Prayer is critical to any nation. With America at a crossroads, it is the only thing that will bring real change to this country.
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Job's friends are an example of how not to treat a friend in need. What can we learn from them about how to pray for those we love?
Effective and powerful intercession requires communing in the most intimate way with God's divine presence.
There is an ancient Hebrew Levitical covenant that, though only mentioned three times in the Bible, may hold the key to a great awakening in our nation. The Salt Covenant, a seemingly “minor” divine connection that’s explicitly referenced in Leviticus 2:13 and Numbers 18:19, is actually alluded to throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
In 2 Chronicles 13:5, we see the power of this ancient covenant in action. Abijah, the king of Judah, stands with his 400,000 men ready for war against Israel’s 800,000-soldier army, led by King Jeroboam. Most leaders in Abijah’s position would think again before fighting an army twice its size, yet he seizes the opportunity to warn Israel that it should reconsider attacking because of a divine covenant Judah has based on … salt. “Should you not know,” he asks, “that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?” Israel didn’t heed the warning, and as a result 500,000 of Jeroboam’s men died—the largest single-day slaughter in history to this day.
Consider what an army of New Testament, Spirit-filled believers walking in the power of this Salt Covenant could do today! We are in the mother of all spiritual battles, with our nation morally imploding before our eyes. Just as Israel sinned and forsook God, America has rejected warning after warning. We must move into intense covenant power with God. This is the time for all believers to grasp the revelation of the Salt Covenant and walk in it.
What does that look like? Throughout Scripture we find salt to be a true type of personal holiness. Jesus told us to “have salt in yourselves” (Mark 9:50). There has never been a genuine move of God that did not include the salt of personal holiness, nor will there ever be. Walking in holiness is key to experiencing the power of God in our lives. However, the Salt Covenant doesn’t just include salt; there must be a sacrifice for the salt to go on. And here is where Leviticus 2:13 establishes a powerful biblical truth: Every sacrifice must have salt on it. This is why Jesus called Himself the “bread of life” (John 6:35), going beyond what the “grain offering” mentioned in Leviticus 2:13 could ever do. He is the one and only sacrifice for sin.
The Salt Covenant joins the imputed righteousness of God with the personal righteousness that every recipient of grace has the privilege and duty to walk in. Through Christ we can walk in this divine covenant and truly be, as He called us, the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) in a time when America must once again walk in covenant with God if it hopes to flourish again.
By reaching out to the poor in the community, Hope4Philly displays the healing love of Christ
Movement partners with America for Jesus to encourage Americans to pray, fast and repent prior to Election Day
Restoring the true spirit of America
Why the City of Brotherly Loves founderand foundationsare key to Americas spiritual future
America for Jesus is an opportunity for Americans to come before God in repentance at a critical juncture in the nations history
Here are five examples of people God used to move mountains.
As in previous election years, a solemn assemblythis time in Philadelphia on Sept. 28-29could be a turning point for a nation in critical condition.
God does not always respond to prayers, even those initiated out of great need.
Consider the times God has seemed not to answer your prayers when you asked for what you consider to be good things. Why didn't He come through? God doesn't answer our finest prayers if what we've asked for: would enable us to stay rooted in wrong understanding would allow us to hold onto something we need to release would enable us to follow a path away from His will.
God does not always respond to prayers, even those initiated out of great need, when the human soul is seeking a wrong answer. He does always respond, however, to obedience and surrender in the soul of a believer who has humbled himself and turned from his own personal agendas and wicked ways.
I believe God has said, "If you want to get everything you pray for, pray right prayers." Right prayers issue forth from a heart that desires to see His truth manifested and His will being done--and makes itself available to help carry out His will.
God doesn't need Christians who will take on the devil. He needs Christians who will humble themselves and trust in Him. He can take care of the power stuff Himself!
James Dobson gives advice on what to do when your child has turned away from the Lord.
An evangelist told me about a trip he made to India a few years ago. Shortly after J. John arrived, he heard about a saintly woman called Sister Theresa (not Mother Teresa) who had a powerful gift of the word of knowledge. J. John was able to meet her, and he said to her, "If you have a word for me, I would be so grateful."
He said she turned around and left. He feared he had offended her. But she came back to him an hour or so later with a list of 13 items (some of which almost bowled him over they were so accurate), ending with these words, which he will never forget: "God likes your company and asks that you give Him two hours of your time every day. That's all. Goodbye." Wow!
What I call positive prayer affects us on a daily basis.
But what does "positive" really mean? Is it just "positive thinking"--the habit of putting the best face on all circumstances? Or is it, for a Christian, something much more?
I'm convinced it is. Some Christians you meet just radiate joy and hope, often in the face of circumstances or difficulties that many of us would find daunting. Are they overlooking their problems, deluding themselves about life's sometimes ugly realities?
No, they are not. I think what all of these Christians have found is something far more dynamic than merely thinking positively, fine though that is. It is what I would call "the power of positive prayer." The Christians you just love to be around when the flight is cancelled or the barbecue rained out are the people whose lives are soaked in the presence of God's promises and goodness. They are neither naive nor self-delusive about life.
They simply have decided to spend more time focusing their minds on God's promises than on life's problems. And it is that determination that turns their whole lives into ones of positive prayer--a prayer based not on feeling, but on a decision of the mind.
In the past I wrote about the impact upon my own life of the "praise" books by Merlin Carothers. A decorated former U.S. Army chaplain, Carothers showed how the shock of serious setbacks can be deflected immediately--and sometimes the setbacks actually reversed--by choosing to praise God amid them. Praise unleashes God's power on our behalf.
But what I call positive prayer affects us on a daily basis even more deeply than this. Over a period of time it reshapes our entire thinking, and we find ourselves praying the way God almost certainly would want us to pray if we had the faith that He was truly going to act in our circumstances.
Does this mean that we should expect God to answer every prayer we make, instantly? Of course not. It does mean we don't simply believe in the reality of God's love for us and His ability to alter the entire universe, but we come to know the reality of that power as if God had actually allowed us to be the residence, in a way, of the kingdom of God itself.
Of course, that's exactly what Jesus Himself said: "'The kingdom of God is within you'" (Luke 17:21, NIV). We don't "know" this in the same way that we know that it's raining outside (because we see it), but because we have come to experience this love over and over again.
Few people have written about this principle more excitingly than the Australian clergyman Canon Jim Glennon, from Sydney. In his book How Can I Find Healing? Guidelines for Sick and Worried People (Bridge-Logos), Glennon tells the story of his own recovery from a paralyzing fear that would at times almost incapacitate him.
The fear forced him to see what God's promises were in the Bible. He found, for example, 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (NKJV), and he began to repeat this verse to himself hundreds of times a day until the reality of God's Word--of God's love and power toward Jim Glennon--took root in his mind and pushed out the fear altogether.
Of course, God allows difficulties to come our way, and Glennon wryly refers to them as part of "a theology of permitted difficulties." But he also shows us that if we take care always to be right with God, especially by repenting of any bitterness or unforgiveness, we can draw in a daily and growing way on God's great power and experience the joy and peace He wants us to have.
God knows that we cannot have a problem-free life, but He has given us provision to be victorious and joyful in the midst of it. The wonderful starting point is the power of positive prayer.
* David Aikman is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. A former foreign correspondent with Time magazine, he is the founder of a global fellowship of Christians in journalism. Based in Burke, Virginia, with his wife, Nonie.
If the prayer of one righteous man avails much, just think about what the prayers of two or more righteous people will accomplish.
It has been my privilege over my fifty-plus years as a Christian to always have a prayer partner. There are so many advantages in having a prayer partner. This passage in Matthew gives two very important reasons for us to pray with others. Jesus tells us, "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:19-20, KJV).
I can think of nothing worse in the world than for something that God is in to be happening and I not recognize it.
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." -Genesis 28:16
The most wonderful thing that can happen to anybody is for God to turn up. The problem is that we don't always recognize Him at the time, and we only see later that it was God.