Friday, October 17, 2014

Prayers: Words or Actions?

What is prayer? There’s a political commercial on the airwaves that shows a candidate saying she and her husband prayed for her opponent during his moral misconduct, but she goes on to say that now was time for action as opposed to words. Is that all prayer is? To the atheist, a prayer is a waste of breath. To the agnostic, prayer could be a waste, but they are not sure. What about you, who answer to the name Christian. Is prayer a route chore before a meal, bed, and at the church on Sunday when you feel guilty or perhaps earnestly convicted?
The following words spoken by Billy Graham as reported by CSN News should wake us up, brothers and sisters. “Even though America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah ever were, and as deserving of the judgment of God, God would spare us if we were earnestly praying, with hearts that had been cleansed and washed by the blood of Christ,” said Rev. Graham in his commentary for Decision magazine, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “Today the world is being carried on a rushing torrent of history that is sweeping out of control,” said Rev. Graham.  “There is but one power available to redeem the course of events, and that is the power of prayer by God-fearing, Christ-believing people.” 
John Owen, a Puritan writer, has said: “What an individual is in secret on his knees before God, that’s who he really is, and no more.” D.L. Moody put it this way: “Be humble or you’ll stumble.” Before we come to Jesus with sincere repentance, we have to humble ourselves. There are those who will flat out fight me over this, but God being holy and pure turns his head from sin which we are by the way until we repent and make Him Lord of our lives. This means until we are willing to accept Jesus, we are sinful and God the Father does not hear us.
Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Psalm 145:19
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Proverbs 28:9
If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
Psalm 66:18
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;

John 9:31
We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Christ shows us the model prayer-not one that is consistently naming off the over 157 names of the Trinity, or the loudest that shows intricate knowledge of Bible truths given only to preachers of the certain denomination-there aren’t any by the way. We all have access to the Glory of Heaven named Jesus.
We are told to pray without ceasing. Elmer Towns says this way, “The effective prayer is not measured by how loud you pray, or how long you pray, or even if you say the words of the Lord’s Prayer again and again in a repetitious fashion. Your prayer life will be effective it you are sincere (your approach) and if you ask for the right things (what you say).” I will tell you right now and I may be wrong, Born Again Believer, but God is not too concerned with you sincere desire to see the Cowboys win, or for you to find the lucky lotto numbers. God grants prayers not wishes that will ultimately bring Glory to himself.
We need to acknowledge the power in prayer.
POWER that Paul and Silas experienced in the midst of a jailhouse when they prayed and an earthquake shook the foundation of the prison and broke the chains that bound them. 
POWER that Steven possessed as he was stoned to death due to his testimony for the Lord Jesus. As he stood there with death approaching he looked at towards heaven and said “I see Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”
It is estimated that 4,000 churches a year close their doors permanently. In 1920, 27 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. In 1950, 17 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. In 2004, 11 churches existed for every 10,000 Americans. “If trends continue, by 2050 the percentage of Americans attending church will be half of what it was in 1990” “Between 80% and 85% of all churches in America are either plateaued or are declining. The Acts of the Apostles teaches that a huge number in one day were added to the Lord’s count. What about us today?
Little bit of Biblical history. Peter’s in jail. The people are earnestly praying for his release. He gets released, and they even though they were praying didn’t believe it. Folks, we must understand that prayer is not just a chore and lip service to God, but it is our way to speak with Him not just to Him. This is the type of praying the church needs today! James says in his epistle… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16) 

Let’s close with this: Casting Crowns sing a song that says this: 

”What if His people prayed”
”And those who bear His name”
”Would humbly seek His face”
”And turn from their own way”

”And what would happen if we prayed”
”For those raised up to lead the way”
”Then maybe kids in school could pray”
”And unborn children see light of day”

”What if His people prayed”

 Coming Soon, unanswered prayers. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


                “We don’t need to hammer that,” stated a Christian in reference to objecting to that personal choice that women sometimes make to kill the child AKA “Fetus,” AKA “Unborn child,” in the womb. Many Christians today interject their BUTS into God’s message. There’s scripture, BUT.  I love this one: I’m against abortion; I think it’s wrong, BUT… You may be thinking that this issue is a political one and should be left out of church discussion. But I am of the belief that the abortion issue is more than just a political issue, I believe it is a spiritual one. How dare we as so called Christians stay silent over the death of babies because we think it’s a political issue when it is nothing more than an abomination to God, the very bringer of life.
                In 2013, A Massachusetts woman charged in the deaths of her 9-year-old daughter and unborn son was arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges. Authorities say Fang Chi-Xue of Quincy fatally stabbed her 9-year-old daughter in April and stabbed herself in the abdomen, killing her unborn baby.
Really? A murder charge for the child AND the "fetus"? Why should she be tried and not all the others who kill their babies?
               Robert A. Davis was convicted of killing the fetus of Maria Flores during a robbery in 1991 when she was about six months pregnant.

…we are supposed to speak out, raise our voices, to protect the innocent!
Prov. 31:8-9
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 12:28
There is life in the path of righteousness,
but another path leads to death (HCSB).

            4000 babies. That’s the number of babies that are killed in the name of politics, democracy, and choice. Jeremiah 1:5 
          Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…
Words from God, but mommy decided to kill the baby maybe to save her own life, forget the trauma of being a victim, because she doesn’t feel ready, or she cannot deal with what President Obama referred to as a mistake.
Jesus showed special concern for the lame, the blind, the woman with the issue of blood, the lepers. In our day we mustn’t forget. 

          Some studies report that as many as 90% of couples faced with an amniocentesis report of probable Down’s Syndrome will choose to abort. That’s a big number, and they are all little ones! And yet, do you know anyone with a Down’s child that doesn’t tell you that child is the light of their life, an absolute joy, the most loving person they’ve ever known?
          Theologian, writer and pastor, John R. W. Stott, "Man is a unique creation, the object of God’s loving care in both creation and redemption. The reason the Bible forbids the taking of human life, except judicially, is that it is the life of a human being with a divine likeness." Our key idea is: human life bears Gods image making it sacred.

           The Alan Guttmacher Institute that does studies for Planned Parenthood, there are still over 1.3 million abortions a year in America. That is close to the population size of Santa Clara County. They also said that by age 45, 43% of women will have had at least one abortion. Now if you think that this is just people out there beyond the church walls—while there has been some decrease in abortions in our population, there has been an increase in abortions amongst those who claim to be evangelicals Christians—up to 18%. So, over 200K women who claim to be Christ-followers have abortions each year. One of the big reasons is that it’s easier to hide an abortion than it is a pregnancy. Will you stand up and defend those who cannot defend themselves?