Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him… Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and held together by every joint…when each part is working properly… Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Henry Blackaby (see bio) has helped God-hungry pastors, churches, and believers around the world. His Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (1990), translated into 45 languages, has sold over seven million copies. From Dr. Blackaby:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1). Prayer does not give you spiritual power. Prayer aligns your life with God so that He chooses to demonstrate His power through you. The purpose of prayer is not to convince God to change your circumstances but to prepare you to be involved in God’s activity. The fervent prayer of the people at Pentecost did not induce the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Prayer brought them to a place where they were ready to participate in the mighty work God had already planned. Jesus told His followers to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:4-5). The disciples obeyed His command, waiting for God’s next directive. As they prayed, God adjusted their lives to what He intended to do next. As they prayed, a unity developed among them. For the first time the disciples used Scripture as their guide in decision making (Acts 1:15-26). The day of Pentecost arrived, and the city of Jerusalem filled with pilgrims from around the world. When God released His Holy Spirit upon the disciples, He had already filled the city with messengers who would carry the gospel to every nation. Prayer had prepared the disciples for their obedient response. Prayer is designed to adjust you to God’s will, not to adjust God to your will. If God has not responded to what you are praying, you may need to adjust your praying to align with God’s agenda. Rather than focusing on what you would like to see happen, realize that God may be more concerned with what He wants to see happen in you (Henry & Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God Day By Day, 2006).
Last week, I quoted the late Derek Prince, who warned that spiritual warfare is not for “Lone Rangers.” If you are not a part of a healthy prayer group with mature leadership, you should find one. If none are in your church or community, find some like-minded believers and start one! Every believer needs to be part of a vital circle of praying people. Our challenges are great; we ought not face them alone (Lev 26:7-9; Mt 18:19). Like those in the upper room, God will lead and empower your group as you pray over matters dear to His heart – life, marriage, restraining those who seek to silence the Church, the defense and advance of the gospel, etc. (Eph 6:10-20).
- May God raise a spiritual militia in every community – to stand in the gap for our nation – armed, not with carnal, but spiritual weapons. May we be like the Colonial militias which, while neither perfectly regimented nor splendidly uniformed, prevailed. May we be led by the Spirit, and equipped with God’s Word. May we persevere against every distraction and discouragement to see God magnified again in our churches and nation! (1Ch 12:32-33; Ps 144:1-2; 2Co 4:8-10; Eph 6:10-20)
White House, Agency Scandals – Obama Administration personnel, practices and policies have damaged our nation. They accentuate our challenge to pray! They have:
- With Regard to Faith - Radically advanced a secular agenda – hostile to Christian faith and religious freedom, the very foundation of our liberties and our Republic.
- The Economy - Radically increased government spending, taxpayer bailouts, socialist-leaning programs (chiefly Obamacare, but more to come), economic mismanagement and oppressive regulation have harmed, not helped, our free market economy. Reckless government borrowing and spending has led to disaster and saddled our children with a national debt they may never be able to repay.
- Law and Justice - Ignored the Constitution and laws duly enacted by Congress, laws they are bound by oath to defend and execute. Many now call for the Attorney General’s resignation, even impeachment. Obama appointed supra-liberal activist judges will advance the liberal agenda for decades.
- Federal Agencies - The President has appointed radicals as leaders in our bureaucratic agencies, including record numbers of homosexual activists who impose their views upon America with raw power, rules, regulations, changes and reinterpretations of policy. Fortunately, some Americans have pushed back. (Hobby Lobby’s Big Win, Supreme Court Next)
- The Military – Hollowed our military (cutting budgets, reducing troop numbers and weapons development), and going farther by demoralizing our fighting men at the heart level – forcing officers and men, even chaplains, to violate their religious beliefs. President Obama has opposed efforts to prevent this by law. They desecrate our military chapels with homosexual “marriage” and commitment ceremonies, and silence expressions of Christian faith with the threats of disciplinary action.
That’s just part and the worst is yet to come. On August 1, ObamaCare enters a new phase in its effort to usurp 1/6th of the US economy; dismantle the most advanced and accessible health care system in the world; and replace it with an unaffordable, inefficient, socialist system, that may include abortion at taxpayer expense and requires Christians to violate their conscience. The Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged that it cannot meet the law’s deadlines and is encouraging employers to ignore the “employer mandate” for a year. A sophisticated, taxpayer funded nationwide campaign to resell Obamacare is just ahead (see Hard Sell) – after that universal preschool, Immigration Reform, Global Warming, Gun Control and more (see Texans Seek Heartbeat Law). Scandalous policies foment scandalous practices, a number of which are under Congressional scrutiny: The DOJ, IRS, NSA, and Benghazi.
- God, raise up specialists – prayer warriors who can become issue experts in the many battlefronts we face – economy, national defense, Life, marriage and human sexuality, Israel, etc. For every stronghold that the devil has erected may God raise up prayer groups that will tear them down – till we see all things subject to Him! (1Ch 12:33; 12:35; 12:36; Es 4:14; Ps 149:6-9; Mt 17:2l; 1 Cor 15:25, 57)
My Hope with Billy Graham – If you, your church and/or group are not already involved with this remarkable nationwide Christian outreach, you need to hurry. My Hope will help churches and families reach their unsaved friend and neighbors with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in a sweeping campaign this November. We will not turn the tide in our nation through politics. Only men and women whose eyes are open to God through Christ, and who are following Him, will be equipped to stand amid the anti-Christian onslaught we see taking shape across America. Even if you and your church have a meaningful evangelistic program, I urge you to look at Dr. Graham’s last plan to reach America with the gospel before he goes home to be with the Lord (he’s 95).
- May believers from every Christian denomination join with Graham and may God use My Hope to begin the greatest revival the world has ever seen, ushering millions to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Ps 85:5-7; 133: all; Jn 14:12: Rom 10:10-15).
Finally, some spiritual strongholds cannot be pulled down, but with prayer and fasting. We need the kind of prayer that took place in the Upper Room, that paved the way for Pentecost, and Revival that will overwhelm the enemies of our souls and nation and convert many to Christ! Thank you for praying!