Friday, December 21, 2007

Composing Arguments in Prayer

by Soli Deo Gloria



Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.(Job 23:3-4 )
In my last installment “Filling You Mouth with ArgumentsI tried to break down Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on Effective Prayer, we addressed Job’s desire to come before God with fully scripted arguments and present them in a way to invoke God to intercede for him.
We also tried to show how this method of invoking God’s Name was not an isolated incident, with examples of Abraham and King David. In the last paragraph we talked about the power of God’s grace and the need for a contrite heart, before even coming before God in prayer.
In this final installment I will address the need for arguments, the different type of arguments, and the power of praise and thanksgiving toward God. As you may know this is an exegesis of
Charles H Spurgeon’s Effective Prayer sermon and just as in the first part, I will be quoting him throughout this blog. 

Why Arguments?

First I want to commend anyone that has read this far in my blog and have not already decided to end their subscription or delete me from their MySpace friends. I know after reading the blog myself the first thing that crossed my mind was “Does this guy think that arguments in prayer can convince God to do something that God would not have done otherwise?” If I said yes you would call me some kind of witch doctor, especially with me using words like invoke, that’s always a very evil word. And of course if I said then your question maybe “Then why should I even bother to read further?”
Well its not because God need to be reminded of what we need, God is Omniscience he know all things; It not because we are forcing God to do something God is Omnipotent and all power and
force comes from God. The reason we compose arguments in prayer is because it attaches value and importance to that thing for which we pray for. Further it shows that we have humbled ourselves before God, and are unworthy to come before God with just our unsubstantiated desires. This is a requirement of God that we plead with him with sorrowful (contrite) heart and tears for what we desire. In
Isaiah 41:21 God demands that we bring forth our arguments before him.
Consider argument in prayer very much like tithing, God does not need you money however, when we pay our tithing even when the rent is due or the gas payment or even groceries are needed fro the house we are saying that “ I put my trust that God will take care of the problem, if my heart is right with God and I am obedient to God’s word.
We argue not to convince God of anything but build within ourselves a confidence in God through the argument. Let consider some of the foundation by which we can build an argument to God in prayer.

The Attributes of God

When Abraham invoked his cause before God for Sodom in Genesis 18:24-25 he founded it not in God’s grace but in God’s attribute of justice. When we have studied the Word of God
and have prayed and meditated on God we have put enough ground work whereby we can know what the Attributes of God are, and can therefor use this attributes as foundation for arguments in prayer.

God's Promise

Sometimes the greatest argument toward God in prayer is God's own promise. When Esau was coming toward Jacob at the brook of Jabbak in Genesis 32:11-12 Jacob prayed that God would deliver him from the hands of his brother, on the foundation of the promise that God had made to his grandfather Abraham. Remembering that the promise to Abraham would have to be manifested from his (Jacobs) bloodline, since he had received the blessing of his father Isaac, Jacob held God to God's word saying "It is through me that you would full-fill the promise that you made to my grandfather Your Servant Abraham," deliver me and I will make my grandfather's seed like the multitude of the sand.

The Great Name of God

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1 NIV) .
In 2 Samuel 7:25 King David's prayer of thanksgiving his argument rest on God's promise. Though at first this may seem a bit too bold, fact is that for every honest man this is a legitimate argument "Do as Thou hast said." where is the value you have put in your own word? A man of honor will do as he has said, If we can use this as a legitimate argument toward man, how much more will God uphold His Word?
A man of statue honors his word at every chance he can, But God will never fail his word!. If God says he will do it, he will. In Numbers 14 When the Children of Israel came against Moses and God was angered with them as said to Moses "I Will Smite Them With Pestilence And Disinherit Them..." but Moses composed his argument toward God for their salvation on the grounds of God's Name (verse 15-16) and on God's promise (verse 17) on God's grace (verse 18) and God's mercy (Verse 19) Wow! Then in verse 20 God said " I Have Pardoned According To Thy Word" This should be a revelation of how to pray to God since it perfectly demonstrates how to compose arguments toward God in prayer and bring forth positive results!
When Rabshakeh tried to convince the Jews that they had misplaced their confidence in God. In silence King Hezekiah dealt with his blasphemy, and placed his letters before God. God therefore came into the battle to provide victory against this enemy because he (Rabshakeh) came up against God with his own testimony.
As Christians we MUST use in prayer all the hate spoken by atheist, and those against Christ, all the crimes against Christians and humanities together, as argument toward God for the manifestation of his Gospel. we must cry with contrite hearts.
In that we can therefore pray, "Father see how they reproach the Gospel of Jesus Christ?, They defy You Father, and dishonour Your Son with their hateful words. Lift up Your hand against them, that they may know that You are God. Show them the strength of Your Arms and do not let their actions go unpunished!

The Sorrow of God's People

In Lamentations 4 Jerimarah talks of all their griefs and straitnesses in the siege. He calls upon the Lord to look upon the suffering of Zion; and before long his his supplications are made true. Whenever it seems that nothing in life is going correct, and the world is against you it is at that time you need to pray to plead with moanings and with tears, setting an argument before God as to why god should rescue you of all your conditions.

The Past

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he called the name of it Ebenezer [stone of help], saying, heretofore the Lord has helped us (1 Sam 7:12 Amp)
For the mature man or woman of God there is power in the knowing how to plead the past to God. I think of the old gospel hymn by Stuart "Russ" Hamblin, Its no secret, what God can do what he's done for others he'll do for you. What God has done for you in the past God can and will do for you again.
We must learn to pray to God in such a way that it praises the great thing in our life he has done for us in the past. We must pray to God saying " You have never failed me Father not even once. I have set up my Ebenezer in Your Name. I know that if You intended for me to fail You would not have brought me this far. You are an Unchanging God and what You have done in the past, I know you can do in the present.

The Merit and Intercession of Jesus Christ

What does it really mean when we ask God to do something in Jesus' name? What we are asking is that because Christ loved us, and died on the cross while we were yet waddling in our own sin; because we have made Jesus Christ head of our lives; Christ has given us the authority to come to You and ask with the confidence that You Heavenly Father will give what we ask on the name of Jesus Christ alone.
 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:14).
We are saying that Jesus Christ boar all our afflictions, all our sickness, all our sin by the weight of his passions. But the devil wishes to make us believe that Jesus's death was in vain. When we plead before God in Jesus name we are saying by his stripes we are healed by his blood we are forgiven by is passion we ar reconciled back to You!When we plead the name of Christ there is no need to speak with fear and trembling, we can be strong in our faith, because we are pleading the name of that shakes the gates of hell, We are pleading the name that every angel in heaven must obey, we are pleading a name so great that God himself almighty feels the power of our supplication.

Praise and Thanksgiving

I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it(Psalms 81:10)
When we open our mouths, are we filling it with the will of God? Ask yourself when last you open your mouth was it full of arguments of prayer to God? or when you awoke this morning was it full of complaints, and criticism? Survey your heart and ask, is it the Holy Spirit which fills your mouth with arguments? Or is it filled with the bitternes of this world that prevails you not?
"That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."(Matthew 12:36)
The question then becomes what idle word will you have taken account of in the day of judgment? Charles H Spurgeon, in his sermon on effective prayer says that "The man who has his mouth full of arguments in prayer shall soon have his mouth full of benedictions in answer to prayer." I understand this to mean that by effective use of prayer, God will give answers, and these answers will result in your desire to give testimony of God's greatness in your life. "Let us then open wide our mouth when we have to plead with God. Our needs are great, let our askings be great, and the supply shall be great too."(Charles H Spurgeon)
 Return To Home Page;     Back to Series Page

Your Brother In Christ







Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Filling our Mouths with Arguments in Prayers



"Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His seat! I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments." – Job 23:3,4
Charles Spurgeon in his sermon on Effective Prayer, and then again John Piper as an exegesis of Psalm 143 in his sermon titled How to argue with God Both sited Job 23:3-:4 as a starting point for their tremendously powerful sermons on prayer.


Where the goal of Charles Spurgeon’s was to develop in the members of his church, an effective prayer life, John Piper’s goal, seemed to be to teach on how to argue with God.
So powerful in fact are the lessons taught by these two men that I wanted to address this most complicated and off-times ignored practice of “filling our mouths with argument to God”. In fact a deeper understanding of filling our mouths with arguments is naturally the next level of intensity concerning this subject.


Filling our mouths with arguments to God is not the same thing as arguing with God. I was always taught and I’m sure that most people will agree that arguing with God is foolish! God is right. You (or I) are wrong, argument complete.


In the above passage (Job 23:3-4) it is the intentions of Job to order his cause before God, to give reason for God to intercede on a situation or circumstance in his life, much like we would order our cause before a judge in court. Preparing our arguments (reasons) why the judge should see things our way or make a favorable decision for us.


Filling our mouths with arguments, are prayers of lament, and anguish, with contrite heart, when the passion of our desire in prayer is so great, and the need so important that we beg that God will provide our salvation.


Now at first you may say that this is foolish to think that we can reason with God but to a limited extent this very thing is taught in today’s churches. We are taught to “give God’s word back to God in prayer” for example we say in prayer “ God your word says you will not forsake me…..” or “Jesus says that what ever we ask in his name…..” All of these are acceptable methods of reasoning with God.


Take a minute to ingest the level of the arguments Abraham put before God concerning Sodom and Gomorrah where his nephew Lot and his family lived.

(Genesis 18:24-25) Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
In this passage the patriarch wrestles with God’s will by pleading his case, in a desperate effort to save his nephew. Abraham “orders his cause before God” and fills his mouth with arguments, saying if there be fifty righteous will you destroy the fifty unjustly for the sake of the wicked? That is not the attributes of the creator of the world to do judge unjustly.

When we are filling our mouths with arguments we have after seriously assessed the situations and are pleading with God with passion with fervency, with the knowledge that unless God help us there is nothing or no one else that can help us, we are falling at the feet of God to show his Grace toward us.


Charles H Spurgeon in his sermon on Effective Prayer says “The best prayers I have ever heard in our prayer meetings have been those which have been fullest of argument. Sometimes my soul has been fairly melted down when I have listened to brethren who have come before God feeling the mercy to be really needed, and that they must have it, for they first pleaded with God to give it for this reason, and then for a second, and then for a third, and then for a fourth and a fifth, until they have awakened the fervency of the entire assembly.


In Psalm 143 we have David giving his argument to God for not entering into judgment against him. In verse 5 and 6 David argues that his past servitude to God was upright and unquenchable; this is important in that David understood that these things he had done in the past were pleasing to God and therefore were good argument on the quality of his love for God.


In verse 11 David place the hope of his arguments on the promises of God resting his faith on the scriptures (Numbers 23:19) and God’s faithfulness to God’s word, and that God Grace and love for him will be and additional argument for interceding in David condition.


I think we must understand in the end its about God's Grace which must be the foundation of all arguments, a successful arguments toward God are always founded upon God's Grace. If we think for a moment that we can stand on our own merit we will fail before God. When we come before God with a contrite heart, fully aware of our unworthiness, of our sinful state, our realization that without God we will spend eternity in hell; then we can began to understand the intense lifesaving importance of God's Grace, and that by Grace alone and nothing of ourselves that we obtain anything from God and our heart becomes contrite and our arguments become acceptable unto God.


Next  ;Composing Arguments in prayer     Return To Home Page;     Back to Series Page




Your Brother In Christ

Soli Deo Gloria





Monday, December 10, 2007

Praying Without Ceasing


by Soli Deo Gloria



In his letter to Rome, the Apostle Paul instruct the new followers of Christ Jesus to “be constant in prayer" One very unique thing about most of the epistles of Paul is that they start with prayer or the acknowledgement of other in his prayer.


In Romans 1:8 Paul start addressing those called to be saint with
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you”

In 1 Corinthians 1:4 Paul states
“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which
is given you by Jesus Christ;”

In fact in all of his epistles (letters) Paul either speaks directly to praying continually (unceasing) or alludes to doing so. It’s very important that we see prayer as not just something we do, but something we do with God. Prayer is how we commune with God, without prayer there can be no relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

At this point we see prayer as important but not Omni-important, but this should quickly change, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul writes very distinctly “Pray without ceasing” Now if we really seek to develop an understanding of this we must have at least once questioned after reading this said to ourselves “How do I pray without ceasing?”. It is this question that brings revelation into what (on a spiritual level) Paul was trying to say to us.

My mind immediately goes to Bryon Cage’s song “Breathe” in that prayer must be that very thing for us, it must come to us as simple as “the Air We Breathe” We must find ourselves praying when we walk down the street, when we seat waiting for a bus to get to work, even while praying, we must find our mind wondering to seek communion with God in prayer.

Please understand this is not a exercise in discipline where we say I’m walking I must pray, I have free time I should be praying, its much more, This is a state of mind in your spiritual life where prayer comes natural, without thought without conscious efforts, as if it was the very Air you Breathe.

You see the question isn’t how we can possibly pray all the time; the question is what is praying all the time? To pray without ceasing is not praying or thinking about God instead of spending time with our families. To pray without ceasing does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things in life. To pray without ceasing means living our entire life in the presence of God. It's not instead of spending time with your family, it spending time with your family while being in the presence of God.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) KJV

Praying without ceasing is eating in the presence of God, sleeping in the presence of God, reading in God's presence, It is living in the state of mind in which you express God in all that you do.



My Goal is always Quality and Informative Articles on Prayer and Meditation,
If you don't agree with what I write please give your comments, If you do Please tell others. I welcome feedback and comments;to stay up to date join me on Facebook or Myspace


Your Brother In Christ







Sunday, December 2, 2007

When the Enemy Attacks Your Prayers!




By Soli Deo Gloria
And pray in the Spirit on all  occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. Ephesians 6:18 (TNIV)

Often times when we are on our knees Satan seek to take control of our very thoughts. A mind that was perfectly clear of outside thoughts is now while we are in prayer being interrupted with thoughts of Monday's meeting at work, or the phone bill, or even weather we've forgotten to turn off the lights in the basement before you came up to pray. This is just another way the Devil seeks to prevent you from spending time with God. This is how he, Satan, intercepts your supplications for the healing of Sister Jones at church, or the request of the salvation of a family member or friend on drugs. You see a prayer heard by God is a victory for you and a testimony of God faithfulness, so when your drop down on you knees to pray you become enemy an of the devil, and he will do all he can to make you fail at prayer.


There was a time when I would get deep into my prayer or would become passionate in meditation when the phone would ring, or the dog would bark and my mind would instantly be lost to all that I had accomplished up to that point. There was a time when I would fall asleep while in prayer? At the most intimate time with God my mind wanders from my relationship with God to next month’s gas bill. I began to think to myself “Why am I not more focused in the things of God? Do I really Love Christ the way I said I do?” what I did not realize is that this is what the Devil wanted.

Paul suggests that there is or may be something that can happen to us while we are in a state of prayer. Paul warns us be alert , but what is it that we should be alert to? Let me give you a spiritual backdrop for a second. Prayer is a service, which we do to achieve many things;
1. We speak the will of God in prayer 
2. We get to know God though prayer 
3. We confess our sins to God though prayer 
4. We even thank God for his blessing and tender mercies, loving kindness, salvation, forgiveness of sin, and his son Jesus Christ through prayer. 
5. But most importantly we develop or strengthen the relationship we have with God through Prayer.

However, the Devil does not want us to do these things; Satan especially does not want us to develop our relationship with God. So he interjects the thoughts of the world into our prayers. Into our mind while we seeking intimacy with God.
So what do we do? We can entertain these thoughts and loose our relationship with God, or we can try to just not think about these worldly thoughts and go on with our prayers. If we entertain these thoughts then we give the devil power. His only goal was to come between you and God, to break that relationship. Now if the devil can break that relationship while you are in prayer, he most surely can come between you and God when you are having trying times.
The other option is to just not think about these things and go on praying. This may sound like the best move but its not. You see if I said right now when you read the word “happy” in this article you must never think about a purple frog. Than every time you read the word “happy” you most surely will think about a purple frog. There is no way to stop it. This is our dilemma but there is an answer.
"who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men"Philippians 2:6-7(NASB)
If we read Philippians 2:6-7 we read what Christ did in the obedience to God even as he was God. Verse 7 says “he emptied himself taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” From this we get instruction on how to deal with these attacks on our prayers. We must empty our minds of this unwanted thought, but there is more then we must put in our minds the thing we desire.

It is impossible to empty our mind and leave it that way, so we put into our mind the things which are of virtue. And let them occupy that space where the devil sought to attack our prayers. In Philippians 4:8 Paul instructs us if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.The simplicity of this is that we can not think on two thinks at a time. So if our mind is fixed on the things of God we have already built a wall of protection against the wiles of the devil.
Now once you have developed a strong wall against the devil attacks on your prayers. Once you have stopped letting your mind wander in prayer, once you have stopped looking up to see who just called your cell phone, once you have stopped responding to the house phone, the door bell, the dog bark, the TV, and even your grand daughter nudging you trying to wake you up. Once you have lifted up your prayer to such a level that the only thing more important than completing your prayer is the house burning down (and that depends on what side of the hose the fire started) then Satan starts to use the hardcore attack on you.


At this point the devil seeks to maneuver other things in our life in front of prayer, and place prayer on the back burner. Even things that may appear to be for the edification of God's kingdom the devil will use to interrupt the time we have for prayer.
Ministry and fellowship becomes more important that obedience and prayer. We find it easy to be enthusiastic when it comes to making it to Christian concerts, and ministry meetings, bible study, Sunday school, and even Church, but something always comes up when it time to pray.


Faced with all the tribulations of life we say things likeThis is the type of thing that only prayer can solve" yet we talk more about it, we worry more about it, we contemplate more about it, we scheme more about it, we seek after our own solutions more about it, we do all these thing more than we pray about it. Basically we put everything in front of prayer. Prayer is always last on our list of things to do. And even though we have matured in the things of Christ, through bible study, and church, Sunday school and retreat we still don’t have a clue what it means to have a move of the spirit, to consecrate ourselves, before God. We are still doing all things that we did before we confessed Christ as our Lord and Savior.


Because our relationship with God, still in it’s infancy, is being slowly torn apart by Satan because we have yet to put prayer first in our lives. Sadly, not one of us can say we have gone to God enough in prayer. We all have committed the sin of neglecting prayer, and sought our own devices to answer our problems. We all have placed prayer on the back burner for something else more important.
We have to realize that it is God's will that we pray, and we say we love the God, and we place Christ as Lord over our lives. We can’t put anything before that time to commune with God.


Even, Billy Graham spiritual advisor to many presidents, whom have arguably preached the word of God to more people than anyone else on this planet. As of 1993, more than 2.5 million people had stepped forward at his crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior at his revivals. Even this great man of God has admitted to being so motivated with doing the Work of God that he has forgotten to do the Will of God! Now don't go around telling people I said Billy Graham don't pray, the point I'm trying to get across is that we can put things, even the things of God ahead of the Will of God. The South African Minister Andrew Murray wrote "If we do not set a given time to pray, we will not pray" I would add also that we pray that out prayer time is never snatched away by the manipulation of the Devil
.
Set a Time to Pray
Set a time to pray two or three times per day, and let nothing come between your prayer times not even the works of God. But even though you have a set prayer time you should still pray whenever you have a few minutes to yourself. For instance while waiting for a bus, you can pray, or sitting in the doctors office waiting
for your name to be called are both excellent times to pray.


Stay Single-Minded
Before you pray, pray! Pray that God will keep you single-minded, that your prayer will not be obscured by any of the Devil's devices. And when or if your prayers are interrupted by disturbing thoughts, weakness, or just human junk, speak them out or your life. In Matthew 16:23 when Simon Peter tried to convince Jesus not to take up the cross, Jesus answered "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." (TNIV) This allowed Christ to remain single-minded toward the things of God.
Remember that the mind is the Devils play-ground; he attacks us in the mind causing us to question our faith, and even intercepting or interrupting our prayer with God. So before you pray put on the Helmet of Salvation so that the mind is protected against the evil devices of the enemy! And Get before God as much and as often as you can because you can be sure the devil will be before God to accuser you of your sins!
…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.Revelation 12:10b (KJV)

Other Post on Spiritual Vindication    


 Return To Home Page;     Back to Series Page








Your Brother in Christ
Soli Deo Gloria



Friday, November 16, 2007

Praying to the Point of Tears

by Soli Deo Gloria

Nothing has hindered the blessing or the manifestation of blessing in the life of urban men today like the concept that it is unmanly to cry.

With time, as believer in Christ we learn to mature beyond the inundated precepts of a society motivated by the whiles of Satan's pride. Those bit of society that tell us men should not cry. However for some the need to restrict crying is never released; not in public prayer, not even in secret pray with God. Some men never realize that tears are not a sign of weakness but the expression of compassion. And because of this they never reach the full application of the compassion of Christ.

One of the things God desire in our life is that we learn to lean on him for all things in our life. However this to may seem like an admission of weakness, our pride says to us "I don't need nobody" This is how the God of this world interject his poison into even our prayer and our relationship with God.

We listen to society telling us that we are self-sufficient, But the man or women of God is not self-sufficient in fact the very opposite is true. If we believe we can do anything ourselves, we have no God in us. Not until God sees the hopelessness in our life, and we experience the realization our personal situation is solely dependent on God will for salvation, there is no man or women, no job or circumstance, when we get to that point in life when we can do nothing but break down in tears crying out to God, realizing that in God's hand alone is our salvation. Then God can smile on us and hears our prayers.

So when we pray we need to pray in a state of desperation. If the need is not important enough to more us, how can we expect it to have the power needed to move God? The bible is full of scripture where the tears shed in prayer are heard by God.


2 Kings 20:5 (KJV)
Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.



Hebrews 5:5-7 (KJV)
So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

From the above verse in Hebrews we see that even Jesus Christ would pray to the point of tears. But not until we read psalms 56:8 do we get any idea as to why.

Psalms 56:8 (TNIV)
Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll are they not in your record? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me

Ok I'm going to say it. Sometimes prayer is ineffectual just because there are no tears. This does not mean that tears make a prayer effectual. However if your prayer can not move you to sorrow, and you are doing the praying, how much less is it moving God to want to see that prayer fulfilled?

Every one of ancient times cried out in prayer to the Lord. I would go as far as to say that it appears to be those that cried the hardest are the ones that did the greatest works in God. In Paul's letter to Timothy he writes
"I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;" 2 Timothy 1:3-4 (KJV)

Next in the series  Tears of Intercession;   Return To Home Page;     Back to Series Page

Your Brother in Christ
Soli Deo Gloria