The old landmarks

This morning in prayer, I struggled. It seemed that I was throwing spitballs at the ceiling. My prayers felt like they were falling on deaf ears. “God, I need your presence! I don’t want to start my day without you!” It felt like these words went into the void. At my church, our pastor always tells us to PUSH (pray until something happens). Valiantly, I struggled and the more I struggled the worse it seemed to get. Finally, I stopped praying and picked up a Bible that was lying on the pew. I Kings 19 details how after one of the greatest church services recorded in Elijah’s life, he was on the run from Queen Jezebel. He runs to the mountain of God, and the Lord asks him, “What are you doing here?”

Taking a cue from the Scripture, I told the Lord that I was there to praise Him for His goodness in my life. That helped some, as I felt like the ceiling had cracked a bit. However, it was fleeting. Then this tidbit was dropped in my spirit: Jacob rebuilt the altars and dug out the wells of his father. He was an earth mover.

That was when I experienced my breakthrough in prayer this morning. Later after prayer, a friend of mine and I went to eat breakfast. Our conversation ranged from church to politics and I felt this tug in my heart. If America is to ever experience another Great Awakening spiritually, it will be due to us returning to the old landmarks. We need to rediscover old fashioned prayer and fasting. Yes, the Lord will pour out His spirit in the last days, but we must be in position. Mumbling the same prayer over and over will only take us so far, sometimes we must pray ugly. A world changing revival does not come from hum-drum prayers. We must cultivate the atmosphere through prayer and fasting. Otherwise, it is wasted effort.

In prayer we draw close to God. Through prayer we communicate our thanks for God’s blessings and help in our lives. When we pray, we can touch the hem of His garment and be made whole. You can’t abide in the shadow of the Almighty if you aren’t close to Him. A strong prayer life will lead us into a deeper walk with God.

A few days ago, on Facebook, I saw a meme that stated the following: A dad and son stood out in the yard and the son asks the dad, “Father how big is God?” The dad looks up in the sky and points to a plane. “Son, how big is that plane?” Looking up, the son squints and looks at his dad. “Dad, the plane is tiny.” Father and son get in the vehicle and drive to the airport. The dad parks next to the fence and the son can see the plane up close. “Now how big is it son?” The son looks on in amazement as the planes taxi down the runway. “Dad, they are huge!” Dad looks down at his son and smiles. “The further you are from God, the smaller He will be in your life. The closer you are to God, the greater He will be.”

God desires to give us the revival that is promised in the book of Joel. He seeks to pour out His spirit on His bride, but we must do our part as Christians. Communicating with our Savior daily, keeps us on the potter’s wheel, thus He can make us into something beautiful that shows forth His glory. If we are pliable in His fingers, He can use us to effect His kingdom.

Prayer and Faithfulness….

Recently, my thoughts have been racing around the Scripture found in Job, when God questioned Satan and asked, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Satan of course replies that he has considered Job, but God has built a wall around him and God will not allow Satan to touch him. My thought has been this: Has the devil considered me a threat to his kingdom?

The Word of God shows us that Jesus allowed Job to be tested by Satan. Job lost everything in one day. Then his wife comes out when he is stricken with boils and she tells him to curse God and die. If Job thought his bad day was almost over with the setting sun, his friends show up to “comfort” him.  Poor Job’s bad day just became much worse with their arrival. Through it all, Job remains faithful to God.

This story has made me look at my prayer life. When I pray, does the devil take notice? Or am I just mouthing words into the void? Reverend Batson preached yesterday, and he made the statement that the devil doesn’t mind if you go to church if your mind is not on the Lord. Nor does he care if you pray, if your prayers are insincere, and you don’t get God’s attention. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the devil is your biggest cheerleader when your prayers are ineffective.

When I pray, I want to shake the foundations of hell. I want to tear down the strongholds of the devil and his kingdom. When I pray, I want God to know that there is nothing more important than me feeling his presence and communicating with my Savior. It is easy to throw in the towel when you pray, and you don’t feel the presence of God. However, just because you don’t feel God’s presence immediately doesn’t mean that God is not listening to you. Sometimes, we must continue to pray and break through whatever obstacle is keeping us from touching the throne of grace.

An example of this is found in the book of Daniel. When Daniel was praying and violating the law of Nebuchadnezzar; I am sure that his prayers probably felt like they fell flat. They arrest Daniel shortly thereafter, and they toss him in the lions’ den. An angel shows up and tells Daniel, “God heard you when you prayed.” However, the angel was hindered, and Daniel’s answer was delayed. Given this information, we must not quit praying when it seems that our prayers are made of lead. If we maintain our prayer life, and show ourselves to be faithful to prayer, we will receive our answer in due time. The Scripture states that we should pray without ceasing. In my mind this means that we should be faithful to prayer. There should never come a day that we don’t communicate with our Savior. Nor should we spend more time on worldly pursuits than we do talking with God. If life is about balance, then so is our spiritual walk with God. It is worth the effort to be prayed up and on fire for God. After all, “What would Jesus do?”

Early morning musings….

Good morning! It is 0530, and I am awake. The coffee is making in the background, and I am eagerly awaiting my early morning conversation with the Almighty. Yes, I am aware I can speak to Him at any time. I suppose never needing to rest or sleep is a perk of being God. However, this morning, I am praying for a specific reason. Somehow, that is different from the general mumbo-jumbo that we pray. Prayers generally follow a certain routine: “God please help me with this test…” or “Dear Lord, how am I going to pay these bills and buy groceries…” then there is the prayer for the sick “God Uncle Jay has (name your illness here) please heal his body! These are only examples, but you get the point.

Speaking of healing, I know many folks who have spent long hours in prayer, but they never received the healing that they pray for. Does God not care enough to heal them? Is He powerless to complete the healing? No, of course not. The Bible provides insight into this and other questions like it, I am going to paraphrase it, but the Scripture says, “My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts.” In all things, God sees the past, present and future. Yesterday, I had lunch with my pastor. We spoke at length about several things, but during our conversation he mentioned that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. God knows your shortcomings before they ever happen. When I walked away from my calling, He knew how far I would go, and my steps brought me full circle back to where I started.

Be encouraged in the Lord. If situations or circumstances seem to be overwhelming, lean on Him. As in the case of Job, God may allow things to spin out of control for a bit, but amid the craziness, He is there. He is our strong tower, refuge and strength. According to the Scriptures, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings of eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” So, if life has spun out of control, give the situation to Him and let Him guide you to safe harbor.

God bless you all, I hope that you guys have a wonderful day.

Freeman out!