Archive for the ‘God's power’ Category

“My house shall be called a House of Prayer”

November 30, 2013

Catholic church praying

I remember as a kid, being brought up in the Catholic church, the peaceful quiet times I spent in the church–praying. The above picture brought back memories of those times.  I also remember the church doors being open many times during the week, both day and night. Today, as I look back upon the customs of our friends , the Catholics, I wonder who it is that has the real  light concerning this ” house of prayer” injunction. We as  SDA  claim to be those obeying the  Lord’s Commandments and teaching His prophecies but are we lacking in an overlooked  declaration of the Lord concerning the purpose of His house? Let us look into this most important aspect of His house of prayer.

As we  come together each and every Sabbath into the house of the Lord we in fact walk into His house of prayer. In Scripture  we read,  “I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”(Isaiah 56:7)

And our Lord specifically said, “He said to them, the Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matt 21:13).

Recently a church friend had stopped by for a bible study and she had mentioned how the Catholic church keeps it’s church doors opened for “prayer” and she wondered why we aren’t. This got me thinking –what’s going on with our own church in this regard?

As SDA we come together every Sabbath to study and worship in His house. We have services for roughly 3 to 3 and a half hours each Sabbath. But what about praying in His house? To a large extent it doesn’t exist! This is the sad fact. At no time throughout the whole week do we ever have our church doors open to allow us to enter to silently pray to our Lord.

Is this not a gross oversight to us as Seventh Day Adventists?

Ellen White explains, “”Bible religion is not made up of theological systems, creeds, theories, and tradition, for then it would not remain a mystery. The worldly would understand it through their own natural abilities. But religion, Bible religion, has a practical, saving energy, elements proceeding wholly from God—a personal experience of God’s power transforming the entire man.” (Manuscript Releases Volume Sixteen, page 236.)

And what could be one of best “personal experiences” than to be in God’s house praying? A while back a close friend of mine had been involved in a personal and emotional experience with her parents. She was left distraught one morning and wanted to drive down to the local church (SDA) to go inside and pray. She was to find out that no such possibility existed. Nothing was open.

We understand that today with the increase in crime and homelessness, the church is vulnerable to some mischief if it were to be left unguarded. However, is not our church able to open at least a few hours during the week for those who would want to be in His house to pray? If our Lord said that His house is a house of prayer, then would it not be a great and special thing to pray in His house to Him?

In the days of old His house was a true sanctuary and the believers felt His presence and were likely to be there even into the night. “Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who by night stand in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD!” (Psalms 134:1-2)

Then we see that even in Jesus’ day there were some who stayed in the temple praying. ” Then  she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.” (Luke 2:37) As SDA we often criticize the Jews of old as being wrong in many aspects but we certainly have much to learn from them in the — house of prayer custom.

Today during our services we have a short and formal “garden of prayer”. It’s usually 3 to 5 or 6 minutes. And we listen to someone else pray rather than spending quality time praying to the Lord and King ourselves. But are these few formal minutes  a fulfillment of being His house of prayer? Far from it!

We are woefully in need of revival and reformation in SO MANY areas and this house of prayer issue is right up there near the top in importance. This is something that should be looked into and changed. Our worship has become a timed scaled model of cold formalism.

In reviewing information for this week’s post I happen to come across a fellow church goer’s personal testimony as to the rigid and cold services he found. Although he belongs to a different church and religion, look at how similar his experiences are to what we see in the SDA.

In explaining why he quit the church, he says—

“I often found the worship services to be very structured and rigid, and therefore predictable. Here’s a typical Sunday worship service at OWC:

  • The choir sings
  • Opening prayer
  • The choir sings again
  • The congregation sings
  • The scripture passage is read
  • The choir sings again
  • The sermon is preached
  • Closing prayer
  • Congregation sings again
  • Tithes and offering
  • Benediction (always by a pastor)
  • Lord’s Supper (once a month only!)
  • After each service, people typically gather into their own little circle of friends (ie., “cliques”).
  • After socializing, most people either go home; have lunch with their friends; or go to Sunday school, and… that’s about it!

Notice how there is:

  • no time for group prayer
  • no time for sharing
  • no time for getting to know one another
  • no time for spontaneity and for the Holy Spirit to take part in the service
  • no time to hear testimonies or sermons by people in the congregation (mostly)

In other words, there is no time for true fellowship. This lack of involvement by people in the congregation also serves to deprive them of using their gifts and talents, thereby denying them their share in the priesthood (according to the NT, all believers share in the priesthood 1 Peter 2:9).”

____________________________________________________

This should awake us to the fact that as SDA, and claiming to be the “remnant” people of God, are we really showing the world we are? What difference do we see in our worship service  as opposed to the Sunday keepers above? From the description above , we see little except the day of service. Both them and us leave out true quality prayer before, during,  or after service. We seem to forget that the Holy Spirit is alive and should be allowed to “move” the people during the service, just like the early Christian church.  The people should be allowed to pray in His house without distractions.

One of the most practical ways we could change this error, is to open the church from say, 8 am to 9 am for early morning prayer. Then those who value the privilege of being in His house to pray–can do so.

In closing we have the promise that soon “all” things will be restored and that even our true worship and prayer in His house will be brought back to its beauty, glory,  and holiness. LET US PRAY FOR THIS.

Advertisements

Ellen White’s Moving Prayer

December 3, 2011

As many are aware Ellen G. White’s life was an exemplary Christian life. No doubt prayer was a big key to her knowing God. I received this article from “Adventist world” which shows a glimpse into her special prayer life.  Let me share this moving testimony.

“Ellen White’s prayers were also clearly remembered by people who heard her pray. H.M.S. Richards Sr, voice of prophecy radio program founder, was a teenager in 1909 when he heard Ellen White pray at a camp meeting in Boulder, Colorado. Richards recalled that he sat on the front row,right in front of the pulpit  where Ellen white spoke.

After finishing her sermon, she said ” I want to pray before I sit down.” Richards was impressed by the fact that she started by saying, “O my Father…” not “our Father”, but “my Father.”  He said it was as though she was talking with a personal friend. Infact, he recalled that her prayer was so intimate, and so moving, that he was afraid to open his eyes for fear of seeing God standing right there by Ellen White. Soon, Richards said, quiet sobs were heard in the audience:men and women repenting of their sins.

A great revival spread over the audience as a result of Ellen White’s prayer. As Richards summed up the story, he said that when Ellen White spoke, she was just a dear, sweet grandmother talking to the people. But when she prayed, God honored her as His prophet.”

In the above story, can we not see and feel how powerful and moving were Ellen’s word’s to “her” Father? We can gain some insight here.  Ellen was on a one to One basis. In other words she felt connected as she prayed. I believe this connection resulted from her firm conviction in believing and LIVING His Commandments. Everyday she devoutly practiced the Law of God. She did indeed “know Him”.

In (1 John 2:3-4) we read a clear passage of God’s word “how to” know Him. “For this is how we know we know Him, IF we keep His Commandments, those who say ‘I know Him’ and do not keep His Commandments, are a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Once we know Him, it just naturally flows, as we kneel in prayers. Our connection is as one. We come before Him with our hands clean, we’ve done our best that day in avoiding temptation. We’ve kept His Law firmly in our heart and mind. God’s Holy Spirit has been with us and given us strength. Prayer seems the same as speaking intimately to a loved one, just as Ellen White has shown.

But sadly, the opposite is just as true. (Isaiah 59:2) “But your iniquities have seperated you from your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, so that He will not hear you.” Unfortunately, this case is so prevalent worldwide. We come before the Lord repentless and sinful. Can we then expect Him to hear and act? His word says no.

Our God is a searching God,  carefully watching whether we really love Him as His word has clearly shown us  –(John 14:15) “If you love me, keep my Commandments”. Once He see’s we really do, He’s all ears for us, ready to communion with us through prayer.

Here’s one more eye witness account of  Ellen’s moving prayer, showing her very close connection to God through prayer.

“Another who was profoundly moved by hearing Ellen White pray was Alma McKibbin, one of Adventism’s first church school teachers in California, and author of the denomination’s first Bible textbooks for use by elementary teachers. At the time Mckibbin was living in Healdburg, California. In fact, she was renting Ellen White’s old home from her. But on this occasion McKibbin was ill. Consequently, she decided to go to the St. Helena sanitarium for treatments.

But when she arrived, the sanitarium was full. So McKibbin ended up having to stay for a few days with Sarah Peck, a friend of hers who was working as a secretary for Ellen White.

Peck lived in a small cottage just opposite Ellen White’s “Elmshaven”home.  Because of her illness, McKibbin couldn’t sleep.When in the early morning hours a light came on in Ellen White’s writing room, McKibbin recalled it being a comfort just knowing that someone else was awake.

Before Ellen White began to write, she prayed out loud. McKibbin later recalled that she never had heard such a prayer in her life.This was not a public prayer being said for the benefit of an audience.  Quite the opposite: Ellen White had no idea that anyone else was listening. But through the clear night air McKibbin heard almost every word.

As Ellen White prayed that morning, she prayed for the leaders of our church, that they would always be faithful and true in their roles as leaders. Ellen White also prayed for the pastors and teachers, that they would always uphold the truth.And before closing, she prayed for the young people of our church. McKibbin recalled how earnestly Ellen White implored God on behalf of the young people, that they would accept Jesus as their personal Savior and never let go of Him.

McKibbin said that after hearing Ellen White pray, for the first time in her life she began to understand the deep burden a prophet bears for an entire people. Although she’d read about the burden of Isaiah or the burden of Jeremiah for the people of Israel, hearing Ellen White pray that early morning gave McKibbin a glimpse into just what that means.”

In closing, Let us learn from our blessed sister Ellen White, that as we fully commit our life to Him we also can come to the point in our life where, just like Ellen White, we’ll kneel and pray — “O  MY  FATHER”  and we will know He clearly hears us.

In Christ, Rob

Pray in the Spirit

September 10, 2011

There are basically two ways to pray — praying in the flesh (carnal)  and praying in the Spirit. It is a sad reality that the ability to communicate with our Lord through prayer is not a common occurance even though many “pray” on a frequent basis. Let us see clearly how we can pray in the Spirit, as God would have us.

Our  great King made His most passionate prayer in the garden of Gethsemane as he prayed (Mark 14:36)  ” Father, oh Father, all things are possible with You,  take this cup from Me, but neverthe less not what I will, but what You will .”  I believe there is a BIG key right there in that prayer and that is this. When we pray we should be mindful that if we ASK for something, we should conclude it with NOT MY WILL BE DONE BUT YOURS.

Many times I have used my own experiences, in this blog,  to bring home the point more clearly. In Novemeber of 2009 I posted a post under “prayers answered”  about how I was led to make a prayer prior to a court date for a ticket. 

To briefly explain, I received a red light camera ticket. I was guilty. I was ready to pay the ticket but when it came in mail and said 425.00!!  I said NO WAY! To me that was outright “stealing” and I knew governments can do this just as well as individuals. I mean I was prepared to pay something reasonable and fair (maybe like 200.00 or so). So I made up my mind to fight it to the end at court.

That morning of the court date, I knelt down in my room to pray. I started praying “Dear Lord, I don’t think this is fair, can you help get me off this…” But then suddenly the Holy Spirit began to guide me in the RIGHT prayer. I changed  it and said ” Lord, YOU do what YOU think is fair.”  I said it because I had in mind His Holy 8th Commandment  “Thou shall not steal”. So I was confident HE would make the right decision who was in the right, either it was them, with me running the red light   –or me, with them trying to steal way more than charge what was right.

Do you see how I placed it ALL into the Lord’s hand? Instead of thinking I DESERVE a good decision, I switched  it around and wanted the LORD”S RIGHTEOUS LAW UPHELD( His will be done). This is KEY to our prayers if we WANT something. It must be according to His will and LAW. The ticket was dismissed, even though it was my face in the photo(and my license plate)!  The Lord had made the judge see someone else’s  face in the photo, unbelievable! Guess the Lord doesn’t like thiefs, even if it’s the city government!

Recently I had a young gal write me about praying for her “big day” that was coming. It is to be a big financial decision made for  or against her. I wrote back and said “Sure, ofcourse I will, but  I want you to ask that HIS WILL BE DONE, not yours. And I want you to praise Him NO MATTER WHAT THE DECISION.”   This way, I told her,  God will certainly take care of you, whatever the decision.

Also, let us always remember to thank Him, for our prayers being LISTENED TO,   let alone even answered!

Finally, you should know God wants SPECIFIC prayers. A person wrote me awhile back and said “Please pray for me”. I said “what for?”  They were alittle taken aback–like  “uh I don’t know just pray.” That’s like you saying to your best friend “do something for me”  Huh?  God want’s to show you He’s listening and can do that which you ask, but you must know what to ask FIRST.And you must BELIEVE and WATCH, otherwise if you forget and aren’t watching–it won’t come. Please,  if you’re going to waste your words at least don’t waste them in speaking to God in prayer. For always remember we PRAISE HIM even in decisions that go against us.

In Christ, your servant, Rob

From the brink of death *

February 26, 2011

I was scheduled to write about the last days “Laodicean Church” and how we must do what our Lord described in Revelation about this. But yesterday I was shown an inspired story which God has lead me to publish instead. We should always be ready to change “our” plans when He guides us.

Her name is Teodora and at 40 years old, she was dying. The autoimmune disease was ravaging her body. She got down to 90 pounds. Death was lurking. She became desperate and called Speranta TV, a Hope Channel station based in Romania. For some of you not aware,  Hope Channel is a true Christian TV station , similar to 3 ABN TV.

” I must be baptized quickly!” she said over the phone as she spoke to the Speranta representative.  ” Can you come baptize me?” she pleaded. In response to Teodora’s cry for help they immediately sought help for her wish.

Romania along with Bulgaria, are two of the poorest nations in Europe. And as we shall see,  God has his eye on these “poor people” because many times such people are humbled by their circumstances, and as such have a open heart to His truth when they hear it. Money and it’s Idols or man’s religious traditions, in many cases,  haven’t taken hold of them.

Just a few years ago Teodora was healthy, enjoying life with her husband and daughter, Leontin and Larisa. But it all changed when a deadly disease attacked her thyroid and kidneys. She started losing weight at an alarming rate. Doctors tried to help, but nothing seemed to slow the disease.

One day Petrica, a local Sabbath keeping church member was giving bible studies to another family in Teodora’s neighborhood.Learning of her near fatal condition, Petrica went to her house to pray for her. Although he was unable to have bible studies with her, Pedrica encouraged her to start watching the popular and growing TV station called Speranta. Soon Teodora began to think the station was “exactly what she needed”. She was learning and her eyes were opening ( spiritually)

The station preached of God’s truth and His Commandments and how obedience is the fruit of our faith. The next several months came mixed blessings, her body wasn’t improving much, but her spirit was growing by leaps and bounds. But amazingly her husband and daughter were also watching this station, soaking up  all the truth’s they heard. Even a frequent friend “Maria” became intriqued as well.

As the months passed and her strength waned, she knew her time was running out. But she wanted to be baptized and join the church that helped to sustain her spirit during these tough times. That’s when she called Speranta TV. She got to speak to pastor Darvasan, and he could tell she was desperate. He immediatley called the local pastor in her area to have him visit her. When the pastor arrived, he was surprised to discover that not only Teodora asked to be baptized, but Maria and another friend also. All touched by the truth they received by watching Speranta TV.

So the pastor baptized all three women. God had worked a remarkable spiritual miracle in these women’s lives but He wasn’t done just yet. He was to improve Teodora’s health considerably.

Teodora didn’t die right away like many expected. Slowly she began to regain her health! Soon she had gained 50 pounds! While she still had the disease, she had improved so much, she was able to care for herself and her family. Soon after,  she and her family began to worship the true Lord and could be found every Sabbath worshipping with her new church family at their local Seventh Day Adventist Church. Word began to spread and soon other families were watching this station and learning “new truths” from the word of God. Praise the Lord!

As Teodora will testify God has brought her hope and a new lease on life. And it is because she had been guided and looked after by God, directing that bible study church member  to “just stop by”. He showed her a station proclaiming God’s word and truth.

So  we have the ability to tell people of His truths also, through 3 ABN, Hope Channel, Amazing facts TV and DVD’s. God’s 3 Angel’s message is being broadcast by these mentioned stations 24/7, and when you tell people about them YOU also are proclaiming this important last day’s message.  So don’t think you can’t be a part, YOU CAN! The growth of these stations is truly amazing because HIS MESSAGE in these last days MUST be made!  God be with you.

* Source — Hope Channel Organization

Are you on the look-out?

December 4, 2010

As I go further along on my Christian walk, it becomes more apparent to me that many followers of Christ really need to enhance and improve their “prayer” life. The Lord has guided me to post this message in hope that  it can lead you to discover a more meaningful prayer life with Him.

To begin with we must keep in mind that our life should be in obedience to His word. Meaning we are walking uprightly according to His Holy Commandments. Each day we should pray to be guided according to His Laws. For His word is downright  to the point in (Proverb 28:9) “If ANYONE (that mean’s even a professed Christian) turns His ear from hearing of the Law ( Holy Commandments) even HIS PRAYERS are an abomination”. “Abomination?”   Wow, talk about serious prayer requirement!  So once we are sincerely doing our best to obey His Commandments, we can feel confident to approach Him in prayer.

Jesus was our example on prayer and often withdrew Himself to a secret place to talk with God the Father. (Luke 5:16) ” He withdrew Himself into the wilderness and prayed”.  Infact Jesus told us to “go into a closet”  to pray(Matt 6:6). It is clear Jesus wants very little  or no “showiness” about our prayer. Better to withdraw privately one to One.

Another important thing Jesus said about prayer, was to not make long repetitious prayers. (Matt6:7) ”  But when you pray use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do, for they think that they will be heard for MUCH SPEAKING”.   That is why I cringe at churches that have set times for the same old prayer, it is vain repetitions! Our God is worthy of much more than this!

Now we get to the heart of this message and it is about BELIEF. This to me is the NUMBER ONE  reason we don’t draw close to Him through prayer.  WE DON’T REALLY BELIEVE  HE’LL  ANSWER. Sad but very true today. We ignore what our Lord said (Luke 11:19)  “And I say to you, ask and it shall be delivered to you, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”  Do we really want answers to our prayers? Then we better start believing. Ofcourse prayer can be just letting our Lord know you love Him and want to thank Him. I am specifically talking about “prayer requests”.

How is our Lord answering our prayers? There are many ways. There are dreams ( I have had this many times) , there may be a friend sent by the Lord to you, or a stranger. There may be some written page (scripture,newspaper, bilboard, book, etc.)  The point is that we MUST BE ON THE LOOK OUT! What good is it to pray then forget all about it a day or two later?? Is our Lord pleased with our non-belief in Him responding? Do we make Him out to be so weak and non-caring?

You see the Lord wants to be our Google!  You want to know anything? Have you ever thought of asking our Lord?  I can tell you from first hand experience, once you get answers from Him, it really does lift your closeness to Him to a new level.  We must be careful to be specific in our requests and pointed. We want to clearly understand. But once we ask,  then we must not forget about it.

Prayer is the lifeblood of our walk and it will bring a closeness and bonding to our Lord that will truly inspire you to GO TELL people about this ALIVE and ready to help Lord of ours!  Amen my brothers and sisters.

The unanswered prayers and the sin connection

March 20, 2010

The following post is contributed on, by Barbra Namuddu. Thanks Mrs. Namuddu  for you contribution!

How many times do we earnestly pray for an answer only to wait in vain? Many Christians realize that we feel “not heard”.  I believe it all comes back to our spiritual condition with God. If we are continually “sinning” we create a barrier between us and God. God WANTS to help us but we stifle Him with our turning away from Him.

Now, on the other hand, once we come closer to Him and OBEY Him and His Moral Laws, we do EXACTLY what He wants.  And our faith will be rewarded by God in His own perfect time. But we should NOT forget our prayer. I see it SO often in church and eslewhere. People get up and make these nice sounding prayers and “forget” about them the next day!  How can we show faith in Him by acting like this??

As it was pointed out by Mrs.Namuddu. trust and faith is SO important in “believing” that our prayers will be heard. And a “humble” heart who first confesses His sins BEFORE prayers , I believe starts the prayer truthfully.

Finally, IF we walk “righteously” according to His word and Laws, He will be ALL ears. As the word says (james 5:16) “so then, confess your sins to one another, so that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”  Look at it this way, the more we let the Holy Spirit guides us (via less sinning) the more God will see our light and bless us!

God’s power is waiting to be unleashed

December 18, 2009

The more I grow in my walk with the Lord the more I become aware of His “speaking” to me. One of the first signs the  Lord gave me was about a year ago. I began to read the bible (from front to back) for the first time in my life. A few nights later I got to exodus and read about the “Ten Commandments”. The very NEXT day I was called to do a service call ( I do appliance repair) in a town close by. After the repair the elderly gentleman handed me a book ON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! Obviously this was a direct sign from the Lord that I should seriously look into these “commandments”. That I did. And it turned my whole life around. It also revealed new truths I was not aware of in regard to our Lord. Since then there has been many signs given to me and I have been so strengthen by them. Christians should ALWAYS be on the look out for His signs. I believe our Lord wants to be involved in even “trifles” of our life. Think of Him as a great thoroughbred race horse locked in the racing stall, prancing and puffing, just waiting to be released! He wants to show you His great power and signs! So many times us Christians go to church and sing praise songs and such yet don’t witness His great power in our lives. We pray and then forget! How about going back to the Lord and inquiring of your prayer? What happened? Did He answer you? Do we ask Him to “speak” to us someway , somehow? Remember he is ALWAYS listening but is our faith strong enough to believe He’ll answer us? Keep your prayer in mind then watch and be aware because He want’s SO MUCH to show His power and love to you! Then you can go to church on His holy Sabbath and REALLY praise Him! Not only because He’s worthy but also because you’ve witnessed it! I  feel our churchs need to be more “in the spirit” of praising Him and less in the “performing” of praising Him. Once we come to Him in obedience to his word, He is WILLING  and ABLE to answer us, even in trivial areas of our lives.


%d bloggers like this: