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Prayer Instead of Obedience

“Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience.
The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures
that is not accompanied by obedience.
To pray for revival while ignoring or actually flouting the plain
precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and
get nothing for our trouble.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A.W. Tozer, Of God and Men, p. 52.


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Paul Washer – The Priority of Prayer for Christian Life, Ministry, and Mission

There are seasons of prayer.

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Character – virtue is power.

“That world outside there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it’s waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill

God doesn’t need everything that you think you need to reach people. He does not need your cleverness.

Your sin should be driving you to Christ not away from Christ. Satan will use your sin to drive you away from Christ.

If God is using you, then there will be suffering.

Mark 1:32-35

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.
33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Early in the morning He went away to pray.

Mark 1:36-37

36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,
37 and they found him and said to him, *“Everyone is looking for you.”

Simon seems to be rebuking Jesus for separating from ‘everyone’ in order to pray.

Prayer is hard work. There is prayer with your boots on and prayer with your boots off. Prayer with your boots on is very hard work like intercession. Prayer with your boots off is practicing the presence of God – just enjoying God, listening and talking with Him. Both are necessary.

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. …

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

You have not because you ask not.

Luke 11:1 Now 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.”

Teach us to pray. Not cast out demons, not heal the sick.

Luke 11:5-9

5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,
6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

God is not unjust, nor is He our judge – He is our Father.

Rest in God – Those who rest in God also wrestle with God. We are too refined. Give the Lord no rest.

Luke 11:11-13

11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Ian Murray Revival and Revivalism and Pentecost Today?

Before the resurrection, Jesus said the disciples were men of little faith. All in all they weren’t great men but foolish men.

Afterwards? They were still doubtful. They were hiding.

After Pentecost? They have the Holy Spirit. They no longer waver. They are clothed with power on high.

You will receive power.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The church has an impact all through the book of Acts. They are either impacting the culture or being slaughtered.

Can you describe your life as having power?

Does your church look like this?

The resurrection did not produce this result, it did not propel the disciples. It was not enough. They touched Him yet still doubted.

Pentecost

1) Was a unique event in the history of the church

a) Direct fulfillment of Scriptures

b) Accompanied by unique circumstances

2) Marked the beginning of a new age (the last days) not the beginning and the end.

a) The prophecy in Joel is poured out on the least and not just the Apostles

b) The results should also mark the age until today.

1. Don’t focus on a specific means of the gift (tongues) and ignore the gift (Holy Spirit)!

2. You are missing the point.

Conversion is when a believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

Is there a sense of God’s presence?

Is there a sense of a power greater than yourself working through you?

Is this your reality?

Unction – an anointing

We are complete in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit, we are indwelt,

We pray for more repentance, more sanctification?

Will not the Father give a greater filling of the Holy Spirit? Pray for more!

John Owen – Ask for the Spirit just as children ask for their daily bread.


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The Hour That Changes the World

Hour That Changes the World, The: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer

The Hour That Changes the World, first published by Baker in 1978, is a classic book on prayer that offers practical suggestions on how readers can revitalize their prayer lives. Dick Eastman challenges Christians to spend one hour each day in prayer, and he outlines a twelve-step prayer program to help them accomplish the task. By dividing one hour into twelve five-minute “points of focus,” such as praise, waiting, confession, and Scripture praying, believers will develop a more consistent habit of daily prayer. The Hour That Changes the World draws heavily on Scripture and classic devotional writers and includes an appendix titled “Scriptural Intercession.”This 25th anniversary edition features a new introduction by Eastman and a new foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada, in which she writes: “The Hour That Changes the World may appear small and modest, but don’t let its size fool you. Full of biblical insights about prayer, packed with testimonies of prayer warriors from years past, brimming with practical suggestions that will help you carve out a purposeful time of praise and intercession, Dick Eastman’s book is arguably the most significant book on prayer written in modern times.”

Free Kindle book for a limited time.


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This Comment Makes Me Sad In So Many Ways

Comment on The Hunger Games:

Shut up!!!!!! No one should listen to this narrow minded lady!!!!!!! She hasn’t even read the book!!!!!! Don’t you EVER call the Hunger Games garbage. You complain about gore in the Hunger Games, but the Bible has more gore. Talk to me when you’ve read the book, okay, honey? Thank you.

P.S. I am Christian and I’m a 13 year old boy.

This makes me quite sad but it has nothing to do with his calling me a narrow minded lady, that I consider a compliment.

Matthew 7:14 (ESV) For the gate is narrow and  the way is hard that leads to life, and  those who find it are few.

Luke 13:24-27 (ESV)
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’
27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’

It makes me sad because:

If I was this boy’s moma I would be quite sad to see some of the fruit I was producing.

I would be sad if this was a child I taught in school.

I would be sad if this was a child I taught in church.

I would be sad if this was a child my children interacted with.

It makes me sad that this child doesn’t have any clue about how to glorify the Lord or even seem to desire to glorify the Lord.

But most of all I am sad that this child thinks he is a Christian and obviously has no idea what that even means.

Please pray for Joseph R. and those who are influencing him. I pray some true believer will be available to teach Joseph the Bible and that the Lord will open his eyes to the truth.


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Backsliding – Ryle

“Now what is the cause of most backslidings? I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer. You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public. They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

J.C. Ryle, A Call to Prayer

So how are your private prayers?


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Send me what thou wilt …

Can you say this with Spurgeon?

“Send me what thou wilt, my God,

so long as it comes from thee;

never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?’

Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.

His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,

God never is before his time, and never is behind.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, August 5th



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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World – Free Book

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller

Free Kindle book for a limited time.

Haven’t read the book but Tim Challies gave it 4 stars.  His concern was not for the book but for a catholic who is quoted in the book.


Leave aside that concern, I still do not hesitate to recommend A Praying Life. Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is Miller’s unrelenting emphasis that prayer cannot be an add-on to the Christian life; it cannot be supplemental but must always be instrumental. This book will equip you to understand prayer properly and, on that firm foundation, to commit yourself to it, with confidence that God is willing and able to hear and answer your prayers.


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Jesus Is Praying For You

Quote shared in church tonight.

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

This could be based on this verse,

John 17:9 (ESV) I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.



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Praying for Your Children

Probably ten years ago I was given a calendar page with 31 things to pray for my children.  Each day of the month was given a particular Christian character trait to pray specifically about for your children.  I don’t always use it but I do regularly go back to it every so often.  Sometimes it helps to have some guidelines so that our prayers don’t become just the same over and over.

Here is 31 Prayers for your children.

31 Ways to pray for your children

Using this same format you could always devise a prayer list for most anybody that you regularly pray for.



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Do You Have An Eternal View?

Do you have a long term, eternal view when praying for others?

Do you have a long term view when sharing the gospel?

Seems like because we life in an instant society, with fast food, high speed Internet and drive up cleaners.  Instant oatmeal, microwaves and prepared meals have taken much of the work out of meal preparation.  But what effect has that had on our Christian life?  Do we expect microwave conversions? Instant acceptance of the Gospel?

I was reminded of this recently when I was discouraged about some fervent prayers I have been praying for years.  Seems there has been no change in the situations. 🙁  But then I was convicted that I had the wrong time frame view.  I wanted answers right away, I mean honestly I’ve waited years isn’t that enough?  But then these prayers aren’t the sort that have a definite deadline to them.  It isn’t like I was praying for a certain amount of money by the end of the month for a large bill.  These were more along the salvation for others line.  But that is an eternal goal!

See while it might make things easier for me and definitely would make them happier and improve their lives, the real goal is salvation.  Not just a commitment card but true lasting, eternal salvation.



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