PRAYERS

Welcome to this site. My prayer is that you take a look at the site and as you do, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and reveal what God wants you to discover. (in Jesus' name)

God tells us that if we see a brother (or sister) in need we should do that which is within our means to help. Prayer is always within our means but we never know what doors Father may open through them. Should you desire prayer for anything (healing, direction, etc.) or if you want supportive prayer along with your own please feel free to e-mail that request to sharbu3@gmail.com and be assured that there are others who will be praying with or for you.


In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' (discussion) on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

At the end of each post are the options to share, forward or make a comment. Click 'comment' to respond. Let us know if you like, don't like or are helped by what you read. Comments can be made or read by anyone. All you have to do is select the "comment" at he end of the entry.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

 6-15-2024 Prayer of  Faith

I Am’.  ‘Jaweh’.  ‘Jehovah’.  ‘Savior’. The ‘everlasting God’.  ‘The First and the Last’.  “Is, Was’ and ‘Always Shall Be’, Healer, Teacher.  If one doesn’t believe God is, then the rest of this entry will be meaningless to that person. 

Without God, everything else is just human perception.  Yes, man says ‘science’ helps us understand everything, but then what is science based on?  We study the heavens and the earth, the various life forms and of what things are made.  Man studies all these things then draws his own conclusion as to what it all means.  Okay, we also study about what other men have written about everything and agree with them and/or draw our own conclusions anyway.  We explain the composition of things but not how their components originated.  As with all ‘living’ creatures, I’m talking about before birth, before conception before the unity of the sperm and egg, before there was anything with which to create anything else.  How did it all truly start? 

We note our modern-day inventors and philosophers, but what inspired them?  Do we go back to the ancient civilizations over the millennia?  The Romans, the Greeks the Sumerians (@3500  - 4000 BC, oh I’m sorry I mean “BCE” [lol]).  The Sumerians are accredited with man’s first written language, but recently, I’ve read where, those who research these things, may have discovered a written language older than the Sumerians.

Man endeavors to show how all things have come into existence by using that which exists to explain how it came to exist.  I’m me because I’m me.  I am because mommy and daddy got together and, lo and behold, I eventually joined them.  My mom and dad came from their moms and dads and so on.  How far back do we go – ancestry research?  Do we think we can or do we even desire to live forever?  What will happen to us?  Do we just live this life and that’s it?  Will we be continually re-incarnated until we become perfect?  Is it really easier to believe that everything that is, came from a minute ‘singularity’ which is still expanding but will eventually implode?  Implode?  That’s means to collapse in upon itself, a theory developed by Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann in 1922.    But if all creation implodes, how can we be re-incarnated when nothing will exist anymore?  Nor will there be anything to exist in!

We must believe that God is and that He will do the things He says He will do – that is answer our prayers and grant us eternal existence with Him.  Nobody really wants to die, so if eventually everything stops, that is doesn’t exist, why do we look forward to something beyond this life?  We believe that God does exist!  So, as Christians, we do have something to look forward to.  So does the world, but they ain’t gonna like it!

Those for whom we pray must also believe that God is and will do what is being asked of Him.  Jesus does tells us that when we pray, we must believe that we receive the answers and bear no ill will towards any person (Mark 11:23-36).  A clean heart = answered prayers.

As Christians, we believe that God answers our prayers, so can we just ask God for anything we desire?  Father desires us to abide in His will, that Father, Son and we should become one (John 15:4, 17:11-21).  As we grow closer to Father, we discover that our will lines up more and more with His will.  Jesus tells us that He came not to do His own will but the will of our Father, that is that all who receive Jesus will be raised up on that last day into everlasting life (John 6:38-40).  Paul tells the Corinthians that they should follow him as he follows Jesus (1 Corinth. 11:1).  As Christians, should we do any less?  Every person who brings the word of God, should always be pointing towards following Jesus.

Our faith is expressed through our prayers for ourselves and those for whom we pray and, of course, actions are necessary in both situations (James 2:14,1-18).

So, what are some of things that can breakup that unity with Father, things that hinder or prevent our prayer life, our faith?  What are some of the things preventing us from living a full and productive life in Jesus Christ?

Father hides His face from our sin and will not hear us when there is unconfessed sin in our own life (Psalm 66:18, Prov. 28:9, Isa: 59:2-3). 

God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19).  So when we aren’t sure about or are not ‘bold’ in what we request (that means doubt), Father turns a deaf ear to our prayers.  Are we doubting Father’s ability to meet our needs (James 1:6-8) or do we feel that He won’t do it for ‘me’?  Jesus tells us to believe and we will receive the things we for which we ask (Mark 11:24).  Don’t we desire Father to hear our prayers? 

Also, should there be someone who has done something to us, whom we have not yet forgiven, we need to forgive that person to keep channels open with Father (Mark 11:25-26), whether that person asks forgiveness or not. 

Sometimes, we may ask for the wrong reasons, desiring to fulfill our own lusts, (give me million dollars, when our only intent is just to keep up with the ‘Jones’ (James 4:3).  Desiring things so we can ‘look better’ before others would contrast with our asking for things to better our lives.  Where are our needs compared with just wanting ‘stuff’ to impress others?

A clean vessel must eradicate doubt and fear – then we will see Father do His work in us and/or through us.  Fear and doubt work hand in hand.  Effectively they produce the same results.  When we doubt that something will come to pass, then we become fearful that we might fail.  So, when we doubt, it truly won’t come to pass because we are afraid that it might not.

We must put our full trust in Father then seek to eliminate all negativity from our thinking.

And then

Abiding in God’s love, we are the children of God (John 1:12-13, Gal.3:26).  We are the temple of His Holy Ghost (1 Corinth. 6:19-20).  As parents, how many of us don’t want what is best for our children so they can live a better life?  Father feels the same about us.

We want to see results in our prayers?  Resist sin and God’s righteousness will reign in us as we are obedient to Him (Rom. 5:21).  We need learn to hear God.  Even as Samuel ran to his mentor Eli, three times, asking what he wanted, thus, eventually, prompting Eli to realize what was going on and gave the boy instructions how to answer the next time heard the voice.  Sure enough, God called Samuel a fourth time and Samuel said “Lord, here am I”, yielding himself to the Lord.  Yes, Father speaks to us through the bible, other people or situations and even the world around us.  Are we listening?  Do we recognize our heavenly Father’s voice?

Jesus gives us the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13), but really, it isn’t the “Lord’s” prayer.  It is a prayer Father gives us to pray back to Him for our daily sustenance, to help us get through each day.  One of Jesus’ prayers is when He prayed in Gethsemane, wrestling for strength to complete His mission here on earth (Luke 22:41-44).

Results

Jesus gives us authority over things of this earth and the authority over Satan’s power to do what he does (Luke 9:1).  In other words, we can tell the things of this earth AND the devil what to do but remembering  that whatsoever and whenever we do, it needs to be in the name of Jesus (Col. 3:17) and it shall be done (John 14:12-14).  This remains true as long as we abide in the Lord.

Much to their chagrin, seven brothers sought to cast out a devil, as Paul did in Jesus’ name.  They didn’t realize that Jesus is the power behind the words – the prayer -and the power Jesus has is also given us via the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-16).  The brothers didn’t have the power of Jesus so the man possessed by the devil kicked the brothers butts and chased them away (Acts 19:13-16)!

We must operate knowing that Father has given us this authority and power and knowing that Jesus is always with us (Matt. 28:20) and will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).  Ergo we can go with the confidence that God is with us in whatever the task that lies before us.

We also know that Jesus did some long-distance healing, that is, not in His immediate presence: the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1-10) and healing the Canaanite’s daughter (Matt. 15:22-28); as well as up close and personal healing: the man with the withered hand (Mark 3:1-5) or the blind man on the roadside (Luke 18:35-43).  However, when Jesus went home to Nazareth, He could only heal a few sick folk – because of their unbelief (no faith) (Matt. 13:54-58).  Jesus could heal those right there with Him or even those nowhere near His person.  The only ones He couldn’t heal were those who refused to accept who He is.  And because we believe, Jesus is our healer, Jehovah Rapha!

Remember, knowing all about what Father can and will do is not the same as abiding in His love and then doing it.  Here’s where I love Job, the man.  Yep the man whom was blessed by God then lost everything.  After his ordeal was finally over, ole Job said “I knew all about You (God), but now, I have seen you face to face (Job 42:5).  Father, very vividly, introduced Himself to Job and Job came to know who God truly is.  Knowing ‘about God’ and ‘knowing Godare not the same thing!  As we read accounts of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, King David and as we follow the ministry of our Lord Jesus, we discover that Father does want an up close and personal relationship with each of us.  

Faith without works is dead so when we believe Father for something there must be an action on our part AND on the part of the recipient.  We speak the Word over the believer.  Or maybe as Peter did at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, having spoken the healing then he reached down and took the man’s hand.  The man leaped up and walked around.  So, the person receiving the prayer must also take an action, testifying to what has been done (Acts 3:1-12).

Physical presence isn’t always necessary, as with the Centurion’s servant.  The Centurion was in Jesus’ presence, the servant was ‘miles’ away.  So we learn that where two or more are in agreement (Jesus and the Centurion (Matt. 18:19), God will do His work!

So, what have we discovered about praying in faith?

We have to believe that God is.  Father will answer our prayer when we have no outstanding sins in our life.  We can ask for ourselves as well as for others and then, we need to make sure we are asking according to God’s will and not seeking to satisfy our own, personal lust.  Our goal (not mentioned) is to edify the body of Christ (1 Corinth. 14:12, 26) in all that we say and do.  And that does include ourselves!

We discover that fear and doubt and unbelief are contrary to the operation of faith in prayer, but as we expect and anticipate Father to answer our prayers we shall receive, for ourselves as well as others.  As with the centurion, the testimony was when the Centurion returned and discovered that his servant had been healed the same hour Jesus had prayed or him. Peter saw the lame leap up and walk around. 

We see that action on our part and on the recipient’s part must be taken as a testimony as to what Father has just done.  Our testimony is verified as we see the results of prayer as it happens or, maybe even after the event.

Then, by the grace of God, as we are obedient in His will, we can do the same works Jesus did (John 14:11)?  For others, as well as ourselves.  Hallelujah!

Prayers of, with and through faith.

Amen?

Saturday, June 1, 2024

6-1-2024    Reflections

In the previous three blogs, we’ve talked about the importance of laying a strong foundation of faith in our lives.  We talked about the tools Father gives us to grow that faith and we talked about who Jesus is. 

The basis of our faith is God’s love for us and our love for our God.  Father has given us one commandment ‘to have no other gods before Him’ (Exod. 20:3).  That translates into loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).  Commandments, two through ten, give us an overview of how to apply that love (Exod. 20:4-17).  As we operate in God’s love, we discover how Father interacts with us, in us and through us.  We overcome issues of this world and help others by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies as we yield ourselves totally to Jesus Christ (Rev.12:11)

Now, I’d like to share some experiences from my personal life as to how I’ve seen these things come to pass.  No, I’m not bragging nor am I citing every incident, but hopefully enough so that you get the idea God does work in us and through us.

Many of my formative years were spent in a Southern Baptist church – evangelical, very into what the bible says.  I strayed from the church after high school, not attending on a regular basis.  I did my ’tour of duty, in ‘Nam’, with the army and it was still about five years, after that, before I stepped back into a church.  From High School to the five years after military duty it was nearly decade before I started going to church again?  Why I strayed is not the issue here, but why did I start going back?

I met the woman I intended to marry.  She was a Virginian.  No, I don’t mean virgin, she was from Virginia.  She also had a Southern Baptist background.  I suggested that we go to the church I attended as a youth.  Now, in my absence from church, they had the audacity to bring in another pastor to replace the one who had retired.  I used to think that a pastor stayed with his church forever.  I’ve learned much over the years.  However, it did work to my advantage.  My new pastor had some funny ideas.  One was that a marriage, without Jesus, was doomed before it even got started.  So he would not perform the marriage ceremony until he knew that Jesus was in our lives.  As we counseled for marriage, he asked me (more than once) had I let Jesus into my heart.  I responded as to how long I had attended the church and a few other dodges.  After each dodge pastor replied “that’s not what I asked you.  Have you ever let Jesus into your heart?”  THEN, I had this overwhelming feeling of conviction come over me.  I admitted “No, I haven’t.”  “Would you like to let Him in now?”  I prayed, asking Jesus into my heart.  At that moment, I (literally) felt like a ten ton boulder had been lifted off of me.  I knew Jesus had honored my request.  The pastor also asked my bride to be if she had let Jesus into her heart.  She lied and said ’yes’.  He accepted her response and still performed our ceremony.  About three years later, my wife did give her heart to Jesus.

It’s crazy, a few months after the office visit, baptism was held for all the new converts.  I’ve heard how people praise God at water baptism but all I got was wet – no feelings, no experience.  Later, Father told me my ‘experience’ came in the pastor’s office the day I asked Jesus into my heart.  I’m not ‘dissin’ water baptism.  It is an outward, public expression of having accepted Jesus and that my sins have been ‘washed away’ (PTL).  A public testimony.

Not long after we married, we moved around a lot, other communities in the county and, as time passed, even into different counties in our state, so after a couple of years, we found ourselves not able to get back that ‘our’ church and began our search for another church, more locally (for us), to attend.  We did run into that pastor a few years later, told him my wife finally gave her life to Jesus and asked him why he went ahead with our ceremony.  His response “I knew your wife lied that day, but I also knew that with Jesus in the marriage, it was just a matter of time.  I spent thirty-four years with my wife until the Lord took her home.

Jesus said that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6-8, Heb. 13:5).  Hmmmm.  Oh!  Father said it too!  The bible says that by two or more witness a thing is established (Deut. 17:6, 1 Corinth. 13:1).  Must be true!

I can’t count all the times Father has helped me to reflect on all the times He has been with me and not forsaken me.  My experiences have not been as harrowing as some other people’s, but they are mine.  The motorcycle accident that wasn’t (thank you Holy Ghost).  Driving down the BW Parkway between Baltimore and Washington DC, rounding a curve in the road, about thirty yards ahead, traffic was at a dead stop.  Speed limit- 65 MPH.  Do I just plow into the last car in line?  Nah!  I don’t think so.  Do I lay the bike down and slide under the last car in line?  Ooooh, the road burn and the sudden stop at the end, I don’t think so!  I had about 90 feet to decide.  Then I heard a voice in my head “Release the throttle, steer over onto the gravel shoulder and don’t hit the brakes until you’ve slowed enough to safely stop.”  I did and I avoided what could have been a very nasty accident.  PTL!  I remember two guys on the hillside (by the shoulder) looking at me as I whizzed past them (crazy fool!). 

In Vietnam, three of us, on rotating shifts, ran a Stratcom (microwave radio) substation in the Cholon district of Saigon.  Our main site was at Ton Son Nhut airbase, a couple of miles outside the city.  I was on duty when Our CO called and said that we were on ‘red alert’.  The Viet Cong were dumping mortar shells all around and in the airbase and the indication was that they were poised to come into the city.  I said “OK” and hung up.  I looked over at our on-site gun rack with its lone M-14 rifle and one clip (20 rounds of ammo) beside it.  I said to myself “Ooookaaay).  After about an hour, the guy on the next shift came in about three early (he got bored).  I told him that we were on red alert.  He look at our gun rack look back to me with a quizzical look on his face.  I responded “No sweat unless there are twenty one of them (Viet Cong)”.  We laughed.  As it turned out, the Viet Cong did come towards Saigon kicked the snot out of Saigon police station (about half way between Saigon and Ton Son Nhut then withdrew and left.  Two months later, my tour was up and I came home.  Two months after that, the Viet Cong did come into Saigon in an unsuccessful attempt to take the city.  I was safe at home.      

Also, in Cholon, the army housed me in a three story hotel, practically across the street from my duty station (It was such a long walk to work (lol).  I was on the rooftop one evening, looking out over the city, just to see what I could see.  Tran Hung Dao, the main street into Saigon proper, was at the hotel’s front door, housing on two sides and an ARVN compound on the final side.  The ARVN were South Vietnamese military troops.  As I peered over the side I heard a voice in my head “jump!”  I backed off the edge and went back, downstairs, to my room.  Never went back up on the roof.  The Holy Ghost talks to us through our heart (or mind) and He knows our heart (Prov. 19:21, Jer. 17:9-10, Luke 16:15).   I’ve learned that Satan can also introduce thoughts into our head, as exampled through my experience in Saigon and the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). 

The Holy Ghost will lead us into all truth and understanding (John 16:13),

Here are several examples of Father’s influence in my life.  Father taught me about baptizing in Jesus’ name.  We were with a church, for a while, that taught the only way into heaven was to be baptized “in the “name of Jesus”.  “Father Son and Holy Ghost” was not a viable option.  Father showed me that the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all one and the same.  Father is the essence of His being; Jesus is the physical manifestation of His love and word; and the Holy Ghost brings it all into action.  When we come to understand this unity, we also come to understand the Godhead (Col. 2:9).  The words used in baptism, Father Son and Holy Ghost or Jesus’ Name are the same. Don’t know about you.  I serve only one God.

I had never heard of the 5-fold Ministry until I started attending the church with which I am now affiliated.  Early in my experience with this fellowship, the pastor mentioned the 5-Fold Ministry (Eph. 4:10-16).  In my heart I asked myself “What’s a 5-Fold ministry”.  Pastor gave a brief explanation, then Father gave me a deeper understanding of how those five  ministries should operate and the necessity of these ministries in the church today.

As well as the bible, Father has spoken to me through other Christians, birds and even a T shirt.  Once, during a ‘renewal’ service, we had some brothers and sisters come and minister with and to us.  After the ‘meeting’ we broke off into several groups, each headed by one of the prophets.  Each prophet had a 2-member team, I thought for prayer support and learning.  Pastor assigned me to one of the prophets and said “Use him” (meaning me).  We had several people waiting to receive a word from God.  A young man stepped up first.  Then, to my surprise, the prophet looked to me and said “Give him a word from the Lord”.  Upt to that time, I had never done this before.  I looked at the prophet, I looked at the young man, and in my heart “Lord, now what am I supposed to say?” Father brought to my attention the blue T-shirt, with the big red “S” on the chest which he was wearing.  Father then told me what to say to the Young man.  I don’t know about the young man, but I was totally surprised.  I believe that the young man was edified by the word – I know I was.

Over the years, I have also discovered that Father also helps us with the ‘little’ things in life as well.  At FDA, I was part of a team that processed and assigned identifying information to the incoming drug applications for scientific review and eventual approval.  some documents were easier to process than others.  I was grumbling with myself one day, when I heard “Give Me the job”.  What?  Okay, it’s Yours!  First thing Father did was change my attitude.  Then from that time until I retired and because of my faithfulness to Him, Father gave me eight promotions.  He has helped me with many other decisions, small or great.  As example I would pick out a shirt to wear (on any occasion) and He would say “not this one but that one.”  Crazy?  Father does care about even the little things in our lives. 

I thank Father for all the experiences He has brought my way and the things He has taught me over the years.  He has given me a deeper understanding of His Word and how to apply it into my own life as well.  AND He has given me a deeper understanding into my relationship with Him!  P-T-L!!!

One of many songs Father has given me over the years was titled “Lawdy, Lawdy, Holy Spirit”, based on a song from a gentleman named Lloyd Price from 1950.  In the song Father gave me is a phrase ‘I get weak in the knees and shivers if you please, I know this can’t be me’.  It describes in (part) how I feel when I’m with the Lord.  The first song Father ever gave me about our relationship was a song He titled “Slipping Away” (into your presence my God).

I share these experiences so that those who read this may realize that God is not just some imaginary, unseen being living somewhere in the heavens.  He is real and does want a relationship with us.  To teach us.  To protect us.  To help us through difficult times.  To love us.  AND enable us to love Him in return.

Can we do any less?

Hallelujah!