prayer dynamics

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‘…all things are possible to him who believes.’ Mark 9:23 NKJV
IN ORDER to access power, you have to go to the outlet and plug in to the source of it. That’s what happens when you pray in faith; you plug in to God’s power. Picture a boat trapped in mud and stuck on the bottom. If you can get it to the dock, you can repair it and send it back out to sea. The trouble is you can’t move it. So what’s the answer? Bring in high-powered tugboats, connect steel cables to the sunken craft and wait for the tide to rise.

Are you getting the idea? When you feel so low that you can‘t lift yourself up, tap into God’s power and let Him lift you up to the place where He can repair, restore and re-commission you. lf you keep that picture in mind, you’ll never think about prayer the same way again. Instead of seeing it as an obligation, you’ll start seeing it as an awesome power that works for you in all circumstances of life.

And you’ll see reading the Bible in different light as well. Paul says, ‘So no‘ brethren, l commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up…’ (Acts 20:32 NKJV). Your problems me be great, but the tide of God’s Spirit is greats and if you let it, it’ll lift you out of your trouble Will they suddenly vanish overnight? No, but you’ll be above them looking down instead of underneath them looking up. At that point you’ll be operating from a position of fait instead of a position of fear.

It can happen for you. God can lift you up: ‘All things are possible to him who believes.’

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson
THE DANIEL FAST: ITS ORIGIN
Taken from All About Prayer

The Daniel Fast is based on verses from the Bible found in Daniel 10:2-3. “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” These three weeks refer to the observance of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which take place during the first month of the year (Exodus 12:1-20).

Some also may cite the example in Daniel 1:8). However, in this verse Daniel did not want to eat the king’s delicacies because it would have included food that was forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 11) to eat it would be defiling his body. Another reason would have been because the king’s meats had probably been dedicated to the false Babylonian idols as was their practice. Daniel believed to do so would have been to acknowledge their idols as deities, against God’s commandments.

The Daniel Fast: Its Purpose

While the Daniel Fast is cleansing your body by omitting certain foods for a limited time, the deeper and true basis of intent is for spiritual connection. The purpose of Christian fasting is to seek a more intimate relationship with God while ridding your physical body of unnatural, self-gratifying food and drink. Your focus is to be on God, not on the fleshly things of the world. Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God.

During the Daniel Fast you will want to concentrate on prayer, Bible study, and reflection. The Daniel Fast is a great way to enter into preparation for growing in the Lord.

If you have a medical condition or are undergoing any medical treatments it is advisable to first consult your physician. You may also want to pray, consult a mature Christian or your pastor before fasting. Remember, fasting should be periodically and for limited days.

The Daniel Fast: The Guidelines

The basic guidelines for the Daniel Fast include eating:
• fruits, nuts
• vegetables
• water only to drink (to flush out toxins) Some say natural fruit juices may be included if they contain no preservatives, sugars, etc., but even those juices should be very limited. Coffee and tea are not permitted.
The Daniel Fast should eliminate all meats, pastries, chips, breads, and fried food. Breads contain yeast, baking powder and so on; those are leavening agents and should be avoided. Leaven is symbolic of sin in certain scriptures (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).

With these things listed, it is concluded that any food having artificial additives, chemicals, or that is processed should be totally avoided during the fast. Fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of the Daniel Fast and can be acceptably prepared in a variety of ways. Many fasting recipes and several cookbooks are designed for the Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast is a powerful spiritual discipline.

With the coupling of fasting and prayer, one can open themselves to God’s Holy Spirit. Having a sincere desire to seek God, you can come to Him with a contrite and repentant heart and He will minister to you in a powerful way. God’s awesome power is transforming and you will know that with God, all things are possible.

It is important to note that the Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:23; Acts 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; Luke 5:33).

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning” (Joel 2:12).

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson
WHEN PRAYER IS HARD WORK
Taken from Word for Today

WE ALL want what successful people have; we’re just not willing to pay the price they paid to get it When you see someone with sculpted abs and a well-toned body, they probably spend time sweating in a gym. There’s a reason Paul talks about ‘labouring…in prayers’ (Colossians 4:12 NKJV).

When you pray, you must be passionate, persistent and positive, expecting good things from God. You’ve got to put your heart into it and believe God will do what He promised. It’s not easy to fight off distractions and focus on Him. Don’t expect your fleshly nature to co-operate; it comes to the place of prayer kicking and screaming. And don’t expect your intellect to cheer you on; your self-sufficient nature will always choose prayer as a last resort But God will urge you, and draw you into His presence. ‘lf you draw near to Me, l will draw near to you.’

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prayer dynamics

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

WHEN PRAYER IS HARD WORK 

Taken from Word for Today

PAUL WRITES, ‘Epaphras, who is…always labouring fervently for you in prayers.’

Sometimes praying for others feels like ‘labouring’. Once you understand and accept that, not having ‘tingling sensations’ when you pray won’t discourage you. You can smile and tell yourself, ‘This is the way the Bible says it will be sometimes.’

Campbell Morgan said,

‘A man may offer a prayer, beautiful in diction and perfect in the number of its petitions. But if it gives him gratification afterwards, that prayer cannot have been truly prayed.’ What did he mean? Simply this: you’ll feel good alter you’ve prayed, but your goal isn’t to feel goodabout the fact that you have prayed, or that you felt particularly good during the process.

Observe:

1) Prayer is a duty. It’s like going to work. You do it because it’s a commitment, and because of the rewards it brings.

2) Prayer is a discipline. The old-timers used to talk about  ‘praying through’. Through what? Through wandering thoughts, through fatigue, through fears, and every other form of resistance and distraction. When you enter the ‘prayer zone’, Satan will fight you at every turn. But when you stand in the name of Jesus, the powers of darkness will retreat and you’ll prevail (John 14:13-14).

(3) Prayer is a delight. It won’t happen every time, but if you’re faithful to the place of prayer there’ll be times when your whole being will be conscious that God is present, answering your prayer and giving ‘ guidance. And even when the answer completely clear, you’ll leave His saying, ‘Now l have peace about it’.

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. David Wilkerson

THEY DON’T BELIEVE GOD ANSWERS THEIR PRAYERS

Some believers get discouraged over unanswered prayers and, finally, they simply give up. They think, “Prayer doesn’t work for me and why should I pray if it doesn’t work?”

The Israelites in Isaiah’s time had the same attitude. Isaiah wrote: “They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness . . . they ask of me . . . they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge (notice)?” (Isaiah 58:2-3).

These people were saying, “I love God. I do right and avoid sin, and until recently, I’ve been faithful to seek Him in prayer. But, you know what? He’s never answered me. So why should I continue afflicting my soul before Him?”

James writes that God doesn’t answer the prayers of those who ask for things simply to satisfy themselves: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3). In other words: “You’re not asking for God’s will. You’re not ready to submit to whatever He wants. Rather, you’re trying to dictate to Him those things that will satisfy your own heart.”

Our God is utterly faithful. Paul writes, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). He is saying, “It doesn’t matter if you hear a million voices crying, ‘Prayer doesn’t work. God doesn’t hear me!’ Let every man be called a liar because God’s Word stands. He is faithful to hear us!”

Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Simply put, Christ is saying, “If you truly believe, you will be willing to wait and expect an answer from your heavenly Father. No matter how long it takes, you will hold on in faith, believing He will answer.”

“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19). “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (34:10).

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson
THE PRAYER TREE

I want you to think about a tree right now that has two major trunk divisions coming out of a solid base and healthy deep root system. From each trunk division grow many branches with flourishing leaves and succulent fruit of all sizes. The tree is heavy with fruit and it just keeps producing more and more. This is how we are going to think about prayer and what I see as the many parts to it.

Understanding foundational principles up front will resolve potential conflicts that I believe people encounter when they begin to pray on any deeper level than just, “Help, God!” We are also going to use the marriage relationship to help describe some of the branches of prayer and how they interrelate to each other

First let’s talk about the roots. The roots of our prayer tree are the scriptures-the Bible. They supply nutrition to the whole tree. Drawing from the roots will increase our effectiveness and power in prayer.

The base trunk is our relationship with the Lord. Everything above it, all the branches, leaves and fruit rest in this relationship. It is out of our relationship with God that every kind of prayer comes forth. It is interesting that Jesus spoke of his relationship with his followers in similar terms. He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing” – John 15:5

Now what are the two major trunk divisions in the prayer tree? I will call one “Passion” and the other “Practical.” If these two sides to prayer are arising out of the same relationship base,. we will be prayer powerhouses that are unstoppable. The marriage relationship is a good way to understand these two essential elements in prayer.

Two people meet, fall in love and get married. At the wedding ceremony they speak vows to each other which become the foundation of their relationship. The vows are the underpinnings of every activity in their marriage. As they proceed into their new life, however, they find there is both a passionate and a practical side. They can’t totally base their marriage on only one side. They deeply love each other but they don’t stare into each other’s eyes 24/7. The lawn has to be mowed; meals have to be prepared, shopping has to be done. They find though that if they get too caught up in tasks and duties, their intimate relationship and their passion for each other suffers.

The passion side of prayer is our intimate one-on-one time with the Lord. Just the two of you; talking things over; listening to each other-telling him how much you love him. This is pure joy and it pours oil and grace on all the rest of life. Just like the intimate parts of marriage make all the rest of your life together worthwhile.

The practical side plays a part too. These are the mechanics of prayer; the technical instruction on how exactly you do it and how you make it more effective. In household duties there are methods for making a bed or cleaning a stove that are proven over time to be most effective. A good housekeeper knows the tricks of the trade. A person deeply involved in prayer knows the tricks of the prayer trade.

The branches that come forth from the main trunk divisions are all the different types of prayer and there are very many of these for us to talk about. The fruit is the good stuff: the answers to prayer and the growing intimacy with the Lord. To get to the good stuff we have to be rooted in scripture, grounded in our relationship with God, and balanced in our approach to prayer. I will try to teach you all that I have learned over the years about prayer and maybe I will learn a thing or two from you also. As we talk about prayer, keep this tree in mind. Together let’s grow the healthiest tree and produce prize winning fruit to advance the kingdom of God.

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson
THE MINISTRY OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER
Taken from Word for today

“On behalf of a man he pleads with God . . . .” – Job 16:21 NIV

Job 16:21 NIV

THE BIBLE says: ‘So Joshua fought the Amalekites…and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired.. Aaron and Hur held his hands up… So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army…’ (Exodus 17:10-13 NIV).

This story illustrates the power of intercessory prayer. Far from the crowd, but seen by the eye of God, are men and women who ‘hold up the hands’ of ministries in prayer. And God is looking for more of them.

Charles Finney had an intercessor called Abel Clary who travelled with him wherever he went Finney wrote, ‘Mr. Clary continued as long as I did, and he did not leave until after I had left. He never appeared in public, but he gave himself wholly to prayer.’ Finney may have impacted nations, but he didn’t do it alone. Job writes, ‘My intercessor is my friend…on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend’ (Job 16:20-21 NIV).

The ministry of intercessory prayer is: 1) A ministry of identification in which you stand with others. 2) A ministry of sacrifice which calls you away from the pleasures and comforts of life. 3) A ministry of authority, for your prayers move the hand of God on behalf of others. Today the God Who said, ‘I sought for a man among them, that should…stand in the gap before Me for the land…’ (Ezekiel 22:30 KJV) is looking for intercessors. You can be one of them!

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. J. John
HOW SHOULD WE PRAY FOR ISIS?

Evangelist J. John considers how Christians should respond to reports of escalating violence by Islamic extremists in the Middle East

My son asked me recently, “How should we pray for lSlS?” A good question and one that needed pondering for a few days. It is hard not to feel very strongly about the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and the brutal and very public barbarities it has carried out. This all raises many questions for the Christian. How should we respond? And what should we pray: “Lord, destroy them!” or “Lord, forgive them!”
There is no doubt that some sort of intelligent military action is necessary. This is a merciless organisation whose destruction of Christian and other communities in the Middle East tells us that it cannot be allowed to continue.
Yet there are real dangers for us all here. The first danger is that we adopt an arrogant self-righteousness. The meteoric rise of ISIS — or whatever it calls itself now — is actually no unexpected wonder. It draws its support from a widespread dislike and contempt for the unjust and corrupt political systems that have long dominated the region. Yet these are regimes that, despite knowing fully what they did, ‘ the West was very happy to support as long as they supplied us with oil, bought our goods and didn’t oppress our people. So in our praying we must admit at least some responsibility for the present state of affairs.

A second danger lies in having a coldness of heart. In our praying and our actions we must be concerned for the many in the region, of every religion and of none, whose lives have been turned into tragedies by current events. We need to pray, “God have mercy!” But as we do so let us also be prepared to be
‘the answer to our own prayers.

The third danger is quite simply that of hating those who fight for ISIS. Let me suggest three reasons why this is wrong. The first is that we believe in a God who judges.

We know that at the end of time the Lord will call all men and women to account before him for what we have done. Knowing that our enemies face such a prospect should transform any temptation to hate them into compassion.
The second reason why hatred should be avoided is that Christians are under orders not to hate, but to bless. In the Bible we read this: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). There is a pro- found psychological logic here. Hatred only breeds more hatred in response; in contrast, grace and forgiveness can end it. Let’s have the courage to pray that these people might encounter the true and living God and abandon their evil deeds.

The third reason why I believe hatred must be shunned is not primarily theological, but actually tactical. Something that the media has largely failed to understand is that the public and deliberately shocking nature of such acts as the behate strategy to make us hate the perpetrators. Their goal is to create a situation in which Islam and the West find themselves in a bitter and bloody war. They want us to hate them, and I suggest that we would be wise not to fall into that trap.

Indeed, the greatest of all dangers is that the Christian Church so demonises the forces of radical Islam that our religion of grace and love is extinguished under that weight of wrath. Under such circum- stances the Church would cease to be the Church. In a bitterly ironic triumph of evil we would have simply become the mirror image of our enemies.

These are perilous days, but God is great and prayer can achieve what armies
cannot. Let us pray and if, as we do, fine phrases fail us, we can always pray those simple wise old words: “Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done”.

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prayer dynamics

Uganda 649
Rev. E. Anderson

THE BENEFITS OF PRAYER

Kethli Mahoney

What is it that prayer does for you? Why do we pray? There are so many benefits to prayer in our lives. From being healthier to being closer to God, making time for prayer is an essential part of any Christian’s life:

1. Brings You Closer to God

Our prayer time is our time with God. We can spend time in church, we can read our Bibles and even have a pile of devotionals next to our bed, but there is nothing that substitute for good one-on-one time with the Lord. Prayer enhances your relationship with Him so that He is reflected in every other part of your life. After all, think of how close you are to your friends and family. We become close by revealing parts of ourselves. Yet no other human knows you as well as God, and He keeps all of our secrets. He is the One we can reveal all parts of ourselves to, and He loves us no matter what.

2. Brings Divine Help

God is everywhere and in everything, but sometimes He wants to be asked for help. Prayer can bring divine help into our lives when we need it most – and not just for us. We can pray that others receive the help they need. We can pray for divine peace. God intervening often begins with a prayer of need. Before you pray, think of the people in your life who need God’s intervention, including yourself. What are people struggling with in their own lives. Where does hope seem lost and only God’s intervention can redeem a situation. It’s amazing how God will move in those situations when we lift them up to Him.

3. Keeps Our Selfishness in Check

As humans we are selfish. When we pray, it helps to keep our selfishness in check – especially if we remember to keep others in our prayers. Sometimes God allows us to see ourselves more clearly through our prayers. Think about how many times our prayers are only centred on ourselves verses on those we love…or even others in the world. When we add others to our prayers, we find ourselves being less selfish in the other areas of our lives.

4. Gain Forgiveness

When we pray, we open ourselves up to forgiveness. There are no perfect people. There are only those who strive to be the best they can be. So we all slip up from time to time. When we do, it is a great time to go to God in prayer to ask for forgiveness and direction. It is also during that time of prayer that God can lead us to forgiving ourselves. Sometimes we struggle with letting ourselves off the hook when God already has. We can beat ourselves up a little too much or hold on too tightly to the bad things. Through prayer, God can lead us to liking ourselves again.

5. Gives us Strength

God provides us a great deal of strength through prayer. It helps sometimes to know someone is there for us, especially someone like God. He gives us direction that offers strength. He provides help through other people that gives us strength. Sometimes He just changes our perception of things or directly intervenes. Any way we look at it, knowing that he is there gives us the strength and ability to stand up to anything that comes against us.

6. Improves our Attitude

Humility is a huge part of our faith, and prayer allows us to be humbled daily. Through prayer we can see the world as the big place that it is, and we realize then how small our problems can be. This is especially true when we pray in gratitude for what we’ve been given. After all, our daily small problems may seem huge at the time, but when we pray for what others in the world are going through we see them for what they are. Also, when we pray positively, we can find God changing our attitude from something negative to something far more positive.

7. Offers Us Hope

When we get down in the dumps, prayer gives us hope. Laying all of our problems at God’s feet opens us up to trusting Him. When we trust God, we have hope that things will turn out fine. Having hope doesn’t always mean things will turn out the way we want them to, but it can mean that things will turn out how God wants them to, which is sometimes even better than we ever could have imagined. Also, prayer helps us see things clearly, which opens us up to all kinds of opportunities we may never have seen before.

8. Reduces Stress

When we lay our troubles at God’s feet, we can feel the weight of the world come off of our shoulders. When we trust in God to hear our prayers, our stress levels go down. He has a way of bringing calm into our lives, even when we’re in the middle of a storm. We live in a pressure-filled world, where we are constantly being bombarded by responsibility and pressure to succeed. No matter how young or old, stress is always there. It comes from different places as we age, but it’s still part of our lives. Yet when we turn over those pressures to God in prayer, we find that our stress levels go down.

9. Can Make Your Healthier

There are a number of studies out there that show a link between prayer and emotional and physical health. Some studies showed a significant decrease in heart disease, emphysema and cirrhosis of the liver for people who attended church once or more a week. Other studies show worship was linked to lower blood pressure and a strengthening of the immune system.

10. Can Give You Better Understanding of Yourself

When we talk to God, we can hear the way we talk about ourselves. We can hear all the bad things we say about ourselves and all the ways we wish we were better. We can hear our own hopes and dreams and how we want our lives to turn out. God gives us those times to hear ourselves and gain a better understanding of who we are in Him. He shows us our purpose and direction. He shows us unconditional love, and demonstrates that we need to love ourselves more. It is through prayer that we can see the person God sees.

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prayer dynamics

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Rev. E. Anderson
FIRST RESPONSE
From Our Daily Bread

“Be anxious for nothing, but . . . . let your requests be made known unto God” – Philippians 4: 6,7

When my husband, Tom, was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, I began to call family members. My sister and her husband came right away to be with me, and we prayed as we waited. Tom’s sister listened to my anxious voice on the phone and immediately said, “Cindy, can I pray with you?” When my pastor and his wife arrived he too prayed for us – James 5: 13-16.

Oswald Chambers wrote: “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defence. We praying nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

Prayer is simply a conversation with God, spoken in the expectation that God hears and answers. Prayer should not be a last resort. In His Word, God encourages us to engage Him in prayer (Phil. 4:6). We also have His promise that when “two or three are gathered together” in His name, He will be “there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

For those who have experienced the power of the Almighty, our first inclination often will be to cry out to Him. Nineteenth-century pastor Andrew Murray said: “Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us.” —Cindy Kasper
When I come before His presence In the secret place of prayer; Do I know the wondrous greatness Of His power to moor meet me there?

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