“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”—1 Samuel 16:7
Obedience. 1 Samuel 15 (v.22-23) But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
AOG. Never found a youth service this crazy. 1 pm sharp. Most of the seats are filled even before that. 5-10 minutes late, only seats at the back left. To a visitor’s point of view like moi, this church is really ‘fat’! I’m not primarily talking about the number of churchgoers. Workers are abundant. Seriously plenty. My friend also said, they have an army of intercessors, before and during service.
I used to call them fanatics. Know why? They came to my neighborhood, rang every house and invited us to come to their service. “Sorry, noone could take me there” “no problem, we could pick you up”. Err. “Well, I have something on that day, so not sure if i could come” “no problem, just tell us if you can come, or need any transport”. How persistent, I thought. They texted me the day before the event. They came several times. Of course, I didn’t want to see them. I told everyone in the house to tell them that I was not home. Never replied to their message. This happened to most of my friends I knew at school. We satisfied to mock them, made fun of their fanatic effort. They lifted their hands at church, became exaggeratedly emotional and melancholic while singing the song. They cried and… ah, how fanatic. That was a perfect word to illustrate them.
Only by grace now I could understand. And I want to do what they did and do. I still remember the first time I knew Him, I was shocked to know that I happened to be one that I called fanatic. I was not ashamed of that. I even join “these fanatics” (and become one of them) every Sunday consistently whenever I go back to Indo, by my own will.
That was quite a sidetrack. Moved on to sermon. Philip Mantofa talked to them like they are his own children. Somehow could tell how much he loves these young people. Glad to hear and see with my own eyes how God has used him greatly. Before the service ends, he encouraged them to come to those who’d been drawing back or in trouble, and pray with them. Saw anyone who just received Jesus? He encouraged them to bring that person to the baptism pool right away. Seems like they are used to praying for and reaching out to others since youth. True or not, partially or completely, whatever the argument against is, and after hearing many other stories I have no time to post right now, I asked myself, shouldn’t this be a good indicator of a healthy church? People who love to serve, love to pray, love the lost. Shouldn’t this be a culture of Jesus follower?
Too quick to judge? Maybe. Not a perfect observation (shallow, perhaps? teehee), just my impression. Looking at the bright side, coming to witness such condition makes me think to myself. Have I respected His presence in His house? Do I come with expectation to meet a King that I come earlier before the service starts? Nay. In Melb, I often woke up late, rushing, barely made it to the church, sometimes late. And I lived nearby, btw, 15 minutes walk. And about knocking every door, do I have such heart for the lost?Do I care much about what is in His heart? Do I love much my brothers and sisters?
Gilgal. The point where God planted specific passion in you and you keep envisioning it (he’s talking about passion for His glory). Looking forward to having this passion become real in my life! Need to get through Bethel, Jericho, til Jordan (2 Kings 2)
Consult to God. 1 Samuel 14:36-37 Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.” “Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied. But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.” So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day.
Almost there. Gonna finish the series of my trip in Indonesia soon. Been busy for the last one week there. Found writing this blog has its own adventure. Being amazed to see many things. Questions and prayers answered. Lessons and mistakes. The big picture of His plan captured. Blessed! And bless others too? (saying the last part to my little gut)
Devo. 1 Samuel 13:1-5 Are you driven by worries or faith?
Saturday night meeting old friends. Here how it went. Opened up with personal romantic stories. AF mentioned about openness and transparency in cell-group. Uh-huh, seemed like this is a big subject for me during this whole trip. Discussing matters on CG and C was sharing out her burdens. Planned to go home around 9pm. Still in the food court til the mall turned off the lights and called us to leave, around 10pm. Went to the car. Continued the talk. Never fail to love this type of ending: prayed together! 10.45 we went off. Openness. Something worth to be pondered. Kept reflecting back to FA back in Melb. Are we lacking this or are we not?
“Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: Lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.”Psalm 28:1 (KJV)
A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us—but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.
“Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot: they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest. And those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness, but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant.
When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness, for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing.
What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish.
M. Fellowship over lunch. Grateful to know her although it’s only been 6 months, we could share to each other openly. I thank God for every fellowship, every chance to share about Him and to witness His works. By His grace alone that He sustains my faith until today. It’s been adventurous!
Devo. 1 Samuel 12:19-24 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil;yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
A cake not turned is uncooked on one side. So Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: though there was some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left.
My soul, I charge you, see whether this be your case. Are you thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very center of your being so as to be felt in its divine operations in all your powers, your actions, your words, and your thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be your aim and prayer, and although sanctification may not be perfect in you anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action—there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reining sin in another, else you, too, will be a cake not turned.
A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humor. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake that is burned on one side, is dough on the other.
If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of your love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from your heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace—for I know well that if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of your grace, I must be consumed forever amid everlasting burnings.
Futurama. A friend ever had family praying time on daily basis. His sister was even taught to pray before she could speak. Now that is totally something more ubercool (than the idea of having it on weekly basis I heard earlier)! That will be in my wishlist too. Talked about the role of a mother as the family’s intercessor. To think myself as a mother? Too far yeah? Not a long-term-thinking person myself, but I was dragged to at least have some thoughts (feels like I’m few years to soon to ponder about it). Have been noticing that marriage and family has been quite a happening issue (and lesson). The best one is learnt from a family left by a (godly) Mom and whose oldest son just got married. So yeah, had some thoughts about it, heard some godly examples of marriage and parenting, got some godly advices too from some godly peeps. E.g. first, discover what kind of family you want, second, look for a spouse that suits those criteria. Perhaps an episode of LSD class from real life examples.
Slaps on my face. Fear God. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands. Isaiah 5:12
This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me,warning me not to follow the way of this people: “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. Isaiah 8:11-13
“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Isaiah 7:11-13
1 Samuel 11:12-14 The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.” But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.
Confession. Honesty again. I was not serious with God these times. Had been half-hearted. It’d all been about neglecting and putting Him aside. Being busy made a good excuse. Was busy meeting up with friends and forgot who gave them. Life is too great to pray less. (being sarcastic to myself, in case you don’t get it)
One plan moved. Yep, another one did not go as planned. But in return, I was able to apply for police check, accompanied by my brother. It did take good hours of waiting. Good enough for quality talk and witnessing more of His doing in his life, which was very comforting and assuring. Spent the whole day with family. Lunch with grandma, dinner with cousin’s family. Now, see, whose plan is better?
One plan turned down. Have been praying for tonight catch-up, it was cancelled in a sudden. Okay. First reaction. My schedule for this week was super tight that I had to turn down one invitation. If I had known we would not met, I could have arranged my time to accept that invitation. Second. I recently lost interest in tonight’s meeting but then was reminded to go with purpose. I was strengthened to keep praying for it as well. Now after all these things, I wasn’t going. Question marks. After grumbling and wondering why, yesterday’s convo came to cross my mind - His better plan. Learning to trust, please?
Highlighted. Family praying time! In the first place, I just asked my younger bro. There were my older bro and his wife, but they looked exhausted so I didn’t dare to ask them. Seeing my small gut, he asked them and then we gathered in my bedroom. We started praying for everyone in the family, especially the newlyweds. Can I scream? This is what I’ve wanted to do yet I didn’t have the courage to just simply ask them! But God was too gracious, He gave me such opportunity (screaming). A few minutes ago, I would not imagine this awesome thing happened, but it did happen :D
Even in this world, saints are God’s children, but men cannot discover them to be so, except by certain moral characteristics. The adoption is not manifested, and the children are not yet openly declared. Among the Romans, a man might adopt a child and keep it private for a long time. But there was a second adoption in public: when the child was brought before the constituted authorities, its former garments were taken off, and the father who took it to be his child gave it clothing suitable to its new condition of life. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared.”
We are not yet arrayed in the apparel that befits the royal family of heaven; we are wearing in this flesh and blood just what we wore as the sons of Adam. But we know that “when he appears” who is “the firstborn among many brothers,” we shall be like him—we shall see him as he is.
Cannot you imagine that a child taken from the lowest ranks of society, and adopted by a Roman senator, would say to himself, “I long for the day when I shall be publicly adopted. Then I shall leave off these plebeian garments, and be robed as becomes my senatorial rank”? Happy in what he has received, for that very reason he groans to get the fullness of what is promised him.
So it is with us today. We are waiting till we shall put on our proper garments, and shall be manifested as the children of God. We are young nobles, and have not yet worn our coronets. We are young brides, and the marriage day is not yet come, and by the love our Spouse bears us, we are led to long and sigh for the bridal morning. Our very happiness makes us groan after more; our joy, like a swollen spring, longs to well up like an Iceland geyser, leaping to the skies, and it heaves and groans within our spirit for want of space and room by which to manifest itself to men.
Church. God is good. Rewarded with His touch from the moment I got a seat. Felt being strengthened and recharged!
Unplanned plan. Went out for dinner with MC. Started with a hint of awkwardness, left with gratitude. Got to hear good news from M, very amazed of what the Lord has done in her recent trip. We also talked about His plan in our life, the way He made unfulfilled dreams and sudden alteration result in a praiseworthy blessing. Each reflected back. If I did go there, I would not be this way… If I did this, I would not know God… If this and that… we would not meet. Simple thing, it is, but too real to not to be marveled at. And this unplanned fellowship, was also part of His plan. Grateful for being brought to have them!
Devo. 1 Samuel 10. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
The day. My brother is getting married!! He looks awesome and big.
Not alone. Stayed in the hotel, shared a room with my little brother. He went to sleep earlier. I was busy with getting everything undone. Pulling off fake lashes, removing heavy foundie, stacking hair pins, and reaching the back zipper, it was gonna be a lot more fun if I have a sister (missing my “sisterhood” in Melbourne!!!). Being the only female in the family now feels harder. Self-pity much? Gah, being so emotional this late, I guess I was too tired. Well, the feeling of quitting comes again. Sometimes feel too weak, feel like escaping. Reminded that everyone else in the family also feels the same, but thanks be to God that til today, all of us are protected from foolish runaway. He even magnified His faithfulness to us.
Alleluia to Christ the Lord. I will lift my heart and sing, I will worship You My King. Earth and Heaven now proclaim, Jesus Christ The Mighty Name Through the storms and raging sea, I will never be alone. When my hope seems out of sight, I know You will shine Your light.
Devo. 1 Samuel 9. The Lord appointed Saul who came from the least clan of all the clans in the smallest tribe of all tribes of Israel to govern His people.
First step of faith? Shared out what God put in my heart. I was honestly hoping for being confirmed by someone else’s sharing but mine turned out to be the only odd one. However, I felt no regret but peace instead. I was sure it was the leading of the Spirit, may sound messy according to my judgment, but I did hope it could be blessing for some people. This was strengthened by the main sharing as well, about obedience despite the odds and believe that He will bring us to take more steps of faith.
Devo. 1 Samuel 8. To ponder: Am I too proud of my own judgment that I reject the best portion He’s going to give?
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie.
I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous. Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good.
Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
To be shared. Have been asking Him what can I share to CG this week. Answered. Fear of the Lord. I believe He will be with me and empower me (Sharing is always scary whaa!!)
Fellowship over dinner. With C and S, who are studying in a local Christian university. S just came back from a sort-of faculty camp, which invited a group of American evangelists. The participants were taken to train station and bus terminal where they would share the gospel. Man!! They are trained to evangelize. Cool! Envy them. S shared how she learned from how the American approached strangers and heard their testimonies in relation to evangelizing. We also talked about our family and problems in it. Felt so blessed really, can have such friends in Christ. Back in high school I would never know that God would call us to know Him, none of us would. Concluded with praying together in the car. What could be a better closing curtains? :)
Starts from two. Reached home and found my brother. Got the time to talk about us, about the family. Asked him to pray together for it. He said.. yes! Yay! I felt super fortunate to be given this chance. We’ve been carrying the burden for this family on our own, now we can release it together as a family in prayers.
Meanwhile. Group chat. S told me and C that she just prayed with her mom. C shared this verse, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27), which S got that morning and I got before leaving Melbourne to Indo. Amazing, isn’t it?
Devo. 1 Samuel 7:2-17. Two things: a matter of my rebellious heart and a matter of interceding for family & friends.
(v.3) So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
(v.8-9) They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.
Rebuke for being rebellious. Refused to read the Word and chose to gaze longer on facebook. Here’s the consequence : Hebrews 12:18-29
(v.25-29) See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Touche. Did not feel like reading the Bible but He managed to lure me to read this verse online. Indeed, just can’t escape.
Anyway, found something interesting in verse 29. There are two opposing elements in response to His grace i.e. we are given an unshaken kingdom. Firstly, we are to be thankful for His sacrifice, which is related to His love. On the other hand, we are to worship with reverence, which is related His character as a consuming fire. Love and consuming fire. What I get is, reading the previous verses, we have not been warned as God struck Israelites with fire, darkness, gloom or storm literally (no wonder even Moses who was close to God trembled). Although we are living under the new covenant, we shouldn’t forget that God is still the same God now and then, He is still the consuming fire, who detests wrongdoings and disobedience. But to His children, He’s been patient, and His children won’t continue to test His patience.
Meetings: The good, the bad and the ugly (ch 4 of Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets)
Intercession Creates a Meeting. The Hebrew word for “intercession,” paga, means “to meet”. Intercession is not primarily a prayer a person prays, but something a person does that can be done through prayer. Intercession creates a meeting. Intercessors meet with God, they also meet the powers of darkness.
A Meeting for Reconciliation. Similar to Christ’s, often our meeting with God is to effect another meeting - a reconciliation. We meet with Him asking Him to meet with someone else.
What Christ did when He met the Father to create a meeting between God and humanity: Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalm 85:10, NASB). He not only is a God of lovingkindness (which represents His mercy, kindness, love and forgiveness), but He is also a God of truth (which represents His integrity and justice). He does not merely represent peace (safety, wholeness and rest), but also righteousness (holiness and purity), without which there can be no peace. The dilemma is this: A truly holy, righteous, just and true God cannot simply forgive, grant mercy to or bestow peace on a fallen humanity without compromising His character. Sin cannot be excused. It must be judged and with it the sinner. So, how can this holy, yet loving, God marry the two? THE CROSS!!
When this took place, Christ’s ministry of reconciliation was being accomplished. We, too, have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 cor 5:18). We bring individuals to God in prayer, asking the Father to meet with them.
Meetings that Heal. We can bring individuals into contact with God and that is the very meaning of the word “intercession”. It often requires much intercession; but whether it takes days or minutes, it’s always worth the effort. The important thing is that we do it.
Enforcing the Victory. A meeting can be a good and pleasant experience or it can be a violent confrontation between opposing forces. The intercessor is either going to meet with God for the purpose of reconciling the world to the Father and His wonderful blessings, or he is going to meet Satanic forces of opposition to enforce the victory of Calvary. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the giant. Jesus has qualified you to represent Him.
Devo. 1 Samuel 4:17-18 Eli was more concerned about the ark of God being captured i.e. the presence and power of God is taken from Israel, rather than the loss of his two sons and heavy losess suffered by the army.
(v.13) When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out.
(v.22) And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
Would losing His presence be my main concern rather than losing my posessions?
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Re-presenting Jesus (ch 3 of Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets)
Defining intercession. The concept of intercession can be summarized as mediating, going between, pleading for another, representing one party to another for, but not limited to legal situations. (For example), lawyers interceding for clients. It involves delegation. It involves authority. It boils down to representation. Now let’s think about this concept in light of the Creation and the Fall. Adam was supposed to represent God on planet earth - managing, governing or ruling for Him. God told Adam what He wanted and Adam re-presented Him to the rest of the earth. Adam was a go-between for God. Literally, Adam was God’s intercessor or mediator on earth.
Christ, the Ultimate Intercessor. Adam, of course, failed and God had to send another human, called the “last Adam,” to do what the first Adam was supposed to do and fix what the first Adam messed up. [Christ] became the intercessor, mediator, going between and re-presenting God to humanity. Christ’s intercession, in keeping with its literal meaning, was not a prayer He prayed, but a work of mediation He did… to present each of us to the Father as righteous and one of His own. He is interceding for us so that we can pray. That is what is meant by asking “in His name”.
As the intercessor-mediator, He went between God and humanity, reconciling us to the Father; and between Satan and humanity, breaking Satan’s hold. This was the redemptive work of intercession and it is complete. Christ is the one and only intercessor. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). It means our prayers of intercession are always and only an extension of His work of intercession. God won’t honor any intercession except Christ’s. (Because Jesus interceded or mediated for the people, we are asking based on what He did).
The heavenly pattern. Jesus is the Victor, we’re the enforcers. Jesus is the Redeemer, we’re the releasers. Jesus is the Head (initiator), we’re the Body (respond accordingly). The partnership goes on- God and humans. My prayers of intercession release Christ’s finished work of intercession. His work empowers my prayers, my prayers release His work. Mine extends His, His effectuates mine. Mine activates His, His validates mine. We’re not in the production department. We’re in distribution. He’s the generator. We’re the distributors.
Coincidence? Sunday sermon’s title was… prayer. Although the overall content was about praying for wealth abundance and alike, hearing the word praying is strong enough to tickle me.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:3-4)
The seed is planted. Went to church with S, who was told that his family members were having hard times. After service, I asked him what he got. He said that in the last few weeks, it’s been about praying, in a way that it’s given as a response to what he went through. By the way, after the message is delivered, the pastor asked everyone to close their eyes and pray individually. I secretly peeped and found him fervently praying. Love to see the truth planted, which means the Spirit is at work, within a friend’s life :)
Intercessory prayer. Gonna quote some points directly from the book (just because I’m too lazy to paraphrase, it’s a lot, really, I think I can highlight every sentence. Btw, those in brackets are my own word/interpretation). I change my mind, I’ll just do in the following post.
Just after we got up. Casual guitar playing unexpectedly turned into praise and worship session. We were still sitting on the bed, pillow on my lap, pjs on. Didn’t even remember how it started, for nearly two hours we were drawn in His presence. It was too beautiful to explain in words :D
Sharing. To me, it’s such a big word. Not only because it’s the most effective convo one could have, it can be the hardest sometimes, especially when you know you need to talk to your Dad. Another thing is that, just realized that I did not share much about God. C told me so. Why I didn’t tell her about the overflowing joy of first knowing Him. I didn’t quite remember, I thought I have done so. That’s not the point, however. She then said that, someone may get mad at me. Imagine, I’ve experienced all those marvelous things with Him but never shared it out to a close friend (not yet a believer). One day when s/he becomes a born-again, imagine s/he comes to me and asked, “why don’t you ever tell me that walking with God is this great?”. True in a way. I learned this from a friend, M, that she came with desire to share something that can bless others. Something to ponder, to question to myself.
Intercessory prayer. This book seems to have magic that hypnotized me. Lol. Basically it addresses all questions that ever came to my mind for quite a while! Question like, Can he not do everything He wants without us praying for someone’s salvation since that’s His will, or why should God’s work depends on someone’s prayers. Simply, why does He want us to intercede for someone else while He is a sovereign God?
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 22:30-31 ESV)
Prayer sounds like a responsibility, doesn’t it?
[Quoting the book..] Either He is powerless to do anything about it, or He needs and is waiting on something from us to bring about change… A responsibility can also be a privilage, a responsibility can be enjoyable.. Jack Hayford said, “Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth.” Let’s rise to the occasion and embrace the incredible invitation to be co-laborers with God…to be carriers of His awesome Holy Spirit and ambassadors for His great kingdom. Let’s represent Him!
Take Daniel as an example. A man of prayer, realized that intercession had a part to play in bringing the prophecy to pass. Who made the prophecy i.e. who initiates the prayer? It’s God. We may receive the promise of revival, deliverance, restoration but passively waiting for it’s fulfillment. Ever think that they have gone unfulfilled perhaps because He can’t find the human involvement He needs? Not Daniel.
In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:2-3 ESV)
Early in the morning. A friend messaged me, he remembered me looking for purpose while in Indo, said he was reminded of something: it usually starts from people surrounding who are in needs. When I prayed regarding this, I became more convinced to reach those within my arm’s length (just realized that I totally forgot about ministering to the closest ones). He even put some specific people in to my heart to be prayed for.
Guess what? Following the call to intercede for those who are near, this was the day when He performed His smooth and amazing (as always) plans. Firstly, He brought me to Kudo to pray for cg. I thought I was not able to come because of something, until few hours before it started God made a way! Woohoo! Secondly, I stayed over C’s place and was given the opportunity to pray for those names He put in to my heart, as well as other friends together with her! Also got the chance to share and heard crazy things He has done in our lives. What a day!
A call to intercede. 1 Samuel 2:25 If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.
Reading this reminds me of our great intercessor, our high priest, Jesus, through whom we are reconciled to God. At the same time, this verse somewhat leads me to intercede through prayers for my family and friends here.
A day with my bro. Being very thankful for what He has done in His life, really. How far he has been changed, none but His works. Praise Him!
Devo. 1 Samuel 2:7-9 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails;