Teaching Our Children About Prayer

Our daughter, Dinah , and Dixie our German Shepherd cross

Our daughter, Dinah , and Dixie our German Shepherd cross

Teaching Our Children About Prayer

By Dorothy Clark

 

When our four children were in elementary school, Michael and I decided it was time to teach them about prayer. So we sat them down and Michael began with the parable about the persistent woman and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). When they all understood the importance of hanging in there, he asked them some questions.

“If a little boy riding in a grocery cart asked his Mom for every toy he saw, do you think she’d buy any of them?”

They unanimously answered, “No way.”

“But,” Michael continued, “what if that little boy only asked for one thing, and every time they went to the store, he asked for the same item. Would his Mom buy it for him?”

“Yes.” They were sure she eventually would.

“Okay, I want the four of you to pick one thing you all want. Think about it and let me know what you decide.”

They didn’t need to think about it. With one voice, they said, “We want Dixie back!”

Dixie was our dog. She was a gentle German Shepherd cross, afraid of loud noises like firecrackers. She had disappeared one night while we were gone. I called the pound and the Humane Society nearly every day for weeks, asking for her, but the answer was always no. Eventually I gave up. Now, months later, the four of them wanted her back.

Then the prayers began. Morning, afternoon, and evening, all four prayed for Dixie to come back. Prayer before meals was, “Thank you for the food and please send Dixie back.” Day after day, they persisted in praying for that one thing they wanted more than anything else.

Being great people of faith, even then Michael and I were appalled and dismayed. We wanted them to learn that God hears and answers prayer, and they ruined it by asking for something totally impossible. We desperately wanted to help God answer, but couldn’t think of any way to do it.

Then one day the boys came home from their friend’s home and told me, “We found Dixie. She’s at a house across the street from Bobbie’s.” As soon as Michael arrived home from work, they surrounded him, wanting him to go immediately and bring the dog home. In no hurry to make an ass of himself approaching a stranger on a fool’s errand, Michael did the logical thing—he procrastinated. “We’ll go tomorrow night right after work.”

Tomorrow came all too soon, but Michael stood by his word and the five of them walked the few blocks to Bobbie’s neighborhood. Michael rang the doorbell, and when the door was answered, he said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but my kids think you have their dog.”

The man said, “I don’t think so.”

Michael began to describe Dixie, and as he did, he saw her in the house behind the homeowner. “That’s her right there,” he said.

The man then explained. “My sister lives in a town several miles west of here. She rescues dogs from the pound if she thinks they are worth saving and she can find homes for them. She picked up that dog sometime back. She’s on vacation now, and I’m dog sitting for her. I’m sure she’d be glad to let you have the dog when she gets back.”

So the bargain was struck. We reimbursed the rescuer for the fee she had paid at the pound, and Dixie came back home to us.

Who do you think learned more about prayer, Michael and me or our kids?

Intimacy with the Father and the Son

Carl_Bloch_The_Transfiguration_400

There is so much more to what it means to be intimate with our Father and Jesus than what seeps to the surface in today’s churches. Even the Bible translators seem to have gone out of their way to strip intimacy out of what the original languages were written in. For instance, what it means to be “born again.” We hear this phrase all over Christendom, but how hollow it is! Being “born again” is the very beginning of our relationship with the Spirit Being who has called us to Himself. The translators really missed it on this one! Take the word, “born”


gennaō
Thayer Definition:
1) of men who fathered children
1a) to be born
1b) to be begotten
1b1) of women giving birth to children

This word can be used for both being born and for insemination by the father. But in this case our heavenly Father is the progenitor. He is not our biological mother, but who is? Father is the one who moves and “broods over” us and inseminates us with spiritual life! That is what it means to be “born of the Spirit.” With us it is just as it was with Mary, the mother of Jesus and how she became pregnant.

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know [ginosko – intimate knowing] not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born [gennao] of you shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

Then our intimacy continues on for we are inseminated INTO Christ and abide there in Him from then on. Jesus said, “That whosoever believes in [Greek – eis INTO not “in”] him [the Son] should not perish, but have eternal life.”(John 3:15 KJ2000) Salvation is all about in whom we abide. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in [Greek – eis INTO] him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJ2000)

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe INTO [Grk – eis] his name [character or personage]: Who were born [gennao – inseminated], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 KJ2000)

 The initial act by the Father is one that makes us spirit beings and then through faith places us INTO the Son. Jesus is the Father’s womb where we live! From then on we are IN Him. Jesus said,

He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. (John 6:56 KJ2000 – Emphasis added)

 We are eating and drinking from Him just as a fetus does eat and drink of its mother. Paul nailed it when He said,

‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ (Acts 17:28 RSVA – emphasis added)

Jesus’ final prayers are very instructive,

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on [eis – into] me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in [eis – into] one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

 As I hope you can see, everything about what it means for us to become a NEW creation IN Christ is about intimacy. We who are His body and Bride have our singular being (not beings) IN the Father and the Son. This is not mere religious activities that is spoken of here. God is after intimacy with all who are His.

Another thought on intimacy. Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6 KJ2000). Prayer is our time of intimacy in secret with the Father, not a public performance. We enter into our room with Him and shut the door. What room? The room that Jesus has prepared for us for our intimate communion with the Father and the Son. Jesus said,

 “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe [INTO – Grk. eis) God, believe also [INTO – Grk. eis] me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 RSVA)

We are the BRIDE of Christ, not His platonic girlfriend. There is so much more to becoming the Bride of Christ than attending endless church meetings. Jesus first prepares the bridal chamber for us and then invites us into it with Him. We can have that intimacy now in this life as we learn to go into our heavenly room in our Father’s house and shut the door with Him. Oh, what intimacy is ours if we will just open our eyes and follow our Bridegroom.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. (Matthew 25:10 RSVA)

The Power of Our Words and Prayers

altar_of_incense

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door were shaken at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. (Isaiah 6:1-7 KJ2000)

I was in fellowship with a dear saint recently and we started to talk about prayer and how important it was for those of us who are in unity as members of Christ’s body to pray for one another. This person felt the power of God when we prayed together and saw results in their life. Words are a wondrous thing. With our words we have the power to move heaven to act, bless those dear to us, or to do them harm. Really getting to know others in close relationships is wonderful, but the closer and more open we are with each other, the easier it is to wound one another with our words. I’ve apologized numerous times to people I’ve hurt without intending to. Each time I’ve wounded a dear saint, I’ve been reminded of Jesus’ words that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around my neck and be cast into the depth of the sea than offend one of His little ones. In this last year God has put me in relationships with people who are serious about the kingdom of God and what it means to walk together in the light as He is in the light. We know that unless we are walking in this kind of transparency with the ones He has placed us with, we are not having real fellowship (see 1 John 1:5-9).

After seeing both the negative and positive effects of my words, I was reminded of some verses in the Bible that God has given me in the past.

In Ecclesiastes Solomon wrote:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to send forth a foul odor: so does a little folly to him that is respected for wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1 KJ2000)

Paul wrote:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:1-4 ESV– emphasis added)

As I experienced both blessing and wounding coming out of my mouth more recently, He reminded me of what James wrote.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. (James 3:10 RSVA)

For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:2 KJ2000)

Yes, brethren, this ought not to be so! I started asking God to do a miracle in my life in this matter of the tongue. He started answering my prayer by letting me feel in my own heart the pain others were feeling. A couple of times it was so intense I had to go lie down because I couldn’t function any longer.

Fourteen years ago, while watching the movie, “The Green Mile,” I started weeping and praying that God would use me to take some of the suffering out of this world. I was inspired by the empathy of the main character in the movie, John Koffey. I had no idea what I was asking when I prayed that God would use me this way. As is so often the case, He starts answering our prayers by dealing with us first! He wanted me to deal with the pain I was causing others in this world! I soon found that the closer these people were to me, the greater the pain I felt when I offended one of them. Pain is a great teacher. C. S. Lewis wrote,

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ~ C.S Lewis, The Problem of Pain

At this same time, God started talking to me about really seeking His face. God told Moses, “You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20 KJ2000). There had to be somewhere else that God said to seek His face, and I found it in Psalms where David prayed:

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When you said, Seek my face; my heart said unto you, your face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not your face far from me; put not your servant away in anger: you have been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. (Psalms 27:7-10 KJ2000)

David was a man after God’s own heart and a prophetic type of Christ. Man might not have been able to see God’s face and live in the Old Covenant, but in the New Covenant we are called to boldly enter into the Father’s presence as we abide in His Son, Jesus.

 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 RSVA)

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. (Ephesians 2:13-16 RSVA)

About four months ago as I pleaded to see our Father’s face, He gave me Isaiah 6:1-7 and this was the part He wanted me to feel:“Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Father told me, “If you want to see me, you must be undone.” I knew that something must be done about my unclean lips. Since then, I have never been so conscious of the words that come out of my mouth and the effect they have on others! I have never felt so much heart pain either! I have cried more in the last four months than I had in my whole life as He has let me experience the pain in the hearts of others. I have become “unhinged”… undone and cry at the drop of a hat. He was answering another longstanding prayer of mine. He was letting me in close to His heart and experience the fellowship of His sufferings.

I have become so sick of the damage my uninspired words were cause others that I have started praying He would take a coal from His altar and put it in my mouth as He did with Isaiah. I am tired of hurting others with my words, especially His “little ones,” those who walk in humility before Him.

To become sons and daughters of God it takes a miraculous work. We must be made into a new creation, and that is what He does. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJ2000)

There is nothing of that old Adam in us He can use. Paul wrote,

 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:49-50 RSVA)

Over the last ten months God has gone deep in my heart after some bitter root judgments (see Heb. 12:14-15) I have held on to from old wounds in the past. These wounds have kept His love from flowing through me. The process of dealing with this has required the constant working of death in me. I have been going from death to death so that He can spring forth with new life unto life in me. Paul wrote:

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient [capable] for these things? (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 RSVA – emphasis added)

Who is sufficient for these things? God is!

 And such trust have we through Christ toward God: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 KJ2000)

Paul went on to say that we are:

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:10-12 KJ2000)

Are we willing to let death work in us so that life might abound through us to others? I’ve had to go though a lot of pain and tears, yet I have never felt such intense love for others in my heart as well. I never knew that love could be so painful, yet so rewarding at the same time.

This Thing Called Prayer

Today Father showed me something new about prayer. Luke tells us about Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father.

According to the custom of the priest’s office, his [Zachariah’s] lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the time of incense. (Luke 1:9-10 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

It is interesting that here we see a passage speaking about prayer and incense at the same time. For 35 years my prayer life was in the tank. In 1980 God removed any sense of His presence from me and put me out into a spiritual wilderness. As a result, I quit praying on any regular basis. Prayer that had once been personable, powerful and fulfilling was lost in that wilderness. When I tried to pray the words seem to fall off my lower lip and hit the floor like a “sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.”

But today something happened. He spoke to me about prayer and let me see that our prayers are not just mere waves of energy that go flying by God’s ear at the speed of sound, never to be seen or heard from again. No, just like faith, prayers have substance and are gathered at His altar just as our tears are gathered in His bottle (see Psalm 56:8). A strong sense of peace came over me as He showed me this passage in Revelation:

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1-5 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

At first I thought prayer and incense were two different things, but then I read David’s words,

Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalms 141:2-3 KJ2000)

Here we not only see prayer as incense before the Lord, but we also have an admonition about every idle word that comes out of our mouths. God tied both of these issues together in the same passage of scripture! In Revelation we see those prayers as incense being hurled back down to the earth to do a work as God has intended. We might not see an answer to our prayers come in the form we had expected, but they are still valuable to Him. When the time is right, He sends them out with His power to accomplish His will.

He had taken me full circle –from the idle words of my mouth that smote my heart as I felt the pain they caused in the hearts of others, to how our prayers are incense to God and something He uses to accomplish His divine will. As I meditated on this fresh revelation, my tears flowed! Prayer has taken on new meaning to me and I feel that its importance has finally been restored to me after 35 years. So Father I pray that you will…

 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14 KJ2000)

That You Might Be Children of Your Father – Part 2

letthechildrencomejesusAnd [Jesus] said, “Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 KJ2000)

“I am sure nothing is going to be done unless we have a very large heart to look over and in and through and beyond, refusing to be held by the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us, and reaching through to that which is true in the heart” T. Austin-Sparks – “Abounding in Love”

As I read this I was reminded of how Jesus looked at all men. Even on the cross He looked beyond those men who were striking, hurting and mocking Him, praying, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” That is what HIS divine love does. God’s love looks into the hearts of every man, woman and child on earth to see what is behind their actions. But not only that, but to see what HE has foreordained that they should walk in IN His Son, Christ Jesus. From the foundation of the world He had a plan for each of us and we know that we all have spent most of our lives walking out a life that has fallen short of that. BUT He is not deterred. Paul wrote,

 

We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them. What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (Romans 8:28-31 CEV)

Do we always know who these chosen ones are? No. Even they often do not know they are His until He divinely starts working in them to reveal Himself. When those evil men took Stephen out to stone him to death because he dared to tell them the truth, there was one man who watched over the cloaks of the ones who murdered him, Saul of Tarsus, whom we now know as Paul. Paul was one of the Jew’s henchmen who also sought to kill the chosen ones of God and HE was even one of the chosen himself! But Jesus made a divine appointment with Paul on the Damascus Road and he was never the same. There is a saying that a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us had, “When a prostitute falls in love, she no longer has a job.” Paul fell in love with Jesus that day, the very One he had been persecuting in the name of the prostituted religion of the Jews (read Hosea). He would never go back to that twisted life again. Jesus did that day what no one in the church could do… He saved Paul and put a new heart in him Later he would write,

 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. (Romans 12:17-21 NLT)

You seed, this is “reaching through to that which is true in the heart. To be about our Father’s work we must ignore “the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us” and follow Jesus’ heart and words,

 

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

I am not sure what was done by the US government in its “war on terror” since 9-11 has been all that godly. What would have happened if we had fed them and gave them to drink instead of water-boarding them and conquered evil with good? Now all we have is an ever more vengeful enemy that is consuming the whole Arab world with its hate more and more. For each one of them we kill in the name of “homeland security” ten more vengeful relatives take his place.

Can you see that we who are carnal do the same thing on an individual level as well? How many of us have unresolved disputes with our neighbors and relatives because we would rather be “right’ than be God’s lovers in Christ? It should not be this way if we are truly IN Christ and are “children of our Father who is in heaven.”

Dear saints, pray for that “very large heart that can look over and in and through and beyond… reaching through to that which is true in the heart,” the heart of Jesus in you.

 

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another…” (1 John 3:22-23 KJ2000)

 

Part one by the same name can be read at https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/that-you-might-be-children-of-your-father/

What Has Been Happening?

But who may endure the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3:2-3 KJ2000)

We know that God has said that in the last days, He would be doing a deeper work in the hearts of His saints AND that He would use our fellow saints to work in and prepare us for the second coming of our Lord Jesus.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:6-8 RSVA- emphasis added)

Yes, WE as members of the Bride of Christ are what HE uses to make us ready for His coming. It seems that in the last month and a half He has gone after one issue after another that was still lurking deep in my heart, some of them lingering there even from my childhood. I have gone for years before this, without Him really touching any new issues in my heart. He seems to do these things in seasons and I have been in one of those painful, yet wonderful periods of my life.

God in His wisdom has used a wonderful sister in Christ to reach into my heart and bring to light a lot of places that my attitudes toward different classes of people had not been healed. It was about 24 years ago that a lady counselor told me she could go no further with me after about three sessions. Then she told me a curious thing… that when God got at the rest of what was holding me back He would use a woman, not a man as He had previously years earlier (in 1979)… Well, this has all come to pass as He used a very unsuspecting vessel over the internet to touch my heart. This dear sister slipped right in “under my radar” if you will and God started using her to do what no other person could do before.

Once the first area of darkness was brought to light, my hatred for pastors and disdain for ecclesiastical authority, then the others came tumbling down as well. And get this! She didn’t even know that God was using her this way. Jesus just showed up in her words! Yes, He still uses the weak things to confound the mighty and the foolish things to confound the wise. I don’t know how many more issues are going to show up, for at one point the Lord showed me my heart with the top removed and it looked like a cone-shaped coffee filter with grounds in the bottom. When I saw that, I gave Him full permission to empty me out once again.

As a precursor to all this He had me meditating on this passage (and I am still marveling over it in its simplicity)…

And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:4-7 RSVA)

Light! God’s pure light! This is the power that exposes darkness and makes it flee away. But it also heals that scar that is left behind when our darkness is banished. A study about light is a very interesting thing. Light not only illuminates, but it bleaches things out like a fuller’s soap (see Malachi 3:2) and it also kills bacteria and purifies.  But here we see John revealing to us that LIGHT is integral to REAL fellowship in the Spirit of God.  IF we are walking in the Light as HE is in the Light…. God is Light and in Him there is no darkness… true fellowship is found where hearts are open to HIM and to one another.

Later in John’s letter we read that God is Love as well. So, can we have real healing fellowship with one another without HIS healing Love there, too? I don’t think so. Love is what it takes for us to open up to His light… We love Him because HE first loved us… and His love in His saints is what holds us together and enables us to trust one another and to open up to one another so HIS Light can shine in!!! This is when the blood of Jesus does its cleansing work! It was being loved unconditionally by a bunch of hippie Jesus People in 1970 that got me to open my heart up to God and be healed from a spirit of hate that was left over from my part in the Vietnam War.

“We have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” You see it all fits together… I was having fellowship in openness with this sister and God came into it to open me up and heal me. Some of you might read this and think, “Poor sap! What is HIS problem? I got perfectly healed when Jesus came into my life!” Well, good for you! But with me the next verse in 1 John has great meaning as well… “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

So, dear saints let us boldly enter into His throne of grace and let His light do its work with one another… no more silly church games of parading around in our righteous robes like so many Pharisees of old! Let us open up our hearts to those whom God has given us in a special relationship (the spiritual ones we can trust [see Galatians 6:1]) and get REAL with one another…

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(James 5:16 KJ2000)

Do you see the context of effectual and fervent prayer? It is for one another’s healing as members of Christ’s body. I hope we will all find that special person, as I have, who God uses to heal us and get to the bottom of our heart issues that hold us back.

“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.”
(Proverbs 27:17 MSG)

God bless you all!

 

 

 

Constant Prayer

Road RashATV Wreck

From “Practising the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence…

“That he expected after the pleasant days GOD had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well, that as he could do nothing of himself, GOD would not fail to give him the strength to bear them.
That when an occasion of practising some virtue offered, he addressed himself to GOD, saying, ‘LORD, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me;’ and that then he received strength more than sufficient.
That when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to GOD, ‘I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself; tis You must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss.’ That after this, he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.
That we ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. That GOD never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced.”

As I was flying through the air in that wreck I just had on an ATV machine two days ago, I prayed, “Jesus, I need your help in THIS one.” After looking at the wreck afterwards and where I landed thirty feet down the mountain side, I had to conclude the He had given His angels charge over me least I had dashed my face upon the stones. As it was I lit face first in a bed of pine needles and small sticks. I praise Him that the injuries were bad enough to teach me not to go riding when there was snow and slush on those mountain roads, yet minor enough to keep me from any real permanent harm.

The other thing that has occurred to me in all this was that I need His help, direction and LIFE in ALL the things I encounter each day, not just the ones in which I feel out of control. “For it is in HIM that we live and move and have our being.” The Lord is so good! (the picture of me above was taken right after I got home and I had not seen the humor in all of it as of yet 🙂

Love to you all,

Michael