10 Powerful Prayers to Pray for the Church

The Bible is filled with reminders of how important it is to pray for one another. Jesus gave us the best example as He prayed for those who followed Him. Paul also left us prayers written for the churches he had visited over time. The truth that rings through all is this: “Keep on praying” (Matthew 7:7), “Pray at all times” (Ephesians 6:18), “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

It’s that important.

So, if we’re called to pray for the “church,” what is the church, exactly? The Bible reminds us that the church is more than just a building or a gathering place of people. And it’s much bigger than any single denomination, social status, or country. The church quite simply is the body of believers all around the world who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is referred to in the Bible as the Greek word “ekklesia” and is defined as “an assembly,” or the “called out ones.”

In a world that is often very dark, and in times that we know the end is drawing nearer, may we be found faithfully praying for one another until Christ’s return. Many believers are persecuted, even killed, daily all around our world. Many are being intimidated by others around them, or are ridiculed and attacked because of their beliefs. We can be sure of this – Satan is very aware of the power of our prayers. And he will do everything he can to render us ineffective and to silence our voices. May God help us to recognize those traps and do all we can to show His love and light in this world that so desperately needs Christ’s hope and healing.

Here are 10 powerful prayers for the church:

1. Pray for unity in the church.

“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Dear God,

We are so incredibly in need of your power and your strength. We ask that you would fill us with your Spirit of love and unity among believers all around our world. We ask for your help to set aside our differences and look to the greater cause, the cause of Christ. Please help us to truly live out a life of love. We know that this is only possible through the power of your Spirit, so we ask that you would move across our land in miraculous ways, with fresh filling and awareness, turning your people back to you, drawing others to come to know you. We need your unity and your love to stir our hearts and give direction to our days. We need your wisdom to guide us, we need your Spirit to lead us, to live out godly lives that would bring honor first to you. We thank you that you are always with us; and give us great purpose and hope.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2. Pray that God would be glorified in all things and that the name of Christ is exalted.

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Dear God,

We give you the glory and honor for all that you’re doing in our lives every day, even in the times we can’t see it or understand your ways. Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set your way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

Thank you that:

  • Your ways and thoughts are far greater than ours
  • You had a plan to redeem and make all things new
  • Your face is towards the righteous
  • You hear our prayers and know our hearts
  • You reign supreme
  • We are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ
  • You are holy and just

Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to you to hear your whispers and seek after you alone. We will declare that your love stands firm forever. For your lovingkindness endures forever.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

3. Pray that God’s Spirit and power would fill the church.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Dear God,

Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit this day. Fill us with your joy, your wisdom, and with constant reminders that Your Presence will go with us, and you will give us rest. Thank you that you came to give new life, peace, hope, and joy to your children. Thank you that your power is made perfect in our weakness. We know that you are with us, and you fight for your people. We believe that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by your Spirit that you make a difference in our world. We choose to trust you today and to recognize the authority of who you are in our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

4. Pray that the body of Christ would faithfully show love to a hurting world in His Name.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Dear God,

Help us to keep our eyes on you, so that we can follow your promptings and respond to your call. Help us to see when another soul around us needs to be encouraged. Help us to be faithful to carry one another’s burdens, remembering that we’re all in this life together. 

Thank you:

  • For your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us
  • That your Word says you are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit
  • Our comfort abounds through Christ
  • That our greatest source of help and strength comes from you
  • That though we face trouble and loss in this world, we can be assured you have overcome it all

We ask for:

  • Great miracles for this hurting world
  • The comfort of your Spirit to bring a covering of grace and healing to all those who have been broken.

Through our own struggle and pain, help us to be your vessels to offer comfort and strength to others who are hurting.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5. Pray for God’s provision and that the church would be faithful to give generously.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

Dear God,

You are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. We thank you that you own it all and hold everything in your hands. We thank you that you know our needs before we even ask. You’re aware of all that concerns us, and you have a plan and provision. You alone can move mountains to make a way for your children. We ask for your answer, in your timing, for every need that weighs our hearts down.

Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for trying to work everything out on our own. Help us to trust you more. We choose to recognize and to believe that you are able to accomplish far more than we even thought possible.

We thank you in advance for your miracles, for paving out pathways, for your provision for those who love you – the church. Thank you for the abundance of blessing and goodness you have already stored up. Thank you for teaching us to be content in all circumstances. We love you Lord; we’re leaning on you.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

6. Pray that the church would be faithful to go into all the world and share the gospel of Christ.

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Dear God,

Thank you that sin and death have been conquered by Christ, and that your power is everlasting. He paid the price to offer us the gift of eternal life. Help us never to forget or take for granted this huge gift of love on our behalf. Help us not to hide this great truth or to keep it to ourselves out of fear of judgment. Forgive us for being too busy, or distracted by other things, for not fully recognizing what you freely given, what you have done for us. May we be found faithful to go into all the world – our communities, the nation, the whole world. May we share this light of hope that so burns within our hearts. Open doors that no one can shut, Lord. Protect your people as we carry the truth of Jesus into all the world.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

7. Pray for the leaders of every church, that their hearts and minds are directed towards Christ.

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

Dear God,

We pray for every leader in our churches around the world – give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We pray that their hearts would be directed first to you, that they would recognize where their true help and strength come from. We ask that you would guard their coming and going, that you would be their refuge and their peace. We pray that you would surround each one with wise counsel, that they would be humble and kind, patient and loving through their actions and words. We pray that their faith in you would be unwavering.

We pray for their families – give them great strength, protection, and grace for the days ahead. We ask that you would continue to pave the way for strong, faithful men and women to serve your people. We ask you for the outpouring of your Spirit to raise up those you’ve chosen to lead.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

8. Pray for the church to have a love for God’s Word and to walk in His wisdom, humility, and strength.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Dear God,

Thank you that you have victoriously overcome sin, and death, and any evil that we may face today. And because of you, we are overcomers too. We too can have victory, and we can walk strong in your peace.

Thank you, Lord, that You are producing in us great endurance through the hard places. You are building spiritual muscle. We press in close to your presence today and ask that no matter what obstacles we’re facing as a church, we choose joy.

Keep your words of truth planted firmly within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right; give us the power to be obedient to your Word.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

9. Pray for God’s power and protection against the attacks of the enemy.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Dear God,

The battle feels intense some days. We get tired and weak, and t’s hard to keep going in the face of defeat. Help us to remember that you will never leave us – that you’re our Refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

We know that the enemy wouldn’t be fighting so hard against us if we weren’t making a difference for your Kingdom. He wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop us if he didn’t think you had so much good still in store. Remind us that this battle belongs to you Lord, and whatever we’re up against can be taken down in one fail swoop by your mighty hand. Help us to trust you more and to never waste time spinning our wheels fighting in our strength.

Thank you for your daily presence in our lives; that we can be assured your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to the prayers of your people. Thank you that you surround us with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

10. Pray that God would wake up the church and stir us to action.

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:18)

Dear God,

We pray for your great healing on our land. Shine your face and your blessing over us. Give us courage to go into all the world and take the message of the Gospel of peace. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands.

Thank you that you are:

  • Rich in mercy and full of grace
  • Forgiving and merciful
  • Strong and mighty.
  • For us and you fight for us still today

Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, listen to your words, and be willing to make a difference in this land. Give us courage to speak out. Help us not to stay silent but to do all things through your wisdom and love. Bring honor to your name in these days Lord, for you alone are worthy.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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P** By Debbie McDaniel at ibelieve.com / Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Rawpixel

What Does It Mean To Take Every Thought Captive?

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

The Bible instructs us to take every thought captive. It’s an essential part of Christian living that eludes many of us. But what does it mean to take thoughts captive, why does this matter, and how do we do this? Today we’ll break down each of these questions one by one and give you tips for handling anxiety in your thought life, according to the principles in God’s Word.

Every day we have thousands of thoughts that run through our minds. When thoughts go unexamined, they can do a lot of harm. They can get out of control and cause negative cycles that lead to negative feelings and actions.

Anxiety is a big area where it pays to take every thought captive. Many people who suffer from anxiety don’t recognize how their problems begin in their thought lives. For example, you may have experienced an anxious thought train like this one:

What’s this spot on my arm? I haven’t seen it there before. I wonder if it’s skin cancer. That would be horrible! Skin cancer is so deadly. Have I caught it in time? What will happen to my family if I die? I’m too young to die!

We’ve all had thoughts that spiral downward in a hurry as in this example. Taking your thoughts captive might look like this instead:

What’s this spot on my arm? I’ll watch it for a few days to see if it changes, and trust that God is in control. If it doesn’t get better by Friday, I’ll call the doctor to get it checked out. But I refuse to let this little spot, which may be nothing, take over my thoughts all week. God is the Great Physician, and he can heal me, no matter what.

See what a difference it makes to take your thoughts captive? Our thoughts will naturally run rampant with fear and worry. But if you examine them before they begin spiraling downward, you can gain control and choose peace.

You’ll need to train yourself to take thoughts captive with lots of practice. The above example of intentionally choosing not to worry may need to be repeated dozens of times, each time worry is triggered. Practice makes perfect, especially in your thought life if you are prone to anxiety. The more you replace your worried thoughts with what is true about God and what can be controlled by you, the less fear and fretting you’ll experience.

Why Does It Matter What I Think?

What you think matters very much to God. He made your mind and wants you to think thoughts that lead you toward life and peace, not toward fear and anxiety. He wants you to set your mind on things above (see Colossians 3:2) and choose to believe he is Lord of your life.

You may not realize it, but you are facing a battle every day. Satan would love to have more control over your thought life, and with every temptation you face, he can either gain more ground on your mind’s battlefield or lose it. You have the choice of whether to allow him more room or shove him out.

In Job 1 and 2, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of battle Satan wages against us. He wanted to take everything from Job so that Job would change his mind about who God is. God allowed Satan to test Job, but Job didn’t change his mind about God. Job is a success story of waging spiritual warfare with Satan.

Satan also wants to take from you and destroy your peace. But you can fight back the way Jesus did. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he used Scripture to counter him each time. He knew that Satan couldn’t win against the ultimate truth of God’s Word. If Jesus, the Son of God, used Scripture to fight temptation, we can do the same in our thought lives.

What you think matters. It matters at least as much, if not more, in the spiritual arena as it does in your daily life. What you think spills out into your feelings and actions. If you can exercise control in your thoughts, where the problems begin, you can prevent sinful feelings and actions from occurring.

This takes commitment to the Lord and dedication to studying his Word. Over time, you will experience victory in spiritual battles if you choose to engage with God’s truth rather than the untruths you are telling yourself in your mind.

How Do I Take Every Thought Captive?

Taking every thought captive is simple, but it isn’t easy. It takes dedication and self-awareness. It requires repentance from sin and faith in God, but it may be the most rewarding gift you ever give yourself.

If you struggle with anxiety in your thought life, you can form a plan for taking every thought captive. First, list out all of your anxiety triggers. This can be a stressful exercise, so reward yourself with a healthy treat or activity afterward. By writing them down, you are naming your fears so they will no longer have a chokehold on you.

Second, look up scriptures that address each of your triggers. Is health your trigger? Isaiah 38:6 may help you. Is the fear of death a problem for you? Psalm 23:4 can be a big help. Whatever your issue is, there is a solution in God’s Word. A Christian counselor can help you find verses to counter anxious thoughts in specific areas.

Third, meditate on the scriptures you’ve chosen. Meditation simply means thoughtfully and deliberately thinking about God’s Word. It can take only a few minutes, several times per day. As you practice Christian meditation, you’ll start experiencing peace instead of anxiety.

Fourth, display your chosen verses to see them throughout the day. Since anxious thoughts roll through your thought life thousands of times per day, it’s important to replace them with God’s truth as often as necessary.

Most of us are visual learners and need reminders to choose the truth. Put your favorite verse in front of you on a 3 x 5 card or a sticky note. Look at it as many times as you need every day to take your thoughts captive.

Finally, replace your negative self-talk with affirmations from God’s Word. You can make your chosen verse into an affirmation. For example, Psalm 23:4 talks about God walking with us through the valley of the shadow of death. You could say to yourself, “Today I choose not to fear this valley. God is right beside me, protecting me and guiding me. He is taking care of me.” Make it into a personal prayer.

Christian Counseling for Anxiety

nxiety is a difficult problem to eradicate from your thought life. Many of us have been thinking along the same lines of anxious thoughts for years. By doing this, you may have formed patterns in your brain where your thoughts naturally flow. But the good news is that you can form new, healthy brain patterns when you take your thoughts captive with God’s Word.

A caring Christian counselor can help you retrain your thoughts. Your counselor will uncover the roots of your anxiety problems and help you identify your triggers that reactivate the problems, even if they occurred years ago. In counseling sessions, you’ll discover methods for using God’s Word to address problem thoughts and ideas for engaging in spiritual warfare.

Interested in using counseling as a tool for overcoming anxiety? At Seattle Christian Counseling, our team has helped thousands of people manage their anxiety and choose peace. We can help you make better choices by coaching you in taking your thoughts captive. Contact us today for more information.

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** By Alexandra Schmidt at Seattle Christian Counselling / Image by Cleveland .com

Power Through Unity in The Church


“Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble…..And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Eccl. 4:9-12-TLB).

You may remember the story from Aesop’s fables, where an old farmer taught an object lesson on unity to his three children, who were constantly quarreling among themselves. Taking a number of weak sticks, he showed them how the sticks could quite easily be broken individually, but when tied together in a bundle were almost impossible to break. Even the children of this world realise that there is strength in unity and fellowship. “The locusts”, the Bible says, “though small are unusually wise, for though they have no leader, they stay together in swarms (Prov. 30:27-TLB). Therein lies their safety and their power. In the church of Jesus Christ, we need to relearn this lesson.

The unity that the New Testament speaks of, is the unity of the members of Christ’s Body with one another, under the Headship of Christ – an organic unity and not an organisational one. It excludes those who are outside of the Body of Christ, even if they have the label `Christian’. There can be no union between the living and the dead. Those made alive in Christ through the new birth can find their spiritual unity only with others who have been similarly regenerated by God. Christian unity is forged by the Holy Spirit Who alone makes us members of Christ’s Body. The Bible exhorts us to “strive earnestly to guard the harmony and oneness produced by the Spirit” (Eph. 4:3-Amplified). Any unity formed by man is worthless.

Satan is a cunning foe and he realises that he cannot overcome a united Christian fellowship that lives under the authority of Christ and His Word. His strategy for warfare, is therefore, to begin by sowing discord, suspicion and misunderstanding among the members of a fellowship, so that he can paralyze them individually. Jesus said that the powers of Hell would not be able to overcome His church.

(Matt. 16:18). It is the church, the Body of Christ, that is promised victory in the battle against Satan. A believer standing in isolation from other believers may find himself defeated. Satan attacked Christ constantly during Christ’s life on earth, but was unable to prevail. Finally at the cross, Satan’s power over man was taken away from him by Christ (Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15).

Today, Satan cannot attack the Risen Christ. His attacks are therefore directed at Christ’s Body, the church. Victory over Satan is possible only as we stand united against him, as a Body under the Headship of our Lord. In a fellowship of Christians, even if one member is not fulfilling his function, the power of the Body is, to that extent, weakened. Satan knowing this, seeks continually to isolate individual members of a group, or to divide the group (or church) into cliques. Either way, he succeeds in his aim. This is why we must be constantly on our guard against the wiles of Satan, lest he weaken the links between us and other members of the Body of Christ.

Jesus made many promises in relation to individual believers praying to God. But in Matthew 18:18,19, we have a promise made to a section of Christ’s Body praying in unison: “Whatever you bind on earth”, Jesus said, “is bound in heaven, and whatever you free on earth will be freed in heaven. I also tell you this – if two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask for, my Father in heaven will do it for you” (TLB). The word translated “agree” in verse 19, is the Greek word “sumphoneo”, from which our English word “symphony” is derived. Jesus was referring in these verses to a unity among even two of His children that would be like a musical symphony. This implies more than just saying “Amen” at the end of another’s prayer. Symphony implies a deep harmony of spirit between those who are praying together.

When the fellowship of even a small group of Christians is like the symphony produced by a well-conducted orchestra, then (Jesus said) their prayers will have such authority that anything they asked for would be granted. Such a group of Christians would have authority to bind Satan’s power and to liberate Satan’s captives. The reason why such a fellowship could exercise such authority was explained by Jesus: “For”, He said, “wherever two or three are gathered together into My Name, there I AM in the midst of them” (verse 20-Amplified). Christ the Head is present with all His authority in the midst of such a fellowship, and therefore the powers of Hell can never stand against it. One reason why the church described in the “Acts of the Apostles” knew the reality of this authority was because they had this unity in their fellowship. “All of these (the 11 apostles) with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer….. “And all who believed were united and together…..and day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose…… “And they (the apostles and other believers)… lifted their voices together with one united mind to God… (Acts 1:14; 2:44,46; 4:24-Amplified). Because they were integrated into one Body under the authority of Christ, they could exercise the Lord’s authority in prayer. They were not highly educated, they had no social influence and no financial backing, yet they turned the then-known world upside down for Christ. When Peter was locked up in prison, all of Herod’s forces could not stand against the power of that early church on its knees before God (Acts 12:5-11). Satan’s kingdom was shaken to its foundations by that church as it went forth as one Body, registering the victory and authority of Christ in human lives all over the Roman Empire (See Acts 19:11-20 for one example of this).

Today Satan ridicules the efforts of a disunited church trying to oust him from his strongholds by gimmicks, gadgets, conferences, theological knowledge, eloquence and trained choirs. None of these are of any avail against Satan. The church needs to know again the reality of being one Body united under the Headship of Christ. A fellowship of Christians properly related to each other, growing in love for one another and living in obedience to Christ and His Word is the greatest threat to the kingdom of the Devil on earth. Satan dreads nothing else as much as that.

Let us make it our prayer that the Lord will help us to live each day in the light of the glorious truth of our being one Body in Christ. As more and more Christians throughout the world begin to understand and to live by this truth, we shall assuredly see the church, though small in number, restored to her pristine glory, an instrument in God’s Hands to rout the forces of darkness and a channel of blessing to a needy world.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at CFC India.com / Photo by Aigars Neļķefrom Pexels

5 Steps to Become a Prayer Warrior

The title “prayer warrior” describes a Christian who has a strong affinity for and gifting in this area. Though all believers are called to pray, certain people turn to God more quickly and confidently in response to the ups and the downs of life. And they are willing to ask for others as well as themselves.

I’ve been blessed to know several prayer warriors in churches I’ve attended over the years. Each of them made lifting up praises and concerns a priority and a habit that was as natural as breathing. They all ended up doing a unique kind of ministry in and beyond the church walls.

What Does it Mean to Be a Prayer Warrior?

The word “warrior” usually conjures up an image of someone in a military uniform of some type, whether armor or fatigues. We picture them carrying offensive and defensive weapons. And we assume the person has been trained in fighting and hopefully in strategic thinking as well.

It might not seem like this image could be associated with prayer. But the Apostle Paul dedicated a section of his letter to the Ephesians to this analogy. He wanted us as followers of Christ to understand that we are indeed engaged in a war.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Paul goes on to list the pieces of armor and the weapons we have in Christ to overcome the enemy’s attacks. Then he finishes with an appeal for us to use prayer as a way to gain victory in battle.

Characteristics of a Prayer Warrior

The prayer warriors that I have known share a few similar traits:

– They are worshipful, seeking to glorify the Lord.

– They are God-centered, focused on His greatness and mercy.

– They are empathetic, able to meet and accept people where they are.

– They are persevering, determined to repeatedly lift up requests.

– They are loving, wanting to help bring about God’s will for others.

I’ve also noticed a mindset that these warriors tend to have:

They are alert and ready, being sensitive to needs and acting quickly.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).

They trust in God’s goodness, lifting up requests knowing He always answers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

They submit to God, calling on Him with a sense of awe and expectation.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

Prayer Warriors in the Bible

King David

“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God” (Psalm 4:1).

King Jehoshaphat

“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Jeremiah

“You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: ‘Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?’” (Jeremiah 8:18-19).

Jesus

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Paul

“…we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:11-12).

5 Ways to Become a Prayer Warrior

God may be calling you to become more of a prayer warrior in your church or family. Ask Him to confirm that in your heart. Let Him change your spirit and shift your attitudes to align with Him. Then, be obedient to do your part in the process:

1. Have More of a Hunger for God

“‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Warriors I’ve known absolutely love being in God’s Word and seek to be in His presence daily. They want to gain knowledge of Scripture to be able to speak it in their prayers. And they base their confidence partly on their own experiences with the Lord.

2. Have a Greater Desire to Be Used by God

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).

I’ve seen people who were natural prayer warriors, and people who in time grew into the role. But all of them started with a love of prayer, and an eagerness to serve God. They didn’t have to know everything – they just had a stirring in their spirit to follow the Lord’s call.

3. Seek More of God’s Holy Spirit

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Even the most seasoned Christians find themselves not knowing what or how to pray on occasion. Warriors rely on the Holy Spirit to lead them. Even when they do have something in mind to lift up, they have the wisdom to ask the Spirit to join with them.

4. Feel a Greater Sense of Concern for Others

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

Prayers are impactful when they are motivated by love. True warriors approach every request with care and respect. And they see the value in lifting up needs, whether they know the person being prayed for or not.

5. Learn How to Rely More on God for Strength and Endurance

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

A former pastor used to call prayer one of the “front line ministries” of our church. Those who become warriors learn quickly that it is both satisfying and demanding. So, to avoid burnout, they acknowledge God as the source for their ability and energy to do the work, and lean on Him rather than themselves.

God calls us to see prayer as a powerful tool – a way to relate with our Heavenly Father, a way to express our need for Him, a way to show the Lord devotion and trust, and as a tangible way to support others.

In addition, prayer warriors learn how to use prayer as an effective weapon in spiritual warfare. They make a lifestyle of turning to God, lifting up requests, waiting in expectation.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

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***By Heather Adams at Bible Study Tools. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather’s blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby! You can connect with her on her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com

Everyone Is A Christian Until It Gets Biblical!

Everyone is a Christian until it gets Biblical. What do I mean?

Everyone claims to be a Christian until you start preaching the Biblical teachings from the word of God that shakes you to the core. The real substance, the real stuff. The things that Jesus said and showed his disciples that was scary. People get mad when you present their God as powerful and someone to fear when that’s who he is!

We are supposed to love God and fear God, but all we want to do is love God and believe some of the washed up teachings of today’s church. Today’s church teaches you that, the God that destroys cities for sinning and who is coming back to destroy the world, is not the god you serve because He loves, and is too merciful to do that.

Our God is righteous and doesn’t change! The church teaches you its okay to sin, just repent when you do. My Saviour said my people take my grace as a licence to sin and will perish for a lack of knowledge! Be sure you serve the GOD of Abraham! That you serve the GOD of the Bible! NOT the God your church has taught you because its a deception! You cannot trust ANY other man to teach you the true Word! You must read it for yourself and ask the Lord for understanding! He will always teach you the RIGHT word! The RIGHT understanding! The RIGHT interpretation! Put all your faith in the Lord and put on the FULL ARMOUR of God for the enemies fiery darts are flying fast and hit hard.

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** Random Christian at Reddit / Picture by Wendy V Zyl at Pexels

Resurrection Power

In 2 Kings 2:13-14, we read about Elisha dividing Jordan which is symbolic of a ministry of life that conquers and overcomes spiritual death. The waters of Jordan, in the Bible, are symbolic of death. And the parting of the waters is therefore symbolic of triumph over death. In the ministry of Elisha, we find him engaged again and again in bringing life out of death. In Jericho, he brought life into the barren land there (2 Kings 2:19-22). In Shunem, he brought life into the barren womb of a woman (2 Kings 4:8-17). Later, he brought life into a dead child (2 Kings 4: 18-37). He once brought life into a pot of deadly food (2 Kings 4: 38-41). He ministered life to a leprous general’s dying body too ( 2 Kings 5 : 1-14) Elisha’s power never faded away. Even after he was dead and buried and his body had disintegrated,when a dead man was thrown into his grave, the dead man arose!(2 Kings 13:20-21) This was Elisha’s ministry-bringing life out of death wherever he went. This was a direct result of his being anointed. This is the type of power that the anointing of the Holy Spirit brings-power to bring life out of death, resurrection power. This alone is the unmistakable evidence of the anointing. We read of this power often in the New Testament. Paul writing to the Ephesian Christians, says that his prayer for them is that they may know this power. He goes on to tell them that the greatest manifestation of God’s power was not in creation nor in the miracles recorded in the Bible, but in the raising of Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-23). Writing to the Philippian Christians, Paul tells them that his own desire is that he may know more of this resurrection power (Phil. 3:10).This, I am convinced, is the power that Jesus said His disciples would receive when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8) – resurrection power, the power to bring life out of spiritual death. And God desires to communicate this to us too.

This, brothers and sisters, is the mark of the anointing. Not some experience, not some utterance, but the power to bring spiritual life out of death wherever we go. Is our ministry accomplishing this? This is the acid test whether we have the anointing or not. Alas, so often Christians, instead of ministering life are ministering death. The heathen are so often driven away from the Lord instead of being drawn to Him, because of the bickering and quarrels, the lack of integrity and other un-Christlike habits that they see in the lives of those who profess to be born-again Christians. How we need to humble ourselves before God and ask for His forgiveness for bringing reproach upon His Name by our behaviour.

Let us not glory merely in the fact that we are “evangelicals.” If we are not careful, we can end up like the church in Sardis, having a name that we are alive but in reality being dead (Rev. 3:1). It is not enough that the creed we repeat and the statement of faith we sign are Scripturally sound. We may be able to sign the most fundamental statement of faith. So can the Devil! He knows the Bible well and so he is no modernist. He is a thorough fundamentalist as far as doctrines go! It is not much use therefore taking credit merely for our fundamentalism. Doctrines are important. God forbid that I should decry their value. But over and above doctrine, the thing that counts with God is whether we are ministering spiritual life or not.

The Apostle Paul could say that through God’s help, he was an able minister of the New Testament, ministering spiritual life (2 Cor. 3:5,6). He didn’t just boast that he was a fundamentalist. Neither did he merely talk of his experiences-either the Damascus Road one or the Straight Street one. No. He demonstrated the reality of his fundamental beliefs and of his spiritual experiences by constantly bringing life into situations of spiritual death.

In Paul’s life, as in Elisha’s, there was no fading away of the power. There was no losing of the anointing in later years, as seems to be the case with so many servants of God in our day. Paul and Elisha never came to a stage where all they could do was to glory in what God did in days of yore. They constantly lived in the present enjoyment of the anointing and of God’s power. Their spiritual strength instead of waning, waxed more and more. As their days, so was their strength. Their light shone brighter and brighter until the perfect day. What a blessed way to live! And yet this is the path that God desires all His children to walk in (Prov. 4:18).

Elisha lived in constant touch with God and this was why he was always able to bring life out of death wherever he went. And so people came to him with their problems and their needs. He didn’t have to go looking for a ministry. He didn’t have to go around asking people to sponsor him and to invite him. No. Opportunities for ministry came to him in abundance, without any fleshly efforts on his part.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at cfcindia.com / Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels by

4 Reason’s Why Christian’s Should Keep Out Of Worldly Pursuits

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. ~ 2 Timothy 2:4

As fully devoted followers of Christ we need to give careful attention to what things we pursue in life! Why? Because they can either help us grow in our devotion to Christ or hinder us. A Godly goal is a good thing but a worldly pursuit is not. 

In this post I want to share with you 4 reasons why God’s people should at all cost avoid pursuing worldly goals and in particular keep themselves from getting entangled in the love of money. The Love of Money, by the way, according to the Bible is one particular way Christian quite often get caught up in the things of the world. 

To accomplish I will be sharing 3 Pitfalls that come with choosing worldly goals and what happens to those who stumble into those pitfalls. These pitfall’s are found in 1 Timothy 6:9-10:

“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires. , which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” ((CSB)

These pitfalls are:

PITFALL #1: 

It Makes You susceptible To Temptation: When our heart longs for the things of this world we become more vulnerable to the wiles and schemes of the devil. Temptations in and of themselves are not sins but they are the doorway that leads a person to sin. The primary reason a person commits a sin is because they have some kind of worldly desire they are trying to satisfy. And that unmet satisfaction cause people to look for its fulfillment in ways that God says is sinful. Therefore, the cure is not to continually fight off the temptation but to root out the evil and sinful desires and replace them with God honoring desires. So, if your sincere desire is to live a life that pleases God then you need to make sure that your hearts desires are on the things of Heaven and off the things of this world. 

PITFALL #2: 

It’s a trap that will ensnare you. Traps have been used throughout the ages by hunters who are want to catch unsuspecting animals. They are usually camouflage so the animal will not see it and step into it. And this is the way it is with the goals of this world and especially the love of money. The true intent of these longings are hidden and dressed up to look like things that are good. After all, what could be wrong with being rich if it allows me to give more money to help the poor? What’s wrong with having a nicer and bigger home for my family to live in? Shouldn’t they be able to live in a nice place? You see the issue isn’t what you can do with the money but what you are willing to do to get the money or your true motivation for getting the money.

PITFALL #3:

It Ignites Feelings That You Shouldn’t Have: The problem with the love of money or the desire to have the things of the world is that it doesn’t stay satisfied with the fulfillment of those desires. As a result of pursing them newer and more harmful desires start to grow. There are some feelings that we were never intended to have or experience. The “Love of Money” is described as a “root”. If temptation is the seed then the love of money (materialism) is the root that is form from that seed and it in turns grows into a blooming plant of all kinds of other evil and more harmful desires. If you think that you can control your love for money and keep it contained then you are only fooling yourself. The only way to keep yourself from growth of all kinds of evil in your life is to uproot the love of the world and replace it with a root that exclusively loves God. 

Now let me share a little bit about what the end result will be if you fall into one or all of these pitfalls and fail to uproot and guard agains the love of this world and the pursuit of worldly goals. Quite simple it is exactly what the Bible says,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (CSB)

2 End Results:

#1: Wandering From The Faith: 

In Luke chapter 8 Jesus tells a parable about a person who went sowing seed on different types of ground and then He explains the spiritual significance for each group. Here’s how Jesus describes the seed that feel on the ground filled with thorns and thistles.

“As for the seed that fell among the thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life and produce no mature fruit.” Luke 8:14 (CSB)

This is quite a visible picture, from Jesus, on what happens to people who have their hearts set on the things of this world and not on Christ. The riches and pleasures of life of life choke out or we could also, are more valuable to people than Christ is, and as a result they walk away. Another way of saying it is that people who hear the Gospel of Christ and are excited with the forgiveness of sins that come from following Christ but once they hear that they need to leave everything (including their riches) in order to follow Christ, they walk away sad because they love their money more than they do Jesus. 

#2: They Stab Themselves With Lots of Grief:

Notice that verse 10 uses the word pierce and not prick. Why? Because the word pierce suggest a knife or sword stabbing. It is a life threatening wound. It’s not a little poke that might draw some blood but a wound that in most cases lead to death. 

Also, notice that this is a self-inflicted wound. This is something you caused yourself and not something someone did to you. You’re the one who sets you life goal, you are the one who decides who your heart will be devoted to. To choose the world over Christ is your chose and the result is a harm that you brought on yourself. It is avoidable if you choose wisely but it is also unavoidable if you don’t choose wisely. 

So many people suffer horribly simply because they have chosen to go after the things of this world, to give their heart over to what this world says is important. The pain is real but the pain was and is avoidable. 

By simply choosing to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength you will avoid all three of these pitfalls and the consequences that follow. So who will you give your heart to? Will it be God through Jesus Christ or will it be the world.

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** By Jay Moore at the Ordinary Christian / Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Be Anointed With the Holy Spirit and Power

Acts 2 we find that when those 120 people waited for the Holy Spirit, they did not know how long they would have to wait, because Jesus never told them. If they knew it would be only ten days, it would have been easier for them to wait. When God keeps us waiting for something, He does not usually tell us how long we have to wait for an answer.

God wants us to live by faith, because that is the only way to grow spiritually – and waiting is one way by which our faith is strengthened. If we knew how long we had to wait, then there would be no faith there. It is only afterwards when we look back that we can say, “I had to wait for three days (or three years)” for that.

If you had gone to those waiting disciples and asked them, “How will you know when you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit?” – They would not have said that they would speak in tongues. They would have said that Jesus had told them that they would receive power. You may ask “How will I know that I have received this power?” God can assure us of that, just like He assured us that our sins were forgiven. The Holy Spirit, Who bears witness with our spirit that our sins have been forgiven will also bear witness that we have been endued with power. Ask God to give you the assurance for both these important matters. So they were waiting for power. But when they got power they also received the gift of speaking in unknown languages (tongues).

The tragedy today is that many who claim to have the gift of tongues do not seem to have any power. Tongues can be imitated, whereas power to overcome sin and to be a bold witness for Christ cannot be imitated.

Consider this illustration: You go to a shop to buy a computer (power). The shopkeeper tells you that a free CD (tongues) is also being offered with every computer. You didn’t go to the shop to buy a CD but a computer. But since the CD is being offered freely, you take both the computer and the CD. But now your friend sees your CD and goes to the same shop and pays for the computer but brings home only the free CD!! How foolish! That is a picture of those who received the gift of tongues but not the power.

We read that a noise and a wind filled the house where they were praying and tongues as of fire rested on everyone’s head. These were only the externals. The receiving of an anointing and power were the major events. The externals were different when Jesus was anointed. In His case, there was no wind or fire but a dove and a voice. But the power and anointing He received were the same as these apostles received. We all need to be “anointed with the Holy Spirit and power” as Jesus was (Acts 10:38).

The physical and emotional experiences may vary with each of us. If someone were to give you an expensive diamond as a gift, it wouldn’t make any difference if it came wrapped crudely in ordinary brown paper or in a shiny paper with fancy ribbons? It is the gift inside that is important. Only babies are taken up with the wrappings, the externals – the wind, the fire, the noise, the tingling sensations, etc. Adults are taken up with the gift – the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit. When people testify about and glory in the wrapping in which they got the gift, you know that they are still baby-Christians.

The tongues of fire that sat on everyone’s heads indicated that the most important part of our body that God would be using in the new covenant age would be the tongue – a tongue set on fire by the Holy Spirit and under His total control all the time. This is also part of the symbolism of the gift of tongues. God wants to use your tongue to bless others with, not only if you are a preacher, but also in your ordinary conversations with people every day. But for this, you must let the Holy Spirit have full control of your speech, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2:14, we see one wonderful result of the Spirit indwelling all the apostles. We read here, “Peter stood up, backed by the other eleven” (MSG).

What Jesus could not accomplish in His entire lifetime is now accomplished at last: The twelve are all one body now. They did not compete to have the honour to preach. They supported Peter and were 100% behind him as he spoke. This is the greater work that Jesus had said they would do after the Spirit came – the Holy Spirit had baptised them into one body.

In 2:17, Peter said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel. All men and women could now have the Spirit poured out on them and they could prophesy. This was a privilege reserved only for kings and priests under the old covenant. But under the new covenant, all can receive the Spirit. We need to recognise what a tremendous honour this is.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at CFC India.com / Photo by Jahoo Clouseau at Pexels

Sovereignty of God

“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.
~ Isaiah 55:8-9

The total sovereignty of God over all people and circumstances, is a matter in which many believers remain in doubt. They may give lip-acknowledgment to it, but they don’t believe it “works” in the situations of daily life. Yet the Scriptures are full of examples of how God worked sovereignly on behalf of His people – and often in the most unlikely ways.

Many of us are familiar with the obviously miraculous ways in which God worked on behalf of His people – such as the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt etc. But we have often missed seeing the greater miracles by which God turned the tables on Satan when Satan attacked God’s people.

The case of Joseph is a classic. God had a plan for that eleventh son of Jacob to make him the second ruler in Egypt by the time he was thirty. Joseph was a God-fearing lad and therefore he was hated by Satan. And so Satan instigated his elder brothers to get rid of him. But God ensured that they didn’t take Joseph’s life. They managed, however, to sell him off to some Ishmaelite traders. But where do you think those traders took Joseph? To Egypt, of course!

That was the fulfilment of Step One in God’s plan! In Egypt, Joseph was bought by Potiphar. This too was arranged by God. Potiphar’s wife was an evil woman. Taking a fancy to Joseph, she tried to entice him again and again. Finally when she found that she could not succeed, she accused Joseph falsely and had him cast in jail. But who do you think Joseph met in the jail? Pharaoh’s cupbearer! God had arranged for Pharaoh’s cupbearer also to be jailed at the same time so that Joseph could meet him. That was Step Two in God’s plan.

God’s third step was to allow Pharaoh’s cupbearer to forget about Joseph for two years. “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. It happened at the end of two full years that Pharoah had a dream…. Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh…(Genesis 40:23; 41:1,9). That was the time, according to God’s time-table, for Joseph to be released from prison. Psalm 105:19, 20 says, “Until the time that His word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. Then the king sent and released him and set him free.” Joseph was now 30 years old.

God’s time had come. And so God gave Pharaoh a dream. And God reminded the cupbearer also of Joseph as the interpreter of his dream. Thus Joseph came before Pharaoh and became the second ruler in Egypt. God’s timing of events in Joseph’s life couldn’t have been more perfect! We would never have thought of arranging things the way God did. If we had the power to plan Joseph’s life, we would probably have prevented people from doing him any harm. But the way God did it was better. It’s a far greater miracle when the evil that people do to us is turned to fulfill God’s purposes for us! God takes great delight in turning the tables on Satan, so that all things work together for the good of His elect.

Let us look at one more example from the Old Testament, so that our minds can be firmly established in this truth. In the book of Esther, we read of how God rescued the Jews from being slaughtered as a race. But it is amazing to see how God did it – through one small incident – that the king could not sleep one night. Haman and his wife had been plotting one night to get the king’s permission to hang Mordecai on a gallows the next morning, as a prelude to destroying all the Jews.

But while Haman and his wife were making their wicked plans, God was working on behalf of Mordecai too. “The Keeper of Israel never slumbers or sleeps.” (Psalm 121:4). God prevented the king from sleeping that night, “During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king” (Esther 6:1). The king listened to his nation’s history for many hours, until the day began to break. Then the reading came to the place where it was recorded that Mordecai had once saved the king from being assassinated. The king asked his servants what honour had been bestowed on Mordecai for this, and they replied that nothing had been done. God’s timing of events was again perfect. At that very moment Haman walked in, planning to ask the king for permission to hang Modecai. Before Haman could open his mouth, the king asked Haman what he thought could be done for one whom the king desired to honour. Haman, conceited man that he was, thought that the king was referring to him, and so suggested a great parade of honour for such a man. “Go and do that for Mordecai, quickly,” the king said.

How wonderfully our God can turn the tables on Satan. Haman finally hung on the very same gallows that he had made for Mordecai. As the Bible says, “He who digs a pit (for another) will fall into it (himself). And he who rolls a stone (at another) will find the stone rolling back (to crush him)” ( Proverbs 26:27). Haman, in this story, is a type of Satan who is always planning some evil against us. God won’t stop him, because God has a far better plan. He wants to turn the tables on Satan. The pit that the Devil digs for us will be the one that he himself falls into finally. Zephaniah 3:17 says (in one translation) that God is silently planning for us in love, all the time.

While Mordecai was sleeping peacefully that night, quite ignorant of all the wicked plans that Haman and his wife were making against him, God was also planning to protect Mordecai. So Mordecai could have slept just as peacefully, even if he had known of Haman’s wicked plans. Why not? If God was on his side, who could be against him?

Once we have seen the sovereignty of God, we will stop blaming people for anything. We’ll no longer be afraid of Satan, fearing that he might harm us in some way. We won’t be afraid of sickness or disease or anything else in this world.

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**Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at cfcindia.com / Photo by Johannes Plenio at pexels

Prayer Binds Satan’s Hands, but a Spirit of Negativity Binds God’s Hands

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;” – Hebrews 3:12


INTRODUCTION

BINDING SATAN’S HANDS

So Satan is desiring to cause disaster in in our homes, in our marriages, in our churches, and in our own hearts – but we have the power to bind his works by praying, and by praying in unity. Husband and wife can bind things in their children’s lives, members in the church can bind things when they pray with one another, etc. See again in Matthew 18 verse 19, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” So that’s binding Satan’s hands. But there’s another verse which is very interesting in Matthew 13:58, and also similarly in Mark 6:5-6 – that says that the Lord was not able to do many works for His own hometown because they had such unbelief: Matthew 13:58 “And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” Mark 6:6:5-6 “And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief…”

BINDING GOD’S HANDS

We say we want to bind Satan’s hands, but I believe we read in this verse itself that we by our unbelief may be tying ropes instead around God’s hands in our life!  Maybe He’s able to work in many other people’s lives the way He wants, but with regard to my own life His hands may be tied if I have unbelief! Wow. Imagine the Father reaching down from Heaven to (figuratively) lift up a boy and care and comfort and encourage him.  And as the Father is reaching down from Heaven to help this boy, the boy reaches up to His Father’s hands… but he doesn’t take His loving hands and hold them and receive His loving care; instead the boy places handcuffs on His Dad’s wrists, and then takes a rope and wraps up the wrists and hands that were reaching down to lift him up!  I believe this is exactly what we do when we don’t trust our Father, and we don’t believe He can help.  When we focus not on the hope and promises we have in Christ, and His power, but instead on how bad the situation is. 

NEGATIVITY

I think one word for this which often sums up unbelief is: “Negativity”. A spirit of negativity is the spiritual equivalent of tying ropes around the hands of the Father who is trying to reach down to pick me up and love me. I sometimes had to repent of and ask God to forgive me for my ‘sighs’ of negativity. I don’t always use words, but have often let out a ‘sigh’ of unbelief that with my groan was actually in reality saying “Oh great I have to deal with this again.” And when I think about what it implies I have to admit that it is saying that what God has chosen to allow is bad. It’s not for my good (it denies the plain truth of Romans 8:28). Or at least, with my negativity I’m confessing that the trouble/hassle of the trial is not worth the good that it would bring. But there’s something important about faith: Faith is not just believing that what God says is true, but it’s also believing that it’s as valuable as He says it is! It’s not only believing His Word, but believing it to the point that we’re enthusiastic about it (I believe we see this in the parables of the treasure / pearl of great price Matthew 13:44-45). And so I’ve seen I have to repent of negativity. We have to have a constant attitude of faith that just as the Lord turned the worst thing that ever happened in the universe (the death of Jesus) into the best thing (Jesus dying for us, rising again and saving us forever) – we have to be confident every ‘bad’ thing is not bad, it’s actually good if we love the Lord, and if it’s fully submitted to Him so that He can do something with it. And it’s not just ‘good’, but it’s REALLY REALLY good! A faith filled Christian MUST be an optimistic Christian. Always hopeful, always patient, exulting in tribulation instead of cursing it. Romans 5:3-4 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;” “Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation” (Romans 12:12), Be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12)

CONCLUSION

So I see now more of the seriousness with which I need to take unbelief, when I see what it is – unbelief actually is tying up the hands of God so that He cannot work. Unbelief is not an ‘innocent sin’, committed by poor unlucky people who deserve pity from a God who has been too hard on them!  It’s tying ropes around the very One who’s loved us from the beginning, and Who wants to help us even more than we want to help ourselves.  But accepting every single situation that comes our way (both good, and difficult) as from His loving hand is what frees Him up to work mightily in our life, and also is the very thing we can do which pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6).


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**By Bobby McDonald © Copyright – Bobby McDonald. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at NCCF Church / Photo by Jan Antonsen from Pexels