“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” (Martin Luther)
Attending the World Prayer Assembly has re-ignited, adjusted, rebuked, corrected and re-calibrated my life as a Christ follower.
It is so easy to live life apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit.
… apart from the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
… apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
I can actually go about my day doing things for God not realizing I am doing things without God.
From being a husband to being a dad.
From being a Victory Group leader to being a pastor.
From working in the office to going to the mall with my lovely wife.
The Bible says in Acts 19:11 that God did extraordinary miracles through Paul…
It didn’t just say miracles. The Bible said “extraordinary” miracles as if miracles are actually ordinary.
Note that a few verses earlier, Paul was just talking and preaching about the person and the power of the Holy Spirit. Then immediately after, it talks about God doing extraordinary miracles through him.
I’m reminded of what Francis Chan said in his book, Forgotten God.
I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that am desperate for him to come through. And if He doesn’t come through, I’m screwed.
Lord teach us to always move in the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit that we may bring honor and glory to you every moment of our lives.
IS GOD DEAF?
I spoke to a guy one time who asked me if God still listens to prayer these days.
He has prayed to God several times yet seemingly is not getting any answers.
1. Does God answer prayers?
Jeremiah 33:3 says to call upon Him and He will answer.
The Bible doesn’t say that He might or He probably will. The Bible says He will.
2. Now if God answers prayers, does He answer the way we wish Him to?
He always answers but the manner that He does may be different. In fact, the answer we get may not be what we expect it to be, but He does answer.
Isaiah 55 tells us that His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are way beyond our thoughts.
We ask Him to open a door, yet the door He opens may be the one on the left, not the one on the right.
3. If He does answer, will it be good.
Actually, when He answers, it is much better than we ever expected.
Ephesians 3:20 says that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.”
In other words, when He answers, it is way better than what we expected.
Does He answer prayer? A resounding yes!
Does He answer the way we want Him to? Not necessarily.
If He does answer, will it be good? Actually, it’s way better than what you’ve ever imagined or expected. Trust Him and see what He does.
SNIPPETS FROM THE WORLD PRAYER ASSEMBLY
Quick thoughts and quotes from the World Prayer Assembly Indonesia.
Here are some of the snippets.
To see what you’ve never seen, you’ll have to do what has never been done. (Ed Silvoso)
God has given us the mission mandate and the prayer mandate.
The mission mandate —> Matthew 2818-20. Go and make disciples of all nations.
The prayer mandate —> Matthew 9:38. Pray … to send forth workers…
This generation has become a fatherless generation.
Today’s modern day orphans are those that are being parented by iPads, cable TV and Facebook. (Jerome Ocampo)
REACH OUT BY PRAYING
I’ve often said that I’ve never met anyone who has ever rejected prayer.
I still stand by that statement. I’ve seen people, during the lowest of lows, cry out to God in desperation wherein a couple of weeks before that, spirituality was nowhere to be observed.
Here’s a testimony of a college student who messaged me and shared her experience…
pastor, i’m always praying for this girl na ma-reach out. i never fail to invite her sa touch point youth service. classmate ko po sya. then immersion came. dun na po sya nag-birthday. syempre po, wala yung family nya. morning pa lang, i was planning how to approach her and tell her that i wanna pray for her. parang may force na tumutulak sa akin. i was looking for a proper timing kasi busy din kami lahat. evening came and may activity pa kami. i know aabutin pa ng past 12mn bago kami matapos kaya i decided na iapproach na sya. ayoko kasing matapos ang bday nya na hindi ko nagagawa yung thing na alam kong si GOD ang nagsasabing gawin ko.
at first, i really do not know how to start. i said na gusto ko syang ipagpray. medyo natawa pa nga sya sa akin but she accepted my offer.
after my prayer saka ko lang po napansin na umiiyak sya. i know that GOD really touched her heart. she thanked me and we hugged for a couple of minutes…
GOD is really amazing! praise the Lord!…
“EVEN IF GOD DOESN’T ANSWER…”
Testimonies from the recent Prayer and Fasting keep coming in.
Here’s one which is probably in my top 3 most favorite Prayer and Fasting testimonies shared by Noemi.
Why fast? More than praying for things to happen, it was an encounter with God. All of a sudden my lifestyle changed. I have finally finished the New Testament, which given my Bible reading pace, I would have for 6 months. My eyes were opened to people other than myself. I began to see prayer requests in the hearts of others without them telling me.
My prayer started to sound like an intimate conversation with God – like I was talking to a long-time friend. His words speak to me like no other. I appreciated the things that I have and realized that I don’t lack a thing. I was going through something personal at the moment butI was filled with peace – the kind that the world cannot give.
Why fast? Because to deny yourself of a pleasure in its simplest form (food) for a greater purpose is to see who God really is in His greatest splendor. When we draw near to Him, He will make Himself known.
With all that I gained from those 7 days, I will never be on the losing end even if God doesn’t answer my 10 faith goals. I am already a winner in every sense of the word.
“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
PRAYER ANSWERING GOD
Stories of God’s faithfulness keep coming in.
He is indeed a prayer answering God.
Here’s one from Leng G. who sent me a text this morning.
Hi. Ptr Paolo, wud really like to thank u for prayin healing towards the sick people last worship night before the fast. I was not really prayin for myself but to those people around who raised their hand somehow my body conformed to the pain on my legs due to sprain and I just totally ignore the fact that it was painful it was then when u pray that I felt the difference between there is pain or not. I m really refresh and until now the sprain didn’t come back..thank u so much…… God keep u and ur family always :)….
Again, I say to you, that if two of you are in agreement on earth about anything for which they will make a request, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19, BBE)
Wow it’s 1-11-11. Cool date.
Today’s was a long day. Full of meetings. His grace was sufficient.
Lots of great stuff today.
Met about “Strong” series. Message no. 2 on the way. Message no. 1 here.
Great to meet with men (metro manila pastors) who are passionate for God and His kingdom.
Afternoon staff meeting was good. Every department positioned for a great year… by His grace.
Good ‘passionate’ discussion on certain things. I’m thankful for men who will say what they feel is the right thing to do and are not just “YES” men.
Prayed for a guy who is believing God for restoration of marriage.
Lord, I pray for all the marriages represented. Heal, restore, strengthen.
Prayed for the nation tonight. Awesome.
P Manny shared a powerful message. “Don’t have a grasshopper mentality.”
“How you see yourself is how others will see you.” – Manny Carlos. This principle was taken from Num 13:33 which says, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
We cry out for this nation. Lord, heal our land. Heal us, your people.
Need to stay open and sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Praying for the nations tonight. Ps 2 – Ask and I will give the nations to you.
Praying for future church plant in Paranaque.
Lots of distractions but will keep my eyes on Jesus.
They say after day 3, it gets easier. I’ve heard that many times in the past years. I still have to wait for that to happen to me.
Weakness before God. When I am weak, He is strong.
More toxins coming out… physically and spiritually.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Cor. 12:9, NLT)
Random thoughts on Prayer and Fasting Day 3 (PF D3)
Gunk coming out. I’m not just talking about toxins.
Stuff in my heart that needs to rectified, changed, adjusted.
My wife showed me things I need to adjust in my personal life, leadership in the home and life in general.
Hurts when that happens. But pruning is necessary.
Fasting is good. Brings out the best… and the worst in us so that God can move.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)