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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

 

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

The question is this? Does my prayer effect change in the heart and mind of God? I was talking to a good brother (one who I will not expose due to heresy hunters 8) ) about the fact does our prayers make any difference or are all of the outcomes predetermined by God regardless of our requests?

As I read through the scriptures I have to argue for the former. I believe God’s mind can be changed on a particular situation and that the outcome is not predetermined to the point where regardless of what I ask God has set the course in “eternity past”.

Reading through James he says in Chapter 5 “the prayer of a righteous man has much power”! Power to do what? Power to submit to the predetermined plan of God? Or power to effect change in the circumstances of others? I think the latter in these two rhetorical questions.

I recall many times in both the Old and New Testament, God willing or saying one thing but then changing His mind due to a human response. Rather that is prayer, sin, a righteous act or faith. I think the predetermined view robs prayer of its power and does a disservice to quite a few narratives God has revealed through His word. For example, the stories of Hezekiah, Moses interceding twice for Israel, the Flood, numerous times in the Gospels where someone’s faith got them or someone else healed. A few times in Acts and so on.

I close with this. We have the authority and power through the Spirit through prayer to effect change. Everything from healing the sick, changing the predicaments of others, having God restore what the enemy has stolen and so forth. I don’t believe that the only thing prayer is good for is to “change our hearts and minds” as I was once told. I believe many times we miss out on the move of God and opportunities to restore and heal because of a lack of faith (at least this is what Matthew implies in Matthew 13).

So again I will only quote what the Spirit has already revealed “the prayer of the righteous has much power”.

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Here is a quote from Paul:

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich…………13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

In Paul’s second epistle (or third or fourth depending on what you mean) he is encouraging the saints in Corinth to fulfill a promise they had made over a year ago. The Jerusalem Church was suffering (yes Agabus’ prophecy came true). Paul must have taught or talked about it during his missionary journeys. Well this motivated the Corinths to take up an offering to meet this need, somehow this information got to the Phillipi/Macedonia Church and in their great poverty they gave before the Corinths. By the time Paul writes this epistle (again a year later) they still had not given what they promised.

I say that to say this is not an attempt at manipulating the scriptures. I do want to focus in on something Paul says. He says “your abundance at this present time should supply their need……”. Why do I say that? Because today must of us live in abundance, most of us are thinking of nice gifts to give to our families. Power Wheels, jewelry, clothes, trips, movies and the like. Nothing is wrong with that at all. I think God has so blessed us so that we can provide for our families and even give them good gifts. However, that isn’t the only reason. As believers we recognize that we have a higher responsibility than just giving good gifts. We also have the same responsibility that our elder brothers and sisters had. That is to meet the needs of those who lack while we bask in utter wealth (yes we are much wealthier than those who live on $90 a year).

Paul goes on to use an Old Testament reference in the gathering of the “manna”. Why does he do that? Because he was showing us and the Corinths that all that they have comes from God. Just as God had provided for Israel so He provides for us. Not for us to store up and have our “manna” spoil as the Israelites did. But to ensure that no one in the camp lacked! All who gathered had enough for it was God who provided. So God has povided us with much manna so that the rest of the redeem will not lack (How wse is or God?).

The Need!

Second, as you know we are starting this clinic in Burji.  To date, comparing designated gifts for the clinic with costs of the clinic, we are about $10,000 in the red.  The great bulk of this is because the cost of purchasing the solar power stuff (panels, invertors, wire, etc) was more than we had expected, plus we went ahead & are installing the loudspeaker for the chaplain’s communication of the Gospel while people are waiting (now it will be heard in all the area surrounding the clinic as well as under the waiting shelter), plus we had to pay about $5500 to ship the supplies, plus we had to pay about $5000 for Customs fee, storage, loading, etc., and we’ve bought alot of start-up medical equipment (the clinic didn’t even have a blood pressure cuff!)   God’s people have been very generous in helping with these expenses, but we’re still $10,000 off as of today.  Stewardship requires us to monitor this, so we don’t want to get further behind.  Perhaps people reading your website will be appointed by Him to help these people with a “Christmas present” that lasts & lasts, perhaps even to eternity!  All checks can be payable to BeckyLynn Black (non-tax-deductible), or Bethel Hill Baptist Church (tax-deductible, but a minimum of $500).  Either way, the checks should be sent to us at 2691 White House Rd., Nelson, VA 24580.  My son Nathan will be checking our mail daily, so nothing will be lost.

Lets help the Blacksfulfill the Great Commission and not only that lets support a modern Priscilla and Aquilla meet the needs of the Saints of God. These are our brothers and sisters and they don’t have much. EVERYTHING that you give will go to building the clinic and getting wells and meeting the other needs of our Ethiopian sisters and brothers. 100%. Above there is a tax-deductible ($500 minimum) or a (no min..) non tax deductible way to give. Please as you give this Christmas and as you provide gifts for your family please consider giving here! I have met the Blacks personally and they are much lovelier than you would every imagine! If your finances have been effected due to our current economic crisis please, please, please pray then pass this need on by posting the information or letting your church know! God bless and thank you Blacks tell the team we love them and are praying for them.

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Evangelism

 

I absolutely love sharing the Gospel of Christ. Our fellowship of believer’s decided we needed to search for an outlet in our community to begin sharing this message that so dramatically changed our hearts and our lives. Unlike most churches, we don’t go out and say, “Come to our church and it’ll be great.” No sir!! We take the church to them, knowing that from the scriptures the time of fellowship(we call the church) is for the Body of Christ. I cannot remember the last time I invited someone to my church with the exception of my family when they come in town.

About 3 months ago myself and the elder at our fellowship found a (so called) ministry to begin to go to and share. This ministry was a group home established to house about 7-10 young men who had problems with family or just troubled lives. This was located about 15 minutes from where we live and was in the “inner city.” The children had horrible stories to tell from watching their siblings be molested by step-parents to having parents who were addicted to drugs. This organization was a Christian based organization who supposedly hired church members who we soon came to discover where just that-“church members.”

We soon began going to these young men and pouring our hearts out week after week, taking them various places to do fun things but also to establish a relationship with them as well. Our first incident we took them to McDonald’s just to get to know and their chaperon came along who was also supposed to be a Christian. We gave them the raw deal about their total depravity and desperate need for a Savior-Christ. The chaperon quietly sat their and did not say a peep. All of these young men were forced to go to church with everyone from the group home and what they saw made them subtly come to abhor Christianity without even knowing it. They were seeing the staff at the group home play church on Sunday and then go back to the group home and live their lives totally separate from what they were instructed from the scriptures.

Unfortunately they attended a Word of Faith-Prosperity Church but from this experience week after week they began to develop a false view of a Christian life. We began to go through the scriptures and talk about the converted heart and true Christianity.  We did not realize that we were describing the staff in which these children lived with day after day. Being children ages 14-19 in age; this truth liberated them & I assume they began to launch these truths at the staff. I can imagine the staff did not enjoy this.

This being a month in a half ago we have been struggling to get time with these youngsters. We meet with them weekly and have scheduled time with them on at least 3 occasions were the staff did not arrange the time correctly(probably purposely) and when we get to the residence they are doing something else at another location. Very frustrating for us since we are taking time away from our schedules to do this on our days off normally.

Nothing super theological here-just asking for your prayers for these young men and the seeds we have sowed with them. The group home name is “WATCM” and it stands for “Where are the Christian Men.”

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This is a post for Kieth Talbot over at In Submission to Sovereignty. A good brother in the Lord out of Hotlanta. I thought about this and would love to dialogue more about it. The question is “do we really believe that God could save the false prophet? Our answer should be yes. I once said we shouldn’t pray for them and after applying my head knowledge (theology) to my heart (the Regenerated heart the seedbed of emotions where theology is applied to make actions) I had to say God saves bad people throughout history including myself. I am pretty sure those who saw me as a teenager prayed for God’s mercy on me while I destroyed their neighborhoods by ambitiously engaging in the entrepreneurship endeavor of the Dope Game. I appreciate their prayers and intercession for me so in light of God’s mercy I too shall pray for the “worst” (how highly we think of ourselves) of men. Who knows as Kieth says “it could happen”

 

Renouncing Their Pimp Card

Here’s one for the readers. I often wonder, of all the “Pulpit Pimps” out there, who is the most likely to see the light? Which of them is most likely to recant their false teachings, forsake their vast fortunes and start preaching the Gospel?

I realize this is the height of wishful thinking; but let us not forget that God called a former persecutor of the church and made him the Apostle to the gentiles and author of two-thirds of the New Testament. The bottom-line is . . . no one is beyond the power of God to redeem. NOBODY.

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