Prayers Make a Difference

We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he listens to anyone who worships and obeys him. JOHN 9:31

Most of our prayer lives could use a tune-up.

Some prayer lives lack consistency. They’re either a desert or an oasis. Long, arid, dry spells interrupted by brief plunges into the waters of communion.…

Others of us need sincerity. Our prayers are a bit hollow, memorized, and rigid. More liturgy than life. And though they are daily, they are dull.

Still others lack, well, honesty. We honestly wonder if prayer makes a difference. Why on earth would God in heaven want to talk to me? If God knows all, who am I to tell him anything? If God controls all, who am I to do anything? …

Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.

He Still Moves Stones

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A SOFT TAP AT THE DOOR

“I am the LORD your God. Keep yourselves holy for me because I am holy.” LEVITICUS 11:44

I have something against the lying voices that noise our world. You’ve heard them. They tell you to swap your integrity for a new sale. To barter your convictions for an easy deal. To exchange your devotion for a quick thrill.

They whisper. They woo. They taunt. They tantalize. They flirt. They flatter. “Go ahead, its OK.” “Don’t worry, no one will know.”

The world rams at your door; Jesus taps at your door. The voices scream for your allegiance; Jesus softly and tenderly requests it. The world promises flashy pleasure; Jesus promises a quiet dinner … with God.

Which voice do you hear?

from IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

True Worship

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

The word “worship” is used frequently today in Christian circles–in addition to worship services, we now have worship choruses, worship teams, worship manuals, worship seminars, etc. Often, however, the basic meaning of worship is misunderstood.

In the original Hebrew and Greek, the respective words translated “worship” mean simply to “bow down”! The Hebrew is so translated the first time it is used. When Abraham saw God and two angels approaching, “he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground” (Genesis 18:2). That is, he recognized God’s “worthy-ship” and was submitting himself to do His will.

The last time “worship” is used is when John “fell down to worship before the feet of the angel.” He was corrected by the angel with these words: “See thou do it not: . . . worship God” (Revelation 22:8-9). Only God, our Creator and Savior, is worthy of true worship, and that worship involves simply bowing down in submission to do His will.

That is why it must be “in spirit and in truth.” Our spirit must submit to God who is Spirit, and this can only be in truth. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus concerning the Spirit whom He would send to indwell His followers: “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: . . . He shall glorify me” (John 16:13-14).

Who comforteth like Him?

“God, that comforteth those that are cast down.” 2 Corinthians 7:6

And who comforteth like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner’s eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing—

“‘Tis paradise, if thou art here;
If thou depart, ’tis hell?”

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; “He is the God of all comfort.” There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the goldbeater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask Him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job’s comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy “God, that comforteth those that are cast down,” and you will soon say, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.”

Shiloh

rouault-crucifixion
February 26, 2010

By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/02/shiloh.html