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Category: Prayer (Page 2 of 2)

PUSH! Your Blessing Is on the Other Side of the Door!

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PUSH! Your blessing is on the other side of the door! Yes! That’s right! P.U.S.H! Pray Until Something Happens! The first time I heard that phrase, it truly resonated with me! Oftentimes, we give up on God AND on ourselves too quickly! However, some blessings take time. We’re on God’s schedule, not our own. Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to minister on this topic at my church. This is some of what God had me share with the congregation.

P(ray)USH
It’s safe to assume that many people, at least, know the dictionary definition of prayer. To pray means “to communicate with God; to make our petitions (our needs and desires) known to Him.” To take it a step further, as Christians prayer is part of our covenant relationship with God. If we go back to the beginning, we see that God created the first man Adam to have open communication with Him. Adam’s bond with God was so tight that when he and his wife Eve chose to disobey God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they felt compelled to hide once they heard God’s voice. They recognized God’s voice because of the relationship.

Genesis 3:7-10:
“7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

When Adam and Eve sinned, it caused a rift between God and man and brought sin and death into the world. Nevertheless, we can be thankful for Jesus coming to this earth to serve as our Mediator!

II Corinthians 5:17-18a:
“17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18a And all of this is a gift from God, Who brought us back to Himself through Christ.”

For those of us who now have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we have direct access to Him. Therefore, God expects and WANTS to hear from us. John 10:27 states, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” However, in order for any of us to KNOW the voice of God (like Adam and Eve did), we must spend considerable time with Him in prayer, worship, and studying His Word. Throughout the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we see how even JESUS spent time alone praying to God. He acknowledged His Father and never did anything without His consent. So just like the Savior of the world, God EXPECTS us to talk to Him. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” God always wants to be the FIRST one we consult.

PU(ntil)SH
Now that we understand that we must pray, how long should we pray, perhaps about a particular situation or person? We pray UNTIL! Until is defined as “up to (a particular time); used as a function word to indicate continuance (as of an action or condition) to a specified time.” In other words, the Bible says that we are to “pray without ceasing,” (I Thessalonians 5:17). As I stated earlier, some blessings take more time than others, or a greater PUSH!!! For instance, my brother and his wife have three children who are all blessings! In fact, I was fortunate to be present at the hospital the day each of their two sons were born. Although both sons are indeed blessings to their parents, the oldest required a greater PUSH. My sister-in-law went into labor on a Friday afternoon. However, the baby didn’t make his entrance into the world until approximately 4 AM Saturday morning. When she went into labor with their second son three years later, I assumed it would be a similar experience. Upon arriving at the hospital soon after receiving the call that my brother was taking her there, I was shocked to discover my sister-in-law already holding the newly born infant. So again, even though both of my nephews are a tremendous blessing, one required a longer wait and a greater PUSH. This doesn’t imply that the eldest child is more special than his brother and sister; it’s just the way God set it up. We don’t always understand everything God does. But, we don’t have to understand, we just have to TRUST Him!

PUS(omething)H
That “something” is whatever we’re believing God to do. Now, if that “something” is not in God’s plan, He’ll let us know. If and when He does, we shouldn’t fight it! Stepping outside of God’s will is a risk none of us should take. Rather, we should trust that the Creator of all mankind knows what’s best. He assures us of that truth in Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” However, if God confirms that what we’re praying for is in His will, then we dare not give up!

PUSH(appens)
Why do we sometimes have to wait for the blessing? In the process of waiting, God is building and preparing us inwardly for what is on the other side of the door. Just because we strongly desire a particular blessing doesn’t mean we’re ready to receive it. For example, I may have a vision to own my own business and be my own boss. However, God may not allow that door to open yet because He knows I need a little more knowledge and patience. If He let’s me start a business prematurely, I may lose it due to a lack of preparation. God loves us so much that He’s willing to cause a delay to insure our protection and future successes! Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” So, keep praying! Keep praising! Keep declaring God’s Word and promises! Keep persevering! Keep preparing! Keep obeying! Keep BELIEVING……until you PUSH the door OPEN!!!!!

The following video clip is an excerpt from the message I preached “PUSH! Pray Until Something Happens!” You may visit my youtube channel to hear more of the message.

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Crime…Violence…Death…Presidential Election! What’s the Answer?

Whenever I turn on the TV or browse the internet, every news story involves crime, violence, death and this year’s Presidential election! Ok…..maybe not EVERY news story, but the media definitely devotes a considerable amount of time to sharing these reports. Although it is necessary to stay informed on what’s going on in the world, constantly hearing such news can become wearisome and discouraging. So in that case, is it better to turn off the television, shut down the internet and escape into oblivion? That may sound good and even work for a minute, but pretending these serious issues don’t exist won’t make them disappear.

So, what do we do? How do we move forward? What is the answer?

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PRAYER!!!!!!!!

 

Now, I know some may not agree with me. They may even say, “Prayer?! That’s so cliche! That’s not the answer! Time out for praying! Time out for talking! It’s time to DO something!” And for anyone who feels that way, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s easy to sit back, pray and, even, talk, so long as it keeps us in our comfort zones. However, the Bible says in James 2:26, that “… faith without works is dead…”  In other words, our faith that things will change is activated when we ACT!

So again, what do we do? For instance, how do we end the cycle of wrongful deaths at the hands of law enforcement? The answer is indeed PRAYER! Is that the only action that should be taken? No, but it should be the FIRST step! In fact, prayer should always be the first step. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Notice it says to pray to God “in every situation.” Why should we go to God in EVERY situation? Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” Not even the most skilled and educated individual can surpass God’s wisdom. How to end police brutality, reduce the crime rate and select the best candidate for President are all serious issues that should be presented to the all-knowing, all-powerful God! When we sincerely and faithfully go to Him with our concerns and LISTEN, He provides us with the answers we need in His timing. In some instances, He tells us to be still, while in others, He gives us knowledge, resources and strategies.

Throughout the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus is recorded spending time in prayer regularly. He never allowed His title or popularity to convince Him that he no longer needed to pray. In fact, in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed earnestly to God regarding his assignment of being crucified. While on earth, Jesus was a human who felt pain like you and me. So, one can only imagine that Jesus was not looking forward to an agonizing death. Jesus pleaded with His Father to alter the assignment. However, by the end of the prayer, Jesus knew that God still expected Him to sacrifice His life for all humanity! Rather than taking matters into His own hands, Jesus presented His concern to God the Father, listened and obeyed. Because of His sacrificial death, we all have a chance to be redeemed! I am truly thankful for that prayer in the garden!

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