Pray for Pastors

June 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Posted in pray, Quotes | Leave a comment
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I wanted to remind my readers to pray for their pastors and their ministries for this Sunday. I believe that there is a specific call from God to the individual man to pastoral ministry. I also think that there is a devaluing of pastoral ministry today. There is great spiritual warfare in and around the lives of pastors and their families.  Please take the time to pray for your pastor.  Pray that:

1. He will be diligent in his studies.

2. He will preach God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. He will lead the local church to worship God in the beauty of holiness.

4. The people will experience the presence of God at the church.

5. The pastor will grow in the skills needed to be an effective pastor/shepherd, preacher and leader.

6. His family will be protected spiritually, physically and emotionally.

7. His wife will have the joy of the Lord in her heart and mind.

8. The local church will make a Kingdom impact on their community, region and world.

I want to thank you for praying for your pastor. Even if he never knows, God does and your prayers will make a difference. Keep on praying!

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen”

 (1 Timothy 1:17)

_____________________

“Prayer, and more prayer adds to the fighting qualities and the more certain victories of God’s soldiers…”

— E. M. Bounds

____________________

“He who lives without prayer, he who lives with little prayer, he who seldom reads the Word, and he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high — he will be a man whose heart will become dry and barren.”

— Charles H. Spurgeon

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

 (Romans 15:13; Ephesians 3:7-13, 4:11-13)

Pray for Our President and His Family, revisited

June 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Posted in pray | Leave a comment
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I originally posted this back in February. Given all that is going on in our country at this time I thought it good to revisit this post.

“(1) I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – (2) for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (3) This is good, and pleases God our Savior, (4) who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself for all men – the testimony given in its proper time. (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV)

When was the last time you prayed for our president and his family? They need our prayers. I am not going to rant or take sides politically right now. If for nothing else than respect for the office of president, let’s pray for him and his wife and his children. Most of us will never meet him, but we can pray for him. We’ll never meet his wife or children, but we can pray for them.

There are enough people criticizing him and his decisions. There is a place and time for that. There are enough people hoping to vote him out of office during the next election. Like him and his agenda or not, Jehovah God has allowed him to be the president of the United States of America. Almighty God raises up and He lowers down whom He wants to. We need to show the president some respect and pray for him.

Pray that:

1. He, his wife and children will come to a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior if they don’t now have that.

2. He and his family will be protected from violence and harm.

3. He and his family will be healthy and safe both physically and emotionally.

4. He will be a loving husband and father.

5. He will think clearly and make the right decision and not a politically correct decision.

6. He will be a man of integrity, truthfulness, honor and courage.

7. His closest advisors will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

8. He will get godly counsel and follow it and that ungodly counsel will be thwarted.

He may never know we did, but God does. Our God is an awesome God! Let’s pray according to Scripture like He is. Thank you for praying.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer) 

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11-12)

Pray for Your Neighbors

June 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Posted in pray | Leave a comment
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This assumes that you know your neighbors by name. I know that is not always easy to do, but we Christians need to know who our neighbors are. We also need to know about some of their needs. We need to ask them questions and listen intently to the answers. It would be good if we could come away from the conversation with them looking forward to our next time together.

So I ask you Christian reader, “How well do you know your neighbors?” If you don’t know them what practical steps will you take to get to know them? Are they saved or unsaved? Do they attend a church, synagogue, temple, mosque or nowhere? Are they married, divorced, or re-married? Do they have kids and if so what ages? You get the idea of the types of questions you should know the answers to. Now go get relational.

But here is one more piece of advice. Go as a learner. Ask questions and listen to answers. When you feel like telling them what to do, stop yourself and ask some more questions. Someone once asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Who is your neighbor?

Let’s pray for:

1. Christians in churches all over America to have a godly desire to get to know their neighbors.

2. These same Christians to learn how to ask questions and to practically get to know their neighbors.

3. These Christians to live out their faith in such a way that their unsaved neighbor would want to ask them for a reason for the hope that they have.

4. You and I to be creative in reaching out to our neighbors

5. You and I to be able to lead some of our neighbors to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

6. You and I to help disciple some of our neighbors that come to Christ.

7. God to help us do this ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

8. To help us have a Christ like compassion for the lost neighbors around us.

9. Local churches to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and by their desire to see the people around the church come to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

You see, I have included myself in this prayer. I need your prayers too so that I will get to know my neighbors and share my faith in God and Jesus Christ with them. God bless you as you go out as His representatives in your neighborhood.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Luke 10:25-37, 15:1-32

Pray for Veterans, part 4

May 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Posted in pray, Veterans | Leave a comment
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I like to think that I am patriotic. I am glad that God has allowed me to be born and raised in the United States of America. I take part in the privilege of voting. I obey the laws of the land. I love to hear the National Anthem sung by large crowds before athletic events. As I sing the National Anthem I cover my heart with my right hand. I usually don’t eat hot dogs or apple pie any more, but I do enjoy them occasionally in moderation.

There is something about the singing of God Bless America too. I can remember a lady by the name of Kate Smith singing it. If I remember correctly she used to sing it before Philadelphia Flyers games and it brought them good luck. I like that song too. You can watch her sing it on YouTube if want to and it is quite moving.

The Vet’s are out at different locations at this time of year collecting funds to help other veterans. You can get a poppy to twist around your rearview mirror if you donate. Let me encourage you to donate to a legitimate veteran’s fund. Veterans deserve our support and help as they transition back into civilian life after serving. Some may need a little more support than others and that’s o.k. How are you willing to help a veteran or veterans?

Do you know a veteran you can pray for? Can you take some of your time to intercede for the vet and their family? They may never know you prayed but God will. Take a few minutes and pray for someone by name who is currently serving in the military. They need our intercessory prayers. Then take a few minutes to pray for someone who used to serve and is currently a discharged veteran. They need our prayers too. Let’s pray for:

1.      Their protection, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

2.      Their family’s protection and for God’s provision in their lives.

3.      Many to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

4.      The many godly chaplains to do their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.      The families that have had loved ones die to experience God’s comfort, mercy and presence as they grieve (2 Corinthians 1:3).

6.      The general public to appreciate what these men and women do to serve their country.

7.      The healing of broken bodies and emotions because of what they have gone through.

8.      That no matter what the circumstances they have experienced, they would turn to God and not away from Him.

9.      However else God may lead you to intercede for someone.

Thank you for praying. Your prayers make a difference and they are important. Someone may not know you are praying for them down here, but Almighty God knows you are praying. God responds to His people’s prayers. Stay faithful and hopeful!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

A “veteran” – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to the “United States of America,” for an amount “up to and including his/her life.”

–         Anonymous

–         Daily Strength for the Battle, p.12.

____________________________

“The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

–         Thucydides

If I Knew Then by Brian Willis, p. 59.

I have reviewed both of these books and the reviews are on the Book Reviews page.

Real Hand to Hand Combat

May 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Posted in encouragement, pray, warriors | Leave a comment
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The picture below is from the front of a t-shirt and sweatshirt that I have. I really like wearing them and I think they sum up my feelings about prayer. Below the man is written THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD. (2 COR. 10:4)

 These are two of my favorite pieces of clothing. I used to wear them when I went to karate classes. One of them was a gift from my youngest son.

I used to like studying and practicing martial arts. I am a little rusty now and not as practiced as I used to be. I like the combat arts the best. Some of you know what I’m talking about, the real stuff. You see, for me there is a difference between martial arts and martial sciences. To me there is a big difference between sport karate and functional hand to hand combat. Spiritually there is a difference between asking God for something for ourselves and interceding with God for someone else. To me intercessory prayer is one of the most unselfish ministries we can be involved in. You see, real disciples learn to be unselfish.

When I was a little younger there were times I would get antsy. I needed a good workout, a good fight. My wife would tell me to “go fight with Bryan. You need to fight.” I love my wife; she knows when I need a good fight. As for Bryan, he was my sensei and friend. At times he would call me “the fighting pastor.” I can’t beat him and he sure knows how to fight. I have to admit, I miss fighting with him and working out with him. He hit me so hard one time; I literally saw stars, little silver things shooting in at me from all directions! Man, I miss working out with him. I can’t go back there, but I can still get a good fight – on my knees in prayer!

But that brings me to this. Those martial arts workouts were just physical and fun. There were rules for each participant’s safety and development. In spiritual warfare our enemy doesn’t play by the rules. But there are Kingdom rules that can defeat him. Almighty God wants you and me to grow spiritually and develop as prayer warriors. People and churches need us to do battle in prayer. Intercessory prayer is spiritual and necessary. People are dying and going to hell. Sinful lifestyles are destroying lives and families. Many churches have quit looking for the return of the Lord and have quit sharing the Gospel and making disciples.

Prayer is the first work. Prayer is the important work. The work of the devil, our sworn enemy is to keep us from praying. Will you take up the challenge and develop into a prayer warrior? Will you make the time or take the time from your 24 hours to become a prayer warrior? God the Holy Spirit will empower you (Romans 8:26); God the Son will intercede for you (Hebrews 7:25); God the Father will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3). With all that help and the Word of God as your manual how can you lose? You will be victorious and more than a conqueror! To God be the glory!

There will be more to come on prayer. Stay faithful and hopeful! Keep fighting the good fight!

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

“All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on Him being with them.” – J. Hudson Taylor

“The self-sufficient do not pray, the self-satisfied will not pray, the self-righteous cannot pray. No man is greater than his prayer life.” – Leonard Ravenhill

“For decades we Christians have boasted in sermon and song that our God is great, the He loves us, that He answers prayer and that there is nothing too hard for Him. Isn’t it high time to prove that with some-down-to-business-prayer?” – Lyle Eggleston

(3)For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (4)The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (5)We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Pray for Veterans, part 1

April 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Posted in encouragement, pray, Veterans | Leave a comment
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Sometimes we Americans really take for granted the privileges of freedom. We also struggle with the truth that freedoms we have and most other countries want were bought at a price. Today I want to encourage my readers to pray for the brave men and women who serve in our various branches of the military. Let’s remember those who are either active duty or retired and take the time to intercede for them and their families.

Memorial Day is coming up and it is an important holiday. When I was a little kid my family used to go Bedford Ohio to watch the parade in the morning. We would go and stand in front of the Bedford Cemetery on Broadway to watch the parade. I remember a lot of people showing up for the parade. We would wave flags and clap as the parade went by. My grandmother would put flags and flowers on my grandfather’s and uncle’s graves. Now my uncle puts flowers and flags on those graves and the grave of my father also. Some traditions are worth repeating and communicating to coming generations.

When I was younger I did not understand all of this. I didn’t understand why some people were crying. I didn’t understand why some people were putting their right hand over their heart. I didn’t understand why most people clapped and cheered as the Veterans of Foreign Wars went by. I didn’t understand why all the time was spent just standing in front of a grave. As I type this I can still see it in the pictures of my mind. It is not just something I imagined; I experienced the importance of Memorial Day.

I cannot say that I fully understand what all those men and women went through because I never served in the military. Me and two of my friends registered for the draft when we were seniors in high school. But I think the draft stopped the same year so none of us were drafted. Some readers are too young to know anything about the draft. Birthdates were drawn lottery style and if your number came up, you were in the Army. You also had the option of joining one of the other branches of the military too.

As I got older and was able to do what I wanted to do and go where I wanted to go, I began to understand freedom and its privileges a little better. After God saved me and called me into the ministry and I began to counsel men who had served in Vietnam and I realized how little I knew about the military life and being in combat. So I began to learn and read and ask questions and listen and not judge. I had fewer answers and a lot more questions.

There is still a lot that I do not understand. The older I get the more thankful I am for GRACE. I may even have more questions and fewer answers to why some people go through what they go through. I recently read Daily Strength for the Battle by Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChyrstal (ret.) and I highly recommend it. You can read my review on my Book Review page. If you know of someone who served or is currently serving in the military I suggest you get it and send it to them.

But even more important than that is to pray for them. So let’s pray for the brave men and women who are currently serving and for those who have served in our country’s military. You can personalize these prayer points with specific names if you know someone or pray in a general way. Let’s pray for:

1.      Their protection, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

2.      Their family’s protection and for God’s provision in their lives.

3.      Many to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

4.      The many godly chaplains to do their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.      The families that have had loved ones die to experience God’s comfort, mercy and presence as they grieve (2 Corinthians 1:3).

6.      The general public to appreciate what these men and women do to serve their country.

7.      The healing of broken bodies and emotions because of what they have gone through.

8.      That no matter what the circumstances they have experienced, they would turn to God and not away from Him.

9.      However else God may lead you to intercede for someone.

Thank you for praying. Your prayers make a difference and they are important. Someone may not know you are praying for them down here, but Almighty God knows you are praying. God responds to His people’s prayers. Stay faithful and hopeful!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; John 15:7

A “veteran” – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to the “United States of America,” for an amount “up to and including his/her life.”

–         Anonymous

–         Daily Strength for the Battle, p.12.

____________________________

“The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

–         Thucydides

If I Knew Then by Brian Willis, p. 59.

Pray For the Unemployed

April 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Posted in men, pray | Leave a comment
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There are a lot of people who are unemployed or in danger of losing their jobs. Recently I saw a news report that 44% of adults have been experienced unemployment. I hope I heard that wrong. The other report that I heard was that the majority of the unemployed, about 70% are men. Most of these men who are unemployed want to work but can’t find jobs. If they find jobs they don’t make as much and/or they don’t get a job that they are qualified for.

I don’t want to get into gender issues, but men need to work to really feel like men. A good man wants to work and earn a living if he is physically and mentally capable. It’s part of being a man. A working man, whether white or blue collar doesn’t want to collect unemployment, he wants to work and provide for his family. He will even take a job where he is underemployed and undervalued just to work.

You may know some men like this. They may be discouraged and tired. They may be close to being depressed thinking the situation will never change. If you watch the news the job outlook is not too good. But there is a God who created men with a desire to work and to provide and He knows the problem and the answer. So let’s take the time to pray for men to be able to find jobs so they can provide for their families. Let’s join our faith and intercede with for:

  1. These hard economic times to help us humble ourselves before God (1 Pet. 5:6-7).
  2. Good jobs to become available in spite of this bad economy.
  3. Men who want to work to find good work so they can provide for their families.
  4. Families of the unemployed to overcome difficulty and grow in hope (Rom. 4:17, 20-21).
  5. The Church to step up and view these times as opportunities to minister in tangible ways.
  6. Men who do not want to work to come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
  7. All of God’s children, the employed and unemployed to be thankful (1 Thes. 5:16-18).
  8. God’s children to give generously and joyfully whatever their circumstances (2 Cor. 8:1-9; 9:8).

There have been difficult times in the past and there will be difficult times again in the future. But God is faithful! Let us be faithful also. Let’s pray and trust God to do what only He can do. Thank you for praying, it does make a difference.

Much grace and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

(Psalm 50:23) He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.

Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb

March 31, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Easter songs, hymns, pray | Leave a comment
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This is one of my all time favorite hymns. I like both the words and the beat. I like to sing it and clap my hands and sway a little bit too. Not too much movement, because I don’t have a lot of rhythm, but I do have enough to get into this song. I love this song! So today I am starting five days of songs about the blood of the Lamb leading up to Easter Sunday.

Let me say this as clearly as I can; if you think you can have a bloodless Christianity, you do not have a Biblical Christianity. (18)For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, (19)but with the precious blood of the Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19). I think some Christians need to get over their fear of not being accepted by unbelievers and begin to sing confidently, humbly and passionately about the blood of Lamb that was shed to purchase our redemption.

There are other Scriptures that speak about the blood of the Lamb and I will share some of them over the next few days as I share five of my favorite songs about the blood of the Lamb. I would also like to encourage you to begin to pray for your church’s Easter service and for unbelievers to come and fully understand the message and to experience the redeeming power of the blood of the Lamb. Pray for backslidden Christians to repent of sin and worldliness and to surrender their lives to the Lord. Pray for all of your church’s ministries to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

by Elisha Hoffman (1839-1929)

1. Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus) Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

2. Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you rest each moment in the Crucified? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

3. When the Bridegroom cometh, will your robes be white, Pure and white in the blood of the Lamb? Will your souls be ready for the mansions bright And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

4. Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin And be washed in the blood of the Lamb; There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean; Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

(Chorus)

 God bless you and may you experience the presence and power of God in your church service this Sunday! Stay faithful and hopeful until Jesus returns in glory.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Revelation 22:17, 20-21

Pray To Be Disturbed

March 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Posted in pray, Quotes, revival | Leave a comment
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Before I begin to read a book in-depth, I skim through it and read parts of it. Recently I received your church is too small by John Armstrong to both read and review. On a quick glance one of the things I like about it is the quotes. I’m a lifelong collector of quotes. In about a week and a half I’ll post a review of it. But for now, here’s a good quote.

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.”

–         Attributed to Sir Francis Drake, 1577 (p. 190)

Did that quote speak to you? It spoke to me. I have been trying to give Friday as a day to be reminded to pray for something in particular. Today’s prayer may be a little difficult for some. Let’s pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would disturb us in ways we need. For those of us who say we know Him through grace and faith, let’s ask ourselves the following questions and pray:

  1. Do we still love Him more than anyone or anything else? (Rev. 2:1-7)
  2. Do we live and pray with faith? (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6)
  3. Do we still love attending and serving through one of His churches? (Eph. 3:10-11; Heb. 10:19-25)
  4. Do we share our knowledge of this personal relationship in both word and deed? (2 Cor. 5:14-21)
  5. Do we still come boldly, humbly, confidently and consistently to the throne of grace? (Heb. 4:16; Phil. 4:4-7)
  6. Do we honestly redeem the time He has given us with Spirit filled lives? (Eph. 5:13-18)
  7. Do we walk in step with the Holy Spirit? (Gal. 5:16-26)

I’ll try to stop here even though I could go on. Specifically, I’m thinking of Romans 12:1-2.

(1)Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (2)Do not comform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then yopu will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV)

Maybe we don’t understand “surrender.” Maybe the battle between the flesh and the spirit never stops. Maybe we have discounted the resources and power of Almighty God like we have to so many things and people around us. Maybe we need a personal revival. Maybe our family’s, our churches, and our community’s need us to have a personal revival. Maybe we are too comfortable or afraid to be disturbed. Only we and the LORD really know the answer to that! Please disturb us Lord.

Much grace and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138

“The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it.”

“There is a deeper life. It is as deep as a personal Gethsemane and as costly as a personal Calvary.”

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

“Whatever else we say about revival we have to recognize this, that revival is an act of mercy in the sovereignty of God.”

–          All quotes by Leonard Ravenhill

_______________________

“You have longed for sweet peace and for faith to increase,

And have earnestly, fervently, prayed;

But you cannot have rest or be perfectly blest

Until all on the altar is laid.”

–         Hoffman

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