ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT LOSE HEART

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Jesus said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8

This story by Miguel Lau of International Justice Mission demonstrates the need to persist in prayer, no matter what, until God provides an answer. Check out their website http://www.ijm.org.

Miguel Lau recounts how after a year and a half of opening the Bangkok I.J.M. field office our team had yet to get a first rescue. Our staff had already done everything they could. And then they committed to pray.

FORCED LABOR

I felt like the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 was speaking directly to us—to me. So, we decided to pray, every day, until we got our first rescue. We would just keep knocking. No matter what.

One of the spiritual disciplines we follow at International Justice Mission is daily prayer as an office. In the midst of work that can be so heavy, prayer allows us to shine light on even the darkest of challenges. So, every day in prayer I would raise my hand, ask for prayer and sit back down. At the beginning, I tried to come up with something encouraging or exciting to tee up the prayer. But I quickly realized that was mostly for me. And most days I did not have anything exciting to report. I just had the commitment to pray. So, many days all I said was “Please keep praying for breakthrough in Bangkok.”

To be honest, there were a lot of days where I did not want to pray. When I thought about everyone looking at me expectantly as I stood up during prayer—all of the people who worked so hard on the relationship with the grant foundation and the government, all of the people who sacrificed long hours helping us get set up, and all of the people trusting us with each decision to achieve this mission—and all I had to say was “please keep praying for Bangkok,” I did not want to pray. I felt like we were failing. I felt like I was annoying. But we had to keep knocking. God told us to keep knocking.

We did have some victories, including our first two arrests and convictions and a third grant to keep operations going. But we still did not have a rescue. So we kept praying. Every day.

Finally, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at approximately 9 p.m. Bangkok time, after four long years trapped and abused, the police and our team rescued a young man from the ship he was trapped on. The first rescue on a ship for our Bangkok team.

We had prayed for 15 months. And God had answered.

Not only that, but a second rescue came a week later. Again, God answered our prayers.

Then let the persistent widow be an encouragement to you. Just knock. Over and over and over and over again. Knock until you get an answer.

PEOPLE WHO MAKE A LASTING DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD PRAY

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Prayer needs to be the first thing we think of, for things to succeed, not the last thing we do when all else fails. The people who make a real and lasting difference in this world are people who first and foremost pray. They pray because they understand who God is and His capabilities (omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent). He is our creator, He loves us and made us in His image to be in communion with Him. Many will choose to trust God more when they realise that not to trust God is to distrust Him. To distrust God is to distress yourself and disconnect from others.

“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 

Timing of this event: 11 pm-2 am – Jesus leaves the disciples and goes to pray for three hours. Goes back to the disciples twice, wakes them, calling them to prayer. During the third hour, the sweat was pouring out of him “like blood”. The angels come to his aid, and Jesus is in charge of his body once more, despising the coming shame and trauma he is about to endure (“like a sheep before the shearers is dumb, he does not open his mouth”).

The objective of prayer is not to inform our Saviour and Lord of our needs (God knows everything), but to transform our situations and lives in our time of need (God knows we need it).

God designed prayer to be an effective spiritual muscle that we can freely exercise, in Jesus name, anytime, anywhere and for anything.  The Bible tells us how that “….the effective, heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man – a believer, can accomplish much when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and has tremendous power. 

HOW DO YOU PRAY?

DO YOU BELIEVE ?

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12

God is able “to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or thinkEphesians 3:20

Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8

You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” Hebrews 4:16

But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” Matthew. 17:21

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:7

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What are you petitioning God for in this new year? Are you desiring to go into the land promised to you by the Lord? Whatever you are taking to the Lord in prayer, refuse to advance without His presence and intimate fellowship with Him. Refuse to view other people as a structure to build your own platform. Value the relationships God has cultivated in your life. Give honour to them without idolising them, all the while maintaining that deep personal relationship with God, giving thanks to Him in everything.

Moses understood that unless the Lord went with them there was no point going anywhere. Same goes with us, unless we know we are hearing rightly from God, then spend more time in prayer, prayer and fasting if necessary until breakthrough comes. It will, if you are serious and have a humble and contrite heart.

If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how will it be known that I have found favour in Your sight, I and your People? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and Your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?Exodus 33:15-16

Remember also, vague prayers are inferior to specific ones.

THE POWER OF PRAYER TO CHANGE NATIONS

Some prophetic voices believe the United States of America shifted, spiritually, Oct. 21, 2016, on what may go down as one of the most important days in American history. Did this National Day of Prayer for First Nations affect the outcome of the November Presidential election? Does America get another chance to repent and change its course? Yes is does, under Trump. Under Hilary Clinton its course was clear, further moving away from God and increased marginalisation and then persecution of Christians.

Largely unnoticed, 1,000 Native American Indian tribes from the United States and Canada collectively forgave the U.S. government for breaking treaties with their ancestors during a public ceremony on the National Mall.

The National Day of Prayer for First Nations, held near the Washington Monument, included intercessory petitions, proclamations and declarations of forgiveness by leaders from All Tribes D.C., a fellowship of Christians representing 1,000 American Indians from the U.S. and Canada.

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A full-blooded Euchee (Yuchi) Indian, Negiel Bigpond coordinated the first-ever national prayer gathering of Native Americans in the nation’s capital.

Like the annual May observance of the National Day of Prayer, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, First Nations intercessors will convene again in 2017 during the third week of October.

Dr. Billy Graham, whose son and daughter have served on the National Day of Prayer Task Force, is a prophetic voice who believes that forgiveness by Native Americans might be part of a spiritual awakening within the nation.

“The Native American has been a sleeping giant,” Graham writes. “He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ. Remember the forgotten people.”

Bigpond agrees that Native Americans have taken a good first step toward aiding national awakening by extending forgiveness to the nation.

“We chose to forgive the U.S., whether it asked for it or not,” said Bigpond, a fourth-generation pastor who offered forgiveness and spoke blessings over the nation alongside other tribal prayer warriors.

Bigpond, who has evangelised on 143 reservations, believes the U.S. has suffered spiritual consequences for breaking treaties with Native Americans.

In Scripture, breaking a vow or treaty brings a curse on the land, and the U.S. government broke every treaty it made with the Native American tribes, according to prophetic voice Rick Joyner, who called the prayer event one of the most important in the nation’s history from his ministry headquarters in North and South Carolina.

“This is very real,” Joyner said. “National injustices are a major issue we’re facing now, whether we want to or not, and this is a big one.”

Bigpond is an apostle at Morning Star Evangelistic Center in Oklahoma, which is affiliated with Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries.

The nation’s crises parallel conditions on the reservations, according to Bigpond, a certified drug- and alcohol-abuse counsellor.

“We don’t want the nation or our people to suffer further,” said Bigpond, who holds a doctorate in divinity and is a Euchee tribe chief.

Mary Faus, who represented the Ojibway and Cree tribes at the prayer event, said the unity and power of forgiving a nation that’s never apologised or asked for it was amazing.

“We believe this has shifted the nation and we are already feeling the effects of what was accomplished in D.C.,” said Faus, who is the director of a house of prayer in Pennsylvania and lead intercessor with husband Jon at Hope of Nations Christian Centre.

Joyner agrees that forgiveness and love are major weapons in waging spiritual warfare on behalf of the nation.

“This is one of the most noble acts of true Christian charity I have ever heard of by any people group,” Joyner said. “Very few may even know that anything special happened.

“Some of the greatest things happen that way, and only a very few who have their eyes open looking in the right direction, see them,” Joyner said.

Portions of a proclamation posted on the All Tribes D.C. website were read by tribal leaders gathered on the National Mall.

The proclamation reads in part, “We forgive every atrocity and broken covenant ever designed to destroy us as a race of people. We break every curse and renounce every lie purposed to decimate us as human beings.

“We forgive the government, the church and the educational system for the use of residential schools that attempted to destroy our culture and silence our voice as people by stealing our language.

“We stand in the gap for those who are unable or unwilling to forgive, and call upon the Master of Life, to forgive us for harbouring unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, bitterness and rage.

“We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace of Creator God to this land.

“We declare and decree that our voice will no longer be silenced and that this nation and the world will hear our voice as we speak life and blessings over the Americas and the world.

“We stand in faith believing that our citizenship lies in heaven, and we too, all await the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Being all of one mind and heart, having compassion for one another, we declare our love as brothers; not returning evil for the evil perpetuated against us, but on the contrary we choose to release a blessing, knowing that the Father of us all has called us as his children to bless and not curse, that we may inherit a blessing. Amen.”

God is doing something in Australia as well, our Christian Aboriginal brothers and sisters are planning a Solemn Assembly Gathering in Canberra, hopefully in 2017, to join with Christians from all denominations to ask repentance from God and to forgive one another for past sins.

New movie – WAR ROOM stunning success at the Box Office

The Film “War Room” has stunned box office watchers by nearly dethroning “Straight Outta Compton” as the weekend’s highest-grossing domestic release with its $11 million debut. That’s particularly impressive given that the religious drama was playing on a third of the number of screens.

The film’s message on the power of prayer and that prayer is spiritual warfare not to be undertaken by lukewarm Christians is a much needed message for the church at this time. We need to get the word out about this awesome movie which will challenge all Christians about their attitude to prayer. We need more prayer warriors in the church and this film will help achieve that objective.

“War Room,” the story of a disintegrating marriage rescued by intense prayer, was produced for a slender $3 million and distributed by Sony’s Affirm division. It is on pace to be among the Kendrick brothers’ biggest hits, rivaling the $34.5 million brought in by “Courageous” and the $33.5 million generated from “Fireproof.”

Getting the word out about the picture involved a massive grassroots effort. Facebook was particularly active, as the film’s page attracted more than half a million fans, though its presence on Twitter was only marginal. More important was the work that the Kendricks did to raise awareness. The brothers shot set videos to keep audiences informed about the production and prepared packets that they sent to churches in the USA that included materials that could be incorporated into sermons prior to the film’s release.

 

 

Liberal Party decision has protected Australia from God’s judgment

Tony Abbott made a courageous, God honouring stand, to ensure there is no change to the Marriage Act in his term of Parliament. Nor can we forget the other 65 members that supported him.

Sadly the young activists supporting same sex marriage shown in the picture below marching in Brisbane August 8th, 2015 have no fear and knowledge of the one true God.

Same sex marriage

God is sovereign over nations. History shows that he uses nations for His purposes, raising up and deposing leaders, at will. King Nebuchadnezzar, greatest king of ancient Babylon (Daniel 2), is a good example as is King Cyrus (Cyrus the Great) founder of the Persian Empire (2 Chronicles 36:22) whom God used to bring the Jews back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.

These young people therefore have no understanding that Tony Abbott’s decision protected Australia from further judgment by God.

As the consequences of changing the Marriage Act in countries such as Canada, UK, Ireland and the USA unfold, including persecution of Christians who hold to God’s ordained role of marriage, hopefully Australia will remain a beacon of light, blessed by our Almighty God.

The church of Australia needs to understand what a blessing we have been given and therefore responsibility to pray for and support our Christian brothers and sisters in all the domains but particularly Government. As well as Tony Abbott, Glen Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank comes to mind, as does Mike Baird, Premier of N.S.W., all three are staunch Christians.