Category Archives: prayerImage
- How to pray?
- Prayers from the Bible
Recommissioned by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the USS Iowa saw action in the Persian Gulf War. Her frontward deck turrets make for impressive pictures, but their storied blasting power ceded to superior weapons: the Harpoon missiles.
When I visited the Iowa with my family on Memorial Day in the Los Angeles Harbor, a sailor told how he launched harpoon missiles to simultaneously strike from three different directions an Iranian oil rig where they were mining waters. The poor Iranian Guardsmen had no idea where the attack was coming from when three harpoon missiles all struck from different directions at the same time. It was that easy. Just program the computer and push the button.
That sounds like prayer to me. 1) Program the computer = praying. 2) Push the button = God acts. And KABLOOM! The devil and his minions are annihilated.
The war goes on. So there is a continued need for prayer. In the Old Testament, Biblical authors used the imagery at hand to describe God: “He is a strong tower.” Well, in the age of technology, a tower is not very strong anymore. Maybe we should sing about God being our Harpoon missile system.
- for your children
- for your parents
- for your relatives
- for your pastor
- for your church
- for your friends and neighbors
- for finances
- for health
- for the advance of the gospel worldwide
It would be ideal to live in world without war. But since terrorists fly planes into building to kill civilians for Allah-knows-what reason, there is war. Similarly, the devil is raging war, and we can only counteract his threat with spiritual action. He’s not interested in signing peace. He’ll sign peace only to get us to unilaterally lay down our weapons (prayer). He has no intention of ceasing from his hostile opposition to God’s kingdom.
Because Mimi was born with two spinal cords, her parents came from the countryside to Guatemala City for successive surgeries. First doctors saved her life. Then they helped her to walk. Eventually she gained control of her bladder. She would have been identical twins but the zygote only partially split.
Ludving and Nelly wound up attending my church. Ludving was about to buy some alcohol to drown sorrows when he heard the praise music and came in. He didn’t get saved. He had already accepted Jesus. The worship exhilarated and lifted him out of despair. They came to the church.
When he decided to do something, Ludving never did it half-way. Right decision after right decision led the couple to hosting, then pastoring, a pioneer church. When thugs chased me off, the Holy Spirit pointed to him as the man to take over.
To my way of thinking, Mimi should be gloriously and completely healed by now. She is not. On Thursday, she is submitting to her umpteenth surgery, this time to correct kidney failure (she has four kidneys, but only one completely developed and only one works). Urine backflow from her bladder is poisoning her one good kidney.
Faith is not always a snap-of-the-fingers miracle. Faith is grinding out the healing over the long haul. I like the instantaneous variety. But not everything is quick like a fire-cracker. Mimi’s miracles have drawn out inexorably for 16 years, her age. The battle is
raging dragging on, and the faithful keep mustering faith.
It’s pointless to ask why. Blaming God like an atheist solves nothing (although I suppose he feels high and mightily justified in his bitterness). That’s not what we want. We want final and complete healing for this precious girl.
Mimi is a spunky girl. Despondency affects her parents, her sister, me — but not her. Thanks for helping us pray for her. Let me know how I can help you pray for your needs.
Ruth is a story about high returns. By going to Israel with her ex-mother-in-law, Ruth faced racial abuse, sexual predators and 15-hour days stooping over under the blistering sun only to pick up enough grains for one meal (that’s the mechanics of “gleaning;” talk about “abject poverty.”)
Instead, she hedge-funded her way to vast fame and fortune.
Why are so many people willing to risk on finances or with sexual indiscretions but not for God? Just because you can’t see God, Heaven or an immediate return, you are unwilling to go to church, spend time in prayer, serve His kingdom. Just like Ruth couldn’t visualize any realistic benefit when she abandoned her native Moab: Your God will be by God, and your people will be my people, she pledged to Naomi.
Our church, the Lighthouse in Santa Monica, is staging the story of Ruth.
I’ve dreamed of being an actor about as much as I’ve dreamed of being a Gold’s Gym poster child. (Wild fantasies tend to proliferate in LA!) For the previous plays, I waited faithfully for Sister Pam, the director, to call me up. With this play, I broke down with despair and begged her to let me have a part! I’m Jobab, the money grubber who wants Ruth’s property without Ruth. (Co-Director Eric Photenhauer says I look like a Dr. Seuss version of an Old Testament Jew).
Come Sunday night 7:00 p.m. at 1220 20th Street, Santa Monica, California. It’s free!
- How do I pray?
- Prayers from the Bible
The best sluggers only get 450. That means more often than not, they get out.
With prayer, no one bats 1000. Not every prayer gets the answer you want. Sometimes the terminally ill patient dies. And because a prayer-warrior doesn’t bat 1000, the atheists don’t believe in God. (Do they believe in baseball?)
Well, I think that if you’re batting 350, you’re doing well. If only a small fraction of your requests get answered, you’re doing well. Let faith arise in your heart in your heart for just 1 0f 10 answered requests! Because as faith arises, so will your batting average.
And just because you strike out on a majority of your prayers requests, don’t get discouraged. Only God knows why He sometimes says no. We can trust that in His economy, we’re batting 1000.
You should always be encouraged to pray and never be discouraged from it. Ignore the faith-slayers who (wrongly) say that prayer doesn’t work unless you bat 1000.
Santa Monica prides itself as being among the top three anti-Christian cities in California. The others are San Francisco and Hollywood (along with West Hollywood). It is not enough for these cities to ignore Christianity; they feel some sort of moral obligation to hostilely oppose believers.
So it was here, on Santa Monica’s Civic Auditorium patio that the Christians prayed in this materialistic, this atheistic, this hedonistic city. Christians from all denominations, from all ages prayed. There were lawyers, doctors, firemen, police officers, priests and pastors, military personnel, business owners. Even dogs came and prayed — well, maybe I’m exaggerating.
Don’t think they were just old folks. Two high schoolers prayed for people struggling with suicide, sexual orientation and bullying. It didn’t stay with safe and dainty topics. It got real.
Mediating lawyer Harrison Sommer, a Jew converted to Christianity, prayed that we would have many National Days of Prayer. Yes. That is what this event was about: twisting the ignition key for many, many, many people to be inspired to pray.
To pray for revival, to pray longingly, lovingly. To turn off the cell phone and turn on the prayer phone. To strike up a conversation with Loving Father in Heaven. To seek an answer to the ills that afflict our nation (Boston, Newtown, abortion). To avoid war with North Korea and bring peace to the terrorists. There are no limits to what prayer can affect, no walls that can contain it.
Prayer may have been kicked out of the classroom, but only you can kick it out of your heart — by simply being distracted.
Find inspiration today and every day to pray.
- How to pray?
- Bible prayers
- Persevering in prayer
I’ve long lamented being a plodder: lack of panache, short on genius, without the glut of talent and personality that some people have.
Last night I learned the plodder wins the day. The IQ-overflow, overconfident swashbuckler doesn’t want to work. He expects everybody to do everything for him just because their enthralled with his personality. Persistent Igor blindsides him. Whoop!
The plodder goes to prayer. He patiently, persistently, perseveringly goes to God, day after day, not making “vain repetitions,” but continually assailing the throne with desperate needs until the glorious answer materializes. If you’re slogging through the mud, rejoice! The answers coming!
Everybody loves the heroic moment: David downs Goliath, Elijah makes fire from Heaven, Moses opens the Red Sea. The special effects are exciting. But we must realize that hours, days, weeks, months and years of prayer go into the making of that moment.
While the disciples slept, Jesus prayed. (While Jesus slept, the disciples fretted.)
- How do I pray?
- Bible prayers
- Faith and perseverance
Or is it “try, try, try again?”
My heart goes out to atheists, agnostics and struggling Christians whose experience with prayer has been negative. Typically, they gave it a try, and nothing happened. No answer. Just silence.
I wish to gently suggest that in many cases, nothing went wrong. You just need to keep praying. The Bible talks directly and indirectly about persevering in prayer.
Now, if your loved one passed on, I don’t want to sound trite. I want to give you a hug. I don’t know why prayers “didn’t work.” The Bible says that God knows what He’s doing. Many times what we want doesn’t correspond to what He wants. Forgive me if this “answer” doesn’t “answer” your legitimate hurts. I am not criticizing or making fun of your efforts or experience. Some people cannot assimilate old age, sickness and accidents in a fallen world, and plain old mortality. Why is God blamed?
In other cases, you simply need to keep praying. God hasn’t responded negative. He just hasn’t responded as quickly as you would like. In Luke 18 tells of an unjust judge. What’s extraordinary about the story is that most parable don’t have an explanation; it’s open to your interpretation. But this one says: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up Luke 18:1 NIV.
The judge accepted bribes, but because a certain poor woman demanded daily justice, she wore the corrupt judge down. Just to get her off his back, he ruled in her favor.
The parable works by contrast: how much more so will the Just Judge in Heaven rule in our favor? But we must continue to pray.