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A Praying Apron

A Praying Apron

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Imagine its 1710 in a little village called Epworth, England. You’re the wife of the town cobbler and its been a very busy day for your husband so you’re taking some deliveries for him throughout the village. Spring has arrived and everyone has their windows open, grateful for a taste of fresh, clean air. As you go along you pass the parsonage and glance inside the open window. The sight that meets your eyes stops you in your tracks.

 

There are 8 children on the floor, table and chairs. Some are reading, some are working mathematical equations and a few smaller children are playing with blocks and sticks. In the midst of them is woman, sitting in a chair, and over her face is an apron. Yes, she has set an apron over her face and sits quietly and still. You shake your head, That Susanna Wesley is a strange one, you say to yourself as you walk on. 

 

Yes, that woman was Susanna Wesley, and that was her praying apron.

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King David: A Man of Prayer

King David: A Man of Prayer

b2ap3_thumbnail_King-David.jpgIt seems a fitting start, in the series on individuals of intercession, to discuss the man of prayer named King David. Since he practically wrote a whole entire book of prayer called the Psalms, found smack dab in the middle of our Bibles, we see many of his own accounts of desperate prayer and praise directed specifically towards the throne of God itself. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the Psalms has noticed that David had a full spectrum of very raw and real human emotions, just as we do. But he had the bravery and the deep intimate relationship with the Lord to feel it appropriate to expose the reality of his life and the truest feelings of his heart to God Himself, because he knew God! Before David was lifted to the place of royalty, he was but a lowly and lonely shepherd. He spent days and years alone in the fields tending to sheep and mastered his harp, spending countless hours singing praises to God, fellowshipping, and praying. That is why his psalms are so intimate, because they sprung from an intimate relationship with God himself.

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Praying John Hyde

Praying John Hyde

As Christians, we seek to model men and women of faith who run after God and have a relationship with Him that is undeniable. But something, something powerful, sets apart certain men and women of God from the rest. What is it? We believe it is their life of prayer. Those times, early in the morning, midday, or late at night, spent in their closets on their faces before God. Prayer. Prevailing, intercessory prayer, sets the great men and women of God apart from the rest.

 

We will be doing a series, alternating from the lives of men and women of intercession and lessons from King David’s prayer life, with the object of learning from and being encouraged by those who have gone before us.

 

So today, we begin with John Hyde, better known as “Praying Hyde.”

 

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Overcoming the Powers of Darkness

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” - Eph. 6:12

 
Many Christians can quote this verse from Ephesians from memory, but as God’s people do we fully understand it’s meaning in the depths of our hearts? 


These principalities and powers of darkness are real, and they are ruled by Satan himself. Satan and his army are working continually to destroy you — to destroy God’s people and to hinder the kingdom of God from advancing on earth. They seek to kill, steal, and destroy! 

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Trusting in the Lord

Those who trust in the Lord cannot be moved! 

 

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Continuing Steadfastly

Many Christians across America spent weeks and months praying for the midterm elections; many spent time praying that the righteous would be exalted and that those who are ungodly would be removed from positions of authority. The midterm election results were not what many had hoped for, and it may seem that our prayers were not heard or answered. 

Because we don’t see all that God sees, we often don’t understand His ways or His decisions. We might not understand why He didn’t answer our prayers according to how we wanted or expected. We may get discouraged and think we have lost ground. 

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A CALL TO PRAYER IN 1976

The following was written by Bonnie Barrows in 1976. This powerful message fell on deaf ears more than 30 years, but may the call at the end of the article move our hearts today

The greatest threat to spiritual awakening in America is Christian withdrawal.

Though 2 Chronicles 7:14 promises “healing to the land”, many of God’s people wag their heads in unbelief, questioning whether the land can be healed, or even should be. Twentieth-century prophets of gloom predict that America is beyond hope, beyond faith, beyond mercy. 

This negativism has caused many to turn their backs to the spiritual, social and moral issues facing our nation...to walk away from involvement with a “what can I do about it” attitude.

"After all, isn’t this the way it will be in the last days? Isn’t this just a sign of the times? Let’s eat, drink, and be merry...the Lord is coming soon!” 
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Two Ways of Praying

The following is an excerpt from Kneeling We Triumph by Edwin and Lillian Harvey. ​​​​​​​​

 

There are two ways of praying. One asks and hopes; the other craves and waits until he has obtained. It is just this “until” that characterizes the latter.

 

One seeks God and finds Him; the other strives with God and triumphs. The first observes scrupulously his daily devotions; the second stays on his knees hours a day, through the night.

 

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Releasing God's Power

Recently, I read a testimony of a pastor who before he was converted was a Satanist. He shared that as a satanic high priest he was most effective when believers were prayerless. He said he could gain position in the spiritual realm against those who were not praying. On the other hand, he said when Christians were praying it stopped his evil plans in their tracks. He said he always knew in what cities and neighborhoods Christians were praying. He had less power in cities where God’s people prayed.

 

Why did he have less power? When God’s people pray His power is released.

 

Prayer does not release some mere force of man or nature. Prayer releases the immeasurable wealth and power of Almighty God!

 

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jer 33:3)

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Setting Captives Free

Three American men, held in captivity without hope, with no way out of the terrible North Korean prison were suddenly set free a few weeks ago!

Imagine if you were in those oppressive prisons, doomed to years of hard labor, and suddenly you were told, “You are free — free to go home, to hug your loved ones. Free at last!” You would walk out of that prison feeling like you were dreaming. That is what these three men experienced. Imagine how they felt when their plane landed on US soil!

When those freed prisoners landed at Andrews Air Force Base one of them gave Vice President Pence a note. Written on it were these words from Psalms 126:
“When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with singing... The Lord has done great things for America, the Lord has done great things for us!”

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Remembering What God Has Done

“I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all your work and talk of your deeds.” ~ Psalms 77:11-12

 

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PRAYING FROM THE DEPTH

The book of Jonah is a little book with a big message for us, even today. It is the story of a man who was disobedient to the Lord and ended up in a hopeless situation. His disobedience led to great darkness and despair in his life with absolutely no hope of being saved by natural means.

Because of our disobedience America, like Jonah, is in deep darkness and there is no hope of being saved through any man or political party. God is our only hope of salvation!

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PRAYER THAT MOVES GOD’S HEART

The past few weeks we have been mourning the loss of Billy Graham but also rejoicing knowing he is reaping the rewards of his labor. His ministry and preaching has probably in some way impacted every one of us, and his influence has affected our nation in incredible ways. In the Bible when a great leader passed away, often it was a sign that God was going to do something new, like in the case of Moses and Joshua.
 

Recently I heard it prayed, “Lord raise up 1,000 Billy Grahams!”

 

May it be so! I believe that God wants to raise up 1,000 Billy Grahams. He is looking for those who have come to know Him, through whom He can do great exploits! Many of us made the Daniel Resolution recently. As we seek Him daily He not only wants to visit us, but He also wants to use us. In Scripture, we see that there is a type of prayer that moves God’s heart and moves Him to respond.

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A Spiritual Resolution

It is tradition for many people to make New Year resolutions. Every year many of us make resolutions centered around our general health, finances, family, etc.
I don’t typically make resolutions, but this year I made a spiritual resolution that I would like to invite all who read this to make as well. At the beginning of the year, I spent time praying for what God has for America Pray Now in 2018, and I was reminded of the life of Daniel and the resolution that he made. 
In all Babylon, which was the greatest nation of its time, there was none found like Daniel and his three friends. Throughout his life, Daniel was honored and exalted by the various kings of Babylon. Daniel was a young Jew who had been taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar, yet not long after King Nebuchadnezzar is found falling down on his face prostrate before Daniel. The next two kings after also honored and exalted Daniel and decreed to the entire kingdom that everyone had to serve Daniel’s God because he was the living God. 
How could a Jewish captive come to influence three of the greatest kings of his time? What made him so different than all the others living in Babylon? Why was he the one exalted and honored?
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God Has Heard!

Psalm 106:2 says, “Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?”

As we look back and reflect on 2017, I think all of us can say with the psalmist that God has done so many mighty deeds. God has done great things for us. Both corporately and privately there have been many prayers that God has heard and answered. 

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PERSEVERE IN PRAYER!

Psalm 60:11 “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.”
We have always believed the only answer for America is a revival. There is no hope in one man or in a political party. Godly men and women in office is a blessing, but it is not the answer for our state or nation. Only God can change the hearts of the American people. 
Much of the good our President and the God-fearing leaders in this administration as well as those in our local governments do can merely be undone by others after them who do not have a fear of God. A revival that transforms the hearts of the people is the only answer! 
In recent months it has seemed that many of God’s people were growing comfortable again and no longer feeling the need to persevere in prayer. Perhaps the results of the recent VA elections was what this state needed to bring us to our knees once again. We cannot afford to be comfortable when our nation is so far from God! We cannot afford to be comfortable when our nation is one of 26 nations, out of 195 nations in the world, that allows gay marriage; or when our nation is one of 7 nations in the world that allows abortion after 20 weeks; or when as a nation we have killed approximately 60 million babies and continue to abort over 3,000 babies a day; or when our tax dollars are being spent on reassignment surgeries and our society is beginning to see transgenderism as acceptable. Our nation is in dire need! 
The spiritual battle is raging over our nation. The powers of darkness are fighting continuously to destroy America. We as God’s people cannot afford to sit back and grow comfortable. We do not fight against flesh and blood, but rather we fight against the principalities and powers in heavenly places!  
Some battles in this great war will be lost, but we must never forget that the battle is the Lord’s, and He will be victorious because in spite of apparent setbacks the war goes on!  
In Deut 20:1-4 the Lord shows us His battle plans: 
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’”
The key to winning the battle is battling under the Lord’s banner! If He is with us, who can be against us? We may lose some elections, but that does not mean the war is lost! 
Gideon and his small army of 300 men defeated an army that was as numerous as locusts ONLY because the Lord was with them! The presence of God was with them causing the enemy to fall back and perish before them! 
This spiritual war over our nation will only be won through those who are seeking the Lord with all their hearts, being filled with His presence, and standing up for righteousness no matter the cost — those who are persevering in prayer until revival falls on America! 
William Wilberforce once said, “I must confess equally boldly that my own solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend, not so much on her navies and armies, nor on the wisdom of her rulers, nor on the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who love and obey the Gospel of Christ. I believe that their prayers may yet prevail.”
We should not be discouraged by election results. As part of the army of the Lord let us press on and fight as never before through prayer and fasting — seeking the Lord with all our hearts! If we are faithful in this, our prayers WILL prevail! 
 
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The Value of the Presence of God

We read in Jeremiah 52 that after Jerusalem fell into the hand of the enemy, one of the first things the enemy did was to destroy the House of the Lord and rob anything of value. 

 

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A Call to Return

Today, we are in desperate need of a revival. This revival must begin in the church which will be what will make a difference in our nation. Sadly, the church in America is known around the world as a lukewarm church. For so long we have run after other things that do not satisfy resulting in a spiritually bankrupt church which is why our nation is spiritually and morally bankrupt. 
In Jeremiah  the Lord said, “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” God’s people exchanged their love relationship with the Lord for other things they thought would satisfy them. In reality they were dying spiritually from a lack of living water and were spiritually and morally bankrupt while being taken into captivity! 
Throughout the book of Jeremiah we see that despite God’s people committing these two evils, the Lord, in His great mercy and compassion for His people, sent His prophets over and over to call His people back to Him. He longed for them to see their need for repentance and return to Him. At this point God’s people were living in partial captivity, and the message to them was turn back to the Lord in repentance and obey Him, or the end would be total captivity. 
In chapters 3 and 4 of Jeremiah we see the Lord was crying out to His people… ”Return and I will not cause My anger to fall on you for I am merciful.” “Acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord.” “Break up your fallow ground and do not sow among thorns.” “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and take away the foreskins of your hearts lest My fury come forth like fire because of the evil of your doings.” “Wash your heart from wickedness that you may be saved.”
Despite the warnings, God’s people refused to listen and turn back to the Lord which resulted in the sword, famine, and pestilence — a complete giving over to their enemies. 
Just as in the days of Jeremiah, the Lord has been calling His people in America to repent and turn in order to not fall under greater judgment. He has been calling us to return to the fountain of Life so we can live and not die! 
By His mercy some of God’s people in America have been listening and turning in repentance. 
The Lord has commanded His people to love Him with all their heart, all their strength, and all their mind. If we are being obedient to this commandment we will be found living at the fountain of living water! 
There is an old hymn that says:
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that would not satisfy. 
Then I heard my Savior calling, “Draw from the well that never shall run dry.”
So fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord; Come and quench this thirsting in my soul. 
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole. 
 
Let us pray that daily we and those we know would be drawn to Him who is the fountain of living water; so we can be revived and restored and have rivers of water flowing out of our innermost beings AND be known as a church that once was lukewarm but now has returned to her first love and is on fire for God — alive, with power flowing through her! Then and only then will our nation be healed.
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Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Recently, our nation has been experiencing distress. There was the protest in Charlottesville, with racial tensions rising, unprecedented and catastrophic flooding in Texas due to hurricane Harvey, as well as terrible destruction from hurricane Irma. We have also heard distressing news of a grade school in California holding a gender-change ceremony for a kindergarten boy wanting to become a girl.

 

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When God Tarries

God told Habakkuk, “The vision is yet for an appointed time… Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come.” Habakkuk 2:3


Waiting is very difficult for most people. In our society today we are accustomed to having everything we want pretty much when we want it. Then when our prayers are not answered quickly we can wonder why.

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