Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe(AS) and shaved his head.(AT) Then he fell to the ground in worship(AU) 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c](AV)
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;(AW)
may the name of the Lord be praised.”(AX)
I wish I could be like Job. I’ve gone through a lot in my years, but nothing like him. He had just had various messengers come to him and tell him that all of his livestock was dead, all of his workers, and all 10 of his children had died at once. All within an hour. So what does he do? Job 1:20 tells us that he fell to the ground and worshipped God. That is truly an amazing act of faithfulness!
How many times have we gone through just a fraction of what Job did, and yet all we did was complain or feel sorry for ourselves? I know I’ve done both. We need to become more like Jobe and find our ability to worship and love God in ANY circumstances.
So how do we become like Job? We take each set of circumstances that bring us a rough patch in life, and praise God that it’s not worse. Every time we do this, it becomes easier to do because we grow stronger. We become worship athletes if you will, and our ability to run the race that we call life much stronger in our faith, and much happier.

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:1-2)


This King was promised by the mouth of God through the hands of men. Acting as a herald of the Lord, Isaiah prophesied there would come a king who would “reign in righteousness”. For one in danger, he would act as “a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm”. For the thirsty soul, he would be as “streams of water in a dry place”. And for the laden and wounded “like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.” Jesus then is the Savior of body and soul, the temporal life and eternal. Our fears of the present may be eased by the surety of this promise. That when we look to Jesus amidst the grief of life, he will be as cool water in a burning desert. When the tempest rages, with thunder clashing and whirl winds blowing, he will stand unyielding as a strong tower (Psalm 61:3). In his righteous and just reign, he will be the answer in both fears that plague men: fear of today, and the greater fear of tomorrow. As Jonathan Edwards powerfully stated,

The fears of a terrified conscience, the fearful expectation of the dire fruits of sin, and the resentment of an angry God, these are infinitely the most dreadful.

The fear of eternal condemnation is suffocating when realized. If this promised King who is now ruling does in fact reign in justice, then he must deal justly with sin and evil. We ought rightly to fear at this epiphany. But as Edwards continued on,

Christ, by his own free act, has made himself the surety of such, he has voluntarily put himself in their stead; and if justice has anything against them, he has undertaken to answer for them. By his own act, he has engaged to be responsible for them.

Our fears, though at first rightly founded, become as a dead seed planted in our hearts which blossoms to full joy once we are found alive in Christ.

Rejoice today, as Jesus is a strong tower for today, and our surety of salvation for tomorrow.


Please visit this website to help Pastor Mike and His Wife


You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)


Leaven is a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it rise. It only takes a small amount and the entire lump of dough has been permeated by the yeast and will begin rising. Throughout the Bible leaven is used as an analogy for evil that creeps into the lives of people. Jesus tells the disciples to watch out for it (Matthew 16:6) and Paul mentions it again in (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Paul is specifically referencing a legalism that has creeped into the Gospel at the church in Galatia, and has actually twisted it, distorting the Gospel’s truth. Paul’s word were relevant then, and they are applicable to our lives today.

Leaven doesn’t always equal legalism, however. Leaven can refer to any distorted doctrine that is attached to the Gospel. We must be careful as we follow and listen to religious leaders who are great communicators or creative in their presentations. They might be fun to listen to, and they may speak bits of truth once in a while, but if there is a leaven of bad doctrine in their message, it can hinder us from obeying the truth of the Gospel as it creeps into every corner of thought and life. We are no better than the disciples who Jesus warned of this or the churches in Galatia and Corinth who were warned by Paul. So, we must always be on guard as we listen to and follow religious leaders and communicators.

Is there “leaven” spreading in your life?

noHow many Christians have prayed for someone, only to see their prayers go unanswered? How many have prayed and perhaps have “given up” because either they have become discouraged through a weakness of faith or have come to the conclusion that whatever they have been praying for isn’t God’s will? Nevertheless, how we deal with unanswered prayer is not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of others as well. When we pray, we are engaging in the most precious and God-given act of communication with the One to whom we are accountable in all our affairs. We have been truly bought at a steep price—the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ—and therefore we belong to God.

Our privilege of prayer is from God, and it is as much ours now as when it was given to Israel (Deuteronomy 4:7). Yet, when we pray or speak to the One in Heaven, there are times when He seems not to answer. There can be many reasons for this, and the Scriptures suggest why and how our prayers are being dealt with by the One who is so tender and loving, who Himself loves our communing with God the Father, for He, Himself, is our representative (Hebrews 4:15).

A primary reason why prayer is unanswered is sin. God cannot be mocked or deceived, and He who sits enthroned above knows us intimately, down to our every thought (Psalm 139:1-4). If we are not walking in the Way or we harbor enmity in our hearts toward our brother or we ask for things with the wrong motives (such as from selfish desires), then we can expect God not to answer our prayer because He does not hear (2 Chronicles 7:14; Deuteronomy 28:23; Psalm 66:18; James 4:3). Sin is the “stopper” to all the potential blessings that we would receive from the infinite “bottle” of God’s mercy! Indeed, there are times when our prayers are heinous in the Lord’s sight, most notably when we clearly do not belong to the Lord either because of unbelief (Proverbs 15:8) or because we are practicing hypocrisy (Mark 12:40).

Another reason why prayer seems to go unanswered is that the Lord is drawing out of our faith a deeper reliance and trust in Him, which should bring out of us a deeper sense of gratitude, love and humility. In turn, this causes us to benefit spiritually, for He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; Proverbs 3:34). Oh, how one feels for that poor Canaanite woman, who cried out incessantly to our Lord for mercy when He was visiting the region of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21-28)! She was hardly the person a Jewish rabbi would pay attention to. She was not a Jew and she was a woman, two reasons that Jews ignored her. The Lord doesn’t seem to answer her petitions, but He knew all about her situation. He may not have answered her stated needs immediately, but still He heard and granted her request.

God may often seem silent to us, but He never sends us away empty-handed. Even if prayer has not been answered, we must rely upon God to do so in His own time. Even the exercise of prayer is a blessing to us; it is because of our faith that we are stirred to persist in prayer. It is faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6), and if our prayer life is wanting, does that not reflect our spiritual standing also? God hears our impoverished cries for mercy, and His silence inflames us with a sense of persistence in prayer. He loves us to reason with Him. Let us hunger for the things that are after God’s heart and let us walk in His ways and not our own. If we are faithful to pray without ceasing, then we are living in the will of God, and that can never be wrong (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

prayerNow Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 ESV)

Jesus, as God was prayed to, yet as a man, he prayed. Rather than walking the earth as the self-sufficient titan of salvation, he walked the quiet path of prayer, often alone yet ever in the Father’s counsel. In fact Luke’s gospel displays this time and again, for instance: at his baptism he was praying (Luke 3:21), he withdrew into a desolate place to pray (Luke 5:16), he went to a mountain and prayed the night through (Luke 6:12), again he prayed alone (Luke 9:18), and upon another mountain journey he prayed and was transfigured (Luke 9:28, 29). He, like David, gave himself to prayer (Psalm 109:4).

Enticingly, when Jesus was here again praying, a disciple asked of him, “Lord, teach us to pray”. With Jesus, the man who is God, standing before him the man didn’t ask, “Lord, teach us to work miracles,” or, “Jesus, teach us to preach with authority!” Though these are certainly noble acts, they were not the chief acts of men and women who know God. Here we may glean that prayer is not simply an important part of Christian ministry and living, but it is the thing from which every other action must flow!

Jesus intimately knew the Father, and in so knowing continually spoke “just as the Father taught [him]” (John 8:28). He and the Father were and are still one (John 10:30), yet Jesus deemed prayer a worthy use of a night. Through this the disciples understood that prayer was more than an act of religion, but the very thing from which God empowers men to work his will.

Do you esteem prayer as you should, or is it just another thing to be checked from your daily “to do” list?

indexHave you ever thought about how limited your knowledge is? Think of all of the books in your school or local library and guess how many of them you have read. Probably not even a shelves worth. There are so many things that go on in science, literature, politics, or mechanics that we can never know a small fraction of what they all do or mean.

Now think about God and his knowledge. He knows everything because he created everything. He is the God who split the Red Sea and brought Lazarus back to life. He is the God who brought the ten plagues on Egypt and healed the paralytic. Not only is he knowledgable, he is powerful. So, why do we come to him in prayer with what we only know in our little box of knowledge or how things should work in our little universe?

Paul tells the church in Ephesus that they can pray big prayers. God can do more than we can even ask or think. He also does it through us and it all brings glory to Jesus. You see, we can pray big prayers because they will point to Jesus and not ourselves. We won’t get the credit, but He will.

As you are praying for this New Year, ask God to help you step out of your comfort zone and to direct you to the big prayers he wants you to pray. Should you be praying for the person who would “never” change their ways and follow Jesus? Should you be praying for God to change a community and that wants nothing to do with him? You get the idea, right?

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

I know that the title of this blog caught a lot of people’s eyes. Everyone wants and needs to know how to solve the issues they’re facing, so here it is….prayer. Yip, it’s that simple.

Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.James 5:13

As James writes, from his pastor‘s heart, to the people of God, his entire letter is full of practical instruction and direct admonition. He does not have a flowery style or a theoretical bent; he is interested only in getting clear, candid counsel into the hands and hearts of believers.

And when he comes to the matter of affliction — gut-wrenching, spirit-pounding, heart-crushing affliction — this practical pastor gives his guidance in only three words: let him pray.

“Is that it?” we might ask. What about formulating an exit strategy? What about checking all our options for circumventing the pain? What about gathering a support group to cheer us up and cheer us on? The greatest therapy, the surest solution, the sweetest healing that we will find, James says, is in fervent and honest and faith-full conversation with God.

James is not suggesting a momentary, fleeting mention of our trial — perhaps in the middle of blessing our breakfast food — as the answer to affliction. The verb he uses is in the present tense: let him, in other words, continually be praying.

Perhaps you know what it is like to be so pressed by a sorrow or pain or trial that you pray, not only as you breath, but in order to be able to keep on breathing. There are times when God’s people truly find Him their only source of strength, of life, of purpose, and of joy. They pray, not because they have to, but because they can’t not pray.

Whether your affliction is earth-shattering or hardly-worth-mentioning, take your trial to God in prayer. And out of the fountain of close communion with your Father, will flow the calming, refreshing, restoring waters of spiritual renewal.

One of the biggest things that keeps people from fulfilling their destiny is what they THINK they can or can’t accomplish.

It’s dangerous to rely on your own strength to bring about change in your life, and pursue your destiny. God needs to be the source of your strength. Yet you need to balance that with taking focused action, being proactive, and moving forward, or you run the risk of getting bogged down and staying stuck.

How do you decide what to focus on at any given time?

There may be periods in your life when God is teaching you lessons to help you grow in spiritual maturity. In those seasons it might seem as though there is a hold up when in reality God is training and maturing you!

You need to learn to recognize those times so that you can work WITH God rather than striving to accomplish something before its appointed time.

There will also be times when God is testing you and wants you to press on and move forward.

And there will be times when you ARE on target but the enemy is opposing you and trying to hold you back from pursuing the next steps. So being able to discern what is happening with timing is crucial.

I hope you know that racing ahead trying to get whatever you want and assuming it is God’s will for your life is unwise and likely to result in great disappointment. Your destiny will unfold over time, and it will happen in God’s timing.

Getting it right isn’t always easy! Trying to rush ahead and make things happen NOW will result in frustration and discontent, YET you need to be sure that you ARE doing your bit by actively pursuing your destiny.

I meet a lot of people who are afraid to move forward because they don’t want to make a mistake or do things outside of God’s timing, so they end up doing NOTHING.

If you ARE afraid to move forward it could be lack of faith, fear of failure, unbelief, or an array of limiting beliefs that are holding you back, or immobilising you by leading you to believe that may be you haven’t really heard God, or you’ve made a mistake, or it isn’t God’s timing.

Dealing with those negative thinking patterns involves work. It’s like training for a sport or learning to play an instrument. You can’t reasonably expect to do it well if you’ve only had a few lessons. To become good at it you need training and lots of practice until it became natural.

Think for a minute about something you want to accomplish or have in your life. Maybe you want a promotion, need a new car, want to train to be a counsellor or coach, feel led to attend a ministry training school, or write a book, or … fill in the blank.

Whatever it is, decide on ONE thing then follow the steps below.

Pray about your ONE THING every day for a month. Ask the Lord what He wants to say to you about it, be sure to listen for His answers, write down what you hear, and put it somewhere you will see it.

Steps to Doing Things God’s Way and in His Timing

  1. Develop your relationship with God through Jesus and regularly spend time with Him in prayer and study. It will be out of your relationship with God that your prayers will be answered.

    Learn to recognize God’s voice when He is speaking to you.

  2. Ask the Lord to show you whether what you are asking for is something that HE wants you to have or do. Ask for wisdom and for His timing.
  3. Once you know that what you want is within God’s will for your life, ask God to show you the way forward, have faith and believe that God will answer you one way or another, He WILL answer your prayers.
  4. Pray and ask God for the things that you want and need. Be sure to watch for answered prayer and keep a record to strengthen your faith.
  5. Be prepared for His answer to come in a variety of ways. God’s answers to your prayers may look different than you expect.

I hope you find this helpful.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6

I think most of us would agree, that if you had a choice between things that make you feel good, and things that don’t feel so good, our natural choice would be to chase that which makes us feel good. We go see movies or be entertained with the idea that we want to feel something positive at the end of the experience. We also could choose people, sermons and churches, all designed to make us feel good. In our pursuit of fee ling good, we could easily wander into things that may not be the truth or reality that the Lord desires for us. His truth, His reality may not always feel good, but His way for each of us is excellent. We are all called to hear His voice and follow His truth, and not get caught up in the evangelical humanism that wants to strip us from our destiny in Him. 

There is a continued trend through the western church of preaching and teaching messages that appeal to our souls but do little in changing our souls or renewing our minds to His ways. Many times these teachings are contrary to what the Father desires for each of us. There are truths being spoken out of context and there are truths mixed with deception to tickle the ears of man. Because there are scriptures attached to false doctrine, many fall into the trap of false reality. Much of it has its root in a muddled worldview & an uninspired Word-view. Many read the bible through the eyes of self. They gravitate towards sermons that bring focus to self and the pleasures of this world. They glory in God when things go according to their plans, but often whine or rebel when things go according to His plans. 

Quoting & Applying Scripture to our own Desires

1 Chronicles 4:9-10
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Many have prayed the prayer of Jabez and have expected the same results, not even considering what the Lord may have for His glory in their lives. God granted Jabez His requests because it was according to His plans and His will that Jabez prayed. I do not think Joseph prayed that he would be left for dead by His brothers. I do not think Joseph prayed to be thrown in prison. Yet it was part of God’s divine plan for him. He had dreams of His brothers bowing to Him and certainly did not expect the results he had to endure. The final result was the glory of God being manifest through a servant, who did not live for self, but lived for the glory of God.

Just because God granted Jabez his request, does not mean God is going to grant you your request.

Think of Joseph reading a copy of the Jabez prayer and believing God to keep him from pain, just before His brothers left him for dead and enduring years of pain. God did expand his territory and did bless Him, but it was in God’s design and timing. I am not saying to not ask or pray such things, I am saying, be prepared for His will, and His timing and most of all His glory to come forth.

The territory and resources he has for you now may be all you need to accomplish what He has ordained for you .You can confess, profess, name it, claim it, and get very discouraged that your will did not Change His mind. You can muster up whatever emotional frenzy you want but your will cannot usurp His will for your life. Many people want to be blessed and have their territory expanded, but are not willing to be transformed through death to their own stuff.

Colossians 3:5-6
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

In contrast to the feel good passages of the bible, we do not see many pray, regarding the scriptures above, or pray as Paul did in-

Philippians 3:10
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in h is sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Praise God that our loving Father denies often our selfish requests, so that we live as disciples for His plan for us

Life in the flesh is not fair, as it is All for the Glory of God.

We are here for His glory and only His glory. When we are done in this life, we are done for His glory. Have you ever thought of Jobs first wife and children? God took them to himself early for His glory. He did not love the wife and children any less than he loved Job. It did not seem fair. I guarantee, his first family is not complaining. Sovereign God allowed His Son to be crucified for His glory. Stephen was martyred as a young man for His glory! We may be called home at 18 or 120 for His Glory. Deal with it!

The western church is taught and tends to gravitate towards Jabez types of prayers and Jabez types of results that really appeal to the core of our flesh nature. They do not want to read, study, or apply the teachings of sacrifice and death to self. Selfless life does not sell in the American church experience. They can quote the feel good scriptures, but do not gravitate to Job or Joseph realities. They certainly desire a season of harvest over any wilderness experience. We do not want to sacrifice our next meal, let alone a career, a house, or a lifestyle for His Kingdom. We need to embrace the wilderness, suffering, and sacrifice as a part of His plan, in changing us into His image.

The Reason and Season is His Choice

Matthew 11:28-30
28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

We all like the scripture above. I am so glad that that we can rest in Him and that He will carry the burden for us as we follow Him. So hold on to these, but also hold on to the whole counsel of God, the whole Word of God including the following scriptures. He has seasons for each of us. Some are sowing, some are reaping, and some are still looking for the farm.

Matthew 5:23-25
 ”This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
“Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him.

Mark 11:25-26
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Now these passages are a lot tougher. The Word says I need to forgive before I can be forgiven. Ouch! Human nature would want to lean towards the burden is light type of scriptures, rather then having to actually forgive somebody. Verse 26 is conditional forgiveness from God and that is a scary thing. We must always examine ourselves with the luminary light of the Holy Spirit. We must willingly and speedily forgive others, in order to apply the full measure of His grace upon our lives. The entire Word of God is true, but which part of it is most often being quoted or applied?

What are you choosing off of God’s Buffet Table

Can you imagine going to a Buffet table with a tremendous variety of foods and yet always selecting what tastes the best without regards to what is the best for you? This will get you out of shape and unhealthy rapidly. The same thing goes with the Word of God. If you only lean towards grace, blessings, comfort messages from the Word of God, you will soon be unhealthy spiritually and unable to allow God to impact your own life, let alone anyone else through you.

Why do we ignore certain truths that we need?  Why do we want the apple pie of the Word, and ignore much of the meat? What we are really saying is that certain truth does not feel good, does not fit my lifestyle, and therefore, I am going to skip that scripture. I am not going to obey that truth, because it is not meant for me at this time. Well excuse me…

He is Lord of the harvest and He is Lord of the wilderness. He is Lord over much, and He is Lord over little. HE IS LORD over ALL. God loves us enough to do whatever it takes to prepare us as ambassadors of His light to the world.

We must not continue to read the bible with ourselves in mind. We must read His word, and hear His counsel towards what He has chosen for us. If we continue to digest and interpret His Word selfishly and listen to flesh pleasing teachers, we will never mature towards Christlikeness in our journey.

If you do not deal with sin in your life, if you do not continue to die to self, you will limit how God can use you. Destines have been shipwrecked because of pleasure seeking lifestyles. Opportunities have been missed because of blindness to the reality of God’s Word and God’s nature.

May the Lord continue His global shift.

 May His leaders, and organizations called by His name, move towards the full counsel of the Holy Spirit. May swift repentance come to those who have proclaimed His name but not applied His life. We have shouted Hallelujah while we did our thing, and Amen while we ignored His thing. Lord, cause us to die to ourselves. Bring it on; bring it upon, anything you choose. Do whatever it takes dear Lord to conform us into your image, and for your glory, in Jesus name.

A believer rejoices in the good times, a disciple rejoices all the time.  And all of the disciples of Christ say….Amen!

imagesThere had been a severe drought, and the members of a rural congregation were deeply concerned that their crops would be ruined.

One Sunday, therefore, the minister said to his congregation, “Brothers and sisters, I understand your deep concern about the harvest. There is nothing that will save us, except a special service of prayer for rain. The Lord promises that if we pray in FAITH, He will hear us. So go to your homes now, fast for a week, and pray. Then, next Sunday, we shall hold a service to claim the Lord’s promise because I just know it will rain next week at this same time!”

The people fasted during the week, then returned to church the following Sunday morning. But as soon as the minister saw them, he was indignant. “Go away!” he shouted. “How can you expect to claim the Lord’s promise if you have no FAITH?”

“But Reverend,” they protested, “we fasted and prayed, and we have come believing that the Lord will be true to His word.”

“Believing?” exclaimed the minister. “Believing?! Then where in the world are your UMBRELLAS?”

This joke would be a lot funnier if it wasn’t so true. I see it every day, people who say they are faithful Christians, yet as soon as the smallest obstacles come along, they start using words lie can’t and won’t. To me, somebody who uses these words are weak Christians at best. What they’re really saying is that they don’t believe that God is powerful enough to perform miracles, or to supply their needs. It get me very upset.

On the other side of the coin, when someone walks around being a Debbie Downer, or Chicken Little, it just brings others down. There’s nothing worse than getting excited because you know God has inspired you to do something, only to have someone else come along and start rambling about why it is impossible. Especially when that person is a Christian.

Stop talking about what’s impossible, and start KNOWING what God can do. The more you use the word can’t, the more you begin to believe it.


Matthew 21:21 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.