All posts filed under: Prayer

Aw, Soot!

Do you ever wonder if prayer works? Or how prayer works! I have experience praying for many people both directly and indirectly. There have been instant healings, healings over time, and no healings. I have no human explanation for this other than I am not God and it is up to him how he answers prayer. I do know at least two things about this. God always knows when we pray and prayers always make a difference. Prayers bring us closer to God as we talk with him and ask for his help. The people we pray for also have something spiritual happen when we pray. It may be something different from what they expect, but something happens nonetheless. I had a vision the other morning that explains the way in which prayers matter. I can’t recall if I saw them first or heard them first. They were about a block away. I heard distant crying and yelling. As they got closer, I could see that it was a woman and a child. The woman …

What About me, God?

There are times in which it is hard to believe. Times in which it is hard to have faith. We pray and pray and we hope and hope for a miracle that just never seems to come. What do you do when that happens? Why does that happen? How come other people get healed, get a job, find true love, or seem to get whatever else they want? Well there are really only two places to look at when we pray. There’s God. And there’s you. I don’t know how many times people point the finger at some poor schmuck like me and tell me that it’s my fault God doesn’t answer my prayers. That maybe I have some unconfessed sin in my life, or that I don’t have enough faith to get what I asked for. Then there’s the other side of the table. Some people even tell me there’s no God or that He doesn’t care or love me. Perhaps He is not interested in my petty little things. Maybe I shouldn’t even …

Praying like a child of God

Español: Orar como un hijo de Dios I have had many thoughts about prayer lately.  And, I have noticed one thing I often get stuck in and that is asking, begging and pleading to God for answers especially when facing desperate circumstances in my life or that of a loved one. I do believe there is a time for seeking God for answers and even miracles like Hannah who poured out her heart before God on her knees crying, shaking at times in her desperation for a child because she was barren. In these moments, the Holy Spirit will engage with our prayers and intercession. I have been there. During the early years of our marriage I found myself bent over in prayer asking, requesting and pleading to God for a child and this went on for a long period. I was desperate. But there needs to be a balance and part of this includes a shift in attitude because I believe it is possible to block blessings, provisions, answers by getting stuck in prayers …

The flame of faith

Español: La llama de la fe When it comes to praying for a miracle, doubt and fear circle my mind with thoughts I can’t do this and my faith drains away. Yet my ability to pray confidently and clearly for miracles seems possible until I am actually faced with a seemingly impossible situation, then doubts flood my mind. The mountain of the impossible looms over me blocking my faith and diminishing my hope.  Why even try to pray or believe for the impossible? As a result, I lower my expectations and say to myself, maybe next time I will be able to believe for a miracle but not now . . . not this time. It’s not that my hopes are too high and I fail to reach them; it’s that they’re too low and I do. But there is something I have started doing recently that seems to help. Whether your hopes and expectations for a miracle are high or low start envisioning a candle burning brightly and steadily inside you. And let this …

Maybe it’s more than a coincidence? Israeli paratroopers discover ancient watchtower

It was more than a bit ironic when soldiers with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) discovered an ancient watchtower associated with the days of King Hezekiah during the 8th century BCE. The IDF paratroopers had set up a base on a hilltop in Southern Israel when they accidentally discovered the tower. After making the discovery, the soldiers actually participated in the dig. The remains of the tower were about 6 feet (1.83 m) in height and archaeologists estimate that it was originally 15 feet (4.57 m) high with a diameter of 10.5 feet (3.2 m). This was a significant structure as the foundation stones weighed about 8 tons. According to the archaeologists this tower, built on top of a hill, would have provided ancient Israeli military commanders an excellent view on activities taking place in the Philistine nation, particularly one of its major cities Ashkelon. Israel built a series of towers and fortresses along the border that were within view of each other, so it would allow a tower to send up a warning using …

The Big Leagues

I like to think of myself as a full service preacher. I like to preach and nobody has fallen asleep since that time when I got everybody to quietly just leave their shoes and jackets on their seats. We all snuck in the back room and blew a trumpet really loud. Poor guy! Thought he missed the rapture! Okay, I didn’t do that but if anybody actually does fall asleep… Sometimes I can get pretty happy in my role. You know I start feeling good and confident. And then someone says it’s prayer time. I can prayer with the best of them. For about five minutes. The other day I was invited to an intercessory prayer meeting. For those of you who don’t know, this is not for the faint of heart or the simple-minded. This is the equivalent of being asked to try out for your favorite professional sports team! My wife, Stella, and I head out to the meeting. I entered the room with confidence. After all not only was I a preacher, …

Should we pray for President Donald Trump?

When US President Donald Trump showed up unannounced at McLean Bible Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia this past weekend, David Platt, who pastors the mega church took the opportunity lay hands on the President and pray for him. Trump was visiting the community because of the recent shootings that resulted in the death of 12 people and came to the church on Sunday morning. Before he prayed, Pratt cited the passage in 1 Timothy where Paul exhorts believers to pray for those in authority including Kings. 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (2 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV) Platt prayed for Trump for over two minutes and in his article, Todd Starnes provides a written record of what Platt prayed, saying in part: And we know, we need Your mercy. We need Your grace, we need Your help, we need Your wisdom …

I saw a warrior charging on his horse

“The Lord will go forth like a mighty man, He will rouse up His zealous indignation and vengeance like a warrior; He will cry, yes, He will shout aloud, He will do mightily against His enemies.” (Isaiah 42:13) I have been hesitant to share what I experienced during a time of intercession recently. Over the years my friend, Linda, and I have gone to the park surrounding our provincial legislature to pray and intercede for the things the Lord has impressed upon us. Prophetic acts have become a part of these times of intercession for our city, province and nation. We have planted seeds of faith, struck a sword in the ground, worshiped with flags and music and more. The beautiful park that surrounds the legislative buildings also includes a lake at its center.  The park also has monuments, fountains and beautiful flowers landscaping the area. We have prayed in this park many times over the years, when we have felt a call to pray into a season or events with scripture verses and declarations. …

Yakkity Yak

Several years back I worked with a counseling ministry and was in a session when the woman blurted out: “You haven’t heard a word I said!” I thought that’s a weird way to start a conversation. But just in case I was actually supposed to listen I nodded and grunted. “I knew it!” I should have shook instead of nodded. This reminds me of a certain counselor colleague of mine. He had a client that believed she was boring and half through her session, he fell asleep! Men are just not wired into conversation as much as women. I know there are some men who yak up a storm and there are some women who hardly ever talk at all. Both are rare. Most men I know only talk about their favorite sport. Most women talk about anything except that man’s favorite sport.    A woman talking to you it is a gift. Unless they are mad at you. Then it’s a bit less of a gift. So back to the woman mad at me. …

Credit: LJ Mears/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is momentum building for the next great wave?

When my husband showed me Cindy Jacob’s recent prophetic word posted March 15th on Charisma News, I was stunned because I had seen a similar vision and shared it the same day on opentheword.org. For those who don’t know Cindy, she heads Generals International and many consider her a strong prophetic voice in Charismatic circles. In her article, Cindy wrote about a vision she recently received: “As I was praying, I saw a vision of a huge wave, and the Lord spoke to me that there is a momentum gathering of the power of the Holy Spirit. A wave gathers power and goes towards the shore, and I see that there’s going to be many, many people working together.  There’s going to be many groups working together.” What I saw was very similar. It involved a large wave rising up and Jesus riding on the crest of the wave with outstretched arms and He was ready to fall on the church. What was interesting in Cindy Jacob’s vision is that she saw that many groups …

Credit: Vijay/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Time I Felt God’s Glory Show Up

This past weekend I attended  a conference, Ask for Rain, in our city designed to bring churches together to create relationship and community. During these sessions I believe God’s glory showed up. Pastors, intercessors, prophets and teachers from various churches in our city taught, shared, prayed and prophesied during the planned intervals between worship sets that were two to three hours long. An hour before the two-day Ask For Rain event began, I met with a group of intercessors to pray. As I stood with them, I saw a massive wave rising up out of an ocean of waves and I saw Jesus being lifted up on the crest of this giant wave.  His arms were stretched out and He was positioned to fall upon the church. I had seen this same image many times in the past few weeks and as I stepped out and prayed what I saw, this passage came to my mind: ”Where I saw the brightness of the glory of Israel’s God coming from the east.  The sound I heard …

The bush displaying its leaves and berries late in the fall while we were on our prayer walk,

Our prayer walk

My friend Linda and I were on a walk praying for the nation of Canada. As a prophetic act we released leaves into water representing “healing for the nations” spoken of in the Book of Revelation: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We prayed that racial divides and rifts in our country would be healed and Canada, together with the nations, would stream to Mount Zion and be healed and restored to God and one another. Afterwards we were attracted to the shrubs that lined the path around the lake. Though it was late fall, their leaves were still green and clusters of red berries filled the branches. It was in stark contrast to the barren trees and leaves that were laying on the ground. We were drawn to the clusters of bright red berries on the shrubs. Linda shared that the berries were …

And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations

Over the years my friend Linda and I have walked and prayed around and through the park that is planted in the center of our city. Yesterday, we sat and prayed at one of our favorite spots. The leaves were just starting to turn color and fall to the ground. And we were drawn to the passage in the Book of Revelation: 2 … On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We contemplated the meaning of this verse as we have many times over the years. And like many scholars have noted, the interpretation can be unclear concerning this day and age. Many times this scripture would surface as we prayed for our nation. With the leaves falling all around, we began to pray once again that the leaves of the tree (Christ the tree of life) and we His people (the leaves) would receive …

Peter healing the lame man by Raphael (1483-1520) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons/{{PD-US}}

Stepping into Christ’s authority

I remember standing with my sister-in-law around the counter in my niece’s kitchen. My niece who was fighting a rare form of cancer was worn out from the many rounds of chemotherapy and treatments to help battle this disease. These were desperate times, and her life was literally hanging in the balance. She had made a commitment to God when she was fourteen at a Bible Camp. And now, with the diagnoses of cancer she had renewed her commitment once again. I asked if I could pray for her adding that I wanted put my hands on her shoulders and her head as I did so.   There was no argument from her and I could see that her heart was prepared to receive from God. I was nervous about it and had sensed a few days earlier that I would pray for her. It was what God was asking of me and I knew it. But still there were questions. Who was I to lay my hands on her and pray boldly for her healing …

Credit: Jelle Goossens/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does it mean to be a prayer warrior?

Español: ¿Qué significa ser un guerrero de oración? In the book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul talks about Epaphras a person who was now traveling with Paul. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:12-13 NASV) In this verse, Paul describes Epaphras as being from the Colossae church and tells how Epaphras was “wrestling in prayer” for those in his home congregation. Other Bible versions translate it a bit differently, with some saying he was “laboring fervently” in prayer. The word translated “wrestling” by the NIV is the Greek word “agonizomai.” Thayers Greek Lexicon describes the word this way: “to enter a contest, contend in the light of gymnastic games. To contend with adversaries, fight.” The word “agonizomai” is derived from another Greek word “agone,” that …

Tirncomalee Bay, Sri Lanka Credit: Kondephy/Wikipedia

Fasting to increase your authority and power

In her book Stories from the Front Line, Jane Rumph tells of the story of a spiritual breakthrough that took place in Sri Lanka, an island country located off the South East coast of India. Formerly known as Ceylon, the country today has a population of 21 million people. In August 1972, Evangelist Chris Daniel was holding a week-long, evangelistic rally in Sri Lanka’s coastal city Trincomalee when he experienced a powerful move of God . Assisting him was Ranjit DeSilva, the President of the Lanka Bible College and 25 students from the college. In the early stages of the crusade, approximately 8,000 Tamil Hindus were attending the meetings and a few hundred people received Christ each night. During the day, Ranjit routinely prayed and fasted as he knew this spiritual exercise gave him authority over the demonic realm. However, it was the Wednesday night rally that became the catalyst for the fire that would sweep the city. The meeting roared to life when a woman angrily charged the podium loudly screaming and cursing God …

Credit: Markku Sandberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple Incense Spices

Incense and Intercession [by Helene Rudolph] Alongside the fragrant precious anointing oil was the Temple Incense.  Incense is associated with intercession in scripture. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; thee shall be an equal part of each.  And with it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure (and) holy.  And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I shall meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.  And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD”. Whoever shall make (any) like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people”. (Exodus 30:34-38) Pleasant Smells Revive the Soul The priesthood of old burned incense daily as a fragrant offering unto the LORD.  The Jewish Talmud records that women, as far …

Model of the Tabernacle of Moses in Timna Park, Israel. Credit: Ruk7/Wikipedia

Grab Hold

In the Old Testament there is a piece of furniture in the outer court of the Tabernacle of Moses called the bronze altar. On it were four bronze horns. All worshipers had access to the altar, even fugitives could cling to the horns of the altar if they were seeking asylum (Exodus 21:13-14). There was a time when Solomon was to be the rightful King of Israel, but his brother Abonijah had the grand idea that he would be King. Their father, David, found out and proclaimed Solomon King, which made Abonijah fear for his life. He ran to the place of worship, grabbed the horns of altar and begged for mercy which he received that day.                                                            Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he rushed to the sacred tent and grabbed on to the horns of the altar. (1 Kings 1:50 NLT) I am sure there …

A prayer walk

A month ago a few ladies from our Church gathered at Government House Gardens here in Regina, Saskatchewan for a prayer walk. We usually gather once a month at a park, historical site or Government building to pray for our city, country and nation. This year we decided to produce a video about our walk to show you what we do. It is our first video and it is not perfect. It is dark in spots and at other points our videoing could be better, but we hope to improve as we create more videos for our YouTube channel — Bashful & Bold. It was a bright, sunny day. The flowers and bushes were just beginning to bloom. We started to walk when we noticed a fragrance in the air and were drawn to the Cherry Blossom trees with their full pink blooms at the end of the lane. We were reminded of the verse in  2 Corinthians about the aroma of Christ and prayed into this verse that the fragrance of Christ in us …

Pero's Bridge, Bristol, England with its two counterweights Credit: Adrian Pingstone/Wikipeida/Creative Commons

A counterweight to worry

Pero’s Bridge is one of the world’s stranger looking bridges. Built in 1999, it is a pedestrian drawbridge that spans St. Augustine’s beach in Bristol, England. The two outside sections are attached to land and the inner section serves as a drawbridge that raises to allow boats to pass beneath. It has two distinctive, horn-like objects on either side of the bridge. At first glance, it seems they are nothing more than abstract art added to decorate the bridge. In fact, it is art, but they also serve as important counterweights that exert force in the opposite direction allowing the inner span to raise quickly. Also called a “bascule” bridge — French for “balanced scale” — people have used this type of design for centuries because counterweights raise bridge spans quickly and with relatively little energy. Like a bascule bridge, we all need something to counter what life throws at us. As you watch the media, a person can quickly be caught up worrying about world events and our rapidly changing society. We worry about …

Storm clouds over Corsica, France Credit: hippolyte/Flickr/Creative Commons

For such a time as this

Recently, world events overwhelmed me. I became weak,  unbelieving and fearful. It seemed that I lost hope and my  desire to move forward and attempt things for God. What can God accomplish and do in times such as these. Can I be used to bring healing and change to this world? During these tumultuous days, I am reminded of a request Mordecai made of Queen Esther concerning the fate of their nation in captivity in Persia: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your Father’s house will perish” (Esther 4:14a) We must not remain silent. Esther chose to use her voice and to speak into a dangerous situation facing her nation. God has a plan and during times of duress we need to listen to His voice. Mordecai continued to exhort Esther: “And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b) We are needed. Esther did not want to rock the …

Songs of deliverance

“The Lord God is my strength – he will make my feet like those of a deer, equipping me to tread on my mountain heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19) Beautiful worship songs have brought God’s voice and presence to me these past few days. The Holy Spirit has entered into these songs and lifted my spirit and carried me to places of deep comfort and peace. I don’t understand why I had a need for assurance this past while, but my restlessness in the night has reflected inner stirrings. Through the lilting and uplifting notes of these songs God spoke, “I love you, you are mine, everything is as it should be, you are enough, you are more than enough” For the past three days, I have woken  in the middle of the night and played these songs over and over.  I have danced in our living room, worshiped and prayed. One night as I danced, I picked up my worship flags and as the flute played, I skipped, danced and floated over mountains, valleys and streams. …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Intercessors: Engaging the enemy

I consider myself an intercessor and it has taken the full length and breadth of 30 years to understand what intercession is and who I am in this gifting and calling. Intercessors, in their various roles, stand in the gap for people in prayer and worship to enhance God’s presence, draw people in and bring them into a more intimate experience and connection with God. Not everyone is called to intercede in this way.  There are many roles that intercessors play and one person does not do it all. I am a dancer and along with other women, I dance in church during worship with ribbons, scarves and flags. As intercessors we need to be sensitive to shifts in the spiritual realm.  We often find ourselves pressing into these shifts to enhance the worship and/or step into warfare to exercise authority over the enemy and his strongholds. There are moments in worship on Sunday mornings when I grab a flag and begin to intercede with the flag during the height of worship. At other times, …

Independence day celebrations at the National Mall in Washington, DC Credit: Mark Andre/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did this Prophetic act in Washington, DC break a curse over the US?

According to an article on Charisma News, some are calling an event that took place on October 21, 2016 a prophetic act that could profoundly impact America. On that day, 1000 Native Americans representing Indian tribes across both the US and Canada gathered in Washington DC to forgive the early Americans who broke treaties they made with Indian tribes decades ago. At the event called the National Day of Prayer for First Nations held at the Washington Mall, representatives of America’s tribal groups spoke declarations forgiving America. Speaking on behalf of the (Euchee) Yuchi tribe, Negiel Bigpond stated he was forgiving “the US, whether it asked for it or not.” Bigpond who organized the prayer event is a fourth generation pastor and serves as a tribal chief. He along with other native leaders and intercessors spoke a number of declarations that are posted at the All Tribes DC website. This included: “We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace …

The battle in the heavenly realm Photo: 君勇 林/Flickr/Creative Commons

Battling in the heavenly realm for your nation

In an earlier post, I talked about Jesus delivering a man possessed by a legion of demons in an area called the Gadarenes. What I didn’t talk about is the bizarre request this horde of demons made to Jesus. Mark writes about the encounter in his gospel. He notes that the deliverance is a bit unusual, because the demons didn’t immediately leave when Jesus commanded them, which had been standard practice up to this point: 8 For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he *said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. (Mark 5:8-10 NASV) Because the spirit was able to initially resist, Jesus asked for its name and even that was not provided right away. But Christ had authority, and the evil spirit finally buckled and coughed up its name. It called itself Legion, “for we are many.” At …

We need to have a prophetic element in our prayers. Photo: Matthew Green/Flickr/Creative Commons

Envisioning prayer

Last year, I was praying and seeking an answer and intervention for a particular situation that was very troubling to me. As I desperately sought the answer, I suddenly began to envision it happening right down to the exact details — what would it look like, sound like and feel like if it actually came to pass. After picturing the scenario in my mind’s eye, I spontaneously began to thank and praise God for the answer. My response surprised me. I realized because it had been so real in my mind as I prayed my spirit responded with thanksgiving and praise before I even knew what was happening. It was the same response that I would have felt seeing my prayer answered and fulfilled in the flesh. But in this instance it hadn’t happened yet. I believe this was a prophetic prayer. The incident reminded me of a verse: “Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the non-existent things that (He has foretold and promised) as if they (already) existed.”  (Romans 4:17 AMP) …

Praying in a cathedral in Tuscany, Italy. Photo: ashokboghani/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Prayer reduces alcoholic cravings

Researchers with New York University’s Langone Medical Center have discovered that prayer helps a person reduce their cravings for alcohol. In their study, the group performed MRI brain scans on 20 people who were long-term participants with Alcoholics Anonymous. The chosen 20 all stated that they did not have any cravings for alcohol during the previous week. There were two phases to the testing. During both phases the participants viewed alcoholic drinks and across the board all participants said they felt a craving for alcohol. After viewing alcohol in the first test, the AA group was given a newspaper to read and during the second test they were told to recite AA’s prayer that promotes abstinence. The AA prayer also called the serenity prayer was developed for the organization by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and goes like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference.” The research group discovered that the participants stated there was a significant reduction …

Soldiers with Israel's defense forces praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Mor/Flickr/Creative Commons

Described as unprecedented: Orthodox Jews call for three-day fast in Israel

Describing it as unprecedented, Breaking Israel News (BIN), a Jewish news site, is reporting the Orthodox Jewish group HaTzom is calling for Israelis to fast for three days commencing Sunday night, March 20. The fast, which will end 72 hours later, will be done during the Jewish feast of Purim, held annually this time of year. The feast of Purim is derived from the Book of Esther when Queen Esther called for Jews to fast for three days before she entered the throne room of her husband, the Persian king, to expose a planned massacre of the Jews organized by a senior bureaucrat in the Persian administration. HaTzom, whose name in English means “The Fast,” has over 22,000 participants agreeing to join in the three-day fast. They organized the fast because of the unrelenting terrorist attacks in Israel and the growing hatred around the world to their country. BIN recently reported three attacks that took place on March 8 and 9. On the first day, Palestinians riding motorbikes opened fire on Jerusalem police guarding a …

Photo: Alesa Dam/Flickr

Is thanksgiving a key to unlocking answered prayer?

This past year I realized I was receiving noticeable answers to prayer and I believe it was tied to thankfulness. I could keep praying, pleading and asking God for what was on my heart but I knew at some point I needed to start thanking Him for the answers as well. Although I did not understand it at the time, I believe the reason for my prayer answers was a result of consciously including thanksgiving in my petitions. Gratitude acknowledged my faith in God for answers I had not yet received. “Who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” (Romans 4:17 NKV) Thankfulness calls into being that which does not yet exist. It gives life to our requests, creating the movement that brings  answered prayer forward to the present. Being thankful for answers yet to come is the springboard to faith, the catalyst that gives life to our prayers. By being thankful, I was believing instead of doubting. An expectancy accompanied me throughout the day.  The spiritual atmosphere …

A time for solitude. Photo: Martijn Roos/Flickr

A Woman’s Perspective: Solitude

There are times when I enjoy solitude. With no distractions, I can get lost in whatever I am doing and time just flies. Simply defined, solitude is the state of being alone. I always feel more refreshed and peaceful after such times. But I believe there are benefits to solitude other than just having ‘alone time.’  Author, Sue Monk Kidd has been writing books since 1990. In her early years of writing on contemplative prayer, she wrote ‘God’s Joyful Surprise.’ In it she says: ‘Solitude is a time for ‘God and God alone’. Who knows what can happen when we focus only on God. In solitude we sense our deep oneness with God and keep company with him. Solitude is breaking through my isolation into sharing and being in touch with my Creator. In fact we can begin to heal our loneliness by transforming it into solitude.’ Even Jesus practiced solitude during his life and invited his closest friends to do the same: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He …

A medieval prayer circle or magical rite?

[by Dean Smith] The Liesborn Gospel, listed for sale at $6.5 million, contains the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The book, with a cover made of carved oak, was ordered by the Abbess of the Leisborn convent in Germany probably for a wealthy woman who had just taken her vows. These books of the Gospels are extremely rare with only five complete sets known to exist. They were also very sacred and considered mystical as they were thought to be “the physical embodiment of the Word of God.” The books were often elaborately decorated with rare jewels. The one being sold by Les Enluminures Gallery, an ancient manuscript dealer based in Manhattan, dates to around 980 AD and comes with a special added feature — a prayer circle.

Can we change the past through God?

[by Dean Smith] I won’t pretend to understand anything these guys are talking about, but I am always fascinated when scientists talk of Quantum mechanics. In a recent study, a scientist has suggested that contrary to our personal experience time runs both forward and backwards. Our experience with time is that it goes from the past to present to future and only the past and present can affect the future. However, professor Kater Murch from Washington University has been looking at quantum mechanics and discovered that time in the quantum world seems to run both ways. And by doing so, the future has the ability to change the past. As odd as this sounds, I sometimes wonder if these strange theories may help us understand some puzzling statements made by Jesus in the Gospels. But before we get to those verses, let me explain a bit more about Murch’s theory.

Characteristics of an intercessor: Will you riot in the streets?

[by Dean Smith] In an earlier post, I discussed Jesus’ parable on prayer. It involved a woman’s run-in with a corrupt judge (Luke 18:2-8).  It was an interesting passage as the Greek words portrayed intercession as little more than a street fight. As Jesus wraps up this teaching, He clearly wants to separate our Heavenly Father from the character of the Judge and says: “Now will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry [boao] to Him day and night, and will he delay long over them.” (v 7 NASV) Where the judge was selling justice to the highest bidder, God wants to bring justice to those who cry out for help. Where corrupt judges delay justice as a subtle hint money is needed to open doors, God wants to answer quickly.

Characteristics of an Intercessor: Are you a street fighter?

We all struggle for answered prayer. Sometimes we wonder if God even heard us. When we look at the Gospels, Jesus used a variety of parables to teach on prayer. One found in Luke 18:1-8 involves a widow who was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous person and went before a judge seeking legal help. We are told the judge did not fear God and did not respect man (v 2). It was a simple way of saying he was corrupt. Justice was for sale in this town. The widow apparently didn’t have the means to buy the justice she needed, so the judge put her off, but she kept coming back. Using this story, Jesus showed one of the keys to successful prayer is praying until you prevail. The widow came back again and again seeking help. The phrase “for a while” (v 4) that Jesus used to describe the length of her struggle implies a considerable period of time — days for certain, probably weeks. For the intercessor, the prayer battle may extend …

When Paul encouraged prayer for secular leaders was he thinking ahead of Hustler magazine?

[by Dean Smith] A recent article in the National Journal reports that Harry Flynt, the founder of the porn magazine Hustler, has been sending unsolicited copies of the publication to American politicians in Washington DC since 1983. It arrives every month in an unmarked manilla envelope. And every month staffers open it. Who knows why Flynt does it? We can only guess. But many assume he is trying to influence them.