“Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent.” Leonard Ravenhill
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shopwindow to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.
Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of praver. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer-the highest ministry of all human offices-is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, “I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.” It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of “binding and loosing,” though the onus is on us-”Whatsoever ye shall bind…” Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
Facebook. I’m not sure why there is a need to upload your drink from starbucks, the meal you are having, or any other such trivia. Maybe I just don’t get it.
Leonard Ravenhill challenges, “No man is greater than his prayer life…let me live with a man a while and share his prayer life and then I will tell you how tall I think he is or how majestic I think he is in God…You may impress others but you can’t impress God. You can show off on the platform, singing, preaching and doing your stuff, but not in prayer…Praying men stop sinning and sinning men stop praying. A man first collapses in the prayer closet…Can he share His sorrow with you?
The late Dr A.W. Tozer attended a conference at one time, listening with patience day after day as preachers told of what they had done or how far they had travelled and what building they had opened. Finally, the good doctor rose to preach and fired a broadside at the boasters: “I’m tired of coming to conferences to watch men strut!”
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. –George Mueller
Apparently, people don’t like it if you disagree with them on facebook. Leaders whom I have followed, who have prayed over me, whose books I have bought, don’t seem to like it if you dare to disagree with them over one facebook post, they then go so far as to look through this blog to find things they can disagree with. I lead a men’s group where the only person who speaks in tongues, who believes in prophecy, is me. But I don’t become defensive and attack the other men in my group for not believing in such things, nor do we argue and fight over political issues. Being mature in Christ, we accept that we have differing views on such things, but our relationship as brothers in Christ triumphs over our disagreements. It always seems to be charismatic leaders who can’t accept other’s disagreeing with them, and who always come up with the defence of Matthew 7, accusing the other person of being judgemental. It’s a very sad day when someone posts something on facebook, and cannot accept someone disagreeing with them.
One of the issues that seems to affect many Christians is the inability to think Biblically. This seems to go hand in hand with our knowledge of the Bible. As an example, the world has Mother’s day, Father’s day, memorial day, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day, amongst others. But what do these celebrations have to do with Jesus and why would the Church recognize these? You might say these are minor things, but then you find out that single people often feel they aren’t appreciated or recognized in the Church. Valentine’s day, Mother’s day and father’s day don’t recognize single people, and go along with worldly values where only certain people can have a ‘day’ named after them. We then have Pastor’s appreciation month, but I get no recognition as an IT professional. Now I don’t look for, or need recognition, and as Luke 17:10 says ‘So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ So why would the Church go along with worldly things ? It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Mother’s day and Father’s day and Valentines day ensure that cards are bought, presents are bought, restaurants are filled, but Jesus is not glorified. Have we become friends with the world ? What does it mean to think biblically about such things.
We live in an increasingly hedonist and selfish society, is this really the message we want to get across ?
The Apostle Paul’s message to a hedonistic culture didn’t mention them having fun, or that he was there to bestow laughter into their life. Maybe Paul laughed though his shipwrecks, beatings, stonings, or maybe he wasn’t in the will of God. He had to deal with a Church at Corinth that had serious problems, bestowing laughter wasn’t one of his concerns.
Whilst I welcome the desire to move away from a Church that has a constant diet of sin and misery in their sermons (did I mention Southern Baptists), let’s not over react and move too far to the other side.
Not many people dare to preach on this verse. It’s a life changing verse, and to obey is to have your life changed, how could it be otherwise. For the Western Christian, brought up on a menu of Hollywood movies, TV, video games, you tube and internet sites, this verse offers nothing but frustration. There’s a huge difference between saying ‘there’s nothing wrong in watching movies’ and ‘I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless’. It’s a daily challenge to be pure in heart, and one of the most helpful things we can do is keep a careful eye on what we view with our eyes. If you choose to do this, your friends will challenge you, they’ll tell you you re shutting yourself off from the world, they’ll accuse you of being a fundamentalist. Oh, believe me, they won’t be happy with you, not happy at all.
One thing I can guarantee you, if you take up this challenge then before your very eyes, your life will change.