A Christian Call To Prayer

on 11/27/2010

A couple of years ago my wife and I were in Cairo for five days. More than anything, the widespread religious devotion touched me deeply. For example, on the first day our Muslim driver and guide took us to a locals-only type place for lunch. While eating, one of the five daily calls to prayer sounded. (It's a city of 18 million, and you hear the calls to prayer everywhere.) The two men left the table, washed and prayed, right in the restaurant. Every Muslim is called to pray at least five times a day. They must stop what they are doing, and take time to pray. You can’t tell me that their devotion to prayer doesn’t profoundly impact their lives. Can you imagine if we did that in our Nation? What unity! What devotion! What consecration!

I readily admit my prayer life has not been what it should. Of course I pray every day, but often they are short prayers, all about me and my life. I grow weary while praying, my mind wanders, and my spirit feels unfulfilled. I just finished Kenneth E. Hagin’s book “The Art of Prayer” and I am now committed to praying as God would have me. I said that I wanted this website to help people begin living a successful Christian life. I assure you, that won’t occur without prayer.

Prayer can accomplish anything. Let me say that again. PRAYER CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING. Jesus said that nothing will be impossible for us. Well we have preached that and we believe that, but it’s time to make it happen. Anything I ask the Father in Jesus’ Name He will do for me. Wherever two or more are gathered, Jesus is there, and they have what they ask for. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. I know I’m righteous, not because of what I did, but because of Jesus Christ. My prayer, if effective and fervent, will avail much. Glory to God.

I’m done praying little two second prayers, “God please help my family, God please help the people in Haiti.” It’s time we get serious about prayer. Paul talked about praying in the Spirit. Paul talked about groaning. Paul talked about travailing. Yes I’ve prayed in the Spirit, maybe for a few minutes. Now I’m talking about Spiritual warfare. It’s time to get on our face. It’s time to go before God with fervency. We are going to groan and we are going to travail and glory to God, in the Spirit we are going to bring forth.

Paul prayed for Timothy and he said his prayers built a memorial before God. It’s time we build some memorials. Paul continually prayed for many of the groups He had witnessed to (probably them all). We know God hears our prayers; we are His Sons and Daughters. If you really believed that God heard all your prayers, and God would do anything you ask, shouldn’t you pray more? Well, you and I both say we’ve believed it, but now it’s time we act on it.

We can go boldly before the throne of Grace. Jesus is our Great High Priest. We are God’s Children. If the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, then what would happen if we all began praying effectively and fervently? I don’t think we can really imagine. There is no aspect of this world that can’t change by the power of God. The financial situation can change. The political situation can change. Wars, terrorism, genocide, even abortion. Every situation could be changed, because all things are possible with God.

People say that God is in control, and I’m not disputing that. But it’s easy for nonbelievers to dismiss God’s goodness when this world is ravaged by hate and pain. God is in control, and God is sovereign, but are you going to say that the world’s problems are His will? I don’t think so. Is all of the world’s death and pain His will? No chance. So if they are not His will, is their nothing we can do about it? Yes, we can do something. We can begin praying now.

Jesus told us to pray that God’s will would be done on earth. Jesus wouldn’t tell us to waste our time. He wouldn’t say to do this if God’s will was automatically being done in the earth. And He wouldn’t say to do this if our prayers wouldn’t effect the accomplishment of His will. Praise God. Our prayers are key to God’s will being done in the earth.

So why do so many things clearly contrary to His will exist on earth? Because We ARE NOT PRAYING? Well, at least for me, that’s over. I’m going to pray in the Spirit and pray with my understanding. If the Spirit wills, I’m going to groan and travail and bring forth through prayer. I’m excited. I know that God’s will will be done in my life, because I can pray and see that come to pass. If you pray for anything, believing you receive, you will have it. (Mark 11:24)

I encourage you to take up prayer like never before. I encourage you to read Brother Hagin’s book, “The Art of Prayer.” It will only take a few hours and your life will never be the same. Our hands are not bound. God’s hand is not shortened. God’s hand is strong. With God all things are possible. We can see anything change in this world, if we will pray.

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


God Loves And Accepts You Now

on 11/11/2010

Today I saw something in God’s Word that really excited me, so I wanted to quickly share it with you. Deuteronomy 5:2 says, “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.”

Now at first that doesn’t look like much. But the dictionary I use says that “Horeb” means desert, solitude, or destruction. Yes God had brought them out of Egypt, but they were in a desert place. They had made it into the wilderness, and they were struggling. This is also the place where God met with Moses in the Burning Bush (Exodus chapter 3). We all know Moses was struggling at that point too. He had left Egypt and had been tending the flocks of his father-in-law for years. He was away from his family, away from his people, and away from his destiny.

They were all in a difficult place, but God was looking to take them to a better place. Are you in a difficult place today? God won’t reject you. God wants to meet you wherever you are. God knows where you’ve been and where you’re going. God wants an encounter with you today. God will make a covenant with you right now, it doesn’t matter what you’ve been going through.

Any Christian who has spent any time in church knows that God will take you wherever you are. Pastor Dollar used to say during the alter call, “bring your liquor bottle, bring your reefer, bring it right up to the altar and leave it here” (paraphrased). I know that’s the attitude of God. Wherever you are in life, even if it’s a place of desert, solitude, and destruction, God wants to meet you and make a covenant with you.

I believe God showed me this verse as encouragement for some situations we currently have. And it truly stirs me up. I know that God made a covenant with me when I was in a bad place. I know God kept that covenant with me when I was in a worse place. How much more shall God keep this covenant with me, now that I’m in His place and walking in His will? I have nothing to fear, as God honored that covenant in the desert, God will honor it in this oasis I call home now. Glory to God.

So it doesn’t matter where you are, if you are a Christian then you have a covenant with God. He didn’t make that covenant when you were perfect or walking in His perfect will. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He made that covenant when you were at your lowest, in bondage to sin and incapable of pleasing Him. That’s the God we serve, who makes all things new and brings us out of darkness and into the marvelous light. Never despise the day of small beginnings. Look where you were (spiritually, mentally, and physically) when you began with God. If God honored His covenant with you there, you can be assured God will honor His covenant with you now.

God also reminded me of something from my past yesterday. He showed me something in a new light, something I hadn’t thought of in years. Something I see clearly now with wonder and praise for God.

Back in college I was definitely not walking in God’s plan for my life. I made many mistakes. But even during that time, in that sin, God began giving me dreams, and during my senior year my future wife and I began attending church. But even before that I can see many examples of God protecting me.

One night early in my junior year my roommate had some female friends visit. I didn’t know them, but one of them and I quickly became friends. We had many things in common and made plans to go out the next night. But the next day she apparently got in a big fight with her roommate. It became so heated she moved out, left school, and moved to another city, all in one day. My roommate told me this. I never saw or heard from her again.

You say skeptically, “Byron, you think God had that girl move to another city just to stay away from you.” Frankly I don’t know all the details, all I know is that God has protected me from many evils throughout my life, and as God reminded me of this, I now believe this was another example of God’s Divine protection.

How about that? God saw a situation that would be evil to me, or be a future hindrance to me, and God picked that situation up and moved it out of my city. HALLELUJAH! God’s going to take care of troubles you don’t even see yet. God will protect you from problems you don’t even know you have. Even if you are still in Horeb, God’s going to protect you and provide for you. God’s going to move your problems out of your city. We are more than conquerors. Yes we have to go through battles sometimes, but other times God fights the battles for us and delivers us before we even see the problem.

I can easily say that college was a Horeb-like place for me. It was a desert without an active relationship with God’s Spirit. It was a place of destruction where I was actively working to destroy my life. And it was a lonely place, where most of the time I had no God or Godly people in my life. But God made a covenant with me even before college began. And God held up his part of that covenant the entire time I was there, even while I did nothing to please Him.

I know now that God will always honor His covenants, with me and with you. If God was so good to me when I was lost in sin, what should I fear, what should concern me? While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. And if God be for us nothing can stand against us. Glory to God. I pray this encourages you today.


Successful Christian Living

on 11/03/2010

Lately I’ve had some time on my hands. It’s not that I don’t have things to do. I have several clients and my daughter is six weeks old. But I’ve just been reflecting on the direction of our lives. The mindset behind Exploits for God has certainly evolved (with the Holy Spirit’s direction) since 2004 when I first launched the website. But recently I’ve been confronted again and again with this idea of successful Christian living.

Just one look at the headlines will make you want to cry. There is so much pain and need in this world your heart can feel stressed and powerless. (It’s so important during those moments to remember that you can’t do everything, but you can do some things.) I hate seeing people sad and hurting, especially children. I know God is going to have me do things about it. But I also hate to see Christians not walking in the fullness of God’s promises.

I can boldly say that I’m living a very good life and that it’s all in line with God’s will and plan for me. We’re healthy, we have appropriate finances, and we have no real problems. We seek God’s will, put faith in His Word, and regularly see Him powerfully move on our behalf. Sure, we must deal with things, sometimes very difficult things, but we know that God is for us (Romans 8:31) and God will perfect that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8). Unfortunately all Christians don’t live victoriously. What saddens me more is that many churches don’t preach the victorious possibilities in Christ Jesus.

As I’ve said before, I believe God wants us to have a good life. God wants us to be blessed spiritually, physically, financially, and every other ly. Remember that He says He wishes above all that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers (3 John 2). We can live free of poverty, free of physical problems, and free of any other flesh bondage that the devil can throw our way.

Now I do believe we will suffer persecution for our faith. Also I believe situations will arise that tempt us to worry or fear. I’m not saying God causes those things actively, but they happen in a fallen world. The good news is that God will deliver us from every affliction (Psalm 34:19) and give us perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

I want Christians to know all that God promises them, and I want them to know that the physical manifestation of those promises in this life on Earth is a definite possibility. So we're going to work for that. I pray that you read with us as we begin going through God’s great and precious promises and the mechanics of seeing God’s promises realized in our lives.  Amen.