Posts Tagged ‘church’

The Power of Uniting in Prayer

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

the-power-of-uniting-in prayer

Even though our individual prayers matter to God and form the basis of our personal relationship with Him, God also wants us to pray with other believers, loving them and lifting their burdens. He wants us to humble ourselves to other believers so that they can pray for us (James 5:16). Often there is a demonic component that we are not even aware of, or a sin (that we are blind to) has a grip on us that we don’t fully comprehend. That grip is expelled and dissolved when it is verbalized to another human being who will pray for us.

Satan knows this to be true and tells us that we cannot tell anybody about what we are struggling with because it’s too personal. I have found that the more personal it is, the more likely that others are struggling with a similar issue. Being humble also helps other people to share their own struggles, even if the struggles are completely different. This is especially true if people see a believer set free and transformed as a result of other people praying for them. Everyone needs victory in their Christian lives, and God has purposely made it impossible to walk in complete victory without interacting with other members in the body of Christ to bring about maturity (Ephesians 4:13).

We have power in uniting in prayer as believers.

The number one thing that Satan attacks in the church is unity. He causes factions, dissensions, disunity—so that he separates us—so that we cannot combine together in the body of Christ to move forward in the will of God. If he can destroy the unity in the church, he destroys the church because it is powerless. Satan renders the church impotent when we allow him to set us at odds with each other, allowing our minds to entertain negative thoughts about any other person. This is our downfall.

What causes strife among you? (James 4:1-3) Is it not because you want to be well-respected? We need to be humble as we serve rather than wanting ourselves to be elevated. It’s so easy for the enemy to come in and make you feel like you’ve been slighted by somebody, or you take something wrong that somebody has said to you. The enemy will twist the truth, and then that thought will eat away at you like a cancer, causing division in the body of Christ. It corrupts the church from the inside out. The dissensions we hold against each other are the fruit of the flesh, not the fruit of the Spirit. You can see the fruit of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21.

In the same way that unity is vital in a marriage for a marriage to function properly—so it is for believers in the body of Christ to be unified in order to function the way God designed us to function.

What makes prayer so powerful when we unite together in prayer for a specific cause? How is this achieved? How can believers have one essence?

In John 17:21, Jesus cried out to God for the unity of believers. “Make them one, even as You and I are one”–this is one of the most shocking Scriptures I have ever read. God the Father and God the Son are one essence. For believers in the body of Christ to be one essence like that just blows my mind! And yet I’ve experienced this unity several times while praying with other believers.

How do you achieve this? The closer you are to Christ, the more unity you will have because Christ is one. Different believers who are right with God (with no unconfessed sin) can combine in the Spirit and pray full blast with 100% of their beings. At that point—Boom! The Spirit of the Lord shows up in mighty measure and moves in phenomenal ways. You have one mind, one heart, one purpose (Philippians 2). The Spirit of God is present so tangibly when this happens. We all draw close to the heart of God, discover God’s will for us, and ask God to bring to fulfillment His will.

We are not imposing our own will onto God; instead, it’s the reverse. Know God. As you pursue Him full-tilt, He will reveal His will for you, and you obey and pray in line with God’s will to fulfill what He has asked of you.

Several times (which I describe in the audio below), I have had one essence with a small group of women as we prostrated ourselves in the dust before the Lord. We could each hear the heart of God because of deep prayer in our personal lives, since we had spent tons and tons of time on our faces before the Lord in private. So all of our hearts were one before we even met. Then when we began praying—Boom! God showed up from the very beginning because we already all could hear the heartbeat of God and were asking the right things of God. God changes the way we pray, the closer we are to Him, because His requests become our requests, and then He moves mightily to complete what His will already was.

All prayer and all the desire of our hearts should be about God being glorified. God will not use you (and you cannot pray this way) unless you understand that you are nothing (Galatians 6:3). To be full of the Spirit, you need to be empty of yourself—your own agenda, your own selfishness. His will in you is way better than your own will. God is looking for people to share His heart with, so that we will pray according to His will.

Here is the audio that describes how uniting in prayer with other believers can be powerful. (To download, right click “Save as” and choose “Desktop”):

Also, I’ve started a series of short prayer videos on my prayer page.

Are Most Americans Superficial?

Friday, July 24th, 2015

are-most-americans-superficial

At the risk of ticking off this whole country, I am going to address this issue head-on, from the point of view of a missionary kid—a person who grew up outside of the U.S. but then returned to the U.S to live as an adult.

Before answering this question: “Are most Americans superficial?”– I would like to clear the air and say that some of my closest friends are Americans, and they are not superficial. Those I relate to the most are people who have gone through suffering in their lives and have a real walk with God. These are the exception to the rule, and I married one of them.

I recently offended someone on my Missionary Kid Page when I said that missionary kids that return to the United States are shocked at how superficial Americans are. The Missionary Kid page exists to show how missionary kids perceive the world, not how other people perceive the world. Missionary kids don’t care about being politically correct. Our world view is opposite to most Americans. We’ve never truly belonged to any nation, so there is no reason to pander to anybody.

I have listened to thousands of missionary kids over the years, and here are the real reasons why we perceive Americans as being superficial:

1. Most Americans care about and pursue trivial things.

They love to talk about TV shows, sports, celebrities, and other topics that have no substance. After living in a third-world country my whole life, I perceived that part of the reason is that Americans are pampered because they have way more money than they need to survive. If they don’t, they use their charge cards to pursue the frivolous pampering that they “deserve.”

People in third-world countries are concerned about survival. When you are surrounded by suffering, your conversations are different. The conversations are more relational and less about trivia.

2. The U.S. educational system has churned out brainwashed, mindless idiots.

Ask any random American walking down the street basic information about any topic, and they just don’t know and don’t care. All they want is to be entertained and to stare down at their cell phones, snapping selfies to post to Facebook.

The reading level of this nation has been dumbed down so much that what was previously considered 5th grade reading is now college level. The majority of Americans do not read in their spare time—they watch TV for tens of thousands of hours, which brings us to the next point.

3. Whoever controls the media controls the minds of the U.S. population.

The morals of our nation are eroded as we watch sin and practice sinning over and over in our minds. Pretty soon we are actually committing the sin because we have been de-sensitized to it. Even if we don’t practice the sin ourselves, we allow the sin in the lives of the people around us because it’s so normal to us now.

We can’t perceive the heart of God on major issues because our hearts are so calloused to God because of the media.

The media is controlled by the world. We are told in Scripture to not be a part of the world, but instead we have morphed into the world. American Christians ARE the world.

The U.S. population is like a huge mob. The media can actually CAUSE riots and other problems by brainwashing people to believe lies. Then everyone is in an emotional frenzy, and if you stand against the emotional mob, you risk being killed. That’s because they no longer can think clearly.

That’s just it. Most Americans can’t think independently. Whether they are afraid of public opinion, or whether they have just been told their whole lives by their teachers and the media what the right answer is, who knows?

4. The American church is in a babyish catatonic state.

When talking about the deeper things of the Lord, very few people even understand what we are saying. Their eyes gloss over, and they would rather talk about fashion or what they are doing on Friday. The majority of American Christians do not pursue holiness—they even say that pursuing holiness is a sin because everyone is imperfect. Even if they have unrepented sins, you have to look the other way and not tell them that what they are doing is causing their misery.

I have never been in a third-world church where the native Christians were so apathetic about the things of God. True delight comes from pursuing God full-tilt. I guess if you’re poor, you have less to lose when you give up your life to gain Christ.

So I ask you, do you sense that most Americans are superficial? Does it disturb you? When you mention it, do people get offended and stomp off, like the woman on my Missionary Kid Page?

My First Prayer Vigil

Friday, November 7th, 2014

my-first-prayer-vigil

This year I participated in my first prayer vigil, and let me tell you, it caused me to feel the heartbeat of the church and to love the church in a way that I had never been able to before. Pastors from all Christian denominations from the Inland Northwest decided to have 40 days of continuous prayer for our city. Each church signed up for 24 hours of prayer, so that there was always someone praying during those 40 days leading to Pentecost. I was out of town on the day of Pentecost, so for me, the main event was the actual vigil itself, and how prayer for the specific needs from the people of my church caused me to have a supernatural love for them. I also felt an ownership and a belonging to the church where I had spent all night praying, and a greater responsibility to contribute to the needs of the body of Christ in that place.

There was a sign up sheet with one-hour increments where you could sign up for just one hour. It seemed strange to me because a prayer vigil was supposed to be a group of people that stayed up all night to pray. Most time slots only had one human. So I determined to go for 10 hours. I ended up arriving an hour earlier, so I prayed for 11 hours in the church, with different people who came and went.

It was interesting to be in the church building overnight. Because I understood the needs of the church for the first time, I was able to pray with all my heart and finally hear the heartbeat of the church. I tell you more about it in this audio:

If you want to keep up with my prayer posts, like my Prayer Facebook Page. And if you want to hear 12 more free prayer audios like this one, click onto my Prayer Articles, and scroll down to the audio section.

 

Does Praying Boldly Imply Presumption?

Friday, May 9th, 2014

praying-boldly

“And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:  and if we know that He heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the the petitions which we have asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:14,15 (ASV)

The Mightiest Prayer Warrior I Ever Met

The mightiest prayer warrior I ever met was a man from my church that prayed boldly. We were at a prayer meeting, and the first time I heard him pray, I was blown away. It was like a spiritual sonic boom. I opened my eyes and turned around and looked at who on earth had the audacity to pray so boldly that he knew that God would answer him.

Does Praying Boldly Imply Presumption?

I always thought that praying boldly was somewhat presumptuous, saying that God had to do what you were saying. How ridiculous to think that we could boss around the God of the universe. It was up to God whether He would answer us in the negative. Most people refer to answered prayer as those requests that get an affirmative answer. But God is God, and He can do whatever He wishes.

How Exactly Does a Person Pray Boldly?

After hearing this man pray, I was amazed at his Scriptural accuracy in how he knew the heart of God and prayed according to the heart of God. He knew certain commands in Scripture that were God’s will, and so he stated them matter-of-factly, and then asked God to do it. God, follow through on what You have said. That’s what he was saying.

Teach Me to Pray Boldly

A few weeks ago I was fasting in prayer for a woman’s marriage, and I called my best friend to help me get through the afternoon slump, which is the hardest time of fasting for me. She took up the challenge and prayed over the phone. She heard the prayer requests, and she prayed boldly that God would convict this man’s heart directly. “Rebuke him of his sin, Lord, because that is Your will. Help him to repent and turn and do what he ought to do in his marriage.”

Guess what? A miracle happened! It was like scales dropped from this man’s eyes, and he asked for forgiveness for how he treated his wife. This just happened suddenly as he was directly rebuked by the Lord in his spirit, just as my friend’s bold prayer had stated.

I wanted to cheer. My spirit cheered when my friend prayed with boldness for his repentance. And my heart cheered when God fulfilled my friend’s prayer the next day. I asked my friend how she learned to pray so boldly, and could she teach me?

She said that the person in charge of the prison ministry prayed like that, and she just loved it, so she started praying boldly, too! She and I laughed at the audacity to hold God to His Word and know that He will answer because it is according to His will.

What if the Prayer is Not God’s Will?

All of us want our own will to be done, and not until we understand the heart of God can we align our will to His to ask what He would want us to ask. And when we do, He always answers us. We have the conviction that God will answer because of who He is. So we can boldly state it as so. That’s what’s so liberating about this kind of prayer.

There are other kinds of prayer where we don’t know the will of God. God doesn’t want every sickness healed instantly, or He would do so. He allows sickness to draw us closer to Himself, and what if the presence of sickness in our lives is keeping us from sinning? What if eternal qualities are being forged that are worth more than any amount of money? I would rather pray that God would cause the sick person to cling to Christ and be strengthened by His presence, because for sure that’s the will of God. You see the difference?

And yes, we can ask that someone be healed in the same way Jesus asked if the cup could pass from Him. It was not sin for Jesus to pray something that wasn’t ultimately the will of God the Father, because Jesus was willing to endure the answer to prayer that was harder, to go to the cross and bear the sin of the world. In the same way, if we are willing for God to answer in His timing and in the way God wants to do it, we will experience joy in God’s presence in the midst of difficulty.

Here is the audio that explains how to pray boldly:

To follow my prayer posts, like my Prayer Page.

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