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“Jesus taught that perseverance is the essential element of prayer. Men must be in earnest when they kneel at God’s footstool. Too often we get faint-hearted and quit praying at the point where we ought to begin. We let go at the very point where we should hold on strongest. Our prayers are weak because they are not impassioned by an unfailing and resistless will.”
It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone.
Yesterday morning, my sister called me and said, “Ty and Terri Schenzel got in a car wreck yesterday and died. Ty went immediately around 4:30 and Terri went later at the hospital.” I said, “What? Are you serious?” Within the next minute I went from I can handle this information, to They’re dead, followed by my knees buckling and me not being able to breathe, and crying uncontrollably on the floor of my kitchen surrounded by my daycare kids jumping on me (they thought I was playing). There’s no way they’re dead. They can’t be. This is a bad dream. Zach soon joined me on the floor as we cried out to God together, embraced, and wept uncontrollably. I don’t know how much time passed before we both got up and realized that we both have to work. I had my daycare kids, plus still had to do school runs, and…
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Psalm 62 (NLT)
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.
3 So many enemies against one man—
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
4 They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
but curse me in their hearts.
5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
7 My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
9 Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
If you weigh them on the scales,
together they are lighter than a breath of air.
10 Don’t make your living by extortion
or put your hope in stealing.
And if your wealth increases,
don’t make it the center of your life.
11 God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Surely you repay all people
according to what they have done.
“Once we begin thinking and acting in humility before God, we’ll be ready to look before God, we’ll be ready to look into other key areas of spiritual vitality. Once we are willing to admit our needs, we can honestly understand our hearts and hear the solutions God’s Word offers us. Humility gives us a right view of God and of ourselves. It bends stiff knees and softens hard hearts.”
~ Byron Paulus in Revive, Volume 46, Issue 2, 3.
Posted on August 12, 2015
There is power in prayer. We grew up in a praying home, we’ve attended praying churches, and we’ve seen God answer countless specific prayers over the years.
When we were in high school our father and a few trusted friends believed God was leading them to launch a new Christian school in our area. To get started, of course, they needed desks, books, and the right location. But with little money, what they needed more than anything was faith. And prayer.
During those early days of the school, we watched how God rapidly guided and provided. A local church agreed to house the school and allow their facilities to be remodeled for the purpose. A local business donated free lumber. A volunteer ministry team from Tennessee showed up to help with construction. Within weeks, new classrooms and offices were completed. Another school called and offered books, desks, and chairs.
The timing was unbelievable. Soon we had students sitting in new classrooms, with books in their hands and teachers in front of them. Our father went on to serve as headmaster for two decades, watching the Lord continue to provide what was needed year after year. In the fall of 2014, the school celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, having impacted thousands of students and families for Christ through the years.
We witnessed answered prayers like these all the time. In 2002, following in our father’s footsteps, we were privileged to launch a Christian movie ministry at our church with no money, no professional experience, and no film school training. But we knew God could provide what we needed. And with the support of our church, we laid every need before Him in prayer. We had to write the scripts, find the right actors, secure the right equipment, pull off the entire production, and then obtain distribution.
God provided everything we needed at every level. Each of the five movies we’ve been part of producing has resulted from a long string of specifically answered prayers. We know we would have failed otherwise.
In our office we’ve created a “Wall of Remembrance.” Numerous framed pictures serve as visual reminders of God’s provision, each representing a clearly answered prayer. Among them is a picture of Alex as a young college student with a dream to make movies for the Lord. Another features a two-year-old orphan in Nanjing, China, that God guided Stephen and his wife to adopt. One shows a forklift on a train track that just happened to be nearby one of our movie sets, sitting idle behind a man’s house, right when we needed it. One other picture is of three brothers with their arms around each other, smiling, taken years after our father had prayed we would all be working together someday. Each picture represents a story of God’s faithfulness in our lives. It’s overwhelming to see them all together.
Incredible provision. Unbelievable direction. Impossible odds. The list goes on.
We know prayer works.
“Humility is always the FIRST STEP toward any substantive spiritual change–the first step on the road to revival.”
~ Byron Paulus in Revive, Volume 46, Issue 2, 3.
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.”
“Our prayers lay the track down which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.”