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Thursday, October 25, 2012

KNEELING IN THE GAP

Are you standing in the gap for the place where you live? In Genesis 18:17 the Lord said to the two men who were headed to Sodom and Gomorrah. “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” And so in the permission of God Abraham pleaded for the city to be spared. Moses interceded for God to spare Israel in their rebellion. Psalm 106:23 says,
Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
God spoke about Israel in Ezekiel 22:30 saying He sought for a person to stand in the gap so He would not destroy them and He found none.
Will you become the intercessor for your neighborhood? For your city? For cities in your region? For America? O that there might be intercessors. Will we wait until the day that Noah, Job and Daniel (Eze.22:30) could not intercede for America to begin to pray seriously about her?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SPIRITUAL MUSCLE CRAMPS

Awake in the night with burning stomach and muscle cramps; I know this to be typical if only occasional effect of my cancer treatments. I am also having spiritual cramps. I am able to pray while I am up in the night. But my mind will not move on from people I have prayed for whose lives are crashing in sin or its consequences. Some of them were people for whom I had seen great answers to prayer. I understand Paul’s lamentation in 2 Corinthians chapter 11.

“And, apart from other things,
there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak?
Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?”
 
I do not enjoy this trial. And I am tempted to give up on such prayers. But I know the Heavenly Physician is subjecting me to spiritual treatments. I am the silver chalice being purified in this fiery blast furnace. And by God’s grace some of these for whom I pray will yet drink the life changing elixir from God’s vessel that is being formed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WITHOUT LOSING HEART

Have you ever prayed and not seen answers? Most of us have been discouraged by this phenomenon. Discouragement is one of the primary weapons the enemy throws at our prayer lives. If you wish to be a powerful prayer warrior you must be able to quench his darts with the shield of faith. Luke chapter 18 begins, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” The parable Jesus told here was about a powerless widow going to an unjust judge. She was persistent even though her cause seemed hopeless.

2 Corinthians chapters 4 speaks to anyone who longs for supernatural ministry. It begins with the words,

“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”

If you are looking on temporal things, you will be discouraged. The words lose heart translate the same word used in Luke 18:1. In the Corinthian passages Paul speaks of our situation as mortals in supernatural warfare; afflicted, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Verse 16 uses the same word again, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” In the presence of God we are renewed in the assurance of invisible and eternal things. Verses 17 and 18 continue, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ENTERING HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING

How do you begin your prayers? I suspect King David and the Holy Spirit inspiring him were not simply speaking of entering the formal temple when they gave us the 100th Psalm. Verse 2 shows us that the psalm is about coming into the presence of the Lord. Verse 4 might well be applied to beginning prayers.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!”
Discipline yourself to spend time praising God before you do anything else in your private prayers. You will find that changes the whole tenor of your prayers.