Sunday, June 13, 2021

Prayer, Chore or Pleasure?



Lately, I have been talking with the children that I am currently living with...(both age 7)

I asked them who the first person is that they talk to in the morning?

I received confirmation from them that Jesus is their best friend, so I asked them if they spoke to Him in the morning.

I was told they speak to Him at night.

So, I made a point to them that they go all day without talking to their best friend, and then at night they ask Him to give them their desires. I asked what kind of a relationship is that?!

I asked the 2 boys that are friends, How about the two of you go all day not talking to each other and then tonight ask each other to give you stuff.

They registered in their minds that that did not sound right.

Making the point again: If Jesus is your best friend like you both are friends and you are so excited in the morning to find each other first thing and talk to each other shouldn't you do the same with Jesus when you wake up in the morning?!

Shouldn't you say, Thank you God for giving me life this morning, that I have good food I can get up and eat, and clean water I can drink, and all that You have done for me! Please help me to make good choices today, to obey my parents....

I told the boys that I believed if they started their morning out by talking to their best friend and asking Him for help for their day, that I believe their days will be much more successful and that they will get in less trouble and be making better choices...especially if they remember their best friend throughout the day. 

How can they say Christ is their best friend and only talk to Him at night?

We may need to ask ourselves the same if we do this also.

Christ wants to naturally be chosen as our best friend, not because He is prideful; simply because He loves us so deeply and it's natural when one loves to want to be loved in return. He does not need us to love Him, but it pleases Him as it would please us when those we love, love us in return.

I know I need to do better with how I interact with my Best Friend Christ.

Don't ever be discouraged when you see your shortcoming, just make the adjustments needed to make things right. And if at first, you do not succeed, keep trying; just don't give up!

When we have a friend that fails us we don't want to see that friend depressed over it, moping around. We just want them to change so we can enjoy one another even more!

So it is with God, He just wants us to make some changes so that the relationship grows deeper.

This morning I put the children in remembrance, like the Scriptures say, exhort one another daily (= "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."-Hebrews 3:13)

They came to my room to see me and I asked them, Who was the first person you talked to this morning?

Big eyes "uhhhh" expression....

one says, "My dad!"

the other says, "You."

So you didn't talk to your best friend?!

I shared with them how I lived in houses in the past that the space under the stairs that they have been using for a fort was actually a prayer closet where I would enjoy going and talking to my best friend for hours!  

( I wasn't married then.)

And it was during those times I grew so much and God did such a work in my heart! He showed me in a prayer closet, someone I hated ever since I could remember (about the age of 5 )  up until that day in my 20's in that closet.... and He took the hatred and bitterness out of my heart!!!! (That's another story)

Suddenly, the boys were inspired to turn their fort into a prayer closet and straightway went to it ready to talk to their best friend! But as they entered the closet they got into some strife about a spider that was in the closet. Apparently, one of the boys thought it was best to kill the spider, and the other over-reacted and dramatically resisted the killing of the spider...Mom got involved, spider was caught in a cup and released outside, and on to prayer, they went.

 The first boy begins to emphatically Thank God for numerous things he listed, including candy, and all the nice things God gives them, and they "take for granted". I couldn't exactly hear all that he prayed but it was such a delight to hear...he went on to saying something about Trump and Biden and how he knows Jesus is the President of all :-) it was incredibly sweet and hilarious. He finished up his prayer and urged the other boy to pray. The other boy starts talking of other things not engaged in this serious endeavor to pray. So, the boy who prayed rebukes him saying something along the lines, that the devil is distracting him from prayer and obviously doesn't want him to pray...

 They came out of their prayer closet and I asked the one who didn't pray why he didn't pray. 

He said because he already listened to the other boy pray. 

Oh, ok, so how about you go all day not talking to your friend and just listen to his brother talk to him.

--look of distress on the boys face--

Well, if you don't need to talk to your best friend because your other friend talked to him?

What kind of a relationship would that be?!

Thank God for the things we learn from children!

My friend, what is your relationship with Christ like?

It's good to see where we can improve and I trust if we make the needed adjustments our relationship will deepen and we will become more prosperous in the ways of the Lord. 

A note to parents and mentors: Take time to teach the children, to open their understanding by pointing out these kinds of things. It's so beautiful to inspire children to have a relationship with God. Praying shouldn't be presented as an obligation or a chore....teach them Jesus is the Greatest friend they will ever have and to be conscious of Him all the day long.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Chocolate Soldiers


 I plan to start sharing some treasures I have copied into my journal that is filled with years of things I have written down that edified me. Hope my readers will also find edification in these things. I will put them under the topic "Journal Treasures"

Today I have typed up the following from out of my journal:

“You wake up in the morning, Take a few minutes to ponder the events of the coming day. Then, think of your bed as an altar & on the altar sacrifice yourself: possessions, pride, power to God. If you take that attitude in the morning then nothing that comes up during the day should frustrate or disturb you. ...The crucified will is not frustrated. The man who willingly, cheerfully & daily presents himself as a ‘living sacrifice’ can excellently adapt to the most severe situations & with Paul be more than a conqueror Romans 8:37 ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.’

One may ask, ‘Isn’t it foolish to give up our rights?’ Perhaps it is not foolish, since in giving up our rights we improve both our health & happiness. In giving the other fellow a piece of our mind we always lose our peace of mind. To the unregenerate man it is unthinkable that he should give in when he is right, he refuses to sacrifice his pride, but in doing so he sacrifices his health… Yeshua (Jesus) said, ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth’ Mt.5:5 Christians must renounce every right of their own & live for the sake of Jesus Christ (Yeshua ha Mashiyach). 

As the World War 2 martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote & lived:

‘They will not go to law to defend their rights or make a scene when they suffer injustice nor do they insist on their legal rights.’

We may suffer in this life but the earth belongs to us. As Dietrich declared,

‘Those who now possess it (the world) by violence & injustice shall lose it, & those who here have utterly renounced it, who were meek to the point of the cross, shall rule the New Earth.

Sticking up for our rights calls forth many excess hormones. Much stress and sickness results from our unwillingness to sacrifice ‘our own rights.’ Christians must remember that ‘their right is in the will of their Lord----that and no more.’

Living by this principle as Christ did is, ‘the way of the cross.’ As it did for Paul & Dietrich, this path will often lead to persecution in this life. But, ‘the way of the cross’ is the only way to spiritual fulfillment & freedom from the diseases caused by negative attitudes & personal goals. Contrary people can help us if we make the necessary  adjustments in our mental rigging. On the water they call it tacking, but on land they call it tact. ...most Christians are not mortified & crucified to the world, not acquainted with with God & the promises as they ought to be, nor so resolved to follow God fully, as they ought and therefore are so dejected & discontented when affliction comes. Here is solid truth. Since our attitudes of mind are more important than the daily insults of life, we should condition our minds before life’s major catastrophes hit us. Armies recognize this basic truth & put their troops through rigorous  training. If Christians would practice Biblical discipleship-such as fasting, meditation, solitude, and prayer we would not have so many ‘chocolate soldiers’ who melt and crumble when they are forced to endure hot & fierce experiences such as unexpected death of a loved one, or persecution of a hostile government.”

---Anonymous

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Add to our Faith Temperance



A lot of us have faith even if it's a mustard seed of faith.

But are we adding on to our faith as the Apostle rightly exhorts us to?


I want to go through these additions with you all and I hope it will be edifying (build us up in the Holy Faith)/encouraging.

I would go in the order listed here, but this morning the word Temperance was burning in my heart so I want to start there.

Let's read this first:

2 Peter 1:4-12

[4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

[5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

[6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

[8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

[10] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

[11] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

[12] Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Wouldn't you agree that this is a very important exhortation?

"for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

Sounds like something we should really apply our hearts to.

When we do not take it upon ourselves to be intentionally mindful of these things we will find ourselves in this state:

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

I am thinking it will be encouraging for us to go through each of these and take time to ponder these words, what they really mean, do we see the fruit of them in our lives, if not, why not? And what do we need to change in our life so these additions to our faith are abounding? That they are not just "in" us, but "abounding" in us!

Definition+of+abound=

abound, verb, əˈbound, exist in large numbers or amounts


So let's start with the word Temperance.

What comes to mind when you hear that word?

Many think of alcohol, drinking in moderation, or food.

But temperance is so much deeper than that.

The dictionary explains it like this:

"Definition of temperance

1: moderation in action, thought, or feeling: RESTRAINT

2a: habitual moderation in the indulgence of the appetites or passions."

-From:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperance


From my personal experience, I would say temperance (within a Christian) in time becomes a natural part of you that is deeply rooted.

Due to this Temperance being deeply rooted inside of you; you become content and satisfied by moderation.

Moderation is defined as "the avoidance of excess or extremes"

You are no longer driven by a passion or desire for something that draws you to an excessive degree. Whether that be food, drink, sex, time spent on the internet, time spent working, time spent playing, talking too much, reading too much... Whatever you are doing may not be sinful in and of itself but in excess, it becomes a snare to your soul.

(Continuing to ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit is important; by His Spirit, we are able to discern what is too much.)

We are called to be partakers of the Divine nature of God. Adding to our faith the things Peter listed can certainly bring us into that Divine nature. Although, it will not if we are performing these things in self-righteous efforts rather than a true change of heart taking place through the Grace of God which is given to the Humble in heart.

We can't think we will attain any of these virtues in their true essence without Humility.

Someone boasting of their ability to be moderate in any of the things does not bring edification, neither does someone secretly seeking attention for their temperate abilities... For example, Eating small portions to be seen of men.

When we have a love for God and Truth and are willing to suffer for both, then when we come to God in true surrender, He can produce these good fruits in us.

These fruits will become a part of our nature wherein we aren't even aware that we are walking in them. Not to say we won't notice the Victory God had given us... It will initially take mindfulness on our part. For example:

I used to be addicted to chocolate, I craved it and felt like it had control of me...I didn't like that sense of something controlling me. So I decided to stop eating it. I went on a very long fast from chocolate. Maybe even over a year? I don't remember how long I abstained from it; I wasn't sure if I would ever eat it again. I did not care, I just wanted to have victory.

I even made chocolate desserts for others and Glory to God He helped me not to lick the chocolate off my fingers while making it for others! I had to resist the cravings for a long time... Until thanks be to God those cravings just went away. One day I just realized I had the victory and I felt at peace that I could eat it again, but this time with temperance.

Facing this addiction head-on really helped me not just with chocolate, but in general, to have temperance in things.

I actually had a dream at the time that I was facing this desire for chocolate. In the dream, I saw that if the intemperate chocolate craving was indulged in it would weaken my ability to resist other temptations such as fornication.

I do believe that the seemingly "little weaknesses" we have in our lives need to be taken more seriously than many realize.

I am sure there are other issues in my life that if I honestly examined myself I would see a need to be more temperate in. So even though as the Apostle Peter said,

"to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them,"

Though we have been taught by the Holy Spirit to be temperate we need to be reminded and we need to keep evaluating our lives to make sure we are walking in what we know...

...so we do not forget and become blind.

Let's take time this week to ponder temperance and see how we are doing with it and seek some refining...then I plan to go over another addition Peter mentioned.

Grace and Peace be Multiplied.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Prayer

 Prayer



Recently I heard a brother say that his daughter asked him, why we need to pray when God already knows what we have need of before we ask?

(Matthew 6:8)


"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth
what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."


It is a good question from an 8-year-old.



So what is the answer…

 

I was reminded of a study a brother shared many years ago that I had in my “treasure book” on Prayer… I thought to share those notes here: (these notes may sound like incomplete sentences, but hopefully the general ideas will be understood.)


The importance of praying, having a prayer life, praying continually:


 There is a paper called, “The Difficulty in Humility” The Difficulty of Prayer, this is foreign to us when you first start out.

As we need to learn humility we also need to learn how to pray, walk in that. They relate, being humble, having a prayer life, and of course the opposite too. Matthew 26:41 


“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

{this verse} Reveals two opposite forces, the spirit and the flesh. One is willing, the other is weak. One is getting to prevail in our life. If we watch and pray this is going to make the difference. The Spirit will prevail in that person that watches and prays. In a sense, you can say the flesh is strong (It’s weak in doing what is right/following God), but strong in doing evil, that’s why we need to watch and pray. So don’t yield to it. It can quench the Spirit out of your life. Backsliding starts when knee bending stops. ..prayer is our strength to overcome the wiles of the devil. If he succeeds in keeping us from prayer, we will be doomed to fall. Prayer is associated with making supplications & petitions. Watching is a state of awareness, being alert against attack. (1 Peter 5:8 )

  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

The flesh is weak. Peter’s spirit was willing to follow Yeshua [Jesus] to death, yet his flesh prevailed and he instead denied Him. If we are standing on the strength of our flesh we will fall. Morning is a very good time to pray. Each day is a battle to face and what better way to equip ourselves than to pray before facing the day. Praying is something the flesh doesn’t want to do. Rather than rising and praying the flesh wants to sleep. We must deny ourselves and bear the cross. Yeshua rose up a great while before the day to prepare Himself. Daniel 9:13

"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth."

- A sequence here of things, evil coming upon a person, we’ve all had evil come upon us for our iniquity. Generally, it continues in that case-[many} People don’t stop and pray to God, but when we do it helps us to turn from our iniquities and understand His Truth. When we still ourselves before Him He can remind us of something or instruct us, help us to understand His Truth, turn from our iniquity. One thing people do when they pray is confess their sins. God doesn’t need us to confess our sins; He already knows; but it helps us to stop and quietly face up to our iniquities. Also praising Him in prayer- He doesn’t have this big ego that He needs to be told how great He is; but we need to be reminded, it’s easy for us to forget. Easier to be of faith when we realize how great He is. Prayer reminds us of this. Luke 16:16

"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."

-Prayer is something we need to press into. There’s a lot of things that can keep us from praying/hinder us. We need to press through these things. Pride is one of them. The Scriptures teach that pride deceives a person. People think why do I need to pray? I can do that myself-I don’t need help. But when we get beyond that and pray we see how needy we are, how wretched we are. Might think we don’t have a lot to pray about, until we start praying & then realize how many things we have to pray about. 

It is written, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble. (Ps 10:17)

"LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:"

The emphasis here is on pressing in. We must press in to enter into His kingdom. Prayer is oftentimes likened to wrestling. In Genesis 32:24-28 Jacob wrestled all night. We wrestle against doubt and unbelief. In wrestling matches, opponents lock themselves together in various holds, each pressing the other until one falters or faints in his strength and the stronger prevails. We must believe. It’s a serious labor to  go against the flesh and pressing into prayer is also a labor. Nighttime is a good time to be still and quiet. Sometimes it’s easier than others; when things are noisy and hectic outwardly and inwardly. This is a time to press in and seek Him.

Psalm 73-{ It is believed that Asaph the chief musician wrote this Psalm; he describes how he was} In a deceived state, then went into the sanctuary and realized how deceived he was.

73:17 "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end."

-When we go into His sanctuary, pressing into pray, we see we are a beast foolish, ignorant. When we get beyond the flesh and press into prayer, get beyond the slothfulness of the flesh. Epaphras labored fervently in prayer. People can perceive it. Don’t think it is in vain. The devil would like us to think it is. When we go into His sanctuary we can hear His voice press in against unbelief, restlessness. It is really worth it when we get beyond all that. Pour out our heart before Him, cast our burden upon Him. Luke 21:36

“ Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
-Again these two together, watching and praying. “...always, that ye may be accounted worthy…” So it’s not just a few minutes before we fall asleep or a little in the morning, but through the day. Nehemiah 2;1-6
2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.  
2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,  
2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?  
2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.  
2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.  
2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
-As an example of a man even when he was talking with the king and was sore afraid; being questioned by the king, even in this he remembered. Like the Scriptures say, That there is that which is higher than they. (Eccl 5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. )
-He prayed to God and He heard his prayer. Even when speaking with others to be in that mode of watching and praying, it can help us to not sin against them. Mark 1:35
"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
-He’s our example, if He needed to pray we do also. Psalm 55:17
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."
In the book of Daniel we see that Daniel did this also, ( 3x’s a day ) Sometimes the middle part of the day can be the hardest, but it’s really important, even a little bit can make a difference. “Happy Hour” at a bar, “Attitude Adjustment Hour”, true of prayer. Can be a time when our attitude can be adjusted. Come out of there more happy, refreshed and blessed than when we first went in. 1 Timothy 5:5,6
"Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.  
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
-Widows, certain people in the Scriptures characterized as needy and oppressed (Fatherless, widows, etc.) Not desired roles in the world. Generally in the world people would rather be rich, powerful. In another account the poor widow casting in just a little bit. She was the one that Yeshua was impressed with. The world would rather live in pleasure than pray to God day and night. But a person who is able to trust in God has faith to pray. Lazarus and the rich man, was the other way around. Being desolate and afflicted can cause people to pray and trust in God. A widow may have no one to look to help her, seeing her husband is dead.
Luke 18:1-8
18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the
-The reason He spoke this was so we would pray and not faint. The flesh wants to faint, quit, go back to the world. He wants us to hope in Him look beyond this life. The widow could be a symbol of us. She had an adversary, the adversary was stronger than her. She needed someone to deal with her adversary for her. (1 Peter 5:8)
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
He’s looking for souls among us to devour, [we are] not to fear him, but it should provoke us to cry out to God. This is a spiritual battle the way the devil devours us oftentimes is in our minds, accusations, fear doubt. So we really need to be avenged of our adversary; and if this wicked judge was going to do it because the widow was bothering him, how much more will God do it? So cry unto Him day and night. Pray always and don’t faint. Abraham waited 15 years for Isaac, the promise. He was strong in faith. It’s glorifying to God when we believe in Him. God has shown us that He has helped us, there is no reason to doubt. Satan wants to hinder and destroy our prayer life. Prayer is one of our most effective weapons against him. Prayer is one of the most important activities we could be doing. A prayer life is the very foundation of a successful spiritual life. Matthew 26:41
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
-This is what we need to do to meet temptation and prevail. The devil is looking to catch someone unawares. Prayer will make us strong, help us in our weaknesses. “ Watch” foreseeing evil. If we are in a watchful place we will be able to see evil a far off, & avoid it. Be watchful, make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. Luke 11:1
"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
-This is an edifying scenario this brother asked to be taught how to pray. If we are lacking in this may we be quickened to ask Him to lead us in prayer. Grace is a teacher, it takes His grace to pray. Prayer will give us (& bring about) greater joy; flowing petitions and supplications. Mark 11:22-26
11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  
11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  
11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  
11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
-There’s two conditions for acceptable prayer. If we expect our prayers to be fruitful we need to believe in them. God takes no pleasure in doubt. Faith is the means (vehicle) by which God will bring our prayers to us. According to your faith so be it unto you. Also, we need to forgive. God won’t hear us if we are not forgiving. We can not bring grudges into the prayer closet. He won’t forgive if we don’t forgive. It’s God’s desire for us to pray so that He can bless us by showing us just how faithful He is.
Our prayer is like a life-line, it is the seat of our strength. In carnal warfare a commanders top objective is to destroy the means by which the enemy is strengthened. We can not be simple, “wise as serpents.” The devil will take us if we don’t press in. (Hebrews 11:6)
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
We must believe, it’s not an option. God will not tolerate grudges. Our enemy wants to create disunity. We must be of a forgiving heart. It will be a defense for us in the judgment if we have a testimony of being forgiving. We are seeking to be one with each other.

[Jesus praying: John17:11 "And now I am no more in the world,
but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father,
keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me,

that they may be one, as we are."]
God accepts mercy. He is very forgiving & He wants us to be also. If this means forgetting about something, so be it. Matthew 6:5-15
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  
6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  
6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  
6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  
6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. -It seems fit to do this, starting our prayers with praise.  
6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  
6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.  
6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  
6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  
6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  
6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Breaking out of the prayer mold. Col. 1:9-11
1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  
1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  
1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Eph.1:16-23 
1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  
1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  
1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  
1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  
1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  
1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

-The drive behind Paul’s prayer was the love of God.. James 5:13-18
5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  
5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  
5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
-If we feel affliction we can prolong it if we don’t pray, can make it hard on us and others. (Job 42:10)
"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."
Pray for your neighbor and heal yourself 1 Kings 17:1
"And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."
-He spoke faith, no doubt. He was certain it was as he said. 1 Kings 18:41-46
18:41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.  
18:42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,
18:43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.  
18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.  
18:45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
18:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
-A valiant man indeed! His faith was great. The power of faith; it prevails, produces results. Praying in faith lays the ground work for some great things to happen. Having faith is very pleasing to God. He wants us to believe in Him. vs.41-Elijah speaking faith. He did not receive his petition right away, but he did not give up, he pressed in. vs.42-humbling himself, his importunity. Sometimes we need to be patient, allow our faith to grow. His faith and prayer availed. Ahab was eating and drinking, but Elijah humbled himself with his face between his knees (Jeremiah 12:5)
"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"
The hand of Yahveh ( the LORD) was upon Elijah & he ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot. 2Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
-The heart is likened unto land, sometimes the land can be dry. The prayer of faith can bring forth abundance of fruit. This is referring to a drought. When there is no rain, the ground becomes hard and useless. It is incapable of bringing forth fruit. This is likened unto our heart and His spirit is water. First they humble themselves. This is the condition. If we humble ourselves and pray, seek Him and repent, He will heal us. Acts 10:1-2
"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."
-Everything He did through the day He let God in on it. The help is always available to us, we need to go to Him in prayer. Cornelius was one of the first Gentiles that God gave the knowledge to of His taking a people from out of the Gentiles. This man had a good report; fearing God and praying always. Daniel was unwilling to be intimidated by the king's law. He continued to pray, knowing that he could be thrown into the lion's den. A mighty decree went forth because one man had faith and continued in prayer.. Taste and see that Yahveh (the LORD) is good. The only way to find out is to press in. The word edify means to build up. By praying for each other we can really edify one another. It’s like girding a brother or sister with a piece of armor. It can help bring forth charity and perfection within us. May God help us to lay hold on these things and make prayer a higher priority in all our lives. Amen. --End of study.

Before you read this study you were presented with this question:
Why do we need to pray when God already knows what we have need of before we ask?

I hope reading through this has answered that for you. Prayer is for us, not for God. Prayer increases our faith. Prayer reminds us of important things that we forget like:
wrongs we need to repent of, what God has saved us from, how faithful God is, and the joy we can have in simply praising and worshipping Him in prayer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Refined by Fire

Image by John Vasilopoulos from Pixabay Scripture added by me




Many Holy Women of Old went through Great Tribulations. Some of us seeing the current circumstances of society are beginning to fear that great suffering is in our near future. But we need not fear what is ahead. It is an opportunity for our faith to be manifested and God glorified. If you struggle with the desire to avoid or despise suffering refresh yourself with the Word of God and ask Him to increase your faith.




Hebrews 11

[24] By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
[25] Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;[

[26] Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 

[27] By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

[32] And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

[33] Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
[34] Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
[35] Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
[36] And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
[37] They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
[38] (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
[39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
[40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

What a dreadful thing to go through life unrefined. No real fire to burn the sin out of you. Just a mundane existence. Eating, drinking, sleeping....a life much like the beast who will not stand before the righteous judgment. But we humans who are made after God's image will come before God to give an account of our life.

Thank God if your life has difficulties that burn up the chaff (the no good, the useless part). Those hard trials that bring you to your knees and total surrender. That makes you not care about anything but pleasing your Maker. That makes your life feel so ruined that you are brought to deep humility where pride can no longer have its ugly roots in the soil of your broken heart. Where all you want to do is love like Christ and never argue again, never let a foolish word come out your mouth, never belittle anyone again, never seek to defend yourself again; but all your hope, trust & joy rests on God and your affections are set on things above.


I can't imagine living a life so mundane and secure that secret sins are never purged, pride and arrogance go unnoticed, foolishness & perversion unaccounted for... Until the day you stand before the God who formed you in your mother's womb and hear Him say, "Depart from me, I never knew you..." And then you cry out in shock, "But Lord I cast out demons in your name, I 'won' souls for You, I gave 20%,!!!!!" To no avail. Because you did not earnestly seek to be purged of all that God hates. You avoided the refiner's fire. You did not make God your first love. You got comfortable in this life and failed to see your nakedness. God help us to remember in our times of suffering that it is not in vain, that our endurance will cause us to come forth as something more precious than fine gold.

Let us not be as these spoken of in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 3:17

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Grace and peace and FAITH be multiplied.