark
Are to come forth in Light as His jewels.

Though it is never by pressure, trials, or tribulation that we are fully made right.
BUT by His Spirit we are saved.
Those who draw nigh unto Him in trial,
He will also draw nigh unto.
Those who deny His help in trials,
He will also deny.

Let us remember that God was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire.
But it was His voice that Elijah heard alone in the cave.
Here is where He drew nigh,
Here is where he received.
Grace from the Father’s lips,
of mercy, faith, comfort, help, and guidance.
Here is where the Father lived.
In drawing nigh,
Elijah found Rest and Hope in his trial.