The Strength of United Prayer

Have you read about or heard of a story…regarding a tough situation,

where prayer turned things around with a kind of heavenly litigation?

It’s good to remember such times, of great breakthroughs coming about,

when believers joined their faith in prayer, effectively driving out doubt.

This can also be likened to a soldier in battle–weary from fighting hard,

when suddenly fresh troops come to his aid, to relieve him and stand guard.

It’s wise to make declarations of faith when traveling down a difficult way;

but often we need our family in Christ, to join together with us to pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5

“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” Acts 12:12

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–” Ephesians 6:17-18

“Be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:10-13

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

You Must See Victory

Keep your eyes upon the victory, though the miracle shore seems far. That’s what you need to do when you’re at “where you are.”

Don’t let your eye of faith become for you, instead, an eye of fear. Nearby winds and waves distract–especially when victory is near.

A double-minded person is, himself, like a wave of the sea–driven and tossed by the wind, giving attention to adversity.

So focus on the victory “lighthouse” that’s beaming out for you. Give it greatly your attention, and the Lord will see you through.

That lighthouse, you recognize, is God’s unfailing Word. It’s the light unto your pathway, and on which you’ve believed after having heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 NIV

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV

“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. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8 NKJV

“My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV

“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, You are the Son of God,'” Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV

After reading the above poem, you will not want to be lost at sea, so to speak, in situations of life, but you may be encouraged by reviewing the true account, “Lost at Sea” in the archives of this blog–a story in which the speaker found herself with very little hope but for God’s intervention.

Blindness “Wall” Falls at Jericho

While Jesus, His disciples, and a great multitude were going out of Jericho, a beggar was there sitting by the side of the road.

He was Bartimaeus; and though blind, his hearing was fine to have heard of how Jesus’ healing ministry had flowed.

So, when, that day, Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, Himself, who was passing by…

“Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” became his earnest and heartfelt cry.

Many, among the crowd, told him to be quiet, as if, for him, there could be nothing in store.

But his plea of “Son of David, have mercy on me!” he kept shouting out all the more.

So Jesus heard Bartimaeus, then stood still, and commanded that he be called.

The persistence and “prayer” of Bartimaeus had caused the pace of Jesus’ journey temporarily to be stalled.

Bartimaeus was now beckoned, instead, with words of encouragement, “Rise, be of good cheer; He is calling you.”

Throwing aside his garment, he got up and came to Jesus, who asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Victory was breaking through…

At that point, Bartimaeus said, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight!”

“Go your way, your faith has made you well,” Jesus said; and immediately his world turned from darkness to light.

Walls had fallen down at Jericho through faith in God in an earlier, historical Biblical story.

And a “wall” of blindness fell at Jericho for Bartimaeus, when by faith in God’s mercy, he saw the Lord’s glory.

The account closes with Bartimaeus following Jesus down that outer Jericho road…

He had been confident of mercy and grace through Jesus Christ—from whom God’s marvelous light had flowed….

and still does today!

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account from Mark 10; Referenced is the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho at Joshua 6)

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.” Hebrews 11:30 NKJV

“But you are a chosen generation, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

God’s Love for you, Deeper than any Sea

There are times when it seems difficult for us to offer praise…

when we’re experiencing problems that are affecting our days.

But if we can just envision being held in Jesus’ loving arms,

we will be more confident that He will shield us from what harms.

Those same arms were outstretched for us on Calvary’s cross

in order to pay sin’s penalty, so that our souls would not be lost.

Life is not without its challenges, but an overcomer is who you are.

Jesus overcame the world–He’s our Bright and Morning Star.

Keep walking by faith and give to Him all of your worries and cares.

Praise Him for His love and promises to answer your prayers.

The Lord is fully aware of every concern that’s on your heart.

He’s the mighty God of Israel who caused the Red Sea to part.

If it seems that “pharaoh and his army” are ready to overtake you,

praise God for His powerful love and that He will not forsake you!

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel, to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 NKJV

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 GW

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (from 1 John 3:1-3) NKJV

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5 NKJV

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms….” Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

“…He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

Ravi’s Poem

From his native country of India, born over seventy years ago, came Ravi Zacharias, who, as a young man, would come to know…the real true meaning of living, having suffered from deep inner strife, before he found Jesus Christ after having almost taken his own life.

“Because I live, you will live also” were words of the loving Lord, that gave him the needed truth that there was a caring God to look toward. His life then started turning around, from the failures he’d sustained, when he prayed and studied the Bible–its words became ingrained.

A major move with his family to Canada was something that God directed; and, there, he kept trusting God’s Holy Spirit for his life to be perfected. When not at work, he sought fellowship at a church he would attend; and soon he met his Margie, who became his lifelong love and friend.

His great desire was to share the Gospel and also his personal story, of how God had rescued him from despair–for which he gave Him glory! For people from all walks of life, he pursued that mission of his heart–from war-torn Vietnam, to a great many countries that God would chart.

Often at universities, he presented the clear case for faith in Jesus Christ. He reached the doubters and questioners, telling them only Christ sufficed. His messages were shared in person and, in books, the Lord was extolled. He was loving and compassionate to all he met, yet his faith was very bold.

Ravi fervently shared the Savior and what a life entrusted to Him could be. “Because I live, you will live also” were words that he knew could set others free.

P. A. Oltrogge

Some books by Ravi Zacharias: Beyond Opinion; Can Man Live Without God; Cries of the Heart; Deliver Us From Evil; Has Christianity Failed You; I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah; Jesus Among Other Gods; Light in the Shadow of Jihad; New Birth or Rebirth; Recapture the Wonder; The End of Reason; The Grand Weaver; The Logic of God; The Lotus and the Cross; The Real Face of Atheism; Walking From East to West (Ravi’s autobiography); Why Jesus

By His Grace

Jesus…

I’ve come to a situation that’s difficult to face,
so I ask of you, Lord, to sustain me with your grace.

Send down your grace…much of it may be needed
before this problem’s “flooding” will have receded.

But if it’s prolonged, I’ll keep drawing from your supply
of divine grace upon grace to help me get by.

Thanks for bountiful grace, poured into my being.
I’ve found it’s your grace that is absolutely freeing.

P. A. Oltrogge

“From his fulness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NRSV

The Powerful River

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“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18

Are you at a point where fears are trying to dominate your thinking?
Or are you in a situational “boat” that makes you feel as though you’re sinking?

Then let this scripture permeate your thoughts, to make things perfectly clear,
that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

God’s perfect love surrounds you like pleasant views down a wilderness river.
Knowing you’re afloat on the river of His perfect love has great power to deliver.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-19 NASB

“How precious is Your lovingkindess, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fulness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9 NKJV

“…and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:19-21 NASB

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High…The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:4 and 7

further encouragement:
http://www.moorelife.org “Faith in the Power” series
(Click on “Word Supply,” “Series,”
and then “Alphabetical List”)

Photo/Unsplash

A Word of Encouragement

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“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad. And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?’” Luke 24:17-18

“And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27 (NASB)

(from the account, after Jesus’ death and burial, of the walk to Emmaus by Cleopas and another, who met the risen Lord on their walk, verses 13-32)

There’s nothing like ENCOURAGEMENT when the way seems hard–
There’s nothing like its bolstering to keep a day (or life) from being scarred.

A word of praise can be depended upon to keep enthusiasm or creativity flowing,
causing a downcast countenance to be one that’s actually “glowing.”

There’s nothing like a caring friend who sends a note or gives a call.
There’s nothing like an encouraging word to keep us from a downfall.

There is an enemy in the world, who wants to ruin God-given potential,
which is why a word of praise from someone is often vital and essential.

Cleopas, while on the road to Emmaus, was talking with his friend
about the recent discouraging facts–on Christ’s life having come to an end.

Then later, when they were joined by Jesus, the Lord opened up their eyes
to the truth of His resurrection–likewise, we need the truth that God supplies.

Of course, the Lord is always there for us, speaking by His Spirit and His Word–but through friends or even strangers, He can also often be “heard.”

So, as you look around to start your day, be attentive if God is showing to you
someone who needs encouragement–let His supportive words be flowing through you.

P. A. Oltrogge

Like the wind that fills the sails of a boat, enabling it to glide upon the sea, a word of encouragement in our lives is so important to you and me.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:31 and 37 (NKJV)

Painting/Robert Zund

Your Stronghold in Times of Trouble

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If a dream of your heart has fallen apart, and you can only see the rubble,
remember the Lord is a refuge for you and a stronghold in times of trouble.

Hold firmly to Christ, your Redeemer, who Himself was resurrected.
Regarding that which concerns you, God has promised it will be perfected.

As a Christian, you have a covenant with God, by the blood of His dear Son. Give the matter over to Him, in faith, knowing that His resurrection power has begun.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Psalm 9:9 NIV

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, oh Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 NKJV

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ….” Philippians 1:6 NKJV

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

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” (the believer) from Romans 8:11 NLT

An Awakening to Love

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Using scripture passages, such as that below, Pastor George Pearsons spoke on Sunday regarding the love and value we should always have for one another.
If you’d like, see http://www.emic.org for the entire service or scroll to the message.

Loving One Another

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

1 John 4:7-12 NLT

During Sunday’s service, a hymn from out of the Welsh revival of 1904, “Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean,” (William Rees) was sung at the end of the message by the worship team.

Here is love,
vast as the ocean…
lovingkindness as a flood,

when the Prince of Life,
our ransom,
shed for us His precious blood.

Who His love will not
remember? Who can cease
to sing His praise?

He can never be forgotten
throughout heaven’s
eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
fountains opened
deep and wide.

Through the floodgates
of God’s mercy,
flowed a vast and gracious tide.

Grace and love,
like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,

and heaven’s peace and
perfect justice
kissed a guilty world, in love.

In Your truth, You will direct me
by Your Spirit,
through Your Word.

And Your grace, my need is meeting
as I trust in You,
my Lord.

Of Your fulness, You are pouring,
Your great love
and power on me,

without measure,
full and boundless,
drawing out my heart to Thee.