Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

God created the world and He runs it by unchangeable laws (Psa.148:5,6). We know that there are physical laws which govern the universe. For example the Law of gravity. No one could ever imagine jumping from a high rise building and go without getting hurt. If we break the physical laws of life we get hurt physically. Thankfully, the Lord has permitted great scientists in different generations to discover some of these physical laws and that makes life much easier. Scientists who do further experiments base all their investigations on these known physical laws.
Likewise, there are immutable spiritual laws at work as well. Because no man could ever discover these spiritual laws, it pleased the almighty to reveal these laws to His people (Psa.147:19,20). If one wants to be familiar with the spiritual laws which are operative, one needs to turn to the revealed Word of God which is the Bible. From no where else we could learn these spiritual laws!
Validity of the Old Testament could never be challenged any time. We read in Psa.119:89 “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens”. So we are dealing with eternal truths and we are thankful that God has NOT left us in darkness in this area.

One of the unchanging spiritual laws is “Ask and you shall receive” (Mat.7:7) and it is put the other way around in Js.4:2 where we read, “you do not have, because you do not ask”.

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the Bible. There are many promises in the Bible. It looks they are given without any conditions attatched to them. For example, look at Mat. 7:8. It says, “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened”. Could this be true when we pray for material things? Will every one who ever asks for any thing receive it every time? Of course, not. If so, what does this promise mean?

Many have become infidles because they found this and such other Bible promises do not work in real life. Tragically they have misunderstood the Word of God!

What did our Lord actually mean when He made that promise in Mt.7:7? The very next verse is the key to understanding Mt.7:7. When He said that every one receives what is asked for, it obviously means the Lord is talking about spiritual things only.

Come to think of it this way. Have you ever found some one who prayed in faith trusting the word of the Lord who did NOT get forgiveness from the Lord? It could never happen. Could it?

From this we learn a great spiritual truth. Prayer is ordained by the Lord primarily for spiritual things. First thing we ever need to pray for is forgiveness and we need to make sure that we are forgiven before we go on to ask for any thing else in life.

We are clearly told in Psa 66:18 “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened”.

Any sinner, praying in true repentance and faith, could confidently pray a prayer for forgiveness and he could be absolutely sure that God would not reject him. Once forgiveness is experienced, then all other prayers, done in the will of God, would surely have an answer as well (1Jn.5:14).

But have you ever come across any one who experienced God’s forgivenss without praying? We are told that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that every one who believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (Jn.3:16). The only condition is believing. And, indeed, true faith would express itself as believing prayer! We are told in Rom.10:13 that every one who calls upon the name of the Lord would be saved. That means any one who would not do the believing prayer would be damned for ever. Thus we come to the conclusion “Pray or perish”. And there is no exception to this rule ever!

While what is said so far is abundantly clear, a few, at least, would raise their eye brows at the next phrase in our caption, “interced or let others perish”! Is there scriptual warrant for that statement? Or is it the truth that the eternity of every one born in this world is fixed by the Lord before the foundation of the world?!

We need to study the scripture clearly to find out what is being taught in this regard. Doctrines of predestination and eternal security are two of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible. This misunderstanding has led to callousness in the lives of many well-meaning believers. I believe that these two doctrines are clearly taught in the scriptures. And if I do not believe them, I am not a Bible believer! We are clearly taught that God does every thing based on His foreknowledge (1Pet.1:2).

Having said that, we need to investigate further the role of a believer in the eternal plan of God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Indeed, what does the Lord expect from each believer?

We might begin with Eze.3:17-21. Clearly this passage teaches that Ezekiel is fully responsible for his generation and that the blood of the wicked shall be required of his hands if he was not to warn them!

Now turn to Psa 106:23 where it says, “Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them”. Again in this verse the Lord’s action toward the ungodly and the wicked was based on Moses’s intercession. God changed His decision because Moses interceded for them!

We know about the intercession of Abraham for Sodom and Gomorah. And we are told that the Lord saved Lot because He remembered Abraham (Gen.19:29). Again we read that God did NOT punish Aaraon when the golden calf was made because Moses prayed for him (Dt.9:20)!

This truth of the Scripture is cemented when we read Eze 22:30 where we read, “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none”.

Come to the New Testament and see what it says. Paul tells in 1Tim. 2:1 to pray for all men and he goes on to tell the fundamental reason for this in v. 4 where we read that it is God’s will that all men be saved. Again we are told in 2Pt.3:9 that He is delaying His coming because He is not willing that any should perish and we are asked to hasten His coming by our holy lives!

Obviously, these and other scripture portions clearly teach us that the punishment of the wicked would be averted if there was an intercessor standing in the gap for them.
God’s justice demands the punishment of the wicked. But God’s grace longs to save the wicked if they would turn from their wickedness. And those of of us who enjoy the grace of God need to be the media through which God’s grace would reach the wicked.

How are we to understand the doctrine of predestination in the light of these scriptures? The most important thing is that there is no NEGATIVE predestination taught in the New Testament. By that I mean, God has NOT destined any one to go to hell. In fact, hell is created for the devil and his angels (Mt.25:41). In the Old Testament we read of God choosing Jacob and rejecting Easaw even before they were born (Gen.25:23; cf Rom. 9:11-13). In the OT God did that. That was because in the Old Testamet God wanted just ONE nation through whom He would carry out His plan of salvation for the human race.

While God knew what each man would choose, because He is all-knowing, He has NOT determined what each one would choose! That would be interfering with the freedom of human will. Each one has the freedom to choose good or evil. But man by nature is corrupt now and he is inclined to choose only evil. That is because of the total depravity of the human heart due to the sin of Adam. But praise God, God would change His mind about punishing sinners if there was some one who would intercede for them and as a result they would turn to God in repentance.

Our Lord said Joh 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day”. Thus it becomes the duty and privilege of each intercessor to ask the Father to draw men to Christ so that they too would be saved.
Be sure of one thing that all prayers done in the will of God would never go unanswered (1Jn.5:14) and we know it is God’s will that all should be saved (1Tim.2:4).

Sure, we are entering into real spiritual warfare here. The devil has trapped millions in various fortresses (2Cor.10:3,4) and also blinded the eyes of unbelievers so that they can not see the light of the gospel (2Cor.4:4). We need to strive in prayer that the will of God might be accomplished in the lives of our loved ones (Rom.15:30-32). There is no other option.

Brethren, let us be men on our knees interceding for our neigbhors and friends who are unsaved and let us be instruments in the hands of God to snatch a few from fire (Jud.v.24). Be sure of this truth that unless we become mighty intercessors, we are letting the unsaved around us to be perished for ever! And thus we will be guilty of failing God in our generation. History is replete with examples of mighty intercessors who moved the heart of God to save millions in their generations. When ever, where ever there was a praying church, there were mighty movements of the Spirit of God when millions turned to Christ. When the church was slack in prayer, there was prportionate dearth in the work of God as well. May the Lord give us grace to be mighty intercessors and may millions in our generation turn to the Lord in true repentance and faith and thus be saved from eternal damnation. May His name be glorified through us. Amen.

Advertisements

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 »