Sustaining a Burden for the Unsaved

For the believer sustaining a long-term burden for unsaved is challenging. Oftentimes, hearing a passionate message brings short-term conviction which gives way after a period of days or at best weeks. There is nothing wrong with the initial surge of activity that follows God’s working in our lives. God will often use a message to “kick-start” our spiritual apathy, but how do we maintain the spiritual energy of  being burdened for the lost? Continue reading

Prayer & Fasting: Afghan Believer Jailed for Following Christ

Last night Pastor challenged us to pray and fast one day a month for the evangelism of the world. I came across a story on Friday of last week that has seen some attention on Christian sites on the internet, but has not received attention in the main stream media.

On May 31, 2010, 25 Afghanistan believers were arrested after a video was aired showing them at a worship service. One Afghan believer, Said Musa, has received the most attention because a letter he wrote to President Obama was smuggled out of Afghanistan. According to various sources Musa converted to Christianity eight years ago. He is the father of six children the oldest being eight years old. Said lost his leg on a landmine as fighting for the Afghan army.

Click the links below to read more about this situation and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Continue reading

Types of Fasting

  1. Full Fast: Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
  2. Daniel Fast: Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
  3. 3-Day Fast: This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
  4. Partial Fast: A partial fast is from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.

The key to fasting is Continue reading

What is a Divine Appointment?

I start each Monday morning planning out my week. I schedule lunches, meetings, planning times to do more planning and appointments. I have planned appointments, but I hunger for divine appointments.  A divine appointment is a meaningful interaction through Gospel conversation with an unbeliever. Pastor has encouraged us to incorporate into our vocabulary at Bethel the term divine appointment. I want to answer the question what is a divine appointment?

Prayerful Expectation. A divine appointment carries with it a spirit as much as Continue reading

A Confident Prayer

One thing that we know about prayer is that when we pray according to God’s will, we will receive that petition.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn. 5:14-15)

Part of our struggle in prayer is asking “amiss” as James puts it; other times, it may be that we do not discern God’s will.  Last Sunday the choir sang this prayer:

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Look at that last line again.  I find great comfort in that prayer, because this is a prayer strikingly similar to one prayed by Jesus himself.  Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus prayed these words for us:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (Jn. 17:20, 21)

Now, I don’t think Jesus was in the habit of not praying according to the will of His Father.  Even in Gethsemane, he chose his Father’s will, as opposed to his own human desire.  Because Jesus prayed this for us, we may pray with confidence the same thing:  Father, make me one with You.

While there may be some mystery as to what that fully means for us, I find great strength, encouragement, and assurance in knowing that this prayer is one God will answer.  For one, it is the will of the Father.  Two, I know the Spirit is making intercession for me according to the will of the Father.  What great encouragement there is for us to persevere, to press on, because “he which hath begun a good work in [us], will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)  Being one with the Father means there is available to us an abundance of wisdom, strength, fellowship, comfort, guidance, and on and on it goes.

We would jump up and down if God dropped a large sum of money into our laps.  How often do we rejoice over the oneness of fellowship that God is giving us in this life? Praise God that Jesus paid the price and bore sin’s curse that we could receive this adoption!

Praise, Prayer & Fasting

“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). Wow! I can remember one of the first times that this verse hit me – prayer and fasting? You can define fasting as doing without food for a designated time for spiritual purposes. The intent of this post is to get you to consider the spiritual discipline of fasting from time to time.

I thought only Jesus and few other biblical characters participated in fasting, but as I began to look through the Bible I found that many biblical characters practiced prayer and fasting. Men like Moses, Samuel, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, Paul, David, the Apostles, Ezra, Jesus, Elijah and Daniel; women like, Hannah, Esther and Anna. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who practiced prayer and fasting. What you find when you read the Bible is that this is not a practice one must be “called” to do, but rather it is a spiritual discipline much like Bible reading, church attendance and praying are.

The Sermon on the Mount probably gives the most helpful teaching on assuming a Christian would practice this spiritual discipline. Jesus said in Matthew 6:2, “when thou doest thine alms,” in Matthew 6:5, “when thou prayest,” and in Matthew 6:16, “moreover, when ye fast”. In all three cases Jesus assumes of his audience that they would give, they would pray and that they would fast.

A few quotations for you to consider from Christians of the past:

Charles Spurgeon said, “Our seasons of fasting and prayer have been high days indeed. Never has heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central glory.” Matthew Henry stated, “It (fasting) secures God’s power to assist us, it sharpens prayer, it demonstrates humility before God, it controls the body.” David Brainerd, the great missionary to the American Indians said, “Be as much in fasting and prayer as your health will allow, and live above the rate of common Christians.”

Saved to Pray

Sometimes it’s easy to wonder whether prayer really makes a difference. Have you thought about the fact that prayer was one of the primary purposes for which you were saved?

Think about it. Romans 8:29 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” That is, saved people are intended to become more like Jesus. Pretty basic. But what was one thing that Jesus spent tons of time doing? Praying!

Does prayer matter? Does it make a difference? God saved you so that you would pray. I guess God’s opinion is that it does matter. So…what does God want you to pray for today?