Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Some Keys to Prayer

July 11, 2020

Scripture for Today, 4-17-19: Don't Pray? - JESUS, OUR BLESSED HOPE

In this post we’ll go over some unique counsels on prayer. The final message of Elijah tells us how important the subject of prayer really is —


The Key to the Science of Holiness?

“Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock Heaven’s storehouse…?”—Steps to Christ, p. 95. It is the breath, the life, of the soul, “the secret of spiritual power.”—Gospel Workers, p. 254; Education, p. 258. Hence “in the prayer of faith there is a divine science.…a science that every one who would make his lifework a success must understand.”—Education, p. 257.

“Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the condition, insult Jehovah.”—Christs Object Lessons, p. 142.

How important, then, that prayer meet the conditions laid down—be correct, scientific, inspired! This weighty truth will compel the whole-souled believer critically to re-examine his entire prayer life to make certain that it is not unscientific and uninspired and thus ineffectual—a fraud and a cheat to him, and an insult to God! (SC, vol. 8, no.1-12, p.12)

Let us now look at three specific issues of prayer.

1 — Does the Bible speak of a time where God says to NOT pray for someone?

Yes indeed, let us read —

“And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.

For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” (Jeremiah 11:9-14)

Straight, God-breathed words! Yes, we are reading right, there was to be no prayers lifted up for such rebels. How is it that one can get so spiritually offensive that even our King says not to insult Him with prayers on their behalf??

One of our basic core Christian values, indeed one of our most treasured privileges, is prayer. All throughout the Word we read about praying and the value of this. But contrarily we find that under certain dire and repulsive conditions we are are told to refrain from it, for our God knows perfection and even in prayer–what is right and what is wrong!

So how do we know when someone is not to be prayed for? A great question indeed! The Lord’s Elijah message gave us a clue, let us read —

“For only a true Christian, one who has a personal experience with God, a perfect knowledge of His Word, and who is filled with His Spirit, can discriminate saint from sinner. He, only, can recognize who has the seal and who does not have it, when the latter is cloaked in a counterfeit robe of righteousness.” (Tract 5, p. 63)

Thus we see that once we have ” a perfect knowledge of His Word” we then have spiritual discernment. We can know the pretenders from the real deals.

Obviously Jeremiah was the real deal and as such God warned him not to insult Him by praying for those repeat offenders and stanch rebels. Isaiah also enlightens us —

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” ( Isaiah 59:1-2)

2 —  What is the proper position to be in when praying?

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[3 LUKE 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[4 ACTS 9:40; 20:36, 21:5.] Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[5 EPH. 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt.[6 SEE EZRA 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.”[7 DAN. 6:10.]

True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realisation of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there; and as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanour, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. “Holy and reverend is His name,”[8 PS. 111:9.] the psalmist declares. Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!” (Gospel Workers, p.178)

Of course, as we posted before, prayer and supping are both meaningful ways to communicate with our King. As such, supping would naturally be more relaxed and experienced in ways such as driving, walking, resting in bed, etc. Prayer on the other hand is more formal, especially in public and this, when at all possible, should be in the form of kneeling.

Unfortunately we as Adventists have long since not kept this counsel active in our church. Sure we rigidly kneel as a robot during a brief part or two of the service. But there is often other times in the service where we carelessly stand.

Our prophetess, was moved to rebuke a pastor for not kneeling —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always….” (Prayer, p.207)

3 — How do we address our God in prayer?

Unfortunately, our adversary has tried to trick some believers in this way. The name of God being so important, they say, that if you incorrectly call Him a name He is not to be called, well you are doomed. But not to fear the Lord, again sets us straight on this issue. A true restoring, if you will. The counsel is found in Tract 13 called “God’s Titles Not Restricted To One Language.”

To read it click here —

In closing, let us remember that prayer is our lifeline, our cell line to use modern terms direct to the Throne of Heaven. Both prayer and supping are so valuable that we should, as Inspiration says – make it a “science”. A Sweet Science indeed!

Color Code: Orange –The Lord speaking,  Blue — Bible or SOP, Brown– Elijah message brought by Victor Houteff

Faith in Action

December 1, 2018

Image result for picture of jesus with the centurion

We have heard the well-known following words from our Lord —

“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” (Matt. 17:17)

Our Lord was exasperated with the lack of faith around him. But how about those who show great faith and put it in practice?

We remember one of the greatest examples of pure unadulterated faith exhibited by the Centurion.

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matt.8:5-13)

Today when we hear of such strong faith , it really encourages us. It motivates us to do likewise remembering that faith is so important in our Christian walk. This week we’d like to tell you about “Brother R”. We heard about this story this week and was led to share it. The following is what he wrote on FB —

Blessed by the goodness of God!

I lost my wallet today on a bike ride to the store. When I got home I immediately knew that it was not in my pocket. I got on my bike and followed the way back to the store. No wallet. I went inside the store and asked customer service. No wallet. I left my name and tele # with them. Then I rode back the same way. No wallet.

When I got home, Elba and I had prayer that it might be returned. I then cancelled my debit card which thankfully was the only card that I had. We both had faith that it would be found and returned. Later on I called the store to check in and see. No wallet.

We had some family over for Thanksgiving dinner this evening. My faith was still encouraged, even though it had been several hours by now. After the family time was over and everybody went home, I had began to think that it was not going to be found. I wrote down on my desk that I needed to contact the DMV, bus pass, and store discount card. Then we sat down to watch a movie. It was 9 pm.

Shortly thereafter…….
The doorbell rings. There stands two guys and a lady. I immediately knew what it was all about. They brought my wallet to the door. A mom and her two sons who were older. Wow! The mom’s husband found it on the sidewalk about a block away. He was unable to come. I didn’t hesitate to offer them a check. They all absolutely refused. I offered a couple of times, still they said no way. We praised God for them and gave them many thanks. We said, “God answers prayer”. They agreed.

What a God! God’s faithfulness was shown even when I had pretty much given up on the tail end. Bless His name! (This was the third time in recent years that my wallet was lost. Each time they were returned, nothing was missing.)

Although tempted to forego his faith, he still had faith in the power of the Lord to answer prayer, for he had lost his wallet two other times and each time, prayed and it has been done unto him. We notice that he and his wife did the most important thing, they took the matter to the Lord in prayer right away. So often we sadly forget to call upon the Lord in these situations, whether big or small, important or not so important.

But here is what really made us think. Brother R, his wife and myself all think it was no ordinary humans who found and then delivered this wallet, we believe it was–angels! Brother R relayed to me when we discussed this situation that there was something unique and wonderful about the “mom and her two sons”. For they smiled very warmly and presented themselves in, well let’s just say an “angelic way”.

God’s word says —

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”(Hebrews 13:2)

We also had the same unique and wonderful experience, which we related in the following post done back on Dec. 11, 2009 —

The above link post experience reminded me of a prior similar experience. Looking back, I truly believe it was angels who sat down with me for that dinner. Angels probably take a much more active role in the Christian experience than we realize. We remember Lot having that memorable meeting with the two men who were angels.

Some may say. “Yeah but I pray often for things but I don’t get much from it.” The Scriptures answers that —

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

In closing, our walk is built upon “the basics” and those are –love, faith, and obedience. When we learn to trust the Lord, He will certainly reward our faith if it is according to His purpose.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”(Matt.21:21)

Let Us Kneel

June 11, 2016

Jesus praying

Many of us as Seventh-day Adventists are aware of the prayers we make during our Sabbath service. For the most part, with the exception of the “garden of prayer” portion of the service, we all stand when we are led by the speaker  to ask for payers.

But what does our Biblical history through Scriptures show?

In Ephesians 5:1-2 we read–

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

One of the ways we can imitate God is through the prayer actions of our Lord and His prophets.

“And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,..”(Luke 22:40-41).

The Spirit of prophecy sheds light on our subject —

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Luke 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5.]

Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. [See Ezra 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” [Daniel 6:10.] {Gospel Workers p.178.2}

Now, to be clear, there is no command in the Scriptures to bow down on our knees to pray. Yet if we truly want to show honor and respect we can know that this act of holy reverence can only be pleasing to our Lord.

In Ecc. 12:13 we read–

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Many of us are well familiar with the holy 10 Commandments, but how many of us spend time thinking of “fearing the Lord”? This means ways we can show holy reverence and deep respect for His awesome power and might.

Daniel was a man who was highly favored of the Lord. One of the keys no doubt was his holy reverence in “kneeling” three times a day in prayer to the Lord. Are we to aspire to such elevated heights to please the ONE whom is worthy? We should be at least trying.

Our prophetess spoke quite firmly about this issue —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people.

But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always.” (Selected messages, vol. 2, p.311)

“We are living in perilous times. Seventh-day Adventists are professedly  the commandment-keeping people of God; but they are losing their devotional  spirit. This spirit of reverence for God teaches men how to approach their  Maker–with sacredness and awe through faith, not in themselves, but in a  Mediator. Thus man is kept fast, under whatever circumstances he is placed. 

Man must come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the  footstool of mercy. And as he receives daily mercies at the hand of God, he  is ever to cherish gratitude in his heart, and give expression to it in the  words of thanksgiving and praise for these unmerited favours.

Angels have been  guarding his pathway through all his life, and many of the snares he has been  delivered from he has not seen. And for this  guardianship and watchcare by eyes that never slumber and never sleep, he is to recognise in every prayer the service of God for him.” (NBL p.121.)

David, another man after God’s heart said —

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker”(Psalms 95:6).

One of the certain times we should kneel and pray is when the pastor or speaker comes up to preach the sermon.

“When the minister enters, it should be with dignified, solemn mien. He should bow down in silent prayer as soon as he steps into the pulpit, and earnestly ask help of God. What an impression this will make! There will be solemnity and awe upon the people.

Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon all, and angels 493 of God are brought very near. Every one of the congregation, also, who fears God should with bowed head unite in silent prayer with him that God may grace the meeting with His presence and give power to His truth proclaimed from human lips.

When the meeting is opened by prayer, every knee should bow in the presence of the Holy One, and every heart should ascend to God in silent devotion. The prayers of faithful worshippers will be heard, and the ministry of the word will prove effectual. The lifeless attitude of the worshippers in the house of God is one great reason why the ministry is not more productive of good.”(Testimonies, vol. 5, p.492-493)


To summarize, this issue really is a “search your heart” issue and the Lord is leaving it up to us to know our reverence. Many times we pray but may be driving in the car or at another place where kneeling is not possible or inappropriate. But when it is, our first and best action is to  kneel before the MOST HIGH and offer up our petitions. After all our great leaders of the past did it and the KING Himself did it.


Persistence Pays Off

April 11, 2015

knocking on door

“And he said unto them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 8:5-10)

Here we see that Jesus gives us a lesson in persistence. A trait that surely is a God send to those who use it. And again in Luke, Jesus also tells the story of the persistent widow of Luke 18:1-8, who continues to ask the judge for justice and relief, and finally he hears her and grants what she wishes for. Let us look at this desirable trait and what comes from it should we heed our Lord’s lesson.

Through out history, there are legions of stories of the faithful man, who falls in love with the woman of his life, yet she does not initially reciprocate. He gets rebuffed time and again, yet does not give up! Finally after much sweat and tears, he successfully engages the dream girl of his life. What was one of the things that won her heart? No doubt–persistence.

Or how about the many stories of the Billionaire, who had to file bankruptcy once even maybe twice before he made all those billions. Again, persistence is the main ingredient.

So if persistence is often very important for success in worldly endeavors, how much more will it be for the eternal spiritual life? Let us look at a couple specific examples.

Recently I have become friends with a brother in the faith, let’s call brother B. He is a SDA who seems to genuinely love the Lord, possessing a Burean spirit. During our conversations, I found out that he has been working Sabbaths in his line of work. This to me was a serious concern.

As many of you know we have posted several posts concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, and specifically the dire results that will occur to those who haphazardly keep it. The Numbers 16:32 story should be all the proof we need to know,  the Lord does not take this issue lightly.

I had known him at least 3 months prior to finding this out and had met with him in our weekly church studies at least 10 times. How I found out was I invited him to come to my home for a prophecy study. It was to be a Friday evening (Sabbath). he casually said “Sorry, but I am working Friday night.” Huh? I thought. So I began to find out a little more about his circumstances.

As we showed last post , SOP showed how we should feel in knowing about sin–

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

So this bothered me and I found out that he had been doing this for quite some time. The next week, I determined to have a talk with him. I had just completed my “Bible study presentation room” and invited him to come over during the week. He said he would. Later he came over.

As we sat down in the room, and after showing him the room and the certain equipment I had set up to present the studies in the future, I got down to business. I looked straight at him and told him he must start praying and pleading with the Lord to be released of this sinful burden. I told him that the Lord is done “winking” at sin. If it’s in our power to do something we must. We cannot carelessly sit back and think the Lord will accept our indiscretions.

I said, “You must plead and pray constantly for the Lord to help you get out of this situation. He will help you but you must take the first step of serious pleading.” You see, brother B had become complacent. Careless and stupid is the right description, harsh yes, but exactly true.

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid,..” ( Testimonies, vol. 2, p.337)

Where was brother B’s persistence in prayer and pleading? Where was his sorrow and disgust that he has to do such things Sabbath after Sabbath? It largely did not exist.

But apparently God had used me to awake him. Four weeks later, at church service, he told me he had good news, that he got his schedule changed and no longer had to work Sabbath. “Praise the Lord”! I said.

You see, brother B did not really need me to come along and tell him what the right thing to do is. All he needed to do is pray constantly, even with sweat upon the brow, that the Lord would help him to get out from this trap! Persistence and pleading, knocking at 12 midnight again and again upon the Lord’s door, and He will answer and give that which is right according to His will.

But prayer without action can sometimes be mis-guided. I am reminded of an old Christian saying. There were two men in a small boat and it developed a hole in it out at sea.  One man said to the other let us pray and God will save us. The other said “let us pray as we bucket the water out without delay.” In other words action in addition to prayer is often the right ingredients.

Brother B should have become a persistent fellow just like that widow in the above parable. He should have continued to ask about a schedule change, inquiring often to let the boss know he meant business. in other words, a man on a mission to get right before God–THEN– wow what things would take place! Prayer and action–powerful!

“Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”(Mark 11:24)

The next example comes from a sister we’ll call sister T. She’s a single mother and has been a long time SDA who has learned the Elijah message and has advanced in the light of God’s end time message. As she has continued her progress in knowing and walking in the advanced light, about a year ago she learned the real meaning of God’s prophecy in Malachi. How He made a promise that when one brings their Tithes and offerings in His real storehouse(s)  He will fulfill His promise to send blessings so good, you’ll hardly believe it.

But things did not go so well even after becoming a faithful giver, she experienced some rough times financially and otherwise. But she persistently continued to do her part in paying what was due God. She did not give up. She was believing His word. Then recently it was God’s time to “pay back” that which He promised. Recently she let me know that she is starting to receive much blessings in her new line of work. Things are starting to brighten up for her, and our watchful Lord is orchestrating it as only He can do.

As we have learned, our faithful Lord  responds to persistence. But He knew that we would, in these last days, become careless and stupid. In Rev. 3:19 our Lord said” zealous and repent.” What is zealous? Is not persistence one of the main ingredients of zealousness?

In closing, if there is something desired and in line with our Lord’s will, let us remember this most wonderful trait–persistence. For by practicing this, in prayer and action,  our Lord will “awake” even at the most late hour and give that which we desire according to His will.

“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.

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

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!

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