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Gospel Light House of Prayer International

Archive for the tag “Christian”

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.

Praying Off the Beaten Path (Praying Through the Bible #225)


TEXT: Acts 16:13-15

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

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 223 messages in this series.

This is message #224 titled, Praying Off the Beaten Path.

In this passage, we find Paul in the middle of his second missionary journey. Recently, he has attempted to take the Gospel message east into Asia Minor, but found repeatedly doors being shut and the Spirit indicating that they should not move forward in that direction. While they were waiting to find out what they should do next, Paul received a vision of a Macedonian man telling him, “Come over and help us.” Taking this as a sign from the Lord, Paul, Silas, and Luke go west into Europe. We know that Luke is with them because his narrative switches from “they” to “we”; he is a partaker in the action of his historical account. They arrive in Philippi, a Roman colony city in Macedonia.

Philippi was the most prominent city in the region. Being a colony city, it was considered a “little Rome,” a “Rome away from Rome.” It was filled with loyal Roman subjects, many of whom were retired soldiers, who had received rewards from the Roman emperor in exchange for them leaving Italy and reinforcing Roman values by living in an outpost of the Empire. Philippi was also the city where Mark Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius in a decisive battle of the second Roman civil war just a few years prior to the arrival of Paul, Silas, and Luke.

On the first Sabbath after their arrival, we find Paul and his fellow workers heading down to a riverside where Jews gathered for prayer. Either one of the men in the group had some prior knowledge of the place or they were just looking for a place to pray themselves when they happened upon a group of Jews. Normally, Paul would have sought to present the Gospel in the synagogue on the Sabbath, but there was no synagogue in Philippi because the Jewish population in that city was very small and at least ten adult men were needed for the establishment of a synagogue.

The riverside prayer location was a way for the few Jews and others who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to get away from the noise of the pagan city and get alone with God. The fact that it was a place “where prayer was wont to be made,” lets us know that the Jews gathered here consistently to pray. Matthew Henry noted, “Certainly, each of those who gathered here on the weekend also prayed separately every day; this was always the practice of those who worshiped God. Though they were but a few and marginalized by the town, though their meeting was at some distance, though it appears there were none but women, yet they determined to have a solemn assembly in order to worship God.”

The example of the women of Philippi reminds us that the power of prayer, independently or collectively, is not in any particular place. Many Christians only seriously pray when they are in the house of God on Sunday. They go through the week never once accessing the power that is available to them by going to God in prayer wherever they are — at home, in school, on the job, or driving from one place to another. The women of Philippi were not discouraged from gathering and praying together because they did not have a synagogue. Instead, they met by the river. They were determined to spend quality time with God in prayer.

Luke writes that he, Paul, and Silas, “sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Paul and his companions conversed with the women about Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. The women of Philippi received the blessing of the truth of the Gospel because they were in this place of prayer off the beaten path. They received the truth from God, not in a synagogue or in the Temple, but by a riverside — a riverside they had resorted to because they were few in number and at a disadvantage in the city. (Not only were they believers in the true God in a pagan city, they were women in a male-dominated society.)

We, too, ought to be committed to praying anywhere. Certainly, we ought to resort to our “prayer closets” frequently. Certainly, we ought to attend church services and be in fellowship with other believers as much as possible. But there is no place where God cannot hear and answer our prayers. It may be that God also has special answers and special blessings for those of us who engage in prayer off the beaten path.

Someone once wrote:

God has given you His promise
That He hears and answers prayer.
He will heed your supplication
If you cast on Him your care.

He can hear the greatest petition,
And the smallest, over there.
Unto God, pray without ceasing,
He will answer every prayer.

Take to God your plans and failures,
Anytime and anywhere.
No one ever goes unanswered,
For He answers every 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.

Simon the Sorcerer, a Phony Christian, and a Fake Prayer of Repentance, Part 2 (Praying Through the Bible #212)


TEXT: Acts 8:18-24

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

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 211 messages in this series.

This is message #212 titled, Simon the Sorcerer, a Phony Christian, and a Fake Prayer of Repentance, Part 2

We return to the scene of Simon the sorcerer who offered money to Peter and John in order that he might be able to impart the Holy Spirit to others. Peter’s reaction was one of justified outrage. “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”

Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck said in their fine commentary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “The reason for such strong language was Simon’s failure to understand grace, the free nature of God’s salvation and blessings. The language of this verse implies Simon was not a Christian.” Simon had only been pretending to be a Christian. He had begun following Philip because he was intrigued by the miracles that had been performed in Samaria and he wanted to know about their source. Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “His faith was not in the Word of God, but in the miracles he saw Philip perform; and there is no indication that Simon repented of his sins. He certainly did not believe with all his heart.”

When Simon saw the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Samaritan believers, his only thought was of how powerful he could become if he gained the ability to impart the Holy Spirit to others. Obviously, Peter and John would not go along with this, but they did have some words of advice for him.

First, they said, “repent therefore of this thy wickedness.” Repentance is a decision to turn away from that which is evil. The apostles called on Simon to make an about face, to cease his hungering after the power of God, so much so that he would offer to buy it. When sin is found to be in our lives, the only acceptable response before God is repentance.

Second, the apostles told Simon to “pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” The issue at hand was whether or not Simon would be willing to confess and repent of his sinfulness and the evil thoughts of his heart. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “The adverb ‘perhaps’ does not mean God is reluctant to forgive sin. The question was whether Simon would repent of his heart’s intention.” Simon’s heart had been shown to be very corrupt. Peter said he was “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”

Simon feared the judgment of God because of his sinful heart, but his words reveal that he is not willing to truly repent. He says, “Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” James Montgomery Boice said, “Simon’s words were what we would call ‘a cop out.’ He was refusing to do what he had been told he should do and was passing the buck to Peter.”

We don’t know what happened to Simon — whether he truly repented and truly believed or whether he went away, like the rich young ruler, sorrowful, not wanting to believe because it would cause him to give up something that he wanted.

What we can take away from this passage is our own responsibility for repentance, prayer, and getting our hearts right with God. The preacher can’t believe for us, nor can he repent for us. That is something we must do on our own — not simply because we want to avoid God’s judgment, but because we love God and want to maintain a good relationship with Him. The preacher can pray for us, but we need to make sure that we are praying for ourselves.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

Simon the Sorcerer, a Phony Christian, and a Fake Prayer of Repentance, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #211)


TEXT: Acts 8:18-24

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

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 210 messages in this series.

This is message #211 titled, Simon the Sorcerer, a Phony Christian, and the Fake Prayer of Repentance, Part 1

Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “It is a basic principle in Scripture that wherever God sows His true believers, Satan will eventually sow his counterfeits. This was true of the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus, and it would be true of Paul’s ministry also. The enemy comes as a lion to devour, and when that approach fails, he comes as a serpent to deceive. Satan’s tool in this case was a sorcerer named Simon.”

In Acts chapter 8, we are introduced to Simon the sorcerer. Simon was a resident of the town of Samaria. We are told that he “used sorcery and bewitched” the people of Samaria. Many of them believed that he had power from God and honored him as a great man. But Simon’s power was shown to be nothing when the people encountered the real power of God.

This power of God came in the form of Phillip who was sent to Samaria to preach the Gospel. The Bible says, “The people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”

Simon the sorcerer saw all that was happening. Perhaps, at first, he watched with envy as all the people who had once been devoted to him turned away and became devoted to Jesus. But, soon, Simon the sorcerer became Simon the phony Christian. The Bible says, “Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip.” For some time, Simon became a student of Phillip’s teaching. He followed him as Phillip had followed Jesus, learning about what it meant to live like Christ.

However, one day, we see the real nature of Simon, the phony Christian come out. When the Apostles, Peter and John from Jerusalem, came to Samaria to meet the new Christians, they laid hands on them and imparted to them the Holy Spirit. Simon saw the new spiritual vitality that came into the lives of those who received the Holy Spirit. He was reminded of his old ways of sorcery. He was reminded of what it was like to have power over others, to have them respect and fear you. To have control. He wanted to be able to do what the disciples had done. So, he asked Peter and John, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” Verse 18 says he even “offered them money.”

Simon’s words and actions show us that he did not have the Holy Spirit in his life because he was trying to buy the Holy Spirit, therefore he was not saved, he was a phony Christian. His heart was not right with God. He wanted to be seen as powerful in the church. He wanted a measure of control and influence over others that was not his to have. And he was willing to spend money to get it. G. Campbell Morgan said Simon’s sin was “a desire to possess spiritual power for personal ends.” It is easy to condemn Simon, but we must wonder, if church leadership were doled out on a pay-to-play basis today, how many selfish, proud, egotistical individuals would pay money to gain some authority in the church of God? There is a word for this type of behavior in the church — it is appropriately called “simony.”

Janet Martin aptly describes the behaviour of some Christians in her poem, “Oh Hypocrite”:

With your mouth you seek to please me,
From your lip pours empty praise,
With your honor you displease me
Yet call to God to bless your days,
In vain you declare my teaching,
In vain you worship me,
And you mock me with your preaching
For your heart is not set free

Take away all your fancy words,
Your religious mockery,
You have shown me by your works
That your heart is far from me,
Strip away self-righteous gowns,
End all your vain expressions,
Take your laws and throw them down,
Cease your false confessions

Clanging bells and tinkling cymbals,
Echoes from a hollow shell,
Fall upon the ground and tremble,
God who made you knows you well,
With your lips you form my praises
With your heart you hate my way,
Your false honor, God despises,
Praising while you disobey

In closing today, we have seen the journey of Simon the sorcerer to Simon the phony Christian.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

Help for the Stressed-Out Preacher or Christian Worker, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #210)


TEXT: Acts 6:1-4

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

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 209 messages in this series.

This is message #210 titled, Help for the Stressed-Out Preacher or Christian Worker, Part 3

In our passage for today, we find the apostles of Christ facing a dilemma which many pastors today may be familiar with. The 12 disciples spent most of their time praying, preaching the Gospel and baptizing new believers. That was what Christ had commanded them to do just before he left. However, as time went on, they began to add to their duties other things that needed to be done in the church. These other ministry responsibilities, which were all good and necessary things to do, threatened to take away from their main purpose of praying and preaching the Gospel.

As the apostles would not allow this to be the case, their ministry to the widows of the church suffered, and the Greeks complained that only Jewish widows were getting the attention of the apostles. How did the apostles handle this situation? First, they realized that they could not do everything. And, second, they began to delegate.

Verse 3 tells us that they said, “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” The disciples realized that they could not and should not try to do everything in the church. They realized that God could raise up others who were just as filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom as they were, but who had a different calling on their life. Notice, they did not say, ‘Let’s pray that God would send someone or raise up someone to lead this ministry.’ They said, “Look ye out among you seven men…” These seven spirit-filled men were already in the church. They just needed to be put to work.

Many pastors today can benefit from following the apostles’ example. Jim Putman, author of “Church Is a Team Sport,” said, “A pastor can’t do everything, but his responsibility is to make sure all the positions on the team are filled.” A pastor can’t be a quarterback, running back, tight end, and a defensive lineman all at the same time. He must stick to what God has uniquely called and gifted Him to do, and that is to preach the Gospel and to pray. Any expert on productivity will tell you that there is value in focusing on one or two main things and letting others who have a different skillset handle other matters. Stanley Cherkasky said, “Fewer than forty percent of leaders know how to successfully delegate. In fact, delegation is one of the most underutilized skills. But the fact is that in order to increase productivity—delegation is essential.”

The disciples knew that if they wanted to reach the maximum number of people with the Gospel, they needed to focus all their attention on prayer and preaching the Gospel . By delegating other tasks to church members who were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were able to continue preaching the Gospel without letting any of the church’s other ministries suffer.

Pastor or Christian worker, the devil wants you to be sidetracked by all the other “good” things that you could be doing. However, if you are stressed-out, depressed, or anxious, it may very well be because you are not doing what God has called you to do. And that is prayer and preaching the Gospel so that souls can be saved. Shed everything else and focus on that. If you have been called to preach, it is better for you to spend your time ‘in prayer, and in 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.

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