Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts

06 March 2020

A Few Thoughts About Psalm 100

Psalms 100:1-5 BSB A Psalm of thanksgiving. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; come into His presence with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.
This is a Psalm of praise and thanksgiving.

There are 2 sets of commands and their rationale.

First set
B1 Commands
C1 Shout
C2 Serve
C3 Come
C4 Acknowledge
B2 Rationale
C1 God created us
C2 God owns us
C3 God shepherds us
Second set
B1 Commands
C1 Enter
C2 Give thanks
C3 Praise
B2 Rationale
C1 God is good
C2 God is merciful
C3 God is faithful

Notes for first set
B1 Shout
C1 The Hebrew word is רוּעַ rûwaʻ. It means a loud noise.
C2 Here a joyful noise because of the context.
C3 Happiness is only from events, happenings, experiences. Joy is a deep peace, content, safety, satisfaction. In our passage, this joy is from fellowship with out creator, the Creator.
C4 A joyful noise is the expression of this contentment and peace.
C5 Use
D1 Both happiness and joy: Esther 8:16 NIV For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.
D2 Zechariah 9:9 NIV Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
C6 Do we have joy? Why?
C7 Why is real joy only related to God and His ways?
B2 Personally, I believe Scripture teaches that we were created for fellowship with God and to serve Him forever. He does not need fellowship or servants. The basic meaning serve is the Hebrew word which means to work. We work for God. He does not need our work, but if there is work in His kingdom, we know that He is a delegator, not a micromanager.
B3 Come is an invitation. It has the idea of entering. A special blessing is for believers: Ephesians 3:12 NLT Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
B4 Acknowledge is to recognize, give credit to, believe, We are to acknowledge
C1 He is God
C2 All the character traits/attributes of God
C3 Isaiah 45:5-6 NLT I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don't even know me, 6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
B5 Rationale
C1 God created us
C2 God owns us, or rather, “His we are,” that is, “we are His.”
C3 God shepherds us which reflects His style of leadership.
Notes for second set
B1 Commands
C1 Enter. This is the same word as come in verse 2.
C2 Give thanks: Colossians 3:17 BSB And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
C3 Praise. What do we praise God for? Basically, it is everything that God is. It is His ways, thoughts, desires, and deeds. It is seen in the 10 Commandments and His decisions. It is seen in His character traits, His worldview, and lifestyle. His way is perfect. Since it is perfect, it is best for us, too.
B2 Rationale
C1 God is good. Good is an adjective and can be applied in many different ways. Here it refers to His character and actions. All God’s decisions are done in wisdom, love, and holiness.
D1 The standard of good is God Himself. Mark 10:18 BSB “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus replied, “No one is good except God alone.
D2 Psalm 86:5 NIV You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
C2 God is merciful
D1 God wants to show mercy. He does not want to punish, but we must meet His conditions like Abraham did. Genesis 15:6 NIV Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
D2 Consider these 2 passages:
E1 God punishes those who rebel and continue in rebellion even after being warned many times. Psalm 59:5 NIV You, LORD God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors.
E2 God pardons and forgives those who humble themselves and believe: Micah 7:18 NIV Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
C3 God is faithful
D1 Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
D2 Psalm 31:5 NIV Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
D3 He is faithful. Are we?
D4 Hebrews 10:23 ISV Let us continue to hold firmly to the hope that we confess without wavering, for the one who made the promise is faithful.

Colossians 4:2 GNT Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God.

29 February 2020

A Few Thoughts About Answers to Prayer

Prayer is talking to God
B1 Formal: Solomon in 1 Kings 8:22-53
B2 Informal: Nehemiah 2:3-5 (Nehemiah was in the king’s presence and didn’t have any time to be on his knees. Essentially, in his soul he prayed, “God help me”).

Why pray?
B1 Needs of spiritual, physical, and/or emotional nature
C1 Of others
C2 For ourself
B2 Our counselor
C1 For consolation
C2 For complaining. This would include our story of persecution, abuse, difficulties, hardships, etc.
B3 Seeking
C1 God’s will
C2 Wisdom
B4 Ministering. Help
C1 For preaching the Gospel
C2 For teaching
C3 For preaching (pastors, deacons, deaconesses, etc.)
C4 For the sick and troubled
C5 For the hurting
B5 Situations
C1 Patience
C2 Forgiveness (our need of forgiveness and help to forgive others)
C3 Judgment and other decisions about ourselves or others
C4 Dedication (of meetings, places of worship, etc.)
B6 Towards God
C1 Being thankful
C2 Blessing God
C3 Praising God

Hindrances to prayer
B1 Unforgiven sin (my sin or in not forgiving others)
B2 Treating wife badly (which is sin)
B3 For our lusts instead of needs
B4 For cursing someone
B5 Trying to manipulate God for any answer

False views about prayer
B1 Name it, claim it
B2 Have to word it perfectly
B3 Have to pray until it is answered (the way I want it answered. This is “praying through”)
B4 Believing if we pray enough prayers, He will answer. There are no price tags (number of prayers) for an answer
B5 Believing that if we have enough people or the right people (super-spiritual) people pray, it will be answered

Attitudes towards God regarding prayer
B1 Honoring God
B2 Being humble
B3 Being honest
B4 Being accepting and seeking God’s will
B5 Being teachable
B6 Being confessing of sins
B7 Being mindful of others first
B8 Being generous instead of covetous
B9 Being in expectation
B10 Seeking God’s kingdom (wanting to learn God’s ways, promoting God’s ways, living in God’s ways. His ways are His beliefs, rules, and way of life in His kingdom).

Questions
B1 Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?
C1 He always answers prayer—it may be yes, no, or wait
C2 Wrong reasons for prayer (treat wife badly
C3 Ignoring and disobeying God’s Law. For the Jew, it was Mosaic Law. For the Christian, it is the rules in the New Testament. Proverbs 28:9
C4 A person doesn’t believe God can answer, will answer, or doesn’t believe what God has in the Bible, etc. Hebrews 11:6 & James 1:6-7
C5 At the correct time. Compare Titus 1:3 & Luke 18:7
C6 Pray only for show and praise of people. See Mark 12:40
C7 Unconfessed sin and/or not having believed the Gospel and place trust into Jesus Christ. See Proverbs 15:29 & 1 Peter 3:12
C8 Being an arrogant person. See Luke 18:10-14
C9 Not persevering in prayer, that is, quit too soon. See Luke 18:1-6
C10 He does answer, but it is different than what we prayer for. See 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.
C11 It is not His will See 1 John 5:13-14
B2 I prayed if I should marry this man. I did. He was abusive. So why did God do this?
C1 There were red flags and cautions to you and/or others, but they were ignored. Sometimes the desire to marry and believe the best is greater than exists.
C2 Sometimes we are deceived by a facade of godliness.
C3 Sometimes we get in a hurry and rush. Compare Psalm 40:1.
B3 I prayed for deliverance for my family member, friend, myself, etc. but nothing has happen.
C1 God may want to teach the person some things that cannot be learned any other way.
C2 God may want to use this person to teach others.
C3 (Daniel 10:12-14 NET Then he said to me, "Don't be afraid, Daniel, for from the very first day you applied your mind to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I have come in response to your words. However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was opposing me for twenty-one days. But Michael, one of the leading princes, came to help me, because I was left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to future days." (Emphasis was added).
B4 Why do we pray in Jesus’s name?
C1 Our recognition that Jesus is God and Messiah
C2 To honor Him
C3 To be recognizing that the Father’s will and the Son’s will are in unity.
C4 See John 16:26, 1 John 5:13, Ephesians 2:18
B5 Does God answer prayers of unbelievers?
C1 For salvation See Luke 18:13-14
C2 As a witness to His love
C3 As a call to the Gospel and service See 1 Samuel 3:10
B6 When should we not pray?
C1 When it is time for action instead of praying any longer (the prayer is answered so start). See Exodus 14:15
C2 When we know the answer is “No.” 2 Corinthians 12:8
B7 How does prayer sanctify something?
C1 Us when our sin is exposed See Psalm 50:1-2
C2 When we agree to God’s will See Luke 1:38
C3 When we ask for God’s wisdom See James 1:5
C4 God says so See 1 Timothy 4:4-5
B8 Can we pray directly to God?
C1 Because Jesus is our High Priest. See Hebrews 10:19-22
C2 We can pray directly to God to honor His name See Psalm 115:1
B9 What happens if I don’t pray?
C1 We miss out on fellowship with brothers, sisters, and God Himself. See Matthew 18:20 & Psalm 130:5-6
C2 We disobey God. Why wouldn’t someone want to communicate with the one who loves us?
C3 Might lead to reject of God and by God See John 15:16
C4 God’s blessings See James 4:2
C5 Might not be delivered from temptation Matthew 26:41
C6 Might brings God’s wrath See Jeremiah 10:21
B10 How often should someone pray?
C1 Every day for guidance and safety See Psalm 5:3
C2 Every day for leaders 1 Timothy 2:2
C3 Every day for all brothers and sisters. We are one family. 1 Thessalonians 1:2
C4 Every day for all things See 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
B11 Why have a prayer meeting?
C1 It was done by the first Christians and indeed all since then See Acts 1:14
C2 For other’s needs See James 5:13-20
C3 For the Gospel to be spread Colossians 4:3-4
C4 For when our brothers and/or sisters sin 1 John 5:16-17

Psalms 5:2-3 BSB Attend to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray. 3 In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; at daybreak I lay my plea before You and wait in expectation.

01 November 2019

Psalm 4 and a Few Comments

Psalm 4 (NLT)

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

1 Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude 3 You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.
4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude 5 Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord.
6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. 7 You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

The Psalmist challenges his enemies: how long will you people ruin my reputation, make groundless accusations, and continue your lies?

The Psalmist then gives some advice: God knows those who are His, if you are angry, wait until morning to make a decision, offer sacrifices with a proper attitude, and trust God.

The Psalmist finally asks for God's blessings and thanks God for His gift of joy, comfort of peace in the day and at night, and the only real safety for our souls.

25 September 2019

A Few Thought About an Active Mind State or Passive Mind State

Passive mind
B1 Some other terms:
C1 Bypassing the brain
C2 Meditating on God
C3 Being contemplative
C4 Meeting god
C5 Seeing god
C6 God’s guidance
C7 Breath prayers
C8 Mantra
C9 Mysticism
C10 Altered state of consciousness
C11 Silencing, shutting down, and turning off the mind
C12 Contemplative prayer
C13 Thoughtlessness
C14 Blank mind
C15 Practicing god’s presence
C16 Spiritual formation
B2 Some names
C1 Meister Eckhart
C2 Teresa of Avila
C3 John of the Cross
C4 Julian of Norwich
C5 Willigis Jager
C6 Mike Bickle
C7 Richard Foster
C8 Ann Voskamp
C9 Etc., etc., etc.
B3 A person will meet god, experience god, receive counsel, wisdom, guidance, peace, etc. from god.
B4 It’s spiritual for sure. It is real.
B5 Being passive is NOT thinking with an active mind, but it is experiencing the spiritual, mystical, etc. by NOT thinking.
B6 Been there, done that.

Active mind
B1 Some terms
C1 Thinking
C2 Studying
C3 Mulling
C4 This is activity using the mind to think about something.
B2 Bible verses on alertness
C1 Matthew 24:42-43 NET Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into.
C2 Matthew 25:13 NET Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
C3 Matthew 26:38, 40-41 NET Then he said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me." ... Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "So, couldn't you stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
C4 Mark 13:34-35, 37 NET It is like a man going on a journey. He left his house and put his slaves in charge, assigning to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to stay alert. Stay alert, then, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return - whether during evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or at dawn - ... What I say to you I say to everyone: Stay alert!"
C5 Mark 14:34, 37-38 NET He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay alert." ... Then he came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you stay awake for one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
C6 Luke 12:37-38 NET Blessed are those slaves whom their master finds alert when he returns! I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, have them take their place at the table, and will come and wait on them! Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, blessed are those slaves!
C57 Luke 21:36 NET But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that must happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.
C8 Acts 20:31 NET Therefore be alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.
C9 1 Corinthians 16:13 NET Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong.
C10 Ephesians 6:18 NET With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.
C11 Colossians 4:2 NET Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
C12 1 Thessalonians 5:6 NET So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober.
C13 1 Peter 5:8 NET Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.
C14 Revelation 16:15 NET Look! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen.
C15 Some of the above are parallel passages.
B4 The word alert
C1 The Greek word is γρηγορεύω grēgoreúō. It means to be alive (literally) to be alert, to be vigilant, to be awake, etc.
D1 Thayer’s:
1. properly: Matthew 24:43; Matthew 26:38, 40; Mark 13:34; Mark 14:34, 37; Luke 12:37, 39 R G L Tr text WH text. As to sleep is often equivalent to to die, so once, 1 Thessalonians 5:10, γρηγ. means to live, be alive on earth.
2. Metaphorically, to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active: — to take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one, Matthew 24:42; Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:35, [Mark 13:37]; Revelation 16:15; or lest one be led to forsake Christ, Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; or lest one fall into sin, 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 3:2f; or be corrupted by errors, Acts 20:31; ἔν τινι, to be watchful in, employ the most punctilious care in a thing: Colossians 4:2.
C2 Another Greek word is ἀγρυπνέω agrypnéō. This is the word in Mark 13:33, Hebrews 13:7, Luke 21:36, and Ephesians 6:18. It means (according to BDB and Thayer:
1. to be sleepless, keep awake, watch
2. to be circumspect, attentive, ready
B5 There is a strong tendency for people to stop reading and studying their Bible. I’ve been told:
C1 “The letter [meaning the Bible] kills, but the spirit gives life.”
C2 “This is the old word [meaning the Bible]. We seek the fresh word.”
C3 “That book [meaning the Bible] is a translation by people. I get my guidance directly from god.”
C4 “You don’t believe anything in the Book of Acts. Just rip it out of your Bible.”
C5 “This is real. You just don’t understand.” [They call me a liar when I tell them I know it is real and why].
B6 I have asked people, if they are sure they are not deceived and is it possible to be deceived? Most will say they are not deceived but in pressing them, they will admit that it is possible: Most tell me:
C1 “I know this is god.” The reasons are
D1 Psalms 46:10 NRSV Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.
E1 Be still, here means to be quiet, shut up, relax, calm down.
E2 It is translated (in the KJV) as abate, cease, consume, draw (toward evening), fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go, down), (be) slack, stay, be still, be slothful, (be) weak(-en).
E3 Another translation: Psalm 46:10 CSB Stop your fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
E4 Exodus 14:13 AMPC Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again.
E5 Let God take action. It doesn’t mean be mindless.
D2 Habakkuk 2:20 CSB But the LORD is in his holy temple; let the whole earth be silent in his presence. (Also Zephaniah 1:7 and Zechariah 2:13).
E1 Here, the word silent means to not talk as Judges 3:19 CSB At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, "King Eglon, I have a secret message for you." The king said, "Silence! " and all his attendants left him.
E2 It does not mean to be passive, to bypass the brain, mindless (or in mindfulness), etc.
D3 John 10:4, 27 KJV And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. ... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
E1 The Greek word hear is ἀκούω akoúō. It means to hear with the physical ears, not internal ears or spiritual ears. The summary of BDB and Thayer is:
1. to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
2. to hear
a. to attend to, consider what is or has been said
b. to understand, perceive the sense of what is said
3. to hear something
a. to perceive by the ear what is announced in one’s presence
b. to get by hearing learn
c. a thing comes to one’s ears, to find out, learn
d. to give ear to a teaching or a teacher
e. to comprehend, to understand
E2 Cross references
F1 John 3:29 NET The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete.
F2 John 18:37 NET Then Pilate said, "So you are a king!" Jesus replied, "You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world - to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.
E3 This passage does NOT have anything of seeking guidance or fellowship. It is Jesus’s style of leadership. It is of leading, not driving. We must be alert to know who is speaking to us.
E4 Consider the words of Warren B Smith (references are at the bottom of the links’s page)[The following quote is edited in form for easier reading]:
5) The Voice of a Stranger (John 10:4-5)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” says he wants to be the “boss” so he can “control your mind,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “take full possession” as he seeks to “invade more and more areas of your life.” Pray for wisdom and then ask yourself—do the following statements sound like something the true Jesus Christ would really say?
  • Approach this day with awareness of who is boss.26
  • Let Me control your mind.27
  • My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession.28
  • Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.29
  • While you relax in My Presence, I am molding your mind and cleansing your heart.30
  • Your relationship with Me is meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I invade more and more areas of your life.31 (emphasis added in all the above quotes)

The Bible Warns About the Voice of a Stranger

If truth be known, it is more likely that the Devil and his evil spirits are the ones who want to “control your mind,” “take full possession,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “invade more and more areas of your life.” The true Jesus stated that His sheep know His voice and do not follow the voice of a stranger. The voice of Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is that of a stranger.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:4-5)
B7 Angel of light
C1 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
C2 satan is not an angel of light or god. He pretends to be God to seduce, trick, influence, control, and recruit followers and to turn true Christians from worshiping Jesus and obeying the Scriptures.
C3 Consider some points made by Martin H. Manser in his Dictionary of Bible Themes:
4123 — Satan, as deceiver
  • Satan’s character is deceitful, devious and cunning as in a variety of guises he seeks to influence people for his own ends.
    • Satan’s deceitful character
    • He is evil Matthew 6:13 See also Matthew 5:37; Matthew 13:19; John 17:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18
    • He is a liar John 8:44 See also Genesis 3:4-5; Job 1:11; Job 2:5; Revelation 3:9
    • He is devious 2 Corinthians 11:14 See also 2 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Timothy 2:26
    • He is scheming Ephesians 6:11 See also 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
    • He is a slanderer Job 1:9-11 See also 1 Timothy 5:14-15; Revelation 2:9
  • Satan’s deceitful work
    • He deceives individuals 1 Timothy 2:14 Eve was deceived by Satan the serpent. See also Daniel 8:25; 2 Timothy 3:13; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:3, 10
    • He works counterfeit miracles 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 See also Exodus 7:11-12, 22; Deuteronomy 13:1-2; Matthew 24:24 pp Mark 13:22; Revelation 13:13-14; Revelation 19:20
    • He appoints false prophets Matthew 7:15 See also Deuteronomy 13:5; Jeremiah 23:26; Jeremiah 28:15; Jeremiah 29:21; Ezekiel 13:6-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Peter 2:18-19
    • He misuses Scripture Matthew 4:6 pp Luke 4:10
    • He blinds unbelievers 2 Corinthians 4:4
C4 If the perfect woman, Eve, could be deceived, think how much easier it is for us to be deceived.
B8 Some other verses
C1 We need to actively seek God. God has opened their eyes and heart, but they closed it. They were not alert: Acts 28:25-27 NET So they began to leave, unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah when he said, 'Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will never understand, and you will keep on looking, but will never perceive. For the heart of this people has become dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.
C2 Unless we are alert, we will not be able to test all things, to know what is good or evil.
D1 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NRSV but test everything; hold fast to what is good.
D2 1 John 4:1 NET Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
B9 We are in a war, a spiritual war. We have to be alert: Ephesians 6:12-18 NLT For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Lighthouse Trails Blog is a good source for finding out the dangers of this practice. Don’t be a fool like I was for many years.

15 September 2019

Prayer lists and spontaneous prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I’m just going to mention two things about prayera prayer list and spontaneous prayer.

Prayer list
B1 A written or memorized list of people and issues prayed for every day.
B2 We need to be faithful.
B3 Our motivation is not a reward from God but is because of our love for others. We pray for our fellow believers because we love them; thus, we continue in prayer. Sometimes we don’t even feel like praying, but we pray because we love our brothers and sisters.
B4 Remember that others believers have prayed for us sometimes for years. We can mention them to God for years too, if need be.

Spontaneous prayer
B1 This is when someone comes to mind, we can pray for them. We don’t need to even know, for God knows. If John comes to mind, we can pray, “Dear Father please be with and help John now.”
B2 Our motive for this is we are our brother’s keeper and our love for our brothers and sisters.



27 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 5:13-20

C3 The Christian life—Prayer James 5:13-20
D1 Believers Should Sing If Happy and If Sick Should Pray James 5:13-16
D2 Believers Should Know of the Example of Elijah James 5:17-18
D3 Believers Should Guide Our Erring Brothers and Sisters Back to Truth James 5:19-20
James 5:13-20 WEL Is any among you experiencing troubles? You must pray. Is any happy? Then sing praise. 14 Is any among you sick? Then summon the church’s elders, and let them pray for them, anointing them with oil in the Lord’s name. 15 The prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven. 16 Confess [your] sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. 17 Elijah was a man with emotions just like us, he earnestly prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the ground for three years and six months. 18 Then, he prayed again, the sky yielded rain, and the ground produced its crops. 19 Brothers, if any of you wanders from the truth, and someone brings him back again, 20 Then let him understand that whoever brings the sinner back again from that wandering path he was on will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
  • Here are some more directions from James for living a Christian life.
  • Emotions=
    • Troubles
      • We must pray. James does not tell us that God answers our prayers the way we want them or even how long to pray.
      • Philippians 4:6-7 CSB Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
      • Acts 12:5 BSB So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was fervently praying to God for him.
      • An example: Genesis 32:9-12 CSB Then Jacob said, "God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, 'Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,' "I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Indeed, I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps. "Please rescue me from my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children. "You have said, 'I will cause you to prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to be counted.
    • Happiness
      • We sing praise
      • For teaching, admonishing, and thankfulness: Colossians 3:16 BSB Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
      • God also sings: Zephaniah 3:17 BSB The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.
      • For deliverance: Isaiah 35:10 BSB and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.
    • Sickness
      • We call upon our leaders and fellow believers
      • Many understand this to refer to placing a believer in God’s hands for strengthening the body and soul and for safety of his/her soul.
      • We still must seek the assistance of a physician because it might be the means God brings healing. If we are sick, we are to seek the assistance of a licensed health care person.
      • There is no guarantee offered in the Scriptures of always happening.
  • Prayer of faith
    • Faith is believing God, not a manipulation of God guaranteeing what we pray for.
    • God’s will is to be prayed for. 1 John 5:14 CSB This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
    • The prayer of faith is a prayer that God’s will be done.
    • Sometimes sickness is caused by sin. Confession of the sin brings healing.
    • It is the faith of the elders, not the sick.
    • James could be referring to a spiritual sickness, not physical sickness.
    • Then James gives examples of God’s answering Elijah’s prayer.
  • Confessing sins
    • All sin is against God and His law.
    • All sin must be confessed to God. We must acknowledge that truth of our sin, not cover it up.
    • If the only one knows of my sin, then I confess and ask forgiveness of only God.
    • If I sinned against one person, then I go to God and the person I sinned against to make things right.
    • If I sinned publicly then, I go to God and the public.
    • There are still consequences to sin. A pastor who sins may be permanently banned from pastoring. Today, we see too many fallen pastors who have abused, sexually molested, and other heinous sins starting new churches. This is a very wicked practice.
  • We are to seek for those who have wandered from the faith.
    • Questions they have not being answered, so we can answer them.
    • Offended by someone in the congregation, so we can deal with that offender. This would include exposing the offender’s sin and removing them from church if necessary.
    • Drifted from lack of Bible reading and prayer.
    • Drifted from not understanding Christian doctrine.
    • Drifted from wanting to sin.
    • Drifted from something happening to them as addictions, homelessness, etc. That the congregation can help.
  • Delivering a soul from death
    • Does not mean a guaranteed physical healing
    • The removal of sin refers to God’s forgiveness. There still might be consequences of sin as we read when King David raped Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.
    • Physical healing is wonderful, but how much more spiritual healing.
  • We need to help each other both those who have sinned and those tempted to sin.
Questions=
  • Name some of the rules we must follow as taught in this passage.
  • Why should we pray?
  • What if God does not heal? How are we to respond?
  • How can we prevent wandering from the faith?
  • How do we seek those who have wandered from the faith?


God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.” –Hudson Taylor
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. –Abraham Lincoln

Romans 12:1-2 CSB Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Colossians 3:5-10 CSB Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God's wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.

Romans 15:13 CSB Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 31:24 CSB Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 CSB May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.

13 April 2019

On Prayer


1 Thessalonians 5:17 WEL Don’t stop praying.

Consider some book reviews on prayer:
B1 Do you want to pray with power? Are you experiencing the abundant life? You can discover how effective prayers will transform you into a dynamic Christian with a deeper understanding of the Word. Personal and direct communication with God will revitalize and invigorate you. If you make prayer a key factor in your life, you will know the fullness of divine power.
B2 The author of Book Title draws upon her knowledge of Scripture, personal struggles, and breakthroughs in prayer to provide reassuring guidance for women wanting more of God in their lives, sharing sample prayers that cover every area of a woman's life.
B3 No one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings, bestselling Author’s Name shows how to pray with strength and purpose—prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.
B4 News Paper Name-bestselling author Author’s Name writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.
B5 All have a formula: Do this and prayers are answered. Follow me and my teaching and you will have answers to your prayers. More power, more peace, more answers, more…
What is prayer?
B1 Talking with God. What is hard about this?
B2 When we talk with God, we are not in stillness, with unused, blank minds, passive, “going inside,” bypassing our mind, etc.
B3 We are to be active, alert, and involved.
B4 We are not looking for a feeling, a presence, a figure of a person, a light, a warmth, a tingling in the leg, a burning in the bosom, etc.
Elements of conversation
B1 One list (Source): Communication Involves Three Components:
  1. Verbal Messages - the words we choose
  2. Paraverbal Messages - how we say the words
  3. Nonverbal Messages - our body language.
B2 Our words, attitude, and actions in prayer are noted by God.
God is
B1 Isaiah 9:6 NLT For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
C1 God is a Wonderful Counselor
D1 He can handle our verbal pains.
D2 He can handle our descriptions of our burden.
D3 He knows how to listen.
D4 He is not in a hurry.
C2 Mighty God
D1 He is able to answer.
D2 He will answer, “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait.”
D3 Sometimes His “Yes” is different than what we expected or requested.
C3 Everlasting Father
D1 He has love (Love is a choice—motivation and source. Love’s actions are written in 1 Corinthians).
D2 He has compassion.
D3 He makes the best decisions for us. Even His rebuke is in love and given for a good reason.
C4 Prince of Peace
D1 He brings peace and rest to our souls.
D2 His motive is love and justice.
D3 He is King of the Universe, so be respectful.
B2 Matthew 9:35 WEL Jesus went around to all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
C1 Physical sickness
C2 Emotional sickness
C3 Relationship sickness
B3 Acts 10:38 WEL How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He traveled around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
C1 Physical sickness
C2 Spiritual sickness
B4 Mark 2:17 WEL When Jesus heard, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repent."
C1 All sickness
C2 Sin sickness
C3 Example: Matthew 9:2-7 NKJV Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." 3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, "This Man blasphemes!" 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"—then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." 7 And he arose and departed to his house.
B5 Has compassion
C1 Psalms 103:13 NRSV As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.
C2 Mark 1:41 NKJV Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."
Talk with God
B1 Talking to God is prayer.
B2 Reading Scripture is God talking to us.
B3 God is a good listener.
Examples:
B1 With Nicodemus in John chapter 3.
B2 With Peter: John 21:16-19 NKJV He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me.
C1 A conversation
C2 No specialized speech or formulas.
B3 With Nehemiah: Nehemiah 2:2-5 NKJV Therefore the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart." So I became dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?" 4 Then the king said to me, "What do you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it.
C1 Short
C2 Plea for help
B4 With Moses: Exodus 3:10-14 NKJV Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain." 13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.
C1 In this chapter as elsewhere, God and Moses have a conversation.
C2 Moses is just speaking. He has no specialized speech, no formulas, no gimmicks, instead just conversation.
C3 Note there was no written Scriptures for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind.
B5 With Rebekah: Genesis 25:21-23 NKJV Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her: "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger."
C1 Had a question for God.
C2 God answered. (In those days, there was no written Scripture for the Holy Spirit to bring to our mind).
B6 With Mary: John 20:14-18 NKJV Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' " 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
C1 Brief
C2 Worshipful
B7 The Lord Jesus with His Father: Luke 6:12 NKJV Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
C1 Long prayer, for His prayer time was all night. Contrast, Nehemiah’s prayer was very short. Conversions are like that.
C2 Sometimes the burden is great. Sometimes words do not come, just groans and tears. Sometimes we must repeat ourselves over and over. So it might take all night.
The Church
B1 Acts 1:14 NLT They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
B2 Ephesians 6:18 NLT Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Characteristics
B1 Colossians 4:2 GNB Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God.
C1 Persistent—This is not nagging or whining, but continuing.
C2 Alert—This is the opposite of being careless, listless, inattentive, unaware. WordSymth defines it as keenly attentive or responsive; quick to perceive.
C3 Thankful—This has the idea of asking God why, what can I learn from this, how can I help others, and most importantly, how can I glorify God.
B2 James 1:5 GNB But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
C1 Asking—He does not get angry.
C2 Receiving—He does give. He does not say when, but He will.
B3 There are many other wonderful things about prayer.
We learn
B1 We must pray. God does not need our fellowship but enjoys it. If I never talk to my wife or my family, what will they think? So too, God.
B2 We must be alert. We must be alert to dangers, deceptions, sin, forgetfulness, for the Christian life can be dangerous.
B3 We must be thankful.
B4 We must seek to glorify God for the good He gives and the help and encouragement in trials.