Category Archives: Prayer

A Summer Thanksgiving Story Without Turkey and Stuffing

 

The drive to meet Pastor Rick took me past the Temecula Valley High School baseball field where our son, Cole, played shortstop for the Golden Bears during his four years there. Cole was a good player, but that wasn’t the reason I always thanked the Lord for His mercy when I drove by the field. It was because of a special miracle the Lord did twenty-two years earlier during a state playoff game.

On that particular day, the Golden Bears were playing the Norco High School Cougars. The pitcher for the Cougars was Carson Riley, a right-hander, who threw around ninety-five miles per hour and was a solid major league prospect.

Cole stood in the right side of the batter’s box to lead off the seventh inning. Riley’s first pitch was a fastball, which tailed inside and hit Cole in the middle of his chest, knocking him to the ground. He laid motionless on the ground.

The three coaches for Temecula Valley rushed to him. One of them took out a cell phone and made a call.

Jane and I were sitting in the bleachers above the dugout on the first base side of the field. I grabbed Jane’s hand. “Honey, we need to go out there. Cole’s in danger,” I said.

We stood up and hurried to field.

Jim Dawson, the head coach for the Golden Bears, looked up as we approached home plate. “Dylan, he’s not breathing. I phoned for an ambulance, which should be here in four minutes,” he said.

Jane and I dropped to our knees and began praying. She prayed in tongues while I placed my hand on his chest.

“Father, You gave me a promise when Cole was born that He would preach the gospel and do miracles in Your name. When You made that promise, You looked into the future and saw this day. And yet, You still made that promise to me. I am not leaving until You honor Your promise and Cole stands up, totally healed in Jesus’ name. You did it for Elijah when he prayed for the widow’s son and I’m asking You to do the same thing for Cole, right now,” I prayed.

Coach Dawson grabbed my shoulders. “Dylan, let’s wait for the ambulance,” he whispered.

I shook his hands off me. “Let go of me,” I shouted. “God is doing a miracle here.”

Dawson released his grasp and wandered off. A siren could be heard pulling into the school’s parking lot.

“Father, I didn’t ask You to give me that promise for Cole. You did it on Your own. So, honor Your promise, in Jesus’ name,” I prayed again and again.

“What’s happening here?” asked a paramedic, rushing toward us with a stretcher.

Cole’s green eyes fluttered and opened. He looked into my eyes. “Dad,” he whispered, “I met Jesus. He said I had to come back to life because of your prayers.”

My son was totally healed and wanted to stay in the ballgame, but of course, the two paramedics insisted on him riding in the ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital. Jane and I followed them in our SUV.

All of the tests on Cole proved to be negative. The Lord healed him.

Cole graduated from high school two weeks later and now lives in San Diego with his wife Allyson and their two daughters, Mia and Madison.

If I drove by the baseball field a hundred times in any one day, I always thanked the Lord for His gracious miracle every time. I always wanted Him to know how much I appreciated what He did for our family on that day.

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders. (Psalm 26:7)

(Excerpt from Still in the Fight, an upcoming new novel by me.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 15)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 15

Building a Foundation of Faith (m)

Pride, not walking in love, fear of man, and unforgiveness are the four biggest hindrances for not receiving answers to prayers. Each undermines faith.

Let’s now talk about what I call God’s x factor… x being an unknown, like in an algebraic equation.

In 1995, I dated a wonderful woman and really thought I would marry her. I even had many prophetic words, which seemed to fit her, or at least, I thought so.

While driving my truck back from her apartment in January 1995, I had a conversation with the Lord. “Jesus, You need to get us married as quick as possible,” I said.

My truck cab filled with laughter. It was as if heaven opened up and the Lord along with hundreds of angels laughed at what I said. The laughter was the “hold your belly and roll on the floor” type. It continued and continued.

I pulled my truck over to the side of the road because the laughter was so contagious tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t continue driving.

The laughter eventually ceased and I headed home. As I drove, I wondered, what was so funny, but I convinced myself heaven was overjoyed with me being in love.

One obstacle after another frustrated my relationship with the lady over the next fourteen months. I figured it was spiritual warfare and I needed to fast, pray, and hold strong in faith to win the victory.

My roommate decided to get married in March 1996, and asked me to preside over the wedding ceremony. A dinner was planned at our apartment so I could meet the maid of honor, the best man, and a mysterious lady, who was the bride’s spiritual mother.

I answered the doorbell the night of the dinner and greeted people while my roommate prepared the meal. The mysterious lady turned out to be a pretty blond lady, about my age, who happened to be single. She sat next to me at the meal.

We worshiped the Lord and prayed for each other after the meal. All felt the mysterious lady should pray for each of us and she agreed. As she prayed for someone, I looked at her and what I saw instantly changed my life.

No longer did I see a mysterious lady, but instead, I saw my wife. And with that prophetic glimpse, I fell head over heels in love with her. I was smitten beyond any earthly reason. It was all I could do to pay attention for the rest of the evening.

I turned to my roommate and his fiancée after everyone left. “I have fallen in love with Carol,” I said.

Both laughed. They had been praying for Carol and me for months because each received a separate vision from the Lord about the two of us marrying each other. “But the Lord told us not to say anything to you,” said my roommate, “because the Lord said Larry is so stubborn he’ll do just the opposite.”

Thirty minutes later, I phoned Carol. “What have you done to my life, it’s turned upside down?” I said.

She laughed and admitted she missed her exit on the way home, thinking about me.

Our first date was on the next night, a Saturday night. We became engaged on Sunday morning and were married four weeks later, on Good Friday, 1996.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

 God is a sovereign King. He is the Boss. Period.

He knows what is best for each of us. He has His reasons for allowing things to happen in our lives. He is the Potter and we are the clay in His hands. All of our prayers, even though prayed at the highest levels of faith, will not change His mind about His plans for us.

“He allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power.” (Permission Granted, Graham Cooke and Gary Goodell, Destiny Image Publishers, 2006, pp. 24)

Now that a solid foundation is prepared, how do we build mustard-seed faith on it?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 14)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 14

Building a Foundation of Faith (l)

 “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for my experiences, but you couldn’t pay me two million dollars to go through some of them again,” said Kenneth Hagin.

His words are my exact sentiments about my experiences selling cars at ten different dealerships. One such experience dealt with a reason why many prayers are not answered.

After working for a year at a large GM dealership, the management fired me in early 1993. A used car dealership hired me a few days later. The dealership paid no base salary or benefits. My income depended solely on commissions from car sales. So, no car sales meant no income for me.

The first few months were fantastic and management even considered promoting me. A sales drought then hit and I didn’t sell a car for weeks. Every deal I worked on fell through. The other salesmen stayed far away from me, worried that whatever I had was contagious and would infect their sales.

I had no money. My vehicle sat in front of my apartment, hungry for gas. Bills piled up. My groceries came from a food bank. I walked everywhere, even the two miles back and forth to work.

“Why not quit?” you ask.

I couldn’t quit because I felt the Lord wanted me to stay. I believed He was doing something in my heart. All I could do was trudge through the valley until He delivered me.

After five weeks of no sales and zero income, something happened.

A young couple liked a car I showed them. Everything seemed perfect and we talked about meeting again in two days and writing up the order. Hope replaced the dark clouds hanging over me.

The following day was a day off for me.

A salesman met me at the door two days later when I arrived at work and took me aside. “Your couple came in yesterday and Kevin wrote up the order. He stole them from you. What are you going to do about that?” he said.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know,” I replied.

Kevin and the sales manager were off that particular day. There was not much I could do until the next day, but I was devastated for the rest of the day.

Early the next morning, I went for a walk and the Holy Spirit began speaking with me. “You have to forgive Kevin,” the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart.

“I can’t,” I replied.

“You have to,” He said.

“No, I absolutely can’t forgive Kevin. I hurt too much,” I said as I continued walking.

“If you don’t forgive him then this will happen…” He said, relating what would occur if I refused to forgive Kevin.

“I don’t care. He’s a thief and a liar and I’m hungry,” I said.

“You have to forgive him,” He whispered to my heart.

I sighed and stopped walking. “Okay. I can’t forgive him on my own, but if You help me forgive him, I will.”

And just like that, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit surge through me. I forgave him. No longer did I hold a debt against Kevin. He could have the commissions from the sale and I blessed him.

Later that same day, while Kevin was busy with a customer, I helped another one of his clients and wrote the order up for Kevin. I even delivered the car and sent the people off. Kevin made $400 commission without ever doing anything.

I was totally set free.

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions. (Mark 11:24-25)

Unforgiveness is one of the major reasons why our prayers are not answered. It is such a malignant sin that if it is not remedied in an individual’s life, it will eventually result in bitterness, which defiles other people.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many are defiled. (Hebrews 12:15)

If your prayers are not being answered in a prompt fashion, ask the Holy Spirit if you have unforgiveness. If you do, then forgive, but if you can’t forgive because the pain is too much, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. His name is the Helper and He will help you.

What is a surprise reason that our prayers are not answered?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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NEWS FLASH: 13,000 or More Witches to Cast Spell on President Trump. What Should We Do?

 

Michael Snyder at End of the American Dream reports that “as Halloween approaches, thousands of witches will cast a ‘binding spell’ on Donald Trump on October 25th.” (See full article here.)

I am neither Republican, Democrat nor Independent. In fact, I have not voted in an election since 2008.

Yet even so, it wouldn’t matter to me if these witches were casting spells on former President Obama, President Trump or presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, I wouldn’t want witches and demons intervening in our politics.

How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had surrendered them? (Deuteronomy 32:30)

Although Satan and his demonic allies love to pile it on in spiritual battles, God has His mathematical formula to fight spiritual battles. One Christian standing in faith can defeat a thousand witches backed by demons and two standing in faith and agreement can defeat ten thousand witches backed by demons.

Using God’s formula, we can expect three or four Christians standing in faith and agreement to handle these so-called witches backed by demons. Just three or four!

What should we do?

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. (Proverbs 26:2 NIV)

First of all, ask the Holy Spirit to check each of our hearts. We don’t want the curse intended for President Trump to land on us. So, let’s make sure we don’t have pride, anger, hatred or another sin when we pray.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Second, we need to understand that God wants us to pray and intercede for our government officials, not curse them.

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

Third, standing in agreement moves the Father to act on our prayers.

Okay, let’s pray in faith and agreement:

Father in Jesus’ name, we plead the protective blood of Jesus over President Trump, his wife Melania, his children and grandchildren. And Father, because of 1 Timothy 2:1-3 and Matthew 18:19, we command all of the binding spells and curses uttered by witches and their variants to fall to the ground and have no effect on the Trump family for this Halloween season. Plus, we cry out to You for mercy for all of the witches and ask the Holy Spirit to open up their hearts to the love of the truth so they might be saved. Amen.

If you have prayed the above prayer in faith, just thank the Lord for His victory in this battle.

 

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First the Blade (Chapter 5)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 5

Building a Foundation of Faith (c)

It was Peter who had the heaven inspired revelation of Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16: 15 – 16)

 Even though Peter had a deep revelation and knew Jesus had words of eternal life, Peter had years of Jewish teachings on all of the unfulfilled prophecies for Israel. The unfulfilled prophecies must have seemed to be at odds with Jesus’ teachings. How could the promises for Israel’s restoration be fulfilled if you had to become like a child to enter into the kingdom of God?

What did Peter do?

He probably put two and two together to figure out the kingdom of God from what Jesus taught and what he already knew. Therefore, if Jesus was the Messiah and Israel had been promised that a Redeemer would restore Israel to its former prosperous place in history, then the Kingdom of God would be much like Israel was under King David, except the new King would do miracles. Peace would come. The lamb and the wolf would graze together, the lion would eat straw with the ox and dust would be the serpent’s food.

There are numerous scriptures backing up Peter’s logic, but it was neither God’s way nor His timing. So, when Jesus taught the disciples He was going to suffer, die, be buried and then be raised up again, Peter could not believe his ears and even rebuked Him. Jesus said to him:

Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s. (Matthew 16:23)

 This particular exchange took place a little more than six months before Jesus’ death on the cross. All through the weeks following this particular event, Jesus continued to teach His disciples.

“Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. (Luke 9: 45 – 46)

Remember: the Kingdom of God − between Jesus first coming and His second coming − is a spiritual kingdom, which is not seen with the human eye. It is one which has to be received by faith and cannot be understood by logic or knowledge.

Thus, Peter’s faith in his deception came to an end in the Garden of Gethsemane.

What did Jesus say to Peter at the special meeting He had alone with Peter?

I believe Jesus said approximately the same words to Peter, which He spoke to Cleopas and the other traveler when He met them near Emmaus:

And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24: 25 – 27)

All of these Old Testament scriptures spoken by the Living Word would have opened Peter’s eyes so that his heart would have burned in his chest once more, filled with faith.

What can we learn about faith from Peter’s experience?

And Jesus answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11: 22)

Our faith must always, always, always be in God and not in our interpretations of Scripture. It is God who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not our traditions.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 2)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 2

Is it Important to Grow our Faith?

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 AMP)

For our salvations, God gives everyone a portion of faith which is more than enough for us to say, “Yes,” to His being Lord of our lives. Yet, this saving faith is only a miniscule amount compared to what is needed to truly “fight the good fight of faith” throughout our journeys with the Lord.

Some may be satisfied with the amount of faith they received at salvation and aren’t willing to put any effort into growing their faith. That is their choice.  At least, they are saved! Yet, they need to understand that this is not pleasing to God and will cause them problems throughout their lives. Maybe in finances, sickness, relationships or whatever.

Now, for everyone else, let’s learn how to trust God more and more by growing in our faith on a daily basis.

 

Twenty-five 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. Then I saw a tsunami of calamities strike the Christians. So overwhelming were the calamities that almost all of the Christians lost hope and were swept off the mountain and over a cliff into a chasm of deep despair and defeat. A few believers still hung onto the edge of the cliff by their fingernails after the wave of calamities passed.

But as I looked on, I knew these few survivors could not last through another wave of calamities without giving up and also falling into the chasm of 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 certainly 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 wind chills of -50 degrees, sleeping in cars, digging in garbage dumpsters, and business reversal after reversal, all without ever falling into despair and defeat.

When I had this vision twenty-five years ago, I did not have a revelation about the End-Times because that wasn’t on my radar screen until the last four years or so. Now, I’m convinced the tsunami of calamities I saw in the vision are a part of the tribulation and persecutions awaiting believers in the soon arriving Great Tribulation.

It’s my belief that if we American Christians do not prepare ourselves for the End-Times that maybe 50 to 75% or more of us will be a part of the Great Falling Away the Apostle Paul mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Those percentages could add up to forty to seventy million believers. Unbelievable, right?

So, I don’t want to be disobedient to the heavenly vision, which was given to me over twenty-five years ago. Thus, I will be writing about faith in the next few chapters.

(Continued in Chapter 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 5)

Recently, I talked with a youth pastor of a large denomination. “What are you reading right now?” I asked.

She mentioned the name of a book.

“Oh, is that a book on inner healing?” I replied.

“Yes,” she said, ” and it’s very good.”

“I struggle with inner healing. Every book on inner healing that I’ve ever seen is a takeoff on John and Mark Sandford’s book, one that I don’t recommend to anyone.”

“Well, a pastor in our denomination recently committed suicide. So our pastor wants to be proactive and help our staff handle the everyday stress of working with our church’s members. Plus, a counselor meets with each of us every week to help us.”

“Oh dear, I struggle with counselors, too.”

Thank God, the conversation died without me putting both of my feet in my mouth.

I understand there are numerous mental problems, such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and others, where we believers can’t heal the person by simply speaking in faith and saying, “Go, in Jesus’ name.” We just aren’t there yet! Maybe soon though!

But this was not a case of handling severe mental disorders, this was a pastor trying to protect his staff from stress and emotional strain. And what does he do? He reaches for what the world considers its best answer for these problems: psychology.

Although considered a science, psychology is anything but that. There are hundreds of different methods for every problem. Most of them backed by the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Both were ungodly men!

So, why not fast and pray and trust the Lord? Isn’t He more than able to protect a church’s staff?

I assume this same pastor preaches a sermon each Sunday telling the congregation to trust in Jesus, right? But shouldn’t the pastor be honest enough to declare his staff’s lack of faith in Jesus?

How would that play out? Probably not well.

Can you imagine telling Christians in North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan and other nations where Christians are tortured and killed for their beliefs that they also need psychologists to help them handle their stress and anxiety? They’d laugh at our weak faith!

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. (Matthew 6:24 AMP)

The number three reason for becoming a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be trusting in the world system more than in Christ and His ways.

(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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