It’s always a good time to pray!

prayersThe times of prayer can be as different as the places of prayer. Looking back to my childhood I can remember my parents, being involved in many different prayer meetings. Therefore, they would bring different ones of us children with them to the various meetings throughout our upbringing. In fact, I feel I had the privilege of cutting my teeth in prayer meetings. Looking back over the many years, there is one definite fact that I’ve come to realize about prayer. That there is no one set time to pray, on the contrary the scriptures reference many different times of prayer.

In Psalm 55:16-17 we read David’s words, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” The religious culture of that day held prayer three times a day. We see this also in Daniel 6:10, “…he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”

For many years, I have been involved in Morning Prayer meetings. I started this routine when I was just out of bible school and attending a church in Rockwall, Texas. God used my pastor to stir thousands to pray in the mornings for one hour. The scripture Mark 1:35 was the inspiration, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out …and there He prayed.” This teaching swept through America and abroad, motivating multitudes to get up early and find their place of intercession each morning..

Some churches hold all night prayer meetings. Luke 6:12 tells us that Jesus prayed all night, “… He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” When I was a youth pastor my pastor would call the whole church, to an all-night prayer meetings. Different departments were assigned to lead different hours through the night. As well, I remember a time in Haiti some years back where I had the privilege to attend a prayer meeting. Thirty of us, with the stars as our backdrop, prayed from night until early morning on the housetop.

In 1857 New York City was ablaze with the fire of prayer. God had placed a burden to pray at noon for revival and spiritual renewal on Jeremiah C. Lamphier.   This movement of noon prayer spread like wild fire across the city and then the country. At one time the famed newspaper editor Horace Greeley sent a reporter by horse and buggy to count the attendance at the different noon prayer meetings and was only able to get to twelve locations, but counted 6,100 who had come to pray.

We see in the last 18 years across the globe the explosion of 24-hour a day continuous prayer and praise meetings. Inspired by David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 23:5; 25:7), where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians that were dedicated full-time to minister to the Lord and serve others. In Luke 18:7 Jesus says that God will bring justice to those that “cry out day and night to Him. Paul understood this and exhorted the believers to pray without ceasing in Thess. 5:17-18.

Believers are crying out to God in prayer every hour of the day and night. Whether it is morning, noon or evening, once a week or special times, there is a stirring in the belly of the people of God to cry out to Heaven in prayer. The perfect time for prayer is any time that allows you to connect to the God that loves you.

 

Window Rattling Prayers will Change Cities!

images-71In the book of Acts we see believer’s praying so intensely that they shook the very building they were in. Peter and John had been arrested for teaching and preaching the Gospel (Acts 4:31). We read in the chapter before this where a lame man was healed at the gate Beautiful resulting in five thousand people believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:4). Then after being released, Peter and John reported to their friends what was told to them and they began to tenaciously pray. so hard that the walls began to trembled. It was probably similar to when a storm moves in with cracking thunder that rattle your windows and shake the house.

The story continues in Acts 4:31-32, when they had prayed together not only was the place shaken, but they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the Word with boldness. Prayers that shake foundations and rattle windows come when we understand God’s love toward us and have a personal relationship with Him. It’s because of those kind of prayers that they saw the evidence of His power in their midst and brought change in their cities.

Gordon Lindsay was the founder of Christ for the Nations Institute and also the key organizer of the Voice of Healing Fellowship along with being an author of the magazine by the same name. Many mornings as his wife was getting the kids off to


We must be people who bring down the rain of Heaven with our prayers.


school Gordon was just going to bed after being up all night praying and fasting. His accomplishments such as the many books and bible school he founded are a direct result of his life of prayer.

There are many different elements to praying, “window rattling” and “building-shaking” prayers but let me highlight a few. The first element is to be surrendered to God’s will when we pray. We read in John 5:14-15 that we will have confidence when we pray in His will. Why? Because He will hear us and if God hears us then we know He will answer us. Knowing God’s will is knowing the very heartbeat of our heavenly Father.

Second, we must be serious in prayer. In James 5:16-18 it says that Elijah was earnest in prayer. He was a serious prayer warrior and because of it the clouds were shaken to rain. We must be people who bring down the rain of Heaven with our prayers.


When we bring our prayers in line with God’s thoughts and desires, then and only then will we see radical results in our surroundings.  


Third, we must be relentless in prayer. We can’t have a wimpy, quitter’s attitude. In Colossians 4:2 we read, “Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come,” (TLB). Let us be relentless when we pray!

Fourth, we must have a humble spirit as we pray. A person who is puffed up with an ego or pride will hinder their prayers. Self-exaltation will cloud our perspective and will position our will before His will.

Fifth, we must not pray with idle words. Religious jargon and empty words are useless and insulting to God’s love. In Matthew 6:7-8 we read Jesus’ words, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do…”.

The bottom line is this, when we pray with a pure heart and press in with a tenacious spirit we will connect with God’s heart. Effective prayers come from individuals who live a life of communing with Him. When we bring our prayers in line with God’s thoughts and desires, then and only then will we see radical results in our surroundings. The course of cities and nations will be supernaturally changed before our eyes and God’s purposes will become reality. God is looking for those who will surrender their agendas for His.

A life of prayer is a life of Victory!

praying in churchA life of prayer is a life of power! The degree of power in our life is a direct reflection of our prayer life and habits. If you find weakness and fatigue in your faith then you can be sure that you are weak and impotent in prayer. The deeper our intimacy with God the stronger our prayer life will be. Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is.

In times of spiritual dryness, we need to be saturated in God. In Topeka, Kansas just before Christmas of 1900, Charles F. Parham instructed the forty students at Bethel College to study the scriptures, to determine what would be considered the New Testament evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which they did. Then these students began to pray fervently that they might experience this same New Testament experience.

Clare Davis in her book, The Move of God writes of this experience. On the watch-night of 1901, they had a hallowed time of prayer for God’s blessings to be upon them in the coming year. During the first day of 1901 the Spirit of the Lord was with them in a marked way, stilling hearts to wait upon Him for greater things. The spirit of prayer was


God doesn’t want you to go through life with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit.


upon them in the evening, and about 11:00 p.m., one of the students, Agnes Ozman, asked for prayer that she might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As the students laid hands on her she began to be filled with more of God. She later stated, “I had the added joy that my heart longed for, and a depth of the presence of the Lord within, that I never knew before. It was as if rivers of living water were proceeding from my innermost being.” Days later Parham, himself and soon all of the students received the Holy Spirit. The news spread quickly and many people were filled with this wonderful outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Parham went to Houston and began to teach this Book of Acts experience.”

God wants every believer to hunger for more of Him. Just as these students desired to experience the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I need to come to that same place of hunger for more of God. The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy


Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is


saying, “I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” (I Tim. 2:8). This isn’t for a select few but for every believer. God wants all Christians to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they can pray effective prayers.

God has so much more for each of His children. He doesn’t want you to go through life verily getting through with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit. We need to make powerful prayer a way of life. It’s our life source and spiritual umbilical cord. What’s holding you back today? I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedule and pray, asking God to give you everything He has for you. There’s great power in prayer.

 

 

Let The Pit Produce Your Purpose

images-46It’s amazing how fast things can change around us. Many of us have had some event or situation in our life where something had happened which altered our surroundings and radically changed us from that moment forward. Those earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude.

In Genesis we read a story of a young man who’s life went from being spoiled and loved by his parents to separation and devastation throughout much of his life. We read in Gen 37:18-20 where young Joseph was going to check on his older brothers who were taking care of the family’s sheep. “Now when they saw him afar off, …they conspired against him …said to one another, “…Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit”. These were his family, stepbrothers who should have protected him, but chose to bring hurt to him by throwing him in a pit. They stopped short of killing him physically by selling him into slavery aborting any life desires he might have had. Let alone they lied to their parents that wild animals had viciously killed Joseph. Needless to say, this was a life-altering situation brought on by selfishness and jealousy among family members.

It’s hard to believe that those that should bring safety and encouragement through life’s struggles can sometimes bring the most damage and devastation. Whether it is co-workers, teachers or even those you’re related to they can at times bring the worst destruction in our lives. Life can be fragile and altered many times


Earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude.


where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. We can feel like the popular commercial that states, “I have fallen and I can’t get up”. This advertisement goes on to advertise an emergency button that you can have so during these serious situations you can call for help. You and I can also have in place a much more effective response for our cry for help. That is firstly, our personal relationship in Christ, secondly a strong support by family and friends of faith, as well as thirdly, our own fortitude that comes from confidence in God’s purposes for us.

It is so important that in these times we have our foundation already established in Christ so that our eyes are kept on the one where our help comes from. (Ps 121:2-3) Jesus said in Matt 7:24-25 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” We will have storms in our


Life can be fragile and altered many times where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. Who will you call?


lives for sure, but they don’t have to wipe us out completely. We can take our deepest pit and allow God to turn it into our strongest purpose to help others. Joseph went from the pit to Potifers house and even through a dark prison season. He could have and possibly did entertain the thoughts that God didn’t care or was punishing him, but ultimately we read that Joseph kept his eyes on the Lord. He knew God was a God that would bring justice in this situation. The end of this incredible story is that God used this incredible tragedy to bring triumph to His people through Joseph. God brought young Joseph from a pit to a palace with a purpose to help others!   I encourage you even though you have fallen into a pit to not stay there but look ahead for your palace!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

Have you ever had a situation in your life that has altered your future course? Or maybe you have a close friend that has gone through some tragedy that changed their life. Explain?

As you read the story of Joseph being thrown into a pit by his brothers and then being sold into slavery, what comes to your mind? What do you think brought on such hatred for their younger brother?

Describe what kind of support or helpful measures you have in your life to keep get you out of a pit if you ever fall into one? What do they look like in detail? How would you encourage others to be equipped to overcome adversity in their lives?

Quotes to Tweet:

  • Earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude. – billvirgin.com

 

  • Life can be fragile and altered many times where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. Who will you call? – billvirgin.com

#IHaveFallenAndCantGetUp         #DontStayInThePitLookToThePalace          #LetThePitProduceYourPurpose

What has so easily Offended you making you go Astray?

images-24Have you notice the epidemic of people who are offended and living their lives entrenched in the bondage of offences. Maybe it is a friend that out of the blue won’t talk to you or a co-worker that becomes standoffish after your promotion. Maybe it’s even hit closer to your home with a family member who hasn’t communicated with you for sometime. Whatever the scenario might look like most of us have been defiled in someway by offended people.

We read in Matt 24:10-11 Jesus’ words concerning the end of the age, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many”. One of the many signs that He gives them in this dialog is that there will be a noticeable plague of people


Once a person is offended they are dragged down a demonic trail that will open their callused hearts to deception.   (tweet)


who are offended. The word “offended” in this passage means to entrap, to put a snare or stumbling block in the way. The word picture is the lever on a trap that ensnares whatever is enticed. In other words an offence will ensnare and hold in bondage the person that has been offended.

We set ourselves up for offense when we require certain behaviors from those with whom we have relationships. Offenses unchecked will lead to hurts and distortions. A person that chooses to be offended has allowed himself or herself to be entrapped and held captive. Limiting them from being about the fathers business.

We read in Matt 24 verse 10 that once people are offended that it leads to betrayal of each other. Meaning to cast off your commitment or bond that was there before the offence. It even implies to put in prison or bondage. When a person


The ironic thing about the person that succumbs to being offended is that they will become offenders themselves     (tweet)


becomes offended it breaks the bond or covenant one may have and actually imprisons a person in the enemies hold. To betray someone is the ultimate abandonment of covenant!

Unfortunately, we also read in verse 10 that the slippery slope of destruction progresses from just being offended to betrayal and then drops off the cliff of Continue reading

Desperate Times call for Desperate Prayer

477907061The Lord answers King Solomon’s prayer with incredible hope. It says in 2 Chron 7:14-15, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” It was after the dedication of the temple that the King had an encounter in the night from the Lord. King Solomon had asked the Lord in the dedication prayer to forgive the people of God if they repent from going astray from Him and finding themselves being carried away into bondage.

God’s answer was if His people would cry out to Him with humility and prayer, there would be a radical change. He wasn’t talking about a sweet little prayer before we eat or bedtime but a heart felt, gut-agonizing prayer for God’s intervention. We have relied on our own abilities to gather a crowd and just talked about prayer without much praying.


It’s time to humble our-selves and pray! Not just speaking eloquent words to be heard by man but to cry-out in desperation to God.   (tweet)


It’s time to humble our-selves and pray! Not just speaking eloquent words to be heard by man but to cry-out in desperation to God.

The answer to our problem is not in the politicians, it’s not in building physical walls and it’s not just in gathering a group for the sake of unity, the answer will only come from our Heavenly Father’s response to His people’s prayers. We have moved from acknowledging that God is our only answer to focusing on our own ability as the answer. It’s that same independent controlling attitude that says, “We can Fix it Ourselves”, that we also see as we read the account of those building the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1-9 . They were going to do it their way not Continue reading

Rock Hard is Only Good in Marbles!

564757841Rocking fields in southern Idaho was an early temporary job that my friends and I would do. We would get paid to walk behind a tractor and trailer in the unplanted fields in early spring, picking up rocks that the freeze would bring to the surface through the winter. We would work, hang out and play around the fields and harvest equipment. Yet, I didn’t fully understand the whole process of sowing and reaping even though I grew up around the farming industry. But it was these memories that would later bring understanding and clarity to many Biblical principles that I would enjoy studying.

One such parable that we find is in Mark 4:3-20, where Jesus talks to the crowd about the farmer who sows seeds in the field. He reveals to His disciples deeper insight once the crowd leaves and it is more intimate. (vs10-11)

As Jesus unfolds this story to us He reveals the farmer as a messenger spreading seeds, which is the Word of God, in the field. The focus is not on any faultiness of the messenger or the seed, but on the condition of the soil. In Luke’s account of this parable, Jesus explains that the soil represents the field of our heart. (Lk 8:12)


Often we allow the weeds of life’s circumstances to defile our heart, causing God’s Word to fall on unprepared heart-soil. (tweet)


conditions are likened to four different types of soils along with the outcome of planting the seed in each one. Therefore, as the Word of God falls on our heart we find it necessary that the condition of our heart be receptive and prepared for bearing good fruit.

In Ps 51:10 King David knew that he had a heart condition making him drift from the things of God. After his sinful action and consequences of them, he cried out to the Lord, saying “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. David knew he had let his heart be defiled. To often along the journey of life we also allow the weeds of life’s circumstances to defile our heart, which can cause different reactions to God’s Word.

Back in the Gospel of Mark Jesus explains the seed falling on well-trampled and hard soil; where the birds of the air or the enemy of our soul comes and easily steals away the Word of truth, before it has a chance to be planted. Then secondly, we see the seed falling on shallow soil that has no depth because of underlining rock.


Let us be good farmers of our heart’s soil, making ready for the planting of God’s Word. (tweet)


lets us know if we don’t allow His Word to go down deep and bear roots in our life that at the first onslaught of persecution we will succumb to the pressure and the Word will wilt in us. Making our spiritual life stunted and immature.

Thirdly, when the Word falls amongst the soil of our heart full of thorns and thistles, it begins to grow and it is immediately choked-out by the weeds. Representing the cares of life overtaking our attention and priority stifling any spiritual growth.

Finally, the seed falls on good soil. It’s only when the Word of God is planted in good soil that it will produce a fruitfulness some thirty, sixty or a hundred fold. So we must tend to the field of our heart and make sure it is prepared for the word to grow in us. We do that by prayer and fasting, praise and worship and communing with the Holy Spirit. Let us be good farmers of our heart’s soil, making ready for the planting of God’s Word.

Having an Attitude of a Warrior

187139402Do you remember the heroic acts of the passengers on the United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001? It was a normal day until the ordinary gave way to the catastrophic. The enemy had no other plans than to kill, steal and destroy their lives and many others. When these heroes realized what was going on they decided not to allow the enemy to inflict unjust destruction upon them. They rose up against the terrorists— they fought back. They counter-attacked the enemy sacrificing their own lives but literally saving hundreds in Washington, D.C. These heroes were not going to sit by and take whatever their enemy dished out.


As a good soldier of Christ, we must have the attitude or heart of a warrior   (tweet)


As Christians, we need to continue to build upon the foundation laid by Jesus on the cross. We must put on and use the armor God has provided for us. We must not allow the enemy to get our eyes off the souls who are facing sure destruction without our intervention. As a good soldier of Christ, we must have the attitude or heart of a warrior. The apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (II Tim. 4:7). In summing up his life, he affirms that we must fight spiritual battles. It’s a “good fight” because it is the will of God that we combat the forces of His enemy. In Him, we are more than conquers (Rom. 8:37)! Over two hundred years ago Edmond Burke said, “All it takes for evil to triumph in the world is for good men to do nothing.” You can apply that saying to your entire spiritual life as you pursue God’s plan.


We must remember our fight is not with flesh and blood and that our weapons are mighty in God    (tweet)


The Christian is as bold as a lion and must stand for righteousness. God Himself is described as a warrior in Isaiah 42:13. Psalms 144:1 states, “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.” God is not only a warrior Himself, but He trains us to have that same attitude and heart so that we can execute righteousness in the land. The prophet Joel declared, “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up,” (Joel 3:9). How many times are we confronted by the enemy and we do nothing but quake in our boots? It’s time for us to wake up the warring spirit within us and get ready for the battle at hand. David, though young and inexperienced in battle, stepped up to fight Goliath. Many might ask why he would take a stand against a mocking giant. Well as he himself said, “Is there not a cause,” (I Sam. 17:29)?

David had a warrior’s heart. He refused to allow an overgrown, ungodly Philistine to mock his God or defy His armies. His previous fight with the bear and the lion prepared him for this epic battle. God prepares and equips us to become spiritual warriors for His kingdom as we walk with Him along the journey. Having a heart and attitude of a warrior is a part of our spiritual D.N.A.

We must remember our fight is not with flesh and blood and that our weapons are mighty in God as Paul says in 2 Cor. 10:3, 4. Therefore, our attitude must consist because of spiritual content such as prayer, scripture understanding and obedience to God’s statues.

Asking for what’s on God’s Heart

IMG_2431In Ezekiel 36 we read a fascinating statement from the Lord to the children of Israel. God lays out His will and promises of mercy and love for His people. “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock,’” (v. 13). This scripture reveals that God wants us to ask for His will to be done. He invites us to inquire of Him for revelation and fulfillment of His promises!


As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. (Tweet)


It is His desire that we would know His will. Too often, we miss God’s great promises because we never knew they were for us. On the other hand, we might know of the scriptures but haven’t ever been taught that we must inquire of God for them. As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. It’s like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet listening. Knowing His heart empowers us to have confidence to ask for His will. Yet, we miss out by not communing with Him.

In Ezekiel 36:13 God reveals that His people should seek him and His promises with faith and expectancy. We also read in James 1:6-7 that the man who wants to receive from the Lord must pray with expectancy. The person who asks with unbelief will end up empty handed. It says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Prayer that is not seasoned with faith is nothing more than worthless religious jargon. It is impossible to catch the attention and favor of the Lord without a believing heart. God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises.

We see this same principle working in the book of Daniel 9:2-3. Daniel received revelation through the Word that the seventy years of the Jews’ captivity had ended. However, their release was not yet manifested. Therefore, Daniel began to set his face toward the Lord in prayer and fasting. This empowered him to be confident in intercession since he now knew God’s heart.


God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises (tweet) 



God promises that He will put His desires in our hearts when we live in communion with Him. (Ps. 37:4) His heart will become ours, transforming us to think as He thinks. God wants us to know His will and pray in agreement with Him. Too often, we want God to jump on our bandwagons of self-will instead of us connecting with His will and His heart’s desire. When we follow our own heart it leads us away from Him into idolatry. We become servants of our selfish wants and desires.

When we have discovered what’s on His heart and what His will is, then we can come into His presence with boldness and confidence. In I John 5:14-15 we read that if we ask anything in His will, that He will hear us. It goes on to say if He hears us then we can have the confidence to expect answers to those petitions. The key to answered prayers in our lives is to pray according to His will and purposes.

Just an Echo or Oracle?

EchoFor most young people yelling in a cave for the first time is fascinating. Hearing their own voice as it becomes distorted after each echo bounces off the wall will keep them engaged for long periods of time.

What is an echo? An echo originates from an original voice, and, as it goes forth, it begins to repeat itself over and over until it is distorted. It loses its clarity and has no effect, because you cannot really hear or understand what the original message was anymore.

Unfortunately, in the same manner many Christians have lost their effectiveness as being a voice to this generation, because they have become just another echo. We lose our impact when we stop being a pure oracle with a clear message. We go around speaking things that have no life in them anymore. We are repeating things over and over that had been words of life sometime in the past but now they’re just empty words. If we are going to be relevant in this generation we cannot live in the past anymore but must live in the now! Even in 2 Timothy 2:16–17, Paul exhorts us to not be entangled in vain and useless words. “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.”


We lose our impact when we stop being a pure oracle with a clear message.  (tweet)


With the role of the church becoming too professional in our day, we have focused on being good orators instead of being a voice for the Lord. An orator is somebody who is eloquent with words and has all the right things to say. Every time they speak, it soothes the ears. Most politicians and radio personalities are good orators.

By no means, is it wrong to be a good orator? I wish I were a better orator myself. But, when we choose to be good with our words over being one who speaks God’s Words, then we are off base and will quickly get in serious trouble. Our objective cannot be in tickling people’s ears but in speaking words of life. Paul even said in 1 Corinthians 2:4 that he did not come as a smooth talking orator but in God’s power. For he said, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

When we choose to become an oracle for the Lord, then we open up our life for the power of God to flow through us. Man leaning on his flesh is an orator, but when man yields himself to the Lord and acts in obedience to God’s will, he becomes an oracle for God.


When man leans on his flesh to speak he is an orator, but when man yields himself to the Lord, he becomes an oracle for God. (tweet)


Paul reminds the Corinthians that when he came to them, he came as a voice for God, which brings the manifestation of God’s power! In a sense, we need to be a piece of conduit pipe, so that God can pour his word through us. It says in Isaiah 55:11, that when God speaks, it’s not just empty words. It says, “It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Just the same, if God speaks through us as his vessels, then things are going to happen, for our words will not be empty words either. God wants us to be his voice to the hurting and down cast in our generation.

Desperate Prayer for Revival

Earthquake Destruction1As we awaited the birth of our first baby girl, I can still hear my wife crying in desperation, “Get this baby out of me!” We were in the delivery room and in the last stages of delivery. Even though I had forgotten exactly the proper way of breathing and coaching, I was still attempting to try. With my wife holding my hand, I felt I was the model husband. Yet in seconds, all rationalization went out the window, as I felt her fingernails digging into my arm and the ear-piercing cry of her agonizing pain. I unfortunately, didn’t realize there comes a point in the birthing process when there is no turning back. Either there must be a delivery, or there will be an overwhelming feeling as if the woman is going to die. My wife told me later that at that point, she knew she couldn’t quit, but had to push through the agony and horrendous pain, or she felt she would die.

It is the same kind of desperate heartfelt pain that men and women have felt as they have agonized in prayer for revival. All through history, you will find there were individuals desperate for a move of God. It reminds me of the young Hudson Taylor in England, as he began to get a stronger and a more desperate burden for China. He cried out to God in agony saying, “I feel that I cannot go on living unless I do something for China.” The desperate, inward hunger and vision God had put on his heart was beginning to be birthed. Only later would history tell of the impact and influence this man had on China!


Desperate need requires desperate Prayers!      (Tweet)


Before the Azusa Street Revival broke out, it is interesting to know that William Seymour travailed in prayer for some time. Michael Brown, in his book, writes about Seymour’s prayer life before the revival ever came. “Daddy” Seymour became desperate for more of God, yet for two and a half years, he prayed for five hours a day. “I got to Los Angeles,” he relates, “and there the hunger was not less, but more. I prayed, God, what can I do?” The Spirit said, “Pray more. There are better things to be had in spiritual life, but they must be sought out with faith and prayer.” Then he said, “But Lord, I am praying five hours a day now, I increased my hours of prayer to seven, and prayed on for a year and a half more. I prayed to God to give me what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and fire… like the apostles had.” Briefly before the revival, a local pastor had also written to Evan Roberts in Wales, asking him for the key to the Welsh revival. They soon received a reply, encouraging them to pray and surrender all to the Lord, believing God’s promises as they held daily meetings. We can see the response to this advice from the account of Frank Bartleman, another minister in the Azusa outpouring. “We prayed for a spirit of revival until the burden became well-nigh unbearable. I cried out like a woman in birth pangs. The Spirit was interceding through us.”

Through history God has used the desperate prayers of his saints to usher in great revivals. Desperate need requires desperate prayers! It is only when we also get to this place of desperation that we will see revival in our time.

God can You hear me down here?

ceii phone user1Do you remember an older commercial about a man with a cell phone in various locations asking, “Can you hear me now?” Most cell phone users know that good reception depends upon where you or the people that you are talking to are located. Some Christians have that same mentality when it comes to praying. They think you have to be in the right spot. Can you picture believers walking around saying, “God can you hear me now?” As funny as that might seem many believers feel that way. But actually He knows what we’re going to say before we say it! Isaiah declares, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear,” (Isa. 65:24). God hears the prayers of His children no matter where they’re located.


“ God is everywhere and is listening to my prayers”   –  Tweet


When I was in Junior High, my dream of being like Jacques Cousteau, the famous oceanographer came a little closer to reality. After a summer of doing small jobs and saving my money, I was finally able to sign up for my long awaited scuba lessons. It was during a session that I learned a lifelong lesson of God’s omnipresence. It was my first open water experience with the instructor. We arrived at the reservoir and got ready to dive to the bottom. The last words I remember him saying was once we get to the bottom of the reservoir to follow him closely. This seemed easy enough until we reached the bottom. We were at about thirty-five feet down and the water was murky with only about six inches of visibility. I couldn’t see my instructor or really anything. I was gulping air from my tank at record speed. I just sat at the bottom not able to see anything, feeling all alone and not sure what to do. I began to pray. Now mind you, I was in a completely different world. Though it seems strange unless you have experienced this scenario it was odd praying under water. The questions came to my mind, “Can God hear me down here?” No sooner had the words left my mouth through my regulator than a hand came through the murky water and grabbed me. It was my instructor! Now, to a Junior High boy at the bottom of a reservoir sucking air from a small tank as if every breath was my last, that was a huge miracle! I realized that God is everywhere and is listening to my prayers. King David declared something similar in Psalms 139:7, 9-10, “Where can I go from Your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence… If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”

In II Kings 20:1-6 we read where God answers Hezekiah’s prayer. I see a Heavenly Father’s passion for one of His children and answers his request. It reminds me of how I love to answer my children’s requests. In the midst of bad news  and agony, Hezekiah went to the right source and God immediately answered his prayer. God heard his heart cry and extended his life. Many times when we receive bad news we get bitter and upset but we don’t go to the right source with our concern. Hezekiah received a gift from the Lord because he asked. In  Jeremiah 33:3 it says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you…”. God loves His children and will hear and answer us when we call to Him in pray.

  

I Can’t Pray Because My Knees Hurt

AR0162-002In the midst of the beautiful Rocky Mountains the old deserted logging roads made great walking trails above our ranch. Growing up I remember how my mother loved to take her walks in the brisk mountain air. There were times that my siblings and I would be having fun and run up the trail to catch my mother only to find her deep in prayer. After several times of interrupting her we soon realized that this was her private time of praying. She loved to walk and talk with the Lord.

The Bible reveals many different postures of prayer; some people prayed sitting, some standing, some kneeling as well as lying prostrate before the Lord. Paul encouraged Timothy to pray with hands lifted up (1 Tim. 2:8). Others stand or sit in circles holding hands. Still some people think if you’re not kneeling then you’re not really praying. I don’t believe there is any one posture that we must use to pray, on the contrary, there are many ways. Whatever position seems to help you keep focused in your prayer life is the right way. My mother’s posture of prayer was her walks.


If we sow in prayer then we will reap in the fruit of answered prayer.   (Tweet)


After my friend gave his life to the Lord in high school, he became aware that one of the basic principles of growing in Christ was learning to pray. With the best of intentions, he got up before school and tried to pray, but would fall back asleep consistently. One day he had a genius idea. He would stand on the open toilet and pray, knowing that would give him the incentive to keep awake and pray. Well, we might not have to go to that extreme, but whatever gets us to the place of prayer and keeps our eyes on the Lord, that’s the posture we need to take.

Prayer is like evaporated water that comes from the ocean. As we continue to pray it builds up in the clouds then the clouds move with the wind of God’s will and pour down their abundance of rain. Some say the bowls of intercession that we read about in Revelation 5:8 become full and overflow upon the earth. In other words, prayer produces fruit!. If we sow in prayer then we will reap in the fruit of answered prayer. But we must find a posture of prayer that enables us to fill the bowls in heaven with our intercession.

In response to the disciples question “teach us to pray”, Jesus says, “When you pray, say:” (Luke 11:2).  Jesus’ statement is not telling them a time or position of prayer, but rather indicates that prayer is an ordinary and normal function of a believer’s life. Jesus could have told them His favorite posture of prayer but He specifically didn’t, knowing it would cause His followers to make a religious ritual out of one set posture. Rather, He just conveys that we need to pray. Jesus’ only mention of a posture of prayer was moments earlier when He was referring to the way the Pharisees were standing on the street corner to be seen by man. Indicating that our heart must be right not our posture.

My sister loves to pray as she runs the trail along the rim of the Snake River canyon. But the point is not where or how we should pray, kneeling, sitting or lying down, but that our posture is conducive for us to pray.