Monday, January 7, 2013

Change Your Life By Praying for Others

Change Your Life By Praying For Others!
It is sad but all too true that we in America have a dreadful group of people elected to office currently serving  in every city, county, state, and Washington DC.  They are placing burdens on other men’s backs which they themselves have no intention of bearing.  They are basically condescending, hateful, arrogant jerks.  They oppose everything right.  They call evil good and good evil.  What is the duty of Christians to such people?  How should we respond to their evil ways?
First, we have to call evil evil, and good good.  We are just supposed to tell the truth.  We should not kid ourselves that the evil world rulers have any fear or awe of the Most High God of the Bible.  They are enemies of the cross.  Those who accept and push forward their evil agendas are also enemies of the cross.

Second, we are to consider what our response to these people should be.  What is the duty of the Christian in response to their evil actions?
According to 1 Samuel chapter 12 it is our duty to pray for them. 

If we do not pray for them, we are sinning against God.  Man! That is hard to swallow.  I really don’t want to pray for them.  I WANT to curse them!  I have a choice.  I can follow my own heart, and curse them, and even pray for their immediate destruction.  OR, I can obey my God and pray for them.  Mind you, I am NOT praying for their success in the evil they are attempting to bring on this country and my family.  I am praying they will turn from evil and do good. 
I am praying Acts 26:18 which says, ‘to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by the faith that is in me.’  This was Paul telling King Agrippa what Christ had instructed him to do. 

I Samuel tells us that the people of Israel had sinned against God by demanding an earthly king.  What they asked was basically that a ‘middle man’ be put in place between them and God.  They didn’t like the answers and instructions they were getting from God Himself, so they choose an earthly leader who might  say what their itching ears wanted to here.  In truth, they had stepped off the way of righteousness, and had chosen instead to do what seemed right to them or for them at the moment.  (How many times have you heard someone say they were doing what was right for them when they were jumping into sin with both feet?  It seems to me that the ‘doing what is right for me’ people are usually excusing their adultery.)  Anyway, back to the subject of prayer.  Israel as a nation had just done a one-eighty from the path of righteousness in demanding an earthly king.  Samuel must have been devastated.  They had rejected the God who made them a nation, and they had rejected Samuel as being chosen by God as their leader.
Then, as most selfish and ungodly people, they requested that the very one whom they had rejected pray for them!  Samuel’s response was to say, ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:’. (Verse 23)

What this amounts to is that Samuel did not let their actions cause him to turn from doing what the Lord required of him personally.  What courage and unselfishness that took on Samuel’s part.  That is what we should do as well. 
Honestly, those who persecute God’s people, belittle and ridicule them, and hate them are not worthy of our prayer.  However, we also are not worthy of God’s salvation and mercy.  What matters is that the individual Christian stay faithful and continue to do what God requires of them.  The Prophet Samuel says he personally will not sin against God by ceasing to pray for these people.  That should be the goal of every Christian.  Forget the world, look to God, and do what God says to do.  We are to pray for our enemies.

Matthew 5:44 says, ‘But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you, and persecute you;’.
Luke 6:28 says, ‘Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.’

Can it be made any clearer than this?  We are to continue to pray for those who do not deserve it.
AND, there is blessing and goodness for those who obey the instruction to pray for our enemies.  Consider Job.  The Lord allowed that Job be persecuted by Satan himself.  He lost all his wealth and family.  Then, instead of friends praying for him and coming to him with prayers and help, they sat down to pick apart his life in search of some sin that would have brought such heartache to him.  We cannot stop ‘friends’ from behaving so badly, but we can stop ourselves from being such a dreadful friend. 

In the end, the prayers of Job’s friends were refused by God.  Instead God instructed them to go and ask Job to pray for them.  At their request, Job did pray for them in spite of how they had just treated them.  According to Job 42:10, the result of Job’s prayer was, ‘And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also, the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.’
Today, Christians have the same choice as Job and Samuel.  Will we obey God’s instructions to pray for others – even those who definitely do not deserve it?  If we do not, we are in direct violation of what God has told us to do.  It is for our own good that we pray for our enemies.  It helps to remember that we have no righteous or merit on our own.  Except for the grace of God, each Christian would also be separated from God.  God extended the offer of salvation to mankind when not one person was worthy of such mercy and grace.  By His example, we are to pray for those who have not received the gift of eternal life from God, as well as for those who of the household of faith.

In refusing or neglecting to pray for our leaders, we are making the matter worse.  Unless they turn from their wicked ways, they will heap more misery on the people over which they rule.  By praying for them, we are doing the will of God. 
Finally, I know that it seems useless to pray for our leaders in terms of immediate results, or even long term results.  The Bible gives us encouragement to do what is right regardless of what we see as happening.  Galatians 6:9 says, ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’ 

So, be obedient to God in praying for others.  Look forward to the ‘due season’ when we shall reap if we faint not.
The song for this article is ‘There is Always a Blessing in Prayer’.  It is an old hymn that can lift the spirits of any Christian in any age.  It can also strengthen the weary soul to do what is right, which to pray one for another. 

There is rest, sweet rest, at the Master’s feet.
There is favor now at the mercy seat,
For a toning blood has been sprinkled there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

There’s a blessing in prayer, in believing prayer,
When our Savior’s Name to throne we bear;
Then a Father’s love will receive us there,
There is always a blessing, a blessing prayer.

There is grace to help in our time of need,
For our Friend above is a Friend, indeed’
We may cas on Him every grief and care;
There is always a blessing, a blessing prayer.

When our songs are glad with the joy of life,
When our hearts are sad with its ills and strife,
When the powers of sin would the soul ensnare,
There is always a blessing a blessing in prayer.

There is perfect peace tho’ the wild waves roll,
There are gifts of love for the seeking soul,
Till we praise the Lord in His home so fair,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.


Thanks for reading my article.
Barbara Henderson

Dear  Readers,
Once again someone has left a negative review on my book ‘Everyday Prepping for Beginners’.

The review is negative  BECAUSE the book is written from a Christian world view.  I would sincerely appreciate kind reviews from readers.  You can also help by simply commenting on the reviews that are there. I started a discussion at the bottom of the page where you can comment on your opinion of being mentally prepared.  The first 3 chapters of the book deal with self-definition, self-discipline, self-reliance, and scripture memorization.  The rest of the book is very basic prepping for people just starting to think about how to be better prepared for everyday and for the future.  It is a very simple little book reasonably priced.  The description clearly states that, so I don’t know what these people leaving bad reviews are thinking when they buy the book.  Anyway, thank you all in advance.  I appreciate any help you can give me.