Friday, June 09, 2006

The Five Parts of Prayer

I Timothy 2:1 - "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men."

Do your prayers ever go unanswered? Are you ever left wondering why? Did you ever stop to think that maybe prayers should be more than a yes, no, or wait a while? Perhaps your prayer isn't pleasing to God. You see, we were made for "Him" so our prayers should be for "Him."

Christ displayed this more than anyone. Before every major event in His ministry he stayed in prayer; the baptism, before He selected His disciples, the transfiguration, and Gethsemane.

Maybe we are leaving something out of our prayers that God deems important. Read closely to the five parts of prayer, it could be that you are leaving one of them out.

1. Adoration-the act of worship, profound love or regard. This is number one. Above all things, adoration should be practiced in our prayers. God wants to be loved just as the rest of us. The Lord will look at the heart, he won't have to hear our words. Words are nothing if they don't come from the heart. Adoration will help you get in that heart felt praying zone that makes prayer time amazing.

2. Supplication-to ask humbly by praying. This is why Jesus taught not to pray as hypocrites in the synagogues, and not to use vain repetitions. We are to pray humbly, and not praying to be seen. Prayer should be an intimate relationship between you and God.

3. Thanksgiving-Expression of gratitude. In Philippians Paul taught us to worry about nothing, pray about anything, and be thankful for all things. I feel that it is very important to be thankful of all the good blessings that God has granted us.

4. Intercession-petition of another. Jesus prayed for us in John 17:14-21. So we should take our savior's lead and pray for one another. It is important to lift our brothers and sisters up in prayer, building a wall of prayer can be vital to defeating the enemy.

5. Confession-the act of confessing. God forgives us over and over. Of course, we are to try to overcome the stumbling blocks, but God will continue to forgive us. Why? Because he is God.

So in prayer, just like all things, we should place God first and foremost, then comes others, and finally ourselves. Pray in this order and God will reward you.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Washington's Prayer

Psalm 127:1 - "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Its clear that when you study the history of our great nation, that Washington's America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to Whom was given all praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations.

When you stop to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our naiton's capitol, you will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. There are scriptures carved on every capital building, even the ten commandments on the Supreme Court doors.

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Such was the discipline, the moral direction, the spiritual guideance given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy. Read the words of our first President's prayer.

“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's No Mere Chance

I John 4:8 - "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

It's no mere chance that love found its way into the will of God. God created Adam and all the beasts of the field, but it was through Eve that love found its way into the will of God. It took Jacob 14 years to receive Rachel as his wife and once again love found its way into the will of God.

These instances along with many more are just examples of how love finds its way into the will of God. But why? Simply put...God is love. But to understand it is perhaps a little more challenging.

1. We must realize what it is. Romans 8:35-37 tells us it is unbreakable and conquering.

2. We must take it without fear. I John 4:18 states that "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."

3. We must know it. In order to know the Love of God, we must let ourselves pass all human knowledge and rely on that perfect love.

4. We must get personal with it. We must become crucified with Christ. Know how deep His love is by the severity of His sacrifice.

5. We must walk in it. Walk in the Love of God. What better way to follow Christ then to walk in His love. By doing this we can avoid the pitfalls of the world, and win those to Christ that might have been unreachable by any other methods.

It's true that we may never know the Love of God entirely, but what better way to spend our time on Earth. I would rather spend my time seeking His love than avoiding it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Thorns in the Brush

Proverbs 22:5 - "Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them."

After Adam and Eve sinned, God cursed the land. One aspect of that curse consisted of thorns. "Cursed is the ground...thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth." So why would thorns be a byproduct of that curse?

God told Moses that if he didn't get the "Godless" people out of their land then they would be pricks in his eyes and thorns in his side. Yet another reference to thorns.

In Matthew, Jesus compared the lives of evil people to a thornbush. So why the emphases on thorns?

Simple. Thorns symbolize not sin itself, but the consequences of sin.

How often do you think of the thorn when you see the rose bush? Almost never. It's the same way with sin. The sin looks pretty, like the rose, but the consequence is almost never thought of.

Proverbs 22:5 tells us that thorns are the way of the perverse, and anyone that keeps a careful watch over his soul would stay away from them.

Watch your thorns. Pluck them out and stay clear of their path. Have a care, your soul will live on for all of time and in the end the thorns shall be burned for there uselessness.

Your soul is worth much more then to be burned with the tares. You were created to a higher purpose, and a higher calling. You were made by God and that itself is worth more then the burning of thorns in the brush.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

An Abomination

Leviticus 18:22 - "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

Yesterday I read a disturbing quote regarding the President's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. The quote was made by the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Rev. Barry W. Lynn. He said. ``He is shamelessly using this ploy to energize his right-wing base. We should never rewrite the Constitution to enshrine intolerance.''

Now this quote wouldn't quite come as a shock if it was someone who I would think to have more liberal beliefs. But a minister? This man holds the title of Reverend. Shouldn't hold true to the Word of God?

Leviticus tells us in the above scripture that a man shouldn't lie down with a man in the way that he would lie down with a woman. It also says that it is an abomination. Now if we research the definition of abomination, Webster would tell us that its a cause of repugnance or disgust.

So why would any Christian believe in a cause or idea that disgusts God? That question I cannot answer for another person. All I can do is believe what the Word of God says, and that it is the one and only Truth. And for me to go against it would falsify what it really means to be a Christian...Christ like.

On top of all of that, as a minister people listen to my words and will believe what I say is truth from the Word of God. I believe that leading souls astray with false teaching is worse then any act of homosexuality. Its an abomination to the commission, which is to preach the gospel unto all the world. Now it appears that some ministers are creating a new gospel that says things are "okay" that were once an abomination in the Old Testament.

Christians, stand up. Unite! Tells those around you what the Bible truly says. Let them know what is an abomination. Do not let certain individuals create an abomination for society. Stand up and let the Word of God spread. Its time to correct those that need corrected. Tell them to speak the Truth, and when they ask what the truth is then lay it on them.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 18:21 - "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

There is an abundance of power in the tongue. The tongue can forge relationships, or it can be the force behind a military action. For good and for bad, the tongue can be a weapon for mighty things.

Let us use our weapons for Christ. Let us guard our tongues and only use words of encouragement to lift others up. We shouldn't use words to tear down. Those are words of Satan and not of God. When we tear down others our weapons are firing from the enemies camp.

So let us not do the work of the Devil. Let the power that resides in our tongue be the power of life and not death. For all that can hear let them hear of the wonders and glory of the Lord.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Pen of the Ready Writer

"I am certain that when I enter the pulpit to preach or stand at the lectern to read, it is not my word, but my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." - Martin Luther.

When I first read this quote it totally blew me away. Being a minister I can totally relate to what he was saying about God speaking through him. But that isn't what blew me away.

When you take a step back and look, how true this quote should ring out for Christians of all walks of life. When we go anywhere and do anything it should be God that people are seeing and not us. We need to take out our speech and insert God's speech. We need to take out our actions and put in actions that God would be proud of.

And how many of us as writers need to have our pens ready for God. Let's take it another step. Let's pretend that the "pen" is God's special talent that he has placed in your hands. What are you going to do with it?

You just can't expect to use it when God calls. Practice makes perfect. If you are preaching for Christ then you must study the word. If you are teaching for Christ then you must study the lesson. If you are singing or playing instruments for Christ then you must practice those songs. If you are writing for Christ then you must hone that craft as well.

God doesn't just give you a talent that will magically work when it is needed. He gives you a talent to use when the opportunity arises. But a talent wouldn't seem much like a talent if it was only used but once a year.

So I challenge all of you to be the pen of a ready writer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Today a good friend of mine told me something that troubled me. Her friend had committed suicide. Apparently he was going through some rough valley's in his life. My friend was in shock over the sudden turn of events. She had thought he was pretty solidly grounded in Christ.

I have some news. There is a major spiritual warfare that is going on. It has been raging since the beginning of time, and it is reaching its peak. If you cant see it then Satan has placed blinders on your spiritual sight.

The above verse tells us all about it. "The rulers of the darkness of this world...Spiritual wickedness." We are living in dangerous times, and if we don't stay true to Christ we can easily be swept away by the tide.

We must all become aware of this if not for ourselves then for the sake of our loved ones. We are talking about more then lives, we are talking about souls. Satan is at his greatest when we are at our weakest. That's when he likes to strike. Why? Not because he is weak. Oh, no. Satan is very powerful, more powerful then any of us without the help of the Father. He does it this way because he is a coward.

Please don't fall to the depression ploys of his cohorts. It will not end the suffering; the suffering will have just begun. And remember one thing. The one way to know when Satan has you is when he stops pestering you, because he will only chase what he doesn't already have.