Learning How to Pray Effectively in 99 Seconds or Less (Part 9)

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Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses.

The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the reply.

Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase without a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”? All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that! (Why Revival Tarries, Leonard Ravenhill, p. 32)

Like the prison chaplain, we American believers are hindered by our own apathy. Oh yes! We may toss a few prayer darts toward heaven for our children and family, but that’s about it. Our neighbors, friends, fellow citizens, people in foreign nations− they’re on their own. God helps those who help themselves, right?

Even though we are under grace, there are spiritual laws. One of them is:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

In the years ahead, when tough times slam America, we will each reap what we sow. If we have sown prayerlessness and apathy, we will reap the same in our desperate hours of need. But if we have been zealous and prayed for others, we will reap the prayers of many when we need them the most.

Make up your mind what you want to reap in the future now.

What are other hindrances?

(Continued in Part 10)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (8/8/2014)

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First, I listened to a radio program a few years ago when a former Army Sergeant talked about IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in the Iraqi War. The IEDs were planted on roads and then usually set off by a cellphone when a Humvee drove over them. IEDs killed hundreds of American soldiers during the war.

“I can tell you how to stop IEDs,” said an Iraqi to the Sergeant.

“Really? How?”

“All you have to do is tie an Iraqi kid to the grill of each Humvee. IEDs will no longer be a problem for you.”

The Sergeant shook his head. “That won’t work. We won’t fight like that.”

“Sadly, IEDs will continue to be a problem for you,” said the Iraqi citizen.

Then, last week’s Inside Israel had an eye-opening testimony from a wounded Israeli soldier in the Gaza conflict:

            “We went into Shuja’iya, to discover and destroy the Hamas’terrorist tunnels…The Hamas fighters started sending towards us 13- and 14-year-old Palestinian children, running at us, wearing explosive-laden suicide-bomber belts. Those children were death-trapped, and became human bombs…We were trained to fight adult soldiers or any other skilled adults, enabling us to defend our families and countrymen.  But this?  We had no other option but, in self-defense, to shoot them at as far a range from us as we could, before the adult that sent them used his mobile phone to detonate the belts, and kill us.”

Whoa Nellie! We don’t think like they do.

This has been coming to me over and over again over the last few weeks about how we believers don’t think like our enemies think. And because of that, we Americans are prisoners of the kingdom of darkness. Hey! We’re at war, with lives at stake. How we pray and act may determine what happens in our cities and regions in the near future.

But first of all, we need to change our thinking.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers in our battle against the kingdom of darkness so that Satan does not outsmart us. Help us, Lord, to be familiar with Satan’s plans and schemes. (Based on 2 Corinthians 2:11)

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

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

(Just to let you know: I will be taking a vacation from my blog

until after Labor Day. See you then.)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (8/6/2014)

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A few years ago, a young girl asked me to pray for a miracle for her. She had just graduated from high school and wanted to attend college, but lacked the funds to do so. Her parents were divorced. She lived with her mother, but her father was a deadbeat and would not help with finances at all. She mentioned her upcoming graduation party.

“Will your dad be invited to your party?” I asked.

“No,” she replied, “I try not to be around him at all.”

“If you want a miracle from God, you need to find ways to honor your father.”

I opened my Bible and read:

“Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

She struggled with what I advised her to do, but ended up inviting her dad to the graduation party.

The end result: a few weeks later, a new scholarship fund chose her as the lone recipient. She received her miracle from God.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us Americans to honor Your word so that it is a lamp for our feet and a light for our paths; and so that we believers are no longer taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Based on Psalm 119:105 and Colossians 2:8)

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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Learn How to Pray Effectively in 99 Seconds or Less (Part 8)

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In the 1850’s, a slave woman watched in agony as her husband was led to the auction block. She knew her husband would be sold to another plantation and they would never see each other again. Life without him would be horrible, she thought.

As she stood there, in her hopelessness, wondering what she could do, she looked up toward heaven. “Lord, if I could help You right now as easily as You can help me, I would,” she prayed in a soft whisper.

As the slave husband slowly trudged up to the auctioneer, a young boy in the audience turned to his father. “Dad, could I have ten dollars to buy a slave?” he asked.

“Sure, son,” said his father,  knowing that each slave would sell for hundreds of dollars. He handed his son the money.

“Let’s begin the bidding on this young, strong slave,” said the auctioneer. “Who’ll start it off?”

The young boy raised his hand. “I’ll bid ten dollars,” he said in a loud voice.

The crowd turned to look at the young boy and laughed in unison at the ridiculousness of the boy’s bid. Each shook his head, and yet, there were no other bids. The boy purchased the slave husband for ten dollars

Afterward, the young boy walked to the cashier, paid his money, signed the papers, and took possession of his slave. He then took the slave husband over to the wife. “Here, you can have him. He’s yours,” he said to her.

(Rev. Kenneth Hagin related this story on his radio program)

This is one of my all-time favorite stories on prayer because it illustrates the importance of speaking out of your heart in prayer to God.

…The earnest (heartfelt) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (James 5:16 Amplified)

So, don’t let your lack of maturity or knowledge of scripture and prayer techniques hinder you from praying. Pray. Pray. Pray.

What are some other hindrances to praying effectively?

(Continued in Part 9)

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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, sisters and brothers, in The Name of Yeshua, Messiah, King, The Prince of Peace. Blessing to you with love, and may He be BLESSED AND GLORIFIED!

Here are some thoughts and observations as I look through my window at a very real war.  May this be fodder for prayer and may we be drawn into His Presence.

Most Friday mornings finds me at the shuk (market) on my way to the prayer meeting.  I am at the shuk as it is still waking up at 6 a.m., so not all of the stalls are stocked or open yet, but I know by now the ones that are open. They know me as well.  It has blessed me to watch the interactions of Arab and Jewish merchants at the shuk.  They have almost a special dance to guard their relationships.  There is not a feeling of hostility there at all, but of brotherhood.  I see Jewish and Arab merchants embracing and I also inquire how they and their families are and look for the open-faced reply.

My bread man is Jewish.  I pick up my challa (3 twined braided Shabat bread) each Friday from them and once a month, another two for communion (Tsudat h’Adon’ in Hebrew) for our kehila (fellowship).

I had just heard on the news as I rode the train that we had agreed to a 72-hour cease fire.  Although it might seem hard for many to understand, this was sad news. The job is not yet completed, and if it remains as it is, we will be faced again and again with the same war while they build up more sophisticated weapons in ever increasing numbers.  Once again, we feel the pressure from the world − the world that has been unsuccessful at pressuring Syria, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and so forth.

Since we DON’T censor our media, the constant barrage of accusations − inaccurate, ignorant and distorted − are very painful and influence many within the country.

On with my story.

The young man looked at me as he handed me the breads. “How are you? What do you think?” he asked.

I sighed. “We must finish it this time. If we do nothing and ignore the attacks, rockets and weapons will build up. Then we must do everything at once.”

He shook his head.  “What they won’t let us do and what we can’t do, HE must do and HE will,” he said, pointing up to heaven.

I smiled. “Yes, Amen, oh yes,” I agreed.

That is what the bread man said.  Bethlehem − Beit Lechem or House of Bread. The Promised One was hidden there like leaven in a loaf of bread as He described the kingdom of God in a parable.

And oh yes, more and more people really ARE looking UP seriously.  This war is very fierce, and even though all of the other wars fought since I have lived here have been for our own homes and families, in our land or on our borders, this one IS different.

The problem has been allowed to fester and it HAS become a war for our VERY EXISTANCE, there is no doubt, and just about everyone knows it.  A whopping 85-92% of the Jewish population stand behind the government’s decisions and wants to see it through to the end in spite of the great cost in lives or in allies. The sacrifice is great, but the alternative is EVERYTHING.

My heart was greatly moved on Friday night to see the demonstration up north − so brave and so very encouraging. Two hundred Christian Arabs marched together with Israeli flags and banners, saying: WE ARE ISRAELI AND WE STAND WITH ISRAEL.

The speaker was a Greek Orthodox Priest, but the group was mixed denominationally.  He said boldly and bravely, “WE MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE IN 1948 AND WE MUST NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN.  We sided with the Arabs against Israel, but we Christians must repent and know that we share the same God, the same Bible, the same promises and that His promise is for the land of ISRAEL, and we share IN that.”

It was truly amazing and so encouraging.

All around the country it looks like yom h’atz’maoot’ (our independence day).  Except for a few people, the streets are empty because more then 86,000 troops were called up. There are very few tourists or shoppers. But still flags are flying everywhere.  The streets are decked in blue and white and flags are now interspersed all over, Israel, Jerusalem and armed forces.  Signs and banners on walls, cars and buses (AND tee shirts) read: “Together we are strong…strengthen one another…stand with each other…help each other” and “Embrace a Golani, embrace a soldier”  and of course “Messiah is coming” and even “Messiah is among us.”

Boxes and booths appear everywhere collecting money, food, underwear for the soldiers and food and help for the people of the southern communities.  With NO tourism, the beautiful hotels, bed and breakfasts and resorts have opened their doors free to the people of the south and soldiers who need a break from the war.  Groups of people from all over the country gather to go and shop in Sderot and other besieged towns where businesses are starving for sales.  THERE IS A FACEBOOK PAGE called Israeli businesses under fire.

It lists businesses that need help. These are really families who will lose their jobs or companies in the midst of this fighting. It’s a creative way to buy things from them.  I was very encouraged by it.

They say it is a list and description, easy to use. You can buy things for yourself or for others or to donate.  One man in the states found a tee shirt place and ordered hundreds of tee shirts to be delivered to the soldiers.  Another found a caterer (usually a family business) and ordered hundreds of meals sent to the hospitals where the soldiers are for their families who are with them around the clock. It may be worth looking at the site.

And so the cease fire on Friday lasted for almost 90 minutes.  A suicide bomber entered a tunnel and blew himself up, killing 2 of our soldiers. Another cease is fire over.

Our 64 dead soldiers so far seems like a small number in comparison with the 1,700-1,800 dead people in Gaza, mainly women and children. But there is great grief here mixed in with great bravery.

Now I must share with you some things that many of you won’t read elsewhere:

The testimony below was from one of the wounded soldiers in Gaza. It gives an intimate look into what we are dealing with.  May this and other first-hand accounts enable us to continue with what needs to be done:

            “We went into Shuja’iya, to discover and destroy the Hamas’ terrorist tunnels.  We discovered there an entire underground city, with multi-shaft, wide tunnels, with Wi-Fi & air-conditioning systems, concrete walls, and stocked to the ceiling with weapons and explosives.  Some of the tunnels are so wide, that they can ride back and forwards on Vespa-type scooters.  And then came the worst.  The Hamas fighters started sending towards us 13- and 14-year-old Palestinian children, running at us, wearing explosive-laden suicide-bomber belts. Those children were death-trapped, and became human bombs, by the community’s adults.  We were trained to fight adult soldiers or any other skilled adults, enabling us to defend our families and countrymen.  But this??  We had no other option but, in self-defense, to shoot them at as far a range from us as we could, before the responsible adult that sent them used his mobile phone to detonate the belts, and kill us.” 

            One of the injured soldiers ended up by saying, “I do not know if I’ll ever be able to sleep again, the pictures of those poor children, killed by my gun, will probably never leave me.”

HERE IS A TRANSLATION OF AWSOME TESTIMONY PRINTED IN OUR HEBREW NEWSPAPERS ABOUT ANSWERS TO PRAYERS BY A GENERAL. He was mocked when he prayed them:

“Vinter also describes how his forces have seen miracles in their battles. One story he relates is when they were fighting in Hirbat Hizaah, Vniter says he saw something he had not seen during his entire career in the army to date. Vinter describes that they had decided to attack the area in the early hours of the morning, before daybreak, so the enemy would not notice them. The extraction team arrived at the location on time, but the fighters arrived late. Vinter says they did not know what to do, as the sky was already starting to light up and the soldiers were becoming visible, yet they needed to attack. Suddenly, Vinter says, a cloud cover came over them and protected them. Clouds of glory (ananei kavod). Suddenly it covered us, the fighters, a heavy fog, that stayed there throughout the attack. Nobody saw us. Only after the houses targeted were destroyed and there was no longer any danger to the soldiers did the fog disperse. Exactly as it says: “For Hashem will go with you to save you.”

    One last thing, THE pressing issue is PRAYER.  SPIRIT-LEAD SPIRIT FILLED PRAYER.  He knows all and His Book is filled with directions and information.  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING.

Again I have inundated you with so many words, please forgive me, but it is a most intense time.  I plan to attend another funeral at 5 p.m. today at the Mount Hertzl military cemetery for a fallen soldier from a family that I know.  I have been more emotional then I would like to be when I write, but please forgive my passion.  I send you my love.  God bless you dear body of Messiah.

Lovingly,

your sis J

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If We’re All Created in God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Part 5)

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Jesus walked through the temple during the Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah). A group of Jewish leaders surrounded Him and asked questions, trying to get Him to make errors to use against Him and His ministry. Jesus stated that He was the Son of God, which irritated the Jews so much they picked up stones to throw at Him. Then, Jesus spoke words that seemed to go far past God’s statement of making men into His own image and likeness.

Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? (John 10:34)

Were the Jewish leaders actually gods? Then, by extension, are we all gods?

In this time period, scripture was not divided into chapters and verses. Chapter numbers were first introduced in 1227 and verse numbers for the Old Testament came about in 1448 and for the New Testament in 1555.

Thus, when Jesus made His statement in John 10:34, He was using the accepted practice of His day by quoting a partial scripture to draw the Jewish leaders’ attention to the Psalm He was using for His discussion. His audience had all memorized the Psalms and understood that He was really saying:

I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.'”  Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all the nations. (Psalm 82:6-7)

The Hebrew word elohiym is translated into our English word gods in Psalm 82:6, but other meanings for the word elohiym also include: rulers, judges, angels, and godly ones.

If you study Psalm 82, you will learn that the whole Psalm refers to the leaders of Israel and God’s unhappiness with them.

Okay, the good news is that we are not gods. There is only one God who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

So, 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?”

(Continued in Part 6)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (8/1/2014)

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It is estimated there were approximately 300 million people living in the world at the time of Christ. Of this total, there were probably two to three million Jews, most living within a few hundred miles of Jerusalem.

What was the Lord’s plan for evangelizing the world?

Peter and the other original apostles were first sent to the Jews while the rest of the world awaited a scrawny, short Jew, who met the Lord on the Damascus Road, five years after the Lord’s ascension. It was another six years before Barnabas went to Tarsus and brought Saul to Antioch, and still another six years before Saul was released into his apostolic ministry and called Paul.

Israel and the Jews had waited approximately two thousand years for their Messiah to arrive in Jerusalem. Yet, the rest of the world waited an extra seventeen years before their manthe Apostle Paul – was sufficiently readied for his ministry to the Gentiles.

Think about this: our heavenly Father chose one Man, His Son, Jesus, to save the world. Then, the Lord Jesus Christ, chose one man named Paul to be His pioneer missionary to the world.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that You would stamp on the hearts of a hundred thousand missionaries for the 10/40 Window the commissioning words You spoke to Paul, so that blind eyes are opened, that people may turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among the sanctified believers. (Based on Acts 26:16-18)

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

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

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