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“A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.”

~ Charles Finney

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God has given us gifts called time and prayer that coincide within our lives. Prayer is intended to be an ongoing conversation, personally and/or corporately, with God- at all times and in all places. Yet often, prayer is treated like it functions on a light switch; being turned on, then off, then on again as we have needs. Then off again when things seem under control and we can manage things going forward.

Solomon talks about the matter of time in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 14:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

What about time to pray? In verse 7, Solomon mentions there’s time to be silent and a time to speak. So, does that mean we can shut off prayer? No it doesn’t. Prayer (communicating with God) is intended to be an ongoing two-way conversation within our personal relationship with Him. That means we share with God what’s on our hearts, AND we stop so we can listen to His reply. Listening to God will help us consider which season of time we’re in- and/or how He’d have us respond within that given season! Listening to God also can inspire worship- something He’s worthy of receiving at all times and in all places as well!

Paul, in encouraging all kinds of prayer, states the matter this way:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Rejoice, pray, and give thanks- always, continually, and in all circumstances. All, means everything, or without exception. Continually, means without ceasing or stopping. Many Christians believe prayer is the most powerful and active gift God has given us. If that’s true, why are we as Christians so quick to stop praying once we begin?

Prioritizing Prayer

“Our devotions are not measured by the clock, but time is of the essence. The ability to wait, and stay, and press belongs essentially to our intercourse with God.”  ― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Pray

Often, like young children called to the dinner table while playing games with friends, we set our hearts on other things that can have an immediacy or importance in the moment, but are secondary to what matters most. Children don’t see the bigger picture that parents do. Children quickly sit down and eat with hopes they’ll return to their friends and continue the game, but often find their parents want to keep them at the table longer than they desire. There’s friction, squabbling, and sometimes some tension as the children wrestle to get their way. But for their greater good, the parents keep them at the table until the meal, and conversation, is finished.

Often, when God calls us into a time of focused prayer (maintaining our ongoing prayer mindset of speaking and listening with Him, but pressing further into Him still), it may seem to come at an inconvenient time to us. We may be focused on our schedule, a task, some form of entertainment, or something else entirely. The matter we’re involved in wrestles to take precedent over what/whom God is calling us to be in prayer for in the moment.

We immediately face some choices.

1. Will I immediately press into God in prayer about this, or will I make Him wait?

2. Will I neglect or pass on praying altogether in favor of what I’m doing currently?

3. If I press further into God about this, will I remain with and in Him until He declares it settled, or will I just give God a few seconds or minutes, then hurry back to what I am doing?

Prayer often changes us more than what/whom we pray for! How we answer these questions will determine how much we’ll permit God to change us as we pray. It will also affect how we see God answer that burden He invited us to be in prayer for. Make no mistake, He will accomplish His will fully- whether we obediently pray in that moment or not! How much we’re allowed to see and experience of that answer may directly relate to the decision we make and time we invest.

Is it any surprise that our adversary would do all he could to keep us from using the most powerful weapon God’s given us in spiritual warfare? A bumper sticker was recently seen that read, “If Satan can’t make you immoral, he’ll make you busy.”

Busyness is an adversary to prayer- and keeps many Christians from utilizing their most important and powerful weapon! Busyness also hinders many from growing in deeper relationship with God through prayer and the reading of Scripture. How busy are you? How much time with God are you losing each day because other priorities take precedent over communication and communion with Him?

For the rest of the article…

“O, let the place of secret prayer become to me the most beloved spot on earth.”

~ Andrew Murray

“Without our aggressive prayers, our people will stay in bondage and under strongholds. The lost don’t get saved. Communities will stay in Satan’s control. God has called us to be forceful people who lay hold.”

~ Jonathan Graf

I am deeply saddened by the President’s praise of abortion. 55 million abortions is a Holocaust. We face implosion.

January 22, 2014 

whitehouseUPDATED: Since 1973, Americans have had more than 55 million abortions. Unless we change course, the number will soon be 60 million.

Consider the horror of that fact. We as a nation will soon have murdered ten timesmore Americans than the number of Jews that the Nazis killed during the Holocaust.

How is this possible? How have we come to this point? The murder of 55 million human beings is a Holocaust.

We must call it what it is. We must be honest with the facts, and the implications.

This must stop. We must stop it, before it is too late — before we face implosion, or judgment, or both.

What do we think we come of all this? Will we not face the judgment of the Almighty God, unless we cry out in true repentance to the Lord? Did we not see the judgment that came upon Germany in World War II, the devastation and destruction? Do we expect to suffer less when our sins are ten times worse?

I am deeply saddened today by President Obama’s statement praising the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 legalizing abortion.

“Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health,” the President stated. “We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”

Mr. President, how is abortion-on-demand a “safe and healthy community for all our children”?

For the rest of the post by Joel C. Rosenberg…

“Oh! yes, (the prayer meeting) is the place to meet with the Holy Ghost, and this is the way to get His mighty power. If we would have Him, we must meet in greater numbers; we must pray with greater fervency, we must watch with greater earnestness, and believe with firmer steadfastness. The prayer meeting…is the appointed place for the reception of power.”

~ Charles H. Spurgeon

by THABITI ANYABWILE

This past week featured two annual remembrances in much of the evangelical world: “Sanctity of Life Sunday” and the Martin Luther King, Jr. public holiday. Some churches, like Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, have long made the two days a period of intense focus on the protection of life and racial reconciliation.

It’s an important juxtaposition orchestrated by divine providence. If Dr. King were known for anything it would be the protection of human life and dignity. We think of him as the great Civil Rights captain marching his troops to justice. But in every step of his march was the firm conviction that all men are made in the image of God and created equal. Had he not held that more foundational belief, along with a deeply biblical conception of love, it would be difficult to imagine so sturdy a fight for equality and inclusion. Those twin commitments have rightly made him an American hero, an icon representing the best of American ideals.

So, it’s worth asking: What would Martin Luther King, Jr. think about abortion?

There are many who will no doubt pronounce with unwavering certainty that, “Dr. King would have….” Some will say so with all the moral authority that comes from having “knew Dr. King” or “marched with Martin.”

To be clear, abortion came later, a few years after Dr. King’s murder. So, Dr. King himself never spoke  publicly to the issue. Any “definite” pronouncements are most assuredly speculations and extrapolations.

But if he were consistent with his principles of love and justice it’s inconceivable that he would have favored the practice of killing unborn children in the womb.

For the rest of the post…

by TREVIN WAX

Fill the Sails, Lord

St_Hilary_of_Poitiers_cassienThe chief service I owe you, O God,
is that every thought and word of mine should speak of You.
The power of speech which You have bestowed on me
can give me no greater pleasure
than to serve You by preaching Your gospel.

But in saying this,
I am merely expressing what I want to do.
If I am actually to use this gift,
I must ask You for Your help –
ask You to fill the sails I have hoisted for You
with the wind of Your Holy Spirit,
inspiring my mind and my voice.
I know that I am often heavy with stupor,
so that I am too lazy to speak of You.
And I do not spend sufficient time studying Your Scriptures,
to ensure that my words conform to Your Word.
Give me the energy and the courage to share the spirit of the apostles,
that like them I may truly be an ambassador of Your grace.

Hilary of Poitiers, 310-367

Andrew Murray.JPG“While others still slept, He went away to pray and to renew His strength in communion with His Father. He had need of this, otherwise He would not have been ready for the new day. The holy work of delivering souls demands constant renewal through fellowship with God.”

~ Andrew Murray

by  • JANUARY 16, 2014

The Shantung Revival by C.L. Culpepper

The Shantung Revival
by C.L. Culpepper

It’s Throwback Thursday where I review a book from the past on either prayer or revival and spiritual awakening. Today I will review a book, which might be difficult to get a hold of, but you can listen to Dr. Culpepper’s testimony online. Dr. Culpepper was one of the key Southern Baptist missionaries during the Shantung Revival (pronounced Shandong) in China during the 1930′s. The key to the widespread movement of God was prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working through the missionaries. We have many people praying for revival in America today, but I believe one of the keys to revival is missing. This key is the working power of the Holy Spirit through the individuals. I hope you will listen to Dr. Culpepper tell of his reluctance to accept the filling of the Holy Spirit , but what happened in China when he was filled. We need more Spirit filled Christians praying for revival, if we are to move the hand of God in America.

Words from Dr. Culpepper:
“Most of the things that took place in Shantung are as foreign as Chinese in America churches today, mainly because of resistance to the Holy Spirit. This same resistance may seek to influence readers of this book. Many things in this book will be hard for some to understand. Only those who have seen the unusual working of the Holy Spirit can comprehend the revolutionary change which took place in the lives of those who witnessed the Great Awakening during the Shantung Revival. To others the terminology may be strange. For instance, the use of ‘the baptism of the Hoy Spirit’ and the ‘fullness of the Holy Spirit’ are understood in different ways by many people…This terminology is not used in a technical or theological way in this book. The writer has used these expressions to designate the experience of total surrender to the Holy Spirit, resulting in a dramatic experience of Christian joy” (p.9).

When Christians in America learn to walk in total surrender to the Holy Spirit and stop resisting His power, we will see revival.

For the rest of the post…

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