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Thursday, April 25, 2013

GOD'S PRESENCE IN PRAYER

Most of us are generally familiar with Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28. We have all sung “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder.” But I think we miss the thunderous reality of an experience with God. First, angels are fearsome beings. No wonder Jacob woke trembling in fear. The word “angel,” “malak” in Hebrew means messenger. These beings were divine emissaries. They were message carriers between God and humans. And I had somehow missed the fact that the Lord Himself was above the ladder and spoke powerfully to Jacob. Upon waking Jacob said, “Surely the presence of the Lord was in this place.” We rightly sing that song about gathering in the church. Jesus said we never gather in His name that He is not present. In fact He is present whenever we pray to Him. (Deut. 4:7) And His presence is the most significant thing about prayer.

Friday, April 19, 2013

THE LANGUAGE OF PENTECOST

And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. [1]

God’s power is unleashed in the lives of people when they hear the gospel in their own language. I believe there is a need to pray for the miracle of Pentecost as we seek to translate the gospel and scripture into the languages of people who have never heard. There are still many people groups, most of the fairly small, who are unreached and unapproached with not one word of scripture translated into their language.

I also believe every person has his own heart language. I pray daily for people I see and know to hear the gospel in their own heart language. Pray with me for a continuation of the miracle of Pentecost.



[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Ac 2:6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

PRAYING FOR GOD TO REMOVE BARRIERS BETWEEN US AND HIM

Are you aware of barriers that keep you from hearing the voice of God? Every time we open the Bible, every time we seek intimacy with the holy God, we need these barriers removed. Let me suggest three barriers that often separate us from fellowship with God.

You can ask God to remove resentment and unforgiveness from your heart. Resentment twists your thinking in ways that you cannot perceive until God breaks its hold on you. It poisons your own soul and makes you miserable. It always brings depression in its wake. Resentment affects every relationship in your life. And worst of all it blocks your relationship with God. Jesus said if you will not forgive men, the Father will not forgive you. (Matt. 18:35) Who are you unwilling to forgive? Is your resentment worth God not forgiving you?

Lust and greed will be barriers to God. The same word translated “lust” in James also translates “Thou shalt not covet” when it is quoted in the New Testament. We miss many blessings because we are driven by our wants instead of listening for what God wants to give us.

Another barrier is pride. Our society seeks to promote pride. But it keeps us from having fellowship with God. Are you unwilling for your heart to be broken over sin? I think it is worth praying for God to remove pride and so spiritual complacency from our hearts.

O Lord, remove the berries between us/me and You.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SEEING HIS FACE

2 Corinthians 4:6 reads,
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. [1]

A famous sermon entitled “THE FACE OF JESUS, is based on this passage of Scripture. It was preached by R.G. Lee, who also preached PAYDAY-SOME DAY. What a privilege to come to God in intimate prayer, and let him shine into our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus.

I recently heard Vince Vitale, with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics talk about the face of God. Vitale said he liked to think of understanding God like seeing a face. You could never describe every detail and moving nuance of a face to someone else. You would have trouble describing it clearly enough for someone to recognize it on sight. The only way to grasp a face is to look at a person, to meet them face to face. He went on to say that in the times that he was plagued with doubts he realized that he was trying to understand God intellectually. And God is far too complex to fully understand that way. He would then begin to seek God face to face in prayer and scripture. When we pray we come face to face with God.



[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (2 Co 4:6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.