All posts tagged: Prayer

Touching heaven, touching earth

Like many these days, I am praying more often than usual and in so many ways God has used this season of ‘panic’ COVID-19 to pull me into prayer more consistently than I have done for many years. Yes, God clearly used this time to ‘work out good,’ and bring out good disciplines in my life.  But there has been a change in how I pray. I am now praying more often, but not as long as I used too. These are not extended periods of prayers. They can be short just two to five minutes or sometimes longer. As well, I have set aside specific times to pray. When the clock strikes 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight, these are my designated times to pray. I start first by giving thanks. I often take five slow deep breaths to help clear my mind and slow my thoughts and then I enter into a time of prayer. Sometimes things come up and I miss my time, but I carry on with …

The Vending Machine God

Some preacher somewhere said that we have more faith in a vending machine than we do in God. That was a long time ago, yet I still believe it to be true. Yesterday I was meeting with my good friend, Mark. Mark leads the worship team for Lighthouse Ministries and we often chat to match worship to whatever I am preaching about. Yesterday we talked about making worship more inclusive and for some reason I mentioned the vending machine idea. Mark added to this thought and said that often we treat God like a vending machine. How we do these things is simple and sad. I don’t often use vending machines anymore but when I was a student and studied late into the night at one of the study halls, there was a vending machine. It served up coffee. To be honest, vending machine coffee is not as good as one might think but around eleven at night with hours to go, it was the only choice we had. I think coffee was only a …

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 …

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, …

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. …

Minature Greyhound Credit: Opus Moreschi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dogged Dog

Ever hear that expression: “like a dog with a bone?” It is used to mean focused perseverance. To keep your eye on the prize and to work until you achieve that goal. In my house though it would be more like dog with my shoe! My little guy, Spot, prefers shoes to bones. So if you come over to our place, you will find him walking around with your shoe on his head! I am not making this up! He is an Italian Greyhound and they have long skinny faces. He literally sticks his nose right into the shoe and carries it to his dungeon of destruction. One time a guest had rather smelly feet and shoes. After Spot put his head into the shoe he sat in the middle of the floor and just grinned, drunk on the smell! Not sure if that was his goal but he achieved it. We can learn a lot from dogs. Cats too and I am even more of a cat person but please don’t tell Spot that. …

Bridge in Resistencia, Argentina going over Rio Negro River Credit: Google Earth

RESISTENCIA – The Discovery 2005

Español: RESISTENCIA – El Descubrimiento 2005 Gary, Robin and I had travelled to Resistencia, Argentina to try to discover corroborating evidence of the existence of Clifford Long and a Resistencia Revival. Veto, our driver and interpreter arrived at the hotel to pick us up and I gave instructions to Veto that we needed to go to the oldest area of Resistencia. The building that we were looking for had to be at least 50 years old. I also inquired of Veto whether there was a river that ran thru the northwest of Resistencia. “Yes, he replied, it’s called the Rio Negro.” Veto took us to the old area of town and whenever we saw a building like the one that was described in a prophecy we would ask him to stop, we would get out and I would put my hand on the wall of the building and see if I felt anything. This we did about 4 times, I later found out that Veto thought we were in the movie industry and we were …

Church in Lanin National Park, Argentina Credit: javierinsitu/Flickr/Creative Commons

ARGENTINA – Ready or not here we come!

Español: ARGENTINA – ¡Listos o no aquí vamos! The message that I received during my Third Heavenly Visitation was “I WANT MY ARGENTINIAN REVIVAL TO MOVE NORTH – THE RESISTENCIA FOUNTAIN OPEN!” I had no experience in the history of revival and I knew nothing about an Argentinian Revival. My only response was what am I supposed to do? Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her Sonnets from the Portuguese asked a question. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” Jesus has loved me, and I love him back and so I wanted to give to him what He desired. When my wife, Trish, comes to me and asks, “Can we go out for supper tonight?” My response is “I can make that happen.” and bless her. The Visitation of 2003 left me praying earnestly “LET YOUR ARGENTINIAN REVIVAL MOVE NORTH – THE RESISTENCIA FOUNTAIN OPEN!” More and more every day this praying (intercession) overtook me and a group of believers. Prayer meetings and services were almost 100% attendance, we were all caught up …

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 …

East Coweta football team gathering for prayer before a game. Credit: Fox News Youtube capture

Victory: Youth take ownership of their faith at East Coweta high school

It was an amazing story, and despite legal threats from an atheist group, students at East Coweta High School in Coweta County, Georgia have taken ownership of their faith in a big way. At the end of October, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to the Coweta school district that its high school football head coach, John Small, was leading a team prayer before games and demanded that this stop. FFRF argued that this violated the constitution of separation of church and state and they included an image of Small standing with his head bowed during a team prayer. In response, the Coweta school division sent a letter to all staff that they were no longer to take part in any prayer or worship while working in an “official capacity” with the school. It was expected that the team’s prayer sessions would come to an end. However, instead something incredible happened. The players took the initiative to pray before the game and instead of 100 players gathering to pray as …

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 …

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 …

Pray for those in authority. Credit: thisisbossi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking curses being cast on government leaders

Charisma News recently reported on a bizarre op-ed that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 23, 2017. The author, Diana Wagman, has written several articles for the paper. In her most recent, Wagman wrote about putting a “binding spell” on US President Donald Trump. What makes it even more strange is that Wagman claims not to be a devil worshiper, but decided to do her part joining thousands of like-minded people seeking to put a curse on  President Trump and his associates. Wagman wrote: “I cast a spell on the president. I was not alone. Thousands of witches, believers and people like me all over the world performed “A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him” under the waning crescent moon last month. It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks. Now he’s complaining he’s the object of a “witch hunt.” Maybe the spell is working …” Wagman actually researched “binding spells” before doing it. As part of her ritual, …

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 …

Pray for those who mistreat you. Credit: MissTessmacher/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: prayer calms the angry heart

A 2011 study conducted by researchers from universities in America and Europe concluded that prayer helps a person calm their anger. The study conducted by Brad Bushman a psychology and communications professor from Ohio State University, Sander Koole of Holland’s VU University of Amsterdam and University of Michigan’s Ryan Bremner found that prayer quelled a person’s anger even if they were not particularly religious. There were various stages to this study. In one session, the researchers asked the participants in the study to to write a paper that was then evaluated by a partner who purposely and aggressively criticized the paper. They were extremely negative about what the participant had wrote. They then had some participants of the study group think about what their partner had said and others spend five minutes praying for them. Once they had gone through this process, the participants then played a game with their partner. If the participant won, they were allowed to blast their partner with loud music. The participant also determined how loud the music was and …

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) …

Curious Christian news Photo: Javi Sanchez de la Vina/Flickr/Creative Commons

News round up: Banning the Lord’s prayer, Jenner prayer and Bieber’s bathtub baptism

Just a brief write-up about a few stories that caught my attention this past week: Lord’s prayer banned in England The Lord’s prayer is a regular part of services in the Church of England. This year, the church produced an ad with each line being prayed by a different person. It starts with the leader of the Anglican Church, The Right Honourable Justin Welby. Welby who is the archbishop of Canterbury is part of the evangelical wing of the Anglican church. Other participants included a police officer, weight lifter, farmer and others. However, when the church approached Digital Cinema Media (DCM) to buy time for the ad to be run in movie theaters, the company refused stating it might cause offense. DCM sells 80% of the advertisements sold on England’s 2,929 movie screens. The controversy over the refusal generated great publicity for the ad now shown on YouTube and as well a strange ally. In an interview in The Guardian, atheist Richard Dawkins said: “I still strongly object to suppressing ads on the grounds that …

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 …

Ex-con shocks everyone by praying for police officer who arrested him

When you look at police reports of Edward “Doc” Amey, you will find several pages listing his crimes from everything from felony convictions to misdemeanors, including several drug related charges. He has been in prison three times. In an interview with KHOU TV, Amey said: “I haven’t always been a friend of police. Know what I am saying.” But a recent photo of Amey in action has been circulating on Facebook, it is an image of him praying with a police officer. Not just any policeman but Officer Salvador Chapa from the Texas City, Texas police department. Chapa had actually arrested Amey years back on gun charges and he actually did time for that crime But something happened to Amey several years back — he found God and the encounter transformed his life. With all the news in recent months of unprovoked attacks on police throughout the US, God began speaking to Amey about praying for police. Amey said: “The last week-and-a-half God has really been giving me the urge to pray for police officers.” …

Clara praying with Elizabeth Photo: War Room/Facebook

Faith movie ‘War Room’ beats out blockbusters at the box office

Entertainment Weekly called it a “sleeper hit” and when a Christian movie catches the secular media’s attention you know its shocking everybody, including Hollywood. Refusing to follow Hollywood’s script of sex and violence, the name of the movie aside, the Kendrick brother’s, Alex and Stephen, latest movie is on a record-setting pace. War Room sold an amazing $11.4 million worth of tickets this past weekend, blasting through the brothers’ belief that $10 million would exceed their wildest expectations. The movie was second only to Straight Outta Compton a profanity laced hip hop movie that grossed $13 million. War Room, with only a PG rating, managed to exceed $11 million without swearing, violence, sex, and a star filled cast and while only showing in 1,100 theaters across the US. Meanwhile, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation starring Tom Cruise was in over 3,000 outlets but only earned $8 million that same weekend. The Christian movie is on course to surpass Fireproof, another faith movie the Kendricks’ released in 2008. With sales of $33 million, it was the …

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 …

The gunman returned wallet and phone after Shaquille Hairston started praying

[by Dean Smith] Shaquille Hairston, 21, works the late shift at a hotel in Euclid, Ohio. On June 3, he caught the bus home late that night, as he usually did. When Hairston got off at a stop near his home, a man who was also on the bus slipped off as well. After the bus departed, the man approached Shaquille on the dark, deserted street, pulled out a gun and demanded money. In an interview with Cleveland’s Fox News, Shaquille said when he told the man he didn’t have any cash, the robber hit him on the head with his gun.

Media mocks Wisconsin governor seeking God’s will on running for president

[by Dean Smith] Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is considering seeking the Republican nomination for the American 2016 Presidential elections. Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters in February, Walker confided he is still trying to decide God’s direction on this decision. Walker said: “I’m still trying to decipher if this is God’s calling. You’ve got to be crazy to want to be President of the United States … To look at what it does to a person and a family you have got to be crazy. But you should only do it if you feel God’s called you to get in there and make a difference. We’re still trying to decide and we’re going to ask you for your prayers in that regard.” This statement was picked up by a number of media types, including the Wallstreet Journal.  But perhaps the most odd response came from a series of tweets made by Political Wire publisher Taegan Goddard.

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 …

St Louis’ Doctor says: ‘Heart was jump started by Holy Spirit listening to request of his praying mother’

[by Dean Smith] Attending emergency physician, Dr Jeremy Garrett, called it a ‘bonafide miracle.’ On Martin Luther Day (January 19, 2015), John Smith, 14, along with two friends were out on the frozen waters of Missouri’s Lake Saint Louise when the three fell through the ice. According to KDSK TV, by the time rescuers from the St. Louis Fire Department arrived, one of the two friends had dragged himself out and the other was hanging on to the ice. John, however, could not be seen. After being under water for about 15 minutes, rescuers found John and dragged him out. With no pulse, paramedics performed CPR as they rushed the boy to the hospital but believed there was little hope of recovery.

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.

A woman’s perspective: Birthing through prayer

[by Barb Smith] Lately, I have been thinking back to the days when my husband and I looked to adoption as a way to have children we could not produce on our own. We had gone for prayer and then went through a battery of fertility tests and procedures to no avail, because God had a different plan. After two years of pursuing adoption through private and government agencies, our hopes for a child faded. As a final option, we considered international adoption and pursued various avenues.

Prayer results in two miracles at Florida’s Boca Raton hospital

[by Dean Smith] When Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro, 40, entered Boca Baton Regional hospital in Boca Raton, Florida, for a typical C-section she was not expecting a few hours later that her name would be broadcast across the country because of a miracle. According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, after her baby’s safe delivery, Ruby stopped breathing and then a short time later her heart stopped beating. A medical team, numbering over 12, frantically worked to revive her. Team members alternated doing CPR as they tired, others applied shock treatments to restart Ruby’s heart. But after 45 minutes doctors realized there was nothing more they could do. Ruby had died.

From 3 to 5 hours: Changing God’s mind through prayer

Several years back, my wife and I attended a camp meeting in the U.S. God was moving in the services through the Toronto revival and both of us were impacted by God’s Spirit. 

One night, I felt the Lord say He wanted me to stay in the tabernacle and pray for three hours after the service. The meetings were going late, so it would be about three in the morning before my head hit the pillow. My preference was to go to bed. But it seemed like God, so I decided to do it. Now to be honest, I was very legalistic about the time and I looked at my watch every 15 minutes or so to see how much time had passed. 

I was a true watchman. God was going to get three hours and not a minute more.

A key to successful prayer: Do you believe God loves you?

When the pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 NASV) Can anyone be commanded to love God or love anyone for that matter? Yet we are told this is the greatest commandment for a believer. How do we do it? The Apostle John provides the answer: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NASV) The key to being able to love God is first understanding and believing that God loves you and this is our “great” struggle to obeying the “greatest” commandment. A study by Baylor University, published in the journal Sociology of Religion, concluded that understanding God loves us is even an important key to successful prayer.