PRAY EXPECTANTLY

Do you pray expecting God to answer? In this prayer, note what David says after pleading his case; he watches expectantly. David expects God to respond.

Listen to my words, Lord; consider my sighing. Pay attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for I pray to You. At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly. Psalms 5:1-3

Notice how specific David’s prayers were and how specific God’s replies.

And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 1 Samuel 30:8

After this David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.2 Samuel 2:1

God always prepares His servants, His people to do the job He calls them to do. Note, how God prepared the people to follow Joshua just as they did Moses. Likewise God will prepare you and all those that are to work with you, to do the job He has called you to do.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.Joshua 3:7

Just as God had Moses part the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to cross, he also had Joshua part the Jordan River to allow the Israelites to enter the Promised Land.

Then Joshua told the Israelites, “Come closer and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” He said: “You will know that the living God is among you and that He will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites when the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth goes ahead of you into the Jordan... When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the Jordan’s waters, its waters will be cut off. The water flowing downstream will stand up in a mass.” Joshua 3:9-13

There is power in prayer. When men work they work but when men pray, God works,

Just as David is a great example of how to pray correctly, sadly he also shows us what happens to our relationship with God when we sin as grievously as David did. First, we notice it separates us from God. God uses Nathan to tell David about the extensive consequences of his sin of killing Uriah and taking his wife Bathsheba.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 2 Samuel 12:10-14

Note this prayer of thanksgiving by David well after the grievous sin involving Uriah and Bathsheba. He had learnt an important lesson: “kept myself from sinning“.

He (Lord) rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my distress, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; He repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands. For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not turned from my God to wickedness. Indeed, I have kept all His ordinances in mind and have not disregarded His statutes. I was blameless before Him and kept myself from sinning. So the Lord repaid me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight.” 2 Samuel 22:18-25

THE POSTSCRIPT TO ALL PRAYERS

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.Luke 22:42-44

This is the most challenging prayer of all. Here we have Jesus asking His Heavenly Father to remove the coming experience of suffering and death on The Cross. Thank goodness Jesus added the postscript, “not My will but Your will be done” otherwise all of us would be consigned to Hell on Judgement Day.

When the German Christian mystic Meister Eckhart would pray he would qualify whatever he brought before God with the following words. “Lord, give me nothing but what you will and do Lord whatever and however you will in every way”.

I was reluctant to quote Eckhart as much of what he had to say has been picked up and misquoted by New Age thinkers but this quote is Biblical.

According to Eckhart therefore, none of our prayers can insist that God give us this virtue, or this thing, or this way of life but rather “Lord give me nothing but your will, and do Lord whatever and however in every way..”

We truly have learnt how to live the Christian life when we come to the knowledge that we are not in control and that God is working out His plans and purposes on His earth. Moreover, in the Bible, His written Word, He has given us a history of His world from its beginning and with prophecy, what He is doing now and will do right up to its end. Our prayers need to get in step with what He is doing on this earth, particularly in our sphere of influence. All prayers need to have the postscript “Not my will but yours be done” and probably our greatest prayer is a simple “Thank You“.

GOD ANSWERED PRAYER FOR OUR NATION – REPORT FROM CANBERRA DECLARATION

Last Friday, the Canberra Declaration (Protecting our Australian Values) launched the October Month of Prayer and Fasting for Family and Nation. The same day, Gladys Berejiklian resigned as NSW Premier. This was not an outcome we had specifically prayed for or foreseen. As far as Australia’s premiers go, we would have said that Berejiklian was one of the better ones.
Nevertheless, Berejiklian chose not to use her voice for the voiceless when it needed most. Almost exactly two years before her resignation, she had waved through horrendous abortion legislation that made abortion-to-birth legal in NSW. As Silvana Nile this week wrote, “It is a sobering reminder that we serve a God of Justice. He hears the cries of our hearts and He hears the cries of the blood on our land.”

On the 2nd of October, our 25-hour prayer event concluded. On the same day, the media began reporting that the most likely successor to Berejiklian would be Dominic Perrottet. Though the corporate press sought to smear him for his Catholic faith and large family, that is not God’s assessment.

Dominic and Helen Perrottet with five of their six children

Perrottet has an excellent track record on Christian values: he voted against the abortion bill and is a strong opponent of the euthanasia law that members of his party are seeking to push. New South Wales can only benefit from having a man of faith, a loving husband, and a father of six children at the helm.
Over the following two days, the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and senior cabinet minister Andrew Constance also resigned from the NSW parliament. Both of these men had been strong proponents of both abortion and euthanasia. As leader of the NSW Nationals, Barilaro oversaw an egregious erosion of values in what was once a Christian country party. We’re not sure how to summarise these events but to say that God has been cleaning house.
Early this week, Dominic Perrottet won his party’s ballot 39-5 to be confirmed as the 46th Premier of NSW. Normally we don’t comment in such detail on state politics, but it is hard not to see the hand of God as we have fasted and prayed for breakthrough in Australia and for Australia’s families.

Surely, this is enough evidence to encourage all Prayer Groups to persevere in prayer for their nation. I am confident that Kurt and Warwick of Canberra Declaration (www.canberradeclaration.org.au) are, as are their growing number of prayer warriors.

ALFRED DEAKIN’S LIFE AND PRAYERS

How times have changed. Read about a wonderful leader of old. However, know for certain God appoints our leaders and we usually get the leader we deserve, certainly the leader that will fulfill God’s purposes. Even the Antichrist’s appearance will be at God’s appointed time.

Alfred Deakin was Australia’s second prime minister. He was one of two prime ministers who held the position three times from 24 September 1903 to 27 April 1904, 5 July 1905 to 13 November 1908, 2 June 1909 to 29 April 1910 Deakin was a founding father of Federation, along with Edmund Barton.

Older Sir Walter Murdoch - Melbourne Uni

Walter Murdoch (great uncle to Rupert Murdoch of News Corp) was a young man and a journalist for the Argus when he met Alfred Deakin. Deakin was also journalist for the Age during his 20’s.

In 1923, just 4 years after Alfred’s death, Pattie asked Walter to write a biography on her husband. “Alfred Deakin: A Sketch” became a masterpiece of writing. Murdoch who became a close family friend and admirer of Deakin writes:

“Some piece of writing of mine had the good fortune to please him; and it was entirely characteristic of the man that he should at once sit down and write me some generous words of praise; for he was ever the helper and encourager of young men…” “It was impossible to spend a dull moment in his company…he had the power of loosening the tongues of others…men showed themselves at their best in his presence. He understood before you had half finished your sentence… his talk, when at his best, was like sparkling wine. I think his charm as a companion was due not so much to the richness and brilliancy of his talk, but to the fundamental friendliness that shone through what he said, – there was something winning and affectionate in his nature” (page 289 “Alfred Deakin: A Sketch” by Walter Murdoch)

Walter Murdoch at Alfred's retreat - Pt Londsdale
Pattie, Alfred and grandson Wilfred - Pt Londsdale retreat

Alfred Deakin’s Prayer No 9

“God grant me the virtue of sincerity and the voice of truth that without fear or falsity I may speak the word and do the deed best for this country and its people. Let me shake off self and ignore success, let me be guided sufficiently to guide others and gifted to perform the most necessary service.”

“To this make my private aims absolutely subordinate and my private life sure and harmonious as a sure pedestal from which I may utter my message. Let this be Thy message and Thy will and grant that as it’s mere mouthpiece I may repeat it without admixture and without regard to the welcome it may procure for me. God help me to help” 13th Feb 1892″

Copyright © 2016. http://www.alfreddeakin.com, All rights reserved.

PRAY FOR OUR AFGHAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Watch this short video given by an Afghan believer as the Taliban take over his homeland. Sorry, the video has already been taken off Youtube (censorship?). The message below it is still relevant.

Please pray for the Afghan Church to have strength and endurance so they may continue to lead Bible studies, prayer meetings, and are proactively evangelizing during the very events you are seeing in the news. Pray for them to be hidden supernaturally by the hand of the Lord just like in John 8:59 when Jesus disappeared into the crowd.

The Afghan Church and Global Catalytic Ministries (Frontiers Alliance) believe that the best days are before us, and we will witness the greatest movement of salvation among Muslims from the ashes of this catastrophe. It is already happening in Iran.

  • Pray for those fleeing to the hills to be protected (Psalm 73, Psalm 91)
  • Pray for miraculous protection for women and children being forcibly taken and those that have already been taken for their protection, salvation, and deliverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)
  • Pray that the Afghan Church steps into her identity in Christ and walks in unity with the Holy Spirit. (Ezekiel 37, Romans 15:5-6)

GIVING GLORY TO GOD

Record-Setting Olympic Athlete Gives Glory to God

Tatjana Schoenmaker — an Olympic swimmer from South Africa — set a new record Wednesday in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, and she’s using her success to point others to God.

In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith. The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.

In an Instagram post last week, she posted a prayer as she travelled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

“Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness! Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.”

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31  

AMERICA HAS STAGE 4 SPIRITUAL CANCER

Shane Idleman is right, America has stage 4 spiritual cancer. There is no doubt about it.

Shane shares how God took him to Isaiah 57 and challenged him about righteousness and the need for fasting and radical Christianity. This is a very short message but it is powerful because it is about God challenging Shane Idelman and his confessing to his congregation that he needed to be broken before he was going to be of any value to God or his congregation. It was of course a challenge to each person in the congregation to look at their own life and their relationship with God.

It would be a good time for us all to do the same. When was the last time you fasted and prayed?

GROWING IN GOD

Ways to stay focused on God’s agenda for your life

1. Holy Spirit Journal: Once you decide to record all the moments the Holy Spirit cautions/blocks/directs/inspires events during your day you will discover the significance of these experiences/miracles. Take your H.S. journal with you so you can jot down the incidences whilst still fresh in your mind and you do not forget to thank God for them. He will love that you do. Too frequently, we miss those God-moments that, whether they seem large or small, are truly phenomenal. Also, take time to review them at the end of every day, the Holy Spirit may give you fresh revelation something you missed at the time.

2. Before every new challenge, every new day, pray. Pray and fast if necessary. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness! Every prayer He has answered. Replay every victory He has given you before you make a critical decision. Make sure you have “put on the whole armour of God each day so that you can stand against the evil forces of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10  The devil and his minions will do their best to get you thinking negatively to produce the wrong outcome.

3. Keep a visual image of what you’re aiming for—the outcome the Bible promises. Do this and watch what happens.

What are some daily habits you employ to stay connected to the Holy Spirit and living eternal now?

available on Amazon as an ebook or trade paperback edition or request one from me at ron@bakb.com.au and make a donation on Home page

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER

God is behind a massive wave of Muslims coming to Christ in the past 30 years according to David Garrison, executive director of the evangelical missions group Global Gates and author of A Wind in the House of Islam. Garrison has described his three years traveling the Islamic world and interviewing more than 1,000 Muslim-background believers. What I discovered was this remarkable surge and movement towards Jesus Christ coincided with the beginning of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world, 28 years ago this year,” Garrison said. He travelled 250,000 miles investigating movements where at least 1,000 Muslims in a community had been baptized into the Christian faith, but he never made the prayer link until he shared his findings with Paul Filidis of World Christian Concern, who helped launch the 30-Days of Prayer for the Muslim World in 1993.

1st 30 Days prayer guide
THE VERY FIRST EDITION OF THE 30 DAYS PRAYER GUIDE, FROM 1993

“I’d come back home and sit down with my friend Paul and I told him about these movements that we’re seeing probably 84% of all the movements that have ever happened in history have happened in the last 30 years, and that’s when Paul looked at me and said, ‘David that’s when we began 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world.‘” While Muslims might not know that Christians are praying for them, God knows and He’s listening, Garrison said. “And as He promised our prayers are tearing down strongholds, they’re opening up hearts and they’re aligning us as Christians with God’s desire for the Muslim world to know His Son, Jesus Christ.”

All About 30 Days of Prayer

The purpose of 30 Days is to call Christians to pray with love and respect for Muslims around the world. In doing so, we hope to see:

+ Christians gain a better understanding about Muslim people, their faith and their various, diverse cultures.
+ An increase in efforts to respond with love and compassion to the needs of Muslims around the world.
+ A greater interest in Jesus among Muslim peoples.

We do this by hosting an annual prayer event coinciding with Ramadan each year, and creating prayer guide that enable Christians to pray regularly.

HOPE FOR ATHEISTS

Image
Seth Mahiga
attends a service at Life Church International in Nairobi, Kenya, after resigning from his post as secretary of the group Atheists in. | Screenshot: YouTube/Elevate TV

Of course, in addition to Seth Mahiga, many other atheists have come forward to share their conversion stories. During an appearance on a podcast earlier this year, Chet Hanks, son of actor Tom Hanks, detailed how an encounter with God during a day hike in Utah when he was 17 led to his conversion from atheism.

Another former atheist, Lee Strobel, wrote an entire book detailing his conversion to Christianity called The Case for Christ. Strobel, a former Chicago Tribune reporter, had initially sought to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ but ultimately failed to do so and ended up becoming a Christian. In 2017, a film adaptation of his popular book was released.

Like Lee Strobel many former atheists go on to serve Jesus mightily. They know the difference; from a life of hopelessness, no purpose or meaning to life, to knowing God loves them and a vibrant relationship with Him.

Prayer is the language of a love relationship with your Heavenly Father. Prayer is exciting, intimate and joyful. When you discover God answers heartfelt prayers, your life will change forever.

This book changed my life. 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 a duty.

Be blessed on your journey with God.