Tag Archives: prayer

The Awesome Power of Prayer

Prayer and Fasting Day

Speaker: Pastor Larry Bailey, Executive Secretary for the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

Many people, including Christians, underestimate the awesome power of prayer. Do you know the ABCs of prayer? We must Ask, Believe, then Claim it. How can we utter our requests to Christ and lack the faith that he will answer our prayers?

We tend to pray when we’re in despair, but what about when things are going well. Should we not say a prayer of thanksgiving or praise?

Over the last year, we have witnessed the signs of the times. Earthquakes and tsunamis in regions we never would have imagined; the mysterious deaths of animals; the economic crisis; and civil unrest in the Middle East. Experts are trying to identify the solution to these problems, but there is no need if you will solve the underlying problem–the lack of spirituality.

In the Bible, there are stories of countless miracles that were performed by Christ throughout his ministry here on Earth. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He healed the incurable. He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites can escape bondage from Egypt. He caused the blind to see and the lame to walk. They all had faith that he could heal them. Let us not forget the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, who tried so many remedies, but none worked. She knew if she just touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed. What did Jesus say in Luke 8: 48? “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

If we had not relied on our own understanding, and instead turned to Christ where would we be? He knows our needs before we even tell him. We must always seek his counsel. Place your faith and trust in him first.  We may face great obstacles in our lives, but through prayer and faith, we can overcome.

Pray without ceasing

Through the trials and tribulations of life, there is one thing that most Christians never do–PRAY. Whenever we are in a bind or up against a wall, we call our friends or family, but never our heavenly Father. Why is that? Is it because we fear His response? Is it because we know what He would tell us to do?

The Lord knows our hearts. He also knows what’s best for us, but sadly we don’t seek him as our lifeline. Instead, he is our last option when we’ve surpassed our point of desperation. How painful it must be for Christ to see His children suffer and not seek His presence! How sad it must be that our advocate now stands on the unemployment line, because we do not allow him to represent us before his Father!

With the nationwide season of thanks behind us, and the so-called celebration of Christ’s birth before us, will we as Christians continue to align ourselves with the very person we avoid? Why do so if our actions contradict the character of Christ?

In prayer, there is strength. In prayer, there is deliverance. In prayer, there is peace. In prayer, there is an open line of communication with the one who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

We have one of the most powerful allies anyone can ask for. In times of war, it is he who we must fight alongside. Better yet, he would rather fight the battle for us. A battle against Christ is automatic defeat. Nothing and no else can give us that guarantee.

Though he faced hungry lions and was put in a fiery furnace for his obedience to God, Daniel prayed without ceasing (Daniel 6). Imprisoned by King Herod, Peter prayed without ceasing (Acts 12). Hours before he was to be betrayed, then crucified, Jesus prayed without ceasing (Matthew 26). If prayer was a viable resort for them, then why not for us?

Lord, you spoke well when you told your Father that we knew not what we had done. Centuries later, your children are still lost–including myself.

I pray that you never let us go. I pray that you will continue to advocate for us. I pray that we quickly open our eyes and realize the many blessings you have bestowed upon us–the many opportunities for second chances. Lord, shine your light so that we may see through the darkness. Save us Lord, for we need you now more than ever.

Hell: NO VACANCIES!

As I sat back in the church, listening to the pastor preach, a scary thought came into my mind. I smiled but shuddered at the idea. “Hell was designed for the devil and his angels, not for us,” said the pastor. I shook my head and thought what if hell was full. We all know that although God intended for Satan and his angels to burn in hell, some of God’s own children will also be included.

Christians have become too accustomed to warming up the benches. We have forgotten the great commission given to us in Matthew 28:19, 20. It says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”  Sadly, many of us believe that once I am baptized and have perfect attendance at church, I am saved.

Perfect attendance in school doesn’t amount to anything without hard work and lots of studying. The same goes for the church. You have to study God’s word and pray without ceasing. Prayer is the way we communicate with our heavenly Father.

A relationship with Jesus Christ, Son of Man will save you. Notice I didn’t say a relationship with your pastor,  your parents, your spouse, or children. You must have your own personal relationship with God.

Though hell was not designed for the children of God, many of us have already secured our seats. Just in case you did not know, it is not exclusive to the vilest of criminals. You do not need VIP status in order to get a full access pass. Surprised? I hope not. God looks at all sin the same. One sin is not worse than the other. Being an adulterer is not worse or better than a murderer. In our society, a rating system may work but not in the kingdom of God. Sin is sin. One is not more acceptable than the other. God is a perfect being, so how could we expect Him to accept any fraction of sin? He has taught us, His children, to despise sin.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

John 3:16, 17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

The time is nigh. Jesus’ second coming is right around the corner. Probation is almost over. It’s now or never. In this game of life, whose team are you on? Though we already know who the winning team will be, many of us have already shown loyalty to the losing side. It’s not too late to switch. God is a forgiving being who knows and understands us more than you can imagine.

Take the time to know Him. Build a relationship with Him. You won’t regret it!

Kristia M. Beaubrun

http://www.kristiabeaubrun.wordpress.com

Source: http://www.hebronfrenchsda.wordpress.com

What’s In a Touch?

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Speaker: Eunice Senior-Baker, Northeastern Conference of SDA

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-48

As women, we must reclaim our responsibility as prayer warriors. We must pray for the church, pray for each other, pray for our young people, pray for those who don’t know the Lord. When women pray, great things happen.

One concern of the devil is to keep perople from praying. He doesn’t care about prayerless religion or prayerless work. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. So let us continue in prayer.

In Luke 40, we read the story of the ruler of a synagogue who came to Jesus, pleading for Him to heal his only daughter. Jesus never turns down someone’s cry for help. He was on an emergency call. So He headed to Jairus’ house. The crowd also followed Him. As He headed to the house to stand by the girl’s bedside, a women suffering from an issue of blood for 12 years snuck into the crowd and touched His garment.

We don’t know her name. She is referred to as the woman with an incurable issue of blood. She was so stigmatized that no one cared to learn her name. She was identified by her issue and not by the contributions she offered nor her value. She lived under the  Levitical laws, during which it was important for a woman to be identified by family or position in the community. Due to her issue, she was a social outcast for 12 years, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, considered impure. She was divorced from her husband and abandoned by her family.

For 12 years she sought help and healing from physicians who were stumped. She suffered alone with this illness. She lost all hope and was in despair. She heard that Jesus was in town and had heard of all the miracles He had done. He cast out demons, made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak,  and calmed the seas. She knew that He was the great physician and the only one who could help her. This was her only chance she thought. So she made her way through the crowd thinking that she only had to touch the hem of His garment and that would be enough. It was now or never and she had nothing else to lose, because she had already lost everything.

In one touch, she concentrated all of her faith and instantly her illness gave place to good health. We must all touch Jesus for ourselves. Jesus recognized the touch and halted, turning to ask who touched Him. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd so any one of them could have touched Him, Peter thought. This touch was different and Jesus knew it, because He felt virtue leave Him. Jesus knows the difference between a touch of need from a touch of greed.

This woman was treated by the church and the people as nothing or nobody. Jesus sought the person who touched Him and fearfully she spoke up in fron of the many who had abandoned her in her time of need. Jesus, however, called her His daughter. She was somebody, the daughter of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is never too pre-occupied to not recognize the cry, quest, and need of a single, solitary soul. There is a certain sensitivity which Jesus has towards the needs of each of us. No one is ever hidden from Him.

Why didn’t Jesus let the woman stay hidden? The Son of God knew who touched Him. That’s not why He asked the question. There’s a lesson behind it. If she remained hidden, the good of the action would fail her. She needed to know who healed her and not how or people would want Jesus’ clothes. Matthew 5:34 says, “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Healing didn’t come from His clothes. She shouldn’t be misled. Touching Christ or His clothes didn’t bring healing, because there were many in the crowd who interacted with Him. They were also sick, but not healed. She couldn’t think that her touch could work a miracle. Jesus wanted to recognize her faith. Her touch was different, not a casual t ouch, but a conscious, deliberate, voluntary, dependent, saving, pre-meditated touch of faith.

Hers was a touch motivated by faith and faith always stop Jesus in His tracks. It gets His attention every time. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We must know the Savior, if we must experience personal salvation. We must not be satisfied with being a part of the crowd. We may be near Jesus in a thousand crowds and yet not once in contact with Him. We are too c omfortable with surrounding Him as a crowd, but never truly knowing Him, or purposefully touching Him.

Jesus loves you so much that He made a way for you to be saved. That is why He died for you.  He loves us too much to let us die. Jesus is still here for you. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Spiritual Starvation

Can one live without essential nutrients needed to supply the body with nourishment? Food has always been needed for the human body to effectively function and for the sustainment of life. However, when one fails to take in nutrients and energy needed for stability, it can cause damage to the body and may lead to fatalistic consequences such as death.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”(John 6:35). If we are not daily feasting on the bread of life, the savior of this world, then we are spiritually starving ourselves! Knowing who Jesus is and what he is, and Knowing about him, and what he can do are two different things.

God has given us food to help nourish every part of our bodies, even in the absence of physical food. His true and perfect word helps us to know who He is, what He is, why He is, and where He is in our lives.  2 Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The only way we can gain access to this bread is through searching the word of God and by being in consistent communion with Him through prayer. By doing this we will please and show God that we are faithful to Him.

The enemy may try to tempt us but with the word of God on our lips, in our minds, and in our hearts, we can resist temptation the same as our Saviour did. “But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).

Physical food is not enough to keep us alive, but God’s word is sufficient! We must not starve ourselves from what is necessary for growth in life, and life itself. . No longer can we starve ourselves, but we must indulge into the word of God.  Jesus is waiting to full us with his truth and goodness, but we must be willing to be fed by feeding ourselves. 

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8 

Thanks for reading and remember God loves you. Be blessed!

Author:  Rebecca Cenatus

If My People Pray

Speaker: Pastor Roberne Saint-Louis, Hebron French SDA Church

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7:14

“14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Prayer has always been a key component in having a relationship with God. Prayer is the primary way to communicate with the Creator of heaven and earth. It is the one time when you have a chance to be alone with Him and truly talk.

Solomon, the son of Bathsheba and David, was commissioned to build a temple in Jerusalem [2 Chronicles 6]. This temple would be the dwelling place of the Most High God. As the people of Jerusalem gathered around, Solomon prepard to dedicate the temple. He said a special prayer and a sacrifice was offered before the Lord.  

2 Chronicles 7:5 which says, “And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.”

God heard Solomon’s prayer and he accepted it. [2 Chronicles 7:1-3] 

1Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house.  3And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” 

God always hears when you pray and He finds it pleasing to respond. We have to trust in Him to respond in His time, not ours. Learn to be patient.

You don’t only hear God’s voice during the service. You may also hear Him as you kneel in prayer. Be still and be silent.

When you carry God’s name, there is a great reputation that comes with it. Not everyone can be called God’s people. Are you? There are only two people who can really answer that question, yourself and God. No one else knows your heart.

Humble yourselves and pray, searching for His face. Confess your transgressions and put everything that separates you from Christ aside. Many of us only pray when we are facing problems. We ought to pray without ceasing.

Prayer is the respiration of Christians, like a heartbeat linking communications with Christ. Christians pray any and everytime with or without difficult trials.

Remember to continually pray even when your prayers have been answered. Don’t thank God only for what He’s done for you, thank Him for the things He has done for your family and those around you.

Chameleon Christians

All through my childhood years, I have always heard that we ought to be set apart and not conformed to this world. I was watching a sermon one night and the speaker used the same verse but put a twist to it that I have never heard before.

Memory Text:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

What he translate this verse to mean was that there are many Christians who have become expert chameleons. They have learned how to conform in every environment. In the club they drop it like it’s hot, then in the church they praise Him like they’re crazy. They spend the week cursing up a storm, then at church they teach that Bible school class like they’ve been at the feet of Jesus all week. It is true that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, this is no excuse to live a chameleon lifestyle.

God has called us to be TRANSFORMED and not conformed. When you are transformed, you change the atmosphere wherever you go. When you are conformed, the atmosphere changes you. GET IT? As Christians, we are the salt and light of the world. We are the ones who ought to be changing the atmosphere. We ought to be the ones bringing change to the world and NOT the other way around. Whenever you get in an environment where you are being conformed by the atmosphere that is your cue to LEAVE!

The Bible calls us “[But you are a] chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” -1 Peter 2:9. Therefore, we are to act and live like we are a special people. By special I in no way mean EXCLUSIVE. Although we are called to be a separate people bringing change to the world, we are also called to be an inclusive people who share the Gospel message with all who would hear.

Today, think about your environments, your friends, job, family, etc. Are you living a transformed life or have you become a professional chameleon Christian? If so, isn’t it time you decide to change your lifestyle and live a life that glorifies God. I have always been one who tries to please everyone. One day, I woke up and realized that I was tired of trying to conform to everyone’s expectations. I realized that being ME is who God created me to be and if someone doesn’t accept me as God created me, then I am still going to love them and continue to be ME.

Resolve to be an authentic Christian WHEREVER you go. If you can’t be one where you are going, then don’t go. If you can’t be one around that person, stop hanging around them. Whatever will keep you from being true to God and inheriting the Kingdom, CUT IT (THEM) OFF. Be transformed as of today!

Prayer Prompt:
Dear Lord,

I am tired of trying to be everything to everybody. I am tired of trying to conform to all of my environments. Lord, transform me and teach me how to bring change to all of my environments. Give me the courage to walk away from the atmospheres that jeopardize my walk with you.

Thanks for reading and remember God loves you. Be blessed!

Author: Rachel Ineus

http://blog.annointedbeauty.com