Thursday, July 16, 2015

Prayer Is A Struggle

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 ESV)

Prayer is a struggle. It's a struggle between our flesh, the world, and the devil. God allows us access to his throne room in the spiritual realm, because of the sacrifice of Jesus. All followers of Jesus come to the Father by faith, and the fact that Jesus shed his blood on a cross to reunite us to God. We are born into the world in the image of God, but also as aliens to his Kingdom.

Christ' intercession on our behalf allows us access to our Father in heaven. Jesus overcame all evil through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. God has given us his Spirit so that we can know his mind and heart. The Holy Spirit helps us as we pray. We use the word of God to help us pray according to God's will, and to be sensitive to the promptings of His Spirit.

Effective praying requires diligence. We don't become "prayer warriors" by being passive in our pursuit of God. As we seek to pray we must battle spiritual laziness, demonic attack, and a variety of distraction. As we struggle in prayer God will help, and empower us by his Spirit. - Bobby

Monday, June 08, 2015

Hope After The Fall

...therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:23-24 ESV)

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive

(1 Corinthians 15:21-22 ESV)

Sin is not a popular subject in western society today, but the weight of it has been felt by everyone who has ever lived. As a result of their rebellion against God, and the authority of his word, Adam and Eve were driven from God's unhindered presence that they had enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. The result of the fall that plunged the human race into sin has been catastrophic. All human beings who have ever lived have been marred by the sin of our first parents. We are the image bearers of God, but we have been spiritually disfigured by the fall. In fact the Bible says that we are spiritually dead apart from Christ. The fall plunged the whole planet into spiritual darkness.

Sickness, broken relationships, disease, wars, natural disasters, and calamities of all sorts are the results of the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Many of us think that we are pretty good people. But apart from Christ we are lost without hope for eternity. The gravity of our hopeless situation called for extreme measures. Since God is just, and cannot tolerate sin, he had to send his sinless son to take the death penalty that we all deserved. Because we all inherited Adam and Eve's sinful nature.

Our rebellion cost the Son of God his life. The consequences of this great catastrophe that our first parents thrust upon the earth had to be atoned for. The good news is that Jesus' death has triumphed over evil, and he has been raised from the dead, and rules in Heaven. Those who have turned from sin (which is an ongoing process) trusted in, and are followers of Christ, will only face natural death, but not eternal separation from God. Jesus tasted death for everyone (Heb.2:9) so that we can be eternally with him, so that we can be joined back to the Father and live in his all satisfying presence forever. - Bobby

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Profound Spiritual Experience From The Life of D.L. Moody

“As Dwight Moody walked the streets of New York seeking funds for rebuilding the religious facilities of Chicago [after the great Chicago fire], he admitted, ‘My heart was not in the work of begging.  I could not appeal.  I was crying all the time that God would fill me with his Spirit.’  Moody was so burned out that nothing else really mattered.  He said that ‘it did not seem as if there were any unction resting on my ministry.’  He had endured almost four months of intense spiritual agony.  ‘God seemed to be just showing me myself.  I found I was ambitious; I was not preaching for Christ; I was preaching for ambition.  I found everything in my heart that ought not to be there.  For four months a wrestling went on in me.  I was a miserable man.’

But suddenly, ‘after four months the anointing came.  It came upon me as I was walking in the streets of New York.’  The Holy Spirit came upon Moody in great force while he was walking down Wall Street.  All of a sudden nothing was important except to be alone with the Lord.  He went as fast as he could to the residence of a New York friend and asked for a room to pray in.

‘Ah, what a day!  I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it, it is almost too sacred an experience to name.  Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years.  I can only say God revealed himself to me, and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.'”

Lyle W. Dorsett, A Passion For Souls: The Life of D. L. Moody (Chicago, 1997), page 156.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

E.M. Bounds on Daily Prayer

“True prayers are born of present trials and present needs. Bread for today is bread enough. Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow. Victory today is the assurance of victory tomorrow. Our prayers need to be focused upon the present. We must trust God today, and leave the morrow entirely with Him. The present is ours; the future belongs to God. Prayer is the task and duty of each recurring day -- daily prayer for daily needs.” 
― E.M. Bounds

When we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," we are, in a measure, shutting tomorrow out of our prayer. We do not live in tomorrow but in today. We do not seek tomorrow's grace or tomorrow's bread. They thrive best, and get most out of life, who live in the living present. They pray best who pray for today's needs, not for tomorrow's, which may render our prayers unnecessary and redundant by not existing at all!” 
― E.M. Bounds