Praying with Confidence in God

The following is a poetic account derived from
Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9…

Peter, James, and John had gone up with Jesus to pray on a mountain when He was transformed before them and was talking with Moses and Elijah. “This is My beloved Son,” was spoken by God from out of a cloud.

After this amazing supernatural experience, they came down together with Him to find the other disciples involved in a dispute with some scribes–the group was surrounded by a large crowd.

When Jesus asked about the discussion, a father came and knelt before Him in regard to the plight of his son–who was possessed by a troubling evil spirit that never was done.

The boy was mute, experienced foaming of the mouth, and would grind his teeth and become rigid–his life unsound. Additionally, this violent spirit would often throw him onto the ground.

The father said that Jesus’ disciples had been unable to cast out the demon with which his son had been defiled. Later, he would share that this had been happening since the boy was a child.

Having just come down from the mountain and the time of His transfiguration, Jesus must have felt such a difference, saying, “Oh faithless generation!”

“How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” They brought him to Jesus and the spirit convulsed him; his plight was plain for all to see.

The father told Jesus how it had tried to destroy his son’s life by throwing him into water or fire. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” the man said, expressing his deep desire.

Jesus responded with, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” With tears, he answered, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Doubtful thoughts had come from the devil, who deceives.

Before a greater crowd could gather, Jesus rebuked the spirit, commanding it to never re-enter and to come out. It threw the boy into terrible convulsions, but he was delivered in spite of the father’s doubt.

The boy looked so limp and still that the people thought he must be dead. But Jesus, knowing otherwise, took him by the hand and raised him, and the boy stood up instead.

Jesus mercifully had answered the father’s plea, even though, after so many attacks, his faith had become marred. Then the disciples asked Him about their failure in the matter–why it had been so hard,

Jesus attributed it to their unbelief and said that prayer was needed–two of the texts add that fasting was due. But believing you receive when you pray, and doubting not, are important lessons within this account, too.

Mark 11:22-23 “…Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt IN HIS HEART, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

Faith will work in the heart, even when doubts have come to the mind. Resist the devil and remember that his activities yet today we must cast down and bind.

(After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, (Acts 2) as Jesus had said they would. This enabled them to speak/pray in tongues, a gift to believers, a supernatural help in prayer. For more on this, refer to http://www.rhema.org and go to Study Center, articles under “Holy Spirit.” Tomorrow will be Pentecost Sunday.)

Out of the Ashes

The following was written some years ago but is certainly applicable today.
by Guest Contributor, J. Vetter

Only a year ago, a tornado swept through our town, and trees became missiles of destruction. They slammed against houses, fences and vehicles with an angry vengeance.

This morning I took the time to investigate the new walking trail that was built in our area. Joy crowded into my heart and it overflowed with gratitude as I recognized that the pathway had been created with the remains of those fallen trees. Then, at the end of the trail, the joy that I felt gave birth to overwhelming revelation of new life! There, amidst the trees, an outdoor chapel had been built. There was a simple wooden cross, a pulpit, and there were six wooden benches.

Even though no one was standing behind the pulpit, I heard a message spoken loudly and clearly into my spirit. It was “Never give up! Never give up!” In spite of what may look like devastation, God declares, “There will be new life – trust Me! Learn to expect the good, for I know how to bring it about. Take your eyes off the distraction of loss and begin to expect the beauty of renewal.”

The Lord has much to say about being one who overcomes. I personally believe it thrills God’s heart when we choose to allow Him to rebuild what has been devastated or broken. It may not look the same; but in fact, often it can be even better. I’m thinking, for example, of the times people have had a water pipe break or some other kind of flooding. At first, it’s just a mess, and not very many people start out being thankful. However, after the insurance company pays for new flooring and restoration, it’s easy to forget the sense of frustration about the incident.

If only we could always see a snapshot of the finished project! But wait…God has something to say about that–how about, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

I remember reading about a woman whose son was severely injured. She was praying for his healing and happened to look up and out of her kitchen window and saw a vision of him riding his bike over the lawn. Time went by, and he was healed. One day, she actually saw that exact picture of him on his bike, just as she had seen in the earlier vision.

Many a person, when keeping faith in the Lord, has found that the loss of a job has yielded an even better one or a new situation that is more satisfying for them.

Sometimes, as in a personal experience of my own, a loss can be very hard–the loss of a precious loved one. Yet, I can give thanks for having had the joy of having known and loved that one, knowing the comfort that he is with Jesus; and I have found peace through Him, which passes all understanding.

If difficulties strike, I believe we can keep our hearts from being overwhelmed. In Psalms we read, “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2) From the vantage point of that “Rock,” our Lord Jesus Christ, we are able to rise above any negative circumstance.

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Thank you!

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Through the years…

Many warriors have set aside the joys of life,
to enter into battles that were born of strife.
All gave their service, but some gave their all.
With courage, they answered their country’s call.

We’re reminded of their sacrifice on Memorial Day.
Death or injuries were the price some had to pay.
As we go about our lives, we tend to forget…
for our freedom and stability, they’re owed a huge debt.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Of the Truth”

“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are you a king then?’

Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause, I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'”

John 18:37 NKJV

Pilate went on to ask Jesus, “What is truth?”

I would like to dedicate this blog post to a humble soldier of the Lord’s army, who was born and raised in India. Ravi Zacharias was a strong defender of the Lord’s truth; and as you may have already heard, he recently went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

After a failed attempt, at seventeen years of age, to take his own life, he had an encounter with the Lord through reading the New Testament of the Bible, especially Jesus’ words, “Because I live, you will live also.” He went on to dedicate his life to Him, speaking to large numbers of people regarding Christianity during his life. He also authored many books on the subject, such as “Jesus Among Other Gods,” “The Logic of God,” “The Lotus and the Cross,” and “Why Jesus?” The following is a quote taken from his latest book, “Seeing Jesus from the East,” Zondervan 2020. Many of his messages can be viewed on You Tube, and see rzim.org

“The story of the gospel is the story of eternal life. My life is unique and will endure eternally in God’s presence. I will never be ‘no more.’ I will never be lost because I will be with the One who saves me.”

Ravi Zacharias

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All’s Right with my World

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All’s right with my world, my life every day,
because You are in it, dear Lord, to stay.

When storms crash around me, I command them to cease;
and if faith takes some battering, I still have Your peace.

Whatever the circumstances, I count it all joy;
I’m more than a conqueror whom this world can’t destroy.

The blessing of God is mine now and forever;
I’m secure in a covenant that cannot be severed.

The Lord is my Shepherd, the pastures are green–
With my mind stayed on Jesus, my life is serene.

P. A. Oltrogge

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 NKJV

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37 NKJV

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters….Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:1, 2, and 6 NASB

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

A Spiritual “Driver’s Training Course”

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak.”
2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV

If you were training a new driver who was going wrongly in reverse,
you wouldn’t wait until you saw things get worse.
You’d shout out, “Stop, put it in forward gear!”
Likewise, using words of faith in life is the right way to steer–
Not only that, it helps us to “drive away” from fear!

P. A. Oltrogge

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photo/Unsplash

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 RSV

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:23-25 NKJV

“…the just (the righteous man) shall live by faith.” (from Galatians 3:10-12, verse 11 NKJV and NASB)

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus in all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

Proverbs 18:20-21
Proverbs 21:23
Luke 18:1
Philippians 4:8

Be blessed at
http://www.faithschool.org

The Chastisement for our Peace was Upon Him

“Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.” Mark 15:36-37 NIV

He was betrayed in a garden
for purpose of our pardon…

Then brought, as a Lamb,
to a “trial” that was a sham…

Spit upon and crowned
with thorns that they found…

He was whipped on His back
and endured each loud crack…

Made to carry the cross,
despite His strength’s loss…

His hands and feet were nailed down
on a cross, rugged and brown…

His bleeding and His pain
were meant for all our gain…

Wine vinegar for His thirst,
on a sponge, was among the worst…

Of the things He did endure
for a motive, which was so pure…

He knew His Father so loved the world,
that He took the mocking that was hurled…

Then, being obedient unto death,
He took His final breath…

From the cross unto the tomb,
it all became a kind of womb…

For, from it, Christ emerged
in victory–all our sins were purged…

So that, now, whosoever will
may freely have their fill…

Of His living water that’s yet presented
for any person who has repented…

Christ still gives, with a love that doesn’t cease;
a simple prayer will bring you His peace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up unto everlasting life.'” John 4:13-14 NKJV

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:38 NKJV

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

“Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
Hebrews 7:22-25 NLT

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Garden of Gethsemane
Jerusalem, Israel

Thank God in Advance

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“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Psalm 149:1-3

Thank God in advance!
Let that always be your stance.
Put your measure of faith to use–
Your thankful praise to Him turns it loose!

Faith pleases God, so guard against despair;
Though possible, it’s not best to meet Him there.
If pain or problems seem to go unbroken,
Remember the words that Jesus has spoken.

When you pray for the things you’ve desired,
Believe you receive and they will be acquired.
If your breakthrough seems to be taking too long,
He’s promised you strength–you can be strong!

But keep the faith for a sure turnaround.
In trusting God’s Word, you’re on solid ground!
Thank God in advance–
Come with joyful praise or dance!

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
In advance, see your victory flag fully unfurled!

P. A. Oltrogge

“For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone…” Mark 11:23, 24 (paraphrased in the poem)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

“O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7

“And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.” 2 Samuel 6:13-15 KJV

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

Scriptures NASB,
or as noted
Be blessed at:
http://www.faithschool.org

Lord, Remember Me

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From Luke 23…

Two criminals on punishing crosses were next to the one which held the Lord.
One of the men rebuked the other, saying they were receiving a just reward…

for the other had blasphemed Jesus, ridiculing Him because He hadn’t saved
Himself and them—words which showed no fear of God but were, instead, depraved.

The criminal who defended the Lord must have known of His ministry of peace,
saying, “This Man has done nothing wrong,” though, for Christ, there’d been no release.

Then he, with humility, asked Jesus simply to remember him at the time, later… when He would come into His kingdom—he knew, in his heart, it was eternal and greater.

“Lord, remember me”…a simple, reverent plea, but so very wise…
for Jesus gave him the promise that that day, he would be with Him in Paradise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10 NKJV

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

“…and after he brought them out (of the inner prison), he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they answered, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus (as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him), and you will be saved, you and your household (if they also believe).” Acts 16:30-31 AMP

Billy Graham called it the hour of decision–a wonderful one it is!
http://www.billygraham.org/classics

You Were There for Me

Sometimes in a crisis, either in our minds or that’s real,
we need the patient listening of someone who can feel…

the pain that we’re going through, the stress that is there.
By listening to our “story,” they show us the care…

that we are so in need of at times of trouble or pain.
Advice offered and a listening ear make Jesus’ love plain.

Best of all is when they offer to pray with us on the spot,
cooling things down in situations that are simply too “hot.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. ” John 13:34-35

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NKJV

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