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Friday, June 13, 2014

Web pages Summarizing discussions on prayer
Web pages Summarizing discussions on prayer

hands_littlehands.jpg Over the years I have had multiple opportunities to write on prayer and this blog is one planned to bring a number of these together.

 This blog provides a summarized launch pad for investigations into different aspects of prayer.

Prayer is talking to God. This is the prime way we communicate with the maker of our universe in a personal manner.

It is a privilege and a work. We change ourselves and creation by words we speak.
 
God created us similar to himself in a small way. One of these is the intricate way we can use language. Far more complex and superior to every other known creature. Yet we are infants compared to God in this area.

Even infants need to grow! Let’s pray and grow.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where and how to start, or how to overcome hurdles. Some of my blogs try to help with this. Below is a reference to the blog as a hyperlink and a short one line description of content so you can review which of them you may like to read.

 The blogs written so far that reference prayer more directly are:

Considerations on prayer - a teenagers view

This is a simple poem written by a teenager showing prayers migration from  "not being heard" to "being answered".

Considerations on prayer...why we don’t pray?

A discussion on what we should not to pray about and incorrect reasons we avoid prayer. It has helps us to start praying for when it’s tough to do so.
Considerations on prayer...why pray at all?

This gives reason Christians pray and encourages a reflection on why if we pray we might feel like we pray to an empty sky.



Warfare prayer...how to do it! Spiritual warfare guidelines...


Change wimpy prayer to powerful prayer. Guidelines on boosting prayers power.

Prayer for those facing Christian Persecution today...

Change wimpy prayer to powerful prayer. Guidelines on boosting prayers power.

Serious prayer! A serious situation!

How do you pray when suicide bombers kill Christians? Warfare prayer is needed.

Do our prayers always have to have nice language, and be gentle and soft? No!

Do we have to be stoic in our prayers? How can we pray? Can they be tough directed prayers?

Protection of prayer

Where do our prayers go? How does God respond? What is hypocritical prayer? What is effective prayer?

Those pre-prepared prayers... what is their value anyhow? (July 9, 2012)

What do we do with pre-prepared prayers?

 Why is talking to God such a challenge? [Questioning prayer]

How does God speak back to us? This explains how can we listen correctly.

 Prayer: Just a placebo?

Does prayer just make the prayer feel better or is it more?.

God doesn’t answer prayer! That’s Obvious isn't it?

This answers some of the cynicism others have related to prayer. It describes a real modern miracle.

Private prayer!

The joy of praying in private is explained here.

Just a prayer. . .for G8, our leaders and our loved ones. . . (June 14,2010)

Governments and leaders need prayer. This provides an example of an answer to that need.

May you have a blessed day walking and talking in sync with God.

Fri, June 13, 2014 | link          Comments

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Considerations on prayer - a teenagers view
Considerations on prayer - a teenagers view

There are those who have an elegant way of expressing themselves and I reprint from Teen Ink these words of ElizabethW., Oconto, WI, to see the original
click here.

I try to talk to you
But it's like you're not there
My words fade away
Into empty air


(Chorus)
Can you hear me?
Can my prayer reach that far?
Do you hear one child's cry
Wherever you are?
I'm just one small voice
In a world of pain
And I'm not sure
So I'll ask again
Can you hear me?

I try to hear your voice
But you seem so far away
I know you're calling me
But I don't know what you're saying
I can't hear you


(Chorus)
I can't hear you
I'm drowning in my sin
I try to reach for you
But I'm falling down again
One still, small voice
In a world of pain
If I try hard enough
I know I can
I can hear you


Rolling like thunder
In my once dead heart
I can hear you speaking
We were never apart
I can hear you


These words express that path from feeling isolated to being back in the arms of God. Good words to remember when we feel far away from God.

Thu, June 12, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Considerations on prayer...why we donít pray?
tired.jpgConsiderations on prayer...why we don’t pray?

You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it. ~ Denzel Washington

We are told NOT to pray for certain things and with certain attitudes and so we don’t pray that way.

That is good!

We don’t pray for many other reasons.

That is bad!

God does not want us to pray if what we are doing is trying to impress him or others.

Think about it. The most elaborate prayer that covers the most amazing subjects and intercedes for the deepest causes, is worthless if it was written or spoken or thought out with the purpose of impressing others or God.

We cannot measure prayer by the words or content. Only God can measure the value of a prayer and it is in the attitude of the prayer that the value and power resides.

Why do I say that?

Remember this piece of writing from the bible. Jesus said...

Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee. The other was a tax collector.

11 “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people,’ he said. ‘I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. And I give a tenth of all I get.’

13 
“But the tax collector stood not very far away. He would not even look up to heaven. He beat his chest and said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner.’

14 “I tell you, the tax collector went home accepted by God. But not the Pharisee. Everyone who lifts himself up will be brought down. And anyone who is brought down will be lifted up.” Luke 10

There is another prayer we do not need to use. It’s the prayer to tell God what’s happening, to inform God. This is useless. God created and sustains everything and knows everything. Letting God know about something is like a very young child trying to explain responsibility to an adult. A needless and worthless task.

These are attitudes and aspects we should not use when praying.

Yet, there are many more reasons that are not valid that seem to stop people from praying.

The first is simply because they don’t believe and the second can be as simple, it’s because we haven’t been praying. The longer the time since we last prayed, the more difficulty we seem to have in starting to pray, right?

The simplest way to overcome this is just do it! Doing it makes it easier and then we do it more. Soon we are in regular chatty mode with God and the drought is broken.

Another reason is we don’t really know where to start.

I suggest we can start simply. Something like “I don’t really know where to start but...”

Sometimes we don’t want to say we are sorry for something. That’s generally due to a selfish nasty thing called pride that has invaded our life. We need to toss out that evil spirit and turn to God “Sorry God, is was so stuck up with pride, help me...” is a way to start that prayer.

Sometimes we seem to be putting off praying to God until the right time.

Paul writes “Never stop praying. 18 Give thanks no matter what happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5

The time is always right!

 “I know I am not interrupting you, but I am sorry I thought I had to find just the right time. I now know doing it now is good. Can you ...” may be a way to start that prayer.

Prayer is work. We need to understand that we will be tired, not in the right mind, awkward, suddenly unable to think, unable to speak clearly, suddenly aware of everything and everyone around us as we start to pray.

That evil person who controls the forces of darkness has instructed them to do whatever they can to stop us praying. They know how powerful prayer is!

“God please help me to overcome evil as I pray to you...” could be a way to start that prayer.

Prayer needs to be setup to occur at regular intervals because that trains us to overcome evil and disciplines us to pray. It’s not because God is only their then. It’s because we as people need routines to help us to overcome our failings. Try setting up certain times to pray during the day. This helps us to pray more effectively and overcome our laziness and sloth.

We must also reject our feelings that we are too inferior to come to God.

Jesus died for people who had rejected him. He loves that much. There is nothing, absolutely nothing we can do that God will not listen and respond in love to our heartfelt prayer. We must be willing however to respond to God when he gives us guidance if we are to gain from the prayer. We need to want to hear from God.

It’s so easy to let things keep us from prayer. While there are a few reasons we certainly should not pray, there is far more invalid reasons we use to avoid praying.

Let’s put the invalid reasons to avoid prayer aside and let God know we want open honest and truthful chats with him on a regular basis.

Be blessed today my friend!
Wed, June 11, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Considerations on prayer...why pray at all?
 Godly_ambition.jpg“I talk to God but the sky is empty.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Even as a Christian I have felt that experience of a "void" answering prayers, and yet as a Christian I am only too aware of why!

Those of us who have yet to form a relationship with God can find prayer a shocking experience. Even alone, we may find talking with an unseen creator an awkward experience. Especially if we think God may not exist and so we are “trying it”

Add to that the fact that God wants sincerity, and that forgiveness blocks prayer ,and we can have a really difficult experience in starting on a prayer experience.

Yet all we are doing is talking to God!

We talk to people on the phone every day so the fact the person is not visible is not too much of a problem. Then, we all know how some people can talk, and talk ,and talk, without waiting for us to respond. So talking without immediate response is not really an issue either is it?

The process of praying is therefore not all that unfamiliar. We CAN do it! It's just getting used to it right?

But why pray?

For Christians, it’s for a few reasons.

God is so amazing and we just want to let Him know how we feel. We want to say thanks for what he does. We want to say sorry for what we do that we know he doesn’t like us doing, and ask forgiveness (which he gives). Prayer changes us to be more like God as we pray. We build our relationship with God through prayer and grow spiritually. We align ourselves with Gods values, kingdom and nature.

We can pray as a group which also builds us together in God’s purpose and it’s nice to do things in alignment with others.

While many think the main reason for prayer is to place requests before God, this is perhaps a lesser reason. Any request needs to have the persons forgiveness of others to be responded to by God. Jesus taught that there is a need to forgive before being forgiven, so prayer to help us do that is a step prior to forgiving, which is a step prior to asking for forgiveness, which is a step before we can put a request to God.

God answer prayers of people who are in right relationship with him. I guess that means before a request gets answered, that relationship needs to be established and nurtured.

To start the process we simply invite God to come into our lives, empower our bodies and fill us with Holy Spirit.

 It’s not too difficult! Meaning what we say is important though, and that's more difficult!

God is not a God who responds to two faced people, so we must have truth in the request. We must also have a willingness to hear answers we don't desire. Truth is the currency of prayer and willingness to accept it the exchange medium.

That’s the start of true prayer!

As a Christian,  if I speak to empty sky, I better ask why. The reason is normally unforgiveness or unwillingness to ask for forgiveness. As a non-Christian, there is no empty sky. God is just waiting!

Praying answers the question.. why pray? Try it sometime, and if you already do, let’s do it better!
Tue, June 10, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, June 9, 2014

Do we train spiritually?

epictetus.JPGNot every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.~ Epictetus

Epicteteus made this statement on training. He was a philosopher that felt that life’s events, determined by fate, are beyond our control, and need to be accepted without passion. He was a man who believed everyone is responsible for their own actions which they can then review and use through self-discipline.

He was born in about 55A.D. so was about 16years of age when Nero started to execute Christians and when Peter the apostle in Rome wrote the 1 Peter letter.

He advocated training oneself and accepting a stoic attitude to life. He had a few possessions and did acts of compassion and kindness. he started out a slave and ended as a philosopher chased out of Rome to Greece.

What's the relationship between Stoicism and Christianity?

Complex!  Laughing

Peter and Paul in their addressing of Christians sometimes bring in some aspects of the stoic philosophy into the mechanisms by which Christians train themselves spiritually.

Stoics generally served “logos” and so like Christians were monotheists. We know of John’s statement in which he says (John 1), “In the beginning was the Logos, and Logos was with God and the Logos was God”

This was not to say that Christians were Stoics, they were not, although they definitely adapted some of the tenants of Stoicism into their spiritual life training.

Stoics and Christianity both ask themselves what is the highest call in life. For Christians, it is having Holy Spirit within who guides us towards the Kingdom of God. Christians, like Stoics, look within for the center of approval and guidance of their lives. Within themselves, they find Holy Spirit, not another God as the Stoics do. They gain knowledge of Holy Spirit by testing the sprits guidance against God's word in the bible, which were left as a tool to enable us to check everything.

Strangely even though Christians look within to Holy Spirit for guidance, this in itself is changed into a view outwards, focusing into the world, as God guides Christians to have compassion and love for others.

Stoicism denies passion, but Christianity explodes love outward into our world. First as Christians we look inward to connect with Holy Spirit and then in God's power the inner strength flows through our spirit, now under God’s control, to perform miraculous work empowered by love and faith into the world in which we live and move.

We like Stoics are not controlled by our external world, but unlike stoics, passion empowers us and moves us to action within our world.

Yet, Christians are expected to train their mind, bodies, soul and spirit. Peter says

“Christ suffered in his body. So get ready as a soldier does. Prepare yourselves to think in the same way Christ did. Do it because those who have suffered in their bodies are finished with sin. As a result, they don’t live the rest of their lives on earth controlled by evil human longings. Instead, they live to do what God wants.

You have spent enough time in the past doing what ungodly people choose to do.” (1 Peter 4)

Soldiers train hard to survive. It takes discipline to do, and they do it before they enter battle. Peter is saying that we should as Christians do the same. We need to train ourselves to turn to God, we need to have Jesus as Saviour guiding us by our having Holy Spirit in our hearts.

Yet that is not enough! For superior living, there is more!

Paul’s says of immature Christians...1 Cor 3

“Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t speak to you as if you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as if you were following the ways of the world. You aren’t growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies. The words I spoke to you were like milk, not like solid food. You weren’t ready for solid food yet. And you still aren’t ready for it. You are still following the ways of the world.”

It seems like we as Christians are expected to mature, grow, train ourselves into a spiritual maturity. We grow past the point where the world influences us directly, to the point where we gain our power from looking to Holy Spirit within us who guides, strengthens, gives wisdom and empowers us. Then by enabling this powerful motive of love, God turns our attention back into our world to observe, act and do his will.

The mature Christian knows they are God’s place of residence in this world and accept this fact.

We train ourselves as Pater says. We keep a clear mind. Control ourselves. We pray. Most of all, we love one another deeply.

These are powerful tools in our lives. These are tools that require continual honing and sharpening to enable us to do God’s work.

Can I ask today whether you feel you have a clear mind, can you control yourself, will you pray, will you love others deeply?

That’s what God wants us to do!
Mon, June 9, 2014 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
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