Tag Archives: Fasting

God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 2)

 

70% of African-Americans live in America’s inner cities or inner-ring suburbs. Most of the following facts refer to that 70% of African-Americans. These facts are not written to throw stones at our inner city black brothers and sisters, but to show where they are right now.

  1. The abortion rate for African-American women is five times higher than it is for white women, accounting for 37% of all abortions in America.
  2. 1 in 3 African-American men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes.
  3. 70% of juvenile arrests in America are African-American youths.
  4. One third of all welfare recipients are African-Americans.
  5. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
  6. 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. 
  7. Poverty rate among African-Americans is 36%.
  8. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined.
  9. The preponderance of school violence in America occurs in big-city schools attended by inner city black students.
  10. Black education is in a state of shambles for elementary and high schools in most inner cities of America.

Without a doubt, the above facts are discouraging, but here’s the irony of it all:

  1. Inner city African-Americans are the most devout Christian group in America and the difference is 21 percentage points higher than the next group.

With the exception of the inner cities blacks being devout Christians, these facts are disheartening.

They remind me of the time a little black six-year old black girl named Cici sat on my lap during a church service at the inner city ministry I attended during the 1990s. She looked up at me and asked, “Can I go home with you and live with you?”

I was shocked at her words. “You want to leave your mother and live with me?” I replied.

Cici nodded her head up and down.

I understood her feelings about her home life. Her mom was a drug addict. Her dad was in jail, but numerous men lived with her mom at various times. Her four brothers and sisters ranged in age from two to twelve years old. Not enough money. Not enough love. Not enough personal attention.

I actually prayed about doing what she asked, but my life was a mess, too.

Cici would be thirty-two years old today…if she’s still alive.

“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.” (Thomas Sowell)

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Filed under America, black people, Christianity, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Race, Race wars, spiritual warfare, Uncategorized

Prayers for American Churches (7/25/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

How does the Kingdom of God fit together with the church?

Most who have taught on the kingdom of God over the last fifty years have made a dramatic separation between the church and kingdom of God. In other words, they’ve said the kingdom is totally different from the church. That statement is true and also false.

It’s true if you define church as a Sunday morning service or you define church as a building or you define the church as all of the believers in the world. Then the church is not the kingdom and the kingdom is not the church. Those two things are completely separate.

BUT if you define the word “church” as it appears in the English New Testament as ecclesia, which is the Greek word for it. And ecclesia meant a local body of believers that lived in face-to-face community that had a shared life together and took care of each other and loved one another and knew each other in the sense that they saw themselves as family despite racial divisions, despite economic divisions, and despite sexual divisions (meaning men and women). It you see it as that – a living, breathing, close-knit extended family – all of whom were living by the life of Jesus Christ.  Then that was the kingdom of God on this earth.

You see, a kingdom refers to the king, his domain and the people ruled by the king.

In 30 AD, if you wanted to see the kingdom, you needed to find Jesus. He embodied the kingdom. After Jesus ascended, the corporate followers became Christ on the earth – His kingdom.

So, if you want to see the Kingdom of God now, we need to find a group who expresses Christ living in and through them. (Frank Viola, Insurgence Podcast)

My prayer today:

Lord, You promised that You would build Your church on a rock so that the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. So, we desperately ask that You build Your church in America now. (Based on Matthew 16:18)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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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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Prayers for Businessmen (6/4/2019)

As footsteps approached, the twenty-eight year old man looked up from the cluttered workbench. His dark beard and long hair were matted by perspiration, mixed with sawdust. Wet sweat rings outlined the armpits of his faded tunic. He laid the chisel and mallet down and stood up, wiping his hands together.

“Shalom, may I help you?” he said.

“Shalom,” said the middle-aged man with ringlets in his gray beard. Deep furrows etched his forehead. His off-white cloak and brown leather sandals were covered with dust from the road he had just traveled on.

“My wife says we need a new dining table. And you know how women are, right?” the man said with a wink. “Some of our neighbors have recommended your workmanship.”

The man folded his arms across his barrel-shaped chest, readying himself for whatever negotiations awaited him. He wanted a good deal.

The carpenter’s bronze-colored face blushed slightly at the compliment. A natural humility radiated through his eyes, which always put people at ease around him.

“That’s nice of your friends. However, to be completely honest, whatever skills I may possess are the result of being taught by the best carpenter in all of Galilee – Joseph, my dad.”

“Oh yes, I should have known,” the man said without moving his arms from their set position on his chest. “You’re the son of Joseph, huh? Who hasn’t heard of his woodworking skills?”

He leaned toward the carpenter.

“What do you think the table will cost me? And remember I have three sons and their families living with me. Oy vey! You can’t believe how much they eat.”

The young carpenter nodded.

“Hmm, let me think for a few minutes.”

The carpenter looked around the shop. He turned and walked to the back of the room, pulling out boards from a large pile, and checking each. After a few minutes, he nodded to himself as if he had it all figured out. He returned to the man.

“If you want the table made out of fir, it will cost fifteen shekels. Oak will be five shekels more. The choice is up to you,” the carpenter said with his eyebrows arched in anticipation of a response from the buyer.

The man unfolded his arms. His shocked expression looked as though a sharp sword had pierced his heart. He gasped and pounded his chest with both fists.

“Your price is much higher than I could have ever imagined.  Fifteen shekels, how outrageous! I just can’t believe it.”

He turned around and stomped off. Before he reached the shop’s entrance, he stopped and looked back.

“I’m curious. Do you offer discounts to your more impoverished buyers…people like me?”

The carpenter sighed.

“Okay. Let me think,” he said, rubbing his jaw with his hand. “If you pay cash today, I can do it for thirteen shekels. The table will be done in two weeks.”

The man stood like a statue.

“I had a price more like eleven shekels in mind,” the man said in a clipped voice. Then he added, “And not one shekel more.”

The carpenter shrugged his shoulders and raised his arms in surrender.

“Okay, you win,” he said, shaking his head slowly back and forth. “I have some expenses coming up in a few days. This is my final offer: twelve shekels and it will be ready for you in ten days. Take it or leave it.”

The man walked toward the carpenter.

“Though eleven shekels is a very fair price, I’m going to give in and pay your outrageous price of twelve shekels.”

The buyer stretched out his right hand and shook the hand of the young carpenter named Jesus. As he did, he felt the calluses and strength in his hand.

Jesus did not attend college or a seminary, He was first a businessman.

(An excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, give American businessmen the revelation that we are crucified with Christ and that we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. So that the lives we now live in our flesh, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us. (Based on Galatians 2:20)

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

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Prayers for Businessmen (5/28/2019)

Most businessmen have various insurance policies. Health insurance. Life insurance. Auto insurance. Home insurance. And so forth. All of these are for those “just in case” happenings in our lives.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys, and thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Most of us look at the word treasure in this verse and we assume that it means a heavenly reward, something that we will receive when we die and go to heaven. But that’s not what the Greek word thēsauros means at all. The word actually means a safety deposit box where we place our valuables until we need them.

How do we lay up treasures in heaven?

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 10:21)

The way to get treasure in heaven is to give to the poor while following Jesus. Then, when unexpected downturns or events happen to our business or lives, we can make withdrawals from our heavenly accounts.

And remember this: God’s rate of return is many times better than earthly savings accounts.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us businessmen to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow You in every area of our lives and businesses. (Based on Matthew 16:24)

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

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Prayers for the Gifts of Healing and Miracles (5/23/2019)

Jesus said that in the last days, nations would rise against nations (or people groups versus people groups) and kingdoms against kingdoms. He said there would be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places.

So what are we doing? Are we preparing ourselves?

For instance, do we realize one in ten Americans are taking illegal drugs? Seven out of ten Americans are taking prescription drugs? Or one in four people have mental health issues? 

Can we even imagine what it will be like if people can’t get their drugs because of earthquakes or wars? It will be total chaos in our neighborhoods!

I know. I know. Many of us will answer all of these questions by saying: “I’m going to trust the Lord.” And that’s all well and good!

But Paul the apostle wrote to Timothy –

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. (2 Timothy 1:6)

We must do everything we can right now to stir up our gifts of healing and miracles to prepare us for the dark days ahead. If we wait until tragedy hits, we won’t have the faith or trust in our gifts to help the hurting people in our neighborhoods.

The old axiom – practice makes perfect – is also true with the spiritual gifts. So, let’s lay hands on and pray for every sick and hurting person we meet. Let’s not give up! Let’s keep on doing it and trusting God to perform the work of healing through us and our spiritual gifts. Eventually, we will reap a harvest of healing.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to hear Your voice, believe Your words and step out in faith to do Your works of healing in our neighborhoods.

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

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Prayers for Businessmen (5/21/2019)

If you’re working in the marketplace, and you’re not the owner or the owner’s son, you’ll have managers supervising your work. Some of the managers will be good and a few might be bad. Yet even so, the Bible is clear on how we should treat all managers −good and bad:

Servants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not with eye service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men. (Ephesians 6:5-7)

Paul reiterated these same instruction in Colossians 3:22, 1 Timothy 6:1, and Titus 2:9, but Peter took it a step further:

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. (1 Peter 2:18 NASB)

Why should we honor our managers with loyalty and good service?

Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. (Ephesians 6:8)

If we are hoping to serve the Lord and have Him prosper us, we need to be loyal and honor all of our managers. If we struggle with any of our managers, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. This is His job as our Helper.

But if for whatever reasons, we aren’t able to honor a manager or a company, then maybe we should resign and look for employment elsewhere.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us businessmen to love the managers who supervise us with Your love, the love You revealed to us on the cross.

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

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