Monthly Archives: July 2014

Learning How to Pray Effectively in 59 Seconds or Less (Part 6)

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Marty at Walking in Faith wrote about a bumper sticker she saw on a car, which stated: “Nothing Fails Like Prayer.”

My initial knee jerk reaction to the bumper sticker was negative, as in “that sad person hasn’t got a clue about prayer,” but then, I thought more about it. And now, I pretty much agree with the bumper sticker’s logic although I would change it a little bit so it reads: “Nothing Fails Like Prayers By Christians.”

Let’s be honest, okay?

How many of us have prayed healing prayers for people? I have and many were not healed.

How many of us have prayed for people’s finances? I have and some have gone bankrupt.

How many of us have prayed for marriages? I have and a few have suffered divorces.

What’s the problem?

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7)

There are hindrances to praying effectively.

Wolfgang Simpson wrote about a group of Christians praying for a city in a foreign country. The city was filled with wickedness and darkness. They fasted and prayed for years, but nothing ever changed. The group finally decided to fast and pray to discover how to pray for the city.

After a period of time, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: “Pray that My divine plans and redemptive purposes are fulfilled in this city.”

The group began praying the way the Holy Spirit showed them.

Soon, the city’s economy and social structure collapsed. Everything was a mess, but out of the shambles a group of believers arose that brought godliness into the city.

The number one hindrance to our praying effectively is that we pray according to how we see with our eyes and know with our minds rather than according to the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all… (John 6:63)

What are some other hindrances?

(Continued in Part 7)

P.S. If you are interested, K. P. Yohannan has a great book on prayer that is free today. Check it out here.

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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 …

Loving greetings sisters and brothers.  May we draw near to Him Whose Name is above all names, The Only True God, to Whom belongs all glory and honor and praise and blessing.

Today is an amazing day. The weather is wonderful and the wind is blowing and it marks TWENTY YEARS SINCE WE MADE ALIYAH. WOW!

Twenty years ago today, I set my foot for the first time on the ground of my ancestors, Israel, and saw a Word come to pass that The Lord had spoken to me SEVENTEEN YEARS EARLIER.  A Word that I did not WANT, nor understand, nor one that I worked out in any way to make it come to pass.

I had never seen this land and frankly, had never been much interested in doing so.  His desires and plans for us are so much better and more perfect then our own. That’s in my opinion and by my experience.  Easier?  Maybe not. But to discover Him in it all is worth everything, the pearl of great price.

So, today is day SIX of this intensifying war, and war it is.

Today faces on the train, in the store, and at the shuk showed much more strain. The people were in more of a hurry then usual.  Most wanted to be near their homes. I found my own eyes searching for the right places to take cover if the siren went off.

Here in Jerusalem we have 90 seconds.  What added tension it must be for those in cities and places where you have only 15 seconds. That is not very long!

I watched a young army soldier and his air force girlfriend, kiss goodbye and hug as she got off at the bus station. He then traveled on to his destination.

Last night we gathered together at our kehila and had a wonderful meeting.  It was very small because July is when many are away for a summer vacation, but we had more visitors then we expected.  Because of the situation (in Hebrew we speak of the mat’tsav which means the situation), we decided on worship and testimonies with a shorter then usual message.  One of our teenage boys told about how he was counselor at a believer’s camp for small children and how frightened they got at the siren. (Their parents wanted them to stay home.) He said that they prayed and The Lord gave him the scripture about The Lord being in our midst where there are 2 or 3 who believe.  He was able to use that scripture to both lead a couple to The Lord, and help them bring their hearts into trusting peace.  There were other edifying testimonies, too.

After this we broke into small groups for directed prayer, both for the issues of the war itself and for the salvation of our people.  It is almost funny how much easier it is to pray for our enemies because, indeed, we have so many.  But we felt that there was a great need to pray for our own people for salvation at this time.

We had just finished praying at 7 p.m. and stood to worship with a final song when the siren (ah’sag’ah) went off.  Now, we meet on the 14th floor of a building in the city center, which has a great view of the entire city. So, it’s wonderful for prayer and also an easy target. But I don’t think there was any fear among us as we ran into the bathrooms, which also double as bomb shelters.  We heard the “booms” and came out after waiting10 minutes to worship Him with song.

Although I am not afraid in my heart/spirit, I do have a physiological response to the siren.  I have been told that the siren is actually designed that way to cause people to move quickly. In fact, the government just ordered all emergency vehicles to adjust their sirens to be unlike the air raid so as not to trigger fear.

What happens to me is that I experience an adrenalin surge and I have never reacted well to adrenalin.  That’s why I don’t even like competitive sports.  My heart races, my blood pressure rises and I shake.  Yet I am not afraid.  I have tried jump/smile/hug, but I am still dealing with this adrenalin problem.  Thanks for prayer.

Once home again, I found my husband already watching the Hebrew news. There was a steady and heavy barrage of missiles all around the country.  On both our TV and radio, all warnings are announced in a calm but firm voice over the program − and shown in the corner of the screen − saying ‘ah’sa’gah. The area is named so that if one does not hear the siren they know to run for cover.

A message arrived from Hamas that Tel Aviv, which had received numerous missiles already, would be destroyed by their new weapon, the J80 from Iran at 9p.m.  Interesting! It was now 8:50.  Nine o’clock arrived, nothing.  At about 9:05 a number of rockets were aimed and intercepted in Tel Aviv but there was no Dooms Day as Hamas announced. Much to the disappointment of large groups of Palestinians gathered on the rooftops in Hebron and other areas, cheering and celebrating their god’s victory on Ramadan.  While they were cheering, an errant Hamas rocket fell in Hebron, severely damaging a house.  One or two also fell in and around Bethlehem.  We are never told exactly where they fall in the media to avoid giving information to the enemy.  There was a huge barrage across the country with also an attack from Lebanon in the Galilee area: 3 rockets.

We have had several serious casualties and a much damage, but thus far the several deaths have been from heart attacks.

Psalm 140:1-8 is a wonderful Psalm to pray right now:  (I know that there are many)

Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;

Preserve me from violent men,  (THIS WORD IN HEBREW IS…HAMAS!)

Who plan evil things in their hearts;

They continually gather together for war.

They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;

The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;

Preserve me from violent men,

Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.

The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords;

They have spread a net by the wayside;

They have set traps for me. Selah

I said to the Lord: “You are my God;

Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation,

You have covered my head in the day of battle.

Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;

Do not further his wicked scheme,

Lest they be exalted. Selah

 

Forgive me for ending abruptly, but I must go and prepare dinner.  Thank you for praying as The Lord leads, as you wait on Him for direction.  His prayers are what I call “silver bullets.”

May HE BE GLORIFIED AND BLESSED AND SEEN.  May He find us looking at Him with clean hearts and hands.  God bless you.

Love,

your sis J

 

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If We’re All Created in God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Part 4)

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Is all of mankind created in God’s image?

Most of us would nod our heads in agreement because the Bible seems to state that in Genesis 1:27. Yet, let’s take the time to inspect a few scriptures before we jump aboard the stage coach and ride off into the sunset.

First of all, God is Spirit and not fleshis alive, always was and always will be. What about us humans?

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” (John 3:3, 6-7)

Every human, except two, that has ever walked on earth – including Jesus – was born via a woman and were little bundles of flesh. But remember that God is Spirit and not flesh. So we humans, have to be born again to worship God the Spirit.

Since our earthly births, haven’t we always been considered alive?

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh… (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We were dead, but hooray! God brought us back to life in Christ and raised us up with Him and gave us a seat with Him in heavenly places. But once again, we need to remember that God has always been alive and has never died.

And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

All humans, with the exceptions of Enoch and Elijah, have died and will continue to die until the New Jerusalem arrives here on earth, but God has never died and never will die. He always was and always will be.

So, is man really created in the image and likeness of God?

(Continued in Part 5)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (7/11/2014)

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I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois and like most farm boys, I had chores to do each day. These chores included feeding cattle, gathering eggs, shoveling corn, working in the fields, making hay, and doing whatever Dad needed me to do that day. I didn’t consider the chores work because this was our way of life.

We weren’t rich, but my parents fed and clothed me well, treated me with love, and allowed me to enjoy my childhood with all of its many activities, such as sports, 4-H, movies, and so forth. Dad always excused me from chores if one of my activities interfered with his work schedules.

Now, look at the above photo. These are Dalit children who are forced to work in almost slave-like conditions to help their families survive or pay off debts. It is estimated that 150 million of these children suffer similar fates in India, which has the world’s largest child labor force. Abuse is common, with long hours in miserable conditions and no hope of escape. This is the fate of a Dalit child.

There was a time when I ignored the pain of children in far off lands, such as India. Why can’t they take care of themselves, like I did? I thought. My arrogance must have been a putrid stench in God’s nostrils.

But now, I can no longer disregard the truth that it was God’s grace which allowed me to be born in the “breadbasket of the world” and not in a Mumbai slum.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that our American ears are opened to the Dalit mothers in India who weep for their children and who refuse to be comforted because their infant’s childhoods are no more. (Based on Matthew 2:18)

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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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (7/8/2014)

Dolly who

 

Do you think the Roman soldiers stationed in Jerusalem held the Jews in high regard? Most likely not. What do you think the Roman soldiers called the Jews? Probably some of the most vile names ever imagined by humans.

After all, the Romans were the elite conquerors of the world. Their pagan gods helped them to win victory after victory while the God of Israel allowed His chosen people to live in servitude. Thus, how could the Romans think highly of the Jews?

How many times does scripture say that Jesus rebuked the Roman soldiers for their attitudes? Never, not even once. In fact, Jesus said:

And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (Matthew 5:41)

Roman Law allowed their soldiers to force Jewish men to carry their equipment or dispatches for one mile. It did not matter how unreasonable the demands or how inconvenient it might have been for the men, Jews had to submit. The Jews obviously hated this law.

So, can you imagine what the Jews thought when Jesus stated that people ought to not only submit to the law, but to even do more than what was required of them?

What if the Lord asked us to love every Liberal, every Conservative, every white person, every black person, every Arab, every whatever, even though they reviled and scorned us, and then to go even beyond that for them?

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us, so we are known as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. (Based on Matthew 5:44-45)

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 59 Seconds or Less (Part 5)

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We all received beginners’ lumps of faith for our lives at salvation. The lumps we received were uniquely ours, especially assigned to us by God. Like the muscles on newborn babies, our beginners’ lumps of faith were undeveloped and lacked strength.

A car salesman friend told about being a new Christian and going on a honeymoon trip with his young bride. One morning, he and his wife walked outside their motel and noticed the car’s rear tire was flat. He had recently listened to some faith teachings so he figured this was the perfect moment to practice what he had learned.

“In Jesus’ name, I command that tire to air up. Judy, let’s go to town,” he said.

His wife looked at him. “What?”

“Yes, sweetheart, we walk by faith and not by sight.”

She climbed into the car and the couple took off for the nearby town, but before long, the couple stopped and changed the tire.

“Larry,” said my friend, “remember to walk by faith but keep a car jack handy, just in case.”

We both laughed at his experience.

A couple of years later, I heard an evangelist relate a story about four seventy-year old women from his church.

“The four gals took off for Mexico to preach the gospel on street corners. Their car was old and not in very good shape, but they were not worried in the least because God told them to go.”

He laughed and then continued. “Just on the other side of the border, they heard a bang. They stopped and one sister jumped out. A tire was flat. She said, ‘In Jesus’ name, I command the tire to be healed.’ She jumped back in the car. They drove off down the road and had no more problems.”

The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. (Mark 4:28)

Our faith is like a seed of corn planted in the earth. It needs light and water to grow, but it still has to go through various seasons before it produces fruit.

So, don’t give up if you are in an early season of faith growth. Just keep on praying and believing. Maybe one day soon that tire will air up for you, too.

(Continued in Part 6)

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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 brothers and sisters, in Yeshua’s Name.  May He be blessed and glorified, and may you find blessing as you read.

Right now the escalating events seem different than I have seen before. I trust that He can teach us how to pray accordingly.  For me, these events also serve as a “shofar blast” to alert my heart and check-list if I am ready and where He wants me to be.

On Thursday I was coming home from work after having stopped at the shuk (marketplace) along the way.  The electronic sign flashed “4 minutes” until the next train. It stated that due to disruptions on the track, the train would not be going further then Ammunition Hill.  The minutes counted down and as it said, “approaching,” it then switched to “4 minutes” again.

A very pregnant woman asked me what was going on. I assured her, “The train will come.”

As the clock crept ever so slowly to “1 minute,” it then switched to “12 more minutes.”  At this point I had been standing in the sun for about a half hour.  The crowd had deepened as the minutes passed.

An old Haradi man sat on the bench and said, “What is wrong?”

Another man standing beside him in a kippa (meaning that he was also religious, but not Haradi) said, “Yesterday an Arab boy was abducted and killed and found in the forest and they are rioting down the road.”

All ears listened.  As people gathered around I couldn’t hear so well, but the standing man said, “I was born in Hevron.  We had to leave in 1945.”

He said some more but I couldn’t hear him.  A woman came up and said, “I was also born in Hevron and had to leave around the same time.”

She went on to argue the other side of the question.  The question is always the same: “We are to blame vs they are to blame.”

Voices rose and a large crowd gathered with everyone speaking at once.  There was SO MUCH ANGER.  At the same time I turned around and saw a group of boys – religious teenagers – walking up the tracks with fists flexing, filled with rage.  I had just seen some Arab teens with the same look and stance on the train that I took to the shuk.

I have never seen anything like this before.

These are kids who were small children during the last intifada, so they have not seen war yet. They are looking for an outlet for their anger rather then knowing when to restrain it.

I immediately flashed back to the book that I had re-read in May, Watchmen on the Wall by Hannah Hurnard. What the author described as being the emotional atmosphere just before the breakout of the war of Independence was happening around us.  She described the rage on both sides as hitting a wall.

No, I have not seen it to this extent before.

Although the investigation is not complete, early reports in Palestinian media are saying that the Palestinian teen who was found in the Jerusalem forest had been burned alive.  What a horror!  Over and over I hear, “Oh, please don’t let it have been a Jew who did this.”

We must wait and see. But as we wait, riots rage, cars and buses are being attacked by rocks, fires are being set, and arguments are heated.

Our southern border with Gaza has been on the verge of igniting as some 30 rockets a day are raining down from Gaza.  There have been a number of direct hits on buildings, including a home that was being used as a summer camp for children.  It is truly a miracle that no one has been injured.

Israel is responding and many troops (including the sons and daughters of believers) have been called up to the border.  Please pray for them.  Egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire.  I personally have been amazed at the strong calm of Binyamin Netanyahu, our prime minister, who has been quoting more and more scripture, not in a religious manner, but as one who is truly reading the Bible. He says that he studies it to find answers.

Today is Shabat and so there is quiet outside of our apartment as people rest and so does the news media.  I do not hear nearly as many sirens or planes today.  It is also the Moslem Ramadan and so the Arabs have been rioting mostly at night on a full stomach.  Shabat ends at around 8:30 p.m. I have no idea what lies ahead, but oh how thankful I am that I can and do praise The One Who DOES know and that I know beyond a doubt that He has it all in His Hands for His glory.

Your sis,

J

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If We’re All Created in God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Part 3)

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I am not a proponent of psychology, psychiatry, or any drugs and therapies that go along with these theories, even when they are cloaked under the heading of Christian therapy. But…

I am enough of a realist to understand that God is first and foremost a Redeemer who uses whatever He has to use to set people free from whatever imprisons them.

Okay, now you know my stance on the merits of these so-called behavioral sciences.

In late September, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB1172 which prohibits psychological therapists from counseling gay youths into becoming heterosexuals.

Within days, appeals were made by various organizations, including the Liberty Counsel, a legal aid group headed by Matthew Staver. The appeals delayed SB1172 from going into affect until the appeals’ process was completed.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of SB1172 on last Monday. The law will now go into affect within days.

“The Supreme Court has cemented shut any possible opening to allow further psychological child abuse in California,” said California Senator Ted Lieu, the law’s sponsor.

Thus, the door is cemented shut, right?

Smith Wigglesworth held healing crusades all over the world during the 1920’s and 30’s. Thousands were healed by his healing touch. But Sweden posed a special problem for Wigglesworth in that the medical profession and Lutheran leaders convinced the king that he was practicing medicine without a license.

To hold a crusade in Stockholm, Wigglesworth had to promise not to touch anyone with his hands.

When the time came for Wigglesworth to pray for the sick at the crusade, he told those who needed healing to raise their hands. Hundreds responded. He then told the crowd to lower their hands except for one woman. He asked the woman to tell about her problems. She related how she could not lie or sit down because of the extreme pain she suffered.

“Lift your hands high,” said Wigglesworth. “In the name of Jesus I rebuke the evil one from your head to your feet, and I believe God has loosed you.”

The lady danced and jumped around, excited to be free from her pain.

He then told the crowd to lay hands on themselves. Hundreds were immediately healed.

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

(Continued in Part 4)

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Are America’s Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

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Almost ten years ago, I took part in an online debate with a pastor of a peace church. I had a distinct advantage because his church website had a mission statement on it. When he wandered off course, I pointed out the scriptures from his own mission statement. My determination to stick with scriptures frustrated him.

“You fundamentalists care more about scripture than you do about the poor,” he wrote.

“Actually, I am more radical about helping the poor than you are,” I shot back to him.

“No way,” he replied. Then, he listed all of his church’s programs for the poor and their future plans.

“Would you consider selling your church building and giving the proceeds to the poor? And then, would you consider not receiving a salary and taking a full-time job to support your family so more money can be given to the poor. That’s what I would do,” I answered.

The debate came to a screeching halt.

Right now, thousands of believers are joining with Anne Graham Lotz and her 777 Urgent Call to Prayer on behalf of America. The hope is for our nation to return to the Lord, rend our hearts, repent of our sin, and cry out to God for His mercy on behalf of our nation.  Before it’s too late.

I agree with the 777 Urgent Call to Prayer, but…

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)

“…that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” (Acts 26:20)

We American Christians have been blessed beyond measure, but what have we done with God’s blessings?

Out of the almost 84 billion dollars received in tithes and offerings by American churches in 2013, 93% was spent on ourselves and our buildings while only 1% went to the poor and 2% to world missions.

Is it any wonder that America is now suffering a flood of poor immigrants?

You see, we have sowed our blessings to the wind and now God is causing us to reap a whirlwind of poverty among us.

There is still time to change, but we have to do it now. Before it’s too late.

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (7/1/2014)

Dolly who

 

Paul Cain spoke the following at a conference in 1991:

The tragedy of the Corinthian church is that they began to think they had “arrived” when they began to gain the world’s respect. Respectability is not wrong in itself; in truth most of us could use a little more than we have, but we must be careful how we get it. The more the church has sought to be respectable and prosperous according to present cultural standards, the more we have been humiliated and scorned. We need respectability and authority with God more than we need it with men.

The Apostle Paul later wrote to the Galatians, “If I were still trying to please God, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Our job on earth is not to gain the respect of the world! As James affirmed, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Joining ourselves to the ways of the world is spiritual adultery. Seeking the friendship of the world puts us in jeopardy of making ourselves enemies of God. There should be no greater fear in our life than to seek friendship with the world! (The above excerpt is taken from The Anointing vs. Respectability, spoken by Paul Cain in May, 1991.)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that we American believers submit ourselves to You, resisting the devil so that he flees from us, drawing ever closer to You, cleansing our hands, purifying our hearts, weeping and mourning for our sins, humbling ourselves before You O Lord, so that You may exalt us. (Based on James 4:7-10)

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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