The Meditation of Abiding

 

 

Abiding I believe is the key to receiving regular and many answers to prayer. For Jesus says to us in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you.”  Abiding in Christ and in His words means to continue in them, that is, to continue believing them and living by them.  Abiding also means to dwell with and to be connected to as a branch is to a vine.  I conclude, therefore, that abiding in Jesus means that we are continually dwelling with Him and perpetually letting His life flow into us just as living sap flows from a vine to its branches; hence, it means that we are always sipping and tasting and drinking in His goodness, ever being satisfied with what we need and long for.

Now it seems that there are different part of abiding. One of most basic parts is meditation on the word of God. We will call it…

 

The Meditation of Abiding

 The abiding Christian makes it his daily habit to read, study, and meditate on God’s Word—and he does it with a sincere heart, for he genuinely desires to get to know God and His ways. This sincere meditation has the following effect: he grows more and more to delight in God; and His Word is pleasing to him and a joy to him, so that he says with the Psalmist, “…I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold” (Ps. 119:127)!  “I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure” (Ps. 119:162).

As the abiding Christian delights in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit gives him His own desires. Guided then by His will, God shows him what He wants him to do in His kingdom, He tells him what to pray for, and He gives him the ability to pray. But above all, God gives him the joy of receiving regular, daily answers to prayer;  for he has the promise of scripture, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).

I like what E. M. Bounds says about the believer who receives daily answers to prayer: “…To pray and receive clear answers, not once or twice, but daily, this is the sure test, and is the gracious point of our vital connection with Jesus Christ.”

 

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Why Disrespecting the President Will Bring Punishment from God

Prayer for Trump and Country

 

Since President Trump got elected as President there has been a continual uprising of disrespect for authority and lawlessness—especially against him. It is a growing evil that must be stopped. But since these are the last days, I have a feeling that it will continue.  For many of us it is quite sickening.

Recently (9/23/2017), after President Trump, at a rally, called out football players who refused to stand for the opening flag ceremony as a show of respect for our country—saying that the owners should fire them—NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the President “ divisive.” On the same day LeBron, because of a similar incident called Trump a “bum.” And Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant tweeted that his (Trump’s) name alone creates division and anger.

My comment on the above is that President Trump is boldly speaking the truth and they can’t handle it—so they lash out…

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3 Reasons Why We Should Want To Receive Answers to Prayer

 

Here are some wonderful reason why we should want to receive answers to prayer—and I got a lot of help here from E. M. Bounds, a great author.

 1. God’s answers to prayer shows evidence of the existence of God and give us proof of our right relationship with Him. Anyone who comes to God in prayer must believe, at least a little, that He exists (Heb. 11:6). But when He rewards us with an answer, we have unmistakable evidence of His existence. Says E. M. Bounds in his Possibilities of Prayer, “There is no proof so clear and demonstrative that God exists than prayer and its answers.”

Furthermore, when we receive answers from Him, it not only strengthens our own faith, but it plants the seed of faith in others around us who have witnessed His answers. This was Elijah’s expectation for the people of Israel—that when they witnessed what God would do they would believe.  Thus he prayed, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God…” (1 Kin. 18:37).

Answered prayer not only gives us proof of His existence, it gives us confidence that we are on the right track with God—that we have a right relationship with Him and that He is pleased with us and with our prayers. Again E. M. Bounds states, “Answer to prayer is the convincing proof of our right relations to God.”

But it not only gives us confidence and proof; it gives those around us proof.  Surely, those around Elijah knew, because of his answered prayer, that he was a man of God.  When people around us see how God answers our prayers they will also regard us as men and women of God.  When this happens (and it will) we must always be careful to give God the glory so they will praise Him and not us.

 

2. When we receive His answers we share in His work and will. God has chosen us who believe to bring to pass His will on earth. But we can’t do it under our own power. He has designed that we accomplish His work and will through prayer. That is, through prayer He will give us strength, wisdom, confidence, and any help we need to accomplish His work.

In Luke 19:10 it says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we in effect are joining Jesus in His work of seeking and saving the lost.  And when we pray for the lost and He answers our prayers, we can know that His work is being done though us.

 

3. Answers to prayer brings God glory and brings us joy. In John 14:13 Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Then in John 16:24 Jesus said to His disciples (and to us), “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Here we see clearly that the purpose of answered prayer is to glorify God, that He would be glorified in the Son. But we see also that the outcome for us is that our joy is made full. I believe that when we pray in the Holy Spirit, according to His will, this will always be the outcome for us.  For when we are used in the service of God to bring Him glory by our prayers, the Holy Spirit will always fill us up with joy.  That is what will naturally happen.  It is the joy of the Holy Spirit bubbling up in us; it is the overflow of the glory of God in us.

Now what we are talking about is not prayer itself. The act of prayer, the obedience of prayer, does not necessarily bring God glory.  Prayer is what is expected of us, but it is the answers that come from our prayers that bring Him glory and us joy.  The whole point of prayer is to get answers.

M. Bounds has said, “It is not the marvelous array of argument and eloquence in praying which makes prayer effectual. Not one or all of these are the things which glorify God. It is the answers which brings glory to His Name.” Again Bounds wrote, “Better not to pray at all than to go through a dead form, which secures no answer, brings no glory to God, and supplies no good to man.”

 

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6 Prayer Requests Regarding North Korea

Prayer for Trump and Country

The world has been on edge since North Korea has been rapidly developing and testing it missiles with nuclear capabilities. Something needs to be done.  We  need to pray!  Here are six prayer requests:

1. That North Korea’s Goals will not be realized. North Korea continues to develop and test missiles with nuclear capabilities. It is clear that their goal is to continue developing nukes and to be a nuclear power. According to an article by Sue Mi Terry, Ph.D. at Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute, entitled North Korea’s Strategic Goals and Policy toward the United States and South Korea, North Korea has three goals:

(1) The pursuit of nuclear weapons program in order to gain international acceptance of the North as a bona fide nuclear weapons state; (2) securing a peace treaty in an effort to remove U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula; and, (3) reunification with South…

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Do’s And Don’ts of an Extended Prayer Time

 

Here is step four and five, out of six, on how to have an extended prayer time, consisting of some do’s and don’ts.

 4. Consider doing the following things to aid you in prayer.

I have already, in previous blogs, given you a few ideas on what to do in your extended prayer time. Here are a few more:

Fast. Fasting is an excellent way (the Biblical way) to keep one humble and in a serious mood for prayer. If you don’t care to do a full fast (no food, only water) then I suggest bringing along just a few pieces of food, like apples and carrots, and some bottled water.  Remember, your mission is to pray and to seek God, not to satisfy your physical desires.  If you think fasting, either a full fast or a partial fast, will help to keep you on track with God then by all means plan to do it.

Read large portions of the Bible. Bible reading is a good way to keep your mind plugged into God and open to what His Spirit may want to communicate to you. Plan to read large portions of God’s Word while you are on your prayer retreat.  Read a whole book of the Bible in one sitting if you can.  Also, take some time to think about what the reading means and what God is saying to you.  And you may want to read certain passages over and over.  The idea is to saturate your mind with the Word so that you are thinking God’s thoughts.

Memorize and review verses. This is an excellent way to lock God’s Word into your mind. Bible reading will help to saturate your mind with truth, but when you memorize key verses of truth and review them, you are locking that truth into your mind so that you won’t forget it.

I don’t suggest making it your goal, during this special time of prayer, to memorize huge amounts of verses, like whole chapters, so that you are always busy trying to remember verses. This may not be the right time to do that.  Verse memory, I think, should be done regularly, on a daily basis.  The idea here is to commit any verse to memory that God has especially laid on your heart.

I think it is especially beneficial in an extended prayer time to take along and review verses that you have already memorized. When I go for walks I usually bring along a stack of verse cards.  They help me in prayer to keep my mind focused on God.  If you have a few favorite verses that you have memorized (or even if you haven’t completely memorized them), it would be good to write them down on 3 by 5 cards and take them with you.  Use them, as I have, to keep your mind focused on God.  But more then that, God will speak to you through those verses.  He will guide you and instruct you by them.  I like Psalms 32:8.  It says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

Pray from your heart. When you pray, always try to pray from your heart. Tell God how you feel about things.  You should try to keep a clear mind, focused on the Word and what is true, but you should also engage your emotions.  Tell God about your fears and doubts, also about the good feelings that you have toward Him and others.

Your emotions are an important part of your being. It is part of your soul—which also holds your mind and will.  When you pray from your heart—and you should also, at the same time, be praying from your mind and will—you are engaging your soul, or your whole being, in prayer.  It is what we could call soul to soul communication with God.  I would say that it is the only kind of real prayer, and therefore the kind of prayer that is effective and that brings healing.

Never lock up your heart, never deny what you feel, thinking that it isn’t important. God cares about your feelings and He wants to listen to you and heal you.  When you open your heart to Him and share what you are feeling you are giving yourself—your whole being—a chance to be healed by Him.

Pray over lists of people and over issues of concern. If you have taken a whole day off or a few days off for this prayer time, you will have an abundance of time on your hands. Take advantage of the time by praying for things that you didn’t have time to pray for before.

As you begin your prayer time, remember to wait on God first to prepare your heart. Then, as you pray, sometime during the course of your prayers, you may feel God’s Spirit moving you to pray in a wider circle—to pray for many people and many things.  He has enlarged your heart and you feel a great compassion for people—like Jesus felt for the thousands of people that followed Him around.  This is the time to pull out your list—the list that you have been making of people that have come to your mind and issues that have concerned you.  Begin to pray over that list.  As you are praying, no doubt the Spirit will bring more people and more things to mind to add to your list.

You may think the idea of praying over a list is boring and pure drudgery. But if you give yourself to it and pray from your heart, God will bless you and honor your labor of love.  And think of this: just as Jesus miraculously fed the multitude, by praying over lists you are also feeding many people.  As many as are on your list that  you pray for, that’s how many you have the privilege of feeding—not with bread and fish, but with manna from heaven.

 

Consider not doing these things.

Here, in my opinion, are five things you should not do during your prayer time.

Constant snacking. Your special prayer time is for praying and for feeding your soul, not for feeding your stomach. If you are serious about prayer leave the snacks and junk food at home.  If you have not planned to fast, bring only a few pieces of healthy food.  Large amounts of food and snacks will be a great distraction to prayer.  Prayer is most effective and powerful when the desires of the body are constrained.   

Entertainment. If you are serious about getting some quality prayer time, leave the thoughts of entertaining yourself behind. If you are praying indoors make sure there is not a TV, radio, or computer in the room.  If there is, remove them.  They will be a distraction and a temptation.  Also, don’t plan to play games or even read your favorite novel.  And leave any transistor radio or iPod at home.  When you go for walks listen to the sounds of nature and to the Spirit.  During this special prayer time, see if you can concentrate only on God and on His Word.  Give Him your full, undivided attention.

Cell phones. Some of us just can’t part with our cell phone. Some of us are practically non-stop text-ers and e-mailers.  All that must stop for a while.  Now is your time to communicate only with God.

 Duties. This will not be my downfall. But some of you are addicted to your house work and duties.  You are neat freaks!  Stop all that!  Now is your time to rest and pray.  If you are so addicted to work, work at prayer!

Lounging. Though prayer is a time of rest a peace, don’t fall into the trap of sleeping the time away. Always be alert and keep your mind sharp and active.  Short periods of planned sleep are okay, but I would say that the majority of the time should be spent at the hard work of constant prayer and purposeful study and meditation.

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My New Book: Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Studying Bible Prophecy

I am happy to announce my new book, Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. It is a self-published book and will be ready for sale probably by January, or maybe sooner. The writing is completely finished, but now I am struggling to make a suitable cover. I like doing everything myself, and I am not a pro at it, so it will be a struggle. If you have followed my blogs for the last couple years, the content will be same, however, seeing it all put together in a book makes it quite different. Here is a portion of the introduction telling a little about why I wrote the book, which you may find interesting.

 

Why I wrote this book. Since I was a very young Christian the subject of prophecy and the Lord’s return has been a great interest of mine. And it seems that the more…

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How to Prepare Your Heart for Prayer

 

Here is step three of six on how to have an extended prayer time. The entire title of this third step is…

 

Know How to Prepare Your Heart for Prayer and How to Respond to God’s Call to Pray

 

As I see it, there are basically only two things to do in an extended time of prayer: wait on God, and respond to His call to pray. But it is crucial that you do it in that order.  If you just mechanically begin to pray for all your needs without waiting on God to direct you, you will be going against the Holy Spirit and will soon become frustrated.  So first wait on God and listen to Him.  He will tell you what to do and in what order.  He is the master of prayer.  You are His disciple and servant (Read Isaiah 50:4).

Waiting on God begins even before you get to your place of prayer. Waiting on God isn’t really an activity; it is a mood, or a frame of mind.  It is being an obedient listener.  This obedient, listening mood is something you should try to maintain throughout your time of prayer.  But at the beginning of your time you will want to make an effort to establish it. Therefore, you should try to put aside your own selfish desires and focus on God and on what He wants to tell you and show you.

In order to establish this listening mood a good thing to do is go for a walk, or a boat ride, or maybe a drive in the country. As you go, pray that God will give you a listening ear.  At some point along the way, stop and read and meditate on a passage in the Bible.  And if the Spirit leads you, sing to Him and praise Him.  You may also want to just sit and look up into the sky or into the trees, or on the water.  I love sitting by a lake or a stream.  It always seems so comforting.  The moving of the water and the tree branches and the grass symbolizes to me the moving of the Holy Spirit.  When I see the effects of the wind all around me I am assured by God that He is there and working.  That is always so comforting to me.  There are so many ways we can see God in nature.  I hope you take advantage of it and let God touch you and come near you.

As you walk and sing and meditate on the Word and pray and observe things around you while listening to the Holy Spirit, at some point He will call you to more serious prayer. He may also call you to repentance and purity.  He may push you down on your knees and even on your face in repentance.  If you feel this don’t resist.  It is the Holy Spirit working on your heart to get you ready for prayer.  At that point confess whatever sins come to your mind.  Tell God whatever is on your heart.

After you have confessed your sins and cried, you may feel some relief and a lightness of heart. He has cleansed and forgiven you (1Jn. 1:9).  At this point you may feel that the time of prayer is over, that God has touched you and healed you and prayer is no longer needed.  But your prayer time is just beginning!  He has broken you down, made you repent, and cleansed your heart to prepare you for prayer—for serious prayer!  Don’t give up now!  Stick with it!

You must continue to wait on God until you feel a burden for prayer, or rather a burden to pray for specific things. Wait on Him patiently and He will show you exactly what He wants you to pray for.

If you feel some tug at your heart to pray, but for nothing specific, I would suggest starting your prayer time by reading some of the Psalms (you may want to have some passages picked out ahead of time). As you read and meditate on them, also pray over them, and let them become your own prayers—for the Psalms, and all of Scripture, are the Word of God; God will use them to form your prayers.  Also, if you feel like singing and praising Him, by all means do it.  Don’t hinder the Holy Spirit in any way.  Continue in praise and singing as long as the Spirit leads you.

At some point the Spirit will lead you to pray for something or someone in particular. He will put a burden on your heart for them.  Pray right then without delay!  You may want to write things down as they come to you so that you have a record of what God led you to pray for.  Don’t be concerned about the order that things come to you in, even if you find that you are praying mostly for yourself or mostly for one particular person.  Just pray as the Spirit leads you.

As you are praying for yourself, God may show you some things about yourself that you may want to consider and change. I would suggest having a notebook handy to write those things down.  After your prayer time comes to an end, take the time to go over everything God has showed you and begin to apply those things.

 

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