Category Archives: Prayer

Prayers for Businessmen (5/7/2019)

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Alfred, an owner of a company with one hundred employees, read the above verse and decided to act on it. He told his employees, “I attended a seminar that changed my life, and I’d like to try to share with you what God is teaching me. So once a week I’m going to shut down our plant for an hour, and I’m going to share what God’s Word says I should be doing for you. The meetings are voluntary, but everyone is welcome. From this point on, I want you to hold me responsible to be the kind of Christian employer that God expects me to be.”

The next Monday, when the plant stopped for the meeting, every one of Alfred’s employees was there. He began to share what he should be doing as a Christian businessman. Sometimes he would say, “I can’t implement this immediately or it would ruin our company, but eventually I am going to do this to the best of my ability.”

One of the programs Alfred wanted to implement was a benevolence program to help employees with special financial needs, such as medical bills, family crises, or special education expenses by providing company- sponsored grants.

To do this would first require reeducating the employees so that those who didn’t receive this benefit would not resent those who did. It also would require establishing an employee committee to oversee the fund and evaluate the candidates. But Alfred was determined to get it started.

About a year after the meetings began, Alfred asked me [Larry Burkette] to speak to his employees. At one point in my talk I asked, “How many in this room have personally accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?” Out of more than 100 employees, about 25 hands went up.

A year later I went back. This time I asked, “During the last year, how many of you have personally accepted Jesus Christ as a result of the influence of your boss?” Hands went up throughout the room. In one year, more than 60 people had come to the Lord through Alfred’s influence, and he didn’t even know it. Evangelizing his employees hadn’t been his goal. His goal had simply been to become more Christlike in his business.

The apostle Paul tells us we reap in the measure that we sow. Alfred learned that truth when he ran into some business and financial difficulties.

During an economic downturn, business got so bad he needed a large infusion of money in order to continue operating. The high interest rates at that time made borrowing out of the question. Word of the company’s financial problems spread to Alfred’s employees, several of whom got the idea of banding together to lend Alfred the money (almost $300,000) themselves. They raised the needed funds from among the other employees and provided Alfred with an interest-free loan.

Alfred was simply reaping what he had sown. When he began following God’s principles, he didn’t know that more than half of his employees would accept Christ as their Savior through his witness or that his employees would decide to lend him $300,000 interest free. He had simply sown biblical principles such as “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and he reaped the benefits of those principles.

Employees, especially unsaved employees, have the tendency to believe what they see rather than what they hear. If what we do doesn’t match up with what we say, they will usually discount our words.

(The above powerful excerpt is from Business by the Book by Larry Burkett, © 2010, Thomas Nelson or you can read a free PDF of it here.)

My prayer today:

Lord, help Christian men who work in the marketplace to be doers of Your Word and not just hearers only, so that we do not deceive ourselves into thinking we are following in Your footsteps. (Based on James 1:22)

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the marketplace.

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Filed under America, Businessmen, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Prayers for America (5/2/2019)

Today is the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is “Love one Another.”

I had a nighttime vision a few years back where I was taken to a prison cell in North Korea. There in a small cell was a naked young Christian lady. She had been beaten, repeatedly raped by prison guards, and was starving. The prison cell was freezing cold and she had no blankets or cot to sleep on. She sat huddling herself on the cold cement floor, weeping  her heart out.

The vision was so real that I could feel the cold and the same fear she felt. As I looked on, I wondered why I was there. What could I do?

Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me: “Will you trade places with her?”

The first thought to hit my head — If I trade places with her, no one will ever hear of me again. My wife won’t know what happened to me nor my children nor my grandchildren nor anyone. All of my hopes and plans will end in this cell. My life will be over forever.

Yet, I knew the Holy Spirit was waiting for an answer. I couldn’t postpone it forever.

Finally, I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll trade places with her.”

The vision instantly ended.

But my first thoughts still haunt me. You see, I cared more about my personal welfare than about hers. That was not love.

Paul the apostle spoke about his love for the Jews, the ones who were his main enemies:

For my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters, I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. (Romans 9:3)

You see, Paul was willing to spend a lifetime in Hell if it would save his Jewish brothers and sisters. That’s the same love Jesus showed us on the cross. It’s called agape love.

My prayer today:

Lord, pour out Your Spirit on us American believers so that we no longer seek our own welfare but the welfare of our neighbors and countrymen even if it means our deaths.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.

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Thou Shalt Not Eat Sweets

“In two decades, I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.” (Erma Bombeck)

Since I graduated from college in 1968, I have struggled with my waistline. The only times I haven’t struggled was when I jogged five miles each day or was a painting contractor, climbing ladders. My times without struggling would amount to maybe six or seven years out of my fifty-one years since college.

My biggest problem has always been sweets — cookies, pies, cakes, donuts, ice cream, peanut butter, jams, jellies, ketchup, honey, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pastries, chocolate covered peanuts, M&Ms, Snickers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and whatever else.

“Larry, would you like some ice cream with your pie?” 

“Yes, ma’am, and could you pour some hot fudge syrup over it, too?”

After I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1985, I became an avid reader of the Bible. This opened my eyes to some disturbing verses about gluttony and overeating.

Oh dear! What should I do with these verses?

In a way, I ignored them.

But what I really did was justified my bad eating habits to myself.

You see, my Christian walk has been one long trial after another. Marital separation. Divorce. Loss of friends. Fired from five consecutive sales jobs. Minimum wage jobs by the dozens with not enough money to pay bills. Marriage to a wonderful woman, but still not enough money to pay bills. Moving thirty-five times to nine different states and numerous cities. And so forth.

So, I allowed sweets to become one of my comforters.

“Well, you know, God knows my heart!”

Just so you know: the Holy Spirit has been working on my poor eating habits during my whole thirty-four years of walking with the Lord. And at the same time, I was crying out to Him for His help because sweets had a stranglehold on me.

Then, we moved to Gilbert, Arizona.

We moved without much money in the bank, but this wasn’t unusual because all of our other moves followed this same pattern. Our hope has always been in Him and for Him to speak to us and show us what to do.

After spending time in prayer, it seemed that we needed to sell an item on eBay. We listed the item and sold it for a great price. Both of us prayed over the item and shipped it off to the buyer.

But then disaster happened!

The item was damaged in shipment and the buyer refused it. Because of an eBay glitch, we did not purchase insurance for the product. The refund to the buyer drained our bank account.

We were devastated!

When something like this happens, I always seek the Lord on why He allowed it to occur. Hey, we prayed! Our faith was in Him! Satan is a weakling compared to God! So, what happened?

While waiting on the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Your gluttony opened a door for Satan to rob you.”

The fear of the Lord came upon me. I repented and meant it this time with all of my heart for the first time ever.

The Holy Spirit eventually let me know that this was my last chance. If I didn’t change my eating habits, I would not be able to fulfill His destiny for my life because bad health would soon derail my walk with Him.

Can others learn from my testimony?

My advice for those who have longstanding issues, whether it’s gluttony, porn, drugs, alcohol, lust, pride or whatever: keep crying out to the Lord for Him to help you. Plus keep professing that you want Him to be Lord over every area of your life. Do both of these, not just one or the other.

I guarantee He will eventually show up and set you free. How He does it will be up to Him and not you.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom… (Proverbs 9:10)

I now eat lots of fruits and vegetables…and no sweets!

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Filed under Christianity, Deliverance, Eating habits, Gluttony, Kingdom of God, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Prayers for Businessmen (4/30/2019)

What’s our number one goal as Christian businessmen in the marketplace?

To be the next Bill Gates? Or Steve Jobs? Or Jeff Bezos? Or John D. Rockefeller? Or Henry Ford? Or whomever?

No, absolutely not!

Our number one goal is to wholeheartedly follow Jesus. Anything less than this and we should consider ourselves unsuccessful.

You see, when we stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus won’t look at our bank accounts or our business successes in the marketplace, He will only look at one thing: did we deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily and follow Him.

We businessmen should look at ourselves in the mirror and make up our minds now. Will we will go 100% for Jesus and His ways? Or are we going to sell ourselves out to the world system and its ways? Halfway and lukewarm doesn’t work with Jesus. It’s either all-in or all-out!

Do you remember Demas?

Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica… (2 Timothy 4:10)

Maybe Demas was a businessman. Maybe he enjoyed attending businessmen’s breakfasts and giving his testimony about how the Lord had prospered him. But there came a point in time, when he had to choose to be all-in or all-out. His decision is forever written down for all to see.

One day, the books for our lives will be opened for everyone to see the real us. Nothing will be hidden. We will then have to live for all of eternity with what’s written after our names, just like Demas.

My prayer today:

Lord, bring every businessman to a decision point right now about denying ourselves, picking up our cross daily and following You. Then, pour out Your grace on us so we can answer, “Yes,” and then follow You all the days of our lives.

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the workplace.

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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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Friday’s End-Times Bible Study (Part 6)

 

How do we know the tribulation will last seven years?

27 And he [Antichrist] shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27 AMP)

This is one of the few verses that most End-Times theologians and scholars agree upon. Their thinking is that the word “week” refers to a week of years, or seven years. It was an old Hebrew phrase used in that time period, obviously not a modern English one.

What’s also important is the phrase “in the midst of the week.” There are numerous verses to back this up in the Old and New Testaments —

But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.(Revelation 11:2)

And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he [Antichrist] was given authority to continue for forty-two months(Revelation 13:5)

Forty-two months is three and a half years. Matthew refers to this time period as the Great Tribulation because it will be much rougher than the first half of the tribulation.

Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 use the number “one thousand two hundred and sixty days” to describe this three and a half year period. If we divide 1260 by 30 days in a Jewish month, we will end up with forty-two months or three and a half years.

Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14 use the phrase “time, times and half a time.” Once again, this is an old Hebrew phrase with a “time” equaling one year, “times” equaling two years and “half a time” equaling six months. Altogether, they add up to forty-two months or three and a half years.

So, there we have the reasoning for a seven year tribulation time period.

(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

 

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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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Filed under America, Bible, Christianity, Faith, Humility, Prayer, Scripture