Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (9/19/2014)

Each Friday I am praying and fasting for the nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world, as of 2014. This week I pray and fast for:

Syria. 21.8 million people with 1.3 million Christians.

As the civil conflict inside Syria becomes more and more severe, targeted violence against Christians has escalated. The Syrian opposition is increasingly ‘Islamizing’, and Christians are becoming more vulnerable in all spheres of life. Many Christians were reported to have been abducted, physically harmed or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21st, Islamist militias invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and injuring many more. (Open Doors, World Watch List)

The civil war that erupted in March 2011 has killed more than 100,000 people, displaced more than a million and sent 1.7 million fleeing across the country’s borders, according to U.N. reports. Historically, Syria has been home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Druze, Alawites, Shiites and Sunnis. It is a secular state, but Islam is recognized as the religion of the majority, and Shariah is the source of all legislation. (Voice of the Martyrs)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I remember the Christians in Syria as though suffering with them and pray that You will strengthen those who have tired hands and encourage those who have weak knees. Lord, speak to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to save you.” (Based on Hebrews 13:3 and Isaiah 35:3-4)

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

 

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The Incredible Miracle

Larry Who:

For all those who have waited and waited for a miracle, this is a great testimony, especially if you have suffered from allergies. Claire is one of a kind gal anyway that people love, just because of her enthusiasm. She is a stonkin’ fun type of Kiwi who loves the Lord.

Originally posted on One Passion One Devotion:

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Twice now I’ve hinted at an incredible life changing moment in my life.  Again its still so amazing and I’m in awe of what has happened.   Now that you know my backstory I’ll go into what happened on Saturday and since then.

Over the weekend our church, The River Christian Church (Auckland) held HIS PRESENCE Conference | UNCONTAINABLE.

It was phenomenal.  The worship went off in every session.  Each message was bang on and relevant and God’s NOW words for me and so many others.  It was great to connect with River people and friends from other churches, and of course, make new friends.  Our kids had their own River Kids conference and had an amazing time discovering more about God and His great love for them.

I felt that the message on Friday night by Paul Saunders was just for me.  It was so where I was at…

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (9/16/2014)

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Today, I struggled and finally prayed:

Lord, help us to embrace what You are doing in America, believing that You are able to build and plant a new nation out of the one You are uprooting and tearing down. (Based on Jeremiah 1:10)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for America.

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Learning How to Pray Effectively in 99 Seconds or Less (Part 11)

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Friday, I prayed for the nation of Somalia. I had never studied or heard much about the nation before that day, except for reading a little bit about the Somalia pirates. So, even though I wrote a general prayer for Somalia in my article, this was not really how I prayed for the nation.

What I actually did was bow my knees on the floor and prayed: “Lord, give us Somalia.”

Then, a tremendous sorrow fell upon me. I wept, travailed, groaned, and grunted before the Lord for Somalia. It resonated all through me how much the Lord loved the nation and its people. I was overwhelmed by His desire to turn the nation from the power of Satan to Him and His ways. My heart was broken for Somalia.

To be honest, I have not had that type of passion in my prayers for years and years. In fact, it had been gone so long, I wondered if I would ever have it again. The reasons for losing my passion?  I am sure it revolved around apathy and compromise on my part.

But I am determined not to lose my passion again and now pray the following prayer for myself and others:

Lord, help me to never be slothful in zeal, to be always red-hot and fervent in spirit, so I can serve You Lord without apathy and compromise. (Based on Romans 12:11)

Prayers without fervent passion hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.

What are other hindrances?

(Continued in Part 12…earlier parts can be read by clicking here or above on the header.)

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Inside Israel

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Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …

Greetings DEAR sisters and brothers, in The Name of Yeshua who was faithful, is faithful and will be faithful to glorify His Name and to bring His perfect purposes to pass.  Halleluiah!  May you be blessed and may He be blessed and glorified

With emotions still bruised, I am clueless, but I pray that He will bring to remembrance the observations that seem to have been quickened to me this week.  I have received wonderful emails from some of you that have not yet been answered, and I’m sorry.  I have been in somewhat of a quiet space.  I know that some of you reading this lived amidst the bombings of WW2, or have experienced other awful wars on your own soil.

And I know that others fought in wars on foreign soil. So you know the pressures of wars far bigger then this 50-day war.  I feel somewhat embarrassed to emerge at this end speaking about our stress, which also was not much when compared to what our brothers and sisters experienced in the south on the Gaza border. Then there are those who were on the receiving end of our defense as well.  All of these suffered far more then I did, but I am not equipped to speak of their experiences, only to share with you my own, and so I will.

On the day that the fighting stopped, there was so much confusion. Some of that has been sorted out as I took a step back and we had opportunity to listen to one another.  I am now convinced that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the generals in charge of decision-making did an extraordinary job with the options that they were faced with.  Much of the warfare itself took place in booby-trapped houses. It seems to me that the leadership also had to walk through a booby-trapped maze.  Although Hamas came out rejoicing and loudly proclaiming, “victory,” it has become more and more evident that it certainly wasn’t a victory for them.

You might recall the prayer that I was praying toward the end: “Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves.” (Psalm 66:7)  It is interesting that Psalm 68:6 says “…but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”  (again, Alla is the god of deserts and of dry places.)  It took me a while to see that they had NOT achieved a victory in spite of the Hamas rallies. During which, by the way, two Gaza participants were killed by celebratory gunfire.

Nonetheless, being Israelis we are now involved in much self criticism as well as the reality of paying the huge bill for the war.  Neither a raise in taxes nor cuts to the budgets of the public ministries are being well received.  But these are just the facts of life.

Last night was the first night that I slept all the way through without hearing phantom air-raid sirens in my head.  It felt good.  The trains and buses are full of weary soldiers returning home for a break and others returning to their bases after a break, looking clean and neat again.  One of our patients, Yehuda, came by and I asked him how he was doing.  He looked at me and said, “Okay, I guess,” and crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out.

I laughed and said, “Brrrrrargh! Me too!”

Immediately the picture came to mind that some of you from America might remember of the comic character Peanuts.  In it, there was a little bird that would often get the brunt of stress and his little feathers would be all ruffled and his tongue hanging out.  PERFECT!  It is sort of how most of us are feeling after these 50 days as we emerge and we are very unsure just WHAT we are emerging to.

How I praise The Lord for His great faithfulness.  This war has stirred a hunger in many people.  Perhaps you recall my prayer request for Rachel who visited my apartment several weeks ago and wanted to know about The Lord and how He set me free from depression and brought me victory in weight loss.  She called me and said, “Guess what I found in the scriptures?  I have to come over and show you.  It is about the war!  The answer is here!”

We plan for her to come by this week or next.  Last night a at our fellowship meeting a dear sister told me that she was deeply burdened for the people of the South while she was riding to work on the bus.  She had her Bible in her lap and was silently praying when suddenly the woman in front of her jumped and turned around and stared at her.  “Are you PRAYING?” she asked.

“Yes, yes, I was,” she answered. “How did you know?”

The woman smiled and said, “The Holy Spirit just began pouring all over me from behind me. I knew you had to be praying!”

It turned out that the woman was a believer who had come from Russia.  What an encouragement to the TWO of them and to me.  So often we can’t SAY anything.  If we DO share, it is as if we are sharing strange tales.  But He tells us to, “Be Light and salt in the midst” and “to let HIS Light shine among men.” And what an encouragement to see that He, in His great faithfulness, is indeed walking in the midst.  He WILL make His Presence AND His Name known to all.

The first day of the cease fire, as I said, there was much confusion; Did we stop too soon?  Did they win or loose?  Will there be quiet in the south?  Did we reward terrorism?  Are we better off then we were 51 days ago?  But by day two, more flags were out again and people were standing a bit straighter.

On the day of the cease fire, the Syrian war spilled over into our North.  Al qaeda groups fighting with the rebels took over the Christian village of Quneitra with the strategic Quneitra crossing between Syria and Israel.  During the fighting, several missiles were shot into Israel damaging cars while a stray bullet injured an Israeli officer.  Poor war torn Syria … so much fighting…so much grief.  Barbarism – beheading and torture running rampant – Islam slays the infidels and the earth reels with blood.

God is in the midst and we are certainly learning to FIX our eyes on The Lord. Look away unto Yeshua – Jesus – behold Him as Stephen did.  And so I ask Him for “…patience and longsuffering with joy…” for who knows how long it will be until we too are called upon to stand?  Slowly, I’m learning the reality that it is ONLY in looking away unto Him that I will be able to stand in the face of such things.  Oh, intellectually I say, “Of course I will”…but the closer I live to these actual events, the more I see my own natural inability to stand.

God bless and keep you.  May we be given His discernment, be filled with His Holy Spirit and the Love of Yeshua which passes knowledge…and may we choose His way, ALWAYS, no matter what the cost.  All glory to Him Who paid such a price. He must consider us very precious to have taken us each all the way to the cross.  May we treat one another the same way – as precious.

Lovingly,

your sis in Jerusalem J

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If We’re All Created in God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Conclusion)

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So, I repeat: was John Paulk correct when he said, “We [gays] are not broken, damaged, inferior or throwaways. We are created in the image of God—just like everyone else?”

First, are gays created in the image of God, just like everyone else?

Before our salvations, gays and straights alike are created in the image of God in that we can think, make decisions, have emotions, can love and interact with others, have creative ideas, can even create life through procreation, and are eternal beings.

But because of Adam’s fall, unredeemed humans can not readily converse with God or walk with Him, like Adam did in the Garden of Eden. We are separated from the life of God and will remain that way unless we are redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

At salvation, gays and straights alike are redeemed and then can enjoy the life of God living in and through them.

Are all gays broken, damaged, inferior or throwaways?

Yes, they are, but so are straights. We all have to be changed into the image of Christ after our salvations. We all have to put off our old selves, have our minds renewed, and put on our new selves, created in the likeness of God.

Plus, we all, with the help of the Holy Spirit, have to put to death our sins and desires of the flesh, which are hostile and not pleasing to God. The sins of the flesh include sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, and so forth.

What if a gay gives his life to Christ, but stays in his gay lifestyle?

I believe his salvation is eternally secure through grace, but there are at least two scriptures which will haunt him at the Judgment Seat of Christ:

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)

So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

Thus, why must gays change after accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior?

So, they don’t feel the shame of Christ when they meet Him in His glory and are not considered the least throughout eternity.

We straights have to change, too.

Thus, let’s all repent and change today.

(Conclusion)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (9/12/2014)

Each Friday I am praying and fasting for the nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world, as of 2014. This week I pray and fast for:

Somalia. 10.3 million with a few hundred Christians in the whole nation.

Pressure is increasing on the tiny Christian community in this Muslim-majority country. Islamic leaders and government officials publicly reinforce that there is no room for Christians, and there is a strong drive to purge Christianity from Somalia. The militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab, targets Christians and local communities. Ten believers are reported to have been killed by members of al-Shabaab in 2013. There is a high level of fear and mistrust among believers, who have to hide their faith for fear of betrayal. (Open Doors, World Watch List)

Today I prayed:

Lord, I remember the few hundred Christians in Somalia as though suffering with them and although some will suffer tribulation and testing, I pray that all are faithful until death that they may receive the crown of life. (Based on Hebrews 13:3 and Revelation 2:10)

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

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