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

The Life of God in You

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Perhaps you’ve heard these words from the Christian song, “I’ve Got the Life of God in Me”…

I’ve got the life of God in me…

I’ve got the life of God in me…

I’ve got His life, His nature, and His ability…

I’ve got the life of God in me!

(The song continues, supplementing the word, “life” with the additional words of “joy,” “faith,” “love,” “peace,” and “strength.” It can be found on You Tube, as sung by the Rhema Singers and Band.)

God goes with His children wherever they go. He gave us Jesus, for He loved us so. Being confident of His presence, we live our lives. Through His Word, prayer, and indwelling Spirit, the believer thrives.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:1-12

“…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.'” Acts 17:28

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

Matthew 1:23; Acts 4:10; Acts 17:28; Romans 6:4; Hebrews 13:5

Scriptures New King James Version

Be blessed by books on God’s Creative Power at http://www.cappsministries.com

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.

Cleansing through Forgiveness

Help us, Lord, to “rise above….”
How can we do it? Through Your love.

We’re to love and pray for our enemies or those who mistreat us, You’ve said.
Surely for them, Your redeeming blood on Calvary was also shed.

Even if they’ve opposed or hurt us to any kind of degree,
we can’t love God, whom we’ve not seen, if we don’t love those we see.

To forgive, for us, is sometimes a very difficult task;
but You can give us Your love for them, and grace in such situations, if we will ask.

When on trial and, then, on the cross, Jesus’ example was displayed.
As He asked His Father to forgive, we must forgive before we’ve prayed.

Love doesn’t take into account the wrongs that we’ve withstood.
To forgive others, through God’s help, is “overcoming evil with good.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-48

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“If someone says, ”I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21

“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” Luke 23:33-34

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

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

One Light Can Make a Difference in the Dark

“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 (New King James)j

Lights-are-us, that’s who we are,
Disciples of Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star.
The world is dark, yet here we are,
Giving off light, both near and far.
Like fireflies on a summer’s eve,
From this world’s darkness, we can give reprieve.
Guarding our hearts, so that we remain bright,
We can pierce the darkness to give men light.
As lights, we can make a difference that’s deep–
Through prayers of intercession, from hell we can keep
The souls of those who are otherwise blinded–
And telling those we meet that they should be reminded
Of redeeming love through a life lived right,
By Christ, our Lord, this world’s great Light.
Lights-are-us, we’re following Him,
As we seek first His kingdom, our lights won’t dim.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:38 (New King James Version)

“…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 (words of the Lord to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus–Paul telling of it to King Agrippa)

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 (New Living Translation)

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

At http://www.renner.org you can obtain a free copy of “Unlikely,” the story of Rick and Denise Renner’s adventure, as lights for the Lord, pioneering a major work, beginning in 1991, for Him in the former Soviet Union. Rick also offers materials to encourage you on your own walk with God.

The Faith of Mary

Mary changed the course of this entire earth,
by accepting God’s plan for the virgin birth.
Her agreement with the angel’s words affirmed God’s will,
and the words that she spoke are often quoted still.
She declared herself to be God’s handmaid or servant;
in her, the Lord had found a heart that was fervent.
She had faith the Lord loved her and all of mankind;
she trusted in God’s heart and not her own mind.
She was just a young woman of a tender age,
but she stepped out in faith onto the world’s center stage.
Though startled at first by the angelic visitation,
her faith in God was strong enough to take up her station.
Likewise, it’s wise today to ask the Lord to help us find
the plans and purposes for our lives that He has in mind.
By doing so, we ensure that we’re on His sure quest,
for our loving Designer knows which plans are the best.
Jesus called His disciples to leave earthly pursuits
to follow Him and put down strong spiritual roots.
What He has for our lives can be discerned by His Word;
and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He also can be heard.
The more that we listen to Him, the more we obey,
the brighter the dawn grows to the full day.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Proverbs 4:18 (New American Standard)

“And in the sixth month, the angel, Gabriel, was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
Luke 1:26-38 KJV

Joseph’s Example

Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife, believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life. Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned. Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.

He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent. He became the protector of God’s great intent. Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke, with messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.

Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told, for He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old. In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.

We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene; being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene. His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role. His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.

Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice. Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25

(Further references in Matthew 2)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 4:18; Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 10:1-18; Hebrews 10:35-36

The Ship of Faith

“Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” Luke 5:3-7 NKJV

“JESUS IS MY HEALER”–four words that please the Lord;
“Jesus is my healer” shows Him my faith’s “on board.”

“JESUS IS MY PROTECTOR,” against life’s waves and winds.
“JESUS IS MY REDEEMER,” Who’s forgiven all my sins.

“JESUS IS MY PROVIDER”–At His word, I let down my “nets;”
With each provision, Jesus reminds that I’m one whom He never forgets.

“JESUS IS MY ENCOURAGER,” against fear, unbelief, or doubt;
As in Peter’s walk on the water, I can trust the Lord’s hand will be out.

“JESUS IS MY EXAMPLE OF LOVE”–His love fills my heart’s sails,
So I may serve others, as He has said, showing that “Love never fails.”

“JESUS IS MY PEACE AND JOY”–His joy has become my strength.
“JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD,” guiding throughout my life’s length.

Or I might call him MY CAPTAIN, on watch for any rocky shoal;
And Jesus is the STRONG ANCHOR of my very soul.

“JESUS IS MY TEACHER;” May I strive to follow in His steps–
To rescue those whose lives have sunk, even to the depths.

For there isn’t anybody, who’s not welcome to come aboard;
Take Christ as Savior and join the crew of the SAIL SHIP OF THE LORD.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:1-5

And JESUS IS MY ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST:

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:18-20 NLT

“When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches, for Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to Thee; Thy right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-8

“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Thy word.” Psalm 119:148

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