I have a question and look forward to reading your answers. I had another sleepless night and while I laid there trying to fall asleep I had this thought, ‘Why do we go to the alter for prayer at the close of a service?’ I don’t know why this thought came to me. Yes I was praying. I have a prayer board I made hanging next to my bed so when I cannot sleep I can pray for others. Then BANG! This thought just popped into my head. Why is it that we ask people to come to the front of the church with all eyes on them at the end of the service? I have served on a prayer team for the current church I am a member of and have served in this same department at previous churches and never had this thought crossed my mind. I have many times been heart broken when the alter of prayer remained empty, knowing that many are hurting lost, and have some kind of need, either for themselves or a loved one. So why am I laying in bed praying and hoping for sleep did I question why do we ask people to come to the alter with the congregation as an audience to pray? I started thinking how many do not approach because they don’t want every eye looking at them, passing judgement (this does not mean they are being judged but the fear of being judged and maybe even gossiped about). I thought about Jesus teaching us to go into our closet to pray, but then I also thought about the scriptures about going to the elders to have them lay hands on us to pray and anoint us. These thoughts may be nothing more than thoughts of a sleep deprived mind. But I would like to know if anyone knows when this part of a church service began?
I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me since I was hurt while working. I am still out on medical leave and my shoulder has not healed enough for me to return to work. I have began to have more mobility in my right arm, the pain is still constant and is still interfering with my sleep. Their has been a hold up on my physical therapy to begin which has caused me some frustration and the pay I was promised was a lot less than I was told I would receive adding stress over the financial part of being out of work. All of this has effected my mental state. I have written previously shared in my posts on my testimonies on the depression and PTSD God has helped me through. The depression , anxiety, and anger has raised it’s ugly head again. I know it has a lot to do with the pain and lack of sleep combined with being isolated, and I pray and know God is here with me, but my emotional state is still a struggle. I have lost count of the nights I that turned into sunrises, and the tears from both the physical and mental pain I have been dealing with. I remember the request of the father when he told Jesus, ‘I believe help my unbelief’. I know God has not done this to me and that He is here with me and He will see me through this. At the same time I am tired. Tired of not sleeping and tired of being in pain and being alone. I would like my mental and emotional state line up with my faith. Knowing and feelings are in a constant state of battle right now. I know just because I feel something does not mean that is what I believe and that it has not diminished my relationship with Jesus and that He is here crying with me and loving me through this. I know He will not abandon me, but I do want to get past this injury and regain use of my arm and hand. Even typing this is painful. So I have not been writing very much. I pray not only for myself but for the needs of others. I know there are so many in this world going through so much worse than myself. So I am not looking for pity. I am remembering that in James I am to count it all joy when I face various trials and tribulations and do not forget to give my God praise and thanks. I also thank God for your prayers, and pray that this next week my bills will be paid and my therapy will begin.
Read James Chapter 1
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Isaiah 26:26 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.
I have written about the need of going to the alter of prayer and the need of praying with others. There is also a time to go to your secret place to pray. For some they have a room or closet in their home. I have known some they cover their heads with scarves, because they did not have a place in their homes to get a way from the others they lived with. Others get out in nature, a personal favorite for myself. No matter where this special place is for you to get alone with God, it is important that you find it and spend time with Him there. I have a problem sleeping so I spend a lot of time outside of my home talking with God. Looking up into the sky looking at the stars and the moon. I feel a special closeness to God during these times. Our prayers don’t have to be long and we don’t need to be loud. We don’t need to be seen, we just need to talk to Him, and spend that one on one time with Him.
When the disciples had asked Jesus how to pray, one of the things He included was asking the Father for our daily bread. This bread is not bread alone but our daily needs. Food, clothing, shelter, etc… Unfortunately in this world there are many who go hungry, who have no place to call home, and lack so many needs. Then there are those who have everything in this world that they need but are starving spiritually and do not even know this.
Jesus said when tempted after fasting for forty days, that man does not live on bread alone but by every Word of God. Jesus is also known as the Bread of Life, and the Word of God.
Our Heavenly Father, cares and provides for both our physical and spiritual needs. I thank God for all of His provisions. He is my shelter, my shield and strong tower. He is more than God to me, but my Abba Father, my Daddy. He never leaves me or turns me away. He is patient with me and is patient when I am frustrated and impatient. His love is the love that I need, and He loves me without limits. I thank Him for this love. A love that I do not deserve but receive with a grateful heart. I thank Him For Jesus, the Bread of Life.
Matthew 6:9-13 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Jesus teaches to love those who hate you and bless those who curse you. Those who are in the world can find this almost impossible. Why would we love someone who hates us, and why would we want to bless them? To be honest I find this a difficult task. When someone hurts you, your reflex is to protect yourself and strike back. You have been hurt and you want to hurt the person in return, but this is not God’s way. While on the cross, Jesus said, ‘Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.’ If it had been anyone else hanging on that cross dying for someone else’s crime, I do not believe they would have been asking for the ones who were responsible to be forgiven. It is His love that forgives us, even though we do not deserve His grace and mercy. We want the ones responsible for our pain to pay for what they have done, but Jesus died to pay that price. The best thing I can pray for one you would call my enemy is for them to receive the love of Jesus and repent. The blessing of His salvation, His love, and His healing. If they turn to Christ and give their lives to Him, they would no longer be our enemy, but a brother or sister in Christ Jesus. So I pray that anyone who has ever done you or myself wrong, repents and receive the blessing of His salvation. That they learn of His love and mercy, and that they grow in His love. I also pray that I can love them as Jesus loves me.
P.S. I hope this post makes sense, I am intense pain which fogs up my thoughts, but I wanted to write this while it was fresh in my mind.
In the world today the subject of peace seems to be a foreign concept, that people cry out for, but fight against. Riots and violent protests, are happening so frequently, and at the same time these protests seem to be anything closely related to peaceful. I live in a rural community and protests even made it to a local town square. A group of bikers, stood guard and kept violence from breaking out, without interfering with the protests. A local church even prayed with some of the protestors. A small business was even threatened by ANTIFA. Thankfully do to community protection no harm came to the business owner. Who had been confused why she had been targeted. You will hear at some of these protests people yelling, ‘No justice, no peace’. Our land is filled with hatred and violence. Too many seem to care only for themselves, and do not care if anyone gets hurt. They make demands, but give nothing in return. It is like our nation is being held hostage by fear and hate. Peace seems to not exist here.
Psalm 35:20 For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.
Jeremiah 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Romans 3:17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
Only in Christ Jesus will we find true peace. The Ho;y Spirit is our Comforter and our Helper. We need to repent and return to God as a nation, so that He can heal and bring peace to this land and its people. Let us pray together for the Peace of our Lord Jesus to flow through out our nation.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 4:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Let the love and peace of God flow freely from us all.
PRAY FOR PEACE WITHOUT CEASING!
Many times in the past has my body been laid up because of injury. I finally learned that just because I could not move and do normal daily activities, there was one thing I could still do, and that was pray. It may seem like it is not much, especially to someone who has little to nothing that they can do. Think about the parable of the widow and the two mites.
Luke 21:1-4 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
There were those who judged her, but Jesus sees that she has given all she had. Prayer is important, and right now I have been reminded that my body has it’s current limitations, and I am not able to to the simplest chores and even having difficulty feeding myself, but I can pray. I am not to think less of myself because I cannot labor in the physical, but in the spirit I can do all. Praying not just for my own needs, but for others through out the world and all of the needs of the people in this world.
Now for those who can do more than pray, I pray that you do all that you can, but please do not look down on those who have only prayer to give.
Answers to our prayers do not always come immediately. Sometimes we have to wait. If you plant a seed, do you immediately see what you have planted? It can take a fruit tree 3 to 10 years to grow fruit. If you plant a garden, you don’t immediate see what you have planted. Before you even plant your seed you have to clear the soil and prepare it for planting. Then you put the seeds in the soil, and then you water, wait, remove any weeds. Eventually you will see the seeds sprout, and the sprouts will grow into plants.
I have seen the answer to prayers immediately for some, and I have seen prayers answered years later. There are prayers that seem to have gone unanswered. God’s timing is not the same as our timing, a thousand years to us could be a year or less to Him. So just because your prayer is not immediately answered, does not mean it is unanswered. You just have to wait.
Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
We pray to God, and we make our requests, petitions for provision, protection, healing, and the list goes on. Then we wait to hear His answer. Yet, are we listening to God, when it comes to the answer? Do we hear His answer and because we do not like it, so we go to a friend, a minister, a teacher, etc… looking for the answer we want to hear? Maybe we grow impatient because the answer does not come through in our timing and someone comes with an answer but it is not from God, but it sounds nice so we believe it is.
It feels like my life has been nothing but a battlefield at times. I have heard people tell me all the wrong I must be doing for God to be punishing me, and that my faith must be weak because if it was stronger I would have been healed already, etc… These are just a couple of examples of voices I had listened to in the past. Well meaning people who thought they were helping, but were not. Listening to them I doubted myself and I doubted God, and this kept the embers of anger burning within me. Angry with the world, and angry with myself, and even angry with God. I learned with time that God was not punishing me, and the He forgave me and loves me. He was not the author of my pain and suffering. My faith had not been weak but actually growing stronger with each trial I faced, because I did not walk away but clung to Him with all of my life. I may stumble but I get back up, and what ever I have done in my past is in the past, He does not hold it against me, but it can be used to teach others of His amazing love.
Recently a friend and I prayed over my current situation, and including the request for a new job that would be better than my current one, from which I am on leave because of a workplace injury, which has limited my use of my right arm. The very next morning I received a call, which I thought was to confirm my Dr. appointment, but was for a job interview. I was so happy to get called for an interview, I thought it had been an answer to prayer. The door to that job was immediately shut, which before would have depressed me, but this time I felt peace. I heard Him tell me that He has better in store for me, and that right now I need to just rest and be healed. When I told my friend that I did not get the job she had been so sure the enemy had stolen it from me. God then gave me this to share with her, ‘Not everything that looks like a blessing is a blessing or even from Him. Curses can be disguised as a blessing, just like some blessings do not look like a blessing at first. I could have been discouraged when the door to this job closed, but the peace He gave me let me know that it was for my best. So the answer was no to it, but it was also that He has better, I just need to wait and recover from my recent injury.
We may not always like what He has to say to us. If we are stubborn and dismiss what He is saying we will not have peace. He will always do right by you, and never do anything to harm you, nor will he give you anything that will harm you. We do have to choose to listen to Him if we want to receive what He has for us.
God bless and protect you, in Jesus name, amen.
Prayer is not just a time to make requests from God. It is also a time to make a stand against the enemy. To say enough is enough, the enemy can’t take anymore from you, your loved ones etc… Stand in the gap when no one else will. Asking God to send us His warring angels to fight for us, and with us. Taking back what has been stolen, fighting for those who are unable to fight for themselves. It is time to wage some war.
Ezekiel 22:29-30 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy and have exploited the foreign resident without justice. 30I searched for a man among them to repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, so that I should not destroy it. But I found no one.
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
Jeremiah 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have
Numbers 12:13 Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!”
Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Numbers 20:15-16 how our fathers went down to Egypt, where we lived many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our fathers, 16and when we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice, sent an angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory.
Acts 12:4-7 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.