Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category


As a Pastor people expect me to know how to pray. In fact, if there is an occasion to pray, such as blessing the meal, they usually look to me to pray. I have found that public prayer is one of the hardest things for Christians to do.

I Don't Want to Pray Out Loud

Please don't call on me to pray!

You get a group of Christians together and they will chat and talk about everything in the world, but when it comes time to pray, they all usually shut up and look sheepishly at each other. Nothing shuts a bunch of Christians up like a call to prayer. Prayer is a downer, and prayer requests are a double downer.

When the Pastor or group leader asks for prayer requests there are the usual sicknesses, the occasional health crises, and then there are the life and death requests. 98% of prayer requests are to bring God into a situation that is threatening, troubling or trying. In most of the situations darkness has already come into the person’s life.

I would like there to be some way we could delight in God in our prayer times. I want our prayer to be means of encouraging our faith and growing in our intimacy with our ABBA Father. Surely Jesus enjoyed the Hours He spent in prayer with His Father! Prayer should be as exciting and as fulfilling as watching a game winning touchdown in the final seconds. We need to see ourselves at the very throne of God, basking in His grace and mercy, fully accepted in His beloved Son. Sure there must be reverence in our heart, there must be respect. But can we pray with the intimacy of a little child talking with his Dad as he tucks him into bed?

The Mudpreacher and his three sons

The Mudpreacher and his three sons

My three sons were each about a year apart. My wife and I would always pray with them before going to bed. As soon as they could ask questions, we would play a ‘game’ before prayer whereby they would ask me a question. It could be about anything, but the point was to try to stump me. I don’t remember many of the questions, but I do remember the great fun we had just talking about what they were curious about. This was a special time, a time of laughing, loving and enjoying each other.

I love to see our church folk enjoy visiting and laughing and fellowshipping together. Why can’t we do that around the throne of God? How can we make our prayer times powerful and uplifting? How can we use that time to grow closer together as a family? How can we use that time to ask God what is on our heart? How can we use that time to know God’s Heart?

We have just had a four week “experiment” with small groups in our church. I was most encouraged by a new level of intimacy that I had not seen before in our church. Sure our group had the normal chatting and laughing, but there was an openness and intimacy that developed, which never would have happened during our normal Church meetings. But the thing that impressed me the most was hearing simple, humble prayers that served to uplift us and bring us closer together. The prayer time was the most special time of the whole evening. WOW! How do we bring that into our church building? I hope we can continue to have small groups as a regular part of our church. I believe Jeremiah 13:15-17 gives us an insight as to the importance of growing in our prayer-life.

“Hear and give ear: Do not be proud, For the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness. But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly And run down with tears, Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”

We need to be giving glory to God on a daily basis, before He brings darkness into our lives. We need to be seeking His light each and every day. I have found that the darkness isn’t nearly so frightening when you have the Light of God in your heart. That Light needs prayer to fuel it. That Light needs an on-going link with the Supreme Power Source, Jehovah God.

Prayer is the Link to Power

Prayer is the Link to Power

When darkness comes into our lives, some of us turn to God and hope He will turn on the lights and make the darkness go away. In actuality the darkness has come because we have not been seeking His light. We will have to stumble around in darkness until our pride and self-sufficiency is exhausted and we truly desire God once more.

Daily Prayer is our way of listening to God, listening to what He wants to do in our lives. It should not be only to bend His ear for what we want. We should be yielding our ears to His Voice, to obey His Word. Prayer is essential to developing good ears to hear. Prayer should never be proud, never be demanding. Earnest and fervent perhaps, but never presuming upon the will of God. Claim the promises of His Word in bold prayer, but listen humbly at His feet for His Voice. If we do not listen to God, if we do not give Him glory, but glory in our own abilities, we will stumble in the darkness. We will be taken captive by our lusts, our pride, our arrogance. God will weep because we have turned away from Him!


Isaiah asks the question: “How can we describe God? With what can we compare him?” (Isa 40:18 Living Bible). He of course, assumes that everyone knows Jehovah of the Scriptures. Today, most people don’t ask such a question, they just assume they know. After all, God is everywhere in the media. He is spoken of in television shows and movies. Politicians proclaim Him. God seems to be everywhere now. Still, the question that Isaiah asked centuries ago, must be answered. I paraphrase the original to this phrase: “How do you describe God?’

Most people let you know what they think of God when they are faced with some hardship, calamity, disease, or a sudden loss of a loved one. I have been with people in the past few weeks that have faced death, cancer, hardship, loss of loved ones-very difficult situations. I have heard questions ranging from “How could God do this?” to “God is sovereign over all”. Yet what puzzles me most is “how do they describe God in the normal humdrum of life?”

God?

The way we view God when life is boring and dull determines how we relate to God when life is tough.

Abraham made a very interesting comment when speaking to the King of Sodom. Abraham and his band of men had just conjured five kings and their armies, rescued Lot and recovered all the goods complete with quite a spoil of riches. The King of Sodom was more interested in the people Abram had rescued (was he that perverse or that caring?), than the spoil. The account goes like this:

The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me–to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” Genesis 14:21-24 (NIV)

Abraham Views God

The way Abram responded was determined by a commitment Abram had made earlier, during the normal boredom of life. Abram saw God as “El Elyon”, God most High, creator and therefore Possessor of Heaven and Earth. His view of God determined his reaction to a test that would influence the rest of his life. Sure enough, if Abram was having any regrets about his decision, God assured him: ‘After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NIV)”.

Whatever Abram had, he considered it owned by God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and Earth. That was why, when God said to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham didn’t flinch, he didn’t winch, he did it, because Isaac belonged to God Most High.

Daniel was another person who let the vision of God formed in the humdrum of life determine how he viewed Him in the pressures of life.

Daniel Views GodWhen Daniel was captured and taken to a strange land, he was a young man, probably in his teens. He was put into a special program and ordered to eat the Kings food and wine in preparation to being in the King’s court. However, Daniel had made a decision to view God a certain way earlier on. That view of God framed his reaction to this program:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8 (KJV)

Daniel and his companions proposed a test, and they succeeded. Therefore they gained entrance into the King’s court, as an adviser. When another challenge faced them, one which would have meant their death, they turned once more to the God whom they had met in the boring humdrum of life.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:17-23 (ESV)

Daniel met this “God of the Heavens” as a young man. He had decided to follow Him as such in the normal “humdrum” of life, not in some foxhole of combat. This Vision of God that had become a possessor of his will and emotions now met him when the pressures of life overwhelmed him. His God had gone before him into the Lion’s den and shut their mouths, preserving Daniel’s life and causing the King to praise Daniel’s God.Daniel

Daniel continued to pray to the God he had met as a youth. He continued to honor Him through the reigns of three Kings. We see him lifting God up in the following prayer recorded in Daniel 9:

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Daniel 9:3-10 (ESV)

Daniel set his heart to know this God of Heaven. He met this God in the normal course of growing up. He believed He had power over all things, even dreams. Once more, when faced with a dream that had frightened him, he called out to the God of his youth. God knew his heart. God knew of his decision. It is recorded in this verse:

Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. Daniel 10:12 (ESV)

Daniel serves as an example to all those who face pressures of life, the moments when we are faced with faith-challenging situations.

When we hear we are to die; or we look up and find ourselves in a horrible wreck, or worse yet we lose a beloved wife or young child. Perhaps we are losing our home, struggling with debt, have lost a job, a marriage, a treasured possession. Who will you see when you turn your eyes to heaven? Will you humble yourself before the God of Heaven, creator and possessor of everything on earth? Or will you shake your fist at God and curse His name?

Reactions to the pressures of Life result in four possible views of God:

  1. If there is a God, he is weak and passive, leaving everything to chance. Therefore it is up to me to make my way in life, to overcome or be overcome.
  2. The God of heaven is vengeful and hurls forth His judgments without purpose or love. The pressures of my life are happenstance and I have every right to shake my fist at God and say “What are You Doing?”
  3. The God of heaven is watching as events unfold, but is actually in a battle with Satan and has no power to control events. Therefore I need to view events from the basis of whether Satan is behind it or God. I walk on eggshells, never really knowing who is trying to get at me.
  4. The God of Heaven is “El Elyon”, God Most High, the one whom even Satan must get permission from to do anything to those whom He protects. (see Job 1). He is in control of my life and is actively at work to bring about His Will and Purpose in everything that happens in my life.

Job viewed God as Number Four. That is why, when messenger after messenger delivered crushing news of one loss after another, Scripture records:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (ESV)

job get the newsJob had met this God early on in his life, when there were no pressures, no problems. He made a commitment in the boredom of life to worship as God Most High. That is why, when life struck him down, he worshipped this God! God truly was in control. God is worthy of our worship, especially in the hard times of life! Isaiah records God’s Word:

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)

Have you determined that there is a God Most High? Do you see Him creating and possessing the entire creation? Do you know that not one star travels outside the path that He sets. He knows each and every star by name. He does not faint or grow weary. Jesus said that he knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He knows how many hairs are on your head. Don’t wait to meet God in the horrors of life. Meet Him now, when life is routine, even boring. For the God you worship in the humdrum, will be the God you raise your fist to when life gets tough. Or He will be the God you bow down to and worship. Who is God to you?

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? Isaiah 40:10-18 (ESV)

…The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Daniel 11:32 (ESV)


FOAB On September 11, 2007 Russia successfully exploded what it claims is the largest Thermobaric Bomb ever made, leveling a multi-story block of apartment buildings with a power greater than that of the smallest diallable-yield nuclear weapons at their lowest yield settings. Russia named this particular ordnance the “Father of All Bombs” in response to the United States developed “Massive Ordnance Air Blast” (MOAB) bomb whose backronym is known as the “Mother of All Bombs” and previously enjoyed the accolade of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history. Thermobaric: Sometimes called fuel-air explosives, the name comes from Greek and literally means “heat” and “pressure.”
Thermobarics first disperse a flammable mist of underoxidised fuel which ignites to create a gigantic explosion of immense destructiveness. The explosion of the SMAW-NE is effective in three main ways. Firstly, it is accompanied by a massive fireball which incinerates all in its path. Secondly, it creates a massive pressure wave capable of rupturing the internal organs of all those nearby and so powerful that it can reduce load-bearing walls to rubble and bring down buildings. Finally, the explosion also sucks all the
oxygen out of the air, asphyxiating anyone in the immediate vicinity. Basically, if you’re in the building when it hits, it’ll kill you. As a result, a fuel-air explosive can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weaponBomb Detonates without residual radiation.

Bombs for dummies

In Acts 2 God drops the True Father of All Bombs. An explosion so powerful it shook the four corners of the globe. People from around the world were gathered. They all heard the explosion.

BOMBS FOR DUMMIES

Now, as we already learned, with thermobaric bombs, there is an explosion that releases a powerful liquid or powder that is highly explosive. Then another explosion sets off this powder or liquid. The resulting blast creates a vacuum by literally sucking all the oxygen out of the area. There is Heat from the blast and there is Pressure that will kill.

Here at Pentecost we have a very similar situation. A Bomb is detonated in stages. There is both Heat and Pressure. Only the damage that results is the slaying of Satan and Man’s idea of religion.

Now what Detonated this Bomb?

Prayer UnitesActs 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 1:14 says that they were in one accord in prayer and supplication.

Jesus said “I want you to wait and when the Holy Spirit comes, you will receive Power!” So while they waited, they prayed! What did they pray? I think I know.

The disciples had asked Jesus: Teach us to pray. Not Teach us how to pray, but teach us to pray. So I know how they were praying in the upper room. They were praying the following:

6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)

The disciples were gathered together before the throne of almighty God. They were Honoring His Name!

hallowed

Holy is your name.

Elohim – All Powerful Creator

El elyon – God Most High

El Shaddai – God Almighty

Jehovah –The Lord our Covenant Keeper

El Olam– Everlasting God

Jehovah Roi – the Lord our Shepherd

Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord our Provision,

Jehovah Shalom – the LORD our Peace

Jehovah Rophe – the LORD our Healer

Jehovah Tsidkenu -the LORD our Righteousness

Jehovah Nissi – the LORD our Banner

Jehovah Shammah – the LORD is there

Jehovah Mekaddishkhem – the LORD that sanctifies

Then, they were praying:

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE:kingdomcome

They were earnestly desiring God’s Kingdom. God’s Will. Before they were quarreling over who would sit at the right hand, who would have this power or that. But not now. Now it was all about God’s Kingdom and God’s Power!

When you are kneeling before the throne, when your heart is focused on how awesome and how mighty He is, You sense how tiny and worthless you are. When all your being is desiring His Will in your life, It’s hard to be mad at Sister Susie who made that snide comment. Its hard to hold something against brother Peter because he forgot your birthday. When your heart is focused on God and what He wants to do in and with your life, those things that use to irritate and get you upset will just roll off your back. When God Ignites us with His Love, it burns away the flesh with all of it’s hurts and resentments and jealousies.prayerignites

  • God used Prayer to Unite these believers.
  • God used Prayer to Ignite these believers.

There have been times in my life when I was discouraged, thinking I was washed up, or unfit for use. I have had a friend since Bible College, that has always been a source of prayer encouragement for me. Our friendship was cemented as we spent hours in prayer-as we preached revivals together, as we held prayer meetings in the dorm. God has enabled me to help him, but I believe he has helped me more. Prayer with Don has more than once ignited me to keep on serving the Lord. Who do you pray with when you are down? Who do you have encouraging you in this Christian walk?

detonator

PRAYER was the DETONATOR

Suddenly there came a Sound from Heaven of a mighty rushing wind.

Normal sound is 70 decibels. Whisper is 40 decibels.

Crank up your stereo at home 117-123 db

128 db the loudest scream measured at 8’

128 db human head hair starts to crawl

133 db average gunshot. 44 mag can be 160

140 is Blast of Wind

143 db Feels like someone just tackled your chest.

145 db human vision begins to vibrate

154 Toy Balloon pops

163 NHRA Dragster 5000 to 7000 horsepower, liquid nitroglycerin fuel

164 Internal Sound level of Jet Turbine motor

174 db Air begins to Heat up due to compression

180 db 1 pound of TNT at 15’

195 db Human eardrums rupture 50% of time

212 db Average Sonic Boom

240 db F5 Tornado with winds of 300mph

310 db Krakatoa Volcano Eruption (cracked 12” concrete 300 miles away)

(Ultimate Sound Pressure Level Decibel Table, William Hamby 2004)

Now there is no scientific proof, but this sound that was heard had to be somewhere between 240 decibels and 174 decibels. I would place it at just under 190 decibels. The sound of a small explosion.! It could have been louder, but I think God wanted to preserve their eardrums.

If Prayer was the Detonator, what provided the EXPLOSION?

Holy Spirit PowerThe Holy Spirit Provided the Explosive Power

Jesus had told them earlier in Acts 1:5 “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

I can think of no more explosive force on earth or in heaven than the Holy Spirit of God!

When Their Prayer ignited the explosive Holy Spirit, it made a sound so loud that it sounded like a bomb had gone off. The change in pressure filled the entire room. The increased pressure created heat, and we see tongues of fire on each of the disciples. Not on just a few, but on everyone.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now I don’t mean to imply that what happened on Pentecost was an explosion of some sort. I only want you to see how what happened compares to an explosion. What happened that day was actually mightier than any explosion in history.

Even mightier than the Eruption of Mt Krakatoa. With that eruption rock were thrown to a height of 34 miles, dust and debris fell continuously for 10 days. Shock waves “echoed” around the earth 36 times and lasted for about a month!

What happened on the Day of Pentecost was much greater. Praise God!