Examining My Perception of Myself. What about Changing my Thinking, Revolutionizing my Life? Job 9:20-21

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

“I am unsure. I think I am who I say I am, or I believe I am who I say I am.”

“My thoughts of myself are exactly that: MY own thoughts of MY own self!”

“Debate me, PLEASE! We are who we think we are.”

“I am the best judge of my own thoughts. Ergo, LEAVE ME ALONE!”

“I am the best judge of exactly who I am!”

“Judge me not! No one can ever know me better than I know myself!”

Does anyone out there reading this see a definite pattern developing?

One of the most important steps we can take toward achieving our greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor our thoughts and its impact on our attitudes towards ourselves and all those who just happen to be around us.

Everything we perceive in the physical world has its origin in the invisible, inner world of our thoughts and beliefs.

To become the master of our earthly destiny, we must learn to control the nature of our dominant, habitual thoughts. The conscious human mind is capable of great good and equally extraordinary evil.

“Our mind is the master builder and that which we think upon may become misery or miracles.”

Our thoughts determine our destiny. Minds are really an amazing creation. 

Our minds, thoughts and words are horrible things to waste upon ourselves.

Imagine yourself just for a few breaths and heartbeats thinking like Job.

Imagine yourself having this “mindset of Job” right in this very moment.

How long could you stand yourself living day to day with this mindset?

Job 9:13-35 Amplified Bible

13 
“God will not turn back His anger;
The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him.
14 
“How can I answer Him [and plead my case],
Choosing my words [to reason] with Him?
15 
For though I were righteous, I could not answer.
I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge.
16 
“If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
17 
“For He bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 
“He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills and saturates me with bitterness.
19 
“If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty!
And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him?
20 
“Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty;
Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty.
21 
“[Though] I am blameless,
I do not care about myself;
I despise my life.
22 
“It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’
23 
“When [His] scourge kills suddenly,
He mocks at the despair of the innocent.
24 
“The earth is given into the hands of the wicked;
He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice].
If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]?

25 
“Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They vanish, they see no good.
26 
“They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds,
Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.
27 
“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’
28 
I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come];
I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished.
29 
“I am accounted wicked and held guilty;
Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]?
30 
“If I were to wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
31 
You would still plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body].
32 
“For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court and judgment together.
33 
“There is no arbitrator between us,
Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].
34 
“Let Him take His rod away from me,
And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me.
35 
Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

It is estimated that our brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells. Each individual nerve cell is then connected with 10 thousand other neurons.

Ask yourself – Think about – Exactly how complex is this brain of mine?

Research indicates that most people will speak at a rate of 150 to 200 words per minute, but the internal dialogue that you carry on with yourself (self-talk) you do at a rate over six times that of approximately 1300 words per minute.

Think about that for a moment.

We may not be that person. We may not be like “most of those people” but our innate ability to become like “most of those people” is actually quite stunning

The problem is, in all that self-talk, a lot of people are Negative.

Take the time one day to write down your words and your thoughts.

Repeat the process on another day and for as many days as you think about it –

Count the positive words and thoughts.

Count the negative words and thoughts.

What is the ratio of “positive thoughts” to “negative thoughts?”

What do you think about the results of your own self-examination?

What do you think about yourself based upon your own self-examination?

Whatever your circumstance today – rich or poor, success or a failure, happy or sad – is nothing but the product of your thoughts.

In a very simple manner, you are a product of your thoughts.

You become what you think about, 

Where is your mindset right now?

What is your perception of your life right in this exact moment?

Is your glass of water always half full or always half empty?

Like Job says in verses 20 and 21,

Job 9:20-21 Amplified Bible

20 
“Though I am innocent, and, in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty;
Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty.
21 
“[Though] I am blameless,
I do not care about myself;
I despise my life.

If someone feeds his mind with negative thoughts of worries, fear, anxiety and confusion, his life becomes one of frustration, fear anxiety and worry.

On the other hand, if another person feeds his mind with positive thoughts of a better tomorrow, good and worthwhile goals and work towards them, it will become a reality, because that is what he thinks about.

If you keep feeding your mind with negative thoughts, you achieve negative results. If you keep feeding your mind with positive thoughts, you’ll achieve positive results. This effort is basically referred to as; “self-affirmation.”

Self-Affirmation is not a skill. It is an attitude. It is a mindset we must learn.

Neither mindset of self-affirmation nor self-deprecation is ever final.

The way your mind is programmed determines your mindset. Your mindset determines your character which has overwhelming impact on your attitudes.

American Educator, Philosopher, Historian, Psychologist William James (1842-1910) said, “the greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.”

To get what you want,

change who you are by simply changing the way you think. 

Proverbs 23:7, says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

People do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.

To attract good people, you must be good.

To attract godly people, you must be godly.

Instead of going to work on them, you go to work on yourself.

Your circumstances may be out of your control, but recall God is in control of everything.

Your thoughts shape who you are, but you can change the way you think.

Therefore, if you are not satisfied with your present circumstance in life and you want to change it, you need to change your thoughts.

Think and act like the person you want to become.

Before you can do something, you first must be something.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

Think about this: You become valuable when you value what God values.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Amplified Bible


Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.


[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].


Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.


It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Transformation comes when we allow God’s Word to change our thinking.

How do you eliminate negative thoughts so you can become a refine person?

It’s the principle of replacement:

Colossians 3:1-4 Amplified Bible

Put On the New Self

3 Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, [a]appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Philippians 4:6-8Amplified Bible

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

As your thinking changes, your feelings, decisions, actions and attitude will change and conform to the mind of Christ.

We have the power to transform our lives. 

Romans 12:1-5New Living Translation

A Living Sacrifice to God

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, [a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. [b] Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me; I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. [d] Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

There is an intensity and urgency in Scripture’s earnest pleading to guard your heart and your thoughts about all else, and in scripture the heart is understood to be the seat of our thoughts, our self- will, the conscience and the emotions.

Our heart is the storehouse for wisdom and all that influences the life and character of an individual.

Jesus reminds us that from our whole heart, we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, with every part of our inner being.

We have been endowed by our Creator with reason and choices, with emotions and a will, which is bound up in the “wholeness,” “hole-ness and holiness” of our hearts – and we have been given them all by God to glorify not one blessed inch or neuron or brain cell of ourselves, but only Him and to enrich our lives.

But they should never be given free rein to rule our lives, dictate our decisions for unguarded feeling can fluctuate; unguarded emotions can twist and turn on a whim; unguarded thoughts can toss to and for like the wave of the sea and an unguarded will can lead you away from the path of peace.

The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and unless checked, double-checked and guarded above all things, it will surely and certainly influence our lives for evil and not for good.

– yes, we are to guard our hearts as the highest priority –guarded above all else.

We are never forsaken by God nor never left alone. We are never left to guess at the reason for the intensity and urgency in this earnest plea to guard our hearts above all else – for the heart is the source and well-spring of life, our hearts are the repositories for God’s life, treasury for His truth, warehouse of His wisdom.

Christ is our whole life and our whole truth, and our whole wisdom and the Lord searches the heart and tests the mind, and we are to guard the gospel truth that has been shed into our hearts – the knowledge of Him Who has brought us out of darkness into His glorious light, who has taken us from the doorways of our death and breathed into us the breath of the new-life in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Psalm 16:5 Amplified Bible


The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, my cup [He is all I need];
You support my lot.

So, is your cup half full or half empty?

HMMMM …..

I wonder ….

I think it is ….

I believe it is ….

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Lord, my teacher, I’m often confused when I need to make important decisions about my family, my work, my relationships, my health, or finances. Show me the way I should go when I don’t know which way to turn. Help me remember to leave me, come to you, rather than trying to figure everything out on my own.

Guide me along the best pathway for my life. Let Your Holy Spirit advise me and watch over me. Help me to listen to your guidance and not resist it. I thank you that your unfailing love surrounds those who trust you. Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

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See! I am raising my un-holy hands. I have Made my decision to Speak, my demands to be Heard. But tell me who is there to hear me, to come between me, my friends and my God? Job 9.

(Job’s) Prayer for Help, and Praise for Its Answer.

A Psalm of (Job first?) then David.

28 To you I call, O Lord,
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit (grave).


Hear the voice of my supplication (specific requests, humble entreaties) as I cry to You for help,
As I lift up my hands and heart toward Your innermost sanctuary (Holy of Holies)
.

Job was a righteous man before God. Job was a prosperous man, a family man. It was a good life for Job, he was confident in how he was living that life. It seemed that nothing could go wrong that could not be effectively, efficiently, handled. I can see Job, even be jealous of Job for living such an endlessly successful life.

We want to move into Job’s home. We want to live and prosper like Job lived and prospered. It is everybody’s lifelong dream to model their whole lives as Job did. We have control over what happens around us. God is Good and it shows daily.

Until that goodness of God suddenly disappears faster than we can blink an eye.

It does not just disappear at warp speed; it disappears in the most traumatic of ways. The whirlwind of trauma grows ever stronger and its more unstoppable than we could ever have allowed ourselves to imagine possible. Levels of trauma from which there’s no apparent avenue of recovery, can things get even worse?

Suddenly, there seems to be no words which are sufficient to respond with. It suddenly becomes a giant vacuum for which words seem to get stuck within us. Suddenly this “growing zone of silence” is introducing itself, surrounding us.

The inevitable question is “Why Me? Why Now, come on explain yourself God “

What does Job hope to hear?

Job is sure of God’s response because Job is “faith on steroids” and he knows God is always responsive to the max with those who are faithful to God. But all Job hears is complete silence from God and the bleating voices of his friends.

Not exactly what Job desires, wants or needs to hear in this ultra-critical “Faith shaping” time and season. Job’s problem is that he has no way to examine God, to “Call God Out” and that is what he goes on to state in very eloquent terms.

Exasperated, He says that God’s wisdom is beyond man: How can you get hold of a God like that to debate with Him the issues that are causing the pain of life?

What can I do?

How can I get at this whole “God is Silent” problem? 

Exasperated, Job makes his case before his friends and before his God.

AND BEFORE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US RIGHT THIS EXACT MOMENT!

Job 9:1-12 Amplified Bible

Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man

Then Job answered and said,


“Yes, I know it is true.
But how can a mortal man be right before God?

“If one should want to contend or dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed?

It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it,
When He overturns them in His anger;

Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;

Who commands the sun, and it does not shine;
Who seals up the stars [from view];

Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the [a]waves of the sea;

Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the [vast starry] spaces of the south;
10 
Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable,
Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number.
11 
“Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him;
He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him.
12 
“Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back?
Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Job has decisions to he has make in assessing and evaluating and living out his relationship with God and with mankind. Job deeply needs to hear from God.

He asserts his desire to hear from the Lord who has ever been 100% faithful to him, he asserts his desire to let God know he intends to be ever the more faithful in spite of all the absolute mess that is whirling, swirling, going on around him

Out of the deep darkness that surrounds this “patient” suffering saint, comes a ray of light breaking through. It is the first significant break in Job’s gloom. 

Job’s realization, acknowledgement, what is needed is a mediator, an arbitrator who can come between man, who understands us both and brings us together, 

Job says. For the first time in this book, we begin to see what God is producing in this man, why he is putting him through this protracted trial.

For now, Job begins to feel, deep in his bones, the nature of reality: the terrible gulf between the pleas of man and God that must be bridged by another party.

We who live in the full light of the New Testament know that he is crying out and feeling deep within the need for just such a mediator as Jesus himself.

Job is laying the foundation here in his own understanding for the tremendous revelation that comes in the New Testament when God hears, becomes a man.

When we in our sin believe with all of our heart God has suddenly gone silent,

God Absolutely Listens!

God Absolutely Hears!

God Absolutely Acts!

God Absolutely Intercedes in the affairs of Mankind

God Absolutely Sent His Son at the appropriate time.

God takes our place, God lives as we live, feels as we feel, solves the great problem between us and God, and brings the two—God and man—together.

For the first time in the long suffering words and pleas of Job and his friends, we begin to sense something mighty is taking shape, what God is driving at.  

Psalm 119:65-72 Authorized (King James) Version

ט  Teth

65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord,
according unto thy word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge:
for I have believed thy commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted, I went astray:
but now have I kept thy word.
68 Thou art good, and doest good;
teach me thy statutes.
69 The proud have forged a lie against me:
but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is as fat as grease;
but I delight in thy law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted;
that I might learn thy statutes.
72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me
than thousands of gold and silver.

You and I can learn theology from a book, and we can study it and get it clear in your mind, but until you go through the hurts and difficulties and trials of life.

We never really understand what God’s truth is. It takes suffering to get a clear vision of what God is saying to us, and that is what the book of Job is all about.

Because we live in a fallen world, there will be times in our life when we will all have to endure trials and difficulty. Job went through such a time; however, he realized that had Someone to stand in his defense. Job called Him his Redeemer.

Job’s suffering helped inform and shape and transform his understanding of the Whole truth of God. The New Testament reveals far more of who God is.

How might Job’s experience, his friends’ experiences, inform, shape and transform our own personal understanding of the “silence” of our God???

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

God of truth, sometimes I am not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just my own sinful thoughts, my friends’ thoughts or even another spirit.

Please God, sharpen my spiritual hearing, Lord, so I can recognize your words when you are speaking to me.

Author of my Life, Shaper of my heart and my soul, help me know it’s really you, with no long shadow of doubt or reason for any of my second-guessing.

When I’m asking for your guidance in important decisions, by your mercy, give me your place of peace that surpasses understanding with your answer. Help me remember that your words to me will never go against your written word in the Bible. Give me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Alleluia! Amen.

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About our Addressing the Silence of God in our life. Turning our Silence and our Souls over to God. “Unto God I Will Turn and Lift Up My Hands.” Psalm 28

“God our Father, We Your Children Challenge You to be Silent No More in our Lives.”

Only in the sacredness of inward silence does the soul truly meet the secret, hiding God. The strength of resolve, which afterward shapes life, and mixes itself with action, is the fruit of those sacred, solitary moments. There is a divine depth in silence. We meet God alone. – Author: Frederick William Robertson

To address what we perceive to be the “silent treatment” from God, we must, by all necessity recognize that there is a silence in the first place. It means we must first make that initial recognition somewhere within our souls that there is a place we do not recognize within us that is starkly different from what we are used to experiencing, vastly contrasting with our “encoded status quo.”

We must not just acknowledge that our “encoded status quo” is being “tickled” by something or someone we do not recognize, but there is also, likewise, that inner sensation that we are being “tickled,” we are not so inclined to ignore it.

The noise we are all too familiar with is somehow now becoming an irritant. It is not just a small irritation otherwise we would continue to so easily dismiss it.

No! it becomes more and more noticeable – it is ever so slowly interjecting itself further and further into those places which were previously declared numb or even dead spaces in our souls and our lives, and they are now becoming alive.

These numbed or dead spaces within our souls suddenly becoming alive within us lack a specific name. We are complete strangers to such places awakening in us. These are places which possess no boundaries, sadly, lacks true definition.

All our conscious and unconscious efforts to suppress them completely fail us.

Now, out of nowhere, without any degree or measure of advanced warning there is that irrepressible urge to put “words” to our souls being “tickled.”

“Yo! Anybody who is listening to me right now –

Pray! Tell Me PLEASE, what is Up with my Soul!”

Psalm 28 Complete Jewish Bible

28 (0) By David:

(1) Adonai, I am calling to you;
my Rock, don’t be deaf to my cry.
For if you answer me with silence,
I will be like those who fall in a pit.
Hear the sound of my prayers
when I cry to you,
when I lift my hands
toward your holy sanctuary.

Don’t drag me off with the wicked,
with those whose deeds are evil;
they speak words of peace to their fellowmen,
but evil is in their hearts.
Pay them back for their deeds,
as befits their evil acts;
repay them for what they have done,
give them what they deserve.
For they don’t understand the deeds of Adonai
or what he has done.
He will break them down;
he will not build them up.

Blessed be Adonai,
for he heard my voice as I prayed for mercy.
Adonai is my strength and shield;
in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped.
Therefore my heart is filled with joy,
and I will sing praises to him.

Adonai is strength for [his people],
a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
Save your people! Bless your heritage!
Shepherd them and carry them forever!

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Psalm 28:1-2 Amplified Bible

A Prayer for Help, and Praise for Its Answer.

A Psalm of David.

28 To you I call, O Lord,
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit (grave).

Hear the voice of my supplication (specific requests, humble entreaties) as I cry to You for help,
As I lift up my hands and heart toward Your innermost sanctuary (Holy of Holies).

David’s soul is and has been trying to get David’s attention.

How long David’s soul has been “tickling him” we cannot say?

We cannot put a specific period of time to this – moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or an indeterminate number of years, even decades.

We can say that finally David’s soul has been reached and David recognizes it.

David and his soul are clearly in a space neither of them likes nor appreciates.

David, “a man after God’s own heart,” puts his words and his soul in the same room at the same time and gives them both free reign to say what must be said.

We, ourselves, in this 21st century whirlwind, must now lend our souls to this ancient “heart to soul to God” silent or raucous conversation, its implications.

David tells us in verse one that if the Lord will not hear his prayer that he would be like one of those who go down to the pit.

I take this to mean that this was not only a life and death situation but that it also very likely had some deeply significant eternal implications as well.

I say this because of verses 3-5 where the wicked men who show no regard for the Lord will be torn down and the Lord will not build them back up again.

David, a “man after God’s own heart” now confessing himself as “wicked” and having “no regard for the Lord” with no foreseeable measure or degree of hope?

I suppose that we could all agree that life has its ups and down’s.

Those who identify themselves as “struggling” today may not be in the future and those that identify themselves as “carefree” today may have a whole lot of concerns next week.

These are the “regular” ebbs and tides of life, liberty, pursuit of joy we accept, acknowledge and readily recognize and “live” as being a “normal part of life.”

Yet, here in verse one David is praying from a place of urgency and great need.

Life might be so good for you right now that you cannot identify with David here.

However, I bet you personally know someone who could be praying like David is right here.

There are friends of mine who are facing some really tough situations, and some are even wondering if they will recover from these things.

When David starts this Psalm, he both inwardly, outwardly prays to the LORD.

In other words, David prays by using the personal name of God.

He knows who he is praying to, he knows the nature and character of the Lord.

I try to keep this in mind when I pray too. If I am facing an overwhelming trial.

From that undefinable place of silence, which is now alive and well within me, I cry out to the LORD who delivered His people from their not so silent cries.

I pray to the LORD whose steadfast love is enduring and whose mercy is new every morning.

When I seek the LORD with these things in mind I am encouraged, and my faith is made strong.

I really like verse two. It is this verse that sheds some light on to the specific things David mentioned in verse one.

For example, not only does David pray in verse two but we discover that he prays over and over again for mercy.

David says, “Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy.”

I am glad that David models for us the consistency that he had both in prayer and the theology behind his words.

David needs help and so he prays, raises hands, and pleas to the Lord for mercy.

Then David says, “…when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.”

I love this part.

Notice that David lifts not only his souls undefinable place of silence but also his hands and turns away from himself and toward the most holy sanctuary.

Let me share with you what I like about this. Each week I face things that overwhelm me as the writer of this blog. If nothing else does this to me, I know turning to the Word of God through my devotional define my “soul’s silence.”

My silence will be given a defining voice. As the week goes on, I find myself more and more research and study and prayer busying myself with that task.

So much so that I freely admit God is busy not being silent, and I find myself and my soul both figuratively and quite literally, losing much sleep over it.

The Holy Spirit living within me intercedes and “tickles” my soul to find God.

Here David speaks of men and workers of evil. He speaks of those who speak well to their neighbor, but they have evil in their hearts.

Perhaps his soul is referring David back to himself and his whole host of actions contrary to the will of God – David and Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite, Failures as king and as a father, Ceaseless Palace Intrigue, Absalom’s death, His Census.

Yet, even when David and his soul are facing such people, David takes time to “enter the holy of holies” God’s sanctuary, to raise up his hands to the Lord. David’s inward silence becomes David’s soul’s outward expression of prayer.

He ceases from the everyday pressing business of “royal intrigue” and the concerns and lifts his hands. You may think that this is a small thing, but I really do not think that this is a minor deal. I bet many souls struggle to still their hands and stop their work to lift their hands and souls up to the Lord.

I want “my soul’s silence” to be more like David’s – expressed through prayer.

Did you notice what the Holy Spirit and David’s soul compel David to do next?

He turns toward the most holy sanctuary.

You see, when my good friend asked me how we can help ‘souls’ in “our spheres of influence (which means quite literally everyone) and our church turn to God in the midst of their troubles I immediately recognized the voice of God speaking, acknowledging these verses.

That is exactly what David does here.

Picture David in your mind praying while looking at these wicked men in front of him in his mirror. Then all of a sudden David turns from them and sets his gaze to the most holy sanctuary. What an image. Even if he had enemies in that direction it seems to me that David is now looking beyond them to the LORD.

Imagine how transforming it would be for us if we would do this in some way.

Say I am struggling with some teaching in scripture. If I would look in the direction of our Holy Lord in that moment things would get clearer.

Say that I am struggling with my soul to forgive myself or someone else. If I would look at the Holy Lord and what does for me, I would quickly forgive.

When I find the cares of this world and see the wickedness all around me and it is all staring back at me, my soul’s and my greatest comfort would come when I would set my gaze upon the Holy Lord. This perspective would change it all.

“Bless the Lord, O, My Soul! And all that is within me, BLESS His Holy Name!”

“Bless the Lord, O, My Soul, and forget NONE of His Benefits!”

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Holy God, make me a partaker of your Holy Spirit. Enlighten me, oh, God. May I taste this heavenly gift that you reserve for your righteous people. Cleanse me of any barriers in my heart and mind and soul that may stop me from feeling your presence in me. Flood any dark spots in my heart with your light. Help me to walk in your light and shine your beauty and grace on everyone I meet. Amen.

Hymn:When, In Our Music, God Is Glorified
Tune:Engelberg
Words:F Pratt Green (1903-2000)
Music:C V Stanford (1852-1924)

Verse 1

When in our music God is glorified, 

And adoration leaves no room for pride, 

It is as though the whole creation cried 

Alleluia! 

Verse 2

How often, making music, we have found 

A new dimension in the world of sound, 

As worship moved us to a more profound 

Alleluia! 

Verse 3

So has the Church, in liturgy and song, 

In faith and love, through centuries of wrong, 

Borne witness to the truth in ev’ry tongue, 

Alleluia! 

Verse 4

And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night 

When utmost evil strove against the Light? 

Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight, 

Alleluia! 

Verse 5

Let ev’ry instrument be tuned for praise! 

Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise! 

And may God give us faith to sing always 

Alleluia! 

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When Heaven Seems Too Silent. The “silent treatment”? How might we respond when God seems so distant?

To be strong, to steer straight onward, to dare to praise God, to sit alone and keep silence because He has laid it upon us, to put our mouths into the dust, if so, be there may be hope here is fortitude indeed. – Reverend Dr. F.B. Meyer

https://bibleportal.com/sermons/author/f.b.+meyer?page=2

Someone posed a question to me yesterday. They asked me how we could help people in our sphere of influence (nearly everyone we see) and church look to the Lord, grow faith, experience joy, peace and hope in the midst of the difficult situations that they are currently facing?

I could really appreciate the question.

I am absolutely certain God appreciates the depth of the question also.

Psalm 28:1-2The Message

28 Don’t turn a deaf ear
    when I call you, God.
If all I get from you is
    deafening silence,
I’d be better off
    in the Black Hole.

I’m letting you know what I need,
    calling out for help
And lifting my arms
    toward your inner sanctuary.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

I am going begin this devotion by asking everyone who comes to read these words of devotion very deep and very intimate, wildly personal questions.

Have you ever felt that God was giving you the “silent treatment”?

Have you given any serious or hyper-quality time and thought about how might, or indeed, you should respond when God in Heaven seems distant?

Every one of us has dreams and goals in our heart.

There are very definite and very personal promises that we are all standing on.

Maybe you are believing on God for a breakthrough in your job, your career, your ministry, your children, breakthrough in your family, retirement etc.

Deep down you know and believe that God has spoken that to you. But so often because it is taking a long time and you are not seeing any signs from God; you are getting discouraged.

You ask, seek, and knock all the live long day and dream about it throughout the night, except the only response is “the silent treatment.” You are making all the noise, but God is remaining painfully quiet. On the other side, the devil is telling you that you are going to lose, and you are trying your level best to hold on.

The reason many people do not see God’s promises come to pass is because they get discouraged and give up too soon. Just because you do not see anything does not mean that God is not working for you. Just because you cannot see what God is doing, that does not mean that God will not fulfil your promises.

God is faithful to his word. All of his promises are yes and amen.

1. Human response to God’s silence.

Many times, when we do not see anything in the natural, we cry out in despair.

We get too soon disappointed and discouraged. People get confused which will eventually lead to doubt, guilt (Some people feel they have sinned and are being punished), anger and fear. These are all evidentiary signs of giving up in life.

Psalm 28:1-2 1To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. 2Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

Habakkuk 1:2 How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?

Men and women throughout the Bible have consistently, decisively voiced their measure of disappointment when they have felt heaven was silent.

Here they are crying out to God because God is silent towards them.

They could not see anything happening in their lives, they were getting fearful and losing hope.

I understand some of you are in your silent years in certain areas of your life.

You are yelling at God,

“WHY Lord, I do not understand why I am going through this trouble. I do not know why my life has TO become like this. Lord, I JUST cannot take this any longer.”

You feel God is far away and are ready to give up your faith.

In the natural David and Habakkuk were losing faith but if you really read their books further, they waited by faith and God lifted them.

When you come to the end of Psalm 28 David said:

Psalm 28:6-7 6Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 17Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

When God’s fulfillment of your promises is taking unbelievably too long, pray, don’t ever give up, never lose hope, neither your faith. God is right with you.

God smiles at you seeing your faith, but devil smiles at you seeing your fear.

Do you know God created you in your mother’s womb with his very own hands?

There is absolutely nothing about you that is an accident.

There is absolutely nothing about you that God is not proud of.

There is absolutely nothing about you God does not think is misplaced in life.

Just because you are going through a trouble, just because you are not hearing from God in what you believe is the “appropriate amount of YOUR time,” just because things are not working out does not mean there is something wrong.

God is absolutely at work in your life. He loves you. You are precious to him.

In the Bible we find many examples of God’s silence and whenever man felt God was quiet there were lessons to be learnt.

Lessons we might learn from God’s silence – if we want to and are patient enough.

a. God is always at work. God always works in the background.

The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt.

They cried, they prayed to God, but God was silent for a long time.

They lived in Egypt for 430 years but the time between Joseph’s death and Exodus out of Egypt was the darkest period, almost 150 years.

God was silent, they could not see God doing anything but in the background.

God was actually preparing a deliverer for them in Moses.

God was always working in the background.

Today, maybe you are not able to see anything you want to see or believe you are entitled, but God is absolutely working in your behalf unbeknownst to you.

Colossians 3:1-4 The Message

He Is Your Life

1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

If you can set your mind on the things of God, open your spiritual eyes, Christ will “show up” and you will see God absolutely moving things in your favour.

“Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”

In the book of 2 Kings 6, the prophet Elisha and his servant were surrounded by King Aram’s army for doing the work of God. When the servant of Elisha got up and went out early in the morning an army had surrounded the city.

The servant was terrified and thought they were surely doomed. 

2 Kings 6:15-17 The servant asked, “Oh, my Lord, what shall we do?” “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

When you go through those dark periods, you need to ask God to open your spiritual eyes; you will be able to see God’s work in the background.

You are absolutely never alone.

God and his mighty army are with you.

The “horses and chariots of fire” have your negativity absolutely surrounded.

They are waiting for you to pray to God, so God can then command the horses and chariots of fire to strike blind all your prevailing thoughts of negativity.

God is always and absolutely at work in your life. He will never abandon you.

God’s Silence reveals God’s glory.

We know the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus had been with them many times.

He spent considerable time with them, he ate with them but when they needed Jesus the most, they felt he was away. 

John 11:5-6 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

Lazarus was sick, he died, they buried him, dark days came across their family.

Jesus was nowhere around but he knew what was happening back home because he is God. Meditate on those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany!

We know the story, Jesus came after 4 days, he wept with the sisters, walked to the grave and brought back Lazarus to life.

The glory of the Lord Jesus Christ was revealed after the silent hour. Silence reveals God’s glory.

It did not happen as they expected.

The miracle did not happen when they wanted it, but it surely did happen.

God does not abandon anyone who puts their trusts in him.

Our breakthrough may not happen on our timetable, but God is a faithful God. It will happen; he will not let you down.

That is exactly what God said in Hebrews 13:5-6 Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, what can mere mortals do to me?”

You need spend some quality time with God to let that sink down on the inside.

Within the immeasurable depths of the silence, you are receiving God is saying,

“I will not fail you. Everything is going to work out. I am in complete control. I know what the medical report says. I know your financial situation. I see the people that are against you. I know how big your dreams are but hear me clearly. I will not fail you. I will not let you down. I will not let that problem overtake you. I will cause you to be the over comer.”

If you keep your trust in God in days of your silence, he will always make a way even though there is no way.

I can see some of your wilderness blooming in my spiritual eyes by faith – so I write this devotion in the sure and certain expectation of the Holy Spirit of God already being in the depths of your desires, dreams for more noise from God.

Romans 8:26-28 Authorized (King James) Version

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Silence follows human rebellion

Sometimes God chooses to be silent to reveal us our sins. Saul was selected the first king of Israel. He was good initially, but he sinned in the battle against the Amalekites. Instead of destroying the enemy he took their best cattle.

God confronted him through Prophet Samuel. Saul instead of repenting of his sins lied to the prophet and God rejected him as king. Later when the Philistines came to battle Israel, Saul started praying to God. 

1 Samuel 28:6 He enquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.

Saul was so desperate to hear from God that he consulted a spirit medium which eventually lead to Saul’s and his children’s death.

Sometimes sin and rebellion is followed by silence from God.

Maybe God is silent to make us aware of our unconfessed sins.

For some of us it is time to introspect and give careful thought to our ways.

For some it may be a time of deep introspection – to enter into God’s silence.

Approaching the Throne of Grace……

Approaching the Throne of Grace – How to respond when God is silent?

That is a devotion for tomorrow ….

I pray you will join with the Word of God for His Children then.

In the meantime, …. SHALOM! SHALOM! SHALOM!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Savior Jesus, Giver of peace, I so easily get distracted when I’m trying to focus and hear your Holy Spirit. Help me quiet my mind in the middle of my busy life. Help me to pause and to make space to listen to the most important voice of all. Empower me to be a good listener to the gentle whispers of your Spirit. Help me follow the example of Jesus, who would slip away in the evening or the early morning to be alone with you. Teach me to abide in you. Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

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About Addressing the Silence of God. “Okay God, I am Praying! Demanding! Where for Art Thou now?” Psalm 28

Silence from God is the loudest and the saddest thing I have ever heard. – Lacey Sturm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey_Sturm

Where is God today?

Is God just taking that long delayed “spring break” or

Long awaited “summer vacation on HIS mountain top away from everybody else’s sin ‘nails on a chalkboard scratching’ noise?”

How can he allow evil and suffering in the world?

Have “miracles” ceased or have we ceased looking for “miracles?”

Have we ceased looking for God or are we listening to all the latest social media talk God has given up on mankind?

What are some of those soul-chilling statements I have read on social media?

“I would believe in God if he was not so d***ed inconsistent for my tastes.”

“Believe in God? Why? He never helped me or anyone else I ever knew!”

“It is easier for me to believe in what those bullets will do to me if they hit me!”

“Believe in God? That’s a laugher! Look at my neighborhood and tell me why?”

“I would believe in God if I was not so busy ducking all the bombs going off!”

“I would believe in God if He had not stolen my Mom and Dad in that accident!”

“I would probably believe in God if He would just leave me the h**l alone.”

“I would believe in God if He would just let me be a Mom just this one time.”

“I would believe in God if He would just shut His mouth and close His Bible!”

“I would believe in God more if my life would just stop going around in circles.”

“I would believe in God more if I did not get so frustrated in trying to believe!”

There are more. And each one I remember brings greater and greater sadness.

Some days are just days when it is all I can do is to try and stifle my own tears.

“I would believe in God a little bit more If I were not trying so hard not to cry!”

“I would believe in God more If I were not constantly crying out: “Why Me?!”

So, what do I end up doing anyway?

YEP!

I am touched by the Holy Spirit, and I am returning to the Word of God.

YEP!

When I am tired of the silence, then I am reminded of the Grace of God.

God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have again latched themselves to my soul.

Today, I and my spirit are reminded of the vast treasure house of God’s Truth.

Psalm 28 Complete Jewish Bible

28 (0) By David:

(1) Adonai, I am calling to you;
my Rock, don’t be deaf to my cry.
For if you answer me with silence,
I will be like those who fall in a pit.
Hear the sound of my prayers
when I cry to you,
when I lift my hands
toward your holy sanctuary.

Don’t drag me off with the wicked,
with those whose deeds are evil;
they speak words of peace to their fellowmen,
but evil is in their hearts.
Pay them back for their deeds,
as befits their evil acts;
repay them for what they have done,
give them what they deserve.
For they don’t understand the deeds of Adonai
or what he has done.
He will break them down;
he will not build them up.

Blessed be Adonai,
for he heard my voice as I prayed for mercy.
Adonai is my strength and shield;
in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped.
Therefore my heart is filled with joy,
and I will sing praises to him.

Adonai is strength for [his people],
a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
Save your people! Bless your heritage!
Shepherd them, and carry them forever!

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The Silence of God

When God is silent is He still working?

You either have to answer “yes”, or “no,” “maybe,” “don’t know,” “I don’t have the slightest idea,” or “I’ve never even thought about it.” “I do not care.”

On the surface, you might immediately answer—”Oh yes, God is always working when He is silent, but I won’t ever believe this is always the case.”

Why would anyone ever say this?

When God is silent don’t get unduly alarmed by His silence but don’t ignore it either. The silence of God is unsettling to us and it tests our faith. 

James 1:3-4 tells us

“Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Let patience work—let patience do its job to complete the work that needs to be completed.

We are often too quick to say, “Oh, it must not be God’s will” and give up way too soon. or I will hear preached and taught and counselled that “Don’t worry about it, the answer will come soon. God is still working on it in His silence.

This one royally irritates me:

It often takes time for things to work out. Hold fast to your faith during the silent times. God’s answers are often just around the corner.”

Somehow, that last response invalidates or minimizes my “right now needs.”

Please do not invalidate or minimize me any more than I’m already invalidating and minimizing myself. I guarantee it will only make things significantly worse.

On the other hand, there are often times when God cannot work because He has given people free will to either choose to follow Him or not.

We can make the choice to believe Him or to go our own way. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own ways” (Isaiah 53:6).

There are often periods of silence when God lets people go their own way and take the consequences of their wrong choices before they turn things around.

Mark 6:5-6 5 Jesus was not able to do any miracles there except the healing of some sick people by laying his hands on them. He was surprised that the people there had no faith. Then he went to other villages in that area and taught…”

He couldn’t do what he had the power to do because the people didn’t believe.

That day a lot of people experienced the silence of God when they could have been healed. It doesn’t say WHY they didn’t believe.

There is another scripture text which reads, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

If you talk to people today, you will find out that a lot of people do not believe that healing is for us today and will say that ended with the apostles.

We have some friends that would say they do not believe in prayer for the sick.

“What is the point of praying for them anyway God does not do that today.”

If people lack knowledge on God’s provisions, they will not receive what they need. We need to see what promises there for us are and apply them to our situation whether it is for healing, or finances, or whatever else we need today.

Another reason for God’s silence is deliberate sin.

“If I regard iniquity (cherished sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).

A barrier will go up and we don’t hear from God. He is silent for a reason.

We used to sing a song—Nothing between my soul and my savior.

If we identify the silence as sin, we can get that taken care of.

“If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

When it seems that God is doing nothing, we may be too busy to notice.

Day in and day out rushing here and there, we are not aware of what is happening.

Do not ignore the silence—watch to see if He is working or not. 

Habakkuk 2:3 tells us what to do. “I will stand upon my watch to see what he will say to me.”

Slow down in the rush of the day and listen and watch closely.

You may be rushing right on by something important.

Get ready to receive by clearing the way.

Go back to the basics.

If you get off track, the Holy Spirit will get you back on track.

He will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

God works throughout our lives silently.

Sometimes we are just in the planting and growing season, and nothing is wrong with the silence of God. The timing is not yet right for the harvest.

The Wife and I looked at a vehicle one time and were going to buy it that day but for some reason they would not make the deal with us that day. We went home frustrated and shrugging our collective shoulders and we did not buy it.

Soon after we found a nicer vehicle – a smaller SUV and we leased it.

In the case of the first vehicle, it was not the right one. The second was brand new and we got a lot of good miles out of it, and we traveled all over the place.

Sometimes God just doesn’t have anything to say to us at the moment because things are unfolding at their own pace or something better is going to emerge in due time.

God’s silence does not mean that He is not present.

He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

And Matthew 28:20, “Lo I am with you even to the end of the world.

Scripture makes it clear that our heavenly Father hears and answers prayer.

Yet we all experience times when, though we pray for God to act right away, He does not.

What are some reasons for the delay?

At times the Lord sees that our attention is misdirected. Our relationship with Him should have priority over any earthly matter (Mark 12:30).

Yet minds and prayers can become so fixed upon a need that our gaze shifts away from Him.

The Father may delay His answer until we refocus on Him.

In other situations, God waits because the timing is not right for granting our request.

Perhaps certain events must happen first, or people’s thinking needs to be changed.

There are also seasons when the Lord wants to stretch and grow our faith.

One of the ways He accomplishes that is by having us watch for His response.

The Holy Spirit will work in these times of waiting to mature us and bring forth righteous fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Other reasons are a wrong motive for our request (James 4:3) and the practice of habitual sin.

We all fall short when it comes to God’s standard of holiness, but some of us persist in a lifestyle of disobedience.

The Lord may delay His answer so He can prompt us to confess our sin and turn back to Him.

Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy—faith and trust are needed (Hebrews 11:1).

In some cases, God is still working when He is silent but that he is working behind the scenes.

Or you can say sometimes we cause the silence by our unbelief.

We may say I just don’t know about his silence because I lack knowledge and need to learn what is in the Word for me.

God, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, never works in a straight path from A to Z.

He brings a lot of people across our pathway to fit into the total pattern.

When it looks like things are never going to work out, His times and seasons of “palpable” silence plays the proper part at the right time in the total picture.

Matthew 13:10-17 Easy-to-Read Version

Why Jesus Used Stories to Teach

10 The followers came to Jesus and asked, “Why do you use these stories to teach the people?”

11 Jesus answered, “Only you can know the secret truths about God’s kingdom. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. 12 The people who have some understanding will be given more. And they will have even more than they need. But those who do not have much understanding will lose even the little understanding that they have. 13 This is why I use these stories to teach the people: They see, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. 14 So they show that what Isaiah said about them is true:

‘You people will listen and listen,
    but you will not understand.
You will look and look,
    but you will not really see.
15 Yes, the minds of these people are now closed.
    They have ears, but they don’t listen.
    They have eyes, but they refuse to see.
If their minds were not closed,
    they might see with their eyes;
    they might hear with their ears;
they might understand with their minds.
    Then they might turn back to me and be healed.’

16 But God has blessed you. You understand what you see with your eyes. And you understand what you hear with your ears. 17 I can assure you, many prophets and godly people wanted to see what you now see. But they did not see it. And many prophets and godly people wanted to hear what you now hear. But they did not hear it.

If His answer is delayed, check that

1) your focus is on Him, 2) your motive for asking is both God-glorifying and God-honoring, and 3) you aren’t hiding in and behind the facade of practicing habitual sin. Then you will believe that His response will be for your good and His glory.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

let us Pray,

God, my Refuge and Strength …

I run to you when things get tough. I desperately need help. Hear me, and don’t be silent. Don’t turn me away. I am crying unto you from an earnest and honest heart. I am struggling with your silence in the midst of my unbelief and in pain.

My trust is fractured, and my feelings are hanging by a badly frayed thread. I want with all of my being to trust that You are my Lord and my Rock of safety. Tune my soul and open my ears to your silent voice that I may hear and believe. I pray this in the name of my Savior, Jesus the Christ. Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

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Happy Birthday! God, What Should I Pray for Now? A Feast of “Not so Much,” a Feast of “Just Right” or “Too Much?”

Happy Birthday to Me! Today, I am Celebrating a Wonder of God!

Birthdays are, or at least they should be, a deeply personal and meaningful “holiday,” so to speak. We feel that it is a special day, and even people who are complete strangers, don’t know you very well will wish you a “Happy Birthday” and sometimes they will even go out of their way to do something nice for you.

Why are birthdays special? As we get older, we can sometimes feel as if our birthdays aren’t as special or as important to celebrate. They just aren’t as exciting as those younger days when we were kids. While the Bible doesn’t command a celebration of birthdays, there are good reasons to go out of our way continue to celebrate the birth of any person—and a birthday is a perfect time to do it.

It is good to affirm the value of a person.

In Genesis 1-3, God goes about creating a beautiful and good creation. His most celebrated creation is man. God forms humanity in a very personal way:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Man is given a special status as God’s image bearers. What does that mean? God is king over his creation, is holy and good (moral attributes), and a creator.

In a similar way, man was made a steward over creation, was supposed to rule over creation well (Gen. 1:28), be holy and good, follow God’s word (Gen. 2:17).

God has created every single human being with intrinsic value because they are made in his image. Whether someone is an infant, a teenager, young adult or an octogenarian, every human life is absolutely special and precious in God’s sight.

The life of man was so utterly precious that the unjust taking of that life carried a severe punishment (Genesis 9:6). The psalmist, when faced with the marvels of creation, is amazed that God has created man in such a special way, with an elevated status (Psalm 8:4-6). To God, People hold a special place in this world.

Human beings of all ages are wonders of God. Just as we are amazed by and can look upon, recognize the glory and blessing of a stately mountain range or the awesomeness of a crashing ocean, we should join with the psalmist in praising God for human life. Birthdays are great opportunities to remind a person of the blessing he or she is and how absolutely, completely, they are a wonder of God.

Philippians 4:12-20English Standard Version

12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share[a] my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. [b] 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Birthdays are a time for thankfulness.

Today is my Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you readers too – even if today is not your actual birthday.

Truth be told, everyone who comes to read this has a Birthday to Celebrate!

One day, God loved you so much He chose a special day to give you a life to live!

Wonder of Wonders! Miracles of Miracles! God chose to give you and me life!

Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!

Regardless of your personal circumstance right in this exact moment,

Celebrate God as He is certainly celebrating you EXACTLY RIGHT NOW!

Birthdays are a fantastic time to contemplate more positive things. 

There is so much complaining, strife, and conflict that swirls around us.

It is easy to be pulled down into focusing on troubles and trials and take people and things for granted.

Birthdays provide an opportunity to thank God for the life of a person who is made in the image of the God of the universe and is an amazing creation.

It is 100% important to remember God is the one who should be the focus of a birthday. When we celebrate someone’s birth, any one’s birth, even the one’s now being born somewhere, we can each remember that our Creator’s image is stamped upon this unique person, and we can thank God for his gift of their life.

Consider this Illustration;

 In Tony Campolo’s book, “The Kingdom of God Is a Party,” he tells of an event that took place when he visited Hawaii on a speaking tour.

If you’ve ever flown to the Hawaiian Islands, you know that the first couple of days are tough because you are trying to adjust to the time change. You auto-matically wake up about 1 or 2 a.m. their time because it’s about 6 or 7 a.m. back here. And that’s exactly what happened to him.

He woke up very early his first morning there and ended up going out on the downtown streets of Honolulu, looking for a restaurant that was open where he could get a cup of coffee that early in the morning.

He finally found what he called a “greasy spoon” restaurant, went in and saw that he was the only customer there. As he sat down at the counter, a rather large fellow came out of the kitchen and asked what he wanted.

Tony ordered a cup of coffee and a donut. So, the guy went back into the kitchen and came out with a sad looking donut & a cup of very hot coffee. Tony slowly sipped his coffee & ate his donut.

As he was doing so, in walked 9 prostitutes off the streets of Honolulu. And one of them sat down next to him. As she was sitting there, talking to the girl next to her, she said, “Well, tomorrow is my birthday.”

The other girl said, “So what, Agnes? What do you expect from me, a party or something? What do you think I’m going to do, bake you a cake?”

Agnes said, “I don’t expect anything. No one has ever thrown me a birthday party, and I’ve never ever had a birthday cake. I was just telling you, that’s all. Tomorrow is my birthday.”

The conversation soon ended, and all the girls left. Tony sat there for a moment, and he recalls, “Every once in a while, you get a good idea.”

He turned to the guy behind the counter, whose name was Harry, and asked, “Harry, do those girls come in every night about this time?” “Every night,” Harry answered. “Well, will Agnes be back tomorrow night?” “Yeah, she’ll be back.”

He said, “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we throw a birthday party for Agnes?” Harry answered, “That’s a great idea. Let’s do it!” Tony said, “I’ll buy the streamers and get a sign that says, ‘Happy Birthday, Agnes,’ and we’ll buy her a cake.”

“No,” Harry said. “I’ll bake the cake.” And they got busy making their plans. Finally, Tony said, “I’ll be back at 2:30 tomorrow morning.”

When 2:30 came, Tony was back with all the streamers, balloons, and the sign. Meanwhile, Harry had baked the cake and spread the word, and there were 30 prostitutes there, ready to have a birthday party for Agnes.

Tony writes, “We were all there in this restaurant, 30 prostitutes, Harry and me.” We had just gotten the streamers up, balloons inflated, and everything ready, when in walked Agnes and her friends. And as she did, the whole group burst into a chorus of “Happy Birthday, Happy birthday to you.”

Agnes was so overwhelmed that she could hardly move. Then here came Harry with the birthday cake with all the candles lit. “Come on, Agnes,” he said, “blow them out before they melt.” But she didn’t do a thing.

Finally, Harry said, “If you don’t blow them out, I’ll do it,” and he did. Then he handed her a knife and said, “Here, for crying out loud, cut it so we can all have a piece of cake.” But Agnes just stood there looking at the cake.

Finally, she said, “Do you suppose it would be all right if we didn’t cut the cake tonight? Do you think I could just take it home and look at it for a while? I promise I’ll bring it back tomorrow night and we can all have a piece then. But tonight, I’d just like to keep it if it’s all right.”

Everyone agreed that it would be okay. So Agnes left, carrying her cake as though it was a priceless treasure.

Tony said that after she left there was total silence in the room. “Here were all these prostitutes, Harry & me,” he said, “and since I had been acting as the M.C. the next move seemed to be mine.”

So, I said, “Let’s pray. Then I prayed for Agnes. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed that her life would get straightened out. I prayed that she would really have a happy birthday.”

“After I finished, Harry grabbed me by the shoulder and said, ‘You didn’t tell me you was a preacher.’ I said, ‘I’m not, Harry. I’m just a Christian and I just go to church.’”

Harry said, “What kind of a church do you go to?” Tony said, “I go to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:00 in the morning.” “No you don’t,” said Harry. “There ain’t no church like that. If there was, I’d go to it, too.”

That’s quite an inspiring story, isn’t it?

But let me ask you, “Is it right for any Christian to throw any party for a prostitute? Is it appropriate to pray for her to have a “happy birthday”?

Some might wonder about that. But it certainly is appropriate to pray for her salvation and for her life to be straightened out. When people are “lost” we must be diligent in praying for them and their relationship with their God.

But when it comes right down to it, we ought to ask this question too:

Is it right for any Christian to throw any party for a complete stranger? Is it appropriate to pray to God for that stranger to have a “happy birthday?”

Is it right for any Christian to throw any party to simply “Celebrate God?

Why do we “celebrate God?”

How do we pray for people we both know and do not know who are going through difficulties in life and who are probably not too inclined to be “celebrating God who is daily celebrating them?”

The natural response when we see someone who is sick, or going through tough times, or family difficulties is to say, “We are praying for you.”

But have you ever found yourself wondering, “What is the best thing to pray for in this situation?” Sometimes it is hard to know just what to pray. And doubts can arise when we pray earnestly, and we don’t get the answers that we want.

Sometimes we pray for people who are sick, and they don’t get better.

Or we pray for a marriage to be healed, and the couple gets a messy divorce.

Or we pray for a couple to have a healthy child, and a handicapped child is born.

Why “celebrate God?”

I cannot sit here and give you any easy answers as to why this ought to happen.

But what I don’t know about prayer doesn’t discourage me.

Because the way I have seen prayers answered, and the way lives have been changed as a result of prayer, gives me so much encouragement that I am so absolutely convinced the most important thing we can do in times of difficulty and ease and abundance is to “absolutely celebrate God” through our prayers.

Prayer puts us in touch with God. And it’s important for us to come to God and express our gratitude for our life, needs and the deepest longings of our hearts.

Psalm 8 Names of God Bible

Psalm 8

For the choir director; on the gittith;[a] a psalm by David.

Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Your glory is sung above the heavens. [b]
From the mouths of little children and infants,
    you have built a fortress against your opponents
        to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens,
    the creation of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have set in place—
        what is a mortal that you remember him
            or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
        You have made him a little lower than yourself.
        You have crowned him with glory and honor.
        You have made him rule what your hands created.
        You have put everything under his control:
            all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
            the birds, the fish,
            whatever swims in the currents of the seas.

Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

It bears repeating as many times as it can be, ought to be, repeated;

Birthdays are a time for thankfulness.

Birthdays are a fantastic time to contemplate more positive things. 

There is so much complaining, strife, and conflict that swirls around us.

It is easy to be pulled down into focusing on troubles and trials and take people and things for granted.

Birthdays provide an opportunity to thank God for the life of a person who is made in the image of the God of the universe and is an amazing creation.

How important is it for us to “celebrate God celebrating us” to remember God is the one who should be the focus of a birthday?

When we celebrate God celebrating someone else’s life, what are we in actuality doing?

We are remembering that our Creator’s image is permanently stamped upon this singularly unique person, and we can thank God for his gift of their life.

Consider this illustration;

Tony Campolo tells about another time that he drove to Valley Forge, PA, where he was to be the featured speaker at the college there.

A few minutes before he was to speak several men took him into a back room and began to pray for him, that God would bless him and use his speech to accomplish His will.

While they were praying, one man also prayed, “And Lord, about Burt Harris.

Lord, Burt Harris needs you badly. He lives in that trailer down the street & he is considering leaving his wife & family. Lord, if you could just get through to Burt Harris…that would be great. Please, Lord.” And then he went on with his prayer.

Listening as the man prayed, Tony thought, “It’s strange that he should pray that here.” Soon the prayers were finished & Tony went out & made his speech to what proved to be a very appreciative audience.

After finishing, Tony got into his car & started toward home. But just at the edge of town he came upon a hitchhiker. He said that he doesn’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but for some reason he decided to pull over & pick the man up.

The man got into the car, & as they headed toward the highway Tony asked his name. The man said, “Burt Harris”.

Immediately, Tony stopped the car, turned it around & headed the opposite direction. The man stared at him & said, “What are you doing?” Tony said, “I am taking you back to your wife and family whom you are trying to leave.”

The man turned white! He never said another word – just sat speechless as Tony drove him straight back to his trailer. At that, the man asked, “How do you know where I live?” Tony answered, “God told me.” (In a way He really had.)

Tony ended the story, saying, “I took this guy inside his home and God did the rest. The family and the marriage was restored.”

Wow! What a story. And it’s true, absolutely true!

Now let’s go back & review what we have learned today from the apostle Paul.

We have learned we need to be asking for God’s presence and strength in our daily lives, for His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be working deep within us.

We need to be “celebrating God” by praying for God’s will to be done, and not ours. We need to be concerned about more than just our “celebrating” our own lives and needs and trials, but too about “celebrating” those who are around us.

Human beings of all ages are wonders of God. Just as we are amazed by and ought to recognize the glory and blessing of a stately mountain range or the awesomeness of a crashing ocean, we should join with the psalmists in praising God for the absolute sanctity of human life. Birthdays are great opportunities to remind a person of the blessing he or she is and how they are a wonder of God.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Good morning, Lord!

Thank you for my Birthday, Lord!

Thank you for my life, Lord!

Thank You for a new day. Thank You that Your compassion is renewed every morning. Great is Your faithfulness and Your steadfast love, O Lord!

I do not know what all is going to happen today, and how much celebrating I will get done, but You do. So, I give this entire day as one celebration to You.

Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, Father. Energize me for Your work, because You know how happy I am and how tired these bones are. Awaken me to the wonder of Your salvation and quicken my spirit to the reality of Your work in my life.

Lord, my mind is filled with creative ideas of celebration, but they are also jumbled. Holy Spirit, come and hover over my mind like You hovered over the waters at creation and speak order out of the chaos!

Help me to cease striving and to trust that You will give me all I need today to celebrate what life You have given and to do the work You’ve given me to do.

I deeply believe You will be faithful to complete the good work You’ve started, and as I step out into my day, I declare Your sovereignty over every area of my life. I entrust myself to You and ask that You use me however You see fit.

This day is Yours. My body is Yours. My mind is Yours. Everything I am is Yours.

May You be pleased with my celebration today.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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Footprints in the Sand. Confidence in the Sovereignty of God. When we find It hard to Pray, there is Grace even before our Asking for it. Romans 8:26-30.

The third passage of Scripture which confirmed for me this truth that prayer starts with God is Romans 8:26-30.

This particular passage affirms the inspiration for praying comes from Him.

Again, the Spirit of the Lord, the present Christ, is the initiator of the desire, content, and assurance of prayer.

How do we ask for the Holy Spirit?

A story is told of a soldier who was doing guard duty on the front line in WWI.

After being relieved of duty, as a Christian, he wanted to pray, to thank God for protecting him, and to ask for His continued protection.

The enemy lines were very close, and he couldn’t go far.

So, he just crawled a little way away from where he had been standing guard, knelt and began to pray aloud. The soldier who replaced him heard his voice and thought he was speaking to someone in the enemy lines. So, he reported him.

The officer in charge said, “you have been accused of revealing secrets to the enemy. How do you respond?”

• The soldier said, “It’s not true. I wasn’t doing that”

• The officer replied, “Then what were you doing when you were out there facing the enemy and talking?”

• He said, “I was praying”

• “You were praying out loud?”

• “Yes, I was the young soldier responded”

• The officer said, “Show me. Pray right now”

• So, the young man knelt and prayed

• And when he finished the officer dismissed the charges

• “Because,” he said, “nobody can pray like that unless he has been practicing”

How do we pray when we don’t know what to say?

In these verses,

Paul tells the followers of Jesus in Rome that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, even to the point of articulating to God what we can’t put into words!

Not only that, but when we point our hearts and requests and thanksgivings to God, the Holy Spirit cleans up our prayers and conforms them to the will of God!

Even in asking for the Holy Spirit to be at work in our lives, he goes to work for us in and through our prayers!

Note how Paul developed the same sublime theme.

Romans 8:26-30 Amplified Bible

Our Victory in Christ

26 In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of [a]God’s people in accordance with God’s will.

28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. 30 And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The full impact of this is realized by starting at the end.

We are called and appointed to belong to the Lord.

His desire is for all things in our lives to work together to accomplish the plan He has for each of us.

That plan is His will for us.

The word thele’ma is used in Greek for “will” in this passage. It means desire.

The Lord has a desire for all of us, a purpose for us to accomplish.

But He does not leave us, after we are born again, with no training or help in accomplishing this purpose of being conformed into His own image.

He invades our subconscious with preconscious longings and urgings which are manifested in the conscious desire to pray, seeking His desires for us.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one.

The Spirit is the reigning glorified Christ with us.

This is what Paul made undeniably clear to the Galatians.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4:6).

The Spirit of the Son comes to us in our weaknesses.

He calls us to prayer and then gives us the “groanings which cannot be uttered.”

What does this mean?

My understanding is that the groanings are the preconscious longings which He eventually articulates through us in helping us to put into words what He wants us to pray.

It is not that the intercession is done for us, for that would deny the cooperation with the Lord for which we were created.

In my Christian life, I have found that prayer is a difficult discipline.

I concur with others that praying moves through different seasons.

• My Posture may change

• My Prayers may change

But whatever season I am currently facing, my specific prayers are often marked by experiences.

• If I am Doubting – I pray for Faith

• If I’m Hurting – I pray for Healing

• If I’m Confused – I pray for Understanding

• If I’m Worried – I pray for Calmness

• If I’m Restless – I pray for Peace

• If I’m Afraid – I pray for Comfort

• If I lack Wisdom – I ask God to give me Discernment

If this is true for you, we are together in the difficult discipline of prayer, for I am no saint when it comes to the fervency of my “disciplined” prayer life.

• Prayer is a lagging discipline that needs constant shoring up

• Prayer is a spiritual discipline that needs cultivation

• The ground needs to be turned over

• Seeds of prayer need to be planted and watered

• We wait like the farmer, trusting the seed will sprout and multiply its blessing

Prayer takes effort and constant fine-tuning.

• We learn to pray

• We learn what not to say.

At first the invasion of the Spirit produces the longing to pray.

Then when we feel the need to pray, but still don’t know how or what to pray, He provides that also.

Because He knows our hearts and is the heart of the Lord, He brings them into congruity. His purpose is to bring our desires into alignment with His desires so we can ask for that which will be part of all things working together for good.

Recently I had a misunderstanding with a cherished friend which resulted in a broken relationship.

The startling thing was that for a time I didn’t want to find a reconciliation.

I chalked it up to my own definition of “irreconcilable differences” which had precluded the possibility of forgiveness and a new beginning.

I was deeply hurt and angry.

My “best Christian Response” my “great plan” was to forget the whole mess.

Some weeks later, a growing and maturing uneasiness began to grow in me.

I couldn’t shake the man out of my mind.

That was followed by a mysterious desire to pray about him.

When I responded to the inner urgings to pray, I noticed a subtle difference in my attitude.

As I prayed, I was given new empathy for what might have caused the man’s behavior during our painfully short intense interaction.

I was given a completely different picture of the needs inside him; and then I asked for a way to communicate acceptance and forgiveness.

As I lingered in prayer, a strategy was unfolded for what I needed to do and speak. I had the deep conviction that the plan came from the Lord.

Therefore, when I asked God for His help to accomplish His will in the matter, I could ask with confidence and boldness knowing God already had the answer.

The inner disquiet, like an inaudible wordless groaning, turned into clarity and was articulated in a request for the quiet strength and courage to do what the Lord had promised He would do in our relationship through me if I were willing.

A brand new, ready will worked with my imagination to form the “God-Gifted” picture of how it would be accomplished when the God-Moment had arrived.

And that’s exactly the way it turned out. I learned that after our exchange, he too began to pray. The Lord was initiator and inspiration from start to finish.

Oftentimes when we find it hard to pray – we need to just get started.

• Just start talking to the Lord

• Just start Praying

• Don’t worry about the Words

• Don’t worry about your Posture

• Don’t worry about Sounding Good

• Just start Praying

It’s difficult to pray because humbling ourselves, getting over ourselves, and coming to the end of our stubborn and sinful selves is hard.

• When we pray, we die to self, and death hurts.

• That’s why our flesh fights so hard against prayer

Moreover, it’s hard to pray because our focus is too often on praying itself and not upon God. We learn about prayer not so that we might know a lot of facts about prayer, but so that we might pray with our sole focus is 100% on God.

• By His Sovereign Grace, we know Him

• We know He is there

• We know He not only Hears but Listens

• We know He is not silent

• We know He always answers our prayers and always acts in accord with His perfect will for our ultimate good and for His glory.

When we recognize God’s sovereignty in prayer, we are also reminded of His Love – Grace – Holiness – Righteousness, and we are thereby confronted with the harsh reality of our own wretched sin in the light of His Glory and Grace.

Prayer is not a preparation for work, it is work.

• Prayer is not a preparation for the Battle – Prayer is the Battle

• Prayer is two-fold

– DEFINITE ASKING and DEFINITE WAITING TO RECEIVE ~ Oswald Chambers

• Prayer is Emotionally Consuming

• Prayer is Physically Consuming – Fatigue

When we find it difficult to pray – satan wants to keep us from prayer and its power

• No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil

• Not that he practices it, but he suffers from it

Satan uses “Weapons of Mass Distraction” –

• Phone Calls

• Text Messages

• Social Media Platforms

• Our Jobs

• Our Busyness

When we find it difficult to pray — our flesh is weak.

We have difficulty suppressing physical tiredness and challenges.

Perhaps there are days when our mind grows tired.

Or we are physically exhausted from work – from our children – and possibly even from weakness due to an illness. I find that physical weakness is often connected to spiritual weakness and fatigue (though not always connected).

• When the body is weak, our minds can think wrong thoughts about God, and our hearts can begin to believe these thoughts

• Prayer time can become ineffective because our minds are distracted and wander to different themes.

Life always seems to find a way to gather around us when we are ill-prepared. Before we know it, acknowledge it, pray through it and confess it – CHAOS!

Then we are in that place once again where we do not know what to do or are too busy trying to control and manage things under our own strength – to do.

With no rhyme or reason, the eternal cycle of our independence versus “God-Dependence” spins wildly – from earth to the far depths of the universe again.

Praise God for His Word –

Psalm 19:1-3 Complete Jewish Bible

19 (0) For the leader. A psalm of David:

2 (1) The heavens declare the glory of God,
the dome of the sky speaks the work of his hands.
3 (2) Every day it utters speech,
every night it reveals knowledge.

Praise God for the revelation of His Word, the ultimate revelation of Truth!

Because, before I knew it,

The same process occurred in a tough decision I had to make recently.

I thought I knew what the Lord wanted and did not pray a lot about it.

When the decision was made, I had no peace.

There was a jangling grating static in my spirit. It lasted for several days. When sleep was interrupted by the disturbance, I knew something was very wrong.

I asked the Lord to be very clear. I asked Him how to pray.

A specific request was given me to make.

If the disturbance was from Him, I asked that it continue and grow.

If the decision I had made was right and the disquiet was simply my own fear of implementing it, I was led to ask that the disturbance be taken away.

You guessed it: the impossibly irritating static grew to unbearably high decibels.

That led me to confess, “Lord, now I know I’m on the wrong track. Show me what you want me to do.”

After hours of quiet listening, I reversed the hastily made decision.

As I prayed, a new direction formed in my mind, pictured by my imagination.

When I decided to follow the new direction, the jangling static inside subsided.

An inner calm and confidence grew in its place.

John 14:23-27 Complete Jewish Bible

23 Yeshua answered him, “If someone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Someone who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words — and the word you are hearing is not my own but that of the Father who sent me.

25 “I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything; that is, he will remind you of everything I have said to you.

27 “What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened.

Then with holy boldness, I asked for THE sure and certain revelation of what the Holy Spirit had formed in my mind.

When I asked, I knew that I was assured of the answer.

Subsequently, the decision was worked out by the Spirit’s power exactly as He detailed it in prayer.

Again, He had been the source of the disturbance, the desire to review the previous decision, the architect of the new plan, the communicator of the different direction, instigator of a boldness to ask for what He had imparted.

Our desire to pray is the result of His call to prayer. He has something to say.

Our responsibility is to listen to what He wants to give us for our problems and potentials.

He will make it clear.

Then we can say with courage, confidence and boldness born of the Holy Spirit:

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him,
seeking me;
It was not I that found, O Savior true,
No, I was found of Thee.
(Author Anonymous)

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Precious God, Almighty Father, my words cannot express the depth of my appreciation for your gift of the Holy Spirit. Even when I don’t know how to pray or what to say, I know the Spirit is there with me, sharing my heart with you in ways both, far beyond my comprehension, pleasing to you! Thank you for this grace and the gift that makes it possible. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Confidence and Carefulness in our Prayer Life – It all begins with our Confidence in God. 1 John 5:12-17

 At the same time, I was pondering the implications of the Lord’s offer in Isaiah 56:24-25, Holy Spirit led me to rediscover another passage which deepened my understanding of that promise. I read 1 John 5:12-17 with new eyes in my heart.

I find our current text difficult to understand! In verses 14 & 15, I struggle to understand how the promise really applies, because frankly, it does not line up with my experience.

In verse 16, I struggle to understand the exact meaning of the “sin unto death,” and thus I’m not sure how to apply this to my prayer life.

So today I face a difficult task. I’m sure that John wrote these verses to boldly encourage us to pray, and so I want to encourage you to pray more faithfully.

God is a prayer-hearing God (Ps. 65:2). But at the same time, I can’t gloss over the tremendous difficulty our text creates for my prayer life.

It is simply not always true to my experience. John, who is echoing here the repeated promises of Jesus (Mark 11:22-24John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:24), says that if we ask anything according to God’s will, He will answer favorably. “No” is not an acceptable answer. It must be “yes” every time!

Over the years, my “prayer batting average” is pretty low. I have prayed for the salvation of people who have not gotten saved. I have prayed for the restoration of sinning Christians, who have not repented and been restored.

I have prayed mightily for the reconciliation of many Christian marriages and friendships which have been broken up for what I always sincerely believed to be reconcilable differences. I find people give up too easily on themself and God.

Some try to get God off the hook saying, “Don’t worry about it” as a statement of “Oh well, I failed, He gives people free will anyway to walk away, so I will.”

But if God cannot subdue a sinful person’s will, then He can’t do anything!

To me, I sometimes find myself believing that means that sinful man, not God, is sovereign! “Just quit!” And it means that prayer is useless and impotent. If God promises to answer our prayers, then He has the power to answer them!

I’m sure that the fault is with me, not with God’s promise!

I do not like to quit on anything especially myself and of the utmost God.

I am probably lacking in understanding God’s perfect will and lacking in faith.

But I could not find many preachers or teachers on this text who would admit to having the difficulties with “faith and delayed answered prayers that I have.

So, this has not been an easy devotional to prepare, because if I am honest, I have to faithfully expose my own failures in prayer to you! My prayer has been that perhaps by sharing my struggles, you will be motivated to keep “swinging” in your prayer life. Maybe one day we will all improve our batting averages!

1 John 5:12-17 NKJV

12 He who has the Son has [a]life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, [b]and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Confidence and Compassion in Prayer

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The power of ‘prayer’ is so easily forgotten, but it is so powerful! We have the ability to talk with our God about anything at any time.

We can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence because of Jesus, knowing that He hears our prayers.

If you have been doubting whether God is hearing your prayers, I hope and fervently pray this devotional message is ‘reaching,’ encouraging for you.

“…. All because we do not carry everything to God in Prayer”

WHY NOT?

The answer to our prayers is prepared before we pray.

The desire to talk to the Lord about our needs comes from Him.

Prayer begins in the mind of God, invades our minds, is formulated into a clarification of what He wants to do or give, and then is articulated in our expressions and our words. He is more ready to hear than we are to pray!

It is a privilege to be able to come to God and ask him anything.

He always wants to know what is deepest on our minds, souls and hearts.

Just like any other quality relationship, openness and communication is integral. When it comes to our relationship with God, it’s no different.

Just like this verse says, when we come and ask anything according to God’s will, he will hear us. God will always hear and answer our prayers.

God’s answer won’t always be what we want.  Sometimes God may tell us no or wait. We might think we know what is best for us, but the truth is God knows even better! We must remind ourselves that God is in control of our lives.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails

I love how we can pray at any time.

Each day I find myself talking to God at different points in the day.

It might be before meals, when I’m out with friends or at church.

We don’t have to do anything special or be in a certain place, we can just pray from whenever and wherever we are, and we can talk to God just like we would talk to a friend or will start up a random conversation with a complete stranger.

We don’t need to use big words.

No matter how big or small our requests are, God wants to hear them, and He wants us to give Him all that is on our heart because He loves and cares for us.

He knows what we are going to say before we say it (Isaiah 65:24), but that shouldn’t change the way we relate to God when we pray. We can confidently pray about anything, anywhere to our God who is always waiting to listen.

Maybe you have been praying for a friend who has been sick for a long time.

This is the case for a parishioner at church who has been sick for a number of weeks now, with what is essentially sounding like an undiagnosed illness.

The whole church has been praying for him and yet he remains sick and, on some days, even seems to get sicker and sicker, with no recovery in sight.

Does this mean God isn’t listening to our requests?

No, of course not.

God hears all our prayers and all we can do is to be obedient in prayer and trust God’s perfect will for His life.

Just like I said before, God always knows exactly what is best for us.

Of course, God can heal that person anytime, but there is a reason He hasn’t.

We don’t know what that reason is, but He does and that is where trust is so important. We must trust God’s plans even if we don’t understand them.

It’s another reason why we can approach God in prayer with confidence.

We might have our own plans and ideas, but we can confidently and boldly lay them all before His Throne, at His feet and know with confidence that God will direct our lives in the best possible way, according to His perfect Will for us.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

I want to encourage you to be obedient in prayer.

Remember we can approach God with confidence when we pray.

We shouldn’t doubt whether He will hear us or not. He loves us and God will always listen to our requests.

God may not answer our prayers in the way we want, but He will answer them according to His will.

God’s ways are good and perfect.

We might think we know what is best for us, but our God knows best.

The Lord comes to us as the implementor of prayer.

The Apostle John asserted the secret of dynamic praying in the context of our life in Christ.

“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 4:12).

The apostle John wanted his readers in the early Church to be confident, sure of their young and maturing relationship, now and forever, in Christ.

He went on to state the reason why he had written was:

“that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

For John, the Son was Immanuel, God with us and within us, and continuing with us to guide us. His Christian life was not an anxious searching for the Lord but a moment-by-moment response to His impinging, invading imminence.

Then in 1 John 5:14-15, John “blows the Shofar,” sounds the same joyous note we heard in the Isaiah promise.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

I quickly checked the Greek text to review words I had studied so often before.

Now they came alive in new vitality and freshness.

The words of “confidence” and “in Him” leaped off the page.

Confidence is perresia in the Greek. The word means boldness.

It is a compound word made up of pan — all, and ressia — to tell, meaning freedom to speak boldly. Prayer is freedom to speak freely and boldly to the Lord who has come to be with us and within us and instigated our prayer.

The confidence we have in prayer is what “we have in Him.”

The confidence we have in prayer is what we have “toward Him” or “face-to-face” with Him.

Prayer, for John, was face-to-face communication with Christ as a part of the eternal quality of life we have in Him which gives us boldness. Face to face, eye to eye, first we listen to Him intently and then we can speak with intrepidity.

And who starts the face-to-face conversation? The Lord! John makes that clear in 1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.” He is the prime mover in salvation, the gift of faith, and the initiation of prayer.

In prayer, He makes known to us what His will is so that we can ask for what He longs to give. He calls us into His presence because He has the answer to our needs and questions. “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Our assurance that He hears us is that He is the one who first asked for the conversation. He would not call us to prayer and then refuse to listen or be inattentive to our prayer.

That’s the confidence, boldness, we have – prayer is our response to His call.

In the time of face-to-face communion, He makes clear what it is that we are to ask for in the needs He has come to us to help us solve.

So, when we do ask, it is with the confidence that we are asking for what He is prepared to release for us.

“And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

We know before we ask, because the content of our asking has already first been guided by Him.

The same assurance had been stated by John earlier in his epistle.

“And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:19-23).

By the measure of confidence, we have in His Words of Scripture, may we trust Him when we pray, because He knows us even better than we know ourselves.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Heavenly Father, I have trusted You for my salvation and desire to walk in spirit and truth, to abide daily in Christ, and to live in unbroken fellowship with You in the days I have left of my life.

I know You are a God that hears and answers the prayers of the righteous, and I pray that I would increasingly offer up my prayers and supplications according to Your will, so that You may be honored in my prayer-life, glorified through the words that I speak, the meditations of my heart, and the daily activities and actions that I live out, according to Your will.

This I pray in Jesus’ name, Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! AMEN.

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Prayer Starts with God (Isaiah 65:24; 1 John 5:12-15; Romans 8:26-30)

The age-old conundrum speaks, thundering through my consciousness,

Which came first – the Chicken or the Egg?

Yesterday, I shared Daniels Prayer from chapter 9. Working through it was a totally amazing experience for me. I want to share a revolutionary thought. It has changed my life. My whole perception of prayer has been transformed by it. As a result, my prayers and praying have become more exciting than ever.

I believe that I have been a “Christian” for twenty something years now. Yet after experiencing Daniel 9, I now realize that far too many of those years were spent being a “Christian” with a totally incorrect conception of prayer and of answered prayer. All those years I labored with the misapprehension prayer was my idea alone, that conversation with God was initiated by me.

That idea took on the unknown, unrealized inconceivably heavy baggage of my believing that I had to get God’s attention and that He would listen and respond if only I said ‘exactly’ the right words, led a good “Christian” life worthy of His condescension.

Prayer became burdensome, laborious. often, I was reluctant to pray when I needed to the most because of things I’d done or said which made me feel ashamed or embarrassed by a less than perfect life. The conception that prayer was initiated by me left it up to my changing moods and spiritual readiness.

Then one day ago, I happened on a combination of Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments which exploded the tight, constricted, and limited view of praying, prayer and answered prayer which I had held. They all thundered forth coming together in a stunning truth that I desperately needed to learn and live.

Stated simply it is this: prayer always starts with God. It is His idea alone.

The desire to pray is the result of God’s greater desire to talk with us. He has something to say when we feel the urge to pray. He is the initiator. The keen desire to make sure I begin, end the day with prolonged prayer is His gift.

The sense of need to pray for challenges or opportunities throughout the day is because He has wisdom and insight He wants to impart.

When we face crises and suddenly feel the urge to pray for strength, that feeling is a response to the Lord’s invasion of our minds which triggers the thought of needing help which is congealed into the desire to pray.

How arrogant of me to so naturally believe it was my idea first to pray when I “felt like it.” God, not us, was the author of the longing for His help. He is the instigator, He is the implementor of prayer, and He is the inspiration of prayer.

So, today I begin a three-part series of devotionals on those Scriptures which God, the Holy Spirit placed upon my heart following my ‘Daniel 9’ experience.

Isaiah 65:24-25 NKJV

24 “It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The Answer Is Prepared Before We Pray

In Isaiah 65:24, listen to what the Lord Himself tells us about prayer.

“It will come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

The answer to our prayers is prepared before we pray.

The desire to talk to the Lord about our needs comes from Him.

Prayer begins in the mind of God, invades our minds, is formulated into a clarification of what He wants to do or give, and then is articulated in our words. He is more ready to hear than we are to pray!

This propitious promise of the Lord was made in response to an excruciating question asked by Israel, recorded in Isaiah 64:12.

The people had sinned and felt the judgment of God.

They were distant from Him; He had never left His people. Their sorrow had reached its height when they cried out, “Wilt thou keep silent …?” (RSV).

The response of grace was mediated through the prophet.

How much of our “prayer life” is devoted to, without any second thought of acknowledging, knowing, believing, there will come a time when not only will the Lord answer, but His answer will precede the petition, and prayer will be the gracious, loving response of God’s call rather than just His response to our call.

Isaiah’s stunning revelation of our future. I believe this prophetic revelation of the nature of prayer is in his sure and certain anticipation of the arrival of the messianic age when God Himself would come to reconcile, redeem His people.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

The people to whom the Prophet Isaiah wrote never fully appreciated the wondrous offer God made in this statement. It was only after the incarnation and Pentecost that a new creation was prepared to appreciate, appropriate it.

It was not until the liberation of the bondage of the will took place on Calvary and the new creatures in Christ were filled with His Spirit at Pentecost that a new Israel, the Church, was born and could accept and utilize the awesome promise the Lord had made so long before.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 RSV

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; [a] the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher. Known as the Sage of Chelsea, once said, “Prayer is and remains a native and deep impulse of the soul of man.”

That sounds lovely, but I don’t know that I believe it as much as I once did.

Based on Isaiah 65:24, No one naturally desires to pray. Our volitional capacity is debilitated by our sin until we are loved, liberated, and regenerated by Christ.

It is after we have been transformed by the cross and filled with the Spirit that we can experience the enlivening of the “native and deep impulse” to pray.

And even after we’ve been born again, it is the Lord who motivates us to pray. It is part of His prevenient, beforehand grace.

Not even the longing for God is our accomplishment.

It is birthed in our souls by the Lord who created us for communion with Him.

Commenting on this promise in Isaiah, Martin Luther said,

“Our prayer pleases God because He has commanded it, made promises, and given form to our prayer. For that reason, He is pleased with our prayer, He requires it and delights in it, because He promises, commands and shapes it. … Then He says, ‘I will hear.’ It is not only guaranteed, but it is actually already obtained.”

Isaiah 65:24 (KJV) declares, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

Remember when God is quiet, He is up to something.

There are several other examples in the Bible that show the power of prayer.

God already knows our needs, but He wants us to ask and prove to Him that we believe and trust in Him.

Sometimes God allows adversity to come into our lives to see if we will surely and certainly love and have total faith in Him. He quietly stands back to see how we are going to handle the situation.

In His name alone, In His time alone, He “will move” in the manner that He alone chooses. Therefore, when God is quiet, He is up to something.

Are WE?

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Psalm 130 Complete Jewish Bible

130 (0) A song of ascents. By David:

(1) Adonai, I call to you from the depths;
hear my cry, Adonai!
Let your ears pay attention
to the sound of my pleading.

Yah, if you kept a record of sins,
who, Adonai, could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that you will be feared.

I wait longingly for Adonai;
I put my hope in his word.
Everything in me waits for Adonai
more than guards on watch wait for morning,
more than guards on watch wait for morning.

Isra’el, put your hope in Adonai!
For grace is found with Adonai,
and with him is unlimited redemption.
He will redeem Isra’el
from all their wrongdoings.

Holy and gracious God, you are the greatest of all. You are full of wonders that no mere human can ever hope to comprehend. Lord, I seek to understand you and your ways so that I can live according to your commandments. I pray for your divine illumination in my heart and mind. Help me see what you intend for me to see. Help me understand what you intend for me to understand. Open my eyes and my ears to see you and hear your whispers. Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

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“I am Praying to God. I am Listening for God’s answer and I can almost hear Him speak it to me. There is so much static. What am I to do now?” Daniel 9

Daniel 9:3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

I don’t know about you but one of the most frustrating things in life is trying to listen to the radio when I am driving and suddenly there is all kinds of static!

This is especially true when I am on the road cruising, and I am tuned into my all-time favorite music stations and life is deemed by me to be so very good.

I am just driving along when there is an important ball game on, and the static arrives, and your ears and nerves start to hurt from it, then you carefully scroll through the channels and all you can find is a station of some other noise that you cannot stand to listen, and it seems to be right between the two numbers.

Everything was great. Cruising the highways. Now the static arrives. You can’t quite seem to dial your place of “ultimate” peace back in. You try to fine tune with all of your might but it isn’t distinct or clear.

Delays, Distractions, Disturbances and Worldly Static interference prevail.

This is never truer then when you are forced to try to turn over to an AM radio station while driving! You begin to question the signal strength of the station.

Static on the radio is one thing but static when you are trying to hear God is even more frustrating. There is an example from the pages of God’s Word of static when it comes to hearing from God that I want to remind us all about.

Daniel 9:1-6 NKJV

Daniel’s Prayer for the People

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Let’s set the scene.

Daniel and the Children of Israel are in captivity.

Because of their own rebellion, hard heartedness and disobedience, prophecy has been fulfilled and they are slaves to Babylon.

Familiar with Scripture, Daniel knows the foretold length of the bondage is coming to an end and so he begins to call out to God to remember them.

He reminds God of the promise that the captivity will last a certain period of times – 70 years.

Daniel 9:7-17 NKJV

O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore, the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake [a]cause Your face to shine on [b]Your sanctuary, which is desolate.

Daniel Fasts. Daniel Prays and Daniel approaches God. He acknowledges their wrongdoing and then he reminds God of an example of God’s ability to rescue.

Some of us would hear God if we would simply acknowledge our own culpability and responsibility for the situation, we are in.

But we also need to learn a key here in getting response from God.

We pray to God. We remind God, even though He hasn’t forgotten, what He has done in the past. In the process, we are reminded that He can do more than we ever dreamed of or expected! It increases our faith to reflect on His faithfulness.

Daniel 9:20-23

“While I was pouring out my heart, baring my sins and the sins of my people Israel, praying my life out before my God, interceding for the holy mountain of my God—while I was absorbed in this praying, the humanlike Gabriel, the one I had seen in an earlier vision, approached me, flying in like a bird about the time of evening worship. “He stood before me and said, ‘Daniel, I have come to make things plain to you. You had no sooner started your prayer when the answer was given. And now I’m here to deliver the answer to you. You are much loved! So, listen carefully to the answer, the plain meaning of what is revealed:

So, he gets immediate response. But watch and listen – here comes the static.

Daniel 10:2-3, 12-14

“During those days, I, Daniel, went into mourning over Jerusalem for three weeks. I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine. I neither bathed nor shaved until the three weeks were up.

“‘Relax, Daniel,’ he continued, ‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I’m here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what’s ahead.’

In this instance Daniel goes from immediate communication to kneeling and fasting and wading and waiting through static.

He prays for 3 solid weeks and there is no response.

Then 24 days later an angel shows up and says the first moment you prayed you were heard but I ran in to static.

The enemy resisted.

Remember our enemy is called the prince and power of the air!

He works in the air ways to convolute and delay deliverance.

His power is best exhibited in the air ways.

Think about that a moment –

the enemy flexes his muscles in our lives by trying his best to control what we hear. That is why we so often see people derailed and detoured by something they hear – or more often than not – they thought they heard.

The truth it what they thought they heard was actually a twisted version of what was actually said. So, in order to be able to defeat this power of the air we need to learn some lessons based on Daniel’s experience that will help us tune in.

1. We need to hear that we are heard.

I want you to notice an incredible truth from this account.

This passage says on two different occasions that from the moment Daniel even thought about or began to pray that he was heard. The rate of response varied but the rate of God hearing Daniel’s request was consistent. Immediate!

Our petitions and requests hit God’s ears not when they cross our lips but when they cross our mind! I believe it is so important to recognize this because I have noticed we tend to think because we struggle to hear that God struggles to hear.

So strong was this on my heart today I just write to assure you today that even when static interference has become the new standard of normal for us as we pray and try hard to listen for and harder still to hear God, even when we, like Daniel, consistently long for response but hear nothing we all need to know:

God absolutely hears us from the very exact moment we begin to think about it.

There may even be occasions when the answer may seem to arrive too late to us, we need to, instead trust, to rest in the knowledge that the answer is on its way.

Isaiah 65:24 – Before they call, I will answer while they are still speaking, I will hear!

Maybe in old song form – Oh yes, the answer is on the way, this I know Jesus said it I believe it to be so. Our Heavenly Father knows the need before we pray, and we can be rest assured the answers on the way!

2. Static reveals resistance and should cause us to rejoice.

I pray that I am about to blow your mind . . . Interference reveals interference!

Why bother even telling you something so elementary?

Because I get genuinely concerned that a lot of us make the mistake of equating silence as a sign or indication of God’s lack of concern or love. I have watched people get mad at God because they fail to realize that if there is static it doesn’t mean God doesn’t care it means the enemy is at work to stop their answer.

In fact, I am going to make an odd statement to you today!

If you are confronted with static, you should rejoice!

The more static you are encountering the more encouraged you should be because that is a sure and certain indication that the enemy knows a response is coming from God and he is doing everything he can to stop you from hearing it.

More Static Interference should strengthen your resolve. Too often we let static stop us in our tracks. The first little taste of any interference and we turn off the radio. Which brings me to the third to be valued lesson we can gain from Daniel.

3. The proper response to static is persistence.

Daniel is doing his very best to hear and instead there is nothing but static and silence. But notice he doesn’t give up. He keeps listening. He keeps tuning in.

No answer after day one he is persistent. No answer after week 1 he is even more persistent. No response 10 days in he yet persists. Nothing after 2 weeks . . . No change leads to no change . . . He continues. Answer released on day one but not received until day 24. Persistence 100% wins wars, persistence 100% prevails.

Some of us are always stopping one day short, one service short, one moment short of reception of miracle. Keep fine tuning.

If resisted, don’t back up, don’t give up, don’t let up instead press in harder.

If the enemy is resisting this hard and is resisting this long the answer must surely and certainly and most absolutely 1000% be worth all of the wait.

We can’t become too soon frustrated with static that we change channels.

Some of us have been praying for months even years and it is like tuning into and hearing and listening to an AM station at night in response – 100% static.

Why such a level of static?

Why does God seem to take long to answer prayers?

Sometimes God waits to answer our prayers because He trusts us to make the right decision.

Other times, God requires us to patiently wait for an answer so we can build our faith and trust in Him.

And on some occasions, God gives us answers, but they may not be what we’d hoped for, instead the answers are exactly what God knows we 100% need.

What we can learn from Daniel about delayed answers to prayer

The Lord promises to respond to our prayers, particularly the prayers we prayed in faith.

While that may be true, there are time when we feel like God’s not responding to us.

We’ve prayed and prayed but the answers just don’t come when we want them to.

These delays frustrate us.

What do we do when the answers to our prayers see, to come late?

How do we respond when God’s responses to our cries and prayers seem slow in coming?

We keep praying in faith.

Relentless faith

Many of us tend to point the blame on God when the answers to our prayers seem late. We tend to ask Him “why” the answers don’t come, “why” they arrived late, or even “why doesn’t He hear us.”

We are always quick to blame God who actually knows what we will pray for before we pray, responds in the fastest time possible

– right at the very exact moment we pray.

Actually, we are the ones who should keep praying when the answers to our prayers seem delayed, not God.

Consider Daniel, who experienced such a delay.

Here are some things we can learn from his experience:

God’s answer is sent immediately

We read in Daniel 10:12 that God sends His reply the moment He hears our prayers.

“Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.””

The enemy, however, seeks to delay or prevent God’s response from arriving to us

We then read in the following verse how the enemy prevented Daniel from receiving God’s reply in the soonest time possible.

“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days…”

This means there’s a war in the heavenlies for the answers to our prayers.

Are we going to stop praying just because the answer is delayed?

Are we going to quit on God because “He doesn’t seem to respond”?

I absolutely, fervently pray that we don’t.

In fact, I pray that we respond exactly like Daniel did when his prayers remain unanswered:

He fasted and kept praying for a time until he received the answers.

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (Daniel 10:2-3)

Soon enough, the answers did arrive. They arrived because God made them arrive:

“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13)

In closing

Friends, God does answer our prayers, but the devil seeks to discourage us from seeking God.

The more we pray, the more the enemy tries to hinder our prayers from being answered. We should never ever give up on praying for God’s answers to arrive.

Keep praying. Lean in harder. Lean in longer.

Be persistent in Prayer –

1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 NKJV

14 Now we [a]exhort you, brethren, warn those who are [b]unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

In the meantime, ….

While the static interference seems to go on forever and ever – (lingering amen)

Romans 12:9-13 NKJV

Behave Like a Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient[a] in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given[b] to hospitality.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Heavenly Father, what a comfort and joy to me that You know and understand the deepest longings of my heart. Thank You that You know the end before the beginning, and hear and answer my prayers before the request forms in my heart or crosses my lips. Thank You for beautifying my requests and providing the answer that is best for me. Teach me to pray into Your will for my life, and align my heart’s desires to Your perfect will. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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