Thursday, August 28, 2008

What really happens when you pray for someone?

IN Exodus 17:10 - downwards, the Jewish General, Joshua, has led his troops into battle against the brutal Amalekites. And old Moses goes to fight the real battle. The Bible says, "Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning ... Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So, Joshua overcame the Amalekite army."
Just in case someone wondered what this "holding up his hands" business was all about, Moses later explained. He said, "Hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord." Moses made it very clear that he was praying up on that hill. And notice how the battle was decided. Not by what the warriors were doing on the battlefield, but by what the prayer warrior was doing on the hill! That is always where the battles are decided - in the Throne Room of the Most High God as someone intercedes there for someone or something they care about.
God must get tired of us saying, "Well, I can't really do much. I guess all I can do is pray." What? All I can do is go to the One who rules a hundred billion galaxies and focus His love and His power on some person or situation or need? There's nothing else you can do that is even remotely as powerful as that! So who are the people you're praying for on a regular basis?
Commit yourself to be the Moses for some folks you know, and for some servants of God who are fighting on the front lines. And for some lost people for whom no one else may have ever prayed. I can tell you, as one person trying to serve the Most High God, there is nothing more decisive, more important, that you could do for us than to be a regular prayer warrior as we fight for some of those lost people.
Let people know you're fighting for them in the Throne Room of God. Find out what they need you to be praying for. You'll be their Moses, praying down victory for their battle. You'll be their Aaron or Hur, holding up their arms when they can't go another step. When you pray fervently for someone, you are playing a vital part in guarding their life, in meeting their need, in changing their heart, in winning their battle. You are praying for them, you are going to the Throne Room of God for them. You are indeed, giving them the greatest gift anyone can give!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Before you assume you know what to do in a certain situation, ask God. Before you assume you know what that person sitting across from is thinking and feeling, ask God. Before you assume you know what your next step in treatment will be, ask God.
Good advice for counselors. Good advice for normal people too.

For instance, before you tear into your teenager because it appears they have been disobedient, ask God to help you respond to this child you love with all your heart in the way He wants you to respond. Before you rush into the office ready to express how unhappy you are in the work place, ask God how He wants you to speak to your boss. Ask God what He wants you to say. Ask God to show you what your boss needs from you.
Before you make a rash decision in your anger and frustration. Ask God to help you calm down, ask God to remind you of times when you angered and frustrated other people.

Before you fuss at the lady behind the desk ask God to remind you of times when people have shown you patience. Ask God remind you what patience looks like.
Before you quit ask God what He wants you to do.
Before you change jobs ask God what He wants.
Before you get married ask God who He wants you to marry.
Before you file for divorce ask God what He can do.
Before you lose your temper ask God how He would have you respond.
Before you treat someone with unkindness ask God to give you new words.
Before you tell someone how to run their life ask God to give you the words, or ask Him close your mouth.
Before you assume you know how you should handle the difficult situation ask God to tell you how He wants you to handle the situation.
Before you assume you know all there is to know about all there is to know ask God.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 7:7-12 NIV)

Before you go too far into the day ask God and HE will direct your path.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DONT GIVE UP! Your miracle is on the way.

Have you heard of the Chinese bamboo tree, which is planted, watered and fertilized year in, year out for four years without showing any visible sign of growth? If you were a farmer cultivating the Chinese bamboo tree, would you not be tempted to abandon the plant and consider it a waste of your time and efforts?
But wait, during the fifth year, the plant suddenly shoots up and grows to be 90 ft tall in 6 weeks!

I wish to tell you, my dear friend, you may have been struggling, striving and pushing to succeed in life without any sign of success. If there is hope for the Chinese bamboo tree, then there is hope for you.
Now, when did that Chinese bamboo tree grow? Was it just during that fifth year alone? Do you realize that the plant would have died if the farmer had stopped cultivating it at anytime during the first four years? Do you realize that many great dreams have been quietly buried because those who had them could not persevere? Lack of persistence is one major cause of failure. And it is proven that lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority of people.

But, I encourage you today don’t give up. Hebrews 10:35-36 says; therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God you may receive the promise. DONT GIVE UP! Your miracle is on the way.

One major characteristic I have discovered about successful people is the ability to persevere. That ability to continue in pursuit of a goal till desired results are obtained. It is called Staying Power. God in His omnipotence never created anyone to be a failure. But while we were born to be successful, we were not born successful. In other words, we are not ready made. Whether we succeed or fail, win or lose in life is a matter of choice.

The discovery of your purpose in life and the deliberate choice to keep on with your pursuit of its achievement come rain or shine will certainly make you stand out. It will make you a candidate for unlimited success. This process might even bring out the genius in you. Do you realize that those we describe as geniuses, those great inventors, are not necessarily men of high intelligence? However, they are men of unparallel level of perseverance. I have since discovered that winners never quit and quitters never win. I have discovered that the reasons why some succeed are the same reasons others give as excuses for failure, the difference being in their attitudes.

The situations, which losers see as stumbling blocks, are the same situations, which winners see as stepping-stones to success. Situations, which may be described as the Graveyards of dead dreams for losers, are the Front Porch of opportunities for winners. Winners see solutions while losers see problems. Winners see possibilities while losers see impossibilities. Whether you win or lose depends on what you see. And what you see determines whether you will keep on or give up. Dear friend, don’t give up. There is a miracle within your obstacles. God will help you find it.

There is an exciting story we ought to share. It is the story of Glenn Cunningham, an American who was involved in a fire accident in school. Cunningham had severe burns. The doctors who treated him said he would never be able to walk again. But Cunningham saw the situation differently. He said, I will not only walk again, I will run. While everyone else was away from the house during the day, he would make his way to the fence. And right there on the fence, he learnt to walk again. Glenn went beyond walking, he began to run. In 1943 Glenn Cunningham set a new world record. He ran the mile in 4 minutes 6.8 seconds.

Dear friend, you may have suffered setbacks and disasters in life, which make the accomplishment of your dreams, seem impossible. They may have been in the areas of business, education or marriage. You can refuse to surrender your dreams to situations and circumstances. Don’t let life bury you before you are dead. Like Glenn Cunningham, you can rise again.

Finally, live on the offensive. Be bold and courageous. Take the initiative. Don’t wait for success to come because it won’t. Go for it. Take the plunge. God will not allow you fail.
We will succeed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving Ahead, in Spite of the Danger

Television at its best - which it all too seldom delivers - can take you to some fascinating places in the world that you might never see any other way. Like the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, for example. The ruins of that ancient city, high up in the Andes Mountains of Peru, are remarkably well preserved, almost as if the city was just abandoned one night long ago.

A recent documentary showed burros making their way up this rugged, winding, perilous road to Machu Picchu, carrying the burdens of the humans who were leading them. You'd expect animals to be pretty skittish on a narrow trail and a deadly drop-off only feet away. Oh, but not those burros. No, they were remarkably calm the whole trip. Of course, there was a reason. They were blindfolded!

This documentary pointed out that the blindfold calmed the burros as they ascended their very dangerous road. They never realized the dangers that were all around them. They were just fine as long as they knew they were being led. You and I should be, too.

It may be that you've walked a pretty dangerous road lately, or that there's a road ahead that you're hesitant to climb because of the dangers on it: financial danger, physical danger, risking your security, the danger of losing someone that's important to you, the risks of venturing from the known to the unknown, or the potential dangers of a change in your life. To be honest, there are many times that we let the dangers decide whether or not we'll make a move. That's a bad idea. God's ancient people turned away from a Promised Land and wandered forty years in the wilderness because they let the dangers of Canaan decide what they were going to do.

No, the deciding factor shouldn't be how dangerous it looks, but rather that you are being led that direction by the Guide who has never lost anyone He was leading, no matter how steep the mountain. In Matthew 14, beginning with verse 28, we have a beautiful, flesh-and-blood example of how a follower of Jesus Christ ought to make every potentially dangerous decision. In the midst of a turbulent storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus has appeared to the disciples, literally walking on the water toward them and calling them not to be afraid.

The Bible says this: "'Lord, if it's You,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.' 'Come,' He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." That is amazing! And Peter would have kept walking on the water all the way to Jesus except for the fact that, well, he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm. That sank him. But I love Peter's faith here. He didn't know how he would be supported where there was no visible means of support. He only needed to know one thing: "Lord, if it's You..."

That should be the bottom line for any of us; not the storm, not the risks, not all the fearful things that might happen, not our capabilities. Now, we're not burros. We're the sheep of the Great Shepherd, and you need have no fear of any place that He is leading you.

At times I've been hesitant to take a step that God was asking me to take because I perceived it to be what I called a "risky obedience." As it turns out, that's an oxymoron. There is only a risky disobedience. Not going where Jesus is leading is the greatest danger of all! I love the hymn that says, "I will tell the saints and angels as I lay my burden down, Jesus led me all the way."

Remember, no matter how fearful the road may look, "Through many dangers, toils, and snares, you have already come. T'was grace that brought you safe thus far, and grace will lead you home."

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