Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on the subject of prayer.

As the Scripture says:

"Pray, then, in this way..." (Mt 6:9)

"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." (Mat 6:6)

Some of the topics covered include the Lord's Prayer, the intercession of the saints, the intercession of Christ, thanksgiving, proclamations, promises of God concerning prayer, and the importance of the attitude of the heart and mind in prayer, as well as the importance of the attitude of the body in prayer.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

The Disciples’ Prayer Standing in the Gap Covenant Prayer
Who intercedes for us? Personal Proclamations of Faith Crying Out to God Loudly
Intercession for God’s Ministers Taking Heaven by Force Prayer that Pleases the Father's Heart
Giving Thanks in Everything Prayer Promises Lifting Hands in Prayer
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Keeping a Prayer Journal Blessing Others

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Prayer Warrior" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's Note:  I also invite you to visit my collection of blogs at "Writing for the Master."  Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blessing Others

The Scriptural way of blessing others is very plain and simple, yet powerful. It is essentially speaking good things over their lives. It's just the opposite of cursing them, which is speaking negative things over their lives. Let's look at some examples from the Bible, which you can use to bless others.

Moses Blesses the Tribes
At the end of Deuteronomy, we find a record of the blessing Moses gave to each of the twelve tribes before he died. As with many verses of Scripture, you can use the following ones as models for your blessings over others:

Let [name] live and not die. (Dt 33:6)

Hear, LORD, the cry of [name], Oh, be his/her help against his/her foes! (Dt 33:6)

Bless all his/her skills, LORD, and be pleased with the work of his/her hands. (Dt 33:7)

Strike down those who rise against him/her, his/her foes till they rise no more. (Dt 33:11)

Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in You, for You shield him/her all day long, and the one You love rests between Your shoulders. (Dt 33:12)

May the LORD bless [name] with the choicest gifts and fruitfulness, with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of Him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of [name]. (Dt 33:13-16)

[Name] is abounding with the favor of the LORD and is full of His blessing; (Deut 33:23)

Most blessed is [name]. The bolts of his/her gates will be iron and bronze, and his/her strength will equal his/her days. (Dt 33:25)

The eternal God is [name's] refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out his/her enemies before his/her, saying, ‘Destroy them!’ (Dt 33:27)

So [name] will live in safety; he/she will dwell secure. (Dt 33:28)

Blessed is [name], a person saved by the Lord. He is his/her shield and helper and his/her glorious sword. His/her enemies will cower before him/her, and he/she will tread on their heights. (Dt 33:29)

As you can see, these can be used for different kinds of people in different situations, just as each of the tribes were different from one another.

Jacob Blesses His Sons
Before Jacob died, he blessed each of his sons, and perhaps the best blessing was given to Joseph. One of the blessings you can use from that is this one:

[Name] is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. (Gen 49:22)

Here is another one adapted from his blessing over Zebulun:

[Name] will provide a haven for those in need. (Gen 49:13)

The Beatitudes
In the passage known as the beatitudes of Christ, we find more blessings. Whenever we read this passage out loud, we are speaking blessings over the lives of all who fit the description in each beatitude. But you can also make it specific by naming the person you want to bless.

For one who is poor
Blessed is [name], the kingdom of heaven is his/hers. (Mt 5:3)

For one who mourns
Blessed is [name] as he/she mourns, for he/she shall be comforted. (Mt 5:4)

For one who is gentle
Blessed is [name], for he shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:5)

For one who is merciful
Blessed is [name] who is merciful, for he/she shall receive mercy. (Mt 5:7)

For one who is pure in heart
Blessed is [name], who is pure in heart, for he/she shall see God. (Mt 5:8)

For a peacemaker
Blessed is [name] the peacemaker, for he/she shall be called a son/daughter of God. (Mt 5:9)

For one who is persecuted for righteousness
Blessed is [name] who has been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for his/hers is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:10)

Paul's Epistles
Some of the promises written in Paul's epistles can also become wonderful blessings to speak over others. Here are some examples:

May all things work together for the good of [name] who loves you and is called according to your purpose. (Rom 8:28)

Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [name] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38)

May you grant them to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together they may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 15:5-6)

Lord, may You fill [name] with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit he/she may abound in hope. (Rom. 15:13)

In Christ may [name] be enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge(1 Cor 1:5)

May [name] not lack any spiritual gift as he/she eagerly waits for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (1 Cor 1:7)

Lord may you keep [name] firm to the end, so that he/she will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are faithful, and you will do it. (1 Cor 1:8)

May [name] be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord his/her labor is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)

May [names] aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and You will be with them. (2 Cor. 13:11)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with them all. (2 Cor. 13:14)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with [name's] spirit. Amen. (Gal. 6:18)

(May) Christ dwell in [name's] heart through faith—that he/she, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that he/she may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17-19)

Now may You sanctify [name] completely, and may his/her whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Th. 5:23-24)

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort [name's] heart and establish him/her in every good work and word. (2 Th. 2:16-17)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip [name] with everything good that he/she may do His will, working in him/her that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Heb. 13:20-21)

The Prophets
There are many passages in the sacred writings of the prophets that can be turned into blessings. One of them is in Isaiah:

Beauty out of ashes 
There is a short, simple version you can use and then a longer version if you prefer.

May the Lord bring beauty out of ashes and life out of death for [name]. (Is 61:3)

Lord may you bestow on [name] beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair. (Is 61:3)

Comfort
May the Lord comfort [name] as he/she mourns, and provide for him/her as he/she grieves. (Is 61:3)

Anointing
The Lord has anointed [name] to proclaim good news to the poor, and sent him/her to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners. (Is 61:1).

Conclusion
Speaking good things over others, according to the will of God, is one way to bless others, as I have just shown you. Blessing people is one form of prayer among many other types of prayer, such as petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving.

As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim 2:1-4, NIV).

Therefore, as you read the Scriptures, the Lord may show you many more passages that you can use to bless others, make petitions on their behalf, intercede for them, or give thanks for them. I hope this has helped to open up new ways for you to express yourself to God as you speak to Him on behalf of others.

Attribution Notice: Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible -- New International Version.

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this message,  you may also like Standing in the Gap, Keeping a Prayer JournalIntercession for God’s Ministers, and Who Intercedes for Us?. You can find more articles on this topic at the Home page of this blog. I also invite you to visit my collection of blogs at "Writing for the Master."  Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Keeping a Prayer Journal

I've been keeping a prayer journal throughout most of my walk with the Lord, and it's been helpful to me for a number of reasons. I'd like to share some of those reasons with you today in the hopes that it would encourage you to do the same.

It's a Record of What God Speaks to Me
Each of us as sheep are supposed to both hear and recognize the Shepherd's voice. Jesus said, "The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He puts forth all His own, He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice." (Joh 10:3-4). One of the most opportune times for you to hear the Lord's voice speaking to you is during your daily quiet time. It's best to do this at the beginning of your day, before you start your normal activities.

When you open the Bible, pray and ask the Lord to speak to you through His Word. Ask Him to show you the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Acknowledge to Him that unless He reveals Himself to you through His Word that you cannot understand it. You may be able to have an intellectual knowledge of what you read, but not true spiritual understanding and knowledge. So humble yourself before the Lord. Cry out for wisdom and understanding, and He will speak to you.

As you read and meditate on His Word, have a journal and pen beside you, and when He speaks to you through a particular verse, write down the current date, quote the verse with its reference, and what He showed you. He will give you very personal guidance, direction, and insights that will impact your life forever. And you will have a record of it to refer back to.  He will often confirm these things to you in other ways at a later time, such as through His still small voice in your prayer time, through something someone says, a sermon you hear, a song, a coincidence that happens, another verse He gives you, a vision, revelation, or a prophecy.  You should document those things in your journal, too, especially the thoughts that come to you during your prayer time. Having it all recorded in one place will allow you to correlate it, and to see the connections that you might otherwise have missed or forgotten.

I used to have a physical journal, and over the years I developed a large collection of them, which were all marked with the beginning and ending dates on the cover, and numbered in sequence. However, when I moved overseas as a missionary, I switched to keeping an electronic journal on the computer. It's a lot easier to carry when moving! And the nice part about having it in electronic format is that it is more easily searchable on key words when I need to find something later that I have written.  But I still keep the pen and paper beside me during my Bible reading and prayer time, and write down impressions that come to me, as well as ideas or thoughts I get. Later I usually type these into my computer. The Lord has often used these things to also bless others. I have seen them become exhortations, sermons, teachings, and testimonies for His glory.

It's a Record of God's Presence in My Life
As I spend time with the Lord and experience His glorious presence, those are times of refreshing (Ac 3:19), and I record those experiences in my journal. That becomes a wonderful reminder of His love for me and how He has related with me during my times with Him. Something about writing it down just solidifies it further, since it becomes a permanent record. Also see Times of Refreshing in the Presence of the Lord.

It's a Record of Answered Prayer
God answers prayer, and Jesus gave us many promises to do so, like when He said, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (Joh 14:14).  So if you write down what you prayed about on a given day, who you prayed for, expecting Him to answer you, then when He does answer, you will have written proof that you prayed for it and when. That will build your faith, because it will show that He directly answered your prayer. Then you can write in the answer to prayer, as well. 

Over time this becomes quite a faith-building device to you, as you go back later and read what the Lord has done.  Time and again the Lord has proven Himself faithful to me, and having a record of it glorifies Him, as well as encourages me in my prayer life to trust Him. And since we are supposed to testify for His glory, the record we keep of it will form the basis of your testimony, so that you can accurately tell others what God has done in answer to prayer.


As you pray for local, national, and global matters, and journal those, it will encourage you to see those prayers answered in the news.  When you do, I can testify firsthand what a joy it will be for you to cut out newspaper headlines and paste them into your journal beside your entry later, as evidence of the answers to your prayers. Alternatively, in electronic format, you can copy and paste such headlines into your journal along with a link to the news article or video, showing the answer to your prayers.

It Helps Identify God's Direction for My Life
What I have found is that God gives us direction a little at a time. As you receive those bits of direction and write them down, then when you get further direction and write that down also, you will begin to see a pattern. It's like a golden arrow from God that is pointing in a certain direction clearly, which can be a great form of guidance for your life and ministry.

It Keeps Me Pressing into Him
As I spend time with the Lord in prayer, worship, and Bible reading, and I journal it, I have a record of what passages I've been reading, as well as the time I've spent in His presence. It's a form of accountability. By documenting not only the beginning and ending time of my prayers, but also what I experienced in prayer and Bible reading, I can see if I am starting to slacken my efforts in seeking Him, if I am cooling off, getting more passionate, or if I am going deeper.  The goal is to remain faithful, be on fire for God, go deeper, and experience greater intimacy with Him, and I encourage you to do the same. Press into Him! May you say with David, "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee...My soul followeth hard after Thee!"  (Ps 63:1,8, KJV).

It's a Record of My Struggles and Victories
As I have documented my struggles, my battles, my trials, and my hardships, my longings for God and His presence, and later the victories won in Jesus' Name, it's a testimony for the glory of God. I encourage you to do so, too, as David did in the psalms. Then you can also say with him, "Arise, O LORD; save me," and later write, "O my God: for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies...Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: Thy blessing is upon Thy people." (Ps 3:7a,8, KJV).  And you can write, "But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill." (Ps 3:3-4, KJV). To God be all the glory forever and ever! Amen.

Putting it All Together
As you can see, there are many good reasons to keep a prayer journal. It will be a record for you of what the Lord has spoken to you, His presence in your life, His answers to your prayers, and His direction for your life. It will be a record of your struggles and victories. It also keeps you pressing forward, pressing into Him, and going deeper with Him.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other Scriptures are taken from the King James Version.

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this message,  you may also like Times of Refreshing in the Presence of the Lord, Prayer Promises, Inquiring of the Lord, Hearing the Lord's Voice, and Seeking the Lord. I also invite you to visit my collection of blogs at "Writing for the Master."  Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Disciples’ Prayer

Prayer is the disciple’s life connection to God.  It’s vital to our relationship with Him.  And yet it is widely overlooked, and its importance is underestimated.  If we understood how vital it is, we would pray more often and more earnestly, and not allow ourselves to be distracted by other things. 

When the disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray, He taught them a model prayer to show them the kind of content their prayers should have, as well as how to approach God.

"And it happened as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught His disciples.' And He said to them, 'When you pray, say: Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, as in Heaven, so also on the earth. Give us day by day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'" (Luk 11:1-4, MKJV; cf., Mt 6:9-13)

Teach us to pray
The request of the disciples was, "Lord, teach us to pray."  We can learn to pray from a verbal teaching on prayer, as well as life lessons, which are trials and temptations we go through.  In this instance, He taught them verbally.  But He gave them plenty of other opportunities to learn to pray through trials and circumstances, such as the storm at sea.

Pray like this
Jesus taught them what to pray about and how to approach God in prayer.  He said, "When you pray, say:" In other words, “Pray like this.”

Our Father in heaven
“Our Father in heaven.” (v. 2). Address the heavenly Father reverently and lovingly, as “Our Father in heaven.” He also did not say to pray to Mary, the saints, or anyone else, but to our heavenly Father.

Hallowed be Your name
“Hallowed be Your name.” (v. 2). As you approach God, praise, magnify, and exalt His holy name.  We enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, and come into His courts with praise (Ps 100:4).  Begin prayer by praising His name. Put God first. Prayer is not a business meeting. Love God with all of your heart. Just give Him all of the love in your heart. One thing you can do as you praise Him is think about all His names. God's name identifies Him. People’s names identify who they are.  Praise His holy and awesome name.

Your kingdom come
“Your kingdom come.” Seek first His kingdom (see Lk 12:31; Mt 6:33).  His kingdom is the royal realm where He has absolute and universal dominion.  It’s where He rules and reigns. It’s God’s Divine Government over which He has supreme administration.

When you pray for God’s kingdom to come, you are praying for Him as the sovereign King to come and live and rule in your heart.  The government of God’s kingdom is on Jesus’ shoulders (Is 9:6). He is the King of kings (Re 19:16; cf., Re 17:14; 1 Ti 6:15). There can only be one king on the throne inside your heart.  Ask Him to come and take His place on the throne.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
“May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (v. 2). In heaven God’s will goes unchallenged and is always done. There’s nobody there challenging God’s will. On earth there are many enemies of God and hindrances to block his will. Yet His will is best.  “Father knows best.”  The Father is looking our for your best interest. Trust God. Go with what He says.

When you pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, then it will guide you to pray in His will.  And even if you make a mistake and pray outside His will, He will know that you asked for His will to be done, so He will answer it according to His will, rather than how you wanted it.

When you do God's will, that is one way this prayer of your will be answered.  He said, "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Mar 3:35).  He also said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Luk 11:27-28). 

Jesus prayed for the Father’s will, when it was contrary to His own (Mt 26:39-42).  This is what we must do also, following our Lord's example. His will is what we live for, not our own. This is critical, because of the power of the will. Your will has the ability to make you miss heaven. God will not force you to obey Him. He will not force Himself on you. If you allow your will to take priority, it can take you to hell. If you aren’t willing, then you can block God’s will from being done, so live your life for the will of God. Surrender to His will, and live according to it. (1 Pe 4:1-6).  The one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 Jn 2:17). His will us holy, righteous, perfect, and true.

Give us each day our daily bread
“Give us each day our daily bread.” (v.3). “Daily bread” represents the necessities of everyday life, including food. Once you have first sought God's kingdom, His will, and His righteousness, then you can bring your petitions before His throne.  Ask for what you need today.

Don’t worry about your needs for tomorrow and next week and next month. It’s all right to pray about those, but don’t worry about them, because God is able to handle all your needs each day, if you ask Him to.  If you worry about things in the future, it will be more than you can handle.

Notice that he used the expression “daily bread.”  I want to draw your attention to the word "daily." He did not expect you to have enough bread stockpiled for months to come. I also want to draw your attention to the word "bread." He also did not expect you to live luxuriously on food fit for a king.  Sometimes we are blessed with plenty, but let us not forget share it with others.  And if all we have is bread to eat, then we know the Lord has answered our prayer and He provided it.

The meals our Lord ate and fed to others were simple meals like a piece of fruit, or a fish, and some bread.  On a feast day like Passover, then there was more to eat and drink like lamb and wine.  Our daily bread also represents our basic necessities that we need for each day, such as clothing and shelter.

Some people wait until the end of their day to pray.  Sometimes it will happen this way, because of your schedule, but it is not wise to make it your routine.  How can you ask for what you need today at the end of your day?

When you pray, “Give us each day our daily bread,” and you are thinking about future days ahead, the fact is you still must ask.  The Lord instructed us to ask the Father for everything we need. Of course, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Mt 6:8b)  Yet you still need to ask Him.

Forgive us our sins
“Forgive us our sins.” (v. 4). We have all sinned, and we all stumble in many ways.  We need to repent daily, because we commit so many sins, often without knowing it.  We need to ask God for forgiveness, believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and rose from the dead, victorious over sin and death.

In order to be forgiven, you must repent sincerely from your sin, and confess it.  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn 1:9)  Cry out for mercy. “Lord, have mercy on me!” and pray for the Lord to have mercy on others, too.  We need the God's mercy much more than we realize!

We also forgive everyone who sins against us
“We also forgive everyone who sins against us.” (v. 4)  This is another condition in order for us to be forgiven. We must forgive, because if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us.  "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Mat 6:14-15)  The spirit of unforgiveness will lead you down to hell. Release those who are indebted to you.

Lead us not into temptation
“Lead us not into temptation.” (v. 4).  He taught us to pray and ask the Father not to lead us into temptation. He told us to “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt 26:40-41).  You become weak when you sleep away your prayer time.

We sometimes feel confident that we can withstand the temptations that lie ahead of us in life without praying much, or without praying at all.  Yet even Jesus had to pray, and often spent the whole night in prayer.  He was tempted by the devil (Mt 4). He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15). Temptation is common and every temptation is a common one. Through prayer you can resist temptation. Resist the devil. 

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." (1Co 10:12-13, NASB)

Don’t become complacent, thinking you stand. That's just the pride that comes before a fall.  Rather take heed lest you fall!

God does not tempt us. James said, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." (Jas 1:13-15)

Deliver us from evil
“Deliver us from evil” and some versions say “deliver us from the evil one.” (v. 4) The word “deliver” is from the Greek word rhuomai, meaning to rescue or deliver.  This is the same as crying to God, “Rescue us! Deliver us!”  And when you personalize it, then you should cry out, “Deliver me! Save me! Lord, save my soul!”  Or if you are sick, you should cry out, “Lord, heal me!”

Only God can deliver you, save your soul, set you free, and heal you by the power that is in Jesus’ name.  All power is in that name. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Ac 4:12)

The entire prayer is for “us” not me. That doesn’t mean you cannot pray for yourself.  You should pray for yourself, and when you come to Christ, you must pray for yourself.  But we must pray for others, too, and not just ourselves.

The devil is so evil and does so much more than we realize with the purpose to harm us.  He comes to kill, steal, and destroy people.  Jesus knew the devil would continue to do that, so He instructed us to pray for deliverance.

Disciples’ Prayer
This is usually called “The Lord’s Prayer,” but it may also be considered the “Disciples’ Prayer.” (Lk 11:1). If you want to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, this is how you should pray. And if you want to grow as a disciple, this is how to pray. This was also the Lord’s Prayer personally, except that He never needed to ask forgiveness for any sin of His own as we do, since He was without sin (Heb 4:15).  But I am sure He needed to forgive others.

Notice how concise this prayer is.  There is so much meaning packed into so few words.

Sinner's Prayer
If you are a sinner, and you want to give your life to Jesus, then repent of every sin you ever committed. Continue to pray and ask the Lord to show you every sin you ever committed from the time you were a young child until now.  It could take you some hours, but repent for each thing you can remember specifically. Then ask Him to cleanse you by His blood.  Afterward, I suggest reading Psalm 51 and receive His forgiveness.  Surrender your whole life to Jesus Christ, commit to live for righteousness, and invite Him to come and live inside your heart.

After you give your life to Jesus, you should immediately pray and ask to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Putting it All Together
Learn to pray the way Jesus taught His disciples to pray.  He will also give you life experiences to learn how to pray, so be sure you don’t miss those practical opportunities.

Pray to God, the Father in heaven in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Approach Him with reverence, awe, and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Begin with praise and thanksgiving, just pouring out your love on Him and adoring Him.

Always put God’s concerns ahead of your own, and ahead of any petitions you may bring to Him.  There may be times where you have an emergency and you cry out to God for help without spending time in praise and thanksgiving, but normally you should take the time to do this first.

Begin with blessing Him, and His name, and seeking His kingdom, His righteousness, His will in your life to be done just as it is in heaven.  Ask the Lord to reign in your heart as King.  Lay your life on the alter as a living sacrifice to Him. That pleases the Father.  If that is your heart’s greatest desire, then all the requests you make of Him after that will be in accordance with His will.  If not, then He will know that you want His will above all else, so He will answer it according to His will.

After you have put the Lord and His concerns first, then bring your concerns to Him for yourself and others.  Bring all those petitions and requests before His throne, knowing that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Remember to repent daily and ask forgiveness, as well as forgive others.  Pray away those temptations the devil has planned for you and others.  Pray for salvation and deliverance and healing. And remember, everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks the door shall be opened.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  "Prayer Warrior" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's Note:  If you enjoyed this message,  you may also like "Who Intercedes for Us?" and my daughter's poem, "Our Intercessor."  I also invite you to visit my collection of blogs at "Writing for the Master."  Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Intercession for God’s Ministers

Dear prayer warriors,

Today I would like to share with you a message that a sister in Christ I know received from the Lord yesterday.  Her name is sister Rachael Mushala, whom I have written about previously in my article about her Testimony of Hell.

She states:

We will all fall except you help us
A brother in Christ had mentioned to me how he doesn’t read literature by a particular renowned Late Evangelist because it was widely populated that this Evangelist was bound by alcohol during his ministry.
I had heard these reports too, but I had also heard reports refuting it so I never took the reports seriously.
After this brother mentioned it, I decided to do some research on the internet and after a few minutes I was convinced that the reports were most likely true.

That’s when it hit me; this man was an Evangelist greatly used by God but enslaved by sin and most likely ended up in hell!

I felt really felt sad, I felt frustrated by how the enemy keeps targeting the people chosen by God, using every trap to make them fall.

I was so heartbroken, I found myself on my knees in prayer, crying out to God about how frustrated I felt that many of those God has chosen end up falling. I said, ”Lord what chance do we stand against The enemy’s traps? We will all fall except you help us.”

I was still crying to him in prayer when I heard The Lord telling me to get a paper and pen and write what He was about to tell me.

Below is God’s heart about the enemy’s attacks to His chosen ones; these are His direct words which He told me to write.

To Pastors, Evangelists, Ministers Of God’s Word
To those The Lord has chosen to serve in ministry He said,” kill the flesh; make your service all about me. You have to deny yourself and your desires. ”

“A Minister with no prayer life will soon fall. Dedicate time (to seek Me) in sanctification. You must realize just how hateful yours enemy is, leave no loophole for him, close every window, every door.”

“Many of my chosen ones have habitual sin that they just can’t let go. They think there will always be time to repent before they die; they think I will make exceptions for them because I am using them. (But this is deception from the enemy).”

To The Church
“I want My church to engage in SERIOUS intercession for Ministers. I want My church to realize just how important it is for them to pray for them. This is a battle and you must realize just how grave neglecting praying for Ministers is! This is like putting them in the battlefront without ammunition!”

To Those Who Are Called To Healing & Miracles Ministry
“Pride, seeking of self-attention has destroyed many of those I have called to the healing and miracles ministry.

Those called to this ministry should die to seeking ANY self-attention. Request for the humility of Jesus, I will not deny it. You can do nothing apart from Me. Self-glory is a tool satan uses to get into the lives of My children.”

To The Church
“Please pray (for Ministers) like your life depends on it. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY for My servants.”

I don’t know how I can impact to you the emphasis with which The Lord said these words; I don’t know what words to use for you to understand the importance and need of NEVER stopping to pray for those in Ministry. I was still heartbroken at this moment, my heart was still breaking when I felt the need for us to do this, when He made me see it the way He sees it. I’ve seen many testimonies of how Pastors end up in hell but this is when it seemed so real to me. These are people Jesus loves, people who love Him but the enemy is always targeting them, that is why many of them end up falling and going to hell. He loves them, chose them, and it breaks His heart that the enemy makes them fall. Make no mistake, I know ministers should be held responsible for their actions but they are in the most dangerous position, prone to the enemy’s attacks and that’s why we need to pray for them.

The Lord said, “This is how the enemy destroys My children, He destroys their prayer lives. Many pastors are in hell because My church is asleep. Because My church is asleep, My ministers have become easy prey for the enemy. ”

“Please pray for My Servants. Let this become important to you like your life depends on it. Pray without ceasing, pray for mercy.”

END of message from the Lord.

Please share this message with as many of God’s children as you can.
God bless you.

Rachael Mushala


[End of quote from Rachael.]

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this message,  you may also like "Who Intercedes for Us?" and my daughter's poem, "Our Intercessor."  I also invite you to visit my collection of blogs at "Writing for the Master."  Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.