tribulation (3)



"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world....John 16:33



Father, oh Most Merciful and Compassionate God, Your children in far away lands are united in one thing - their love for Christ. This Love compels them to stand strong as their persecutors in the lands of the pagan religions of the Middle East, Asia, the Far East and the atheist countries of socialism oppress them. Lord our spiritual hearts and minds grieve for our brothers and sisters who are in constant tribulation and trials, sometimes by literal fire, but You are removing the dross now even as we pray.

Lord, even as they cry out in their pain and suffering, even as they plead for mercy and some human decency from the hoards of hell, let loose for over 1400 years now by those who follow moon gods, 300 millions non-existent idol "gods" or no god, You constantly hear their cries around Your Throne. You hear them because their pleadings and prayers have come before You rising as bowls of incense, as our High Priest Jesus intercedes for them and us.

We pray for Your saints persecuted in Nigeria as their schools and villages are burned down, and the world stays silent in the face of this evil. We pray for Christians in the old Bible lands of Nineveh (Mosul), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and others in between the land of the Levant, that You deal with those who abuse Your people, in Your own way, in Your own time. We pray for those in the lands of India where You sent the Apostle Thomas and the millions there are told to convert to the hinduism and its idolatry or else. We pray for our brethren in China, whose millions now outnumber the godless and evil communist party in power there for over 60 years. 

May their tears become like a river of life to those of us in the west who pray for them who pray for their courage and boldness to hold up in the face of this rampaging evil. Lord, on behalf of these tribulation saints, we claim Your promise and Your exhortation, Lord Jesus that You have not only overcome the world, the god of this world, the systems of this world and the persecutors of this world who are unknowingly storing up wrath for themselves, but You give freely to those who seek favor, courage, mercy, love, hope, conviction and faith. We pray this day for all of that, from the Throne of Grace to those being constantly refined in the fire and for those of us, who have it within our power to pray and help, and yet stay silent or worse. We pray and ask and bow down before Your Throne, in Jesus' Strong and Mighty Name, amen.

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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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Yesterday afternoon I saw a Facebook post about a good friend in Illinois who had apparently been hospitalized for heatstroke. I remember praying briefly for him and hoping to learn soon that he was OK.

However, later that evening my wife and I were on our way to visit a friend at his grandpa's visitation when my phone rang. I saw that it was Don's wife, Laura, so I expected that she wanted to update me on his condition and hopefully tell me he was improving.

Instead, she told me he had passed away. Don? A guy in his early fifties?  Gone? In the middle of my shock, I couldn't help but ask again, "Why?"  Why allow this servant, father, husband and friend to be taken when there are so many evil, lazy jerks out there that our world could do without?

My first reaction of course was, "God, you didn't come through here. People were praying, they asked you for healing, for protection and instead you missed this one."

Of course that's silly. God wasn't asleep. He saw everything that happened from the stroke he apparently suffered to the final arrest of his heart.

But events like this got me thinking again, even this morning through some tears, that we often think that for God to come through He must make us happy, He must keep us comfortable, and change things in our world so that we avoid pain.

Sure, some of us would say otherwise, but we can pray that way. We love to claim things for God that we have no right claiming and if we're honest we claim them more for our comfort and happiness than God's perfect will, plan and glory.  Sometimes we even demand that God come through because we don't want to deal with our friend or relative's agony.

But the truth of the matter is that God owes us nothing. Everything we have, including life, is because of His grace and mercy. And because He loves us He sometimes does let us go through the worst because there is something on the other side that is better though we will probably never understand it at the time or until Heaven.

God has always come through to use that term. He did in the beginning, He did for Israel and He did at the cross. And He will today, tomorrow and the next day, no matter what happens that we can't understand.

So, yes, let's keep praying for miracles. Sometimes God still blesses us beyond measure so that He will be glorified, we will bear fruit and our joy will be full. But be sure to remember that He's the one who makes those calls, not us. And there will be joy in the morning.

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