Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Prayer – A Big Mystery!


Could you imagine living without breathing?
You might say, “What a silly question to ask?”! It is obvious that no man could live even for seconds without breathing. Breathing is so vital to life that some one who is not breathing is not living.

God has made us as dependent creatures. We depend on the air that we breath, the water that we drink and the food that we eat. If we want to have a healthy life, we need to depend on unpolluted air, water and food. Likewise, we need to depend on people around us to have a healthy, strong and a happy mind. Imagine our lives without what we learned from our parents, teachers and friends! Imagine how miserable our lives would have been if we never had the privilege to be literates!

We know that man is much more than body and mind. The Bible teaches that man is created in God’s image and that man has a spirit in him (1Thes.5:23). The spirit in man is that which makes him different from the rest of the animal world. Just as our body and mind, our spirits too can not survive on its on. Graciously, God has permitted us that we depend on Him for the survival of our spirits.

Prayer is the vital breath of a Christian. If you are not a praying person, that means that you are spiritually dead. When we call upon God through Christ our Lord, His grace and power flow to us and make us alive spiritually. A prayer-less person is a spiritually dead person. And a person who spends less time in prayer is a spiritually powerless person!

The first thing that any one should get from God through prayer is forgiveness.
Prayer for forgiveness must be accompanied by repentance and faith (Mk.10:15). There are many who pray and believe with out repentance. Such prayer has no value. Repentance is a total turning around. Man basically lives for himself and for his loved ones. Repentance is a total turning around to live for God. Faith without repentance is like the faith of the devil (James 2:15). It is dead faith and it has no value. Prayer accompanied by repentance makes faith into saving faith. Thus all who call on Him will be saved (Rom.10:13).

There are many who go to God in prayer for material things. God is a generous giver and He gives generously. Such people are able to narrate stories about how God answered their prayers and how they got healing, or other material benefits. It is a trick of the devil to see that they stand short of the full blessings from God which is spiritual son-ship and forgiveness. If you are some one who knows that God answers prayers, and if you do not know that you are a forgiven child of God, you are missing the greatest gift from God!

In fact, God has ordained prayer basically for spiritual purposes. That is why Jesus said, “every one who asks receives” (Mt.7:8). Every one who asks in true repentance and faith for forgiveness and for son-ship surely receives it. If you are not a saved person, call upon Him right now and be saved. Use http://www.4stepstogod.com and pray that prayer at the end of the page now and be a child of God.

Now you may be a forgiven person. That is not the end of your spiritual life. Prayer is meant that we might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph.3:19). If you have only received forgiveness and son-ship alone, you are enjoying far less than what God expects to give you through this mystery which is prayer. A prayerful person is able to move the hands of God which move the universe. Thus prayer becomes the mightiest weapon that any man can wield in this life. May the Lord make us men and women of prayer for His glory. Amen!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Key verse: “Because Rebeca had no children, Isaac prayed to the LORD for her. The LORD answered his prayer, and Rebeca became pregnant” (Gen.25:21).

This verse here gives us a clear insight into the relationship between God’s promises and our prayers. This is a totally misunderstood subject as many well meaning believers think that God’s promises will automatically come true. They wait impatiently for God to fulfill His promises and some times even find fault with God for His callousness about His promises.

This verse here tells us the secret about the many unfulfilled promises of God. We know that God promised Abraham seed like the sand of the sea and like the stars of heaven (Gen.22:17). Yet it took quarter of a century before Abraham had the joy of seeing his promised son. There was a time when Abraham was willing to make a compromise and he was willing to accept Ishmael as his heir (Gen.17:18). We can imagine Abraham being fed up with waiting for the son of his promise. And in his conversation (prayer) with the Lord, Abraham was now making a negative suggestion; that he was willing to accept the seed of his flesh as the promised seed! But God would NOT compromise on His promise to Abraham. God said “No” to that suggestion of Abraham and God wanted Abraham to wait patiently for His promise to be fulfilled. We can well imagine Abraham asking God when that glorious day was going to be! Abraham was obviously waiting and praying that God would fulfill His promise soon. And at last Isaac was born as promised by God, in answer to long and patient wait and believing prayers of Abraham.

This truth is confirmed in the incident that followed. Now that Isaac is married, there is yet another problem for the promise to be fulfilled. We are told that Rebeca was barren! It was indeed the least expected thing. But this situation teaches us the fact that the promises of God would not come true in our lives in a natural process. It is absolutely true that God promised seed like the sand of the sea and that not one of the promises will ever fail either. It is also true that God will fulfill all His promises right in time (Acts.7:17). God is faithful and He will surely fulfill His promise with out fail. But the amazing truth is that God fulfills His promises ONLY in answer to the prayers of His people!

All the promises are written down for us in His Word (Rom.1:2) and all promises are for all who believe (Gal.3:22). We are told that the promises of God are to be obtained by faith and patience (Heb.6:12,15). And we are asked to perfect holiness since we have these promises (2Cor.7:1). With all the above, if we do NOT continue in fervent prayers, the promises of God will never come true in our lives. This truth is expressed through out the scriptures and we need to take heed to it to see that we obtain the promises of God in our lives.

Let us look at the life of Jacob as a clear example of this truth exemplified for us. Jacob comes to Bethel and there he receives the promises of God (Gen.28:10-22). Then in the life of Jacob there was that long gap of twenty years where he seeks all short cuts to make His life a blessing. But alas! Twenty years later, though he became a big number physically, yet he was more a miserable person than ever before. But at Peniel he wrestles the whole night and there he became the heir of his promises. His name was changed and he became a new person altogether. We see that though he got promises at Bethel, only after his Peniel experience, the promises got fulfilled in his life.

From Dan. 9:2-3 we learn that Daniel knew this truth as well. When Daniel learnt that the captivity was going to be for seventy years, knowing that he was living at the time when the promise is to be fulfilled, he turns to God in prayer and in supplication. And God reveals to Daniel the mystery behind seventy year captivity. In that most solemn passage of Scripture we have the exact date of the crucifixion of our Lord predicted (Dan.9:26)! Daniel was able to get that truth because he was willing to spend time praying that God would indeed fulfill His promise made by His prophet.

We often wonder why God is slack in fulfilling His many wonderful promises of His Precious Word. Once we get the grip of this truth, we know the real reason for this situation. It is not God rather we, His people, who are responsible for God’s promises not being fulfilled.

Does that mean that God’s promises will never come true in its appointed time? Read what the Lord says about His promises. ”The LORD gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance. Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed” (Hab.2-3). And to Jeremiah the Lord said, “‘You are right’, the LORD said, ‘and I am watching to see that my words come true’” (Jer.1:12).

Surely God will fulfill all His promises in time with out fail. But because He does it ONLY in answer to prayers of His people, unless we pray, God will raise others who will pray and in answer to their prayers God will fulfill His promises in time! We can see this truth exemplified in history of the church again and again. Where ever there was a praying church, there was a mighty movement of the Spirit of God. If ever there was slackness in the Lord’s work, it is because the people of God failed to call on Him in prevailing prayers. Also we can see that before God begins to do a mighty work, He gets His people praying. Zechariah the prophet sees that in future there is going to be a mighty turning of the people of Israel to God. And before that happens the prophet says that God would pour on them the spirit of grace and supplication (Zech.12:10ff).

So, if there is an urge within us to pray, it is an indication that God’s grace is at work within us. When we feel an urge to pray let us put aside every thing else and be at His feet discerning His will and praying that He would accomplish His will for His glory. If we fail to do that, God will raise others who will pray and in answer to their prayers He will fulfill His promises. And we will be the ones who are the losers. We would have lost the privilege of being co-workers with the Almighty in bringing about His purposes on earth! May we be sensitive to the call of the Spirit of God and may we bring glory to His Holy Name by seeing that all His promises are fulfilled for His glory.

The Bible ends with last the promise of our Lord and John’s response to that promise in Rev.22:20. May we also make it our prayer as we wait for His coming in these very last days of the age of grace.

Let us always remember that the key to get a positive answer to our prayers is to take hold of the promise of God and make it our prayer. Once we know some thing is the will of God, we need to pray in perseverance till we receive our answer. May the Lord give us grace and may His name be glorified. Amen.

Read Full Post »

God reveals His will for us through His Word.  But please do NOT imagine that it is going to take place automatically.    That is the place where many good believers make mistake.    They know what is God’s will for them.  God has confirmed it through many wonderful promises form the Scriptures as well. Yet those promises of God remain only as promises and never get materialized it in their lives.  Do you know why is it like that? There is a great misunderstanding about the will of God.   Many people think that all that is happening to us are His perfect will for our lives.  That is NOT true.  Let us see what the Bible teaches about the Will of God.

 God has a SOVEREIGN will by which He decides where we will be born and what our DNA code will be. He decides it without consulting any one.   This He does according to His good pleasure (Eph.1:11).   “From one human being he created all races of people and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live”  (Act 17:26).   “The Most High assigned nations their lands; he determined where peoples should live. He assigned to each nation a heavenly being” (Deu 32:8). 

 Then He has a perfect will for each man alive on this earth.  This PERFECT will of God for us is revealed to us through His Word.  God makes His Perfect will clear to us as we study His Word regularly.     There will be that peace of God KNOWING that this is what God wants me to do when we know it.  Now it is OUR duty to pray till that takes place takes place in our lives.  It does NOT happen automatically.  That would be fatalism.  The Bible does NOT teach fatalism.  The Bible does NOT teach that all that happen to us so happen because that is decreed by God.   God only tells us what He expects of us.  He never forces any one to His will in their lives.  We must choose to do His will and we can do it only by His help by praying to Him for His grace.  We must also remember that Satan is always against us to enjoy God’s perfect will for us.   That makes prayer as the only means of reaching God’s perfect will for our lives. 

 We read about the perfect will in Rom.12:2 and once we know some thing is God’s will it is for us to PRAY THROUGH and see that it is accomplished in our lives
 

Let us look at Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel in 1 Kgs.18:40 ff   the Lord told him that it was going to rain after they destroyed all priests of Baal.  Our natural reaction would be,  “ well, any way the Lord promised and His promises can never fail”  and we go and sleep expecting God to fulfill His plan.  But look at what Elijah did.   He put his head between his knees and he was praying.   What is the significance of his head between his knees?   We know that women among the Hebrews those days gave birth to children sitting (cf.Ex.1:16 and note the reference to stool in that verse).  They had some thing before them to which the child would fall as it comes to the world.  That is the position in which they could exert maximum energy to push the child out of their bodies.   We call it agony of child birth.  Elijah, as he put his head between his head, he was agonizing in prayer that God’ will MUST be accomplished as God promised.  read v. 44   how long he had to pray like that.   He prayed   till answer came. 

Look again at Dan.9:2,3 where this truth is once again illustraved.

`Now read Rom.15:30-32   where Paul talks about striving with him in prayer that the will of God may be accomplished  The word translated “strive” here is translated in Lk.22:44 as “agony”.  So “strive with me in prayer” can well be put as “agonize with me in prayer”.  Look at what Jesus did in His life when He prayed (Heb.5:7).   Read Mt.6:10 where our Lord taught us to pray  “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”.    In heaven God’s perfect will is accomplished automatically   but here on earth now, if Perfect will of God must be accomplished,  WE MUST PRAY TILL IT HAPPENS

So,  many believers today are NOT living IN THE PERFECT WILL OF GOD.

Time to accomplish God’s perfect will for us depends upon the fervency of our prayer

Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man avails much in its working.  (Jas 5:16)
 
 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Rom 12:2)

 Then there is the permissive will of God where God permits to live all who do not reach His perfect will.  Tragically majority in the world and in the church are living in the permissive will of God.  If we do that, we suffer ourselves and we let God suffer as well.  God watches helplessly asking “why should you die?” (Eze.18:31).

Read Full Post »

Brief Testimony

My faith life began in 1975.   This I did following the call of God based on 2Cor.5:7 which says, “We live by faith and not by sight”.

The first thing I did was to resign my comparatively easy job as a lecturer which feteched me a regular salary.   Then I decided to do a much harder work of Linguistic research in order to write down a language which had no script  till then.  And I needed specilized training for the same.   This I wanted to do with the aim of making the whole tribe a literate community and I was found without a regular source of income to sustain my family.   For the next three and a half years I was all alone with a family of two children then, with no salary,  and without any known source of income.  But during those years I proved to my satisfaction that God was indeed very real in our lives as He opened doors  for our further training then.  Part of that training was done in UK,  in Linguistics.  This was far beyond our fartherest dreams and beyond any man’s imagination!  If God had not done it, how could a penniless and a worthless student from India be able to do his thesis work under Prof. Ackroyd at King’s College in London?!!  The Lord also opened the door for me to do a Master Degree in Biblical Hebrew through the oldest university in India.

Three and a half years later, my local worshipping group commended me to the service of the Lord following the pattern found in Acts 13:1-4.  And they only promised to pray for me.  From 1975 till this day I live without a regular salary,  no human sponsors,  no business income nor income from any estate.  Now we have five children and I want to testify to the fact that we never ever went hungry nor  were we found in need and were left with out any help.  And we never approached any man for any financial help.   Then we were living near a remote jungle-tribe that our contact with the extended family and friends was practically nil.

By 1986 I had sufficient faith to believe in God to erect a concrete building without any contact with men for the finance of it.  I started the construction with little money in hand, completed a 700 sft. of concrete structure including the roof within a matter of thirty calendar days.  When the building was completed there was no debt, and I had informed no man any where even for prayer about this project as I wanted to prove a point. That building has a granite inscription which reads, “This building stands witnessing the fact that God of Elijah lives”.   For over six months I spent eight to ten hours every day in my prayer- closet;  praying, planning and interacting with God for the project.  The purpose of the building was to house the tribal children to educate them.  I had twenty five of them to stay with me along with my five children and we fed them and educated them with out a human sponsor.  We made no magazine reports; nor did we send out a prayer letter any time about what was going on in that remote part of the world.  Yet the Lord provided for every need of ours with out fail.  This I did to prove to the Christian community that the work of the Lord could be carried on very well with out appeals for funds!

When the building was completed within 30 days, I was amazed to the core. I  just could not believe it.   I thought my life-purpose was indeed accomplished as I proved once again without a speck of doubt that indeed God answers prayers today.   In 1991 I became semi-paralyzed and for the last eighteen years I am unable to walk even one step without crutches. And I had to discontinue the work and leave my station for health reasons.

In 1996,  one person with whom I have had very little contact came to my house with a bundle of money saying that the Lord was asking him to give me money to purchase a car!  That answer to prayer came just with in 24 hours of my prayer for the same.  Read more of the stories in the other posts in the blog.

Now I am almost confined to my bedroom. The enormous amount of money for my treatment and for the education of all my children  (the eldest was only 16 then;  now all are well settled), all were well taken care of as direct, tangible, undeniable, unbelievable answer to prayers day by day.   No individual, no organization, no church could ever claim that they kept us going all these years without us going bankrupt.   Oh, yes, I have been getting money from people known and unknown to me, from family and from friends, from believers and from unbelievers, all with out an appeal.  Indeed often I never knew where our next meal would come from, but it always came right in time. We just don’t know how our needs are taken care of.   But we are well cared for.

In the light of my experiences, no one could ever say that God never answered our prayers.

So here I stand.   I say that the God of the Bible is true and is alive and is active.   I simply subsisted for more than thirty four years now by trusting in Him alone for all my needs.    Praise Be to His Holy Name.

(For more detailed stories from my life read the page titled ‘life’ and posts under ‘unforgettable experiences’ in the blog here.   Thank you!!)

Read Full Post »

A wise man’s heart is at his right; but a fool’s heart is at his left”  (Ecc.10:2).

 

 

A wise man is some one who enjoys the best that life offers.  The Bible contains extra-ordinary wisdom as it is God’s revelation to man.  It contains promises for life here and life here-after.  “for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come” (1Tim.4:8). If one would follow all regulations of the Old Testament about food, sanitation and morality, one could be sure of a healthy and a happy life here on earth.  The New Testament, on the other hand, offers the way to enjoy eternal bliss.

 

 

The verse quoted above was written about 3000 years ago by King Solomon who is considered the wisest of men. What he said at that time is discovered by modern scientists now with exact accuracy about the way how the human brain functions. 

 

 

It is a common knowledge today that our brain is divided in to left and right and each has  essentially different functions to perform.  It is also known today that our brain produces electronic pulses as it vibrates regularly.  When our eyes are open and when we do any physical activity our left brain vibrates at 14-21 cycles per second (cps).  When our eyes are open, it is the left side of our brain which is activated usually and it is analytical in nature and activity oriented in function.  But when we close our eyes and begin to concentrate on some thing, the right side of our brain begins to be activated and the vibration is reduced to 7-14 cps.  This is the center of our brain and it takes us to the strongest part of our mind power which is on the right side.   When we sleep the cps reaches 4-7 and in a deep sleep it is 0-4 which is a kind of unconscious stage.  In our sleep right side of our brain controls all our internal organs.

The activity of our brain between sleep and wake up, that is,  the position with eyes closed in a relaxed mood when we concentrate on some thing,  is the creative and intuitive part of our mind and it is the center of our brain’s activities. It is called the Alpha mind.  If some one is able to cultivate the habit of remaining in this position of the mind for some time regularly, it is said to have enormous effect on one’s active life. Unfortunately, though the Bible talked about it long before the modern scientists discovered it, the Bible believers do not get the benefit out of this ancient Bible revelation.

How shall we get practical benefits from this Bible revelation about how our mind works? This is what we exactly do when we pray.  Christ who is the Eternal Word lives in our hearts by faith (Eph.3:17) in all believers.  When we close our eyes and concentrate on Him we get in to direct touch with Him.   All we need to do now is to discipline ourselves to strict timings and for regular practice for this contact with the divine in us.

1.  Twice a day set apart a minimum of fifteen minutes each as soon as waking up and just before going to bed.

2.  Sit up straight with your legs stretched and body straight and the body relaxed.  A kneeling position with hands and head slightly lifted up with eyes closed is found to have tremendous effect for prayer.

3.  Take a deep breath and release it slowly after closing your eyes.  It helps with the circulation of blood in our body.

4.  Concentrate your mind on God and on His goodness to you and thank Him for all good things you enjoy in life one by one.  Say it loudly to yourself so that you could hear what you say so that your concentration is not lost.  Do it for the first five minutes.  You may sing a song of praise at this time instead, with eyes closed and with full concentration.  We are told that He lives up on the praises of His people (Ps.22:3).

5. Then for the next five minutes repeat to yourself a verse of Scripture which assures you of God’s wonderful work in your life.  You might say it aloud to yourself, “I am a child of God through Christ”, or say “God has blessed me with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” or say, “The Lord is my shepherded, and I shall not want” or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  And visualize yourself as safe and sound in the hands of the Lord.  Do this for a minimum of five minutes. And never entertain any negative thought any time in your life (Ph.l.4:8,9).  It is called positive affirmations.

6.  Then take another deep breath and continue with eyes closed to pray for others and pray for your own needs for the day.  And take your time for it. Our Lord said, “For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said (Mk.11:23). It is called creative visualization.

7.  Do it at the same time daily with out fail with eyes closed and in full concentration.  Force yourself to do it by discipline for the first three weeks.  If you can do it for three weeks, it would become a habit with you and you could do it with out much difficulty later on.

What actually happens is that when we close our eyes and concentrate on some thing, our right brain gets activated and our subconscious mind gets the message instantly.  Because the vibration level there is lower, it affects our whole system positively.  Our tension would be relieved and problems related to tension would begin to reduce slowly.  If we practice it daily just as we have our food at the correct time or just as we take medicines prescribed by a doctor,  we would soon find that our bodies become healthier and our dependence on other medicines would be reduced to a minimum.  Many have benefited from this practice.  I invite you too to enjoy life at its best and be wise as God expects us to be.

May I add one more word.  The more time you are able to spend in this condition is better for you and for others around you.  And it would bring glory to God ultimately as we are actually in touch with Him all the time we are doing this. In other words, when we pray we are functioning like a fully charged mobile phone with the right connections.  We are sending the power of God as electronic pulses to the recipient (the one for whom we are praying) through our minds.   The only difference is that when we are sending the message (i.e. when we pray) we are also charging our batteries at the same time!!  So less time in prayer means a poorly charged battery.  And no time in prayer means batteries are fully discharged.   So I suggest a minimum of one hour daily as ideal for every one.  But with out fifteen minutes at a time twice a day it might not yield much desired results at all.  Try this out and share with us how it has worked for you.  Thanks.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »