Calling Godly Men!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. . . . I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8).

Please note the following about this passage.

The Priority of Prayer (2:1)
The second chapter of 1 Timothy contains instructions for public worship. Paul has something urgent on his mind by using the word exhort as given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21). This urgency is directed to the need of giving preeminence to prayer in public worship, and may I add, to life in general (Luke 18:1). In other words, prayer is to be first in rank, to take first place in importance.

What place does prayer hold in your life or home or school or business or recreation or marriage?

What place does prayer hold in the life of your church? How about in the Sunday worship gatherings? Mid-week gatherings? Evangelism? Discipleship? Sunday School classes and small groups? Deacons’ Meetings? Awana’s? Small group meetings in homes? Men and Ladies’ gatherings? Etc.?

You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed (A.J. Gordon).

The greatest thing anyone can do for God or man is pray (S.D. Gordon).

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray (Samuel Chadwick).

The Person in Prayer (2:8)
After acknowledging the only Meditator between God and man for salvation as well as prayer, the Lord Jesus Christ (2:4-6), Paul returns to public worship and the role of men (2:8).

Who are to be the leaders in prayer in our churches today?

How thankful I am for all the dear precious ladies who have given themselves to the ministry of prayer over the years! But, the church should be and must be known for the men who pray, not the ladies first. Quite frankly, the church is too feminine in many ways, and that is not a knock against ladies. Here, the exhortation is clearly laid upon men.

Men, it is time for us to be the prayer warriors, the prayer leaders, the prayer intercessors, the person in prayer!

Men are the ones to pray . . .

Everywhere – That’s exactly what it means, in every place.

With earnest desire – Lifting up hands in prayer is a natural response, a natural indication of earnest desire. Sometime take note of all the places in scripture that show the lifting up of hands as a part of praying (1 Kings 8:54; Nehemiah 8:6; Psalms 28:2; 141:2; 143:6)

With clean & committed lives – The word for holy hands refers to moral purity as well as a devoted life. Prayer is null and void if sin is unconfessed, and we not totally committed to Christ.

Without anger – Interesting that anger is mentioned here. If men are to be faithful prayer warriors, the sin of anger which so easily besets too many men must be overcome by the power the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God (Galatians 5:17, 20, 22-26; Ephesians 4:26, 31-32; James 1:20). Anger is a major mental distraction to prayer. The best way to overcome anger is to pray.

Without doubting or dissension – Furthermore, when it comes to prayer there is to be unity and harmony and a proper mental attitude of faith-believing.

Men, our greatest example of prayer is the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. See Him praying in Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 14:23; 19:13; 26:36-44; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 11:1; Hebrews 7:25, to name a few.

At the very next prayer gathering in your church, men will you lead?

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day (E.M. Bounds).

God’s cause is committed to men; God commits Himself to men. Praying men are the vice-regents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans (E.M. Bounds).

The Crying Need of the Hour!

Prayer quote - Chambers (2)

As I read various blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook, and emails concerning ministry in this day, I sense a glaring need, an overlooked necessity, and an unfulfilled promise.

What is it?

The crying need of the hour is that we as individuals, local churches, colleges, and other parachurch ministries be sold-out to the calling of effectual, fervent, heart-rendering, transparent, crying out to God in faith-believing prayer!!!

E.M. Bounds said in his book Weapon of Prayer, “Nothing is well done without prayer for the simple reason that it leaves God out of the account.”

That is the greatest reason why we need to pray today!  We need to see the character of God displayed in answers from God that will give God the glory and cause man to praise His matchless, transcendent name! To be in absolute awe of Who God is!!

We need a touch from God on our individual lives, our marriages, our families, our churches, and our nation!!

Lost souls need to be saved for God’s glory!  Revival needs to break out in our churches!  Christ needs to be exalted over programs and policies!  We need God!!!

Meditate on the following:

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3).

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:24).

We have seen more than enough of what man can do.  Let’s pray and believe God for what He said He would do!!

Will you join with other believers in this kind of praying?  Will you make the sacrifice?  Will you cry out to God and believe Him for the God-size answers?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

The Priority of Life

crooyi6vuaalfeh
MYBIBLE.COM

Prayer should be the number one priority of our life.  That’s your life-line to the Throne of Grace. That’s how you seek God first (Matthew 6:33). “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.   Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan(John Bunyan).

A shield to the soul

Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.  (Psalm 28:6-7)

A sacrifice to God

Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (Psalm 144:1-2)

A scourge to Satan

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7).

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Often I hear my wife say, “No decision before prayer.”  If you seek Christ first, I think you will be engaged throughout your day in much silent and vocal communication with your Heavenly Father Who loves you and always has His ear open to your cry!

 

And They Continued

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Men’s Prayer Advance

One of the most fascinating books in the Bible is the one penned by Luke, the book of Acts.  Every time I read the first few chapters and see the early church in action, my heart shifts into fourth gear, and it’s rolling!  What an awesome privilege to be involved in the much later years of continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ, not because of who and what we are, but because of Who and What  He is!!  Does it get any better than that????  Wow!

In the second chapter, I find a word that resonates in my heart . . . continue (2:42, 46-47).  These passages read, They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

The word continue means to “give constant attention to” (2:42) and “to continue all the time in a place” (2:46).  The first definition speaks of a daily attitude toward prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and the second refers to set times of corporate prayer.  Put the two together and you see that no matter when the church meets, whether on a Sunday or in someone’s home or at a small group fellowship gathering or in a leadership meeting, prayer is always a part of that meeting.   Interesting that the second word is in the present tense, therefore, this praying in community never stops; it is always an essential element of corporate gatherings no matter the size. And may I add, I really believe that this time of prayer is not just for the food or a brief time of prayer so we can move onto the rest of our business, service, or activity.  Prayer as we see in the early church was indeed their declaration of total dependence upon God!

If Boones Creek Bible Church is to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ as it moves forward through its 60th year of ministry, we MUST CONTINUE in prayer just as we see in Acts 2:42, 46.  Truth is, the Church really did not begin at Pentecost.  It all started in a prayer meeting in the Upper Room prior to Pentecost . . . These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14).

And they continued in prayer.

That Went By Fast!

download

Last Friday night, our church hosted a simulcast of CryOut16, an event that will forever be hallmark in our church’s history. If you are not familiar with this event, the press release below will bring you up to speed.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Revive Our Hearts is hosting a large-scale simulcast prayer event on Friday, September 23 from 6-9 pm CT/PT, 7-10 pm ET/MT to gather thousands of women to pray for God’s mercy and supernatural intervention in our world, our nation, our churches, our cities, and our homes. While the world around us wrestles with wavering hope in political parties, portfolios, safety, stability, or the advancement of the right social cause—we are crying out to the only One who gives hope and peace. Cry Out! is an opportunity for you to actually do something together that will make a difference. Thousands strong. Crying out to the King of Kings to do in us and in our nation what no man-made effort can accomplish. “I’m asking the Lord to place a deeper hunger for prayer in the hearts of thousands of women for such a time as this,” Wolgemuth says. “These are dark days for sure. But this is not a time to despair. These days present an opportunity for the Lord to display His power in amazing ways. That’s why we need to seek His face and to ask Him to show His power by reviving the church and drawing the hearts of lost sinners to Himself.” This three-hour prayer meeting will focus on five areas of prayer emphasis: personal, families, churches, our nation, and the world. Each segment will be led by a different keynote speaker and will include Scripture reading, a short devotional message, corporate interactive prayer, and worship.  (cryout16.com)

Prior to Friday, some ladies wondered if they could last three hours in a prayer meeting.  Some of their family and friends declared doubt as well.  But every lady who stayed until the very end said, “That went by fast!”

Why do we question the ability to spend three hours in the presence of our loving, holy, just, righteous, omnipotent, omniscient, grace-giving God?  May I offer a few suggestions from Psalm 63:1-8?  Feel free to add others in the comment section below.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

  1. Our relationship with the Lord is not top priority (63:1)
  2. We do not seek the Lord early in time (63:1). Our schedules which reflect our decisions have pushed God right out of our lives.  “Lord, I only need you when I am in trouble.”  Therefore, we are uncomfortable spending 30 minutes or more in His presence because what we do is more important than Who we know.
  3. We are not earnestly seeking, thirsting, and longing for our God (63:1). Praying with your eyes and your Bible wide open, praying Scripture, will help you seek after the Lord!
  4. We are content to dwell in this dry and thirsty land in our own human power achieving human results that leave us empty and frustrated (63:1). The place of refreshment in this dry and thirsty land is in your prayer closet.
  5. Our eyes are not trained to see God, His character and His works, but we are well able to identify what the world is doing. We must train our eyes spiritually on our knees (63:2)
  6. Since our life is not given to prayer and meditation upon Him, praise does not come frequently, nor does the uplifted hand (63:3-6). Praise in prayer is an awesome expression of devotion and love before the Father!  Taking time to meditate on Him leads to heart worship and praise . . . and greater faith.

So, what is keeping you from knowing your Heavenly Father in prayer?  If you participated in the CryOut16 prayer event, has your week started off in His presence hungering for more of Who He is?  Have you found yourself saying again, “That went by fast!”

Let these words from Psalm 34 permeate your heart:

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

Sabbatical Journey #4 – Away

Well, summer is over.  What did you do for your vacation with family or just your spouse or with some friends?  Disney?  The beach?  The mountains? Did you take any day trips?  How about a recreational excursion?  What planning went into your time away?   What was the result of your vacation?  Any take-aways?

Vacations can be a huge refreshment that can leave many wonderful memories, provide a break from your daily routine, and give some much needed rest. Interesting enough, sometimes when you return home, you need another week to just recoup from your vacation (Lol).

Question:  When was the last time you took a spiritual vacation?  No, I do not mean running away or taking a vacation from the Lord, but a planned set of days and location where you and/or family go to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ?  Have you ever taken such a trip?

This sabbatical was so extremely helpful spiritually.  My wife and I spent most of our mornings at home, on the front or back porch, reading, praying, studying, journaling, and listening.  Some days I would travel to the lake, or a secluded mountain top, or a quiet stream and spend my time letting God teach me and whittle away at my heart.

Perhaps you could spend one day a quarter at a place like Fairhaven Ministries, Roan Mountain, TN, and give that whole day to just meeting with the Lord.  Pack your lunch, take your books, and go hide away with the Lord. You, too, could find that lake, stream, mountain top or other secluded area.

Another great opportunity would be to attend Family Camp at a place like The Wilds in Brevard, NC.  There you would have time to get alone with the Lord; time for just you and your spouse to study and pray together; and opportunities to meet together as a family.  The preaching services, music, and workshops would draw you and your whole family closer to the Lord.  And a side note, I promise you would not spend as much on this vacation as you would for the same amount time, motel, and meals as you would at Disney.  And, your whole family will come home stronger in their walk with Christ than if they had spent a week at Disney. (By the way, I’m not hatin’ on Disney. Just sayin’. . .)

So, when you plan for your vacations and get-aways for the months ahead, how about planning some time to get alone with the Lord?  You will never regret it.

Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Luke 6:12 – In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #40

Not Really the End

What a journey this has been!  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting has been that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!  Looking back over the past 40 days, what is different about your life today?  Has your passion for prayer increased?  Have you found that you are more aware to take the next right step?  Has the beauty of Christ become more compelling in your life?  Has glorifying God become the major motivator in your life (1 Cor. 10:31)?  God has done a real work in my heart.  The plowing of the Spirit’s conviction was difficult at times, but I am grateful for His conviction that has led to change.

Now, we must press on for Christ!  Whatever distractions that caused you to be cold and indifferent, keep them in their proper place.  Whatever sin has easily beset you, it’s under the blood.  Walk in the victory that is already ours in Christ (1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 2:14).  Live in the reality of standing before Christ at the Judgment Seat (2 Cor. 5:9-11) and the horror for every unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).  Every morning, arise, meet with Jesus, and as Dr. Farrell reminded us, “Report for duty!”

Praise the Lord for souls saved this week as we saw six men, one lady and a boy received Christ!!  Many other decisions were made as well for God’s glory!!  The Gospel still changes lives because the Word is alive and still works!!

This is the end of our 40 days, but it really is not the end.  Let’s not be satisfied.  Let’s keep praying, sowing, growing, and making much of Christ!!  Keep on keeping on!!   Let’s have at it for Jesus!!

See you Sunday morning at 8:15 a.m. for Men & Ladies’ Prayer Meeting!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #39

Revival Quotes to Ponder

When the pulpit directs its deliverances to catch the popular ear, when it tones down its awful and solemn truths to the level of a pleasant entertainment, it is a fallen pulpit… The spirit of prayer cannot be in harmony with the spirit of entertainment in the Church of God. The feeble phase of holiness, the dulling effect of sin, the secularization of the church, the worldliness, the sensationalism, the absence of the spirit of worship, all these tend to destroy the forces that convict the sinner of sin. (E.M. Bounds)

Whenever the beauty of Christ, the pain of repentance, the shame of guilt, the fear of hell, and humility are lacking—it is a counterfeit revival. It is these deceptive, delusive, and entertaining features that distinguish the real from the false. (Harold Vaughn)

What kind of revival has been going on in your heart this week, in these past days?

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #37

Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival—men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations. – C. H. Spurgeon

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!