Archive for January, 2008

…….well not me personally, but a person called Wayne Jacobsen who has written an interesting article. With churches the way they are these day, I can definitely see his point of view. You can read the article here

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Do you ever wonder whats the use in praying if God has already predestined the outcome anyway? The conversation below should hopefully give you an insight into why we should be persistent in prayer.

This is taken from Desiring God Ministries

A Conversation Between Prayerful and Prayerless

Prayerless: I understand that you believe in the providence of God. Is that right?

Prayerful: Yes.

Prayerless: Does that mean you believe, like the Heidelberg Catechism says, that nothing comes about by chance but only by God’s design and plan?

Prayerful: Yes, I believe that’s what the Bible teaches.

Prayerless: Then why do you pray?

Prayerful: I don’t see the problem. Why shouldn’t we pray?

Prayerless: Well, if God ordains and controls everything, then what he plans from of old will come to pass, right?

Prayerful: Yes.

Prayerless: So it’s going to come to pass whether you pray or not, right.

Prayerful: That depends on whether God ordained for it to come to pass in answer to prayer. If God predestined that something happen in answer to prayer, it won’t happen without prayer.

Prayerless: Wait a minute, this is confusing. Are you saying that every answer to prayer is predestined or not?

Prayerful: Yes, it is. It’s predestined as an answer to prayer.

Prayerless: So if the prayer doesn’t happen, the answer doesn’t happen?

Prayerful: That’s right.

Prayerless: So the event is contingent on our praying for it to happen?

Prayerful: Yes. I take it that by contingent you mean prayer is a real reason that the event happens, and without the prayer the event would not happen.

Prayerless: Yes that’s what I mean. But how can an event be contingent on my prayer and still be eternally fixed and predestined by God?

Prayerful: Because your prayer is as fixed as the predestined answer.

Prayerless: Explain.

Prayerful: It’s not complicated. God providentially ordains all events. God never ordains an event without a cause. The cause is also an event. Therefore, the cause is also foreordained. So you cannot say that the event will happen if the cause doesn’t because God has ordained otherwise. The event will happen if the cause happens.

Prayerless: So what you are saying is that answers to prayer are always ordained as effects of prayer which is one of the causes, and that God predestined the answer only as an effect of the cause.

Prayerful: That’s right. And since both the cause and the effect are ordained together you can’t say that the effect will happen even if the cause doesn’t because God doesn’t ordain effects without causes.

Prayerless: Can you give some illustrations?

Prayerful: Sure. If God predestines that I die of a bullet wound, then I will not die if no bullet is fired. If God predestines that I be healed by surgery, then if there is no surgery, I will not be healed. If God predestines heat to fill my home by fire in the furnace, then if there is no fire, there will be no heat. Would you say, “Since God predestines that the sun be bright, it will be bright whether there is fire in the sun or not”?

Prayerless: No.

Prayerful: I agree. Why not?

Prayerless: Because the brightness of the sun comes from the fire.

Prayerful: Right. That’s the way I think about the answers to prayer. They are the brightness, and prayer is the fire. God has established the universe so that in larger measure it runs by prayer, the same way he has established brightness so that in larger measure it happens by fire. Doesn’t that make sense?

Prayerless: I think it does.

Prayerful: Then let’s stop thinking up problems and go with what the Scriptures say. Ask and you will receive. You have not because you ask not.

Related Post:

Be Devoted to Prayer

I love quotes from Godly men, past and present.

If you want to be inspired, convicted or just want a spiritual kick in the gut, Pilgrim with his Band of Beraeans have quite a few quotes on their website which you can read by clicking here and here

Saw this courtesy of Isaiah’s website.

If Joel Osteen’s ‘gospel’ looks absurd then, then it is absurd now.

Your Best Life Now?

This quiz will help you understand the foolishness of the modern gospel

Related posts:

The Squeezed Christian

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 2 – Scripture Twisting

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 4 – Man Centered Theology

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 5 – The Prosperity Gospel

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37)

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:1-4)

When we think of Christians being persecuted, we normally think of countries such as Afghanistan, China or North Korea but seldom do we think about Christians getting persecuted in the holy land itself. I went to Israel a few years ago (by the way, I would recommend every Christian go there at least once in their life) and went down to the Wailing Wall where many of the orthodox Jews gather to pray. Even though there was a part of me that had the utmost respect for these Jews, the other side was sad that they were still blind and waiting for the Messiah when he has already come in the person of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ.

Below are some videos to give you an idea of what some of the Jewish Christians have to live with in Israel

As Romans 10:1 says, please pray for the nation of Israel that they may be saved

If you are a Jew and you are not a Christian (you can be both), click HERE to see how you can receive salvation

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How to Pray for Persecuted Christians

Thought for the day – The Squeezed Christian

“But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, hear me in the truth of Your salvation.” (Psalm 69:13)

Prayers for January 15, 2008
From The Voice of the Martyrs
Persecution.com
Pray for AFGHANISTAN & ALGERIA
AFGHANISTAN & ALGERIA Islamic Scholars Call for Crackdown on Christians – VOM Sources
Christians came under fire in Algeria and Afghanistan in recent weeks by Islamic scholars who have called for government crackdowns on Christian activity in the two countries. In Afghanistan, members of the Afghanistan Islamic Council warned President Karzai not to allow foreign missions into the country, especially to the impoverished areas. The council claimed that missionaries in Kabul and in the provinces were forcibly converting Muslims, enticing them by giving them Bibles and promising to send them abroad. The Islamic scholars warned of serious consequence if the government did not stop Christians from preaching and evangelizing. In Algeria, the head of the Algerian Associations of Muslim Scholars, Sheik Abdul Al-Shayban, called on all officials to counter Christian missionary campaigns, claiming they had “reached the point of aggressions against Algerians.” Ask God to stop the attempts of those who seek to hinder His work in Afghanistan and Algeria. Pray that His servants in these countries will be emboldened to carry on their service to Christ wherever Gods leads them. Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 8:31Pray for INDIA
INDIA UPDATE: Christians Believe Orissa Attacks Premeditated – VOM Sources
Christians in India believe the deadly attacks by Hindu extremists against Christians during the Christmas season were premeditated. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in India, “It is beyond doubt that the violence was premeditated, pre-planned and the work of a well-disciplined group to ensure simultaneous eruption of violence across the Kandhamal district within hours of the first incident and to sustain it for five days despite the presence of the highest police officers in the region.” Pray for Christians in Orissa state and India as a whole. Thank God for their faithfulness, and ask Him to protect them and provide for their needs. saiah 26:3, Psalm 27:1Pray for CHINA
CHINA Christian Businessman Released from Prison – China Aid Association
On January 4, Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan was released from prison in China along with two dozen others. According to China Aid Association (CAA), the Chinese government decided against a formal trial for Weihan and dropped all criminal charges against him and the others. CAA reported, “Eye witnesses said, ‘Weihan was in good spirits and in a relatively stable physical condition when he was released from prison.'” Weihan and two dozen other individuals had been in prison since November under charges of illegal printing and distribution of Christian literature. Weihan is one of many Christians who have been imprisoned in China because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for believers in China as they faithfully serve the Lord in the midst of great persecution. Psalm 23; 2 Timothy 1:7Pray for IRAQ
IRAQ Churches and Convents Bombed – VOM Sources/Media Reports
On January 6, four churches and three convents were damaged in coordinated bombings. According to numerous media reports, the blasts occurred within five minutes of each other and involved mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs. In Baghdad, the St. George Chaldean Church in Ghadir quarter, a Chaldean convent in the Zaafaraniya quarter and a Greek-Melkite parish were attacked. In Mosul, the St. Paul Chaldean Church and the House of the Holy Spirit, a Chaldean convent, were simultaneously bombed. A Dominican convent in Mosul was also attacked and an Ancient Assyrian Church in the al-Nur district was damaged when a parked car blew up outside the building. At least six people were injured, one of them seriously, in the explosions. Pray for Iraqi Christians as they deal with the effects of this attack. Pray for healing for those injured. Ask God to enable Iraqi Christians to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer as they suffer for Him. Romans 12:12, Psalm 91

Related Posts:

How to Pray for Persecuted Christians

Thought for the day – The Squeezed Christian