Praying for Our Children (Part 7)

dscf1526

 

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)

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Children, Christianity, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare, Writing

Prayers for Israel (7/10/2018)

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you.. (Isaiah 62:1-4)

My prayer today:

Lord, set watchmen on Jerusalem’s walls who will never hold their peace day or night and will continue to speak Your name and give You no rest until Jerusalem is the object of praise in the whole earth. (Based on Isaiah 62:6-7)

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Christianity, Fasting, Israel, Jerusalem, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

What’re Your Plans for 300 Years from Now? ( Part 4)

larry-243.jpg

 

Did the thief who died on the cross next to Jesus, and who asked to be remembered by our Lord, receive the same eternal rewards as the Apostle Paul? If your answer is “maybe” or “I don’t know,” then let’s see what we can learn from the Bible.

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 Amplified Bible)

Whether it was the thief on the cross or me on the bathroom floor or anyone else, salvation is a one-time act that secures our entrance into the Kingdom of God. But we are no more than little babies, standing at the starting line, when we are saved. None of us are born again in one moment and then walk straight into maturity the next. It’s a process —

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

Sanctification is the life-long process between salvation and our death (or glorification). It’s a day-by-day, step-by-step journey of consecrating ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ and being purified by the Holy Spirit.

How are we sanctified?

By prayer. By studying His Word. By grace. By faith. By the Holy Spirit. By staying faithful in trials. And more. It basically comes down to following the Apostle Paul’s words —

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

If the Apostle Paul had to keep pressing forward in his quest of being all he could be in Christ, then shouldn’t we do the same?

I am not belittling last second or deathbed salvations because spending eternity in  heaven is far, far, far better than being tormented forever in Hell. But those of us who can choose to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith all the way to our last breaths, I believe we should go for it! Why not, right?

Why is endurance so important?

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

4 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, End-Times, Eternal rewards, Judgment, Prayer, Prophecy

Praying for our Children (Part 5)

dscf1526

An article authored by Ray Hughes in The Morning Star Journal changed my prayer life forever.  Its was entitled The Forgotten Legacy of Sam Jones and told about an almost forgotten evangelist who grew up to be labeled by a Southern newspaper as “the most famous man in America.” Jones was born in 1847, the same year as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Alva Edison.

The article related how Sam Jones became a hopeless drunkard by the age of twenty-five. His health was wrecked and an untimely death faced him when his dying father made him promise to change. Then the article said:

“Sam declared, ‘I yield, I yield,’ determining right then and there that every remaining step of his life would be an honest effort to fulfill that promise to his father. But Sam’s father wasn’t the only one shouting that day; his saintly grandmother was another. She was said to have read the Bible from cover to cover thirty-eight times while on her knees, applying the promises of God in prayer for Sam’s wayward life.”

Click! The light switched on inside me. I knew that I knew that Scripture was a powerful spiritual tool in praying for people, especially our children.

There is only one book where the words in it are “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of a person’s heart.” 

That one book is the Bible.

It should be everyone’s favorite prayer book because what is our biggest struggle in praying for our children? I would guess that it centers on whether God will actually answer our prayers.

And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)

Scripture is God’s revealed will to His believers. Thus, by praying Scripture, we are praying the Father’s will back to the Father so He can move in our children’s lives.

It’s a win/win deal for us parents.

But yet, there is still another benefit of praying Scripture for our children.

Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20 NKJV)

When we pray Scripture for our children, God’s angels are put to work, bringing the prayers to pass in their lives. We can think of ourselves as “spiritual labor bosses” if we pray Scripture, sending angels out to their jobs: our children.

There are hundreds of Bible verses, which make great prayers for our children. You can choose your own as you study the Bible, but here’s a few of the ones I pray along with examples of how I pray them.

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NKJV)

“Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart [or hearing heart] to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV)

This is one of my favorite prayers in which I combine the above two verses.

My prayer: “Lord, give  (child’s name) an understanding and hearing heart so that he/she receives the love of the truth and is saved in all situations he/she might face.”

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that  (child’s name) would deny himself/herself, take up his/her cross daily, and follow Jesus.”

Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.(Psalm 119:105)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that Your word is a lamp to  (child’s name) feet and a light to his/her path.”

Send out Your light andYour truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. (Psalm 43:3)

My prayer: “Lord, send Your light and Your truth to (child’s name); let them lead him/her to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.”

I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that You baptize (child’s name) with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:11-12, 21)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) is not slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit, serving You; that he/she rejoices in hope, is patient in tribulation and constant in prayer; and that he/she is not overcome by evil, but overcomes evil with good.”

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus(Philippians 3:10, 13-14 NKJV)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) knows You and the power of Your resurrection, and the fellowship of Your suffering, being conformed to Your death. And that one thing he/she would do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, that he/she would press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) pursues love, earnestly desires the spiritual gifts, especially that he/she may prophesy.”

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

My prayer: “Lord, I pray that (child’s name) flees youthful passions and pursues righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

My prayer:“Lord, I pray that (child’s name) seeks first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness so that all things are added to him/her.”

These ten examples should give all of us a good idea on how to pray Scriptures for our children. All we have to do is read our Bibles and when we see a verse with a promise, pray it for our children.

Praying the word for our children moves our prayers from being passive into being powerfully active with all of heaven working to bring the prayers to pass.

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

(Continued in Part 6)

2 Comments

Filed under Children, Christianity, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Spiritual gifts, Writing

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.

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, End-Times, Fasting, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Uncle Phil was a Hero

phil

Phil Fielder was a handsome seventeen-year old Iowan whose remaining boyhood years were set aside by World War II. Four older brothers enlisted soon after Pearl Harbor. He followed their lead by signing up on July 10, 1942. After boot camp, he attended airplane mechanic’s school and specialist’s training for P-38 fighter planes.

But like many other young men, Phil hated sitting on the sidelines, thousands of miles away from action so he volunteered for gunnery school. The heavy casualties in the air war over Germany caused his transfer orders to quickly pass through proper channels for his relocation to Pueblo, Colorado. The Army assigned him to a B-24 bomber crew as a flight engineer and a machine gunner after graduation.

In the midst of the Army’s hurry-up-and-wait schedule, Phil married Helen Kimler on October 24, 1943. Their honeymoon was brief, but fortunately, she was able to travel with him to Colorado. The months quickly passed until Phil was assigned to a bomber crew. Helen left for Iowa, pregnant with their soon arriving child, while Phil flew off to war.

During World War II, more than 18,300 B-24 bombers were manufactured in America. It was a clumsy looking four-engine airplane with twin tails and a nose wheel. The cruising speed was 200 miles per hour with a maximum rating of 300 miles per hour. Aptly named the Liberator, it was armed with ten .50 caliber machine guns and could carry a payload of 8,800 pounds of bombs. 

Though fondly remembered by their ten-man crews, the B-24’s were anything but passenger friendly. Noisy, bumpy, cumbersome, awkward, cramped, and uncomfortable with no heat, no restrooms, no pressurized cabins, no padding on the iron seats, and no kitchen facilities. Temperatures were as low as fifty degrees below zero at times with winds gusting through the cabins from the open bomb bay doors and machine gun turrets. Each man used an oxygen mask at altitudes above 10,000 feet and wore two parachutes: front and back. 

Phil’s ten-man crew was a part of the 15th Army Air Force and the 485th Bomber Group. Their ages ranged from nineteen to twenty-three years old. Captain Tom McDowell was a respected veteran at the ripe old age of twenty. Uncle Phil was the second youngest and the only married man on the crew.

Landing in Venosa, Italy, the B-24 crew flew their first mission on September 6, 1944. Thus, began their countdown towards a minimum of thirty-five bombing runs over enemy territory before being reassigned to less hazardous duties.

Thirty-five missions over Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Austria. Thirty-five flights bombing oil refineries, railroad yards, ammunition plants, ball bearing factories, and whatever else. Thirty-five trips through anti-aircraft fire filled with deadly flak so heavy it appeared to be black clouds. Thirty-five times taking off knowing one in three planes might not return that day. Thirty-five tests of courage far beyond what normal men could ever hope to bear. It was no wonder these crews became life-long friends after enduring such perils together.

On one particular mission, Phil’s B-24 came under heavy anti-aircraft fire just after dropping their bombs. A piece of flak tore a hole in the hydraulic reservoir tank, spraying oil all over the cabin. If left unrepaired, the bomb bay doors would remain open and the plane’s wheels could not be lowered into landing position when they returned to the base. Valuable seconds ticked off. Something had to be done or the plane would have to be ditched, forcing them to use their parachutes. A dangerous last resort for B-24 crews.

“See if you can do something! And be quick about it!” shouted Captain Tom to Uncle Phil.

Phil saw a small broom under the pilot’s seat. He grabbed it, broke the handle off, and made his way toward the hydraulic tank.

The trek to the rear was dangerous under normal conditions because there was no aisle. Just an eight-inch wide catwalk spanned the thin aluminum doors, but on that day, the bomb bay doors were wide open with high winds ripping through them. The plane flew at an altitude of twenty-eight thousand feet, with temperatures at forty degrees below zero. Slippery hydraulic oil covered everything, including the narrow catwalk.

Phil unhooked his front parachute pack and edged sideways over the long oily catwalk, much like a high wire walker in a circus. He crossed the open bomb bay doors to the leaking tank. Arriving there, he cut off a finger on his leather glove, shoved the broom handle into the lopped off piece, and rammed the jury-rigged wad into the tank’s gaping hole. It worked. The leak stopped.

Was there a band playing for our hero when he arrived back at the base? No. Did any reporters rush to write about his heroic act of courage? No. Were any medals of honor pinned on his chest? No. Did he really expect to receive any of this? No. Phil instead received the grateful thanks from the ones he considered the most important people in the war zone: his crewmembers.

Phil and his crew completed their quota of thirty-five bombing missions in April 1945 and then were reassigned back to the states. There he reunited with Helen and finally met his seven-month old son, Philip, Jr.

Uncle Phil summed up his actions on that day with the hydraulic reservoir by saying, “Somebody had to do it. It just turned out to be me.”

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

4 Comments

Filed under America, Commentary, Fourth of July, Inspirational, Uncategorized, Writing

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.

4 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Israel, Jerusalem, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare