Follow by Email

Sunday, July 30, 2017

PRAYER FOR HEALING

HEALING PRAYER
“If anyone among you is sick let him call for the elders of the church to pray over them anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”
James 5:14,15

Few things that we do in the church are more Christlike than praying for God to heal the sick. For a number of reasons there has been much controversy over this in the church in the last 50 or so years. As much as possible I would like to avoid controversy that may arise.
Possibly because of the controversies I have seen very little written about this. I think it might be most helpful to draw some principles from the healing done by the church in Scripture. Let's look at the final healing recorded in the book of Acts. Paul was being taken as a prisoner to Rome. The ship was caught up in terrible storm. They were tossed across the sea for days and days. Then Paul stood up and assured them all that God had told him they would be saved. But they would have to land on a certain island. The ship indeed crashed on the shore of Malta completely destroying the ship. But all those on the ship, 276 souls, were saved. The rain continued to pound on them but the islanders received them and gave them shelter. And they learned that the father of the Roman official on the island was sick. So we read in Acts 28:8,
“His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.”

Let me suggest two principles that might guide our activity in praying for the sick. The first is
Compassion. Compassion ought to be a driving force in the church. Again and again the gospels tell us that Jesus looked on people crowding around Him with compassion. And Paul said, “The love of Christ compels us.”(2 Cor. 5:14) If Jesus humbled Himself and came to earth to die for us, how can we hold ourselves above or apart from the needs of others. If we care enough we will pray for people even when it embarrasses us or them. The compassion of agape will drive us to pray publicly for them even if we have little confidence in our prayers.

Compassion gives birth to faith, and faith acts in love. Galatians 5:6 speaks of faith that expresses itself through love. The faith required here is not simply faith in miracles. It is faith in God. It is faith that God loves the hurting person more that we love her. It means believing in God even if we do not see the miracle we long for. It means trusting Him to help us suffer with those who are ill and infirm. God calls us to trust Him enough to pray especially in dire circumstances and painful conditions. He calls us to trust Him in this world that has not yet been healed of all tears.

http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/
http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/

Sunday, July 23, 2017

THE BENEFIT OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Have you ever noticed that before a mission trip or some great event or in fact before a great work of God in your life, you have intensified spiritual attack?

I believe there is a reason God not only allows but arranges attack in your life. There are a number of benefits that come to us through spiritual attack. Toughening strengthening of faith, the necessary humility, the development of character, and compassionate empathy are wrought in us through trials and yes, spiritual warfare.
I believe the primary or all encompassing reason God allows those things is the preparation of Prayer. We need prayer for that mission trip, for that great gift of God, for the work God wants to do around us. And spiritual warfare drives us to pray. We pray far more consistently because we are under spiritual attack. We pray more fervently because we are in spiritual attack. We pray listening prayers under spiritual attack. We pray more faithfully because we're in spiritual attack.
Of course when you are in spiritual attack the goal is to be obedient. But in addition to any general obedience you need the specific obedience of prayer.
And God is allowing spiritual attack because you simply need more time in his presence. You need the imprint of His reality and majesty, His power and nearness. When you are facing spiritual attack you have to pray as you have never prayed. And you can pray with anticipation because of what God is preparing to bring about in your life. And that kind of praying is necessary for us to walk in the work of God.
http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/
http://watchinginprayer.blogspot.com/
http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/

Monday, July 17, 2017

LISTENING IN PRAYER

Nothing is more important for praying together than a listening heart. Do you remember the story of Solomon's prayer in 1 Kings 3? The Lord told Solomon He would give him whatever he asked. In 1 Kings 3:9 Solomon asked God for a “discerning heart.” The Hebrew word translated “discerning” is “shema.” Some of you have heard of the Jewish prayer called “The Shema.” Shema is the first word of Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Shema means to listen or to hear. I do not object to translators rendering this word, discerning, here. But literally Solomon was praying for a listening heart. Listening is the foundation of spiritual discernment.
Listening is crucial for praying together. If you come into prayer full of what you want to say, you will miss what God is saying to you. C.S. Lewis gave us a poem in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.

They tell me, Lord, that when I seem
To be in speech with you,
Since but one voice is heard, it’s all a dream,
One talker aping two.

Sometimes it is, yet not as they
Conceive it. Rather, I
Seek in myself the things I hoped to say,
But lo!, my wells are dry.

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The listener’s role and through
My dumb lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew.

And thus you neither need reply
Nor can; thus, while we seem
Two talkers, thou art One forever, and I
No dreamer, but thy dream.

When we pray, especially when we are trying to pray together, we need to be able to listen for what God wants to breath through our lips and into the group prayer. And of course, God will speak to you as others in the group pray. As you learn to listen to others you will hear what God is showing others in the group, and what He is saying to them. Soon you realise that God Himself is speaking to you through the prayers of the others.
Such listening hearts are indeed a work of God in our midst. And it is a thrilling evidence of His holy presence in our prayers.

http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/
http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

HOW DID THEY DO THAT?

Have you ever been in a dynamic prayer meeting, a heart stirring, life changing, earth shaking prayer meeting? I know of a number of such prayer meetings in history, some even in my own lifetime. And there are several prayer meetings in the book of Acts that I would have given anything to be part of. Fortunately the Holy Spirit inspired them and Luke communicated them to us in such a way that you can almost step into them simply by reading the book of Acts.
We see one of those prayer meetings in the 4th chapter. Peter and John have been released from arrest by the Sanhedrin where they were beaten and warned not to speak again in the name of Jesus. When they finished reporting, the prayer meeting erupted. We read beginning from Acts 4:24.
“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:’
“‘Why do the nations rage
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
   and the rulers band together
against the Lord
   and against his anointed one.’
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God Boldly.”
The Bible says they raised their voices together and prayed this long prayer. Now tell me, how do you think they did that? Did they all have it memorized so they could quote it like The Lord's Prayer? I think this is what happened. John said ‘Sovereign Lord!’ With that Peter said, 'You made the heavens!’ James said, ‘And the Sea!’ Bartholomew added, ‘and everything in them!’ As a 10 year old girl Mary the wife of Clopas had memorized some of the Psalms to sing as she did her chores. As they prayed David’s words filled her heart and she began to pray them. And one at a time the believers prayed off one another’s prayers.
We could pray the same way. Notice 3 crucial things we can see in this prayer and as we pray together ourselves.
First, we see the Fellowship of praying together. They were binding their hearts together in prayer. The person who is nervous can listen to someone else and something will come to her mind or his mind. In fact, someone who has never prayed can be taught to pray by being part of this body of Prayer. To do that everybody has to be paying attention to one another. Have you ever been in a prayer meeting and while others were praying you were thinking about what you were going to say? I have. And I'm ashamed of it. God will stir your heart with the prayers of others.  When you pray together you can come into a deep bond of love and fellowship.
And we can see the Faith of praying together. Not only do you trust God in praying together but you have to have faith in God who is working in other people. They encouraged one another's faith as they prayed off each other and really prayed one prayer together. If you think you're the only one that has a word from God or knows how to pray to God you'll miss out on this kind of praying. When you're praying together you can trust Holy Spirit working in the whole group.
Finally this passage shows dramatically the Effect of praying together. When they got through praying the place where they prayed was shaken and they all began to speak the word of God with boldness. There is something very symbolic about this. That doesn’t mean it didn't happen. In fact this is how God revealed himself all through history. There was something symbolic about God coming down in the fire to Moses at the bush. But it was much more powerful symbolism because it really happened. When the Jordan River damned itself so Joshua could lead the children of Israel across it was symbolic, but it was powerful symbolism because it really happened. They piled Stones up to remind future generations of what God did. When God shook that place and even the shyest person spoke the word of God boldly, they knew God was at work. And the symbolism of that prayer meeting continues to this day as God works mightily when His people pray together.
http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/
http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/

Sunday, July 2, 2017

PRAYING SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Prayer is one of the most important factors in effective spiritual warfare. Prayer climaxes Paul's battlefield instructions in Ephesians 6. You must receive the Lord's armor from His hands. You can only be strong in the power of His might by spending time in His presence.
You have been frustrated from time to time by things you’ve seen that are wrong in your school, or your workplace, or your family, your neighborhood, or nation. There are primarily two questions here. (1) How do you cope with frustration, keeping a sweet spirit in the trial, loving people with God's love. And (2) how do you make a significant impact on things that are wrong around you. Both of these are spiritual issues. The enemy laughs when you deal with these problems as if they could be handled in your own strength.
We do not wrestle against human strength or the force of human ingenuity. We are up against the schemes of a spiritual enemy. We do not merely face human politics or earthly authority. We are up against principalities and powers, the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.
And our warfare is not just defensive. We pray for the gospel to be spread, for lives to be changed, for the earth to be shaken by the mighty hand of God.

http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/
http://watchinginprayer.blogspot.com/
http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/