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PTAP: Saudi National Day.

September 23 is Saudi Arabia's National Day and so let's focus our prayers on Saudi Arabia today.  Here are some current requests from people in the country:

Social media is growing and the potential to connect with seekers is growing.  Please pray for media teams that are using social media to reach the lost and bring them into discipling relationships. 

Please pray for Filipinos in country to mobilize and prepare their people in country to reach out to locals.  We have seen great movement lately. 

Locals are coming to faith, but very few are continuing in their journey and most will not meet with others.  Pray for seekers and believers to form groups and grow together. 

There are still many students in the West.  Please remember to pray for them and that believers in the West would be bold to share with them.  Also pray for those who do believe and return to Saudi.  It can be a very difficult thing to transition back into country. 

As the country is going through a lot of changes socially and economically, pray that this change would encourage people to be open to spiritual change and that they would explore new beliefs and ideas.
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Prayer Changes Things

Prayer Changes Things

Prayer changes things, right?  But who do you pray to, when, where, and about what?  Do those things make a difference?  As usual, man's ideas about these things are just about opposite to God's ideas, at least mine typically are.  Let's see if that is the case here.


Adam was used to hearing God's voice and enjoying God's presence, until Adam made his first bad choice.  God did all things for Adam's benefit.  After Adam failed his first choice and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God drove him out of the garden so he wouldn't eat of the tree of life and live forever.  But that bad choice had serious consequences.  Man ate the fruit and died:

  • immediately in his spirit
  • gradually throughout his physical life time in his soul (mind, will, and emotions), and
  • eventually in his body 

God drove Adam out of the garden so he would not eat of the tree of life and live forever under the consequences of choosing his own way over choosing God's way.  Talking with God became harder.  It now had to begin with admission and confession of sin.  "I chose wrong.  I picked my way over your way.  I am more sorry for my bad choice that broke trust with You, disrespected You, and doubted You, even than for the severe consequences my choice brought me.  I now know that you always have my best interest at heart, even when I do not understand.  In the future I will trust you with my life and my choices, seeking Your will and Your ways rather than my own."


So payer now involves restoration of fellowship with God.  Adam MIGHT have taken his communion with God for granted.  We should not do so because restoration is gut-wrenching work.  If you doubt this please read David's experience with this in Psalm 51.  True restoration leads to a new appreciation of God and His great compassion and wisdom toward us, somewhat akin to Mark Twain's description of how much smarter his Dad became as the son finally grew up and matured.  Another such picture of God is the father of the prodigal son patiently waiting until his son would wise up, come to his senses, and choose to return to his father. 


Such understanding of God and of praying with Him is of course most appropriate at any time.  For example the return of the prodigal son was "none too soon."  And God is so patient to listen to us talk or ask about anything that He places on our heart.  But what really changes when we pray?  Typically we may start out with our ideas, but if we really place ourselves under the control of God's Spirit He will guide us along routes and paths we did not anticipate.  When our prayers are successful it is ourselves that are changed.  Our sovereign God may choose to grant our petition and change circumstances, but more often He may leave circumstances unchanged in order to help us change and grow up in Him to appreciate Him more. 


When we arise from prayer changed more into His image and attitude, our prayer is successful, and vice versa.  Recall that God wants to change our body, soul, and spirit.  Such changes progress through our prayer and worship, from our spirit, to our soul, and finally to our body.  "With His stripes we are healed." 

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


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Grown in Prayer

"Prayer changes things" is a phrase I hear spoken every once in awhile.  While prayer is a method or tool that God created for us to communicate with him, God is the one who changes things.  He changes us and/or the circumstances we experience when we pray.

So, let me ask you this question.  What needs changing today?

I imagine, almost instantly, your mind is filling with personal concerns or matters in which you'd like to see change.  For some, political thoughts or ideas are sweeping in.  For others still, it may be the circumstances or the needs of others.  It's possible too that you're content with life and the circumstances you experience.

Whatever the need, and whatever the experience, meet it first in prayer

Seek God to change the heart (your own, and for others you pray for).  Remember to worship Him as you pray.

Seek God to adjust circumstances (ask Him to show you how to pray for each one). 

Seek God to glorify Himself in the outworking of His will in each circumstance. 

Release control of the outcome to Him- He who does and is immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  Then, watch how He answers.  Listen and be attentive to Him.  He may instruct you to pray differently than you've been praying.  That's okay.  Follow Him in the way(s) He desires you to pray. 

His outcomes are always greater than whatever we can come up with on our own!  Sometimes His outcome may change us more than the circumstance or matter we're praying for.  That's okay too!  It's good to allow Him to grow you as you pray.

Praying for Revival

Despite people who cast doom-and-gloom reports on the growth or shrinkage of Christianity in our world, the gospel continues to spread- and in many places it's spreading rapidly! 

A local glimpse/snapshot
:  Around 700 people received and began following Christ two weeks ago in Central Indiana!   The Lord did this through Christians, some brand new in their faith, sharing individually and in small groups.  This may be a small number, but the good news is that He's continuing to do this today!

But how does revival and awakening begin?  Does it happen by a number of people putting their heads together to organize a massive plan or people-gathering campaign?  Does it form when Christians try harder to live good, Christ-honoring, lives?

Revival begins, and grows, first by prayer.  Are you catching the message here?

This revival has only just begun.  What if we prayed for revival in other countries?  What if we prayed for revival in our country?   What more will God change?  How much more will he change us?

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