Category Archives: Faith

Prayers for Senior Citizens (6/6/2019)

 

One of the greatest geezer preachers of all time was Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947).

Wigglesworth was born in 1859 in Yorkshire, England. His parents were so poor that Smith had to miss school as a child and work to help support his family. Even so he became born again when he was eight years old. Later, he became an apprentice and then a plumber.

He married his wife Polly in 1882. She taught him how to read and encouraged him to preach, but he was tongue-tied and couldn’t speak in front of crowds. So, his wife was the anointed preacher until her death in 1913.

When Polly died, he was so grief-stricken that he commanded death to leave her. She came back to life, opened her eyes and said, “Smith, the Lord wants me. It’s your season now.”

Smith looked into her eyes. “If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you,” he replied.

The day after the funeral, Smith Wigglesworth threw himself on his wife’s grave and wept. The Holy Spirit spoke: “Smith, get up. It’s time for you to travel the world and preach the gospel.”

Then, an argument followed between the Holy Spirit and Wigglesworth. He refused to get off the grave because he was too heart-broken and didn’t want to minister without his wife.

Finally, Wigglesworth said, “Lord, I’ll get up and go to the world, if You’ll give me her anointing, too.”

That day, Smith Wigglesworth, fifty-four years of age, began his ministry to the world and continued until he died at eighty-eight years of age.

Because of Wigglesworth’s lack of schooling, he normally spoke with a working-class cockney accent, hard to understand. But when he preached and ministered, he talked like an Oxford professor. Perfect English.

There has never been a man like Smith Wigglesworth. As many as nineteen people (some say only twelve) were raised from the dead through his ministry. Tens of thousands were healed and saved in his meetings.

And he did all this while he was a senior citizen.

What’s our excuse, right?

My prayer today:

Lord, Your word states that You do not show favoritism toward one person over another. So, I ask You to move on the senior citizens here in American and raise up dozens of people who will walk in the same anointing that You gave to Smith Wigglesworth. (Based on Acts 10:34)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Faith, Fasting, Geezers, Prayer, Prophecy, Senior Citizens

A Simple Prayer

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Some people can be asked to pray by someone and then they pray for ten minutes without ever thinking or stuttering and stammering. And then there’s people like me. Maybe you, too.

If the Holy Spirit fuels my prayer, it might sound like heaven walked into the room and spoke through me. Now, this would be great if it happened all of the time, but sadly, it doesn’t occur often enough.

So what does an average believer like me do, right?

I do my best to memorize Bible verses. You see, one of these verses will usually fit into a prayer of some type for most any occasion. And after all, what could be better than praying God’s Word to God for Him to handle the situation I am praying about, right?

One of my favorite prayers:

Lord, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to (name or names) the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of (his, her or their) understanding being enlightened; that (he, she or they) may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly placesIn Jesus’ name, amen. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-20)

PS If you’re not good at memorizing verses, open your Bible and use it as your prayer book. God won’t care and the people won’t know. All will be blessed though.

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Simple Word for Today

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Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 ESV)

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. (Philippians 2:3 AMP)

My prayer:

Lord, forgive me for my selfish ambition, empty arrogance and conceit. Help me to be humble and count others as more significant than myself. Help me to be more like You.

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Prayers for Warriors to Arise in our Hearts (3/14/2019)

“It’s in God’s hands. If it is meant to be, it will happen. If not, it won’t.”

How many times have we heard the above statement or a similar one by fellow believers? Maybe hundreds of times over the years.

Is there any truth in the statement?

Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. (Ephesians 6:13 AMP)

The reason we put on the whole armor of God is so we can fight demons, to pull down their strongholds in our lives, destroy their arguments and every exalted and proud thing that opposes the truth of God. We also must fight to take every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ who lives in us.

All of this is done by using the sword of the Spirit (word of God) in our prayers and petitions, always being watchful for counterattacks by demons.

After we have done all of this, then we can place our concerns in God’s hands and trust Him to work everything out for His glory.

Anything less than this will usually end up as a defeat in our lives.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us learn how to fight the good fight of faith so we can finish the race You have set before us and keep the faith while we are still running. (Based on 1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy 3:7)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.

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Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 2)

 

As I wrote in Part 1: the word sin means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target. One of our most common sins is fear.

The following is a true story from my life:

“If you can’t pay the truck payments up to date by Monday afternoon, bring us the truck. No more stalling because it has to be one or the other,” said the Ford Motor Credit official.

I hung up the phone, wondering if the Lord had another financial miracle in His basket to deliver me out of this predicament.

The new Ford F-150 pickup became a part of my life just five days before that dreadful morning on July 8, 1994. A special offer to businessmen lured me into the Ford dealership in Ames and the zero down payment financing sealed the deal. The dealership even filled the dual tanks with gas before I drove off the sales lot. What a blessing, I thought at the time.

Then, my financial nightmare hit.

The $300 monthly truck payment and insurance expenses added millstone weights to my downward death spiral. On the one hand, I needed the truck to remain a painting contractor so I could earn enough money to pay off my bad checks and painting debts. Yet, on the other hand, there never seemed to be enough money left over from my painting jobs for truck payments.

I eventually trusted the Lord to work out all of my other financial problems, and even had peace about each of them, but the Ford F-150 was a different story. I could not remove the nagging fear of losing it. It haunted me day and night.

The truck payments were ninety days late four times in the year after July 8, 1994. My problem was not an imaginary fear, but rather, a real one. I awoke each morning and looked out the window, checking if the truck still remained outside in the parking lot or had been repossessed during the night.

A friend grabbed my shoulder one morning during a prayer meeting, turning me around to face her.

“The Lord spoke to me about you, and said the cares of the world are pulling Larry under,” she said, staring into my eyes.

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s the truck. I can’t quit worrying about it. Pray for me.”

She prayed, but I still had no peace about the situation.

I fasted and prayed against every possible demon. I read Psalm 37 and countless other scriptures to bolster my faith, but still, the fear of losing the truck sucked every bit of joy out of my life.

The Lord finally spoke to me in a vision while I slept one night: “The truck is Mine −not yours. It is My responsibility to watch over it. If I choose to give it back to Ford Motor Company, that’s up to Me, and not you. So, quit worrying about it.”

My fears evaporated that morning. Why worry about someone else’s problems, right?

Ford Motor Company repossessed the truck six months later. I washed, waxed, and cleaned it before returning it to the dealership. It was the Lord’s truck and I wanted Him to know how much I appreciated driving it.

(An excerpt from my memoir – The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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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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