Category Archives: Church

Prayers for America (7/5/2018)

 

In today’s politically correct culture, the phrase –“We are offended” – is the wrench which can be tossed into the gears of a company, a political campaign, Christian outreach, or whatever to stop its forward progress. It is the handy “get out of jail free” card for many opposition forces.

But isn’t it interesting how this phrase has appeared on the scene almost out of nowhere to be an effective tool in such a short period of time? It makes me believe that Satan is setting up American believers for a terrible surprise in the days ahead. Because Jesus said —

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (John 16:1 KJ)

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.(Matthew 24:9-10 NKJ)

Think about His words, okay?

Believers are not to be offended if we are picked on, persecuted, threatened with death, hated by everyone, or even killed in these last days before His return. This is heavy stuff!

So, let’s not let the “We’re offended” crowd deter us from doing the will of God in our lives. Let’s instead use their words to strengthen our love for Jesus and gird up our loins with truth while moving forward against the kingdom of darkness.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to reckon ourselves dead to sin and to not be afraid of people’s scorn or their insults. (Based on Romans 6:11 and Isaiah 53:7)

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

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

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Prayers for Israel (7/3/2018)

 

The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in the Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon — grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things “when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Judaism 101)

My prayer today:

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever. (The Shema Israel)

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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Praying for Our Children (Part 4)

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Our Hunger for God Empowers Our Children

Nearly twenty-five years ago, a divorce turned my life upside down. This upheaval caused me to be apart from my two children most of the time. It was tough being an estranged father and, at the same time, trying to be a committed believer, godly father, and an example for them.

My only hope was to cry out to the Lord. This resulted in me feeling He wanted me to study the Bible in which I discovered some great blessings for us.

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies and in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.(Genesis 22:17)

 The angel of the Lord spoke the above blessings to Abraham when the patriarch laid his promise −his son Isaac −on the altar and raised his knife to slay him as an offering to God. Abraham’s willingness to obey the voice of God and to trust Him for his provision, even though there was nothing in sight, brought forth this prophetic promise for all of his children and offspring.

Jewish believers receive all of the blessings of Abraham through the patriarch’s covenant with God.  Gentile believers receive the same blessings through our faith in Christ Jesus because we are heirs according to the promises given to Abraham.

What this means is that if we believers endure trials and the testing of our faith, trusting God to bring us through them, like Abraham did, God will bless our children:

(1) with possessing the gates of their enemies and

(2) people will be blessed by our children.

Possessing the gates of the enemies?

In Abraham’s time, cities had walls around them, protecting the city dwellers from their enemies. The gates of the cities were the entrances into the city through the walls and whoever controlled the gates ended up controlling the city. So, possessing the gates of the enemies represents power and control over enemies. 

Thus, this blessing of Abraham states that our children will have control over their enemies and will bless other nations (or people).

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way He should choose. His soul will abide in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. (Psalm 25:12-13 NASB)

“His descendants inheriting the land” specifically refers to Israel’s descendants inheriting all of the land God gave them in the Middle East or the Promised Land. For us Gentiles, it means that our offspring will inherit the Promised Lands for their lives, whether it is spiritual or temporal.

I have been young, and nowam old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He isever merciful, and lends; and his descendants areblessed. (Psalm 37:25-26 NKJV)

The children of righteous parents will never have to beg for food because the Lord will be their provider. And also, because the righteous parents are gracious with their gifts to others, the children will be blessed.

Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.(Psalm 112:1-2 NLT)

Parents who fear the Lord and obey His commandments will have successful children.

 He will bless those who fear the LORD, bothsmall and great. May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. (Psalm 115:14 NKJV)

Parents who fear the Lord will be blessed and their children will be even more blessed.

The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! (Proverbs 20:7)

Walking in God’s ways brings blessings to our children.

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.(Joel 2:28)

Peter referred to this verse in Acts 2:17. Thus, if we walk in the fear of the Lord and in His ways, we can believe our children will prophesy and see visions.

For our children to receive these blessings, the responsibility rests on us parents. We need to be righteous before the Lord, fear Him, and obey His commandments to the best of our abilities. But even then, we must use our faith to believe these blessings will be poured out on our children.

Prayer: “Father, because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, an heir to the blessings of Abraham, have Your Spirit dwelling in me, obey Your voice and Your commandments, and greatly fear You, I believe that my children −(names)−shall posses the gates of their enemies, shall be a blessing to other people, shall inherit the Promised Lands for their lives, shall not be beggars, shall be successful in whatever they attempt to do, shall have greater blessings than I have enjoyed, shall prophesy, and see visions. Now, I thank You, Father, that Your word is truth and that I can stand on it, no matter what my eyes may see; and I thank You that it is Your responsibility to make Your words come to pass in My children’s lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

(The above is an excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5)

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Prayers for America (6/21/2018)

Jesus was walking with his disciples in Caesarea Philippi, which was twenty-five miles north of Capernaum, Jesus’ hometown during this period. He tossed out a question to the twelve, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

His disciples answered Him by saying, “Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets.”

Jesus zeroed in on their opinions. “But who do you say I am?”

Without hesitation, Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus called Peter blessed and stated that his revelation came from the Father. Then Jesus said —

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Some have taken Jesus’ words to mean the church is either to be built on Peter or upon his revelation. Actually, I believe it is both.

Thirty years later, the apostle Paul wrote:

[The household of God is] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20)

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up churches in America built on the foundation of apostles and prophets with Jesus as the Cornerstone so these churches can withstand the end-times’ onslaught by Satan and his kingdom of darkness. (Based on Matthew 16:18 and Ephesians 2:20)

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

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

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Prayers for Israel (6/19/2018)

In 539 B.C., Daniel discovered that Jeremiah’s prophecy about Jerusalem being a desolation for seventy years was about to be fulfilled. What did Daniel then do?

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)

Instead of running out and telling everyone about his revelation, Daniel did everything he could to bring the prophecy into its fulfillment through his prayers and fasting.

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” (John Wesley)

One of God’s biblical principles is that He longs to partner with believers to bring forth His unfulfilled scriptural prophecies. We pray and fast and then God provides the miraculous power to bring forth the prophecy into its manifestation here on earth.

This is the reason, we need to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem now because the days are ticking off God’s calendar before Jesus’ return.

Lord, raise up American believers who are willing to partner with You and Your Word so that Your end-time prophecies for Jerusalem and Israel are fulfilled according to Your plans.

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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What’re Your Plans for 300 Years From Now? (Part 2)

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If we take a step in obedience, God will reward us with a mile of blessings. (Mike Bickel)

Jesus spoke a parable about a nobleman who was traveling to a far country. Before leaving, the nobleman called ten of his servants into his office. There he gave each a bag of silver worth about a hundred days of wages for a common laborer.

He told the ten men, “Do business with this money until I return.”

After a period of time, the nobleman returned. The man called for his ten servants to give an accounting of their business transactions.

The first servant had earned ten more bags of money for a 1000% return.

The nobleman said to the man, “Well done, good servant. Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)

Yes, Luke 19:11-27 is a parable, but Jesus used it to explain a truth, one that I overlooked for years.

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus told a similar parable about three servants who were given various amounts of money by a master while he went on a trip. One was given five 75-lb. bags of silver, another two 75-lb. bags of silver, and a third received one 75-lb. bag of silver.

Upon returning, the master settled accounts with the three men. The first man doubled the master’s investment by earning five more 75-lb. bags of silver for the master.

The master said to the servant, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21)

Once again, this is a parable, which Jesus used to explain a truth to us.

In the Book of Revelation, we read two interesting verses in the King James or the New King James translations that tie into the above parables:

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6 NKJ)

How can we be kings and rulers, right?

(Continued in Part 3)

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Inside Israel

SHUK

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 Dear Sisters and Brothers in The Name of The Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and edified.
Our four-year old Granddaughter surprised us at lunch the other day by quoting verses in Hebrew before we ate.  “She learned it in gan,” (pre-school) our daughter told us.

I was blown away.  I am still trying to say the whole portion in Hebrew, and she had learned it in a government secular pre-school. Wow!

Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and [a]be careful to observe it,that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

“Hear, O Israel: [b]The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.(Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

This portion of scripture – the Shma– is the main prayer of Judaism.  Shma is the command: Hear. However I was surprised to hear our 4 year old repeat it fully.

Israeli state radio begins the 6 a.m. broadcast with the Shma every morning, as do most observant Jews and many traditional Jews. SHMA YISROEL, ADONAI ELOHENU, ADONAI AHAD!  HEAR OH ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.

This scripture (verses 4-9) along with Deut. 11:13-21, is contained in the mezuzah (the little box affixed to the door frame of Jewish homes).  The tefillin box that I described to you recently, also contains these verses along with Exodus 13:1-16.  Of course, like my 4 year old Granddaughter, we can put the scriptures in our heads, write them on our doorposts and wrap them around our bodies, but they only change us and glorify The Lord if they are in our hearts and life breathed into action by The Holy Spirit.

None the less, we plant The Word in our hearts and in the hearts of our children knowing that one sows, and another reaps, but only GOD gives the increase.        

 And here I walk the streets in “the land of The Book” surrounded by and part of the people of The Book. I pray: “LORD! Breathe Your Spirit of LIFE into us all that we would become the testimony that You want us to be, the display of Who You Are”

   I asked for prayer for Kinneret in my last letter and many of you responded that The Lord had put her on your heart.  So you need to know that the very next day after I sent out the prayer request she told me, “It is really a miracle!  My son got an appointment to be interviewed for intensive day treatment at Hadassah Hospital. (One of the best mental health facilities) It is a miracle that he got the appointment so quickly!”

Happily I told her that I had shared some of her story and needs with my praying friends outside of the country by mail.  She was amazed and couldn’t imagine such a thing that people would pray for her family.  So I do have a further request to tack on, for those of you who are praying for her. Their daughter – Shir – is having her Bat Mitzvah this coming Sunday and her twin brother (the one who is hidden in his room) will not be coming. That is breaking his mother’s heart. She has asked if I would please come to the Bat Mitzvah to be there like a Mother for her.

I told you that her mother has been committed to mental hospital since Kinneret was 5 and it broke my heart.  It will be difficult for me to go as it begins at 7:30 p.m. and I work on Monday. But I feel that it is important.  If it is The Lord’s open door, will you pray with me that I am able to go?

I cannot tell you how encouraged she is to know that you are praying for them.  And the fact that she is glad, encourages me.

I went to the shuk and prayed which way to go. With things so tense in the country these days it is wise to take nothing for granted, but that is always wisdom for each of us anywhere, eh?

I went to an Arab vendor whom I like and asked him how he was.  He mumbled “b’seder” (ok, fine) under his breath and continued looking down.

Once again I spoke strongly, my boldness surprising me. “No you are not.  What’s wrong?” I demanded.

He looked up at me startled and recognized me. A smile spread across his face. “Ah mah me.” (‘mah’me’ sounds just like mommy and is an affectionate Hebrew term that DOESN’T mean mommy but is a warm sign of friendship.’It’s this FAST!  (Ramadan) I’m hungry and tired. I work all day and party all night and then comes the 2 a.m. call to prayer, just as I get to sleep, and then it is 4 a.m. and I have to get up to go to work. It’s hot and I’m HUNGRY!  Not sleeping and not eating makes us crazy,” he laughed and I groaned.

“Oy!  I understand,”I said.

“It’s almost over,” he continued.

So, when I stopped by his stand today I asked, “Are you less tired and grouchy now,” figuring that Ramadan was over.

“No!” he barked. “Eid-al-Fitr! Just as bad! Two more days!”  He shook his head.

Along came an old religious Jew and they began talking happily about a rabbi that they both knew had said and I had to chuckle.

WHAT A MIXTURE!

Burning kites sent by the hundreds across the border from Gaza to set afire the ripening fields of the south of Israel. So what do we do? Kite making camps are held on the Israeli side of the border to teach the kids the beauty of kites so that they won’t be afraid of them. They float beautifully designed back across to Palestinian Gaza.

Meanwhile, as we seek a solution, so much of the land in the south has burned, so many crops and food destroyed. The farmers are dismayed. So many questions and so shockingly much MIS-information on international news.

Israel demolishes 15 homes in our own Gush Etzion village of Netiv HaAvot.  One of the homes was the loving home of a friend of mine – a family of six, a secretary whom I used to work with.  I heard her speak on the evening news as she can speak English.  The land had a claim filed against it and although it is still disputed, the law ruled to destroy the houses. We are a people with a law.

And then there is suddenly rain in June. But it is our dry season and the rains have passed. Yet the desert is closed to trips because of flash flooding.  Whereas May was 2 degrees warmer than normal, June so far is 2 degrees cooler.

Over the noise…no, the ROAR, of the world being shaken from its foundation…may the cry go up from our hearts:  I WILL LOVE THE LORD MY GOD WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL AND STRENGTH AND MIGHT!  May we each do it, believe it, walk it and share it for His glory.

I am more and more convinced that there is no other way.

Sincerely,

J

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