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WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER – REVISITED

WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER – REVISITED

Sometimes I have re-posted posts … that sounds funny.  Anyway, this is a re-post of a wonderful article from Question of the Week from the website ReasonableFaith.org.  I have been going through some “stuff” lately and need to be reminded about the reason we pray … and “listen” to God.  I think you will enjoy it.

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As I sometimes do, I post great things that I get in emails. This particular post is a  post from the “Question of the Week” from ReasonableFaith.org.   I actually am in the process of a series, as you may know, entitled “PRAYER” and it is about various prayers throughout the Bible. Prayer is a conversation with God and I started at Genesis. I am in Exodus where the Tabernacle is being built. However, I have been redirected from time to time to other posts such as this one. Since it is about Prayer I wanted to post it today.

Today is the first day of a New Job for me, so I was a little pressed on time last evening and did not write anything … but now I know why … God wanted to share yet another wonderful post on the power of prayer. Prayer is NOT for God’s benefit but for the person that prays. Please read on and I hope you enjoy this “Question of the Week”.

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Question

 Dear Dr Craig,

I have recently moved on from Christianity to agnosticism, but I regularly check out your Q and A section as much of the content there is more sensible and thought provoking than the kind of thing I hear from a lot of Evangelicals.

So I figured that if there even is a satisfactory answer to my enquiry, you’d know about it.

My question is this: what is the point of prayer? Here prayer is defined as an attempt to communicate with God.

God either can read our thoughts or he cannot. If he can read our thoughts, there is surely no need to try to transmit or broadcast them to him as he already knows what they are. If he cannot read our thoughts, then any thought-based effort to contact him is futile. It doesn’t matter what type of prayer it is (eg petition, thanksgiving, repentance), there is no point in making any effort to send it up to him.

Of course, Christianity generally holds that God is omniscient and therefore able to read our thoughts, so the first of these scenarios would be the applicable one. The characteristic of omniscience makes the concept of prayer all the more redundant as it means God already knows any information that might be communicated to him, and exactly what the best thing is to do about it, so prayer could not in any way influence his decisions.WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER - REVISITED

I am well aware that the Bible commands us to pray in numerous instances, but in the light of this argument this strikes me as an incredibly arbitrary thing for a good God to command, and thus makes the reliability of the Bible all the more questionable to me.

Currently it seems to me that the idea of prayer is most sensibly explained as an addictive placebo that gives people a greater sense of control over their circumstances than they actually have.

But just maybe there’s something crucial I’ve missed, and if so I would be grateful if you could point out what that might be.

Thanks,

Joe
UK

Dr. Craig responds:

Boy, Joe, the reasons you moved away from Christianity to agnosticism had better be a lot stronger than this, or you’re in real danger of backsliding!

Yes, God can read our thoughts. So how is that problematic for the spiritual discipline of prayer? You say, “there is surely no need to try to transmit or broadcast them to him as he already knows what they are.” Hold on, Joe! Seriously, do you think prayer is a matter of providing God information? You defined prayer as communication with God. You don’t communicate with another person through a third-person relationship. You enter into what has been called an “I-thou” relationship. You speak to another person, not just about that person. Your girlfriend or wife would be decidedly unimpressed if you rationalized never telling her “I love you” on the grounds that she already knows that! Anybody that obtuse is on his way to a break-up! Two people who are in love with each other want to speak to each other, to build an intimate relationship with each other.WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER - REVISITED

So, sure, God reads my mind, and that enables me to pray to Him at any moment, even when audible prayers would be inappropriate. I can shoot up a thought-prayer, “Thank you, Lord!” or “God, give me wisdom!” at a moment’s notice. This is what people in a relationship do. Can you imagine anyone so obtuse as to say, “I don’t have to thank John for what he did for me because he already knows I’m grateful”? Or “I don’t have to apologize to Susan because she already knows I’m sorry”?

Moreover, did it not occur to you that such personal communication may be good for you? I-thou relationships open you up as a person, to make you a more loving, transparent, and vulnerable person. Prayer to God is the same way. God knows what is good for us and so wants us to talk to Him.

Of course, Joe, I’m talking about the prayers of someone who has experienced a spiritual rebirth and so is in a right relationship with God. I’m not talking about the rote or scripted prayer recited by an unbeliever. Doubtless, that sort of prayer is meaningless to you as an agnostic. Your prayer needs to be something like, “God, reveal yourself to me! I open my heart and life to you.”

You have a second, different objection to prayer: “omniscience makes the concept of prayer all the more redundant as it means God already knows any information that might be communicated to him, and exactly what the best thing is to do about it, so prayer could not in any way influence his decisions.” This is an objection to the efficacy of prayer. What the objection overlooks is that God can take prayers (or the lack thereof) into account in His providential planning of the world. Knowing that Joe would freely pray in a certain set of circumstances, God may actualize a world in which Joe’s prayers are answered; but had God known that Joe would not pray, God may have actualized something else instead. Prayers, then, are not an effort to change God’s mind. Rather God takes account of prayers in choosing which world to actualize. Prayers thus make a counterfactual difference: if I were not to pray, then something else would have been the case instead. Knowledge of this sort is called “middle knowledge,” and there’s a lot on this website about this fascinating topic.WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER - REVISITED

Joe, on the basis of your question, I can’t help but suspect that while you may have been nominally a Christian, you never really experienced a true relationship with God. If that’s right, then walking away from a nominal, lifeless religion may be the first step toward finding a life-changing, spiritual relationship with God. Keep going!

 

Have a Question for Dr. Craig? Submit it here.
To read more questions / answers, visit the Q & A Archive.

These three songs are from a CD I have on Prayer.  They are beautiful reminders about what prayer is and how powerful it is.  Portions are narrated but the writings are from Oswald Chambers.  Enjoy!

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WHAT IS THE POINT OF PRAYER

As I sometimes do, I post great things that I get in emails. This particular post is a  post from the “Question of the Week” from ReasonableFaith.org.   I actually am in the process of a series, as you may know, entitled “PRAYER” and it is about various prayers throughout the Bible. Prayer is a conversation with God and I started at Genesis. I am in Exodus where the Tabernacle is being built. However, I have been redirected from time to time to other posts such as this one. Since it is about Prayer I wanted to post it today.

Today is the first day of a New Job for me, so I was a little pressed on time last evening and did not write anything … but now I know why … God wanted to share yet another wonderful post on the power of prayer. Prayer is NOT for God’s benefit but for the person that prays. Please read on and I hope you enjoy this “Question of the Week”.

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Question

 Dear Dr Craig,

I have recently moved on from Christianity to agnosticism, but I regularly check out your Q and A section as much of the content there is more sensible and thought provoking than the kind of thing I hear from a lot of Evangelicals.

So I figured that if there even is a satisfactory answer to my enquiry, you’d know about it.

My question is this: what is the point of prayer? Here prayer is defined as an attempt to communicate with God.

God either can read our thoughts or he cannot. If he can read our thoughts, there is surely no need to try to transmit or broadcast them to him as he already knows what they are. If he cannot read our thoughts, then any thought-based effort to contact him is futile. It doesn’t matter what type of prayer it is (eg petition, thanksgiving, repentance), there is no point in making any effort to send it up to him.

Of course, Christianity generally holds that God is omniscient and therefore able to read our thoughts, so the first of these scenarios would be the applicable one. The characteristic of omniscience makes the concept of prayer all the more redundant as it means God already knows any information that might be communicated to him, and exactly what the best thing is to do about it, so prayer could not in any way influence his decisions.18060-we-cannot-properly-understand-scripture-without-prayer-and

I am well aware that the Bible commands us to pray in numerous instances, but in the light of this argument this strikes me as an incredibly arbitrary thing for a good God to command, and thus makes the reliability of the Bible all the more questionable to me.

Currently it seems to me that the idea of prayer is most sensibly explained as an addictive placebo that gives people a greater sense of control over their circumstances than they actually have.

But just maybe there’s something crucial I’ve missed, and if so I would be grateful if you could point out what that might be.

Thanks,

Joe
UK

Dr. Craig responds:

Boy, Joe, the reasons you moved away from Christianity to agnosticism had better be a lot stronger than this, or you’re in real danger of backsliding!

Yes, God can read our thoughts. So how is that problematic for the spiritual discipline of prayer? You say, “there is surely no need to try to transmit or broadcast them to him as he already knows what they are.” Hold on, Joe! Seriously, do you think prayer is a matter of providing God information? You defined prayer as communication with God. You don’t communicate with another person through a third-person relationship. You enter into what has been called an “I-thou” relationship. You speak to another person, not just about that person. Your girlfriend or wife would be decidedly unimpressed if you rationalized never telling her “I love you” on the grounds that she already knows that! Anybody that obtuse is on his way to a break-up! Two people who are in love with each other want to speak to each other, to build an intimate relationship with each other.prayer-praise12

So, sure, God reads my mind, and that enables me to pray to Him at any moment, even when audible prayers would be inappropriate. I can shoot up a thought-prayer, “Thank you, Lord!” or “God, give me wisdom!” at a moment’s notice. This is what people in a relationship do. Can you imagine anyone so obtuse as to say, “I don’t have to thank John for what he did for me because he already knows I’m grateful”? Or “I don’t have to apologize to Susan because she already knows I’m sorry”?

Moreover, did it not occur to you that such personal communication may be good for you? I-thou relationships open you up as a person, to make you a more loving, transparent, and vulnerable person. Prayer to God is the same way. God knows what is good for us and so wants us to talk to Him.

Of course, Joe, I’m talking about the prayers of someone who has experienced a spiritual rebirth and so is in a right relationship with God. I’m not talking about the rote or scripted prayer recited by an unbeliever. Doubtless, that sort of prayer is meaningless to you as an agnostic. Your prayer needs to be something like, “God, reveal yourself to me! I open my heart and life to you.”

You have a second, different objection to prayer: “omniscience makes the concept of prayer all the more redundant as it means God already knows any information that might be communicated to him, and exactly what the best thing is to do about it, so prayer could not in any way influence his decisions.” This is an objection to the efficacy of prayer. What the objection overlooks is that God can take prayers (or the lack thereof) into account in His providential planning of the world. Knowing that Joe would freely pray in a certain set of circumstances, God may actualize a world in which Joe’s prayers are answered; but had God known that Joe would not pray, God may have actualized something else instead. Prayers, then, are not an effort to change God’s mind. Rather God takes account of prayers in choosing which world to actualize. Prayers thus make a counterfactual difference: if I were not to pray, then something else would have been the case instead. Knowledge of this sort is called “middle knowledge,” and there’s a lot on this website about this fascinating topic.prayer-bible-verse

Joe, on the basis of your question, I can’t help but suspect that while you may have been nominally a Christian, you never really experienced a true relationship with God. If that’s right, then walking away from a nominal, lifeless religion may be the first step toward finding a life-changing, spiritual relationship with God. Keep going!

 

Have a Question for Dr. Craig? Submit it here.
To read more questions / answers, visit the Q & A Archive.

These three songs are from a CD I have on Prayer.  They are beautiful reminders about what prayer is and how powerful it is.  Portions are narrated but the writings are from Oswald Chambers.  Enjoy!

 

 

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PRAYER – LEAH’S ANSWERED PRAYER

Well, I made it through the “Happy New Year” wishes and mother’s Cabbage Rolls and all the wonderful love from friends and family that was bestowed upon me during the holiday season. I feel like I am one of the most blessed gals around. To top that off, on New Year’s Eve, I was notified that I got an “at home”, online, part time job that we all had been praying for. I am reeling with excitement. That will allow me to go part time in my present job and still keep my benefits. Also, it will allow me more time here with mom and dad. I have wanted something like this for a while. ec34e5eca45291a743653f68aa45a160The project the company has me on will end at the end of January but if all goes well and I can do the job, I will probably be kept on for the next or another project. I am one of many consultants that they hired for this project and hopefully it will be ongoing. If not, God will have something else for me, I know!

I just wanted to share how God has answered one of my prayers and is still working to answer more … I am so excited to see what God is going to do this year. This is going to be the best year ever, I do believe. God alone is worthy of my praise and I will praise Him until I see His face and then I will praise Him FOREVER!28-Pedicel_flowers-022

I will be getting back to Moses and the Israelites in my next post. God is just about to give the 10 Commandments and I am asking for your prayers as I prepare for that post. This “Journey through Exodus” with Moses is quite the challenge but I know my God will supply all my needs ….

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So until next time, please pray with me about several things that are working in my life right now. I know each of you have concerns and needs as well. I would love to hear from you about all of those. fec4f6c975b8f3a6cdbf8dc5299f64d0Just click the “Prayer Request” form at the top of this page and fill out the form and it will email me when you are finished. I am always honored to pray with and for you for any matter that you may have. This is one of my favorite scriptures and I will close with this…

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The Video – Now To Him Who Is Able – A Capella

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PRAYER – ARRIVE AT MT. SINAI

Yesterday’s post left us on a high because there was a decisive victory over the Amalekites for Israel. This post “PRAYER – PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS” explained how Moses prayed on the mountain top, with Aaron and Ur holding up his arms, until Joshua and his warriors won the victory. It symbolizes how prayer can be and sometimes is the only thing that will help a particular situation. As Christians, prayer is or should be used as our most powerful and effective weapon to dispel any problems or concerns that we may have.

I found a website that is a wonderful resource for many reasons to pray. I will not copy and paste all of the information because it would take up way too much time, but I do want to draw your attention to it and use a quote or two. The main reason we should pray is God’s Word tells us to pray. Here is the first in the list from the website “Focus On The Family – Prayer Has Its Reasonsprayer-conversations

“One key reason to pray is because God has commanded us to pray. If we are to be obedient to His will, then prayer must be part of our life in Him. Where does the Bible call us to prayer? Several passages are relevant:

  • “Pray for those who persecute you” –Matthew 5:44 (NIV) [1]
  • “And when you pray …” –Matthew 6:5
  • “This, then, is how you should pray …” –Matthew 6:9
  • “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” –Romans 12:12
  • “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” –Ephesians 6:18
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –Philippians 4:6
  • “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” –Colossians 4:2
  • “Pray continually” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone …” -1 Timothy 2:1

Prayer is an act of obedience. God calls us to pray and we must respond.”

Now those bullet points alone should be enough… but the website goes on to tell us more. I urge you to check it out and learn even more about prayer. Now… on to this post. Today’s post is about Moses and God having their conversations (prayer time) on Mount Sinai. This is a precursor to God giving Moses the 10 Commandments. During this chapter Moses treks up and down the mountain 4 times. This 80 year old man was probably feeling his age about half way up this mountain of 8,465’ elevation.

The chapter opens and tells us that this is the third month after leaving Egypt. So the Israelites have arrived 3 months after leaving Egypt and have pitched their tents. They are there for a while (actually 11 months totally). One commentary that I read eludes to the fact that Moses must have had some communication with God because it begins with him trekking up the mountain before God calls him… at least the scripture doesn’t record the conversation if there was one. I believe Moses had to have been in communication with God, even if it was just in his spirit, mainly because verse 3 begins with “… and Moses went up to God” before God called to him to come up. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 19:1-6

In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.Mt. Sinai

And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Now let’s stop here for a moment and look at a couple of things. Moses going up to God before God calls him is important. Like I said, the scripture doesn’t say that God and Moses had a conversation about going up to the mountain on this particular day, Moses just knew. I believe he just knew in his spirit that he needed to ascend the mountain to prepare to talk to God. This is something that we should learn from. Moses was so in touch and in tune with God that he knew in his spirit. The Holy Spirit will talk to us in our spirit if we open our hearts and minds to Him. Jesus told His disciples that He would leave us with a Helper and the Holy Spirit is that Helper. THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRITHe is there to help guide and direct our paths. This is the third person in the Trinity and we should recognize Him as we do God and Jesus. He is there to help us. Now the Holy Spirit had not come to earth in Moses time but God Himself was speaking to Moses and Moses had God in his heart to know when God wanted to speak with him. At least I believe that.

The next thing I want to bring your attention to is the beautiful picture of the mention of the eagle and its eaglets. An eagle teaching them to fly is a beautiful picture of God and His love for us and how He is there when – not if – we fall. I want to include a quote from another website here because the author says it so beautifully. Here is the quote from Bible.org

God uses a beautiful image here, that of the eagle’s care for its offspring. In the Book of Deuteronomy Moses explains the image more fully: “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11). While there were times when God seemed (to the Israelites) to have abandoned His people, in reality, God, like the mother eagle, was simply stirring up the nest, forcing the Israelites to “try their wings.” When Israel thought she was about to perish, God swooped beneath her, bearing her up. What a beautiful picture of the loving and compassionate care of God for His people. Israel’s past proved that God had dealt graciously with her, while at the same time He destroyed the Egyptians” images

You surely know by now – if you are a Christ follower – that troubles come into your life and God is there to catch you. Sometimes the “trouble” is of our own making and other times it is God stretching us to get us out of our “nest” or our comfort zone, and stretch us on to new heights of walking with Him. I, personally, can attest to this! It is an awesome and sometimes frightening feeling to know the power of God in my life. Frightening in the sense of awe inspiring… not frightening in a bad way. God is such an awesome and powerful God. He loves us so much that He “stirs up” our nest to bring us closer to Him. He definitely “stirred up” the nest of the Israelites. He displays His love for them countless times on Journey through Exodus just as we can see ways He displays His love for us on our Journey through our walk with Him.soartop

I will close this post here and leave you with the picture of how God cares for you. He loves you so much, He calls you His beloved.

 

The Video – On Eagle’s Wings (with lyrics) – Josh Groban

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PRAYER – PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS

Yesterday’s post “PRAYER – SPLIT ROCK AT HOREB” talked about the abundant water supply that “gushed” from the rock that Moses struck. The act of God bringing forth water from the rock, enough to satisfy the entire nation of Israel, made a believer out of the Israelites – at least for a while. The Bible doesn’t say how long after that incident that the war with the Amalekites happened but the Amalekites apparently attacked them without being provoked. The Amalekites were always at war with Israel and this time Israel was ready for them – even though it was a surprise attack, apparently.

Moses calls Joshua to his side and tells him to gather up “some of his men” to go fight the Amalekites. This is the first mention of this man Joshua and Joshua will prove to be a man of great integrity and serves the Lord and Moses faithfully until Moses passes from the scene. Joshua gathers his warriors and goes to fight just as Moses orders him to do. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 17:8-14

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”Ex_17_11-12.Carolsfeld.AaronAndHurHoldingTheArmsOfMoses

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”

Joshua is fighting with his men and Moses is praying. One commentary that I read said that back in those days prayer was done with hands raised to Heaven. So, Moses told Joshua to go fight and he would be on the top of the hill with his hands raised to Heaven praying all the while. Now Moses took Ur and Aaron with him to the top of the mountain. Israel was winning the battle as long as Moses held his hands up but when Moses’ hands began to get tired from holding them up and he dropped his hands, the Amalekites began to gain on the Israelites. So Ur and Aaron helped him out. Timageshey got something for him to sit on and held his hands up for him until the battle was decisively won!

This is a beautiful picture of how important prayer is. Prayer sometimes can be a gentle, soft prayer or one that is happy and praising the Lord. Then there are some that you absolutely have to get in the trenches and pray constantly. My dad brought an acrostic to me the other day … P U S H – “Pray Until Something Happens”. This is what Moses was doing on that mountain top. PRAYING until something happened – until they won the war. Here is a quote from one of the websites I used for study (St.udyLight.org):

“This amazing passage shows us that life or death for Israel depended on the prayers of one man. Moses prayed as we should pray – with passion, believing that life and death – perhaps eternally – depended on prayer.”

“In his early days Moses thought the only way to win a battle was to fight (Exodus 2:11-15). Now Moses let Joshua fight while he did the more important work: pray for the victory.”

I will admit that sometimes when I pray, I don’t pray with the passion I should. What happens is that I allow things of the world to distract me and I either cut my prayers short or just pray a surface prayer. Now I know God knows everyone on my prayer list and He also knows each of their problems or concerns. He doesn’t need me to pray… prayer doesn’t help the subject of the prayer as much as it helps me – the person praying. Here is a wonderful quote by Oswald Chambers about prayer.

“To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying, ‘prayer changes me and then I change things.’ God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things.”
Oswald Chambers

Aaron and Ur, that were assisting Moses, were definitely changing the situation. Moses – doing the praying – and the other two helping Moses in the fervent prayer of Moses. The Amalekites were defeated because of the dedication of Moses and the dedication of Aaron and Ur. Here is another quote form StudyLight.org.

“This amazing passage shows us the great importance of prayer. Life and death – the course of history itself – depended upon prayer. We can conclude that many times the people of God are defeated today because they will not prayer, or their work is not supported by prayer.”images 2

Anytime you go out to do “the work of the Lord” you must bathe it in prayer. Before, during and after. It must have that anointing on it and you too. Even if that “work of the Lord” is being a “stay-at-home” mom or dad and raising those kiddos. Every step needs to be bathed in prayer. The scripture that talks about pray constantly comes to mind.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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

This is exactly what Moses did. He prayed until something happened. After the battle was won, Moses set up an alter to the Lord.

Exodus 17:15-16

15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Prayer is so very important and so is honoring the Lord when we pray. Moses knew where his strength came from. He knew God was with him and the Israelites and he honored God every chance he got. One of the ways was to pray fervently for Israel as we also must pray for Israel.images 3 We can pray for the peace of Israel. Israel is God’s chosen people and always will be. The people have struggled forever and I suppose they will until Jesus comes again. We still can pray for their peace every day.

I will close this here and urge you to listen to this lovely song attached. It is one of the many songs on a CD about prayer. It has quotes from Oswald Chambers along with beautiful music of some of the old hymns. Enjoy!

The Song – I Must Tell Jesus – Sweet Hour of Prayer CD with quotes from Oswald Chambers

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PRAYER – THE ROYAL TELEPHONE

I did not post anything yesterday, but my mom and dad shared something with me that I think you will enjoy! I was going to post yesterday but time got away from me again.

Remember how I am alwaysThe_Versatile_Burl_Ives!_cover saying prayer is just a conversation with God? Well, they shared this old song with me that was originally written by Burl Ives in 1961. The name of it is Royal Telephone.  The lyrics are below and the You Tube recording is attached to this post. The Burl Ives vhqdefaultideo is just screen shots of the album and does not show him actually singing it, you just hear his voice. His voice is always smooth as silk, too.  Also, I have attached another You Tube Video of Jimmy Little singing this same song.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this and I will be back to post the next story in the Prayer series soon. Hopefully tomorrow. It will be about another time when God provided for Israel in the desert. I believe we will be spending quite some time with Moses and these “stiff-necked” Israelites. However, there are so many lessons to be learned from studying them. I am challenged by this task but I am ever so grateful and humbled that God trusts me to tell you what He wants to tell you. So, I look forward to studying and bringing you the information about more conversations with God and Moses and Aaron (Prayer Time). It promises to be an exciting journey! Thanks for coming along.

Now, here are the lyrics below and the videos are below the lyrics. Thanks for being patient as I make my way back to the Prayer series. Enjoy!

THE ROYAL TELEPHONE

Central’s never busy, always on the line
You can hear from heaven almost any time
‘Tis a royal service, free to one and all,
When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.

CHORUS

Telephone to glory, O what joy divine!
I can feel the current moving on the line;
Made by God the Father, for his loved and own
We may talk to Jesus, thru this royal telephone.

There will be no charges, Telephone is free
It was built for service just for you and me.
There’ll be no waiting on this royal line,
Telephone to glory, always answers just in time.

Fail to get the answer; Satan’s crossed your wire,
By some strong delusion, or some base desire.
Take away obstruction, God is on the throne,
And you’ll get the answer thru this royal telephone.

If your line is ‘grounded’ and connection true,
Has been lost with Jesus, tell you what to do.
Prayer & faith and promise, mend the broken wire
Til’ your soul is burning, with the Pentecostal fire.

Carnal combinations cannot get control.
Of this line to Glory, anchored in the soul
Storm and trials cannot disconnect the line,
Held in constant keeping by the Father’s hand divine.

The Video – Royal Telephone – Burl Ives (Original Version)

The Video – Royal Telephone – Jimmy Little

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GIVING THANKS TO THE LORD – DAY 3

Yesterday I gave thanks for three or four things that are very special to me. Here is the link to the post if you missed it “GIVING THANKS TO THE LORD – DAY 2”.

One of the most important things I am thankful for is my Country – USA! The United States of America is an amazing land. I am so thankful that God allGod-Bless-America-FLGBA-2-200x200owed me to be born here in this wonderful “free” country. One of my pastors mentioned Sunday, how fortunate we are that we live in this country and that we can gather at church without the fear of the Government coming in to take our Bibles or our lives… We can worship and pray whenever we want, however we want. That is a privilege that many human beings do not have. I am so thankful I do!

I am thankful for Prayer. God has provided me a way to communicate with Him and become very intimate and close to Him. Being close to the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty, Most Wonderful God is a very valuable thing! Prayer is a way to connect with Him and I am so thankful I can speak or not speak my prayers and my God hears me. prayer-quote-2lPrayer can soothe our worried soul and calm the storm inside. It can encourage us and lift us up. It can open our eyes and our hearts to God’s will. It can help guide us along the way of life. It is the most powerful tool we have here on earth! Prayer is POWERFUL! I am so thankful God provided Prayer as a way of communicating with Him.

I am also very thankful for our beautiful earth. I have said before, God could have made this earth black and white and we would never have known the difference. I love the earth and all that is within it! The clouds, the rain, the sunshine, the blue sky, all the animals – except that pesky little mole or moles that live in my front yard!!! Well, I would love him if he would move on down the street!!! But I digress…earth The earth is a beautiful place and I am thankful God made it beautiful so I could enjoy the beauty!

Along with the earth and all that is within it… I love the birds. I am so thankful that God created such a variety of birds. I feed the wild birds in my backyard and sitting and watching them is so relaxing to me. I counted one time and I have about 22 different types of birds that visit my feeders throughout the year. BIRDSThat is amazing to me! I love all the creatures of God’s earth but birds are one of my favorites. I am thankful God made a beautiful variety for me to enjoy.

I am also so very thankful that God gave me a tender heart. I said that the other day for the first time out loud and it dawned on me that it is a very big blessing. tender-heart TENDER HEART  Yes, I get hurt so easily about some things, but I would rather have a tender heart than a hard heart. Hard hearts can tend to get one in trouble or at least keep people at a distance. That is not what I want. I love my tender heart and the ability to love with it.

You know… I want to encourage you to leave me comments as to some things you are thankful for. That sounds like a great idea! I do hope you will leave me a comment. I love to read your opinions, ideas or just plain say Hi!

Will close for now. Looking forward to sharing more thankfulness tomorrow.

The Song – The Earth Is Yours – Gungor

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PRAYER – PASSOVER, ISRAEL AND YOU

In the last post in the Prayer series “PRAYER – DEATH OF THE FIRTSBORN AND PASSOVER” I talked about the Death Angel claiming the lives of every first born son in Egypt because Pharaoh had refused to release the Israelites as God commanded through Aaron and Moses. The death of the first born will be for everyone not covered by the blood of the lamb on the door posts (Passover instituted) … Genesis 11:5 …from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals.”1280px-foster_bible_pictures_0062-1_the_angel_of_death_and_the_first_passover

The Passover was instituted that night when the Death Angel passed through the city. God gave Moses and Aaron instructions to tell the Israelites so their first born would be saved. The Passover became a most important thing for the Israelites in years to come.

The first thing that is mentioned by God is a change to their calendar as they knew it. Israel’s religious calendar remains this way to this day. Their religious calendar starts with the month of Nisan (March-April) and goes through to the month of Adar (February-March). You may be wondering why God did this. From what I could glean from my reading is because God knew that everything begins with “Passover”. As you know, the Passover was a picture of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins. This was the beginning of a New Covenant of Grace. This was a new beginning for the Israelites. Their new covenant of grace. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 12:1-2

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

So God started a new calendar for them to observe and remember the Passover from generation to generation.  We, as Christians, are to recognize that Jesus is our beginning. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, He gives us a new life! The redemption from the shed blood of Jesus and the New Covenant can be ours too!

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The next thing God wanted to do with this Passover event was to make it very personal. He commanded that every household take a lamb or goat from the flock.

Genesis 12:3-4

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the houPassover-lamb_472_315_80sehold is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

I found a website that explains this very well. This is from JesusPlusNothing.com. Here is their quote on this:

The next point see is that God made the whole thing very personal. He could have just had one lamb killed for the entire nation if He had so wished. But He didn’t! He wanted every household in Israel to identify itself with the lamb. They each had to take a lamb, they each had to inspect the lamb, and they each had to kill the lamb. Talk about getting your hands dirty! It reminds us of course of how personal the cross is. Just as each Israelite household had to kill their lamb, so our own personal sin was responsible for Jesus going to the cross. It also reminds however of His great love for each of us individually! Yes it is true that ‘God so loved the world that He gave his only Son…’ – He died for the entire world. But it is more personal than that. He did it for you, and he did it for me. Paul knew the personal aspect of this when he wrote ‘the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ You can’t get more personal than that!”

The scripture that Paul wrote that he is referencing there at the end is this:

Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

And yet another observation from that same website:

“Now it was said earlier that they were to take the lamb on the 10th of the month and keep it until the fourteenth of that same month, where it was to be slain at twilight. The Bible Knowledge commentary says that ‘twilight’ is between the suns decline and sunset (3-5pm). Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey - by William Hole 600 pxWhile I can’t go into it fully, others have shown that Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matt 21:1-11) was in fact the 10th of Nisan – the very day when the spotless lamb was to be chosen! In fulfilment of the Old Testament type, for the next 4 days Jesus presented Himself to the people in Jerusalem, showing Himself to be the spotless lamb without defect. On the fourteenth of that month, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon (twilight, Matt 27:46) while all throughout Israel different households were starting to kill their lambs, Jesus died on a cross. And they didn’t even understand!”

The next part of the instructions that God gives has to do with how to cook the lamb. It is not to be boiled or eaten raw but roasted over the fire and whatever they did not eat must be burned. Here the fire is a representation of God’s judgment. Jesus, the Spotless Lamb of God, was judged fully for all of our sins while he hung on the cross. The bitter herbs were to be a reminder of the bitterness that the Israelites had with their life down in Egypt. It is also good for us, when thinking of the cross, to remember the bitterness and bondage that God has rescued us from. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 12:7-10

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.Exodus-Passover

Leaven speaks of sin, in the Bible. Eating with unleavened bread should remind us that, it is only through the power of the Cross and God’s power that we are called to live righteous lives.

The next verse was instructing the Israelites to get ready! Be ready to get going on a new journey. The life ahead will be filled with ups and downs so be prepared for the journey. Just like when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. He doesn’t promise us a rose garden, but He does promise us that He will be with us through every trial and tribulation that we face, just as He was with the Israelites in the wilderness for so many years and thereafter.

Exodus 12:11passover_472_348_80

11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

Verses 12 and 13 speak about what is about to happen. This must have been a frightening, yet exhilarating time for Israel. They knew, by what God had said, that they could only be saved by the blood that had been put on the door of their home. ONLY if the blood was present would the first born be saved. As a Christian, we see this blood from the spotless lamb as Jesus’ shed blood for our sins. As I have said in other posts, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. No amount of other things that the Israelites could do would have the power that the presence of the blood did. Just as in our lives, if Jesus is not our personal Savior, we are not safe. If there is no presence of the shed blood in our lives, we are lost to Hell.   See these scriptures:

Colossians 1:2020 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Ephesians 2:13-141But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Romans 3:24-25, 5:1,924 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Finally, the remembrance of these things…

Exodus 12:14

14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.last_supper

They must tell their children and their children’s children and so on all throughout all generations. That is how it is to be remembered. If they hadn’t told them, it would have been forgotten and disregarded as something of little importance. They had enough trouble remembering all the marvelous works of God’s miracles as it was. God had to institute a new thing for them to do every year! EVERY year to remember when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt.

Has God rescued you and brought you through a bondage of sorts? All of us have stories and pasts. We all have things that we have done or been involved in that we wish were not in our pastRedeemed-Jesus-Passover-Lamb. If you are a child of The King, you know Him personally and He doesn’t see “those things” any longer. He sees the precious blood of Jesus that covers your life and your sins. He only sees you through the eyes of Jesus.

God loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Mercy Saw Me -Geron Davis

The Video – Mercy Saw Me –JMCIM Music Ministry

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PRAYER – PRAYER AND THE BIBLE

Today I received a very exciting package in the mail. My brother sent me a DVD – “Searching for Mt. Sinai”. It is a wonderful DVD and one I will mention in a few days when we get to the point in the Prayer series or a point in the story line of Moses at the Mountain of God. However, as usual, that being something out of the ordinary, it threw my schedule off so, I am busy reading, writing and viewing and writing more… this is really an exciting time for me. I am like a kid at Christmas… I am discovering all these wonderful things that God is revealing to me in the Old Testament. wpleadme1680x1050Some of you already know some or most of all of these things I am sharing and that’s ok, I suppose! In fact, it’s great! I wish I had availed myself more to learning this wonderful information when I was much younger. Yes, I have heard all the stories since childhood, but I have never experienced what I am experiencing now! I am learning Who God Is and it is in a very personal way and it is very exciting!

james-4-vs-8Early on, I prayed for God to give me wisdom and knowledge in reading the Bible and He seems to be showing me things that are so wonderful and in turn, I share what I can with you. That is exciting to me. I have never known God like I do now. The God of the Old Testament is a loving, compassionate, long suffering and forgiving God. Yes, like I said the other day, there is a lot of bloodshed and war in the Old Testament, but the God that orchestrates it all is incredible! For those folks that follow God’s laws and what God required, at that time, things went better for them. It was only when folks mocked God or disregarded Him altogether that He released His wrath. I will never understand why it takes so much time and happenings for humankind to “get it”! The poor Israelites… they were absolutely awestruck by God Almighty one minute and then two minutes later, they were whining and grumbling about being brought out into the dessert to die! PLEASE!!! But.. I am getting ahead of myself.

I look around me today and see the same thing, though. Folks! GOD 7966088_origLOVES US!! He created us and loves us deeply and wants a relationship with us! He wants us to know Him intimately! He lays it all out in the Bible for us! PRAY, SEEK, FIND! If we are Christ followers, we should pray always and read the Bible – from cover to cover (at least once) – and know what we are reading and why we are reading it. (I say read… but I got the MOST out of listening to the Bible on my Bible App… You Version… it’s free and you can get it here.)

Then we should be praying and seeking God daily, throughout the day! This is what a relationship is about! If you never spoke to your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, brothers, sisters, etc… how would you have any kind of relationship? YOU WOULDN’T! Just because you can’t see God standing in front of you or hear Him audibly, doesn’t mean that He is not there! He is Spirit! Bible-Verses-About-PrayerHe is Omniscient! He is Omnipresent! He is EVERYWHERE! All you have to do is call out His name! He hears every word, whisper and cry! He hurts when you hurt. He cries when you cry. He loves you! He wants you to know how much He loves you! He gives you signs all day long! The Sunrise! The Clouds! The Rain! The Flowers, Birds, Animals, Trees, LIFE! He didn’t have to make this world so beautiful! He could have made it black and white and PLAIN! We would never have known the difference! But God loves beauty just like we do! Hummmm… or we do just like He does. We are made in His image!

With all that ranting… I just really wanted to say… or God wanted to say… HE LOVES YOU! Please let Him show you Who He Is and how much He loves you! Pick up your Bible or download the Bible App and get to reading or listening. Ask Him to help you understand it! He will! He did it for me! He will do it for you! You may have to do some Google searches to find out what some things mean… that’s how I find out. I search and read and search and read and search and read. God leads me right to where He wants me to go. Really! I am not that special. He will do it for you too! You follow Christ? Read your Bible and learn Who He is! It is amazing what He did for you – because He loves you!Proverbs-171

As you can guess, I am not posting on the Passover in this post. I will continue to work towards that end. However, when I run across a DVD like I did tonight, I will take the time to watch and use that material for posts. Thank you for understanding. I guess God just wanted to tell you how much HE LOVED YOU tonight! He is waiting to hear your voice call out His name. After all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Starry Night – Chris August

The Video – Starry Night (with lyrics) – Chris August

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COME AND REST

Come and rest.  COME AND REST 3

From time to time God calls me to come away to a quiet place and rest.  So today I am heeding His call to come and rest.   A time to pray, praise and just take it easy.

I will be taking a break from posting today… except for this notice.  Tomorrow I will pick up Exodus and continue the Journey Through Exodus.  Thank you for your understanding.

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

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