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Archive for the tag “praying”

Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #252)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 1-9 here):

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.

— 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 251 messages in this series.

This is message #252 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3.

By way of introduction, Dr. John Walvoord & Dr. Roy Zuck, editors of the Bible Knowledge Commentary, said about this passage, “Paul had no intention of depreciating the gift of tongues; he was simply interested in appreciating the gift of prophecy. There was nothing wrong with the gift of tongues; in fact Paul thought it would be good if everyone had the gift. Of course he had said the same thing about celibacy, but in neither instance did he expect universal compliance with his statement. Since both were gifts from God, neither should be despised. In a church gathering, however, the gift of prophecy and its exercise was greatly to be preferred to uninterpreted tongues simply because the former built up others. As already stated, the tongues gift was confirmatory and thus temporary. Thus those instructions, specifically directed to the Corinthians’ misuse of tongues, are not directives for the use of tongues today.”

The Apostle Paul continues giving instruction on the use of the gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues in the church. He reiterates again in verse 5 that he preferred that the people in the church pursue the gift of prophecy rather than that of speaking in tongues. He says, “for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” The Greek word that Paul uses that is translated as “greater” means larger or stronger. It is not to say that the prophet is more important in value, but in capacity. Prophecy is of benefit to more people than speaking in tongues.

Some of those who desired the gift of speaking in tongues appeared to be doing so because it seemed glamorous or was celebrated more than other gifts. But, Paul’s concern is only about how many people can be edified with the gift. If the tongue is not interpreted, no one will be edified by what the speaker is saying. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon lists the definition of edifying as “the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.” Whatever you do in the church, you must ask yourself whether you are doing it to improve the spiritual growth of others or whether you are just doing it to show off and gain praise for yourself.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Paul did not deny the value of tongues to the speaker, but he did place a greater value on building up the church. Unless the tongues are interpreted, the message can do the church no good. Paul pointed out that an interpreter must be present before the gift of tongues may be exercised.” He goes on to use himself in a hypothetical situation. He says, “If I come to 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?” Speaking in another tongue would have done no good for Paul’s listeners.

If Paul wanted to benefit the church, he would have to come with revelation directly from God, knowledge based on the study of God’s Word, prophetic speech directed toward a situation the church was facing, or the explanation of some doctrine the church needed to abide by. All of this, of course, would be delivered in the people’s native language. The point was not how dramatic the speaker could be, but whether or not the people could understand what the speaker was saying and apply it to their lives. There is no merit in being mysterious or complicated when it comes to Christian teaching (or any other kind of teaching); such teaching only comes across as confusing and unbeneficial.

A piano only has 88 keys, yet a pianist is able to play an infinite number of songs. You and I would instantly be able to recognize, understand, and enjoy the sounds of “Amazing Grace,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” or The “Star Wars” Theme Song. Why? Because the notes of each song are played in an orderly and organized fashion. Out of this order comes beautiful music. If someone bangs around on the piano keys, no matter how much they claim they are making music, everyone will see it for what it is — cacophony, and no one will be able to understand or enjoy what is being played. In the house of God, we ought to be committed to making beautiful, orderly, music that all people can understand and by which all people can be benefitted, edified, and uplifted.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #248)

PART 1


PART 2


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

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 247 messages in this series.

This is message #248 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 5.

By way of introduction to this passage, Walter Elwell writes:

The first issue is concerned with the different head coverings that appropriately distinguish women and men as they pray or prophesy in worship. The interpretation of the passage is complicated from the outset (so also to some extent is) by its dependence on prior teaching which Paul has given to the church but which, of course, is unknown to us. However, by beginning with ‘praise,’ Paul hints that the church has not departed significantly from the substance of what he has previously taught. The discussion of the issue then begins with a call for the church to acknowledge (again or anew) that the ‘head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.’ However, the word head, used here and repeatedly throughout this section, has various meanings. It may be used to speak of a physical head. But from this literal meaning come two metaphorical ones which allow the same word to denote rule and authority (the head of the church being in authority over the body, or source and origin (the head of the church being the source of its existence. Of course, the precise meaning intended here will greatly influence the interpretation of the principle being expressed, not to mention any attempt to apply it to different, broader questions about the roles appropriate to men and women in contemporary worship. It may be helpful, therefore, to note first that either meaning enables these words to support the instructions which follow. But it is also significant to observe that the second has the advantage of according greater continuity to the section as a whole .If the second of the metaphorical meanings is Paul’s here, then his principle will be a statement of the truth that the source of every man’s existence (or perhaps ‘person’; the Greek can be used generically) is Christ, “through whom all things were made” (the Nicene Creed) the source of woman’s existence is ‘the man’ (the definite article in Greek is used with the word man, not woman; and the source of existence for the historical person of Christ is God. Thus a man who prays or prophesies with his physical head covered (either, as the NIV text suggests, by some form of head covering or, as the footnote has it, with long hair) symbolically dishonors the source of his existence by obscuring that which was created in the image of God and designed to reflect that image to God’s glory. Similarly, a woman who prays or prophesies (a practice Paul affirms apart from these comments on proper dress) with her physical head uncovered symbolically refuses to honor the source of her existence (i.e., by trying to obscure the distinctions between woman and man) and so brings dishonor upon her own head as surely as if it “were shaved.” Thus if a woman refuses to ‘cover her head,’ she may as well ‘have her hair cut off,’ for the latter state is no more or less dishonoring to her than the former. The basis for this argument is now reexpressed and supplemented before Paul returns to the question of the woman’s appearance. For the ‘reason’ he has given, and because of the angels, the woman who prays or prophesies must ‘have a sign of authority on her head.’ This allows her to transcend her created distinction from man (without seeking to deny it) in the expression of her gift. For both now participate in worship in a new order in Christ. This does not mean, however, that in the Lord woman is free to disregard man, nor is man free to disregard woman. The truth is that they are dependent upon each other and both dependent upon God.

As we return to this passage once again, Paul provides another major reason as to why women should wear head coverings in public worship. His first reason is because of the divine order of authority: God, Christ, man, and then woman. The second reason is because of Creation: God created man first and woman second. These reasons are still valid today as it pertains to a woman’s role in the home and the church. The husband is the head of the household and men are to be ordained as pastors of churches. However, when it comes to headcoverings, most commentators agree that Paul’s words should be applied in light of the cultural relevancy of the headcovering. In New Testament times and in some places today (particularly Muslim countries), a head covering is representative of a respectable, upstanding woman. But, in the Western world, physical headcoverings — whether they are veils, or hats, or shawls — don’t carry the same symbolism and are not required in the church.

Another of Paul’s reasons in defense of the Biblical position of a woman’s role in the home is one that also carries weight for our society. In verses 13-16, Paul appeals to nature, writing: “Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” In fact, in this day and time, when there is so much Satanic confusion surrounding gender and what constitutes male and female, these words are more relevant than ever. There are some things that apply to men and some things that apply to women across the board.

Addressing what Paul’s words mean in light of our present discussion, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck write: “Mankind instinctively distinguished between the sexes in various ways, one of which was length of hair. Exceptions to this general practice were due either to necessity or perversity. No abstract length of hair was in mind so much as male and female differentiation. The Spartans, for example, favored shoulder-length hair for men which they tied up for battle, and no one thought them effeminate. Long hair was a woman’s glory because it gave visible expression to the differentiation of the sexes. This was Paul’s point in noting that long hair was given to her as a covering. Natural revelation confirmed the propriety of women wearing the physical covering. She has a natural covering, and should follow the custom of wearing a physical covering in a public meeting.”

Some might try to contend with the natural order of things by stating that this order is solely based on centuries of misguided human social construction. However, for Paul, the natural order is based on the divine order and the created order. Genesis states that God made them “male and female.” He didn’t make two people of the same kind. He made two people of a different kind. And He did it for a reason.

In the church, it is tempting to go along with the culture’s attempt to erase the differences and blend the roles of men and women. But God has given us a clear order for the church and the family. His natural creation testifies that men and women are equal but distinct from each other. We must respect that order in worship, in service, and in life.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #246)

PART 1


PART 2


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-12:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

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 245 messages in this series.

This is message #246 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 3.

Having established the foundational authority structure within God’s economy, Paul now moves into the specifics of the situation in the Corinthian church. He says, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.” Paul’s concern here is not with the behavior of males and females in the church. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament portray men and women in prominent roles when praying and prophesying. Rather, Paul is concerned with the manner in which men and women go about that behavior.

The term “head” is symbolic of authority. Jesus is the head of the church. Colossians 2:10 says Christ is the “head of all principalities and powers.” We refer to the leader of a country as a “head of state.” In any organization, the behavior of subordinates is a reflection on their leader. A misbehaving child is a negative reflection on his parents; a well-behaved child is a positive reflection on his parents. In the same way, how we live and worship as Christians is a reflection on our head Jesus Christ.

The central question of the head being covered or uncovered in worship is: How are we reflecting on our authority and our position in that authority structure? Mark Taylor writes in his commentary: “Paul recognizes the principle of headship because what one does with their anatomical head in worship has implications of either honor or shame for one’s respective spiritual head.”

Because the uncovered head was symbolic of the man’s position under Christ, it would have been shameful for a man to minister in the church with his head covered. It would have been as though he were rejecting his God-given role as a leader in the church and family, as many men do today. He would have brought dishonor to His authority, Jesus Christ. Conversely, for the woman: Because the covered head was symbolic of her position under her husband, it would have been shameful for her to minister in the church with her head uncovered. It would have been as though she were rejecting her God-given position in the church and the family, as many women do today. She would not only show dishonor to Christ, but to her husband as well.

Warren Wiersbe writes, “The man honors his Head (Christ) by being uncovered, while the woman honors her head (the man) by being covered. She is showing her submission both to God and to the man. Both man and woman are made in the image of God and for the glory of God; but since the woman was made from the man she is also the ‘glory of the man.’ She glorifies God and brings glory to the man by submitting to God’s order and keeping her head covered in public worship.”

Not only is worship important. But, how we go about our worship is important. God wants us to pray, prophesy, preach, and minister in ways that are honoring to Him. Sometimes, we think we can get away with doing a good thing in the wrong way. But, God wants us to do all good things in the right way, and that includes abiding by the order of authority in the church and in the home. When we do, we bring glory and honor to God, to Christ, and to the human authority that God has placed over us.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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 6 (Praying Through the Bible #236)


TEXT: Romans 8:18-28:

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

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.

— 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 235 messages in this series.

This is message #236 titled, You Never Have to Pray Alone, Part 6.

This passage explores the topic of the Holy Spirit as our partner in prayer among other things. As we look at this passage, we see that the Holy Spirit is the perfect partner because He can take our unspoken prayer requests, those expressions that we are unable to put into words, and communicate them to the Heavenly Father. In the verse that we are focusing on today, we see another reason why the Holy Spirit is the best prayer partner one could wish for. Paul writes, “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.”

The reference to “He who searches the hearts” is usually taken to refer to God the Father. God is spoken of twice in Scripture as the One who judges people by what is in their hearts, not their outward appearance. John MacArthur writes, “In most modern cultures, the heart is thought of as the seat of emotions and feelings. But most ancients—Hebrews, Greeks, and many others—considered the heart to be the center of knowledge, understanding, thinking, and wisdom. The New Testament also uses it in that way. The heart was considered to be the seat of the mind and will, and it could be taught what the brain could never know.” Our prayers, and all of our communications with God, come from the heart. You might formulate words with your mind, but those words are generated by what you believe, think or desire in your heart.

God is able to understand and receive the heart-prayers of His children because the Holy Spirit lives inside of each of us. That is what Paul means when he says that God “knows the mind of the Spirit.” When God looks down on us, He ought to see His Spirit alive in our hearts. This Holy Spirit not only knows our desires better than we do, but He also knows what we ought to desire. It is His goal to move us forward on the road of Christlikeness. So, He raises those desires in us that would push us toward that end.

That is what Paul means when he says the Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” The Holy Spirit in us prays for us in the will of God. While we may be praying for a new car, the Holy Spirit is praying for us to learn to be content with such things as we have. While we may be praying for a spouse, the Holy Spirit is praying for us to realize that God is all we need for the time being. While we may be praying for the salvation of a certain group of people, the Holy Spirit is praying that we would be obedient and go witness to them ourselves. God recognizes His will in the prayers of the Holy Spirit, and He will answer those prayers. We must be prepared to follow through on those answers. They may not be the answers that we want, in that they do not add to our personal comfort, but they will most definitely move us closer to God and further our journey into Christlikeness.

William Gadsby wrote:

A Godliness which feeds on form,
And lip devotion, barren cheer,
Will satisfy an earthly worm,
Who learns to think and call it prayer;
Contented with the husky part,
A moving lip and silent heart.

O Lord, thy Spirit’s aid impart,
And fill me with devotion’s fire;
Create anew my waiting heart,
And heavenly breathings there inspire;
Bid heart and flesh cry out for thee,
And thou my joyful portion be!

Let incense smoking from my breast,
In praise and prayer ascend thy hill;
And where I rove, or where I rest,
Do thou, O God, surround me still;
My heavenly intercourse increase,
Till as a river flows my peace.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

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.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #224)


TEXT: Acts 12:11-17

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

14 And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

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, The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 5.

From the miraculous story of Peter’s deliverance from prison, from the hand of Herod, and from the ill intent of the Jews, we began looking at what this apostle did after he received his answer to prayer. The Bible tells us that “many” had gathered at Mary’s house to pray collectively for his deliverance. Their prayers had been answered, but Peter was the only one who knew it.

The first thing Peter did was he acknowledged God as the miracle-worker. He stopped to express thanks and gratitude to God for working on his behalf. And when we get our answers to prayer, we ought to do the same.

Then, not only did Peter acknowledge God as his deliverer and miracle-worker, but he shared the good news with other saints. Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where the saints were gathered, praying for him. The Bible says, “many were gathered together praying.” With Herod’s people out to get them, it is understandable that the door was locked. It took Peter a little while to get into the prayer meeting because a young lady, Rhoda, answered the door, and when she heard Peter’s voice she got so excited that she ran back to tell the others but forgot to unlock the door. No one believed Rhoda at first, deciding that what she had seen was Peter’s guardian angel. “But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.”

The word translated as “astonished” means “to be amazed, to be thrown into wonderment, to be beside one’s self.” I believe the response of these believers is due, not to the fact that they did not expect a miracle, but they did not expect a miracle of this nature. Perhaps, they were hoping that there would be a trial and that the Roman-backed legal system would treat Peter fairly and that Peter would eventually be released. (A similar thing happened to Paul some time in the future.) But when they saw Peter coming into Mary’s house that night, they knew that God had worked a miracle beyond their imagination. When God has answered our prayers, especially when others have been praying with us and for us, we ought to be glad to tell them of what God has done. Our testimony will be an encouragement to others who are praying for God to work on their behalf.

Finally, not only did Peter acknowledge God as his deliverer, and not only did he share the good news of his deliverance, but he and the other believers got back to work almost immediately. Understandably, Peter’s miraculous deliverance was a cause for great celebration. The believers wanted to know all the details of the miracle. The Bible says that Peter, “beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.”

Peter commissioned the saints to take the good news to James and to the other believers. They, too, needed to hear that their prayers had been answered, not only so that they could rejoice in the miracle, but so that they could get back to the all-important work of preaching the Gospel and edifying the saints. Sometimes, we have emergency situations that call for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to prayer. That is what happened when “many” people gathered at Mary’s house to pray for one thing — Peter’s deliverance. That is the power of the collective prayer of the church in the face of impossible situations. But when these situations are resolved, we all must, as Peter did, go “into another place” so that we can continue the individual work that God has called us to do — be it in our homes, in our workplaces, in other areas of the church, in government, or what have you.

From the example of the first-century believers, we see that when we are faced with impossible situations, the collective prayer of the saints is mighty through God to overcome any difficulty that stands in the way of God’s work.

Eliza E. Hewitt wrote:

No matter how hard goes the battle of life,
God’s children need never despair;
His conquering grace giveth peace amid the strife,
There is wonderful power in prayer.

We know that roses will not always bloom,
The skies will not always be fair;
But go to the Father to brighten the gloom,
There is wonderful power in prayer.

Through all the swift changes that come to us here,
Till white robes of glory we wear;
We’ll look up to Jesus for comfort and cheer,
There is wonderful power in 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.

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