Pray over and over and over again

And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily… (Luke 18:7-8a NKJV)

When we pray, God listens. He hears and fundamentally that means He answers our prayers. In the Scripture preceding this passage we see the widow who persistently brings her petition to the judge. So many times that the judge finally says to himself, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” (Luke 18:4-5) Praise the Lord that we do not make God weary with our prayers. God loves to hear our prayers. Yes, over and over and over again. We are persistent just like we were persistent as a child to our parents. We asked our parents until we got their attention and then asked again.  It’s the same when we are persistent with God.  We come to our Father knowing He delights in our expectant prayers. He delights that we come to Him, to have conversation with Him.  Does He hear our first prayer? Well, yes He does. And all those that follow. Even if they are the same prayer. Mark Batterson in his book, “The Circle Maker” said, “Praying hard looks like: knocking until your knuckles are raw, crying out until your voice is lost, pleading until your tears run dry. Praying hard is praying through. And if you pray through, God will come through.”

Dear Lord, help us to know that it is Your desire to answer our prayers. To come to You day and night and lay our burdens before You. We rejoice in knowing that our prayers never make You weary. Just the opposite. Our prayers reside in Your heart to answer. Help us to pray through until You come through. Hallelujah! In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

And He prayed

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:20-26 NKJV)

Jesus knew what was before Him. Every detail from His arrest to the Cross. He knew what He would suffer; all of the pain and agony. But He stopped and prayed. He prayed for “those who will believe in Me through their word”. The word of His disciples. Jesus was praying for His Church. The Church He knew would be established by His shed blood and the power of the Holy Spirit and through the words that would be given to His disciples. Jesus was praying for you and for me. Jesus prayed that “they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me”. He was praying for His Church, to be one in Christ, so the world would know the Name of Jesus. He saw the greater need.

I’m reminded that my life at one time was headed to eternal suffering and death. I’m reminded of the man whose name was Mark, who set aside what he was facing; his suffering, his cancer, his daily challenges and how he took me by the hands in his office, in the middle of a busy day and prayed for me. And two days later, I’m reminded of when I knelt before Jesus and asked Him to forgive me. The single most important day of my life when I called upon the Name of Jesus and was saved. This man lived out every day demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus and took time for me because he, too, saw the greater need.

Who will we encounter? What will we need to set aside? Will we demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus as Mark did for me? Will we see the greater need? Will we pray?

Oh dear Jesus, thank You for praying for us. You knew what You would be facing, but yet again, You set that aside and saw the greater need. You saw those whose lives would be trapped under the burden of sin and You prayed. You prayed that we too, would believe. That we would be one with You. Oh thank You Lord. May others see Jesus in me and know that You love them with an everlasting love and desire for them to call You Savior and spend eternity with You. In Your Holy Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

His perfection is our protection

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30:5 NKJV)

God is complete, faultless and totally sufficient in every aspect of His being and ways. That perfection is made known in Jesus Christ, and is the ultimate goal of the Christian life. God is moral perfection. “Good and upright is the Lord”. (Psalm 25:8 NKJV) God’s work is perfect. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV) God’s words are perfect. “The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 NKJV) God’s will is perfect. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV) And God’s perfection is seen in Jesus Christ. “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26 NKJV)

Why do I take the time to discuss God’s perfection? It’s because His perfection is our protection. There is nothing that God can’t cover. No circumstance or struggle takes God by surprise. Scripture emphasizes the importance of putting one’s trust in God. This trust, which is nurtured by an understanding of God’s revealed truth, finds expression in a life lived according to His purpose. A life lived that is eternally protected.

What are the grounds for trust in God? Trust in God’s power and strength. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 12:1 NKJV) Trust in God’s unfailing love. “Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them.” (Psalm 17:7 NKJV) Trust in God’s salvation. “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2 NKJV) And trust nurtured in God’s revealed truth. “So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:19-21 NKJV)

Friend, God is perfect and His words are the truth. His perfection is our protection, if we choose to place our trust in Him. But what is that you said, “I find it hard to trust anyone or anything?” Well, I don’t know. But what I know is God is NOT anyone or anything. You can’t measure God with the same worldly scale you measure other things. God is faithful and will complete that which He has started. “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

You can choose to place your trust in God or not. If you do, God will shield you and protect you. I tell you what. Go to God in prayer and let Him know those areas in your life where you might have some doubt. Let Him know why you might find it hard to trust. Then listen. God will answer you. His Word will come alive to you and you will see the purity and the perfection of God. You can count on it!

Dear God, You are pure and perfect. Your Word is the truth and we can place our trust in it. Teach us God the truths that are in Your Word so that we can be established in faith and encouraged as we walk together. Forgive us God when we turn our trust back into our own hands. Holy Spirit, guide us back to the steps God has ordered. May our life honor and glorify You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Sheltering in the midst of the storm

Psalm 91:1-2 1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.””

I have come to like watching the Weather Channel. Mostly because I’m interested in the local weather. Or I like to know what weather lay ahead if I’m traveling. But sometimes I see and hear about severe weather like hurricanes and tornadoes. I watch live feeds from the areas and see the devastation. I sometimes get to watch the rescue efforts and the people who come to provide relief for those who have lost everything.

I must confess that I take for granted where I live and what we have. We’ve had storms, sometimes even heavy storms, but I have never lost everything as a result of the weather.

The Word of God tells us that those who abide (to remain, continue, stay) in the secret place (the presence, intimate residence) of the Most High shall abide under the shadow (covering, overwhelming protection) of the Almighty. It is where our protection from the storms of life exists. In the loving strength of God who has overcome everything and given everything so that you may find peace and rest.

It reminds me of the old Dottie Rambo song, “Sheltered in the Arms of God”. The chorus says,

So let the storm clouds rage high,

The dark clouds rise, They don’t bother me;

For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

He walks with me, And naught of earth shall harm me,

For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

Those who face natural disasters often place their trust in the efforts of others to support them, provide for them, and get them back on their feet. We are instructed in the Word of God to place our trust in the Lord. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV) What this verse is saying is that the Lord will support us, provide for us, and get us back on the path He has ordered for us. But how often do we forget? Those who don’t have a relationship with the Lord as Savior, have no other way. They must trust their own experience, skills, and efforts of others. That is their only way. But as Christians, we’re told the Jesus is the only way. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)

Friend, my point is this. The world is a difficult place; a lonely place. We face things that are sometimes overwhelming just like facing disaster. How do we respond to what the world throws at us? Our response should be to run to the place where God can shelter us. The most secret place of the Most High. We should run into the arms of God in an intimate relationship with Him. So that when the world is at its darkest, when the clouds of evil rise, they won’t bother us. We are sheltered by Almighty God Himself, where He takes our hand and walks with us. Where He leads us to His everlasting love and protection.

Do you know how to begin an intimate relationship with God? Has anyone ever told you? Well, it’s pretty simple. Humble your heart and pray. That’s where it begins. With a humble heart, begin to talk to the Lord and invite Him to remove your fears, wipe your tears, and rescue you from the evil and pain of this world. Prayer is simply talking to God. It’s not complicated. When you lift up a prayer to God, He promises to hear you. It may be hard at first, but once you humble yourself and begin to talk to Him from the deepest parts of your heart, you will experience such peace. And in that peace, resides the everlasting love and promise of life eternal. I can help you with this. Will you pray these words with me? It’s not the words that brings eternal life. It’s a humble and believing heart that releases God grace and mercy. Grace and mercy that none of us deserve, but is available to all of us. Please pray.

Dear Lord, I humble myself before You and ask You to hear my prayer. Lord, I cannot stand alone any longer is the world. I face so many things that overwhelm me at times. I’m in need of Your protection and sheltering. But most, I’m in need of a Savior. Forgive me Lord.  Lord, I believe that You suffered and died for the sins of mankind including mine. I believe that You died so that I could have eternal life. I believe that You are the only Way. Lord, after Your terrible death on the cross, You rose from the dead to defeat sin, my sin, once for all. Lord, come into my life and my heart and be my Savior. I submit myself to You and receive Your mercy and grace. Thank You Lord for saving me and giving me eternal life. I love You Lord and pray in Your name, Jesus. AMEN

 Don’t believe me, believe God!

Amazing God You’re still amazing me

Psalm 147:1 – Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

Do you want to know something? God resides in every new day He gives us. He never quits on us. God never thinks He’s given us enough. He never leaves us and ravishingly pours out His blessings on us each and every day. How do I know that? Well, God’s Word tells us so.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)

So why today do I write about an amazing God? My story begins with sickness in my body and great physical pain as a result. Doctors have told me that there are things going on in my body that are causing the pain. I’ve had my kidney healed by a touch of God. I’ve been told that one particular organ was dead and no longer working. How did I react? Not well, at first. I’m human. I’ll confess my faith was weak at that point. But God quickly moved and I found rest and peace in His Word. I sit here today to tell you that the so called “dead” organ is alive and producing as God has intended it.

Many who know me have prayed for me. Many have laid hands upon me in prayer; anointed me with oil and prayed the prayer of faith. My health is improving every day. I exercise more now than I have ever before. The cane I used to have to use is no longer in hand.

I’ve seen miracles of God’s great grace and healing in others. I witnessed a man who needed oxygen to breathe be completely healed and his lungs restored. I’ve heard about cancer leaving a woman’s body after 7 years. I’ve seen financial miracles take place that have literally taken my breath away. So above what could have been expected that I simply thank God for His great grace. He poured out exceedingly.

Friend, God is able and willing to touch your life as He has touched mine and others. If you are in a place where you need healing. Maybe the pain has brought you to tears. I’m here to tell you that God still is mending hearts and drying tears. God has never changed. In the book of Matthew, God’s Word says this, “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14 NKJV) Jesus today continues to be moved with compassion. Our world is ever changing. New things are brought to life and old things are pushed aside. We’re attacked from every angle. But God still cares for us and He still hears when we cry out to Him. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. If you need life today from pain, suffering, financial burden, heartache, depression, a loss of a loved one, or just the thought that you don’t matter anymore, believe this. “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV) Will you pray with me today?

Holy and precious God, thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You that each and every day begins with new mercies for us. Thank You that You love us with an everlasting love. Help me today Lord with my unbelief. Help me to draw You close through Your Holy Word. Lord, I hurt and struggle and don’t know how I can continue to go on. I’m told that You are in my tomorrows. Give me peace and an assurance today that You have my hand and that I can walk with you. Pull me to the path that You have ordered. Take me by the hand and guide and direct me. Thank You for this day and every breath You give me. I place my trust in You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 10:19 NKJV – The power and authority is yours

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The authority of Jesus Christ to speak and act on his Father’s behalf in forgiving sin, pronouncing judgment and promising eternal life to those who believe in Him. This same power, which by the matter of fact came through the Resurrection Power of God to His Son, Jesus, is available to us as believers through our faith in Jesus Christ. We have victory over all powers of the enemy by Jesus death and resurrection power. So why is it hard for us to believe?

I sat in this morning’s service at my church and was challenged and convicted by the Holy Spirit to allow the authority of God to work in and through me to break the chains of sin in my life. Yes, I am a sinner. We are all sinners. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NKJV) But why is it so hard to believe and claim the power of God over sin in our lives. The reason is pride. Pride leads us down a path of self-righteousness. To conquer sin in our lives, it is the righteousness of Christ that we need.

We must every day put on the garment of praise and thank God for His righteousness that He has given us through our faith and belief in Jesus. Every time we take our minds and hearts off of the truth in God’s Word we open ourselves to straying from the truth and onto the path that leads to sin and rebellion against God. All sin is rebellion against God. Some may say that’s not true. I’m sorry it is the truth. God gave us His Word. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV) And Jesus Christ is the Word of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NKJV)

Friend, we can live in victory by accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ and believing that He died for our sins and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death once and for all. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and God’s resurrection power that rose Him from the grave is given to us and provides us with the authority over the sins and schemes of the enemy. Take some time in prayer, seeking the presence of God, and ask Him to open your heart to His power over what keeps you bound in sin. Ask God for His forgiveness and believe that the power of God is living in your life. May you find victory in God’s power over the enemy.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 21:36 NKJV – The Reason That I’m Standing

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

I have recalled the Word of the Lord many times especially when I have faced the uttermost battles, struggles, heartache and pain. His Word is my comfort and my refuge and where I find hope. Over and over again, the Bible repeats to return to the Lord. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 1:3 NKJV) is just one example. The Lord wants us to understand that our hope lies in His faithfulness. There is nothing that He can’t take care of.

We all know what is written above is true. What also is true is that we forget. And I have from time to time fallen into forgetfulness. We try to take control of our situations. Our fears take over and we begin to worry. Fear and worry are schemes of the enemy and these emotions cause us to turn away from the love and care of the Lord.

But Praise God, He will always watch over us. He is faithful. We can rely on the power and authority of God to be in the center of whatever we face. His promise to never leave us or forsake is absolutely true. And NEVER means NEVER. Have you ever wondered why it seems we can’t accept the promises of God’s Word as absolute? I have. And I have learned why. It’s simply belief. That’s it. We need to believe in the Creator of the universe who spoke life into everything simply because He spoke it. We need to believe in God Almighty who through His power and authority raised Jesus from the dead.

Friend, sometimes what we face even seems too big for God, but let me tell you it is not. Believe in God to be in the midst of whatever you face and in the process of bringing you whatever you need; deliverance, healing, restoration, renewal, hope and victory.

Precious Lord, thank You for Your amazing grace that rescues me in my time of need. When I feel that there is little hope, You always step in. Great is They Faithfulness. Forgive me when I’ve let doubt and fear control me. I place my faith in You Lord, today. Keep me strong as I walk with you to Victory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Don’t believe me, believe God!