I heard a story recently about a young girl who wrote a letter to a missionary to let him know that her class had been praying for him. But evidently she'd been told not to request a response to her letter because the missionaries were very busy. So the missionary got a kick out of her letter. It said, "Dear Mr. Missionary, we are praying for you. But we are not expecting an answer."
I can't help but think that that little girl summarized the prayer lives of many Christians. Sometimes we pray without expecting an answer, even though God has assured us that He does indeed hear our prayers. David said, "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications." (Psalm 116:1). But I think many of us struggle with the nagging question, "Is God really listening to me?" Yes, He heard David, He heard Elijah, and He heard the apostles. But does He hear me?
How do we really know that our prayers are answered? Sure, there are times when we see visible results. We may pray for someone who's sick and the next week they get well. But more often, our prayers don't produce flashing "neon" answers. We pray for help in financial problems, and we don't see things get any better. We pray for guidance in making right decisions, but the decisions don't get any easier. We pray for relationships with other people to improve, but they just seem to get worse. How do we as Christians account for that happening? How do we explain the fact that so many of our prayers seem to go "unanswered"?
The truth is, for a child of God there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. Maybe you've heard it said before that God answers prayer in three ways. Sometimes the answer is "yes." Sometimes the answer is "no." And sometimes the answer is "wait a while." It's easy to accept an answer of "yes," but what about when God says, "no"?
Let me suggest three principles:
First of all, we need to trust God enough to realize that our all-loving, all-powerful Father loves us and has our best interest at heart. So when it seems that God says "no" to our prayers, we must trust Him enough to understand that there must be a good reason for it. It may be beyond our limited ability to understand, but we must simply trust God.
Secondly, we must not forsake God. Disappointment is a dangerous, powerful thing. When we get the feeling that God isn't listening to us, that He has said "no" to some prayer, we have a tendency to feel disappointed in Him. And Satan whispers to us, "God said He loves you, but He's not here." And if we allow that disappointment to harbor in our hearts, it can drive a wedge between us and God. We must continue to be faithful to our responsibility before God.
And thirdly, we need to realize that the answer may not be "no," but only "wait a while." God always answers our prayers immediately, but sometimes there's a delay in the giving of the answer and that can be a difficult thing for us to accept. The ability to wait for an answer is one of the marks of maturity. Be willing to let God answer in his own time, in his own way, and in his own power.
Many people see God as a divine vending machine in which you deposit one prayer and out pops a blessing. But what happens when you put your money in the Coke machine and nothing comes out? You get angry, you kick the Coke machine. So it's not surprising that such a view of God and prayer leads to disappointment when God says no.
I believe that we need to foster an entirely different view of prayer from that one. Our God is the Great God of the Universe, the Creator of all things that exist other than Himself. For us to even venture to speak to Him is presumptuous. For us to ask Him to pay attention to our requests and then hope for Him to meet them requires bold expectation. In fact such would be arrogance if it were not for the simple fact that God tells us to do just that.
Looking from the proper perspective, we will not ask "What happens when God says no?" but rather "What happens when God says yes?" That the God of the heavens would listen to us and our needs is a great testimony to His great love for us. And it is that love that will lead Him to say no from time to time. At those times, we must trust Him knowing that he loves us and desires what is best for us. We must never forsake Him nor our duty toward Him. And we must realize that what we interpret to be an answer of "no" may just be God telling us to wait a while.
"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." (I John 5:14)
Why do children of light come under such demonic attack at certain times of the year? In Ephesians 5 it says that we are light.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
Recently, I've seen that people whose light is getting brighter have come under a stronger demonic attack than ever before. As I was praying on what to do about this, this is what I heard: "When you turn a light bulb on in the darkest of night, what does it draw? It draws Beelzebub!" (Beelzebub = enemy (devil))
Flies, mosquitoes and other bugs are literally like the enemy's tormentors. And the children of light are getting under a stronger demonic attack. These tormentors come to distract and put out their light.
If you've been under attack recently it simply means that your light has been turned up because you've had a strong hunger and thirst for God. So don't turn your light off or out. Instead let it shine brightly for all these things shall pass away when the night is over and the dawn of a new day begins.
Children of Light Coming Forth
I feel that very shortly, probably within a few weeks, the night will be over and a new day of light shall begin. And a new purpose for the children of light is coming forth to reveal the true light of God.
So this is what I believe He's speaking to me. The true light of the children of God will understand what is already written in the Bible. This Beelzebub realm; flies, mosquitoes and things of darkness, will grow darker as it comes to steal your light.
The darker the night is in the world, the brighter the light of God flows from the children of God.
Don't let Beelzebub have your light because this attack is a short-lived thing and it will shortly pass away. Then the light of day will come and the time of the light in you being revealed is close at hand.
So don't back up and don't let the enemy steal your love, your joy or your peace. Hold on to them during this time of attack because the enemy is short-winded and shortly the attack will be over. The light that you have will shine brighter in the light of the Son.
Bob and Bonnie Jones
Filippus is een van sewe gekose manne wat die Nuwe Testamentiese kerk moes lei. Waarom? Want hy het sekere kwalititeite gehad. Kom ons kyk na twee daarvan: Hy het die vermoë gehad om deur die Gees gelei te word. Filippus het begin as diaken in die administratiewe afdeling van die gemeente, maar toe 'n evangelis in Samaria geword. 'So het dit gebeur dat Filippus by 'n stad in Samaria gekom het en Christus daar verkondig het. Toe die mense hoor...en die wonders sien wat hy doen, het hulle aandagtig na sy prediking geluister' (Hand. 8:5-6 NV). Wel, die gedagte om daar te bly en 'n groot gemeente te bou, moes vir Filippus baie aantreklik gewees het. Maar God het ander planne gehad. ''n Engel van die Here het vir Filippus gesê: 'Maak jou klaar en gaan...' Filippus het toe...gegaan...' (vv. 26-27 NV). Dink hieroor: as God met jou praat, sê Hy dalk wat jy nie wil hoor of stuur jou waarheen jy nie wil gaan nie. Is dit waarom jy nie regtig Sy leiding vra nie? Groot deure swaai op klein skarniere oop. In die woestyn het Filippus die ontmande Ethiopiër ontmoet, wat 'n hoë pos aan die hof van sy koningin beklee het. Filippus moes hom vir Christus bekeer en doop. Met die Ethiopiër se terugkeer na sy land, het hy baie mense vir die saak van Christus gewerf. Dit het egter net gebeur omdat Filippus sy gemaksone verlaat en God in geloof gevolg het. Feit is: om ander te lei, moet jy deur God gelei word.
Sielskos: Hooglied 5-8; Luk 6:37-49; Ps 109:1-15; Spr 15:22
Hold me tight Lord when my feet are slipping.
Hold me Lord, if I stay on the wrong road.
Comfort me Lord, when the tears flow freely.
God healed my heart when my heart bleeds.
Keep me company when I am lonely.
Give Security when I think life is without purpose.
You be my friend when my friends abandoned me.
Be thou my wisdom as I seek advice.
Be thou my physician when I am sick and full of pain.
Be thou my power source as my strength began to fade.
You be my anchor as the tide would drag me along.
The yarn sewing when my life is tearing apart.
Be thou my back when I walk on difficult roads.
Be thou my confidence as I feel there is no hope.
A thousand times thank you Lord, that I may ask of you.
Thousand thanks God that you bear me everything.
Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of
others.” Philippians 2:4 NCV
We live in an ADD world. It seems like everybody’s got Attention Deficit Disorder because our tools and technology have left us perpetually distracted, and we no longer pay attention to the people around us.
When you walk into a meeting, how many people are sitting there looking at their phone and texting? Our heads are always down, engrossed in a video or word game, and our earbuds keep us from hearing the people around us.
How many times have you been in a restaurant with friends, but you’re more
concerned about your “friends” on Facebook or Twitter?
If you want to have happier relationships, you need to learn the lost art of paying
The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, “Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others” (NCV).
This doesn’t come naturally, does it? By nature, I may not care what you’re interested in. By nature, I may want the attention on me, not you.
But the greatest gift you can give somebody is your attention because your attention is your time, and your time is your life. You’re never going to get it back, and that’s why it is so precious when you give it.
This is a simple but powerful tool in growing strong relationships.
Are you interested in what your kids are interested in? Do you listen to what
your partner has to say? Do you give your coworkers your attention when they
speak to you? Do you notice your neighbor as you walk by him in the
Learning the lost art of paying attention is an act of love. It will transform your relationships and help you live a happy life.
Father God we just want to lift Your Name up in this day. We accknowlage that we can do nothing without Your guidance wisdom and support. We pray in Jesus Name that you forgive us our trespasses. Help us to only do Your will in our lives help us to see Your greatness, Your omnipotence, Your power so that we can get a glimps of who you are and really respect You for who You are not only for what you do for us. Let Your anointing fill us to empower us to be your instruments and make us less so that there is more room for you in our lives. Only Your will in Jesus Name Amen
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
Tears blurred my vision as I struggled to keep the car between the highway markings. "God, I'll never go back," I sobbed as I sped toward home. "I've tried and tried to get
along with Beulah. It's no use, she'll never change." I shivered in the crisp morning as the cool temperature seemed to penetrate my body.
This time my stepmother's tongue had cut too deeply---surely we had finally
come to the point of no return in our relationship.
I loved my father deeply, but I was going to have to stay away from both of them. Every visit ended in grief, and I could see no hope for a decent relationship---ever.
Beulah entered my life when I was three. At that age I should have adjusted easily to her as my mother, but even then she was possessive of my father's time and attention.
Ever since, I had toted a hug bag of resentment toward Beulah. Bitterness was my constant companion. As a Christian, I felt ashamed that I couldn't manage a good
relationship with Beulah. Knowing that it shouldn't be that way, I struggled with the problem constantly, but the situation seemed impossible.
I wallowed in self-pity for two weeks after my awful meeting with Beulah, and God listened to my tale of woe. "I've spent my whole life trying to please her," I wailed. "And those days I was miserable most of the time."
Then God brought to mind the parable from the Bible in which a wicked servant who was forgiven his debt in turn refused to forgive his fellow servant of his debt. The wicked
servant's master turned him over to jailers to be tortured until his debt was fully repaid.
God showed me that I was like that servant in that I had been in an emotional prison
for years. I was hurting, but I knew that I could never be free from the torture of bitterness and resentment until I forgave Beulah completely.
"What can I do, God?" I prayed. "She's the one who hurts me. I can't seem to do anything about the memories. Those things really happened, they hurt then, and now they're stuck in my mind."
I sensed that God was shining His light into a dirty corner of my heart. It seemed as if He were telling me, "You allow every painful thing that she has ever done to come
flooding back into your mind.
You have to go through the entire struggle of forgiving her again. You need to forgive her just as I have forgiven you. I have forgiven your wrongs against Me, and I will never bring them up again.
When haunting memories come, refuse them. I've told you what to do in
My Word. Read it."
Understanding began to rise in my mind, and I prayed, "Right now, with Your help, Lord God, I am going to forgive her just as You have forgiven me. I don't want to bring those things up ever again."
With trembling hands I opened my Bible and read, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
(Philippians 4:8 NIV) "Oh, God," I cried, "is it really that simply?" I was already beginning to feel the first glow of peace in my heart as I began to understand that if I obeyed God's Word, He would help to change my thought patterns.
"From this moment," I promised God, "every time a bad memory enters my thoughts, I am
going to obey this Scripture." And I did. When bitter thoughts and resentment entered my mind, I countered with good thoughts. Sometimes with something as simple as, "She's the best cook I know." Gradually I formed a new habit in thinking. God didn't change my stepmother - He changed me! I could think now of her as "mother" instead of "stepmother," and I no longer dwelt on the hurtful things she said.
A few years passed. One day the phone rang much too early in the morning. When I answered the phone, I could hear the panic in my father's voice as he said, "Honey, something is wrong with your mother. I can't wake her up."
I said, "Daddy, try to be calm. We'll get there as fast as we can."
A mad race to their house revealed Mother lying in bed, unable to speak, unable to
The next several hours were a blur of ambulance, hospital, doctors, test and more tests. Finally, we learned that Beulah had had a massive stroke. One doctor explained, "The trauma to her body was as devastating as if she had been struck by a semi." For the next nine months she lay paralyzed, unable to communicate even her smallest needs.
Because the bitterness was gone, I was able to spend long hours by Beulah's
side caring for her. Friends and family who knew how difficult our relationship had been through the years asked, "How can you be so kind to this woman? She had made your life miserable since you were a child."
I could respond that my compassion for her was real, and I felt a genuine sorrow for what she was going through. I have often thought of how different my feelings would have been during that time if God had not done His special work in my heart and wiped away the
I praise Him. I adore Him. "He set me free, He broke the bonds of prison for me."
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)