fear (18)

CoViD-19 and Lent

Pray for wisdom for those in leadership as they make decisions on what precautions to take and how to respond as COVID-19 has been spreading throughout the region.

Pray for conversations with locals about the fear and anxiety many have towards this illness and its spread.  Pray that those in the Arabian Peninsula would recognize that they are not immune to the brokenness of the world. Pray that they would be pointed to their need for a savior as their sense of security is broken. 

Outwardly, lent can appear similar to fasting our friends do during Ramadan.  Pray for opportunities to share about the meaning and purpose of lent.  Ask for wisdom in sharing how lent is different than Ramadan and about fasting in the Christian context.  Pray that locals would be drawn to the freedom found in Jesus and the personal relationship we have with the Father.

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CoViD-19 and Lent

Pray for wisdom for those in leadership as they make decisions on what precautions to take and how to respond as COVID-19 has been spreading throughout the region.

Pray for conversations with locals about the fear and anxiety many have towards this illness and its spread.  Pray that those in the Arabian Peninsula would recognize that they are not immune to the brokenness of the world. Pray that they would be pointed to their need for a savior as their sense of security is broken. 

Outwardly, lent can appear similar to fasting our friends do during Ramadan.  Pray for opportunities to share about the meaning and purpose of lent.  Ask for wisdom in sharing how lent is different than Ramadan and about fasting in the Christian context.  Pray that locals would be drawn to the freedom found in Jesus and the personal relationship we have with the Father.

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He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. - Psalm 113: 7,8
November 10, 2018
Dear Praying Friends,

November 10 is the International Day of Prayer for Yemen when Christians around the world will be uniting to pray for Yemen.  As you know, PTAP has been encouraging much prayer for Yemen due to the immense suffering of the Yemeni people from the horrors of war, resulting in the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today.  So please join us in prayer again, united in the Spirit as one body of Christ, for God to have mercy upon the people and country of Yemen.  

Most of all, pray for the end of the civil war!!!  Pray for successful negotiations and a resulting ceasefire.  Pray for all fighting and killing to stop. Pray against famine and cholera and all disease.  Pray for all humanitarian efforts to be successful. Pray for normal life to return so that the country can start to heal and prosper again.  
Below are links to resources to help you pray.  Also, we recommend the following:
  1. Spend a dedicated time of personal, focused prayer for Yemen.
  2. Fast if possible.
  3. Lead your family, small group, church, etc. in a time of corporate, focused prayer.
  4. Share on social media that November 1o is the International Day of Prayer for Yemen and encourage your friends to pray.
PTAP's Yemen page:  http://prayforap.com/yemen.html
Pray4Yemen:  pray4yemen.com
PTAP's Facebook:  facebook.com/PRAYTAP 
PTAP's Prayermate mobile app:  http://praynow4.org/arabianpeninsula

Here is a short testimony from a Yemeni believer and also recent prayer requests from Yemeni believers themselves.  Let's pray along with our brothers and sisters. They are greatly encouraged when they know that we are praying with them.  

My story
"I used to live with fear and hatred, and I was tired of living this way.  It made me sick. So one day, I fervently prayed to God to free me from this unrighteousness, and God sent me a brother who was actually my neighbor.  He spoke to me about Christ. I saw Christ in his life. God gave me freedom like I have never experienced before.
Now, when I encounter challenges (people of another faith who want to harm me and give me trouble), the only thing I have to give them is love, joy, peace, patience, and reassurance in Christ.  No more fear, no more hatred.  I have complete freedom. I can now trust in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because He lives in me."
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“How you respond to a setback exposes your faith, your fears, and your future.” Dan Skognes


I saw a two-wheel concept car (or motorcycle in a shell) from Lit Motors that was really cool. You could try to knock it over from any side and it automatically self-corrected to right itself. They use similar technology in robotic dogs. They compensate for the obstacles encountered and recalibrate to get centered again.


Is that what you do? For some reading this, you think, “Yes, I adjust well to whatever comes my may.” For others, you might think, “No. I melt down when unforeseen circumstances trip me up.”


When something unexpected happens like a loss of a job, a relationship ends, you get diagnosed with a deadly disease, someone close to you dies, or you take a financial hit…whatever it is, there are basically two responses: faith or fear. You either have faith that you will get through it and continue to move forward, or you cower in fear and retreat.


There are many things in life that we can’t control, yet we are tasked with getting through them. If you want to get through the storms, you have to be centered. You have to have the ability to stay calm when all hell breaks loose around you. I realize that it is easier said than done, but that is our reality. It applies to everyone.


Whether we respond with faith or fear will determine our future. Nobody in their right mind would choose to respond with fear, and yet it happens on a daily basis to people all over the world.


Some people would say that ignorance is bliss, but I think ignorance can be fear of the facts. It takes courage to have faith in the midst of a storm when you can’t see the horizon. In the example above, the car and robotic dog do not have a mindset of fear. They are programed to adapt and overcome. We need to program our minds to have that type of mindset. “When we get a setback, we need to think about our comeback.” Anticipate what is coming. “You may not be able to stop the wind, but you can learn to set your sails.”




Dan Skognes


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A person who was healed physically after a believer had prayed for him is studying the Word with a believer. This person has also invited a friend to join him in the study. Praise the Lord for this healing and pray that hearts may be open, given spiritual understanding, and come to faith as they study the Word with the believer. Pray also for protection and wisdom over the believer.

Give praise that after much resistance to spiritual conversations, a local lady is suddenly showing interest in hearing more about the truth. Please ask the Lord to continue to soften her heart, take away fear, and draw her into His Kingdom. Ask too that believers will persevere in sharing even when met with resistance time and again.

Please pray that those who have had dreams or visions of Jesus Christ would not be fearful or dismissive but would experience great joy and a desire to know more. Ask God to connect them with believers who can help answer their questions and guide them to the way of salvation and relationship with Jesus Christ.

Many adherents to Islam live with an attitude of simply accepting the culture, traditions, and religion without question. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will stir their hearts and minds with questions and dissatisfaction and set them on a journey to find true the Peace.

The relative affluence of the Gulf, as does affluence anywhere, can cause a sense of entitlement as well as a lack of awareness of the needs of the less privileged. Pray for humble hearts that will receive the great love offered by our Heavenly Father and in turn bring radical change in the culture.

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The Power of the Gospel  -  Weekly Update May 4, 2016

As the summer months come, pray for those who are living in the low lands and along the sea in a country where there have been frequent power outages as well as lack of supplies. Pray that their basic needs will be met even in the heat of the summer. Pray that fighting will stop in their country and that rebuilding will begin.

"Will you help me go to America?", asked a young Yemeni man who left his country to work in another. He sees no future, as he waits tables in a restaurant. He now lives in a country where there are many believers in Christ. Pray that he will hear the Truth and experience the Hope which Christ offers.


Please pray for believers who are currently working on military bases in this one Arabian Peninsula country.  What an opportunity to shine the light of Christ among the most powerful people in these restricted places.  Pray for divine appointments and opportunities to share the Good News with those who are ready to receive it.  Pray that the various forms of the Good News that have already been spoken would take root and bear fruit in God's good timing! 

Pray against the fear of man since the military can be intimidating.  Pray that the fear of God would rule in the believers' hearts and that they would be protected by the full armor of God.

Pray for the believers around the Arabian Peninsula who are struggling with how to share their faith in places where they could face much opposition for doing so. Pray that God will give them wisdom in conversations and boldness at the right moments.

Pray against a spirit of fear or timidity. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."    - Romans 1:16

PTAP is excited to share its new prayer guide for 2016 and beyond! Download the new guide at: http://www.prayforap.com/downloads/countrytopicsA4.pdf.  You can then start praying for the Arabian Peninsula with this updated information.  Please share this with all of your friends, family, and churches.  You can download it anytime from PTAP's website: http://www.prayforap.com 

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PTAP: Fragrance of Christ

Sadly, two local believers from a Muslim back ground went to court against one another in our country over a money issue.  It should not have been. Now that the issue is decided, please pray that their hearts will be softened, and humility and forgiveness will be born again between them.
A second cyclone hit the Island of Socotra a few weeks ago, causing even more destruction and death. Pray for the people as they rebuild their homes and their lives. Pray that food and supplies will be flown into the island to help them. Pray that tragedy will stop.
"Even in the midst of fear, God gave me peace," said a Believer from a war torn country. Praise God that He continues to help those who love Him, even when the world around them is crumbling. Pray that many more will come to know Him
Why do some non-believers wish to keep hanging around believers?  Is there something of the Spirit of God that woos them?  Please pray for Abdulmohsen, who has heard much of the gospel, and expressed fear of being identified with  believers, yet still calls on those who would speak of Christ to him.
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PTAP: A Place Prepared

"By Allah, though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me." These are the words of Mohammad, the greatest of all Islamic prophets when he was close to death. At the point of death Mohammad had no idea where he would go, heaven or hell. Just like Mohammad, millions of Arabs have no idea if they will go to heaven.


Jesus said:
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:2-4
Pray for Arabian Peninsula Muslims to follow Jesus, who knew He was going to His Father's house.
Pray that they would know that Jesus is preparing a place, a home, for them in heaven.
Pray they would come to know the Lord Jesus.
Pray for a growing knowledge of the way of salvation; that the Son has opened the way to the Father.
Pray that Muslims would grow more discontent with the lack of a future home in Islam.

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Whom Shall I Fear?

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalm 86:11).

As you look at your present life, what do you personally fear? You may be presently struggling with a fear that has gripped your heart deeply. Satan has released a spirit of fear all over the world, but the fear of the Lord counterattacks enemy fear. In light of this fact, we must learn not only about the fear of the Lord but how to walk in the fear of the Lord. Is it your deep desire to learn about the fear of the Lord?
Maybe you wonder, “What does it really mean to fear the Lord?
Some people think that fearing the Lord is like driving down the street while watching a policeman in your rearview mirror. But this is not a true picture of what the fear of the Lord is. It’s more like a teenage driver who suddenly sees her father in the rearview mirror. She quickly puts on her best behavior in driving—eyes on the road, no texting, and stopping at a yellow light. But this tells her that her father really cares enough to follow her. She’s safe. She knows that he is trying to help her develop good driving habits by obeying the laws and staying safe until she gets home. She’s driving but not completely on her own.
For us as God’s people, the fear of the Lord is like living with our heavenly father in the rearview mirror. When we look up we see His wonderful holiness, care, and love. Our fear of Him is mixed with reverence, trust, and love.
To fear the Lord is an extremely positive subject (Isaiah 11:3, Psalm 19:9, 12-14). Jesus delighted Himself in the fear of the Lord. Our hearts are designed in the same way. In the Bible there are at least 300 references to the fear of God. To truly fear the Lord is a joy and a supreme delight when we see it the way God desires. It is not to be afraid of the Lord but to be in awe of Him. But it also can be terrifying as we look at our personal sin in light of God’s consuming fire. Romans 3 is a main chapter on sin that tells us that our chief sin is to have no fear of God (v. 18).
The godly men of the Bible feared God. Joseph was a god-fearing man (Genesis 42:18). Moses feared God and chose god-fearing leaders (Exodus 18:21). David, Daniel, Abraham, and other Bible characters walked in the fear of the Lord. Jesus Himself said not to fear those who can kill the body, but to only fear God (Matthew 10:28).
To live a vibrant and holy life like the godly men of the Bible, we must walk in the fear of the Lord.
We all want a vibrant life. We want a life full of energy, enthusiasm, vim and vigor. We want one that is vivacious, dynamic, passionate, and exciting. This is the dictionary definition of vibrant. Unfortunately we do not often see this. When I look around the world, I see people filled with fear, unhappiness, apathy, and pain. But as Christians we want our lives to be filled with the awe and wonder of God. We want to look forward to the future, instead of living in fear and uncertainly. If we want to find true success, we must live according to God’s design. When we value what He values, our lives will be blessed.
There is no better time to learn about the fear of the Lord as now when human fears are at an all time high. This is the day where we must put the fear of the Lord at the front of all other ambitions. The times we are encountering require it.
Let’s realize that there are so many rewards of fearing the Lord. Here are just a few of the 300+ Bible verses about the fear of the Lord. Quiet your heart and take time to meditate on what the fear of the Lord gives you and what this means in your own personal life: knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27) healing and refreshment (Proverbs 3:7-8), strength to turn from evil (Proverbs 16:9), wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), provision (Psalm 34:9), confidence and refuge (Proverbs 14:26), God’s goodness (Proverbs 31:19), deliverance (Psalm 34:7), mercy (Psalm 103:11), care (Psalm 33:18-19), contentment (Proverbs 15:16), prolonged life (Proverbs 10:27), a satisfying life (Proverbs 19:23), God’s watchful care (Psalm 33:18-19), holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1), and so much more!
In light of these rewards, it is so important that we make it our goal to fear the Lord. If we want to grow in holiness, our long-term success is in the context of the fear of the Lord. We must determine within ourselves to be well-pleasing to God. As Christians, our lives are being set apart unto God and set apart from sin. We live in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God.
God Sees, Cares, and Rewards
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
We must be aware of God’s presence. He holds us accountable for our words, thoughts, motives, and actions. We must consciously realize that He is watching, that He cares, and that He remembers what we do and rewards us.

  • God sees - We are often so concerned about what others think about us and how they judge what we do. How much more should we be concerned about God’s evaluation of our words, thoughts, actions, attitudes, and motives! He sees us in the hidden place of our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Every hour of our life is meaningful because God sees us completely. As we grow in this minute-by-minute awareness, we will grow in the fear of the Lord. See Hebrews 4:12-13. 

  • God cares and remembers - He is involved in our lives and passionate about what He sees. He finds great value in our daily choices to love Him. Even when we give a glass of water in His name, He takes notice. He cherishes every movement of our heart towards Him. If we repent of the bad things we do, God will forget our sin. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). See Malachi 3:16-17, Proverbs 16:2, and Psalms 56:8.

  • God rewards - When we stand before Him, He will openly reward us (Matthew 6:6, Psalm 45:7, 86:11, 98:10, Proverbs 1:29,31, Romans 12:9). 

    “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous… By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11). 

The fear of the Lord is a holy fear where we learn to stand in awe and respect the good, greatness, and glorious nature of God. It should be our desire to be near the Lord and to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Through fearing the Lord we can become all that He desires and accomplish that which is beyond our own ability in the natural. God wants our fear of Him to be above every other fear in life.
You may feel that your actions are often mundane, insignificant, and makes very little difference in life. But take notice of this: God sees and cherishes every single thing you do for His glory. Your daily choices to love Him bring great joy to His heart. Realize that God holds the world in His hands and that nothing formed against you shall stand. He is your Strength and Shield. He goes before you and reigns forever. Your God is faithful and always by your side. He is the one you must fear and no other. In my next article we will learn about how to walk in the fear of the Lord.
Let’s ask God to give us a minute-by-minute awareness of His presence and consciously choose today to walk in the fear of the Lord.

“Lord, teach me the fear of the Lord. I ask for an awareness of Your presence. I thank You for being my strength and shield and for being always by my side. You are my light and my salvation and the stronghold of my life. I worship and stand in awe of You today. You are the one I shall fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Listen to this song and worship God for His personal care over your life - Whom Shall I Fear 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” 
(Psalm 27:1)

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."....2 Timothy 1:7

(Against Anxiety, Day 6)
Father God we are so grateful that You have removed all obstacles that stand in the way of our reconciling with You, to remove the guilt and stand from the Fall of Adam, in the Garden. We are so grateful that through the Precious Shed Blood of the Ancient of Days, the ONLY perfect and acceptable Sacrifice for sin, that we are able to even stand in Your Holy Presence and not be cast aside into outer darkness, where doth lieth weeping and gnashing of teeth. All You ask in return for this Mighty Grace and Favor is our obedience to You, oh Most High, and surrender to All Your have in store for us. And Lord what You have and plan for those who love You, is so much better if the rest of us would just stop, listen and learn!

Who is like You, and who can out-give, out-love, out-grace You, oh Sovereign One? No one! You take away our fear and anxious moments by the strong whisper of Your Voice, as You direct us back to Your Written Word where You said "fear not" so many times, it is the most powerful exhortation in the Scripture! In our troubles and weakness, we overlook these things and subjugate our faith into second place, choosing to be like the lost of humanity and operate in the paradigm of fear. While, oh God, this may a natural human reaction, You did not call us or expect Your elect to do this sort of thing, but to trust and believe.
For that reason, You emphasized again that You did NOT give us a spirit, bent, inclination, heart and the ability to focus just so we would cower in spiritual and natural fear, when You - the Lord of Heaven's Armies Who can destroy every evil thing with one Word, one Command, is for us! We know this, we know You have us covered by the Blood and by the Angels, so help us to have the triple portion of Faith necessary to operate in this way every single moment of every day of every week and forever more, until You call us home.
You called us 'sons of God' and gave us Power (John 1:12) and thus, we already are embedded with Your dynamic, fluid Kingdom authority to beat back the enemy with the same word - Prayer! We must take authority over our situation, in Jesus' Name and then that authority will be thus be our connection to the Source, so You can then execute the result You desired in any particular situation. And we do this in Love oh God, the same love, agape, unconditional and forgiving love You showed us as we wallowed in our sin before Christ rescued us. None of this is possible - operating out of AND under the Authority of Christ in love, power and boldness if we are not under control, in sound mind and full conscious, aware, obedient and knowledgeable to the Who You are and what You are accomplishing in our lives.  Father God, give us the soundness and clarity of mind, that we, Your people, keep our collective heads on in cool calmness, being vigilant and alert so that when everything starts falling down around us, we can be under the unction of the Holy Spirit, in full control to lead others to You Way - the Perfect Way. We ask this through the Mighty Undefeated Name of our Lord and Commander of the Universe - Jesus, our Soon Coming King. AMEN
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Throughout the history of the Church, many who followed Christ have died for their faith at the hands of evil men. Recent stories from North Africa remind us that this continues to happen. As we think about those from the AP who were martyred, pray that the words they spoke and the lives which they lived will be remembered by the people they knew. Pray that these friends and relatives will accept Christ as Savior and Lord.

Not long ago a Muslim Academic was talking to some church leaders in the Arabian Peninsula. He was saying that they feel Islam has been 'blindsided', as in when a car strikes another car from the side, having not applied the brakes, without any warning and causes massive damage. This is the effect that ISIS is having on Islam, they did not see it coming, it was not expected and there is great damage. ISIS has killed more Muslims than Christians. He shared that if ISIS came into his country with power, he would die right along with the Christians for they would kill him as well. He went on to say with true humility and honesty, "We do not know what to do!"

God has placed peace in the hearts of people. Many Muslims desire to live in peace with all people, but they cannot call ISIS back to the Quran and say; follow the teaching of Islam, because they know the Quran teaches these kinds of things. They cannot say; Muhammed is not pleased with this beheading, because Muhammed allowed this and witnessed it. ISIS is causing fear, but it is also causing a great questioning at the very core of who people are. Do they really believe Muhammed and the Quran is right? Is this violence how God has created them to be?

Pray for Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula to questions deeply the teaching of Islam. Pray this will lead them to seek out the truth found only in the Lord Jesus. Pray that as they seek out the truth they will find the peace their souls long for in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that whole families will find this together.

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WHY PRAY? Part 2 - We Trust!


Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him(James 5:14-15)


The Lord promised that "in this world you will have tribulation (or trouble), but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b). How does someone do that when the enemies of God are systematically destroying His people....when many are losing hope....when the numbers of "nones" (those who believe in nothing) grow exponentially....etc. etc..

These are the Biblical end times which are in view, primarily, to those who are saved and called by Christ into the Kingdom. We are seeing a plethora of incurable diseases, deadly viruses and inexplicable things all around us. Cancer is on the rise due to the many different things - lifestyle, quality of food and environment etc. In fact, if you act even the dearest Christian, there seems to be a sense of resignation and defeat.

This is both understandable and wrong at the same time. We see an exhortation from James here which is hardly called upon, in times of need, even by those who call themselves strong believers.....and that includes pastors. On average, you hear pastoral prayers about "Lord heal so and so, touch brother X, remember sister Y....etc.." But is there the strong biblical prayer system for healing, whether Body, Soul or Mind, which lines up with James 5:14, 15? Not really!  This sort of healing and restoration requires Faith and Trust in the Promise AND persistence in prayer.

Too many modern seminaries, and thus, the pastors they put out, have removed the spirit of this Scripture which says that such faith for healing, anointing with oil and restoration "is only for Bible times" and not now! I have heard that so many times, I don't even listen to it anymore. Because the Living Word who abides in the Christian testifies that the entire Word of God - all 66 books - are for now and for you and I. Therefore, even if the elders don't pray for the church and the sick as they should - YOU DO IT!

To drive home that point, the Lord gave us the account of the man of God - Elijah - who was sent to a place of famine and a poor woman in Zarephath. 
Read the full account here from the flowing narrative of God's Word Translation:  8 Then the Lord spoke his word to Elijah: 9 “Get up, go to Zarephath (which belongs to Sidon), and stay there. I’ve commanded a widow there to feed you.”

10 He got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the town’s entrance, a widow was gathering wood. He called to her, “Please bring me a drink of water.”


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A Third Option

 “You’re not free until you’ve been made captive by supreme belief.” (Marianne Moore, “Spenser’s Ireland,” 1951)


Between the Devil and the deep blue sea, we may feel we have no other choice than to run or engage in mortal combat. If we audaciously take on an evil army as a solo warrior, we set our self up for flat-on-our face defeat. If we deny the gravity of our situation, we do not alter reality. Feeling trapped with no way out, we may panic. There are many situations we cannot handle, but handling impossible situations is God’s everyday business.


When we’re apprehensive because of future concerns, we should not repeat the Israelites’ mistake of despairing. Recounting God’s faithfulness, we will stop shaking at bad prospects. Listening to a drumbeat outside the world’s hearing range, we have marched out of slavery under Higher Guidance. Listening to the cadence of the Holy Spirit, we stay in step. In threatening circumstances, we are serene in trusting inner-stances. In the fog of war, we rely on supernatural direction. In battlefield chaos, we follow heaven’s flag draped with battle streamers commemorating past wins. Standing still, we watch God do His work.


God enlightens pockets of fear and darkens arrogance. God illumines doubt daring to trust and muddles conceit presuming to oppose Truth. God tranquilizes scared believers and terrifies self-confident atheists. God focuses heaven’s light to defend us from hell’s marshaled fiends. God rescues believing souls from floods of judgment and drowns haughty souls in torrents of justice. God commands invisible troops with strategies defying human wisdom. God guarantees ultimate triumph even in the face of impending defeat. God walls surging currents right and left on exit ramps to joyful freedom.


Human instinct limits options to flight or fight. But relying on God’s front-line Presence teaches us a third option—FAITH.


“Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Lord himself with fight for you. You won’t have to lift a finger in your defense!” (Exodus 14:13-14 NLT)


Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

[This devotion based on Day 46 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity]

Read blog at http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized

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A.W. Tozer wrote some important points to consider when we think about God's attribute of wisdom.  Some key takeaways include:
"Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means.  It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to guess or conjecture.  Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision."
"All God's acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, and then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time.  And all His acts are as pure as they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure.  Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined.  An infinitely wise God must work in a manner not to be improved upon by finite creatures."
"Without the creation, the wisdom of God would have remained forever locked in the boundless abyss of the divine nature.  God brought His creatures into being that He might enjoy them and they rejoice in Him.  'And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.'" (Genesis 1:31)
He later brings faith into the conversation:
"In spite of tears and pain and death we believe that the God who made us all is infinitely wise and good.  We rest in what God is.  I believe that this alone is true faith.  Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.  "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
"The testimony of faith is that, no matter how things look in this fallen world, all God's acts are wrought (brought forth) in perfect wisdom."
"God constantly encourages us to trust Him in the dark.  'I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight:  I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that though mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God is Israel.'" (Isaiah 45:2-3)
"It is heartening to learn how many of God's mighty deeds were done in secret, away from the prying eyes of men or angels."
Tozer then describes creation (the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters in darkness), our Savior carried in the darkness of the sweet virgin's womb, our Savior's death in darkness, and His resurrection "very early in the morning"- while it was still dark outside.  No one saw Him rise.  Tozer concludes, "It is as if God were saying, 'What I am is all that need matter to you, for there lie your hope and your peace.  I will do what I will do, and it will all come to light at last, but how I do it is My secret.  Trust Me, and be not afraid.'"
 "With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack?  Surely we are the most favored of all creatures."
All quotes taken from A.W. Tozer's, Knowledge of the Holy, (pgs. 59-64).
We often turn to God for wisdom when our wisdom, knowledge, or experience runs short or runs out.  But as we consider Tozer's words, above, notice that he centers on God Himself; not just the outpouring of the gift of wisdom that we often seek from Him.
It brings home a vital point that I'm afraid we often miss in our day- and terribly miss when we pray.  When we pray, or even consider our circumstances, begin by first focusing on God- for who He is.  When we center our hearts (with the Holy Spirit's help) on God first, instead of what we think we want or need from Him, He grows us in wisdom, awe (fear), and understanding of Himself.  All other things take their rightful places beneath Him.  Proverbs 9:10 says,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 states it this way,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction

It's stated 14 different times in Proverbs that we won't be wise until we seek and see God as wise.

Caution Against Worldly Wisdom
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil. - Proverbs 3:7

While God has given us minds, and the ability to figure out problems, situations, and circumstances, only He sees the beginning from the end and knows all things.  When we stop short of seeking His thoughts, wisdom, and opinions, we can come up with solutions that may  seem wise and work for a time, but lack eternal wisdom and perspective.  It's important to remember to pray for God's wisdom and perspective- whether the matter is large enough to affect a corporation or congregation, or seems small enough where it may only affect the route we take to the grocery store. 

God is involved in all the aspects of our lives and is pleased when we seek Him and His wisdom in each matter.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. - James 3:13-18

Book of Wisdom- How You May Benefit From It
God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a book of wisdom called Proverbs- within the ultimate book filled with His wisdom- the Bible.
There are 31 chapters in Proverbs- one for every day of the month (you may need to read two or more on months with 28, 29, or 30 days, respectively).  Some challenge themselves to read a chapter of Proverbs (the chapter number corresponding with the date on the calendar) each day for a year.  Many testify that God changes their thinking toward themselves, worldly things, and God Himself, as they do so.  This might be something you'd consider incorporating into your daily Scripture reading and prayer times!
Praying Proverbs
Beyond reading Proverbs to grow in knowledge and wisdom, praying proverbs also blesses God and helps us grow in these ways.

Before reading, ask the Holy Spirit to point out truths and insights to you from what you're about to read.  You might want to read the chapter more than once- as the Spirit might bring out different points during different readings (He'll most certainly do so if you read and re-read chapters over the course of a year!).  You might want to jot down Scriptures, and some of the impressions the Holy Spirit brings forth as you read (so that you'll remember them later when life gets cluttered, busy, or distracting- or if you forget).
Also, as you read, you may read a truth within Proverbs that strikes you as something that's lacking in your life at that time, or vice versa- something the Lord has worked in abundance in your life.  Stop in that moment and thank God for that abundance or lack.  Then you may want to ask God to further align your heart and mind with His Word, truth, and understanding accordingly.
Prayer can be taken in so many different directions.  But it's important that we begin by focusing on God, Himself, first.  We can always go on to thank Him for what He's done or is doing, ask for things, and more (and we should do all these things in prayer).  But begin by focusing on Him first.  Make God the center focus of our prayer; knowing Him in greater completeness.  We'll never be disappointed when we do so!  Let's seek Him now...

Father, in You, we find the fullness and completeness of wisdom.  You do not lack in any way.  You are pure, holy, righteous, gracious, all-powerful, merciful, loving, and much more through the ways You display your wisdom.  And as we consider some of your countless attributes; wisdom is found within each- perfectly so!  My mind can not fathom this, or You, fully.  I worship you.  You alone are God.  Neither I, anything, or anyone else, come anywhere close to your perfections.  You are awesome in this place, just as You are awesome in every place!  Help me to grow in deeper intimacy with You- that I may know You better and make You better known to those You bring around me or lead me toward.  What a privilege it is to personally know the God of all, and Your Son, Jesus Christ- through whom You made it possible to personally know and draw near to You.  The words, "thank you" do not suffice, but they're the best I have to offer in worship at this moment.  Continue to lead me, and all who You lead to read this, into deeper awe, fear, trust, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and more in You.  For Your glory alone.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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The Other Side of Fear

What are you afraid of? Faith the future and find peace of mind.

“As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men’s minds more seriously than what they see.”

- Julius Caesar


Scared of the dark? There is Light at the end of the alley.

Wringing your hands over tomorrow? Take hold of God’s hand.

Dragging your feet? Let God’s strong love put a spring in your step.

Trying to pray your way out of trouble? Pray God’s way through trouble.

                   Thunderstorms obscure stars. Clouds camouflage blue sky. Valleys threaten peace.

Believer, take heart—the Lord Jesus Christ walks beside you through the shadow lands.

There is a far better way to face forward than “perhaps”—faith language that says “will.”

From where you sit, it seems most everything is dark—heaven’s viewpoint sees the silver lining.

The other side of death is life. The other side of worry is worship. The other side of despair is solace.

The other side of the discord of earth is the symphony of paradise. The other side of fear is blessed relief.


"What a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God!"

Genesis 33:10 NLT


Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Colonial Beach Baptist Church, Virginia

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

Book available through local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.

Author’s blog www.GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized.com

[This devotion was based on/adapted from Day 23 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity]

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What's Holding You Back?

Sometimes we’re on the brink of our breakthrough, but something is holding us back. Can you relate?


After Moses’ death, Joshua found himself on the banks of the Jordan River, overlooking the Promised Land on the other side. God was telling him to take the Israelites over the river and into their destiny—but there was a problem.


Forty years earlier, Joshua had been one of the 12 spies sent to view the Promised Land before the Israelites entered (Numbers 13 – 14). The spies all gave a glowing report about what a wonderful land it was, but 10 of the spies said there were fierce enemies and “giants” in the land. It was much too dangerous to risk entry, they warned.


Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who said the Israelites should obey God and trust Him to give them the land. But their report was rejected, and more than a million people chose to wander in the wilderness rather than enter the Promised Land.


Now Joshua had come full circle, right back to this place where he had boldly proclaimed God’s provision—but where he suffered an agonizing and humiliating defeat when his message was rejected. Forty years had passed, but he still was traumatized by the memories.


Perhaps you find yourself in a similar place. You are on the brink of the Promised Land. You have tasted its fruit before, and you know it’s an incredibly good land. Yet you also remember the painful experiences associated with this. Fear and apprehension rise up within you when you consider the prospect of taking a step of faith to cross over and face the giants.


God has brought you to this place, not so He can torment you, but so He can heal you. He is telling you, just as He told Joshua,   (Joshua 1:9).


You’ve the Promised Land before, and here you are again—right on the brink. The Lord has brought you full circle so you can face your fears and find your destiny.


You are SO close, and you can succeed this time. Don’t let anything, or anyone, hold you back. I’m convinced the call toward your future is stronger than the tormenting chains of your past.


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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise– in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?   Psalms 56:3-4 NIV

What are you afraid of?  Be honest before God and ask Him to replace your fear with praise.  Trust Him.  He has been so faithful.

Now think about the kids you are responsible for each day.  What are they afraid of?

  • Physical abuse?
  • Sexual abuse?
  • Being left alone
  • Not having enough to eat?
  • Moving . . . again?
  • Parents splitting up?

I pray that today you can give them stability – perhaps the only stability they have in their life.  I pray that you can be sensitive to needs – even when you don’t know what they are.  I pray that you will allow the Lord to replace YOUR fears with praise and trust.

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Politics and Prayer

We all get emails, all of the time, and usually from friends, regarding politics. I usually just "86" them, but I finally had to stand up and be counted...as a pray-er. Please see my email below that I sent to my friend:

Alright, here’s my thought. My thoughts are limited to us as Christians, not the political issues.

See where I have highlighted below (the portion that says “should strike fear”).

WE ARE CHRISTIANS!!! We should not have fear over anything!

And the verse quoted, 2 Chronicles 7:14 has nothing to do

with the non-Christian world. What the verse is saying is that us,

the ones that are praying, we have the sin in our life!

We, the ones who are praying need to come to
the Lord and ask for forgiveness.

God is in control and I for one am excited about seeing what He plans to do. Quit this idea of fear!

Also, below is a small portion of the entire email that was sent to me.

The direction
country is headed

should strike fear in the
heart of every Christian.

knowing that the

religion believes that if Christians cannot be

they should be


Remember, I am NOT stating a position for or against any political party, politician, religion, etc. I do NOT believe that this is the forum for that and would ask any of you that respond to keep your comments relative to how we are to pray. I realize that we may get a bit close to a line every now and then as we dialogue on this subject, and that's okay. But I ask you, please do not express your political opinions, rather, keep your opinions to how we as pray-ers should pray based on what scripture says.

As men and women who pray, this should give us a great opportunity to encourage believers that get wrapped up in praying "their own ideas" rather than what scripture says...but that is another blog and for another day.

Here's the bottom line friends. We do not have to fear.

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