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Thursday, May 28, 2015

PRAYING IN DISASTER

I have been alarmed over the recent disasters like earthquakes in Nepal and the Philippines. I have also been concerned about potential disaster closer to my home. On the west coast we are in the midst of a multi-year drought. We are coming into summer with the least mountain snow pack ever recorded. And Texas and Oklahoma have come out of a four year drought with tornadoes and deadly flooding. Have you noticed the price of eggs? Eggs have doubled and tripled in cost is because millions of tons of chickens as well as turkeys have been slaughtered and buried because of an epidemic of bird flu. My brother kept bees for many years. He finally had to stop because so many colonies were disappearing. I heard now that 40% of bee colonies died in the past year. I noticed a display in the grocery store this week with “local honey” being sold for about $20/lb. This is also a crisis for farmers and gardeners and all of us who need to eat what grows from the ground. Without bees, fruits and vegetables will not be able to pollinate and produce.
Frankly this is a lot like Biblical predictions of the last days. I can hear the seals of Revelation 6 being broken. Doesn’t this sound like Revelation 6:6?
“And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying,
‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius,
and do not harm the oil and wine!’”
Of course anytime you bring such passages up in scholarly circles you find someone who will point out that such things have always happened. And that is right. But pardon me if I believe those passages are still true and will certainly be fulfilled.
However, a more important question is how should we pray, how will we pray in days of disaster? The Lord intentionally led Abraham to pray as He was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because He was going to bless all nations through him. Make no mistake. Even in days of disaster God intends to use you to share the blessing of the gospel with all the earth. In light of this I have several suggestions for how we should pray.
First, pray together and pray fervently. The first chapter of Joel calls us to call a sacred assembly and cry out to the Lord. Are things not serious enough for us to call people to come together in earnest prayer?
Second, pray that we will not fall into temptation. As Jesus warned, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Pray that you will not sin because things are tough. As with Job, God will glorify His name by our obedience in the midst of trials. We also need to pray for each other to stand strong in the face of temptation.
Third, we need to pray for hurting people as we seek to minister to them in times of crisis and judgment on the earth. When we obediently minister to hurting people in these days, we also bring supernatural power into their lives as we pray for them.
And fourth, but certainly not finally, Pray for people to repent and turn to God in the face of judgment that is coming on the earth. If you pray about this, I strongly suspect God will lay on your heart other ways to pray in the face of disaster.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

PRAYING FOR PRISONERS

I drove by a very forbidding compound today. It had twelve foot fences with concertina wire curled around its top. Its buildings were all unpainted concrete. I saw no grass or trees. Its yards were concrete. There were high guard towers and garish flood lights. It was of course a prison. We are all familiar with this sight. They have been springing up like noxious weeds all over America. As I drove by I realized I had never prayed for this particular prison. Why was that? I suppose I have tried not to think about its presence there. God forgive me. That prison houses people Jesus told me to visit and minister to. He said visiting them was the same as visiting Him in need. I need to start praying for them. Right now I do not even know how to find the names of inmates or guards in this or any prison.  But for now I am committing to pray for this prison every time I pass the compound. I am also putting a reminder in my prayer lists to pray for this prison. And I want to start praying daily for prisons and prisoners in general. I wonder what God will do and how He will expand my prayers as I fulfill this commitment.




Thursday, May 14, 2015

BELIEVING IN HIM

Do you believe in prayer? Almost everyone does. I have even seen Buddhist prayer wheels although Buddhism is a non-theist system. The better question is do you believe in the One we pray to. We can boil this down to John 3:16. Do you believe in the Son of God? This is a poem on John 3:16 from my book I AM.
ONLY BEGOTTEN
John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God sent His Son, the fullness of His love,
He became “The Son of Man,” though God of very God,
The living incarnation from above.
No other could fulfill His loving job.
God gave His son, His heart, His very self,
The Son was God the only begotten.
He showed us how God loved and gave and felt.
He gave love the world has not forgotten.
He claimed His own who would believe in Him.
Whoever believes in God's only Son,
Would not parish with all the rest of men.
They put their faith in everything He's done.
Responding to His grace they are asking.
That He might give them life everlasting.
The question of prayer and discipleship and life contemporary and eternal is, “Do you believe in the only begotten Son of God?”

My website has a link to the book on Amazon.com. You can also see a book trailer there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

PERSEVERE IN PRAYER

How do you pray when you don't see your prayers being answered? Of course it is important to examine your prayers and yours motives. There may be reasons your prayers are not being answered. If that is the case, you can be sure your loving heavenly Father will show you what is wrong. But there are also times when God wants us to persevere in prayer. In Matthew 7:7,8 and Luke 11:9-13 Jesus told us to ask, seek and knock. And the tense of those verbs requires us to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking and to knock and keep on knocking. Are you persevering?
I am praying for a spiritual awakening in America that will be part of an end time movement that will shake the earth. I believe God wants me to keep praying for that even though I don't see signs of it coming about. I have written recently about that asking those of you who read my blog to pray with me for God to bring this about. You can scroll back to the blogs on extraordinary prayer if you missed them. I have several other similar ideas that I believe have come from God that I need to keep praying for even though I don't yet see what God is doing.
More personally I am praying for people that I love dearly who have not come to Christ. My wife prayed faithfully for her grandfather for 30 years before seeing him come to faith in the last year of his life. I am praying for others who are facing great need, are trapped in some sin or are enduring painful trials. I need to admit that I do see God at work in some of these situations. But I don't see His hand in others. And I need to keep praying until God clearly tells me to stop, or shows me a different way to pray for those involved.
Are you persevering in prayer. Keep on praying. You can be sure it pleases God.
My book I AM (poetic reflections through the Gospel of John) has been released. You can see a video trailer on my website,  http://daveswatch.com/books/