CONNECTING WITH GOD

Want to connect with God then pray as David did.

Five days ago I posted Getting in Step with God which was also based on David’s Psalm 25. I was extremely disappointed as I did not get one like or one comment and yet I thought it was a powerful message that needed to be reinforced. Hence this post, although this time, I am giving you almost the entire psalm. God’s word is more powerful that my words.

Teach Me Your Paths – Psalm of David (Psalm 25)

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and He makes known to them his covenant. My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.”
Psalm 25:1-21

We know David was a sinner (Bathsheba and Uriah) but he understood repentance and God’s forgiveness. He was a man who feared the Lord. God even said He was a man after God’s own heart. What does this mean? I think it means David knew and trusted God and was doing His best to live that out.

What we need is humility in relation to ourselves and confidence in relation to God.

David understood the truth of God’s Word. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19, What about us? Do we know God has heard our prayers as David did?

(ebook) Love to Pray - Religion & Spirituality Christianity

If you want to improve your prayer life then I would recommend you get the book by Alvin Vandergriend Love to Pray. It will take you on a 40-day journey that will change your prayer life forever. Love to Pray is all about loving the one to whom you pray and learning to express that love in a continuing dialogue with God. This book will help you discover how to become “devoted” to prayer as a way of life rather than as a duty. This 40-day devotional will transform your prayer life. This book may be done individually, as a small group, or an entire congregation.

Dr. Alvin VanderGriend is the Prayer Evangelism Associate for Harvest Prayer Ministries in Terre Haute, IN. He holds degrees from Calvin College, Calvin Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He pastored Christian Reformed churches from 1963 to 1982 when he moved to serve that denomination as Minister of Evangelism Resources. In 1996 Alvin became director of HOPE Ministries (Houses of Prayer Everywhere) where he developed the Lighthouse strategy and provided prayer-evangelism training. More recently he served as the National Facilitator of Lighthouse Ministries for the Mission America Coalition.

GETTING IN STEP WITH GOD

Teach Me Your Paths – Psalm of David (Psalm 25)

David understood the truth of God’s Word. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19

What about us? Do we know God has heard our prayers as David did? Read what David had to say in this Psalm and then let us consider what we now have in Jesus and how we pray.

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.Psalm 25:4-5

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25: 8-10

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.Psalm 25:11-15

We know David was a sinner (Bathsheba and Uriah) but he understood repentance and God’s forgiveness. He was a man who feared the Lord. God even said He was a man after God’s own heart. What does this mean? I think it means David knew and trusted God and was doing His best to live that out. What we need is humility in relation to ourselves and confidence in relation to God.

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also available as eBook on Amazon

Consider now what Jesus has provided for all who believe in Him as Lord and Saviour. Through His sacrifice, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit, to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

For us the Spirit is there revealing God’s will to us in the Scriptures and bringing God’s prayer concerns to life within us. He is searching our hearts and trying our ways so He can bring us to true repentance. He reveals the glory and goodness of God so that our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks.

We can be confident that God will hear when we come to Him. God answers every prayer that starts in heaven, every prayer born in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, every prayer based on a sure promise from His Word. As we pray to our Heavenly Father we need to acknowledge the Spirit and ask Him to help us to pray aright and to recognise His promptings that our prayers may be pleasing to our Heavenly Father and accomplish His purposes.

DO YOU LOVE TO PRAY?

If you do not, it really is an insult to your Creator. You have failed to recognise your true dependence upon Him. You do not take your next breath without His provision. He sustains His universe. Moreover, you do not know the extent of His love for mankind as revealed by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, and in His Word, the Bible.

Dwell on these scriptures:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?Romans 8:31-32

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (Also read the preceding two verses)

Our heavenly Father is delighted when his children acknowledge their dependence as His children.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!Matthew 7:7-11

Jesus makes it clear here that our heavenly Father, who is perfect in His love and unlimited in power wants good things for us , his children.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

God does not promise to give us anything and everything we ask for . But He does make an astonishing promise to us that is even better. He promises to give us whatever we ask for that is according to His will. He knows what we need, the things that are truly good for us, the riches of His grace that He wants us to have.

To find out what is according to God’s will, just read God’s Word, there He tells us what He wants most for us. Go to Romans 8:29 – “to be conformed to the likeness of His Son“.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.Romans 8:29-30

This then should be our starting prayer: “Please heavenly Father conform me into the image of your Son.” You can be sure this prayer is according to His will and it will be answered. The Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control.

DOES GOD SPEAK TO US?

Dr Martin Luther King certainly knew He does. God speaks especially to His people but also to anyone in order to achieve His purposes in His world. Even kings such as Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:1-3) and Darius (Daniel 6:28), to name two kings of major empires, Babylon and Persia. Read one of Martin Luther’s encounters from his book Stride Toward Freedom (1958): “I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. Finally I went to the kitchen and heated a pot of coffee. I was ready to give up. With my cup of coffee sitting untouched before me I tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward. In this state of exhaustion, when my courage had all but gone, I decided to take my problem to God. With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory. “I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone.”

“At that moment I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying: “Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever.” Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything. “Three nights later, on January 30, I left home a little before seven to attend our Monday evening mass meeting at the First Baptist Church. A member of my congregation, Mrs. Mary Lucy Williams, had come to the parsonage to keep my wife company in my absence. After putting the baby to bed, Coretta and Mrs. Williams went to the living room to look at television. About nine-thirty they heard a noise in front that sounded as though someone had thrown a brick. In a matter of seconds an explosion rocked the house. A bomb had gone off on the porch.

“The sound was heard many blocks away, and word of the bombing reached the mass meeting almost instantly. Toward the close of the meeting, as I stood on the platform helping to take the collection, I noticed an usher rushing to give Ralph Abernathy a message. Abernathy turned and ran downstairs, soon to reappear with a worried look on his face. Several others rushed in and out of the church. People looked at me and then away; one or two seemed about to approach me and then changed their minds. An usher called me to the side of the platform, presumably to give me a message, but before I could get there S. S. Seay had sent him away. By now I was convinced that whatever had happened affected me. I called Ralph Abernathy, S. S. Seay, and E. N. French and asked them to tell me what was wrong. Ralph looked at Seay and French and then turned to me and said hesitantly “Your house has been bombed.” I asked if my wife and baby were all right. They said, “We are checking on that now.”

“Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My religious experience a few nights before had given me the strength to face it. I interrupted the collection and asked all present to give me their undivided attention. After telling them why I had to leave, I urged each person to go straight home after the meeting and adhere strictly to our philosophy of nonviolence. I admonished them not to become panicky and lose their heads. “Let us keep moving,” I urged them, “with the faith that what we are doing is right, and with the even greater faith that God is with us in the struggle.

What is your experience with prayer? Hopefully, we can learn from Martin Luther King’s experience: if we are doing what is right and are moving forward in trust, then God will orchestrate the outcome.

Some of us will have an experience like that of Martin Luther particularly when we come before God in our weariness, confessing our inability to continue confronting a godless world. Sadly, much of the church no longer believes God answers prayer and is in total control of His universe. What about you?

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Living eternal now is only possible through prayer. Do you realise “prayer is life’s greatest joy, highest privilege and most powerful venture.” Nothing can compare to it. This gem was extracted from the “Love to Pray” course by Dr Paul Cedar.

God wants to use you to do great things but it is only possible through prayer.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11

David understood the truth, go to the Psalms for abundant wisdom.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.Psalms 16:7-9

We were created to be in fellowship with God and we get a glimpse of that with Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden of Eden before The Fall. Jesus sacrifice for us made it possible for the Father to send the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity) to indwell all believers and thus renew our fellowship with God the Father. We need to acknowledge the fact Jesus made it possible for us to pray to our Heavenly Father and we do so by saying “in Jesus name we pray.”

Hopefully, you will come as David did to realise that prayer is the talking part of a love relationship with God. Sadly, many see it as a spiritual discipline, something I need to do to get right with God.

What does God do for those who relate to Him in love? David said it well when he said, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I hope you do not mind me giving a plug for my book here:

Contents: Chapter 1: Why, Living Eternal Now – Ready for Jesus Return, Chapter 2: Existence of God, Chapter 3: Evidence for Creation & Genesis as History, Chapter 4: Evidence for an Inerrant Bible, Chapter 5: Testimonies of PhD Scientists, Chapter 6: Powerful Testimonies of People (from all walks of life) Living Eternal Now, Chapter 7: Holy Spirit’s Role in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 8: Role of Prayer in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 9: Discerning the Times.

One of the good things about the book is you can choose any chapter/topic of interest and start there. Each chapter is independent from the rest of the book.

Available as an eBook on Amazon. Also available as a trade paperback book by donating AUS$10. Click the Donations icon on the Home Page to do so. You will also need to email the delivery address to ron@bakb.com.au. The donation will cover delivery to anywhere in the world.

HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY

REPENTANCE BRINGS  HIS JOY.  

There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.

The LORD is in charge.  He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.

 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail. 

JOIN THE CALL TO PRAYER

Join the global call for prayer and repentance.

In Australia, the Aboriginal Christian Elders of Australia, led by Ps Peter Walker, will lead Australia’s churches in a National Solemn Assembly. If you click on Ps Peter Walker you can hear his powerful testimony from alcoholic to Aboriginal Christian elder.

We are in the last days prior to Jesus’ return. Already, fulfilled Bible prophecies make that clear, starting back in 1948 with Israel being re-established as a nation and ever since in the Middle east, wars and rumours of wars. Make sure you are part of this important and maybe last significant prayer effort to see God change your nation.

2020 TRUMP WILL BE REELECTED

Prophecy reveals future events in these last days. In this video, Prophet @Jeremiah Johnson Ministries details his shocking dream about President Trump and the future of America. What should Christians be doing in this prophetic season, how should we pray, and will Trump win in the November 2020 election? This interview will provide a very clear and accurate vision of where the United States of America is heading. Pastor Alan DiDio specifically asks Brother Johnson about the 3 biggest principalities opposing the President and the Nation: racism, radical feminism, and abortion (Molech) and what the Church can do to stop them.

COVID-19 RAISING THE BIG ISSUES OF LIFE

Researchers have found Australians say they have been praying more during the COVID-19 crisis, suggesting the pandemic has led many to reassess their priorities in life.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle surveyed 1002 people between July 24 and 28 and found more than a third (35 per cent) said they were praying more and 41 per cent were thinking about God more. A quarter said they were reading the Bible more.

Nearly a half (47 per cent) said they had thought more about their mortality and the meaning of life.

“The research is showing that this COVID situation has rattled Australians and got them thinking about the big purpose of life,” Mr McCrindle said. “It’s got them re-prioritising their life.”

Charles Sturt University Associate Professor Ruth Powell, who studies Australian spirituality said she was not surprised by the survey results. Her own research as director of the National Church Life Survey has shown a third of Australians pray or meditate “in normal times”.

“In this context when a proportion say I think I am praying more …. it’s not surprising if it has been heightened at this time,” she said. “What we know from our own research is that Australians are already moderately religious or spiritual. “It’s often in times of crisis that you do go to the big spiritual questions.”

Macquarie University Professor Marion Maddox, an authority on the intersection of religion and politics, said it was not surprising many people would be thinking more about their spirituality and mortality during an existential crisis.

“The bushfires would have had similar effects of making people think about the meaning and purpose of life or …. questions about environmental concerns and our relationship to the human world,” she said.

“It’s at the same time that churches and places of collective worship are closing, so people aren’t able to gather and do their spiritual reflection as easily together. They can do it online, but it’s not quite the same.”

Anglican Bishop of South Sydney Michael Stead said he has received anecdotal feedback that parishioners were reading the Bible and praying more.

“The enforced slow down and isolation of the COVID restrictions have meant that people have been forced to step off the treadmill and realise there is more to life than the endless grind of work and pursuit of material ends,” he said. “It has given people an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what is the ultimate meaning of life and hence to dig into spiritual resources to help answer those kind of questions.

“There is a degree where we are all thinking about our own mortality now and that is forcing a reconnection back to God.”

The Stringer family is no exception, their story is encouraging.

The Stringer family have been praying more during the coronavirus pandemic. Andrew, Lucy, William, Katie and EleanorCREDIT: STEVEN SIEWERT.
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Katie Stringer from Leichhardt in Sydney Australia, a teacher and mother of three children aged from 6 to 13, said she and her family had been praying more at home together during the pandemic. They read passages from the Bible during family meals and in the car during school drop-off.
Mrs Stringer said the closure of their local Anglican church forced them to “assess their spiritual connection”. “It reminded us our faith is also our responsibility and not just the responsibility of the minister in our church,” she said. “We needed to be proactive in talking to God.”

Catastrophes: Bring them on Lord; if it means people turn back to you.

YOU PRAYED AND THIS HAPPENED

A God story to encourage all believers to pray more. This is how God works. The Chosen Film series has been a phenomenal success but the Chosen Team had no idea of where to from here. Hence, Dallas Jenkins, Director, Chosen Team, request for prayer.

A month ago, Dallas released a video titled “I’m in a tough spot” (https://youtu.be/Px-FPr–nRQ) expressing a need for prayer and direction for Season Two. Go view it before you view the video below revealing the result of all the prayer.

Once prayer started things started to happen that were unexplainable. A must see video.