Tag Archives: answers to prayer

Helen Shapiro, star from yesteryear, comes to Christ out of Judaism

Shapiro-and-dressOnce more popular than the Beatles, Jewish-born singer Helen Shapiro believed all Christians were anti-Semitic after a boy at school accused her of crucifying Christ.

Shapiro got an early start in music fame as a teen and stormed through England’s top rankings in the 1960s. In 1961, the 14-year-old released her first hit “Don’t Treat Me like a Child,” which peaked at number three on British charts, according to an ASSIST News story by Charles Gardner.

In 1963, the Beatles were actually an opening act for her when they played together on tour. The Beatles’ first big hit “Please, Please Me” hit number one on that tour.

Shapiro-today-300x213Shapiro also rose to the top of the charts with “Walking Back to Happiness.” Though she sang it, she didn’t really find true happiness for another 28 years.

As she rose to fame, she felt empty and cast around for something to believe in. Dabbling in New Age philosophy, she visited clairvoyants and spiritists.

By her late teens, her career as a pop singer began to decline. As beat music rose in popularity, along with newer female singers such as Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, and Lulu, Shapiro seemed old-fashioned and characteristic of the bee-hived, pre-Beatles, 50s era.

In the 70s and early 80s she performed in stage musicals and jazz concerts. She played the role of Nancy in the musical, Oliver! in London’s West End and made appearances on British television.

By age 40, Shapiro stopped believing New Age notions and doubted the existence of God.

Then someone gave her the book Betrayed by Stan Telchin. As a leader of a Jewish community, Telchin was aghast when his daughter became a Christian. Feeling “betrayed” by her, Telchin embarked on a mission to demonstrate Jesus was a fraud by using the Old Testament.

Instead, he proved to himself beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus was the genuine Jewish Messiah. The prophecies in the Jewish Scripture, he discovered, pointed invariably to Yeshua-Jesus.

“Isaiah 53 was about how He took our sin. I was gobsmacked,” Shapiro told Assist News. “And Daniel prophesied that the Messiah had to die before the temple was destroyed. It all seemed to point to Jesus.”

Read the rest of the story.

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He who has the MOST HIGH never needs to get high

He who has the Most High never needs to get highHe who has the MOST HIGH never needs to get high.

Driven to your knees

driven to your kneesPerfect. Then you are ready to pray.

Pray, don’t panic

dont panic just pray

I don’t subscribe to the myth that I have everything under control. There are people who actually believe that they have so much money, talent, good looks, whatever, that they always will win in life.

Sometimes things appear to spin out of control. In those moments, I need to stay calm and remember who I am trusting. Don’t panic; just pray.

E-mail has not replaced knee-mail

knee mail | communication wtih GodBefore texting, there was instantaneous communication. It was called prayer.

And you don’t have to get on your knees to pray — although some people find the position of their body helps with there outlook.

You should call out on God before you get into desperation. Just saying.

You are too busy to NOT pray.

Image source: Buzzfeed

Morning prayer is like breakfast

morning prayerdelicious and it fills you full of energy for the day.

Going without it is unhealthy.

Original image from pinterest.

Try another door

knock on doorTwice Paul was halted. He tried to go somewhere, but God didn’t open the door.

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, HAVING BEEN KEPT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, BUT THE SPIRIT OF JESUS WOULD NOT ALLOW THEM TO. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” — Acts 16:6,7,9 NIV.

Sometimes, the doors don’t open for years and years and years.

Maybe the reason why the door is not opening is because it’s never going to open. Try another door.

When God moves…

… it makes all the difference.

Liceo Bilingue La Puerta banda

With Chinese flags at the front to add some color to the martial gallantry of the drums, trumpets and glaxon bells.

I prayed for years for a bus for the ministry in Guatemala, and finally got one. But it kept breaking down and was more costly than it was worth.

On the other hand, I never tried to form a marching band, even though I liked the idea and said, “Amen!” to the people who suggested it for our school. I basically said, “Whenever God wants to give us a band, He’ll do it.”

banda escolar GuatemalaAnd He did. He brought in a person who wasn’t even saved to teach all the kids to play. Out of candy sales, He raised up money to buy all the instruments. I’m amazed to this day how this miracle happened.

For years now, the marching band has been instrumental (excuse the pun) for outreaches. We march down streets playing and hand out of flyers. Instead of knocking on doors, the people come out to see and hear.

Guatemalan students

After the band marched, the smallest members enjoy a juice from the tiendita next door the Liceo Bilingue La Puerta in Guatemala.

Now that I have been out of Guatemala, the band continues to be a powerful tool. What I wanted and tried so hard to get (the bus), flopped. What I didn’t even try to get (the band) succeeded wildly beyond my imagination.

Look to God and wait. Stop straining to do what you think. Just believe. He will act upon His will.

God loves the unfavored

churroThis fact makes the case for prayer. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing –– Deut.10:18 NIV. Not many people study the verses of “widow.” To do so blows your mind.

From Exodus to Revelations, God repeatedly and pointedly favors the disenfranchised, the proletariat, the 99%, the unpopular, the underdogs. Forget about smoking pot; it’s not as much a sin as mistreating (or not helping) the widow, orphan, foreigner, poor — the quartet that encapsulates what we now call “powerlessness.”

from DumpaDay

from DumpaDay

Often, we go to prayer after other options have failed. We are powerless. Outside of divine intervention, things look bleak.

The fabulously fantastic news is God LOVES people who are desperate, broken, without resources. His heart goes out to them.

This should flood your heart with faith. When you cry tears before the Lord, He is there crying with you. Given this unmeasurable empathy, you can be sure He will answer.

Within reach

After years of excessive fasting and heroic service to humanity, Gandhi agonized over his “fleshliness.” Achieving nirvana is virtually unattainable in Hinduism.

In Islam, you can never know if you have pleased Allah enough to make paradise. In Buddhism, you have to approximate monasticism.

And by contrast, in Christianity, God plops the answer right down in your lap. That’s because we are made holy not by anything we do but rather by what Christ do on the cross for us. This does not mean we flout righteousness. It only means that God has built over the chasm separating humanity from the Divine.

So answers to prayer do not require accompanying works of righteousness. You don’t need burn candles or crawl on your knees painfully over the cement plaza. You don’t need “vain repetitions” that “pagan use because they think that only that way can they be heard” (Matt. 6:7). You may fast while praying but should not think you won’t be heard if you only pray and don’t fast.

All you need is faith.

If an answer to prayer does not come immediately, assume that God is working patience in you. Do NOT assume you have to perform “works of righteousness” to turn God’s frown into a smile.

In Christianity when you pray, the answer is within reach — unlike any other religion. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, BELIEVE that you have received it, and it will be yours. — Mark 11:24 NIV (caps mine).

Even before you finish praying

It irks me to no end when people cut me off and don’t let me finish what I’m saying. But this is totally different.

Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear — Isaiah 65:24 NIV. In that case, God, go ahead and cut me off. Bring the answer faster than I can finish praying!

It paints the picture of God hanging on a thread, just waiting to grant requests. He’s in the gate, champing at the bit, the first to spring out of the racehorse. Forget about being impatient — it is God who is impatient to answer us! Man, this verse fires me up to want to pray!

I have seen this. While praying to find my cell phone, even before I had finished the sentence, my daughter found it on the floor of the car. I want to see it more. Go God!

… or you can use your machete.

 

You can find an easier way of doing things…

When we moved into the big, colonial building just off Guatemala City‘s main square, we had to remove a 70+ year-old tree with a termite-hollowed trunk. If not, tons of branches would one day fall on the kids in the school.

City workers took down most but left the stump and roots. We didn’t even have a chain saw, so we got to work with machetes, an axe and a pick. It took us church members two months of 12-hour days to chop, dig, pry, whittle, pull and otherwise extract it. The patio now has a nice fountain and garden in its place.

Pastor Ludving hams it up when the biggest piece of stump was removed. Thanks Tino, Mario and Banner for all the hard work!

As a gringo, I may not have the best machete technique, but it seemed like a fun, macho-man thing to do, at least at first. The sweat dripped after only minutes of whacking. Some of the men went through blistered into bloodied hands from the work. I was too much of a wimp to bloody my hands.

Boo-hoo! There has to be an easier, more efficient way!

There was. It’s called power tools. But as I said before, we didn’t have any power tools.

Now, if you are a Bible-believing Christian, you have at your disposal power tools. It’s called prayer. It’s a power tool because it’s God’s power at work for you. But some people like doing all the work themselves, so they don’t pray.

 

 

Gone with the wind

The fact that climatologists can now predict and explain wind should not confuse the meaning of John 3:8’s metaphor.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. — John 3:8 NIV

The wind (same word as “Spirit” in Koine Greek) appears inexplicably (to the First Century observer). It is invisible, unannounced, unanticipated. It can be powerful (think of a hurricane). It scatters seed. No where is beyond its reach on the face of the planet. You can’t stop it.

So are our prayers. We cannot guess what God is going to do. We should pray generally and specifically, but we should not boast about knowing what God has up His sleeve. We should believe for huge and impossible things, both close and far. We should not be surprised when the Iron Curtain falls or when the vilest of sinners gets saved. We should know our Lord uses His Spirit and can reach where spy satellites and drones cannot. He can get into people’s minds. Even the devil is blind-sided. That is the nature of the Spirit’s move.

Our prayers should take into account His ability to do anything, anywhere, any time. He’ll do what we least expect, so we should expect it. He’ll move anywhere, so we should pray for nations closed to the gospel. He’ll hit tomorrow, so we should pray today.

Opposition will switch to ally when the Spirit moves. All resistance will be “gone with the wind.”

Fury from Heaven

When a tornado touches down on terra, it’s power is microbial compared to the fury from Heaven when you simply pray.