Leaving Laodicea
439 - Kingdom Praying

439 - Kingdom Praying

December 7, 2019

When we look at the content of the prayers of the early church we are amazed they didn't pray like much of the church does today— for the little answerable "fix".  Instead, they prayed for Kingdom matters, what we call Kingdom Prayers.  Let me explain.

A “little answerable” is a prayer for a little “fix” that is often related to our sense of entitlement from God.  These can be called horizontal prayers.  We lose our job so we pray for a new one.  A loved one is sick, so we pray for their healing.  We don't have enough money to make it through the end of the month, so we pray to win the lottery.  And on the surface, these seem like proper, loving, spiritual prayers.  But that's not how the early church prayed.

A Kingdom prayer, on the other hand, is praying for something that has lasting value and importance in the Kingdom of God.  For example, look at the following prayers and note what they are asking for (and what they are not):  Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-19, Romans 15:5-6, 13, Philippians 1:9-11, Philemon 1:4-6.

Kingdom Praying

Do you see the difference?  Instead of praying for the current situation to be remedied, the early church prayed for a lasting effect in the believer no matter how the situation turned out.  Their prayers were long-term, character-focused, and not merely looking for an immediate "fix" to make life better.

So what can we learn from this?  Assuming you looked up the verses listed above, the following are a few truths we can glean from the content of the Kingdom prayers.

One, don’t immediately just jump to the obvious when you pray for a need.  Instead, begin by asking God what He wants to do in that situation?  Or, what is His will regarding what you pray?  Or finally, what would give Him the most glory in this situation?  Then, begin to pray accordingly.

Two, don’t be so quick to pray for the results or the “fix”.  Instead, pray for spiritual growth, insight, and development in the life of the one in need.  Again, ask God what He wants to do to bring glory to Himself in this situation or how He wants to transform the person into the image of His Son in this?

Three, when you don’t know what to pray, then pray Scripture.  The Holy Spirit will guide you in your prayer and even pray for you when you don’t know how to pray. Remember the promise in Romans 8:26-27.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God - Romans 8:26-27.

Having the content of your prayers changed to focus more on the eternal rather than the temporal is one major step to becoming a faith prepper.  To find out more about how this is done and how to become a faith prepper, keep listening.

The following is a study on the prayer life of the early church or Kingdom Praying.

415 - The Curse of God’s Abandonment

415 - The Curse of God’s Abandonment

August 24, 2017

There's a time when the Lord gives us what we want: freedom, autonomy, independence, and to have no authority over our lives but ourselves.  That's right.  God gives us over to our selfish, carnal attitudes and allows us to experience the consequences of our sins.  It's like He says, "Ok, you want to go your own way?  Have at it.  I'll be here when you come to your senses."  It's the story of the prodigal son played out in our lives in real time.

This is called the curse of God's abandonment.  It's when He removes His protecting grace from our lives and our nation and let's us see how we like life without Him.  And the results are catastrophic.

Samson, after having his hair cut by Delilah, woke up to confront his enemies still believing he had the same strength as before because his God was with him.  But that was not the case.  He said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!”  But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him (Judges 16:20).  Samson was experiencing the abandonment of God.

God Gave Them Up

In Romans 1 we see three examples of this very act of God's abandonment:

Therefore God also gave them up – Romans 1:24.

For this reason God gave them up – Romans 1:26.

God gave them over – Romans 1:28.

But who are the "them" in these verses?  The lost?  The unregenerate?  Those nations that reject truth and justice?  Yes.  But if you will study these verses closely you will find the object of God's curse of abandonment is also the church.  It includes His wayward believers.  It includes you and me.

Does this seem strange to you?  Maybe hard to believe?  Then I suggest you keep listening and find out the truth for yourself.  And remember, "judgment begins at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17).  Are you ready?

The following is a study on the Curse of the Abandonment of God.

251 - All the Bloody Stuff We Don’t Like Talking About

251 - All the Bloody Stuff We Don’t Like Talking About

August 4, 2014
Romans 12:1-2 speaks of our response to God for His abundant grace and mercy.  In essence it asks, "What are we to do with all the goodness You have shown us?"   And the answer is simple:

I beseech (or, urge, beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present (what) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

And how do we go about doing that?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (why) that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

How does this fit in with the book of Leviticus?  Listen and find out more.

The following is a study on Leviticus 1:1-17.

178 - Giving All to the One Who Gave All

178 - Giving All to the One Who Gave All

June 7, 2012
One of the most challenging passages in the entire New Testament is found in the book of Romans, chapter 12.  It reads:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

If you think you've got a pretty good understanding of what Paul was saying, think again... and keep listening.  You're in for a wild ride.

The following is a study on Romans 12:1-2.
149 - Poison in the Stew

149 - Poison in the Stew

March 6, 2011
Question:  If we cannot be saved by keeping the Law, does that mean that we are no longer under any obligation to pay attention to the Law?

Answer:  No.  When a person is saved or redeemed, there is never a separation between Law and grace.  Christian grace does not remove the obligation from us to obey God.

Question:  Then, can I receive Jesus as my Savior and not my Lord?  Or, can I get saved today and make Him my Lord at a later date?

Answer:  Keep listening.

The following is a study on Romans 3:20-26.
147 - You are Not the Apple of God’s Eye

147 - You are Not the Apple of God’s Eye

March 4, 2011
Let me ask you a couple of questions:  

What advantage is there in going to church?  What advantage is there in having Christian parents?  In going to Christian school, listening to Christian music or only viewing Christian movies? 

What does it all matter if none of what we do on the outside brings an eternal change on the inside?  This was the same question Paul put to the church in Rome concerning being a Jew and having the traditions and the Law.  In fact, Paul's answer might surprise you.  He says, "Much indeed!"  Really? 

Want to know more?  Keep listening.

The following is a study on Romans 3:1-8.
146 - False Security

146 - False Security

March 3, 2011
Many people put their faith and security in things that are... well, insecure at best.  The stock market, big government, political parties, their job, AIG or Bernie Madoff. 

And, in the world of investments, false security could be costly.  But in the real world, false security can totally destroy you.  Eternally. 

This is what Paul confronts the church in Rome about concerning the Jews but the lesson is also for us today.  Do we place our eternal security in (1) our knowledge of the Bible, (2) our Christian heritage, or (3) our religious ceremonies and practices? 

Woe to us if we do!

The following is a study on Romans 2:17-29.
144 - Moral People Skate Not

144 - Moral People Skate Not

February 12, 2011
A simple summary of the first three chapters of Romans could go like this: 

Chapter One - lost, sinful pagans are deserving of God's wrath.  
Chapter Two - Lost, moral people are deserving of God's judgment.  
Chapter Three:  Lost, religious people are also deserving of God's judgment.

So where does that leave us? 

And if you preach a message assaulting the perceived goodness in lost, moral people... won't you be accused of being judgmental?  Yes.  But to quote Paul Washer, "People tell me judge not lest ye be judged.  I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like Satan."

The following is a study on Romans 2:1-16.
143 - Dialectic or Didactic Reasoning

143 - Dialectic or Didactic Reasoning

January 31, 2011
In the first chapter of Romans the Lord lays out for mankind, saved and unsaved, the inevitable death spiral of sin.  He says that God gives man up to the (1) lusts of their hearts, the (2) vile passions (revealed in the sin of homosexuality) and finally the (3) debasement of their very minds.  Pretty sobering stuff. 

But why does this teaching have so little effect on the church or the culture at large?  Why do we read it and, pretty much, just blow it off?  It could be that we are reading the Scriptures dialectically and not didactically which, by the way, is how it was originally written. 

Confused?  Well, hang with us just a bit longer.

The following is a study on Romans 1:19-23.
140 - Salvation = Repentance + Faith

140 - Salvation = Repentance + Faith

January 10, 2011
In 2 Corinthians 15:13 Paul tells us to:

"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified" or, quite literally, fail the test."

When is the last time you took this personal inventory of spiritual fruits?  When was the last time you checked to make sure your name is written in His book?  When did you have that radical transformation that took you from where you were to where you now are?  What happened when the Spirit of God took up residence in you? 

Don't you think it's way past time for you to look into these things?

The following is a study on Romans 1:18.