Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (6/30/2015)

Children's Church markpeddar.wordpress.com

Children’s Church
markpeddar.wordpress.com

In Asia, over 2.5 million children – as young as 4 years old – are enslaved in the sex trade as prostitutes. Half of the total is located in the world’s largest democracy, India.

The reasons for such high numbers include poverty, drugs, lack of morals, political corruption, and huge profits for the brothels and pimps. Murder and accidental death rates are high for the child prostitutes, as are suicides, and very few trafficking victims are ever rescued or escape.

As hopeless and as horrendous as these facts are, we can make a difference through our prayers and fasts.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, You said that if we prayed and fasted, You would hear our voices on high. So, Lord, I ask that You honor Your words spoken through Isaiah that the chains of wickedness enslaving the child prostitutes in Asia are broken and that these oppressed children are set free right now, in Jesus’ name. (Based on Isaiah 58)

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

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Will God Judge America? (Part 1)

dolly-335

 

When Jesus began His ministry in 27 AD, Judea and Jerusalem had been under harsh Roman rule for over sixty years. King Herod sat on the throne and considered himself to be “King of the Jews,” although he was not from the lineage of King David, was appointed by Rome, and was of Arab ancestry.

The priests that ran the Temple were mainly Sadducees, who were aristocrats that did not believe in a resurrection of the dead, an afterlife, and angels or demons. The two high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, were Sadducees and appointed by King Herod. Both high priests were not a part of the lineage of Aaron or even Levites.

The Romans forced the Jews to pay high taxes as did King Herod, who was rebuilding the Temple and other buildings. Life was a daily struggle for the Jews, living in Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem.

If you check out Deuteronomy 28, you will discover that the Jews were struggling because they lived under the curse and suffered from the Judgments of God.

But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:28)

Jesus’ earthly ministry was aimed at the Jews because the promises of God were first given to the Jews. He constantly preached a message of repentance to them.

How did Jerusalem and Judea respond to Jesus’ ministry? Not well.

“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.” (Luke 19:42-43)

Jesus prophesied the total destruction of Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. His prophecy came to pass on 70 AD when Rome destroyed Jerusalem, its Temple, and killed nearly one million Jews.

So, if God judged His chosen people, why do we Americans think that we can avoid His judgments?

(Continued in Part 2)

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Inside Israel

The Shuk in Jerusalem

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 …

Blessings to you this day dear brothers and sisters.  May His glory be in your midst.
“I was glad when they said to me, Let us go unto the house of The Lord.  Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!  Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together.  Where the tribes go up, the tribes of The Lord, to the Testimony of Israel to give thanks to the Name of the Lord for throes are set there for judgment.  The thrones of the house of David.  ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.  Peace be within your palaces.’  For the sake of my brethren and companions I will now say ‘Peace be in You.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.” Psalm 122 A song of Ascents.

The “songs of Ascents” are literally the songs that were sung as the tribes made their way up to Jerusalem for the 3 feasts (Passover, Shavuot or weeks or Pentecost, and Sukkot or feast of tabernacles) that contain the command for all of the men of Israel to come up and worship here. They were to bring their offerings and to give thanks and be blessed.  These songs are STILL sung today, both traditionally and even in music heard on the radio. And yes, as people still make their way up to Jerusalem during the feasts.

As I read this Psalm this morning as part of my regular devotions I thought first about Jerusalem being built as a “city that is compacted together.” I blurted out, “Why, Lord, did you bring me of all people to a city so compacted together when You made me one who longs for the quiet places?”

Yep, feeling low today.  I still haven’t been feeling well and even missed kehila (our fellowship) last night. Indeed a rare event for me.

But His answer came quickly and without rebuke: “Write…tell them…see, hear, tell them…for I’m building My temple even here…My body is being built into a holy temple fit for My Presence…be My eyes and ears and witness for what I AM doing.”

“For the sake of my brethren and companions I will now say ‘Peace be in You.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.”

I thought about His body here (His house according to scripture), thinking of each face and of each one’s struggles.  It isn’t easy being part of His body here and it can be lonely, although we are “a city compacted together,” we are also busy busy bees and very much spread out one from another.

Then I thought of each of you and those who I am NOT in contact with, but whom I have loved over the years, parts of His body, being built together for His glory into heavenly Jerusalem. Never an easy walk. For if we are truly being built together, we are being chiseled away and dropped deep into the Refiners fire.

So, enough of feeling low!  Repent, brush it off and get busy doing what He told me to do and leave the rest to Him.

What DO my eyes and ears see here in Jerusalem at this time?

I imagine that most of you are pretty caught up in your own rapidly moving events during this world changing time.  Well, yesterday a 25 year old Israeli was killed and another wounded as they returned from a hike.  A Palestinian stopped them to ask for help, but after asking if they were Jewish he fired at point blank range.  And just now a soldier was stabbed in the neck at the Old City’s Damascus Gate not too far from here.  He is reported as fighting for his life.

The Iranian deal that our government has cried out against (to the irritation of the rest of the world) is looming before us.  The boycott, divest, sanction movement against Israel has also forced itself into our daily reality as it is growing as an aggressive cancer worldwide.  It really has become rather alarming in that it somehow legitimized the ugliest forms of anti-semitism, seemingly dead or at least stifled since WWII.

We are again inundated with weighty dignitaries from all over Europe seeking to and threatening to apply all sorts of pressure to impose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, restoring the indefensible ’67 borders, releasing prisoners, dividing Jerusalem and so forth.  The Syrian war – so sad! – inches ever closer to us and the tension between the US leadership and the Israeli leadership continues to approach freezing levels. Plus, it’s Ramadan.

Not the most encouraging news.

I was thinking of that as I read a different portion in the scriptures this morning: John 7:42-53.

At one point the Pharisees quote the scriptures concerning the place of Messiah’s birth, but they did not apparently know that He had been born in Bethlehem.  Later, they said, with Nicodemus present, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on Him?” Although in several places as I read John it has already said that some of the leaders believed, but kept it quiet.

It made me think, really with trembling, that WE KNOW NOTHING except by THE DISCERNMENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!  It seems to me that The Lord has made us in a way that we CAN not discern His way BUT by The Spirit AND The Word working TOGETHER in our lives.

I’m saying this because as The Lord reminds me to be a witness to what I see, even that has to be weighed in the Light of His Word by His Spirit.  The more I read The Word I wonder how I could have missed for so many years the centrality of His plans and purposes concerning the Jews and Israel in His heart.  I DID miss it however, until He, by His Spirit, began planting a God-given hunger in me until He could speak more and more clearly and make me a better follower of Him.

But even in that, I don’t claim to have the entire picture: just the part that He has given me.  Part of my part is to beg anyone who listens to me to SEEK HIS SPIRIT WITH HIS WORD.  I’m pretty sure that you all know this and do it, and I’m probably as annoying as Netanyahu is when constantly says that the Iranian deal is a bad one. But it just seems to me that as the days get more and more dangerous, we need His discernment more and more.  I hear so many who seem to be off on bunny-trails. May we major in Knowing Him and trust Him to lead us by His Spirit into all Truth; AND TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE TRUTH THAT WE HAVE.

So, Jerusalem is compacted together.  Ha!

I came home from work on Thursday to see that the city had, for some reason TOTALLY unknown to me, lobbed off the large leafy limbs of the one tree in front of our apartment that thankfully had blocked my view (and somewhat muffled the noise) of the train, the traffic and the buildings.  I was NOT happy!

There at the foot of the trunk laid a huge pile of greenery that I had DELIGHTED in. Possibly the thing that I enjoyed most about our apartment.  I loved watching the birds right in front of my face as I looked out of the window or the balcony (merapeset), and they enjoyed me.  Now there it was: our apartment, naked to the sight of everyone as the train stopped in front. My mouth fell open.

I wailed to my husband when I walked in the house, “WHY DID THEY DO THAT TO ME?”

“Huh?” he answered. “Who did what to you?”  He hadn’t noticed.  Different priorities.

‘Oh Lord, You have my attention!  It’s noisy!  It’s even LESS pretty here!  So, here I am…Your servant… Yours to do with as You wish.  Get glory…and HELP ME TO MEAN THAT”

As if to mock my prayer the dying branches laid in an ugly pile below my window. He answers prayer, but in His time.  He brought us here for His purposes, and not for my comfort.

So, enough thoughts and comments.  God bless you and encourage you in Him.  I send my love,

Your sister J

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Do We Still Cast Out Demons (Part 2)

dolly sad

 

Put on your Bible thinking caps for a moment, okay?

How many demons did Abraham cast out of people during his many journeys? How many demons did Moses cast out? Or Joshua? Or King David? Or Elijah? Or Elisha? Or Isaiah? Or Jeremiah? Or Ezekiel? Or Daniel?

And what about John the Baptist?

For he [John the Baptist] will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15)

Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet that was born under the Law, and even though John was filled with the Holy Spirit, he never cast out one demon during his twelve to eighteen months of ministry.

The angel Gabriel even talked with John’s father, Zacharias, about the special son that Elizabeth was going to give birth to, and said:

“He [John the Baptist] will go before Him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)

But yet, with all the power that heaven invested in John the Baptist, he did not cast out one demon. Not one!

So, why did John the Baptist fail to cast out demons? And why did all of the Old Testament heroes of the faith fail to cast out demons?

(Continued in Part 3)

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (6/25/2015)

Dolly 77

The biggest struggle that most of us Christians face each day is our fear of men. We most certainly don’t want other people to ridicule us for our Christian beliefs and then suffer any consequences for holding onto these beliefs.

We desire both the praises of men and the praises of God, but there’s a problem with this type of thinking.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

The Hebrew word mowqesh is translated into the English word snare. The Hebrew word picture for mowqesh suggests a noose lying on the ground waiting for an animal to step into it and be caught.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers to reckon ourselves dead to the sin of the fear of man and alive to the righteousness of of God in Christ so that we do not allow this foul sin to reign in our mortal bodies and to obey its lusts. (Based on Romans 6:11-12)

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

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

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (6/23/2015)

Don Bosco Slum in Manila markpedder.wordpress.co

Don Bosco Slum in Manila
markpedder.wordpress.co

In 1892, at the age of twenty-seven, John Hyde departed by ship for India to preach in the Punjab region. After being at sea for a few days, Hyde remembered a letter from a family friend. He opened it and read: “I shall not cease praying for you, dear John, until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The letter angered Hyde because he felt he had everything he needed. He crumpled it up and tossed it on the deck. A few minutes later, he humbled himself and asked the Lord to fill him with the Holy Spirit, no matter what it might cost him.

At that moment, John Hyde became Praying John Hyde.

His fruitlessness and discouragment drove Praying John Hyde to spend days and nights fasting and praying for India and its people. At the end of seven years, he had one solid convert. His missionary friends considered him crazy, a fanatic, and unsuccessful, but Hyde paid no attention to them. He continued to pray and fast.

Praying John Hyde is now recognized as an Apostle of Prayer because he saw thousands of converts and revival break out in the second half of his twenty-year ministry as a missionary to India.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I ask that every discouraged minister and preacher in Asia be filled with Your Holy Spirit so that they will not grow weary in doing good for You. (Based on Acts 9:17 and  Galatians 6:9)

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

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Do We Still Cast Out Demons? (Part 1)

dolly sad

 

The sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed laid under the five porches near the pool of Bethesda and in the shadows of the Temple. All awaited the waters in the pool to be stirred up by an angel because the first one to step into the pool would be healed. The others – even though they had waited for months and maybe years – who then followed the first man into the water would not be healed.

An unknown Man walked into their midst. He stepped over and around numerous sick people as if He were looking for one individual. Many grunted and complained that He was in their way and ruined their chances of getting healed if the angel arrived at that moment. The Man ignored their complaints as He searched the porches.

Finally, He walked up to one man and said, “Do you want to be made well?

The sick man answered by listing his reasons why he had not been healed.

Jesus said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

The man was totally healed. He picked up his bed and carried it away, even though it was the Sabbath.

Then, what followed is described in the Bible as the greatest healing crusade in Jesus’ ministry. Everyone rushed or called out to Him, asking to be healed. And everyone was healed and glorified the God of Israel.

Actually, disregard the last paragraph because it never happened. Not one of the other sick people said anything to Him.

Oh yes! The people saw Jesus heal the man, but as soon as it happened, they turned their eyes back to the pool in hopes the angel might show up.

They couldn’t move past their Temple teachings and traditions to see the Fountain of Living Water standing in their midst. After all, this religious practice had healed a few in the past. Why change?

Sadly, this is where the Church stands today.

So, do we believers still cast out demons?

(Continued in Part 2)

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