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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

In the following video, famed neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, gives a noteworthy speech at the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington DC on Thursday, February 7, 2013.  He refused to be politically correct, and actually spoke out about its dangers during his speech.  He gave brilliant solutions to America’s educational, economic, and health care problems that will hopefully not be swept under the rug and forgotten.  Dr. Carson is a strong man of God, and he wasn’t afraid to speak the truth, even with the President and First Lady sitting just a few feet away.  This is a definite must-see.

 

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“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”  (Exodus 17:8-13)

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“Keep your hands up!”  This was a thought that was strongly impressed upon me as I was washing dishes one morning.  I was going through a very trying time and at that moment I was thinking about everything that was going on and praying to God for a resolution.  Then I heard those words in my mind.

I immediately thought of the story of Moses holding up his hands during a battle against Israel and one of their enemies.  When Moses’ hands were held up, Israel started winning.  But when Moses’ hands got tired and he let them down, the enemy started winning.  Then two other men came and helped him keep his hands up in the air and eventually Israel won that battle.

I perceived that God was telling me that as long as I keep my hands up (i.e., praying to, praising, and worshiping Him — I believe with my hands held high), then He would give me favor in my battles, just like He did for Israel when Moses kept his hands up.

God got me through that particular battle victoriously.  There have been others since then, and He’s always gotten me through.  And I expect there to be more in the future.  I will continue to keep my hands held high to God in an attitude of prayer, praise, and worship to Him – in and out of the spiritual and physical battles that I face.

I hope this encourages you, the reader, to do the same.  Be blessed!

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“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” ..~.I.Thessalonians 4:16-17

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” ~ I Corinthians 15:51-52

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ~.Luke.21:36

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“As I was praying to the LORD, He led me to read Psalm 83.  While I read, I felt a great burden to continually lift up this song as a prayer for Israel.  I also felt an urgency to share this burden with others.  

And so I present to you…”

 A Prayer For Israel (Psalm 83)

(Click on Words Above — Make Sure Speakers are On)


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We all have times in our lives when we feel a little down — times where we experience anxiety, fear, or other emotions that really put a damper on our spirits.  Sometimes these moments are worse than at other times.   The following are some of the things that I find help me to overcome my occasional bouts of the blues.

Praying to God. Praying to God is merely talking to Him just as you would any other person.  It does not always have to be in a kneeling position with our eyes closed.  We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing,” so this means that we can pray at any time, in any place, and in any posture.  I pray to God in good times but more intensely in trying times.  I think it’s the same with most people.

There are many instances in the Bible of people just like you and me who were in such dire straits, who cried out to God in prayer.  One such instance is the story of the prophet Jonah who, as most of us know, was swallowed up by a “great fish” and remained in its belly for 3 days and 3 nights.  In Jonah 2:1-2, it states, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”

After continuing with a very heart-rending and detailed prayer which described the anguish he was going through, he says in verse 7, “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.”

Jonah’s prayers to God then resulted in the “mother of all spirit boosters!”  In verse 10, it says, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Can you imagine how happy and relieved he must have been?

I think it’s safe to say that not many of us have had to endure what Jonah did for those three dreadful days, and I’m sure that most of our problems pale in comparison.  So if God can deliver Jonah out of such a seemingly hopeless situation, then He is certainly able to deliver us out of whatever we may be going through.  We just need to ask.

Reading the Book of Psalms. The Book of Psalms consists of 150 songs written by King David of Israel, as well as other authors.  A great majority of David’s Psalms were penned while he was hiding out in caves from his enemies in fear for his life.  His words show his desperation, his fear, and his ultimate realization that only God can save him from his circumstances.  Here is a passage from one of my favorite Psalms written by David:

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.”  (Psalm 27:1-6)

In my times of feeling down, I have started reading in one of the Psalms and by the time I finished one or two chapters, I really did feel more at peace and had a more positive outlook on life.  It’s almost like reading this book has a supernatural ability to elate one’s spirit.

Singing Praises to God. We don’t have to have a great singing voice to sing songs of praise to God.  This can be a time just between us and Him.  No one else has to hear.  In fact, we are commanded to praise God!  Psalm 135:3 says, “Praise the LORD;  for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.”

There is actually an account in the Bible where two men, Paul and Silas, were put into prison unjustly.  They started praying and singing praises to God, when all of a sudden there was an earthquake so strong that the foundations of the prison were shaken, all the doors were opened, “and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (Acts 16:25-26) That’s some mighty powerful singing!

Now I’m not saying that if we sing praises to God, we’ll have the same “earthshaking” experience that they did, but I really believe that “behind the scenes,” something powerful is happening that will influence our lives in a positive way.  So we should never underestimate the significance of singing praises to God!

Listening to Praise Music. I once had a situation in my life that caused me to be full of heavy fear and anxiety.  Nothing seemed to alleviate it.

Then while crying out to God, I turned on the radio to a Christian music station.  I continued praying and asking God to deliver me from the overbearing feelings I was experiencing.  The radio was probably on for less than a minute when the song “Open the Eyes of My Heart” came on.  I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the music; it was kind of just in the background.

All of a sudden the fear and anxiety that was gripping my heart just dissipated within a matter of seconds.  It literally felt like a giant hand of fear had been squeezing my heart and then it just eased up little by little until it was gone.  Then I had peace in my heart.

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I can honestly say that I experienced this in a very real way.  It was at this moment that I realized the importance of music that praises and worships God.

Helping Others. I have found that when I’m feeling down, if I help someone else with a problem they’re going through, I actually feel better.  The logical explanation for this is that it takes my mind off of my problems (at least on the surface) and shifts my focus to the other person.  The Bible specifically tells us in Philippians 2:4 to look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.  We are also to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

These are just some of the things I do to give my spirit a lift when I’m feeling down.  You may find it helpful to try some or all of these when you have an occasional bout of the blues.

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Photograph by dan.

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