Always Something to Talk About

Simply speaking, prayer is talking to God; having a conversation with God. It involves crying out, petitioning, listening, waiting, praising, worshipping, asking, interceding. Wow, why does it include waiting? Well, it ought to be continuous and God works in His own timing. While we wait, we continue to serve God, we continue to ask Him for deeper intimacy with Him. We might think that we’re all prayed-out; that there’s not much more we can ask for as God already knows and sees all we and the people around us need. Yes, God knows everything, but we should still continue communicating with Him. Only God is independent in nature, we  are eternally dependent on God, otherwise we cease to live, believe it or not. Having said that, we can see why we need to talk to Him about everything. Here are some prayer points that we can take to God:

1. Pray for desire of God’s Word – Pray that a desire to read God’s Word will overshadow our souls, pray also that His Spirit will open our eyes to understand His Word. Psalm 119:18

2. Pray for our hearts – Pray by the power of God’s Spirit our hearts will be inclined to receiving and applying God’s ways in our lives. Psalm 119:36

3. Pray for immediate obedience – Pray that we will not do what Jonah initially did, run from God and His command, but instead do what Jonah eventually did. When God told Peter to cast his net, Peter though through his experience didn’t see how he’d catch any fish at that hour of the day, obeyed Jesus’ command. The Bible shows no evidence of Peter grumbling at Jesus’ command, and though this does not mean he did not grumble, due to the silence of the Word in this regard I choose to accept Peter’s response was immediate. Ultimately, it is important that we obey God’s command. So if there is an area in our lives we know we are disobeying God, today we can ask God for forgiveness and heed to His Word now.

4. Pray for our fellowship group or church – Pray that we will not give up meeting together as some are in the habbit of doing. Pray we will build up and encourage each other.

5. Pray for those who do not know Christ – Either at your place of work or study, family members or friends. Pray for their salvation. Pray that they will respond to God’s callings and will not harden their hearts towards His opportunity of grace.

6. Pray for the persecuted siblings in Christ – And there are many. North Korea and Egypt are some major ones. Find out more at http://www.worldwatchlist.us/. Pray that they will not give up hope but will remain steadfast in their faith in Jesus Christ.

7. Pray for boldness – A boldness that the Spirit of  God granted the Apostle Paul. Pray that we will use our gifts to share the gospel with others. Remember what Jesus said in John 9:4 (“As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”), also remember His last words to us before going back to heaven (Matthew 28:19). To be frank, I believe He means to say: go tell everyone about Me!

8. Pray for Bibles – There are actually people who are craving a copy of the Bible, craving for His Word. Pray that those with the means (even ourselves) will not hesitate to donate Bibles to those needing to hear the truth that comes from Him. [Read more]

That is by no means a finite list. Every area of our lives is completely dependent on God. We cannot do anything without Him.

Ultimately, let’s just pray that we will understand how much God loves us and we ourselves will love Him more. The more we love God the better servants we are to His people which brings about His glory. God is truly worthy of all our love and devotion. He is our entire hope..and I do not say this lightly. God IS our ENTIRE hope.

May the peace of God be with you all.

 

Don’t forget to Pray

prayThe Bible says the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16). Recently, I have been reading about North Korea, and other places in the world where Christians are persecuted and oppressed. Open Doors states the following: “In practice, civilians do not have any rights. There is no freedom to build churches or to worship in homes. Possession of a Bible or Christian materials is illegal and punishable by death. The proclamation of the Gospel is strictly forbidden. Christian parents can’t even share their beliefs with their children until they are old enough to understand the dangers. Christians are viewed as ‘a danger to society’ or ‘spies of the traitorous West.'”

“For Christians inside North Korea their fear has increased as the government has mandated all the people to bow down to the gods of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un and participate in the celebration,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. [Full story]

Many Christians are thrown into prisons with deplorable conditions. However, the church is still growing there. It has been estimated that there are about 200, 000 – 400, 000  underground Christians there (some of which are in prison)[1].

In Nigeria, the pastor, as well as 20 worshippers were killed during an attack [2]. In Egypt, countless of our brothers and sisters there face persecution by their Muslim neighbours.

I am thankful to the Lord that I am not under such trials (maybe not yet), but that doesn’t mean I must sit back and just feel sorry for my brothers and sisters around the world, there is always something we can do and the best I can think of is prayer. Jesus, God Himself, prayed while He was on Earth. Jesus set an example for us that we must live a life of continuous prayer. Let’s pray that God’s will be done in not only our lives, but also the lives of our brothers and sisters who are under such heavy trials. Pray for those doing the persecuting, pray that their hearts will be arrested to receive God’s grace. Pray that the examples of our siblings in Christ will minister to the hearts of those doing the persecuting.

I was reading today some chapters in Psalms and I found that these particular verses reached my heart. I also pray that God will:

Psalms 119: 34 Give me understanding and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments, for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness; turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken Thou me in Thy way. Establish Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to the fear of Thee. Turn away my reproach which I fear, for Thy judgments are good.

I am again reminded that God is the One doing the changing, causing us to live for Him. Due to our sinful nature we are not naturally inclined to do so. Let’s ask God to incline our hearts toward His statues and not toward selfish gain. It is important that we pray according to His will. James 4:3 says “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Having read that, we see that we can ask for things out of His will or not according to His purpose.

Abraham Lincoln once said “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.”

Best place we can reside is in His presence, talking to Him as part of our daily lifestyle ensures that we become more like Him. How do I know that, well, think about the terms or phrases you often use in your speech. They probably reflect Bible passages or phrases from close friends. God says for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). When we spend time with God, His Spirit deposits truth into our hearts. So let us not neglect our prayer life which is spending time communicating with God. Pray for our siblings in Jesus, pray for those who commit works of inquity, pray for ourselves. In other words, let’s talk to God about what’s going on around us and with us.

A sister says “When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles, When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devils shouts for joy.”

Now that doesn’t sound very good. Let’s not forget to live a  prayer filled life. Let’s not talk to God only when we feel like it. Remember, the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Pray for me also that I myself will heed these words.

May the Spirit of God be with you all.

Read more about our persecuted siblings in Christ Jesus at: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/ , http://www.persecution.org/