Archive for the ‘Prayer and Duct Tape’ Category

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”

There was a church in Africa and everyone was excited to welcome a very well know guest speaker who was scheduled to come this Sunday. The songs were sung, the announcements made and then came the introduction of this great minister. He walked over to the piano, sat down and began to sing “I will.” That was it, simply “I will.” Over and over he sang the words, “I will, I will, I will. After some extended time one person joined in, “I will, I will, I will.” then another and another and another until everyone had joined in singing, “I will, I will, I will, I will.” Then he stopped and silence filled the church. He stood up and announced, “Okay now that we have all decided that we will, God, what would you like us to do?”

Moral of the story is that i need to be in the place of saying, “i will” long before i expect God to tell me what it is He wants me to do. i really like this a lot! It was a confirmation to where Ann Marie and i are right now. “we will!”

“Love is as much of an object as an obsession, everybody wants it everybody seeks it, but few ever achieve it, those who do, will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all, will never…never forget it.”

Advertisements

PLEASE… Trust me on this one. Please read it over and over and over and when your done reading keep repeating it to yourself and at some point today or tomorrow you will understand. You can even hum it to a made up tune. You can sing it out loud. Get the idea or better yet the attitude of “i will” into your body, soul and spirit. To the degree that you put into this you will receive.

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will,

i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, i will, Please don’t stop,

i did not want to much time to pass regarding this particular verse that i used a week or so ago and has since popped up in several conversations. I used it as a stand alone verse in response to my question of, “are there consequences to not having a Sabbath?” i put this under Prayer and Duct Tape because this is one of those fixes that Duct Tape can’t do, but Prayer with the word… it’s the only thing that will work. So i apologize for the haste of using the verse as my answer before checking it out.

The verse i used was from Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

It was a dramatic verse for the time and as i have shared it with others asking their opinion they to were taken back by it. The immediate implication is that there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin. It would be as though willful sin could take back the work of the cross, so that it never existed. If sin or let me say my sin could do that, it would have already happened as there has been an abundance of it. While i do not believe that God would ever take back His sacrifice as if He could, i do not believe, in my willful sin going on, without consequence and thus my reason for asking others what they thought. At the time i did not expand upon the verse because cherry picking it fit what i was looking for at the moment. Shame on me! There is a very obvious reason that should have caused me to look closer. It’s small but it can be seen clearly. It’s that , at the end of the verse. The comma, not a period as though the discussion was done, but just a place to catch my breath as i read on.

Had i read the verse in the Amplified as i normally do i would have seen the comma. 26For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward], That’s the comma, no further offering to which i look forward to. The work of Jesus was done as a complete work for my sin and if i continue to sin He will not be back for a second round COMMA, Verse 27 [There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God]. This is where i take on my sin and deceive myself that the work Jesus did was complete for the past, but not for the present nor the future. If i go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, the awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume me who put myself in opposition [to God].

There is so much more in the chapter but i wanted to clarify the use of the verse. This is not meant to be a series not by any means represent the entire chapter of Hebrews 10. No, the sacrifice is not removed, it can’t be, but i can and am once in a while by guilt and fear led to believe it to be so. It’s a well dressed lie that i am sometimes willing to believe.

Sometime i will ask Ann Marie to do some posts on the entire chapter as she shared some great understanding and brought clarity regarding these words.

So to close here is what i conclude. If i have a Sabbath out of any other reason than as a response to the revelation of how much God loves me, i will judge myself and it will put me at odds with God. Are there consequences? Yes, because i have once acquired the knowledge of the Truth, and must now hold to the Truth. It has been a week or two since finishing th posts on Sabbath and honestly i am no closer to putting it into practice than i was then. i talk about it, i know i must begin doing it, but i guess it’s the inconvenience that has held me back. As i write that i hear inside me, “ed there was nothing convenient about giving up my son and there was nothing convenient about Him hanging on that cross.” Verse 27 is already trying to work in me. [There is nothing left for me then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God]

This was due on Friday but other task consumed the day. So as they say, “better late than never.”

6. Don’t know how to pray – Luke 11:1 “…Lord, teach us to pray…”

Perhaps i lack effectiveness in prayer because i don’t completely know or understand what the scriptures teach about prayer. Jesus gave His disciples an outline for prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. i have taken time to study it. Other passages teach that prayer is primarily to be a private, intimate time
with the Lord (Matt. 6:6), to be intermingled with praise and thanksgiving (Acts 16:25, Phil. 4:6).

Times of fasting with prayer are beneficial to strengthen my faith and power in prayer (Acts 14:23, 1 Cor. 7:5). Jesus often went to secluded places to spend prolonged periods in prayer (Luke 6:12, Matt. 4:2).

7. Lack of Faith – Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

i cannot please God without faith. Prayer is not merely “begging” from God. It is “believing” God and His Word! Faith will come forth and grow as i devote my attention to the Word of God (Romans 10:17). my faith can also be “built up,” by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20). Faith is believing from the moment you pray it to the moment you recieve it.

8. Misunderstanding of Faith – Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

i understand that faith is believing in the reality of things, even though i cannot see them (Heb. 11:1). Jesus said that “when” you pray, you must believe that you “receive” your answer at that moment. The word, “receive” comes from the Greek word, LAMBANO, which means “to receive now” (present tense). He then says we will “have” them. “Have” comes from, ESOMAI, which means “to possess later” (future tense). So, when i pray i must believe in the finished results of my prayer, and i will eventually experience the tangible results sometime later.

9. Wavering faith – James 1:6-7 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;”

On occasion i allow every “wind” of feelings or circumstances to influence or discourage my faith. i go back and forth, like the waves tossed about in the sea. One day i believe, but the next, i’m ready to give up, and so forth. In these times i base my faith on my feelings or emotions instead of God’s Word. When i waver in my faith i cannot expect to receive “anything of the Lord.” my faith must become stable, steadfast, and consistent to receive from God.

10. Failure to apply spiritual Authority – Mark 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

There are times that some prayers may not get far until i incorporate the spoken authority of the name of Jesus. The reason for this is that the problems i face may “sometimes” be a product of an evil spiritual origin. As Paul writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). In such cases, my prayers may need to engage in what is called “spiritual warfare” to obtain results.

The need for this type of prayer is most obvious whenever Christians deal directly with demonic activity. For this evil operation to cease, my prayers need to include the exercise of spiritual authority against the devil in the name of Jesus, commanding him to leave (Acts 16:18). Therefore, as Jesus indicated, there will be times that we may need to literally speak to mountains (symbolic of obstacles and problems) and tell them to move in Jesus’ name.

11. Lack of Perseverance – Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Probably the greatest reason that some prayers go unanswered is because i give-up praying and believing before i receive my answer. As long as i have the promise of God’s Word, be patient and persistent – keep believing, and don’t quit, no matter how long it takes! God has a “due season” when He will bring the answer to pass.

It’s said that if it can’t be repaired with duct tape then it can’t be repaired. Where does that leave prayer?

2. Not seeking to Please the Lord – 1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” Answers to prayer come when i seek to keep His commandments and please the Lord with my life. This is not to suggest that
i “earn” answered prayers, any more than i can earn salvation which comes only by faith (Eph. 2:8-9). He answers my prayers from his “grace” and “mercy” (Heb. 4:16), not merely from my good deeds. However, keeping His commandments and pleasing the Lord is a product of my obedience to His word, which is faith in action (James 2:20). What are His commandments? He commanded that i am to love the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul, and to love my neighbor as ourself (Mark 12:30-31). Further, Jesus said i am to love my brethren as He has loved me. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Lack of love, bitterness, forgiveness is the root of many unanswered prayers, since faith works by love (Gal 5:6). i believe that my hearts desire is to please the Lord, i also believe that i spend a large amount of time thinking about it and trying to let my words and deeds line up.

3. Unconfessed Sin in my Life – 1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” i have no doubt that sin will disrupt the flow of God’s blessings and answers to prayer. The psalmist, David wrote, “If I
regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). All acts of rebellion and disobedience to God are considered sin. Sins of “commission,” are
those overt acts which are done in disobedience. However, sins of “omission,” are those things i don’t do in obedience, but know i should (James 4:17). The
remedy for all sin is to confess it to God, forsake it, and ask Him to forgive me (1 John 1:9). If there is one thing i have learned in the five years of directing a prayer center it’s to confess my sins quicker than i used to. i remember the old ed would just be quiet about them in hopes that they would go away on their own. It’s sort of embarrassing how many times a day i have to ask for forgiveness.

4. Improper Motives – James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” my motives in my prayer requests are of concern to the Lord. He wishes to help me in my time of need, but is not obligated to answer prayers which will merely feed my carnal, worldly appetites and (lustful) pleasures. my motives and desires can be corrected by humbling myself, and drawing near to God (James 4:8-10). Being a giver if i am guilty of wrong motives it would have to be that i want to do things for others more than they want to or seem to want to, so ed to the rescue.

5. Not asking in God’s will – 1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
God will only answer those prayers that are in “His” will. When i ask anything that is in His will, i can have assurance that those “petitions” (requests) are granted to me. God’s will is revealed through
His Word, the Bible. Anything promised by His Word is His will, and i can be confident that He’ll honor my prayers based on His Word… BUT… along with His will is His timing. This is also where my own perception of what the word is saying comes into play and can lead me astray. The best resolution i have found for this is to have a community of people around me that i can have discussions with to curb my perceptions.

iam begining to imagine what i’d look like if each of these were pieces of duct tape.

Prayer and Duct Tape

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Prayer and Duct Tape

It’s said that if it can’t be repaired with duct tape then it can’t be repaired. Where does that leave prayer?

i was standing in a consignment store for children to get a car seat and a car boaster seat for my son and family who will arrive here soon. They have two children and the laws today are much different about transporting children than they were when my son and daughter were young. In my day it was one size fits all, while today i understand there are at least three or four sizes. i was asked to get these items for them and to do so as cheap as possible, thus the consignment store.

On this day i arrive at the store only to find that at least 25 to 30 others had found their way there prior to my arrival. The store was hot and it was packed. i worked my way around the congestion to finally ask a sales clerk for help. Yes help… i have no idea about what i need, so rather than guess or waste my time i asked. i have also been known to ask for directions as well, contrary to one other persons opinion. Anyway she guided me through what they had and even recommended certain ones and not so much some others. i decided to go with the ones that she said she would buy for her own children.

While i am doing my thing Ann Marie is doing hers, shopping! Recently one of the Onething families had a baby and well, we have decided that he is our adopted family. His name is JP, but don’t call him that around his father. We also have another baby coming in a few months and it’s going to be a girl. i have not been able to buy for a girl since my daughter so she will be blessed. Ann Marie found things for both of them that were just to cute and to affordable to pass up so as i entered the line to pay for my two items she handed me no less than a dozen. i was about 4th or 5th in line and as i stood there a woman from the front was told that she had to go back and get in line again to do what she wanted. She walked back and said to me “i have to get back in line” and proceeded to step in front of me. No sense making a scene, right?

Once she reached the counter she was told that they needed the sales tag number from the item she wished to buy. This was so they could pay the person who owned it. She responded “fine but you’re not going to take anyone  else while we’re waiting.” i responded to her statement, “that’s not very nice as i let you in front of me and didn’t say anything.” She responds, “no my place was being held.” Being held? By who an invisible being? Game on! It was then that i heard that still small voice say, “let it go.” In that moment i prayed “Lord put a guard on my lips.”

Moments before this all happening we were discussing something about the air conditioning and how it was installed back in 1988 in these buildings. How did i know that, because Onething is in the same plaza and we have dealt with air conditioning issues for five years. A woman in the line added her thoughts, “so it’s held together with prayer and duct tape.” An interesting comment in light of Onething being a prayer center and yes we have rolls of duct tape to hold things together. The woman who had the attitude continued to let her mouth speak freely and rudely. As for me… well i got a clear picture of my mouth being held shut with duct tape. James 1:19 says, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

The woman in the line that we were talking to turned out to be a believer and an aspiring writer. We joked about the idea of a blog called Prayer and Duct Tape. She said she was to busy to blog and so the idea stuck with me and here it is. It’s not a blog dedicated to prayer and duct tape but a category within me and I Am. Every once in a while i will add a post to it. While i did pray for God to put a guard on my lips, the greater prayer is for the woman with the attitude. My prayer for her this past week or so was Psalm 34:4 That she would seek the Lord and that He would answer her and would deliver her from all her fears.

Duct tape would keep my mouth shut but, an adjustment in my heart would probably bring a more lasting result. That adjustment would come about by prayer. One of the greatest benefits given to me as a Christian is the privilege of answered prayers. In the Bible, Jesus made this promise, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt 21:22). However… yes however, despite the Lord’s willingness to answer prayer, it is obvious that some of my prayers have gone unanswered. Why is this? i’m going to look at some of the possible reasons why some of my prayers do not get results: Now i must keep in mind that it may just seem that they do not get results.

1. Lack of Fellowship with God and His word – John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” Unanswered prayers are sometimes a result of absence from relationship with the Lord and His Word. Jesus promised that if i would remain in His fellowship, and allow His Word to remain in me, this would produce results in prayer.