Category Archives: Faith

Praying for Our Children (Part 7)

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Let’s say Carol and I need a Special Widget for an important business project, which must be done right away. All of our money and resources are tied up in the project. So, we need to finish it as quickly as possible.

We jump in our Honda and search all over Temecula, but Best Buy, Staples, Home Depot, and all the other stores have no Special Widgets on hand. We then decide to check Amazon.com and there is one in stock. We purchase it with our VISA Card and have it sent by FedEx. An email from Amazon confirms our order and also gives us a tracking number from FedEx to follow the Special Widget’s delivery route online.

The next day, a friend asks if we have found a Special Widget as yet. “Yes, we have purchased one. It’s on the way,” we answer with big smiles on our faces.

“Are you sure?” the friend asks, raising both eyebrows.

“Yes,” we reply, without any doubts in our minds.

How can we be so sure the Special Widget will arrive at our home?

Carol and I trust the reputations of Amazon and FedEx. The two corporations have a long history of carrying out what they promise to do. Plus, we have guarantees to back up our trust in an email confirmation and a tracking number.

 

The above Special Widget story is a perfect analogy to show how God answers our prayers.

First, who has the better reputation −Amazon, FedEx, or God?

The answer is obvious for us believers: God.

He never lies, never fails, never sleeps, is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and has all of heaven backing His commands. And guess what? God created Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Frederick W. Smith, founder of FedEx. So, obviously, God is not overwhelmed by the intricacies of the marketplace or anything at all.

Second, when did Carol and I own the Special Widget in the above story?

As soon as we purchased it from Amazon with our VISA Card, we owned it. It was ours before it ever showed up at our home.

Okay, when do we receive (or own) the answers to our prayers?

For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be givento you. (Mark 11:24 Amplified Version)

In much the same way as ordering the Special Widget from Amazon, we must believe by faith that God has answered our prayers as soon as we pray them. It doesn’t matter that we don’t see the answers with our natural eyes because we must have faith the answers are on the way, just like we trusted the Special Widget was on its way via FedEx.

 

Third, Amazon sent us a confirmation email and FedEx gave us a tracking number. Because of these two guarantees, we felt safe in trusting them.

What about God?

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. (Hebrews 11:1 Amplified Version)

Faith in God that He will answer our prayers is our confirmation from the Lord.

Okay, faith may not always seem as tangible as an email confirmation and a tracking number, but here’s something we can do to make it more concrete for us.

Because our Father in heaven is a covenant-making God, we can make a covenant with Him. His covenants with Adam, Noah, Moses, David, and Jesus are written down in the Bible and still in force today. The word “covenant” means pledge or legal agreement between two parties, in this case God and man.

Here’s what I often do:

I write down my prayers for my children and others in a special notebook. For example, let’s say I have prayed for my daughter to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. I write down her name, the date of the prayer, and Matthew 3:11, the verse where the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire is mentioned. This becomes a written covenant between God and me.

From the moment I write it down, I no longer ask God to baptize my daughter in the Holy Spirit and fire, but instead I thank Him for doing it. You see, the prayer was answered when I prayed it.

I flip through my notebook often each week, thanking the Lord for answering my prayers for my children and others.

If doubt ever hits me about my prayers, I open my notebook and point to the date and scripture, reminding God of our covenant.

This works!

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.(Colossians 4:2)

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

(Continued in Part 7)

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Do We Still Need Prophecy and the Spiritual Gifts?

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A commenter on Dr. Michael Brown’s recent column, Charismatic Movement Needs Some Self-Policing: “The fruit of the Charismatic Movement has not been good.”

Like many critics, this person could only see the thorns of the Charismatic Movement and not the beautiful rose blossoms that have blessed numerous lives, including mine.

On May 20, 1985, I decided to commit suicide. This decision was based on my failure to put together a farm publishing company. All of my financial sources were maxed out, with the only untouched asset being a $125,000 life insurance policy on my life.

Suicide was not a problem because I was an agnostic. My not believing in God relieved me of worrying about Hell and God’s eternal punishment for my unbelief. It seemed like a good business decision on my part.

For some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office that afternoon. Bill wasn’t my insurance agent nor was he a close intimate friend. Our relationship was built on my coaching his son for a teen baseball team the year before.

Bill invited me into his office. I sat down on a chair in front of his desk while he sat on the opposite side.  We talked about baseball, but in the middle of our conversation, he paused and stared at me. “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?” he said.

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me.

We continued talking for a while longer. He gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. Bill stated how the small book had changed his life a few years earlier.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After finishing the first eighteen pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door, looked into the mirror and said, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. I bowed down on the tile floor and worshipped my new Lord and King.

How a reader views my salvation testimony probably depends on which camp of Christianity the person presently sits in.

Eight to ten percent of American Christians might pooh-pooh my salvation testimony because they’re cessationists who believe that prophecy and the spiritual gifts ceased at the end of the apostolic age.

Another fifteen to twenty percent of Christians might jump up and down, saying, “Amen, brother.” These are the Pentecostals, Charismatics and others who wholeheartedly endorse prophecy and the spiritual gifts.

That leaves a balance of seventy to seventy-five percent of American Christians who are not in either of the first two camps. They have heard about prophecy but have not seen the spiritual gifts functioning in their own churches. For the most part, they do not hold any opinions one way or another on prophecy or the spiritual gifts.

What does the Bible say about prophecy and the spiritual gifts?

Pursue love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

The Apostle Paul wrote the above verse in his first letter to the Corinthian Church around 55 AD. It explained the spiritual gifts and their proper usage.

The historian Eusebius pointed out the importance of prophecy in an event that occurred only ten or eleven years after Paul’s letter. A Messianic believer in Jerusalem prophesied that everyone should flee the Holy City to save their lives. The prophecy also reminded the believers of Jesus’ prophecy on the first Palm Sunday.

By early 69 AD, every Messianic believer had fled Jerusalem. Most went to a city in Jordan, named Pella, which was about sixty miles from Jerusalem.

In 70 AD, the Roman army led by General Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, slaughtering nearly a million Jews. This calamity fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Jesus on that first Palm Sunday.

The number of Messianic believers who fled Jerusalem were about sixty thousand in total. Those believers loved Jerusalem and their Jewish neighbors. They would have told everyone about the prophecy, but sadly, the Jewish army had won some battles against Rome when the prophecy was first spoken. Therefore, most Jews ignored the words of those Messianic believers and remained in Jerusalem. The majority of them died.

What if someone today prophesied that we should evacuate San Francisco or Chicago or New York City or Washington D. C. or wherever because the city was about to be destroyed?

Maybe you’re thinking something like this could never happen, right?

The Book of Revelation tells us about the horrific destruction which will occur in our world sometime in the near future. Half of the earth’s population will die during the seal and trumpet judgments. Most of the cities will be destroyed. If believers don’t take the mark of the beast, we won’t be able to buy or sell anything, including food and medicine.

So, how will believers survive without prophecy and the spiritual gifts?

Maybe our American-held belief of a pre-tribulation Rapture will be accurate. Maybe believers will be out of here before the bad stuff happens.

But just in case, it might be a good idea to develop an ear for prophecy and learn about the spiritual gifts now.

(The above post appeared as a column for WND.com on April 13, 2018 which can be seen here.)

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Prayers for America (6/14/2018)

 

When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)

My prayer today:

Lord, do whatever it takes in American believers’ lives to build our faith to a level sufficient enough to fight the good fight in these last days before Your return, to finish our races, and to keep the faith according to Your satisfaction. (Based on 2 Timothy 4:7)

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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Praying for our Children (Part 1)

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The number one prayer request I have heard in my thirty-three years of being a believer is this one: “Pray for my children to be zealous for the Lord.”

Almost every Christian parent desires for his or her children to have fiery hearts filled with passion and zeal for God. But sadly, today’s world is filled with increasing levels of lawlessness, which causes many of our children’s hearts to grow cold. This lawlessness creeps into our children’s lives through the Internet, cellphones, texting, Facebook, TV, movies, music, and much more – all of it has the potential of chilling our children’s hearts toward God and His ways.

O offspring of Abraham, His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones! (Psalm 105:16)

God promised the descendants of Abraham numerous blessings because of the patriarch’s faith and obedience toward Him and His ways. Because of these promises, Abraham’s children and descendants are referred to as His chosen ones.

God’s plans for Abraham and his descendants are just as valid today for believing parents and their children. Thus, our children should be viewed by faith as His chosen ones, too.

Now, our children may not look like His chosen ones as yet. They may not even be saved and may be walking in the exact opposite direction.  But because our children are considered His chosen ones we have all of heaven backing us in our efforts.

…If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 It’s time for us to pray for the frozen chosen −our children −to walk in the destinies God has ordained for them.

(Excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)
(Continued in Part 2)

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Prayers for Increasing Our Faith (1/2/2018)

Many years ago, I had a vision of thousands of Christians walking along a high mountaintop. Life was good. Everyone enjoyed the blessings being given to them by God. I then saw a whirlwind of calamities strike the Christians. So overwhelming were the calamities that almost all of the Christians lost hope and were swept over a cliff into deep despair and defeat. A few believers still hung onto the edge of the cliff by their fingernails. I knew these few survivors could not last through another trial without giving up and also falling into despair and defeat along with the others.

As I looked at this horrible scene in the vision, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “These Christians did not like the Word of Faith messengers I sent to the Body of Christ. They did not like their hairstyles or their clothing or the way they talked or acted. But most of all, they did not receive the revelation of faith, which I wanted the Body to have so they could withstand the trials, which are heading toward America. I want you to go and tell them they need the Word of Faith revelation.”

I am not what you would call a Word of Faith teacher, but I do have a deep revelation of faith, which I received from Word of Faith teachings. My faith revelation has allowed me to walk through a divorce, snowstorms with -50 degree wind chills, sleeping in cars, digging in garbage dumpsters, and business reversal after reversal, all without ever falling into despair and defeat.

(Excerpt from Prophecy 101 by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, increase our faith so it is like a grain of mustard seed. (Based on Luke 17:5-6)

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened and our hearts to be changed now.

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My Irish Story

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My roommate Tony and I enjoyed laughing in the midst of our financial struggles. I remember walking to Hy-Vee Grocery Store one morning and seeing a dead pheasant lying next to the road.

“Hey, we might be able to make a stew out of that bird,” said Tony.

“Really?”

“Actually, I’m trying to make up my mind whether I’m that desperate yet.”

Humor helps during bad times, but we were also serious prayer warriors, who believed God could use us to advance His kingdom. Each morning, we waited on the Lord to discover how He wanted us to pray.

Once, we felt He wanted us to pray for Northern Ireland and its violent unrest at the time. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us a clear direction on how to intercede for the war-torn area. I then had a vision in which I saw bodies of young people piled in heaps on the streets of Belfast, thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. Tony and I eventually prayed as best we could to stop this vision from happening in Ireland, but we had no peace about it. I also felt there was an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

I went to my bedroom afterward and prayed, asking the Lord to give the prophecy to some well-known preacher. Who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed the words, I knew it was a bad idea so I repented quickly.

“Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,”  I prayed. With those words, peace settled over me.

The Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the campus two days later. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They all laughed, but one lady suggested I should talk with a secretary in the basement.

I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines.

“Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.

The next day, I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader.

“I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”

Her husband came on the line and gave me the phone number.

I phoned the number in England early the next morning because of the six-hour time difference. The leader’s wife answered and told me her husband was attending a meeting in London. I explained to her the reason for my phone call.

“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.”

She gave me the information.

I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote the prophetic word for Northern Ireland, and then mailed it to the leader in Belfast.

This whole experience was by faith and after dropping the letter into the mailbox, all of my faith dried up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was anyway? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten scrawl, and laugh. But even in the midst of these doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace, asking for grace and mercy to help me through this trial of faith.

Two weeks later, the phone rang on a Sunday afternoon.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland. I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me. Our prayer group had been waiting for just such a word. We are already praying it into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”

We talked for a few minutes and then said our goodbyes. I fell on my knees and wept, realizing how big God is and, by comparison, how little I am. To think God would use me, to pray for such a far off place, which was going through such desperate  life and death struggles, opened my eyes to the greatness of our God. Nothing is impossible for Him.

If there had been a contest for the two most insignificant Christians in America at the time, Tony and I had a chance of winning. My truck had been repossessed. Tony’s car needed a tire. We had no money and AT&T disconnected our phone the very next morning.

God never seems to be bothered by such trivial things as our insignificance in the world.

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

The above took place in 1995. The peace treaty between the IRA and Great Britain was finally signed on Good Friday, 1998, and continues today.

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The Rumors of Larry’s Death Were Not Greatly Exaggerated (Part 2)

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I began this series on January 10, 2015, but because nothing was moving forward for me, I placed it on hold. Now things are happening again. So, I’ve decided to rerun the earlier parts before I began anew. If you don’t want to wait, you can read the first ten parts in their entirety here.

 

“Larry, you will write and own a large publishing company,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in the fall of 1985.

I was ecstatic when I heard these words and made a decision which has guided my life for nearly thirty years. I decided to never accept a job that would hinder my dreams of writing and being a publisher. For the most part, this meant being a car salesman, laborer, house painter, and minimum wage employee.

Looking back, none of my fifty or so jobs since 1985 have offered me much of a chance to be promoted, which was fine with me. Promotions would have been obstacles for my goals because they would have required a greater commitment than I wanted to give.

Let’s be honest, okay?

When the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and I made my career decisions, I did not realize it would take twenty-nine years to publish my first book. Twenty-nine years! It just seems so unbelievable that the dream is still so strong in me, even though my youth has long since disappeared.

I can still remember when Bonnie Chavda prophesied to Jim Goll and me at a 1999 meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. She first pointed at Goll and said, “Your writing career will take off. You will write many books because God has anointed you for now.”

She then turned to me. “God is holding your writing career back. You will be successful, but at a much later time.”

Jim Goll has written over twenty-five books and is a big time prophetic author. Most of his books have been published since that night.

I have just published my first book and have a few eBooks on Amazon right now. That’s the extent of my accomplishments since Bonnie prophesied to me.

If you have any thoughts that God is unfair when he raises up one person compared to another, then you need a greater understanding of God. He is the Boss. He knows what it will take to ready a person for His plans and is not willing to lower His standards in the least.

As far as finances and time goes, God uses these as tools to mold His people.

One experience still brings tears to my eyes.

(Continued in Part 3)

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