VIDEO Confirmation of the Power Of Prayer

Sept 28, 2017

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Old Jefferson Republican and House majority whip, returned to Congress on Sept. 28, 2017, for the first time since he was shot three months ago, delivering an emotional 16-minute address to a packed chamber of colleagues. Critically wounded and near death June 14 at a suburban Washington ballpark, Scalise said he now is “a living example that miracles really do happen.” (Video from U.S. House of Representatives)

Why Are We All So Lonely?

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, NIV

A British paper ran a column entitled “Life Looks Good on the Surface So Why Are We All So Lonely?” The writer Liz Hoggard said her life looked great in her social media posts. She attended the theater every night and spent her weekends at cultural events. One person told her, “I follow your glittery life in awe.” But, Liz admitted, her stress, tears, rejection, and loneliness don’t show up on her social media posts, yet they are a constant reality.1

Some of our loneliest moments occur on important days—birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Why not anticipate the challenges in advance? You know when your birthday will occur. Plan what you’re going to do. Invite a neighbor for tea on that day or spend the afternoon volunteering. If possible, let your family know you might need them on that day. By planning in advance, you can minimize the dangers of self-pity or loneliness.

We can’t avoid loneliness, but as Christians we should be able to deal with it better than those without Christ. Ask for God’s help, reach out to others, and don’t let loneliness get the best of you.

God doesn’t only come and sit with us; He also enables us to enjoy the pleasures of His presence. Paul Matthies

Caring With Our Conscience

1 Corinthians 8:9-12

How do you approach your decisions—by thinking primarily of yourself? Or do you consider how your actions will affect the beliefs and lives of others? Since coming to faith, we all have had to discipline our conscience for it to grow stronger. It is also important to use discernment so we can avoid wounding a weaker believer.

Some Christians never stop to think that their choices can hurt or destroy someone else’s faith. They justify their behavior, saying God doesn’t convict them for it. While they don’t necessarily indulge in sinful acts, their spiritual defenses have grown strong enough to let them do things they wouldn’t have done in the early stages of their spiritual walk. These believers fail to realize that younger Christians are watching how they live out their faith. When “weaker” ones follow the example they see, their ship of faith may capsize because of a conscience that is troubled or confused rather than strengthened.

Paul blames the “stronger” Christian for these shipwrecks. He says we’re responsible not only for our actions, but also for the effect of those actions. In the end, we are to care more about the “brother for whose sake Christ died” than about our own wants or desires (1 Cor. 8:11).

Because our faith is on display before the world, God promises rewards but insists on responsibility. One of the rewards is freedom from condemnation. But that freedom doesn’t mean license to do as we please without considering those who watch our example. Through the Spirit, we must discern the greater good and act on it.

The Urgent Prayer

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalm 27:7-9)

David’s prayers were urgent, intensely demanding God to deliver or protect him from immediate circumstances that were threatening to “eat him up.” Many prayers for help in time of trouble are very similar.

Although there is no requirement to pray out loud, there does seem to be a consistent pattern in these prayers that cry out for help in desperate times: the petitioner cries “with my voice” (Psalm 3:4; 27:7; 77:1; 142:1). Perhaps the need is so great that one forgets to be formal and just blurts out the need. Possibly the urgency of the situation is so immediate that all concern for what others may think is obliterated. Maybe, when we use our voice in our prayers, more of our “being” is involved in the praying.

Whatever the circumstances or reasons may be, the Scripture seems to bear out the need to vocalize our petitions. The widow who would not leave the judge alone (Luke 18:1-8) and the friend who pounded on the door for food at midnight (Luke 11:5-10) are two classic parables that encourage us to insist and to persist in our prayers before the Lord.

Even when every resource we have at our disposal fails, even when those closest to us desert us, God promises, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). HMM III

Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 344-345.

A flattering mouth worketh ruin

2 Samuel 15:1-12

The chastisements of God fell very heavily upon David from the time of his great sin, even to the end of his life. His children became the source of his trials. Amnon fell into the foulest sin, and Absalom his brother slew him on account of it. Absalom having obtained forgiveness for the murder, returned to the court and commenced at once to plot against his own father, who loved him far too well. In his attempts to undermine his fathers authority he acted very cunningly, using every art to win popular applause.

2 Samuel 15:1

Outward pomp often catches the attention of the populace, and therefore Absalom added to the attraction of his own handsome person the unusual magnificence of chariots and running footmen.

2 Samuel 15:2-5

Absalom’s ambition led him to take great pains to appear affable and attentive to all. He was early at the palace gate and spoke with all suitors, being “hail-fellow well met” with them all. He flattered each one that his cause was good, and pretended to regret that justice was much neglected; and applicants were kept waiting. If he were king, matters would be seen to at once, and no one should have to complain of delay or injustice. Everybody said “What a courteous prince! What a just and careful ruler Absalom would be!”

2 Samuel 15:6

The hearts of the people were not won, but stolen, for the vain young prince deceived them. While pretending such zeal for their welfare, he was only advancing his own traitorous schemes.

2 Samuel 15:7, 8

To crown all his other deceit, Absalom pretended to be exceedingly devout, and declared that he must make a pilgrimage to Hebron, in order to keep a holy vow which he had made in the days of his exile. He is a bad man indeed who uses religion as a stalking horse for his base ambition.

2 Samuel 15:9-11

These persons accompanied Absalom to join with him in his devotions, and out of respect for the king’s son; but they were not in the secret of the plot. Absalom, however, used their presence for his own ends, by making the common people believe that these honourable men had left David and gone over to his rebel son.

2 Samuel 15:12

Ahithophel was the intimate friend as well as the counsellor of David; but he appears to have selfishly gone over to the faction of the young prince, because he judged it to be stronger than the party of the king. Thus David was brought into sore distress, his friends were forsaking him, his enemy was growing stronger and aiming to dethrone him; and worst of all, that enemy was his favourite son. What mists and black days befell David after he so sadly swerved from the way of holiness.


A Hard Lesson About Paying Attention!

Acts 16:7

As I lay down on the hotel bed to take a one-hour nap before we left for a church service in a large Midwestern city, I kept feeling a “tug” in my heart to stay home from the meeting that night. But I wanted to go hear the special speaker that evening. Besides, many of our ministry friends were going to be there, and I wanted to tell them goodbye since this was to be our last night in the area.

As we walked out the door of the hotel room, I turned to Denise and said, “I don’t know why, Denise, but I think I’m going to let you go tonight, and I’m going to stay here.” As she walked out the door, however, I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a fantastic night at the meeting, so I headed downstairs to the car that waited to take us. I couldn’t figure out why I seemed impressed to stay in the room that night, so I overruled what my spirit was telling me and went on to church.

When the car pulled up to the church, I was overwhelmed with a “knowing” that I had to go back to the room. Once again, I told Denise, “I’m going to tell everyone goodbye right now before the meeting begins; then I’m going back to the room. I’ll see you when you get home from church tonight.” But as I went around telling people goodbye, I got involved in first one conversation, then another, and then another, until time began to slip away. Finally, the turmoil in my spirit became so strong that I asked the driver to take me right back to the hotel.

As I drove to the hotel, I kept thinking how irrational it was for me to feel like I needed to be at the hotel that night. Why would I need to be there? There was nothing urgent to do and no calls to make, so why did I have this incredible “urge” to get back to the hotel room? But when I opened the door to our room, I was stunned to see that the entire room had been ransacked.

  • Suitcases were sprawled across the room.
  • Clothes were hurled all over the place.
  • Denise’s jewelry boxes were opened, empty, and scattered on the floor.
  • My computer had been taken from the desk where it had been sitting.
  • My briefcase that contained my tickets, my passport, and my visas was gone.

When I saw that my computer and briefcase were gone, I realized that whoever had done this hadn’t just stolen those two items. The information on my computer and in my briefcase included:

  • Nine years of important study notes.
  • My American passport.
  • My Latvian residence visa.
  • My brand-new Russian visa.
  • All my international travel documents.
  • All my credit cards.
  • My birth certificate.
  • My Daytimer that was filled with vital addresses and phone numbers.

I went straight to the hotel desk to inform them that we had been robbed. I called Denise home from the church meeting, and we spent the rest of the evening with a group of police, who searched for clues as to who might have done this to us. When Denise looked through those empty, scattered jewelry boxes, she discovered that many pieces of jewelry recently given to her by a relative were gone. These pieces weren’t worth a great deal monetarily, but they had great sentimental value.

I looked at Denise and said, “Now I know why I kept feeling a tug in my spirit to stay home from the meeting tonight. The Holy Spirit was trying to prevent this from happening. If I had obeyed that still, small voice in my heart and stayed home, that thief would have never entered this room.”

What was so maddening about this was that I had been diligently paying attention to even the most gentle leadings in my spirit for a solid month. In fact, I had ardently focused and concentrated on being “in tune” with the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in my own heart during that month. Because of my sensitivity to the Spirit of God, it had been a month of supernatural intervention and intimate fellowship with Him.

But that night, I simply overruled that still, small voice I heard in my heart because I wanted to be in that meeting so much. After listening so carefully for the Holy Spirit’s leading for a full month, I didn’t pay attention to Him. The Spirit of God was blaring His warning in my heart, trying to keep us from being taken advantage of—but I missed it. Later as I looked around at our ransacked room, I was more upset with myself than I was with the thief who took our belongings!

We must all learn to put on the brakes, stop ourselves for a while, and listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to our hearts. Although we may not immediately understand what He is telling us to do or why we should do it exactly the way He is leading us, the results of our obedience will be powerful and we will experience less defeat and fewer mishaps in our lives.

In Acts 16:7, Paul and his apostolic team were headed to Bithynia when suddenly, the Spirit of God impressed them to stay away from that region. The verse says, “After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.”

The word “assayed” tells us how badly Paul and his team wanted to go to Bithynia. The word “assayed” is the Greek word peiradzo, which means to attempt or to try. The Greek tense used in this particular verse indicates an incomplete action, which alerts us to the fact that Paul and his team actually tried to go to Bithynia but were unsuccessful in their attempt. How hard they tried is not clear, but the Greek word peiradzo implies that they tried very hard to go there.

Paul suffered many difficulties as he traveled to different regions, but it rarely stopped him from going where he had intended to go. The reason he and his ministry team didn’t press on in their efforts this time is that the Holy Spirit “suffered them not” to go to Bithynia. The phrase “suffered them not” comes from the Greek words ouk eiasen. The word ouk is a strong “No!” The word eiasen is from the Greek word eao, which means to allow or to permit. When these words become the phrase ouk eiasen, the new word means to not permit or to forbid.

That day, the apostle Paul and his team listened to the leading of the Spirit to stay out of the region of Bithynia. By staying away from Bithynia, they apparently circumvented some kind of disaster that awaited them there. We don’t know what devilish trap had been set for Paul if he had gone to that region, but we do know he avoided it by obeying the Holy Spirit’s instructions.

As children of God, we must learn to follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership, direction, and guidance. The vandalizing of our hotel room is a good reminder to all of us to stay sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is telling us to do, even if we can’t rationalize or figure out why He is telling us to do it.

If the Holy Spirit impresses you to stay home, then stay home. If He impresses you not to get on an airplane, then don’t get on that airplane. If He impresses you to give a special offering, then you need to sow that offering. Don’t learn the hard way how important it is to pay attention to the Holy Spirit. Whatever He impresses you to do is exactly what you need to do!


Lord, help me follow the Holy Spirit’s leading whenever He impresses me to do something. I know there have been moments in my life when the Spirit was leading me to do something. But because I didn’t understand it, I didn’t obey—and later I was always sorry. Please help me become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to trust Him when He speaks to my heart. I want to be obedient and to experience the supernatural life that He wants to give me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that I listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Because I follow His leading, I am able to circumvent traps that the devil tries to set for me. If the Holy Spirit impresses me to stay home, I stay home. If He tells me not to get on an airplane, I don’t get on that airplane. If He nudges me to give a special offering, I sow that offering. Whatever the Spirit impresses me to do is exactly what I do!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Can you think of some instances in your life when the Holy Spirit tried to stop you from doing something, but because you didn’t understand or want to obey what He was saying, you ignored His leadership and did something you later regretted?
  2. Can you think of several instances when the Holy Spirit told you to do something and you obeyed Him? What happened as a result of your doing exactly what the Spirit was telling you to do?
  3. Is there anything the Spirit is leading you to do right now that you have been hesitant to do? What’s stopping you from obeying the Holy Spirit in this matter?


What People Think About Christianity

According to a survey by researcher George Barna, the first two thoughts most people have about Christians is:

  • They attend a lot of meetings, and
  • They are opposed to many things.

Is that tragic or what?! Rather, what we hope they would notice about us is our,

  • Love
  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Graciousness
  • Integrity
  • Servanthood (John 13:34, 35; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 9:12, 13; Colossians. 4:5, 6; Job 27:3-5; Philippians 2:17; Isaiah 61:1, 2)

To be sure, non-believers are “taking a read” on us, “Youare [a] letterknown and read by everybody.” (2 Corinthians 3:2) And they are picking up our fragrance, “We arethe aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15) The question is whether they are smelling a sweet scent or a stench.


Paul observed that it is only when we stop arguing and complaining about our situation in life that we will effectively “shine as lights,” and minister God’s Word to the lost among us. (Philippians 2:14-16). In our whining, pampered society, anyone who exhibits a positive, grateful mind-set will stop traffic!


So tell me, how do the folks in your office, your neighborhood, or at your athletic club view you?


As humble, compassionate, gracious, and honest? As one who is sacrificing his life for others?


Or as stiff and arbitrary? As a grumbler? As someone racing here and there, with Bible and notebook tucked under your arm as you attend (what they often view as) another “pious party”?


Hindu India mourned the death of Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun of a totally different religious persuasion. Her powerful demonstration of compassion for their “least” simply could not be ignored.


QUESTION: What will the lost people of your “world” do at the news of your death?