Category Archives: Prayer

Sure are a Lot of Sinners in Here

The Elder Brother has accepted the Father’s invitation and gone in to the party celebrating his younger brother’s return. This is my imagining:

IMMEDIATELY I notice this is a REALLY FESTIVE party. You can not imagine the feast that our Father has prepared. Really HUGE! My younger brother is the center of attention. He looks totally transformed by what my Father has done for him. I’ve got to rush over to him and let him know that I love him. But just as Esau rushed to fearful Jacob, my brother notices me and runs to me! All those years I looked down at him, and now he is running to me! He used to run away from my disdainful stares.

What a reunion. It was like we were small boys again! We both were sobbing, hugging, kissing. The merriment stopped as all eyes were upon us. Everyone knew that we did not get along. They probably were in awe of the scene. We stood there, embracing and the tears began flowing freely from our eyes. Then our Father joined in, and it seemed the dam broke. Such a reunion, all because of our Father’s love.

I wonder how long we will feast and hug and cry and kiss when we get to heaven. If this is any indication, what a truly amazing place it must be. I can’t believe I almost let my foolish pride keep me from accepting my Father’s invitation. I take a moment to look at the faces around us. Many of these people I would never have given the time of day. I certainly would not have invited them into MY HOUSE! But now I am hugging them, shaking their hands, REJOICING with them! Some of these folk are barely presentable, clothed in rags, dirty, stinky, but it doesn’t matter, we are CELEBRATING because of our Father’s Love and Provisions! 

This Elder Brother thinks we will be amazed at the people we see at the Father’s Feast in Heaven. We will probably be even more amazed at who we do not see. One thing has been brought home to my heart: Jesus is a friend of sinners. Only sinners can realize how much He did for them. Elder Brother Types can let their pride and self-righteousness blind their heart to the Love of Jesus and prevent them from the “Sinners Relationship” with the Father!

Jesus Friend of SinnersYes, Jesus and the Father are FRIENDS of SINNERS! The Self Righteous, those who are working for heaven are not welcome. As an Elder Brother Type I have often let my pride and self righteousness get in the way of this amazing relationship with God. Sinners who hold on to their sins miss out too. That is why Elder Brother Types must see Jesus Christ as a Friend of Sinners and start letting it impact the way we relate to people.

Watchman Nee wrote that when he saw Jesus as a Friend of Sinners he started to see some unusual and even difficult people come to Jesus.

Pray with NeeOnce a young woman came up to him and started hitting him, saying she did not want to be “saved” by this Jesus. She was young and wanted to have a good time, and had no desire to leave her sinful ways. After she had exhausted her rantings, he said “Let’s pray”. “What on earth could I possibly pray?” she replied. Watchman Nee said: “I can’t be responsible for your prayer, but I will pray first, and then you tell the Lord Jesus all that you have been saying to me.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that!” she exclaimed. 

“Yes, you can. Don’t you know Jesus is the Friend of Sinners?”

She was touched and indeed did pray – a very non-typical prayer – but from that hour the Lord began to work in her heart.

Within a few days Nee says she was gloriously saved.

Two Brothers reunitedI’m with my younger brother now, and I’m on the look out for some more Friends for Jesus. Anyone want to Pray? Your language will not offend him. Your clothes will not offend him. Your behavior will not offend Him. He wants you to know that He is Your Friend. He wants to talk with you. He wants to feast with you!

Journey of an Elder Brother Day Seventeen

Father and Elder Brother ArgueThe Elder Brother angrily argued with his Father because he was lavishing a wasteful feast upon his wayward younger brother. The Father had never done such a thing for him, the obedient Elder Brother. His appeals to stop the feast went unheeded, because the Father was intent upon celebrating the finding of his lost son. Jesus ends the story with the two at odds with each other, and the Elder Brother refusing to join the celebration.

The Elder Brother was not in sync with his Father. He failed to know his heart, and so communication broke down, and a wall was erected.

Elder Brothers must understand their Father’s heart, for failure to do so will result in a breakdown in communications. Walls will be be erected. families will be divided.

abraham Friend of GodAbraham was a friend of his Father, Jehovah. Because of their friendship, the channels of communication were open. That is why God chose to reveal His plans for Sodom and Gommorah in Genesis 18. This led Abraham to reason, to barter with God. In a spirited exchange, Abraham appeals to Jehovah on the basis of His RIGHTEOUSNESS. “Would you slay the righteous with the wicked”, he appeals. Still basing it upon God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS, he lowers his appeal from 50 all the way to 10 righteous. Then he shut up. Jehovah went on his way. Why did Abraham stop at 10? Surely he knew that Lot was the only righteous one left! But Abraham also knew the Father’s HEART! Abraham knew that God would do the RIGHTEOUS thing!

God destroys Sodom_and_GomorrahThe Bible records what happens when God left Abraham; how Lot, his wife and two daughters were led to safety, but the wife looked back and was turned into salt. What about Abraham? Was he worried that Lot would be destroyed? Scripture reveals Abraham’s peace about the matter:

Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace. Genesis 19:27-28 (NLT)

Lot and Daughters sparedAbraham rose early that morning, knowing that the cities would be destroyed. He knew how wicked they were. But Abraham knew that Lot would be delivered. Why? Because Abraham knew the Father’s Heart! Scripture records that:

God destroyed the cities in the valley, but he remembered what Abraham had asked. So God saved Lot’s life, but he destroyed the city where Lot had lived. (Genesis 19:29)
As 2 Peter 2:7 states; God rescued RIGHTEOUS Lot!

Abraham had understood the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the Father. He appealed to God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS in sparing his nephew Lot. He knew that God would still act as RIGHTEOUS God. God remembered what Abraham had said.

This is what Elder Brothers must learn when communicating with the Father. We must seek to know Him, what He delights in, and our appeals to Him must be on the basis of His character.

heartThe Father revealed His heart to the Elder Brother, and the Elder Brother refused to understand. He walled himself from His Father’s heart, and never enjoyed the Feast with his younger brother.

Abraham knew his Father’s heart, and was able to enjoy a Feast with his nephew Lot.

Would you rather complain and sulk in loneliness, or rejoice and enjoy a feast with loved ones? Purpose to know the Father’s heart, and remind Him that you know Him by the way you appeal to Him!

Father: I purpose from this day forward to know Your Heart, to know what you delight in! I will always pray to you with your heart’s desire in mind!

Twelve Apostles of Ill Health Require Our Surrender

12 apostles of ill health“I know that there are certain mental and emotional and moral and spiritual attitudes that are anti-health: anger, resentments, fear, worry, desire to dominate, self-preoccupation, guilts, sexual impurity, jealousy, a lack of creative activity, inferiorities, a lack of love. These are the twelve apostles of ill health. So in prayer I’ve learned to surrender these things to Jesus Christ as they appear.”

I once asked Dr Kagawa: “What is prayer?” And he answered: “Prayer is self-surrender.” I agree. It is primarily self-surrender, blanket surrender, day by day. It is all we know and all we don’t know. “All we don’t know” covers the unfolding future and involves problems as they arise. So in prayer if any one of these twelve things arise, and they do arise, for no one is free from the suggestion of anyone of them, I’ve learned how to deal with them: not to fight them, but to surrender them to Jesus Christ, and say, “Now Lord, you have this.”

e stanley jones

Eli Stanley Jones

This was written by Methodist Missionary to India, Eli Stanley Jones in his book “Song of Ascents“, p 337. Not only does he underscore the damage negative thinking, negative desires and negative actions can have on our Total Health, but he emphasizes the Power we as Christians have in Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:30 states that because we are in Christ Jesus, by the power of God He is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” and whatever else we may need. Jesus is the Blank Check for our Life. He is made unto us whatever we need or require. All that is required is surrender to His power and control. This is what he meant by taking his yoke upon us. When we surrender our needs to Him, He will grant us rest for our souls. Learn of Him. Learn that there is a rest that is given, but this is the rest that must be found.

Come to Jesus for rest

Matt 11:28-30

Gods Blank CheckTo receive all the benefits of our wealthy benefactor, there must be self-surrender. There must be a learning spirit, a contented cooperation with Christ and God’s divine plan for your life. A yoke requires two willing necks. Jesus Christ has already provided His. Are you willing to provide yours?

Prayer: Please Father, open my heart to see my ned to surrender to the power and yoke of Jesus Christ. May these Twelve Apostles of ill health never cause me harm. May I ever be ready to say, “Here, Lord, you have this.”

Don’t Pray – Simply Say “You Are!”

Jesus said “I am” over a hundred times to His disciples and the people following Him. He said “I am” to Pilate and the Pharisees. Jesus wants us to say “You are.” Nothing satisfies the ears of God as when He hears our confession of faith in His Son. Hebrews 10:23 declares “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful”you-are-lord

When everything is going wrong and chaos is all around, DON’T PRAY! Simply confess “YOU ARE LORD!”

Lord-of-LordsMore and more it seems our world is headed toward some type of chaos. People are warning of gloom and doom. Fear is all around us. We need to stand and proclaim “YOU ARE!” Jesus YOU ARE King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He loves to hear us say that we know!

Satan trembles when the saints declare this truth. The name of Jesus is above every name. Declare it! Say it to the enemy. The word of our testimony will often prove effective where prayer fails to bring results. So next time you feel powerless in prayer, powerless in the situation you are facing, declare “YOU ARE LORD!”

After all, Jesus said there is POWER in our declarations. He told us to SPEAK to the mountain – “be thou removed!”

Prayer: Jesus You are LORD!

Does Your Heart Need Repairs?

psalm-139_23_24Search me O God, and know my Heart
Try me, my thoughts unfold
And see if any wicked way
there be at all in me.
And in thine everlasting way
to me a leader be.

Psalms 139:23-24 (in 1852 Scottish Metre)

mirror-reveals-dirty-faceTrue self-knowledge does not come through introspection. Looking within ourselves never leads to a clearer understanding of ourselves. Only when there is light from God do we truly see ourselves. If we want to check to see if our face is clean, do we feel all over our face with our hands? No, of course not. We simply find a mirror and we bring our face to the light of the reflection of the mirror. In the reflection of the mirror everything becomes clear.

light-from-godTo see ourselves, we need light from God. We ask God to search us. We do no searching ourselves. That is the way of illumination. We must allow God to come in and search our heart. He will reveal the way of wickedness into our lives. He has already revealed the wickedness. That is why we come to Him. What we need to see is how does that wickedness have access to our heart and lives. What must we remove or seek healing for in order to follow Him in His Wverlasting Way.

road-workMany a well-intentioned Christian gets waylaid by wickedness. It creeps in slowly into our lives and causes disease to harden our spiritual heart. In order to discover the way of wickedness, we must be exposed to the Light of God’s searching Spirit. When the way of Wickedness is exposed, we can seek His healing and His repairs. Then we are free for Him a “leader to be” in the Way Everlasting.

Prayer: Father, search my heart, I give you total access. Show me the ways that wickedness is entering my life, and make the needed repairs. May I then be attentive to your leadership in the way of everlasting life.

The Uplifting Power of Christ is Ours

God gave Christ to be head over all things, to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. (Eph 1:22)

Is Jesus Christ our ‘ideal’, to be arrived at only after much suffering, self-sacrifice, striving and then finally dying?

Perhaps to one who sees through fleshly eyes. But from God’s perspective, Christ is His LIVING gift to us. He is not only for LIFE in the future tense, but for LIFE in the present tense. 

crossScripture teaches that if we die to ourselves, we live to Jesus Christ. The life of a disciple is the way of the Cross, the way of death to what we want. When we place our lives in our Savior’s hands, through the New Birth we are raised up to sit together in the heavenlies with King Jesus! (Eph 2:6). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, securing our future Bodily Redemption (Eph 1:13,14).

The reality is that just as Christ reigns at the right hand of His Father, so do we reign with Him!

jesus-reigns-in-heavenDo we doubt this? There is a 21 “LCD computer monitor on my desk. I do not look at my desk and say over and over “there must be a monitor here, there must be a monitor here!” and by some magical encantation the monitor appears. No, it was there all the time. I simply open my eyes and see it.

Faith is no make-believe, no magical encantation. Faith allows us to take hold of the unseen FACTS of what God has done. God has placed us IN CHRIST through the power of the New Birth. THAT IS FACT. It is an accomplished work. When we dare to venture our faith upon those facts, the Holy Spirit is present to prove them true. Whenever you feel your life is overwhelmed by sorrow or struggles, whenever you feel your faith struggling, look to the Christ who fills all in all, and the Holy Spirit will fill you with His sustaining and uplifting power!

Prayer: Father, open my heart to see that I am in your Son, and that together we reign over any problems in my life. Holy Spirit, make me to know the reality of Christ’s uplifting power!

Dare We Presume to Command the God of the Universe?

peter-freed-from-prison-by-pier-francesco-mola-1612-1666In Acts 12:14 the lowly maid is sent to answer the persistent knock outside the gate. The disciples are obviously fearful of the recent aggressive persecution undertaken by Herod. She is so excited to see Peter that she runs in to tell the disciples, forgetting to open the gate and allow Peter in. The disciples, the ones who months before preached boldly in the Temple about the “power of God” to raise Jesus from the dead, hear the ramblings of the maid and pronounce her “Mad”. These great disciples and apostles, men who turned the world upside down with their faith in God, doubted the results of their own prayers. How could Peter have escaped from such a prison?

How can modern day disciples presume to have faith greater than the apostles? I do pray in faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. But I never pray with the presumptuous pride of a voice that believes it can command God. God is God alone. Only He does Wondrous things. How dare I bother Him with petty requests when He has an entire Universe to Rule?

I dare because His Son lives in me, and the life I now live I live by the faith of Jesus Christ. When I pray the Words of His Son, they are the Words that arrest the attention of Almighty God! They are the Words that grab God’s Heart!prayer_3

Pray for Peter to be freed, but wait upon God to reveal His will. Never presume that our will must be His! After all the apostles prayed that James would be freed too!

If I abide in Christ, and His Words abide in me, then I may ask whatever I wish, and He will accomplish it for me (John 15:7 mud version)

Prayer: Enable me to pray with the faith of your Son, and may His Words become my prayer to you. May your will be done in and through my life, just as it is in heaven. Remind me to always open the gate to see your answer to my prayers.