Praise the Lord for the Interruption!

Men's Prayer Advance 1
Men’s Prayer Advance 2018, Roanoke, VA

Sunday evening while we were worshiping the Lord in song as a church family, I received a text from a dear church member whose husband was in the hospital in severe pain. As soon as the song was finished, we took the opportunity to pray for this dear man and his wife.

During my visit in the hospital today, I expressed my appreciation for her taking the time to send a text so we could pray.  Immediately she apologized with a bit of embarrassment for the interruption.

At that moment, the Lord brought something to my mind which I shared with them.  Prayer never interrupts our Heavenly Father. Prayer never interrupts the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).  Prayer never interrupts the work of God.  Prayer never hinders the goings on in Heaven.  Therefore, why should stopping to pray be an interruption in our church services.  We have, I’m afraid, come to the place that in too many of our church services/gatherings our formalism has drowned out the Holy Spirit’s leading to change the service order so we can pray.

When I shared these thoughts with this dear lady and her husband, he without hesitation declared, “AMEN!”

Our churches would be so much better off, enjoying the presence of God, seeing His power at work, watching souls come to Christ, believers being revived, and enjoying the blessings of unity around the Throne of Grace if we prayed more (Psalm 85:6; Acts 2:42; 12:5; 16:16; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1).

Prayer is never an interruption!

“I Don’t Have Time.”

img_20180503_062806226_hdr-effects
“And in the morning, when I rise . . . .”

Really?

Question is, how does any true born-again believer think he or she can live in this present life without spending time at the feet of He Who created life; He Who gives you the ability to walk, talk, breathe, think, act, speak, etc?

Trust is, there is not a moment in our life that we are not desperate for God.  There is not a moment in our life that we are not dependent upon God.

Continue reading

Just Give Him Praise!

img_20180522_195203218

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!  
(Psalm 150)

Steven Cole asks an excellent question, “I wonder how many of us could honestly say, ‘Praising God characterizes my life’?”

Personally, there’s something special about being around people who love to praise the Lord!

Such was the case Tuesday night as a group of us attended the Bristol Revival in Bristol, VA.  This is the first week for these meetings under the gospel tent.  With around 2,500 or more in attendance, the praise did flow!

What a blessed time it was to gather outside the tent with around 200 men to pray before the service. With men crying out to the Lord, hands raised in supplication (1 Timothy 2:8), it was a blessed time in the presence of God asking for the power of God to change hearts and lives through the preaching of God’s Word

img_20180522_183545054

The praise and worship continued as the service began with joyful, full-hearted singing.  Once again, there was shouting, rejoicing, and brighten countenances all around.  These folks were praising God for Who He is and for what He had done!

What stood out to me were the young folks seated around me.  Next to me was a nine-year-old boy in our group who at one point nudged me on the leg and pointed to my hands.  They weren’t clapping with the music, and he did not want me to miss out on the blessing of praise!

In front of me were two young folk, ages 12-15, who seated next to their father, were more than engaged in rejoicing and making connections throughout the whole service.  It was a delight to see them so engaged.

The preaching of Evangelist CT Townsend was powerful and penetrating.  Oh the praise and joy that rolled as we were challenged to consider the blood that has redeemed us, reconciled us back to God, purchased our pardon, and set us free from our bondage to sin (Exodus 12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Colossians 1:14-22; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

The praise continued as lost souls walked forward at the invitation to receive Christ as their personal Savior!  As their names and ages were called out, the believers rejoiced with those in Glory (Luke 15).

“Psalm 150 gives us the where, why, how, and who of praise. Praise can be expressed through singing and music (including clapping, dancing, lifting our hands, kneeling, lying prostrate, etc.), through testimony and thanksgiving, prayer, sacrificial service, and giving.” (Cole)

Is your life characterized by praise?  Are you obedient to Psalm 150:6?

God is eternally worthy of all our praise!

A dear friend of mine in ministry is often heard to say, “Just give Him praise!”

Keep the Fire Burning


The recent cool temps have beckoned us to enjoy our backyard fire pit.  Last Saturday night, we had 16 folks gathered around the fire sharing testimonies and singing under the stars accompanied by two guitarists. Monday night, our daughter and son-in-law joined us for some family conversation and ice cream around the fire.  After they departed, my wife and I roasted marshmallows and talked for a while.

There’s something about a fire that draws you into some good fellowship.  There’s something about a fire that also creates some good practical spiritual applications for life.  Early on in the evening, the fire was full and burning bright.  To keep it that way, I had to keep adding logs to stoke the fire, and I had to pay attention lest it die out.


As I write this post, our fire pit has no life in it due to letting the fire go out and the cold temps settle in overnight on the remaining ashes and burnt wood.  No one is sitting around the fire.  No one is attracted to its glow, nor warmed by its flames, nor sustained by the food cooked over its embers.  But, when the cools temps roll around this evening, that beckoning call will return.


How careful we must be to keep our hearts burning for the Lord (Luke 24:32;Romans 12:11).  Just as I have to keep an eye on the fire to maintain its blaze, may I tell you that the best way to keep your spiritual heart on fire is through intimate prayer.  That includes your daily time of sitting at Jesus’ feet with your Bible and your eyes wide open listening and praying the Scriptures (Luke 10:38-42). Also that includes conversing with Him throughout your day (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Combined, that’s keeping your eye on the fire, the Lord Jesus Christ.  All of genuine, authentic life comes from Him and abiding in Him (Psalm 16:11; John 1:1-4; 11:25; 14:6; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-4; John 15:1-17).  As you pray, your heart will be warmed, your countenance will be changed, your life will be sustained, and you’ll find yourself wanting to be close to fire as you dwell in this cold, dark, sin-filled world.

Are you cold?  Stoke the fire. Get closer to the fire. Keep your eye on the fire. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes him alive, but the evidence that he is alive.”

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!   

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #36

If revival is being withheld from us, it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that “It is not by might, but by My Spirit.”  – Jonathan Goforth

Oh, that we would sincerely get a hold of this truth!!  Lord, send the revival!!

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!

Praises From Yesterday

  • Praise the Lord for the salvation of two college students who received Christ as Savior yesterday morning!  They were in our area visiting with friends while on spring break!  As we heard so much yesterday, “The Gospel still works,” and “People bring people to Jesus” (Mark 2).
  • Praise the Lord a daughter burdened for her dad’s spiritual condition, and he came to the service last night!
  • Praise the Lord for the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and folks stepping forward for Christ to make some decisions that will glorify y Him!
  • Praise the Lord for faithful believers who are praying, seeking God’s face, and believing God for what He can do!!

Here are a few principles from yesterday’s three messages from Dr. Tom Farrell

  • If you don’t witness, you are unsaved or unsurrendered!
  • When it comes to witnessing, you have ability through Christ, authority by Christ, and accountability to Christ.
  • God sends trials to develop us.  Satan sends temptations to destroy us.  If we do not respond biblically to trials, they will become temptations.
  • In reference to revival, do you want a meeting or a moving of God?

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #31

Something Rare and Special Going On!

Yesterday morning, I read the following Facebook status from Gerald Wolfe that said, “If I lived anywhere near Albemarle, North Carolina, I’d join up with the folks at Prospect Baptist Church! There’s something rare and special going on there that should be the “norm” for Churches across the country!”  That statement peaked my interest.  Gerald did not give any further explanation, but someone from the church did, and I definitely want to share it with you.

“God has placed His hand on this place. It is not anything we do or can explain. It is a pastor in Stoney Benfield that had taught us through the Word about repentance, love & worship. There is a freedom of worship to clap, cry, laugh & love. There is a call to prayer & submission to the one Holy God. There is a challenge to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. There is an expectation of meeting with the Lord every time the doors are open & that worship is out of the overflow of our personal time of worship, reflection & service throughout the week. There is a passion in ministry for the students, the children, the hurting, the addicted, the lost…this list goes on. …We can’t explain it, but we do experience it! No, we don’t get it all right. We are an imperfect people serving the Perfect God and we are so humbled and thankful that God had chosen to be here and pray that we remain amazed & humbled so that He continues to stay.”

I have one question to ask this morning, “Is something rare and special going on in your life this morning?”  If so, it will spill over into your family today and our church starting this Sunday.  Will you be a part of what should be the “norm”?

Isaiah 55:6-12

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

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 #30

Revival Opposition

As we have seen in our recent study, Nehemiah faced opposition from without (Chapter 4) and from within (Chapter 5).  God had called Nehemiah to do a work for Him and for His glory!  Whenever you move forward for God, expect opposition to come!

The saddest kind of opposition is that which comes from within.  How could anyone oppose the work of God?  I have.  How often He has spoken to me about witnessing to someone, bearing someone else’s burden, stepping out in faith, facing the conflict, etc., and I have argued, refused, and rejected to do what He had nudged me to do.  As a result, I miss out on seeing what God planned and missed out on the blessing of giving Him praise.

In another context, Sunday morning a dear saint of God went out the door after the service and remarked about how God had spoken to them.  They said, “I just wanted to raise my hand and praise the Lord, but nobody else around me was, and I was afraid.”  Yes, we should not let the fear of man be a snare to us (Proverbs 29:25) in worship, but we do.  But, what comes to my mind in that scenario is, would the way I live my life, the way I worship be such that I am in opposition to my brother or sister in Christ?  Am I hindering the work of God?

When God is at work and moving forward, I must not oppose it.  I must join Him in His work regardless of what man may think or how I feel.  Satan is always opposing us, the flesh is unprofitable, and the world needs to see genuine Christianity that brings glory to God!

This morning, as we are seeking the Lord in prayer and fasting for Him to do His work so we can give Him praise, ask yourself, “Am I any way opposing the work of God?”

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!

Passage to Read:  Ephesians 6:11-24