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The Prayer, Giving, Prayer Connection, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #264)


TEXT: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 263 messages in this series.

This is message #264 titled, The Prayer, Giving, Prayer Connection, Part 4.

In this passage, we are looking at some of the benefits that come from the free and liberal giving of the saints to those in need. Paul’s words to the church at Corinth challenge us to not only pray for those in need, but give abundantly and sacrificially. He discusses four benefits of the Corinthian believers giving to meet the needs of the church at Jerusalem. First, of course, the needs of the impoverished saints will be met. Second, the gift of the Corinthians will inspire “abundant thanksgivings to God.” Third, the Corinthians’ generosity is a testimony to their maturity and growth in Christ.

The fourth benefit that we read about is that the Jerusalem Christians will be prompted to pray for the Christians in Corinth. Paul says, “And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.” The reasons why the Jerusalem Christians would pray for the Corinthian Christians is because they “longed after them,” or as one commentator writes, “earnestly desired to see and know them. They sincerely desired the welfare of the Corinthians and were thus led to pray for them.”

At that time, the Christians in Jerusalem were not in a position to give reciprocally. And, due to the limitations of communication in the first century, they were not even in a position to express their thanks to the Corinthians. But, there was one way they could show their appreciation, and that is through prayer to God. God knew how best to reward the Corinthians for their sacrificial giving. Their lack was not money or material things; perhaps they needed another form of blessing. The church at Jerusalem did not know about it, but God knew about it, and the prayers of the Jerusalem Christians spurred on the meeting of the needs of the Corinthians as well.

We must not have the kind of spirit that says we don’t need the prayers of those who are less fortunate than us. Albert Barnes writes, “Charity should be shown to poor and afflicted Christians because it will lead them to pray for us and to desire our welfare. The prayers of the poorest Christian for us are worth more than all we usually bestow on them in charity; and he who has secured the pleadings of a child of God, however humble, in his behalf, has made a good use of his money.” Obviously, we cannot buy prayers, but having others praying for us is a good reward, perhaps the best reward, for our contribution to their needs.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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The Prayer, Giving, Prayer Connection, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #263)



TEXT: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 261 messages in this series.

This is message #262 titled, The Prayer, Giving, Prayer Connection, Part 3.

In this passage, we are looking at some of the benefits that come from the free and liberal giving of the saints to those in need. Paul’s words to the church at Corinth challenge us to not only pray for those in need, but give abundantly and sacrificially. Someone once said, “Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on you.” In other words, if you are praying for God to supply the needs of someone else, and you have the money or the goods they need in hand, it makes no sense for you not to move to meet that need. God does not just send the answer; sometimes, He makes us to be the answers.

Paul discusses four benefits of the Corinthian believers giving to meet the needs of the church at Jerusalem. First, of course, the needs of the impoverished saints will be met. And, second, the gift of the Corinthians will inspire “abundant thanksgivings to God.”

The third benefit that will come about from the Corinthians’ generosity is that it will be a testimony to their maturity in Christ. Paul writes, “By the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.” When the Christians in Corinth sent aid to the Christians in Jerusalem, they would be showing obedience to Christ who commanded that His followers love each other and care for each other. William Baker notes that the word Paul uses for profession can also be translated as “proved.” In other words, the Corinthians, by their generosity, would be showing evidence that they were in Christ.

One commentator wrote, “Paul’s point is that to be vital and living, profession of faith must issue in works. The Corinthians’ willing contribution to the Jerusalem collection shows that they possess a faith that accepts the claims of the gospel and obeys its dictates as well. The paraphrase, ‘you practise the gospel that you profess to believe in’ captures the sense exactly. Paul is not alone in closely linking profession and practice. James similarly states that ‘faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead’ and ‘useless.'”

Our concern for others which often leads us to pray for others ought also to lead us to act to meet the needs of others. People cannot see our heart or our prayers. But they can see what we do for them in the name of Jesus.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

How to Help the Work of God, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #260)


TEXT: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 259 messages in this series.

This is message #260 titled, How to Help the Work of God, Part 3.

William Barclay said, “The greatest of saints is not ashamed to ask for the prayers of the least of the brethren. We may have very little to give our friends; but, however little of this world’s goods we possess, we may give them the priceless treasure of our prayers.”

What happens when we help the work of God by praying for those who are doing that work as the Corinthians did in this passage? Paul describes the end result of the Corinthian believers praying for him and his missionary companions by saying, “for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.” While being delivered from their trouble was certainly a gift of the grace of God, the end result of the believers’ prayers is not just deliverance from physical trouble, but it is also the fact that because of their deliverance, “many” were able to hear the Gospel.

The Gospel message and the ability to preach was also a “gift bestowed upon” Paul and his companions. They went from city to city, traveling by land and by sea, sharing this good news. They faced difficulty, persecution, and distress because of the message they bore. They could have had a life of ease if they hadn’t been engaged in the ministry, but the devil attacked them because of the “gift” that they were trying to share with others.

Paul tried to get this “gift” into the hands and hearts of “many persons.” He and his companions told anyone who would listen, and even some who wouldn’t, about Jesus dying on the cross to save their souls, deliver them from eternal punishment in hell, and restore their relationship with God. The devil tried to stop that message from getting to the people who needed it. He worked through natural and supernatural means to hinder these missionaries. He put the heat on them and turned it up so high that they thought they were going to die. But, God’s people in Corinth were moved to pray for them. And those prayers had a great impact.

God answered the prayers of His people and delivered them from a near-death situation. Paul was able to continue on his journey and deliver the Gospel message to “many people.” While many believers gave thanks for answered prayer and for Paul’s deliverance, many nonbelievers who later became believers because of the Gospel message Paul delivered also gave thanks as well. If Paul and his companions had given up in the face of adversity, that message may have never been delivered. If the Corinthian believers had not interceded on Paul’s behalf, that message may have never been delivered. So, don’t despise the work of prayer. It may seem like a small thing, but the feeblest prayer can have the mightiest impact in getting souls into the Kingdom of God.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

How to Help the Work of God, Part 2 (Praying Through the Bible #259)


TEXT: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 258 messages in this series.

This is message #259 titled, How to Help the Work of God, Part 2.

In this passage, Paul reveals that he and his ministry companions were, at one time, in great great distress. Their distress was so bad that they had no strength of their own to resist, and thought they would die. But God delivered them from “so great a death.” In this after-the-fact letter, Paul reveals a factor which played a role in their deliverance. He says the believers in Corinth, whether they knew of Paul’s trouble at the time or not, were “helping” Paul and his companions by praying for them.

The term translated as “helping together” means providing supplementary or additional aid and support. In the midst of his trouble many miles away, Paul felt the help and support coming from the Corinthians through their prayers. As E.M. Bounds said, “The prayer closet is the battlefield of the Church, its citadel, the scene of heroic and unearthly conflicts. The closet is the base of supplies for the Christian and the Church. Cut off from it, there is nothing left but retreat and disaster. The energy for work, the mastery over self, the deliverance from fear, all spiritual results and graces, are much advanced by prayer.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. Greg Herrick writes in his commentary, “Paul is convinced that God delivered him, and those with him, from so great a risk of death and that he will continue to do so in the future. But he wants the Corinthians to know that such deliverance comes about when God’s people pray and petition him in such cases. The prayer is for more than mere deliverance; it is also for the whole work of proclaiming the gospel and all that such an enterprise entails. The end result of such prayer and help is that many will give thanks to God on behalf of his gracious gift of deliverance for Paul and His advancement of the gospel.”

Paul regards his deliverance from a deathly situation — whether persecution, disease, or danger — as a gift that came “by the means of many persons.” The word translated as ‘persons’ literally refers to the front of a person’s face. When the early Christians prayed, they followed the Jewish tradition of turning the face upward toward Heaven. The image that Paul gives us is that of many people with their faces turned to God interceding for God’s man and God’s ministry.

Intercessory prayer is one way in which everyone can help the work of God. Everyone is not called to preach or be a missionary. Everyone will not be able to give financially or through physical labor. But everyone can help the work of God and the men and women of God through prayer. A.B. Simpson said, “Prayer is the mighty engine that moves the missionary work.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 6 (Praying Through the Bible #255)



TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:8-19:

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 253 messages in this series.

This is message #255 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 6.

Today, we will continue looking at the application of the Bible’s teaching regarding speaking in tongues in the church. We have seen that Paul values understanding, edification, and interpretation above the mysteriousness of speaking in tongues. The first place that Paul applies this to is his personal prayer life. He says that even if his spirit prays in a language that he cannot speak, he will demand understanding. He will not stop praying until he has an understanding of what his spirit has communicated to God.

The second place where the principle of understanding must be applied is in the assembly of believers. Paul says, “When thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.” In many churches, there is a whole lot of shouting and saying “Amen” when the preacher utters something in tongues. But, if you ask those people what the preacher meant, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. (And some people can’t tell you what the preacher means when he’s speaking English either.) That is what Paul is getting at.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe comments, “Paul assumed that the believers would listen to the message and respond to it. But if they did not understand the message, how could they respond? The ‘unlearned’ person was probably a new believer, or possibly an interested ‘seeker.’ He could not be edified unless he understood what was being said. Again, it was a matter of priorities. While Paul did not oppose the ministry of tongues, he did try to put it into a right perspective. The issue was not quantity of words, but quality of communication.”

Interestingly, Paul declares, “I speak with tongues more than ye all.” But Paul refrained from speaking in tongues in the church. He did not act, as some do, as if he couldn’t help himself. He believed that all things had to be done decently and in order, and breaking out in speech which no one else understands is not decent or orderly. Paul says, “In the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”

Speaking in tongues is not a sign of spiritual maturity, as some believe. It is not a sign of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is not evidence of salvation. You can have a powerful and impactful church service without speaking in tongues because something more important is present — understanding of what the Lord has in store for His people to hear through the ministry of the Word.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Pray, Now and Always (Praying Through the Bible #240)

Part 1


Part 2


TEXT: Romans 12:12:

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 239 messages in this series.

This is message #240 titled, Pray, Now and Always.

The command to pray found in Romans 12:12 comes in the middle of a long list of the duties which a Christian is expected to carry out. Paul begins this passage by talking about the gifts that are present in the body of Christ. He says, “We have many members in one body, but all members have not the same office.” Some of those offices include the offices of prophet, minister, teacher, and exhorter. However, only certain ones in the body of Christ are called to those offices. Paul goes on to list twenty-five duties that all Christians should fulfill. Among these duties is “continuing instant in prayer.” There is no special office for praying or for prayer warriors. All Christians are called to pray.

But Paul is not talking about the occasional praying that we do when we get in trouble, or the formal praying that we do at the dinner table, or even the church praying that we do once a week in Sunday service. Paul says we must be “continuing instant in prayer.” The words “continuing instant” are one word in the Greek, and that word is defined as follows:

– to be steadfastly attentive to, to give unremitting care to a thing
– to continue all the time in a place
– to persevere and to not faint

Essentially, the Bible is telling us to pray now and to pray always. We ought to steadfastly take heed to this command, being ready to jump into prayer-action at any moment. I know that some people feel like they have to build up to prayer, that they have to have a special time for it, or that they have to be in a certain place or a certain state of mind. But, we ought always to be ready to pray no matter where we are or what we are doing. No matter what time it is, it is a praying time.

This verse tells us that we ought to pray as often as possible, and the only way to do that is to have a spirit of prayer, a spirit which is tuned to the Father at all times. Have you ever seen a compass on a ship? When the ship is being tossed about by the wind and waves, the needle on the compass trembles and swings back and forth, but it always comes back around and points straight to the north. Every time the needle points north, it seems to say, “That’s where I want to go.” No matter what you do to the compass, the needle will always point north. Why? Because the magnetism in the needle is attracted to the distant North Pole.

We may have to deal with all manner of things in this life that distract us from prayer, but no matter what we do, we must always swing back around and turn our needles, our prayers to God. Our hearts must have a desire to be in communion with Him. Adam Clarke said, “We must make the most fervent and intense application to the throne of grace for the light and power of the Holy Spirit, without which we can neither abhor evil, do good, love the brethren, entertain a comfortable hope, nor bear up patiently under the tribulations and ills of life.” We must continue instant in prayer, now and always.

Edith H. Kinney wrote:

Should the new dawn breaking a burden bring,
That your soul deems hard to bear,
Seek a boon of grace for a little space;
There is always time for prayer.

With a lift of heart let the day begin,
And a moment respite spare,
Ere you press along with the toiling throng;
There is always time for prayer.

When your weary feet falter on the path,
Tho’ to pause you do not dare,
Would you find the stress of the noon grow less?
There is always time for prayer.

When the late night dies with the setting sun,
Would you taste a balm for care?
With a lift of heart let the day depart;
There is always time for prayer.

There is always time in the morning’s prime,
And the golden noontide fair;
There is always time ’neath the even chime,
There is always time for prayer.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

You Never Have to Pray Alone, Part 8 (Praying Through the Bible #238)


TEXT: Romans 8:26-28:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 237 messages in this series.

This is message #238 titled, You Never Have to Pray Alone, Part 8.

In life, we often have to be reminded that things are not as bad as they seem. In the midst crisis and difficult situations, we need people to come alongside us and show us how things can work out positively in the end. That is why Romans 8:28 is such a great encouragement: it reminds us that “all things work together for good.” As we have discovered, the Holy Spirit, our helper in prayer, constantly reminds us of this.

We may not understand (or want to accept) that something negative that is happening to us is actually good from God’s perspective — good because He is allowing it and good because He will use it to bring about good in our lives. It is the Holy Spirit, who knows the mind of God, who can bring this understanding into our hearts in the midst of situations that are not ideal. Robert Haldane said, “Nothing is more necessary for Christians than to be well persuaded of the happiness and privileges of their condition, that they may be able to serve God with cheerfulness and freedom of spirit, and to pass through the troubles and difficulties of the world. Here, then, is further consolation: Christians are often in sorrows, sufferings, and trials. This is not in itself joyous, but grievous; but in another point of view it is a matter of joy. Though afflictions in themselves are evil, yet in their effects as overruled and directed by God, they are useful. Yea, all things, of every kind, that happen to the Christian, are overruled by God for the good of the believer.”

This working together for good happens to them who love God, something which the Holy Spirit plays a role in as well. One commentator called the Holy Spirit “Love guiding us to Love.” The Holy Spirit, in His work as a Comforter, Encourager, Teacher, and Prayer Partner, fills our hearts with love for God and what He is doing in our lives. It is out of our confidence in God’s love for us that we know that He will work out every situation for our good. As Jesus said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

Things working together for good also happens to those “who are called according to God’s purpose.” Everyone who is a member of God’s family has a special purpose for their lives. This purpose is wrapped up in them becoming like Christ. Often, we only fulfill that purpose by going through painful, flesh-crucifying experiences that we may be conformed to His image. In this case, all the things we go through truly do work out for our good. This fact often escapes us when we are in the middle of some difficult situation. But, just as the Holy Spirit is always there to pray for us and with us, He is also there to remind us that everything God allows into our lives is for our benefit in the end. David L. Ward wrote:

You are the Lord, reigning above,
Ruler of all our human ways;
You are the king, eternal God,
worthy of all creation’s praise!
Even when darkness falls, and hides our view
Of all that You have planned,
We can hold on to what You’ve promised us
And on Your sovereign goodness we can stand.

We have been called, even foreknown,
Chosen before time had begun
To be conformed, despite the pain,
into the image of Your Son.
Since we were called we have been justified
And we will be glorified.
When we forget these truths, and doubt Your love,
Remind us that You are on our side.

You cause everything to work for good
For those who love and follow You;
Called according to Your loving plan,
We rest on this eternal truth:
Because we are guided for our good by Your hand..

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

You Never Have to Pray Alone, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #231)


TEXT: Romans 8:26:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 230 messages in this series.

This is message #231 titled, You Never Have to Pray Alone, Part 1.

Have you ever begun to pray and felt as though your words were inadequate? Have you ever thought your prayers lacked power? Or that your intercessions couldn’t pierce the ceiling, much less get past the clouds? When we consider that we are going before the throne of the Almighty, I think we all can identify with such feelings. In fact, it would be safe to say that we should feel inadequate and unworthy before the Father. Anytime we become too confident, we are on slippery ground. Paul warned about this when he said, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” But we do not have to be sidelined by our inadequacy in prayer because God has provided us a helper in the Holy Spirit.

Warren Wiersbe said, “God is concerned about the trials of His people. When He was ministering on earth, Jesus groaned when He saw what sin was doing to mankind. Today the Holy Spirit groans with us and feels the burdens of our weaknesses and suffering. But the Spirit does more than groan. He prays for us in His groaning so that we might be led into the will of God. We do not always know God’s will. We do not always know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes so that we might live in the will of God in spite of suffering. The Spirit ‘shares the burden.'”

In this passage, Paul acknowledges that we can often be weak in prayer. He uses the word “infirmities,” which means “feebleness or a lack of strength.” We experience infirmity in prayer when we have prayed for something for a long time, but have not received an answer, and we feel like giving up. We experience infirmity in prayer when we pray our way through a difficult day when it seems like nothing is going right, and at day’s end we feel like saying, “What’s the use? I did all that praying for nothing.” We also experience infirmity in prayer when, as Paul says, “we know not what we should pray for.” And not only are there times when we don’t know what to pray for, but there are times when we don’t even know how to pray. Have you ever looked at a messed up situation and thought to yourself, “I don’t even know how to begin to pray for that”? The devil seizes upon these times and tries to use them to convince us to give up on praying all together.

But God’s Word tells us that we are not alone in prayer. We have a helper — God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. We know already that God the Father is the hearer and answerer of our prayers. We know also that Jesus Christ is interceding on our behalf before the Father’s throne. But He is fulfilling His substitutionary role as the Atoner of our sins. It is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who helps us in our daily prayer life.

Let me leave you with these words by Andrew Reed from the hymn, “Spirit Divine, Inspire Our Prayer”

Spirit divine, inspire our prayer
and make our hearts your home;
descend with all your gracious power;
come, Holy Spirit, come!
Come as the light; reveal our need,
our hidden failings show,
and lead us in those paths of life
where all on the righteous go.
Come as the fire and clean our hearts
with purifying flame;
let our whole soul an offering be
to our Redeemer’s name.
Come as the dove and spread your wings,
the wings of peace and love,
until your church on earth below
joins with your church above.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Praying Through Your Midnight Hour, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #230)



Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Acts 16:25-34

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 229 messages in this series.

This is message #230 titled, Praying Through Your Midnight Hour, Part 4.

We return to Paul and Silas who are in prison. In their midnight hour, they chose to pray and praise God despite their circumstances. They could do this because they knew that God was not in a midnight hour. His hands were not tied, nor His feet shackled. We learned also that God sometimes allows us to go through midnight hours in order to encourage others who are in the same situation. Paul and Silas prayed and praised God as their fellow prisoners listened. We must remember that our behavior, particularly during hard times, is a testimony to the unsaved world. Finally, we learned that we ought to pray and praise God in our midnight hour because God may be planning to use our situation to display His power and bring glory to His name. That is what happened when “suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” God responded to His servants’ prayers and wrought this tremendous deliverance on their behalf.

Notice, however, that all of the prisoners were loosed by this earthquake. Surely, some of them deserved to be in jail. What was God up to? Here, we learn another principle from this story: We ought to pray through our midnight hour because God may be preparing us for future ministry.

When the keeper of the prison awoke and realized that the prison was destroyed, he assumed that all of the prisoners had escaped. Under Roman custom, jailers or soldiers tasked with guarding a prisoner were killed if their prisoners escaped. So, the jailkeeper drew his sword to kill himself. “But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” Apparently, Paul and Silas had stopped the other prisoners from escaping.

The jailkeeper must have wondered, “What kind of prisoners are these? They are given an opportunity to escape through an act of God, but they don’t leave. On top of that, they are concerned about me, the one who not only put them in prison but put them in the inner prison and put their feet fast in the stocks?”

William J. Larkin said, “The urgency, shakenness and respect, if not worship, shown in the jailer’s demeanor are matched by his question: Sirs, what must I do to be saved? The earthquake and the prisoners’ willingness to remain have vindicated the message and the messengers. Temporal salvation is not the issue, since the prisoners are reported present; clearly, then, this seismic event has shaken loose from the jailer’s heart the key religious question of the ages.”

The jailkeeper likely had heard Paul and Silas praying and praising God. Their actions once they were freed from the prison aligned with their verbal testimony. I’m afraid that most of us would have run as soon as we saw a way to escape. But Paul and Silas saw an opportunity to show how the life of Christ was borne out in their lives. They were not just glad to get out of their midnight hour, but they seized upon a God-ordained opportunity for ministry.

The jailer came to them trembling. He “fell down before Paul and Silas” and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” The jailer took Paul and Silas to his own home where “they spake unto him and to all that were in his house the word of the Lord.” The result was that the jailer and all who were in his house, family members and servants, “believed in God” and were baptized “straightway.” After that, they had a time of fellowship. The jailer washed the wounds of Paul and Silas, “set meat before them,” and “rejoiced with all his house.”

Souls saved! Believers baptized! God glorified! When their midnight hour began, Paul and Silas could not have known that this was the way it would turn out. But God had allowed them to be put in that position to prepare them for greater ministry. Perhaps, Paul had this situation in mind when he wrote to the Corinthians that God allows His children to suffer tribulation “that we may be able to comfort those which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

That is why we ought never to throw our hands up in despair in our midnight hour. Rather, we ought to lift our hands in prayer and praise. We never know who is watching us. We never know what God has planned for us. We never know the souls that can be saved or the people who could be encouraged if we would but pray and praise God in our midnight hour.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Dealing with Satanic Distractions in Prayer (Praying Through the Bible #226)



Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Acts 16:16-18

16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

————–

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 225 messages in this series.

This is message #226 titled, Dealing with Distractions in Prayer.

Once again, we find Paul, Silas, and Luke on their way to prayer. A few verses prior to this, we saw them at the riverside praying with and sharing the Gospel with the God-fearing women of the city of Philippi. Now, they are staying at the house of one of those women, Lydia.

As these three are on their way to prayer, perhaps by the riverside once again, they are accosted by a young woman who “possesses a spirit of divination” and who “brought her masters much gain by soothsaying” or fortune-telling. This woman was like the psychics or palm-readers that we have today who claim they can tell things about a person or about their future by reading their palms or looking at a set of cards. Of course, all of these individuals are frauds, and all have tapped in to demonic powers, and that is what is going on here.

The Bible says this woman followed Paul and his companions crying out, “These are the servants of the Most High God which show unto us the way of salvation.” This went on “for many days.” For days on end, whenever Paul and Silas and Luke would go out to pray or preach, this woman would come crying after them. On the surface, it sounds like she is doing a good thing. Surely, Paul’s ministry could have been benefitted by the free advertisement. Certainly, this woman was telling the truth. But the devil can do good for an evil purpose. And Paul recognizes an evil spirit in this woman.

This is often how the devil will try to distract us from prayer. He will take those things which are good and use them to get your mind off of the greater good of prayer. One commentator wrote, “Distractions can trip us up, sometimes without notice. First, they make their way into our prayer time on a peripheral tangent even though we hardly open the door. Then, before too long, like uninvited guests, they overshadow our minds and guide us away from the Lord. But the good news is that we are not hopelessly bound to these invaders. God wants us to know that it is possible to win the battle against the distractions that come at us when we try to pray.”

It is amazing the many things that come to your mind that need to be done when it is time for you to pray. Good things — bills that need to be paid, people you need to call, people trying to call you, appointments that need to be followed up on, etc. All things that should be done. God would even be pleased if you do these things, but none of these things should take the place of prayer. We must, as Paul did, recognize that sometimes the devil is trying to distract us from the greater work.

The Bible says Paul “was grieved” in his spirit. The Holy Spirit inside of him could not suffer this distraction to continue. The devil was bringing attention to them, but it was attention for the wrong reasons. So Paul “turned and said to the demonic spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

Similarly, in our prayer lives, we must refuse to get caught up in the distractions that come our way. We must be able to discern by the Holy Spirit’s power when something is a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed and when the devil is trying to get us off track from what we are supposed to be doing, which is praying without ceasing and praying at appointed times.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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