I read an article by a brother who commented that prayer is our dependence upon God. But prayerlessness is our dependence upon ourselves. We see in the persecuted church that our brothers and sisters are utterly depended upon God by their prayers. When one is thrown into a jail cell without access to a Bible. All they can do is pray. For it is only Jesus they have to sustain them.A dear sister who suffered much for Jesus said you never know how much you need Jesus until Jesus is all you have. For persecuted brothers and sisters this reality is true. The testimony of saints who have suffered in the shadow of the cross testifies to the depth of their relationship to Christ. For the depth of their sufferings for Christ, Jesus is all they have. Prayer is their life line to Him. No wonder the cry of the persecuted is pray for us.The persecuted church does not debate the baptism of the Holy Spirit as they walk in His power. The persecuted church does not hold to a theology of cessationism as they understand the miracles operating their midst today. The persecuted church does not put emphasis up on the written canon of scripture as the Living Word of Christ is spoken into their hearts. The persecuted church does not glory in church history as they see that they are living out the first century church of Acts. The persecuted church does not ephasize apologetics as they see that the greatest apologetic is a changed life in the Lord Jesus Christ. And again none of the above could be true for the persecuted brethren were it not for their lifeline of prayer.The persecuted church operates at a level of power, spiritual power, that we bekievers in the west lack. We put emphasis upon the written canon of scripture more than on prayer. We put more emphasis upon theology, church history, and apologetics; then we do on prayer. We even read books about the theology of prayer than we do actually pray.The book of Acts says that Peter and John were unedeucated nen. But they had been with Jesus. Presumably they had been with Jesus particularly in prayer.It might be said that todays's western church are more educated in scrptures, theology, apologetics, and church history than the 1st century disciples ever were. But can it be said that today's western church leaders have been with Jesus in the relationship of prayer? Ask does the western church operate in power as the first century church did. There you will have your answer.Simply my thiughts.Bro Blaine
A brother said in a nessage that there is a growing movement in this country. Unfortunately it is not a growing movement of prayer. But it is a growing movement of anti supernaturalism among evangelicals. The movement has spearheaded by the doctrine of cessationism. Not only is the movement a rejection of the Holy Spirit but it is a rejection of prayer. For to pray one must believe in a supernatural God who would answer prayer. Cessationism denies the supernatural working of God.This movement would say that is far more important to fill your head with doctrine. Then simply to pray from a humble heart of faith. I believe many posts reflect that attitude in this forum.Prayer has been replaced by theology. Bro Blaine
Why is it that so many of the believers in these persecuted places and countries appreciate theology books and teachings when they are able to receive them? They treasure and hide them along with their Bibles. Many times their fervent prayer is to be able to receive more instructive literature to help them in their walk. Not replacing their Bibles but appreciation good teaching supplements.
David the persecuted believers I pray for do not have Bibles or theology books. Perhaps some may have a New Testament. Perhaps thwy may have portions of scripture. But one thing they do have is a richness of faith that's trusting only in Jesus Himself.When you are put in a jail cell or a shipping container you do not have access to your theological library or your smartphone or even your Bible. Richard Wurmbrand has said that when they shut the prison door behind you it is only you and Jesus. It is Jesus in Himaelf who sustains you. Often times the cry of our persecuted brethren is to pray that they stand strong in Christ and be rich in the faith that is in Jesus that they will endure their persecutions.We do pray that believers in restricted Nations to have access to the word of God. We praise God for the marvelous ways in which God is getting His word into the persecuted church. But in the end it is only Jesus himself who will build up and encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters. In the end when one is put into a shipping container or a death camp it is Jesus himself who is their encouragement and not theologians.Again simply my thoughts.Bro Blaine
Mark 11:17And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS '? But you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN."I was reminded of the above verse as I listened to a message by Jim Cymbala. Our brother pointed out in his message that we have turned our churches from houses of prayer into houses of preaching. Or fill in the blank. We have turned our churches from houses of prayers to houses of worship, houses of music, houses of theology, houses of food banks, houses are social programs, houses of entertainment, etcChurches are doing everything but praying. Prayer has been replaced by fill in the _______ .I remember the early days of Persecution Watch when our call was struggling to take off. The enemy was coming against us with everything he had. At the time I did not realize that God was trying to break through and work in our midst to establish us to pray for the persecuted. One day I was so marked with a spirit of discouragement in tapping out the email. I said in the email there are times I want to stand this call down. But the Holy Spirit spoke quietly and said "then the devil would win." The spirit did not speak in a forceful way but in a gentle way. But it was a gentle way of rebuke that caused me to repent.Thus even in those times in my own prayer life I always remember those words of the spirit. If I want to quit praying, then the devil would win.The devil has won in our churches in America. I mean the devil has won in the evangelical churches in America. Tragically the devil won in Charlottesville a few days ago. Had those churches on that city been praying. I doubt if the violence would have taken place.I'm sure many in this for forum would dispute me on this. There are many who think that we need to put more emphasis upon Calvinistic or theological doctrine. We need to spend more time in Bible study. We need to do an inductive, hermeneutical study of a passage of scripture. And so on. Jesus said that my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. He did not say that it would be called a house of preaching. I dare say that believing prayer can do far more to advance the kingdom purposes of Christ, then all of the exegetical preaching in the world.There are many in this forum who laud Charles Spurgeon as the prince of all preachers. Many will say that it was his Calvinistic theology or his rhetorical ability that gave rise to his mighty preaching and dust to be called "The Prince of Preachers." But many are ignorant of the source of his power. Many are ignorant of the source of why Spurgeon was effective in winning so many souls. The source of Spurgeon's preaching was not in him holding to the Five Canons of Dort. The source of the preaching of Spurgeon was the two or three hundred intercessors who were laboring in the basement of Metropolitan Tabernacle on their faces before God calling out for souls. The source of the power of Spurgeon was in the prayers of his intercessors.The destiny of the souls of men and women will not be decided in the pulpit. But the souls of their eternal destiny will be decided in the prayer closet.Would that our churches would be known as houses of prayer for all nations. And not as houses of preaching, entertainment, fleshly worship and everything else that goes along with that.May believing prayer not be replaced by ______Simply my thoughts from the wall.Bro Blaine