Fight, It’s Your Family

14 After I made an inspection, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the great and awe-inspiring Lord, and fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.” ~ Nehemiah 4:14

The Jews had just returned to Jerusalem to find the walls broken down and the Temple destroyed. When their enemies heard that God had visited the Jews, they were angry. They did not want anything good for them. They threatened them and tried to intimidate them, anything to get the work to stop.

We have an enemy that has those same feelings toward us. He hates us and does not want anything good for us. He does not want us to work for God. He will do anything to get us to stop working for God.

Nehemiah encouraged the people to ignore the threats and to not fear them because God is for them. Then he charged them with this: fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.

That is what we must do: fight for our family members in prayer, crying out to God day and night for their salvation. God will hear, and He will answer and save your family.

Dear Heavenly Father, please remember my lost loved ones. Please speak to their hearts and bring conviction on them. Save them, LORD, in Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Prayer Can

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another. In other words, live in peace with each other so that your prayers are not blocked. The accuser of the brethren is always on the lookout for those at war with each other. When he finds one, he uses it to have your prayers blocked. But with confession comes deliverance, and with deliverance comes freedom, freedom to have your prayers heard and answered. Some people don’t receive their healing because they have held someone up for something that that person probably has long ago forgotten.

Once you have cleared the air, so to speak, you can now focus your attention on prayer, effectual fervent prayers. Now, this word effectual carries the sense of activity or energy. It is not some Kumbaya, in the sweet by-and-by type prayer. But an active, emotional, heartfelt prayer reaching out to God knowing that He will hear and when He hears, He will answer. Because what you cannot change through your own strength WILL change through effectual fervent prayer.

Father God, help me to be consistent, determined, and fully persuaded about the things of God. Standing on Your promises, praying always, and never giving up before I receive an answer from You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Pray Desperate Prayers

1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. ~ Acts 12:1-5

Herod laid violent hands on some of the Christians, including John’s brother James, whom he killed with the sword, as well as Peter, whom he imprisoned, guarded by four squads of soldiers. He planned to kill Peter after the Passover, just like he had killed James, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

Herod’s plan was to kill Peter because he saw that killing James pleased the Jews, but earnest prayer was made for him. Desperate intercession went up to God for Peter. Herod and the Jews had one plan, but the Church had a different plan, a plan that involved Jesus.

“Free Peter. Save Peter’s life, O’ LORD our God,” they desperately pleaded in earnest prayer.

This word earnest is the Greek word ektenōs. It means:

  • Eager, Continuous prayer

In other words, they were desperate.

I’m not talking a little five-minute, “If it is Your will, dear LORD…” type of prayer. This was an all-night, all-day crying out to God for His mercy on Peter type prayer.

The Christians praying for Peter was desperate for a move of God. They had just made the mistake of not praying for James in desperation and James had paid the ultimate price. He was executed by Herod. Peter fared much better. Why? Because of the prayer of desperation.

If you want God to move, then you need to pray desperate prayers. You need to be on your hands and knees seeking God. You need to reach that place where you’re willing to wrestle all night until you get your answer. You have to be willing to knock all night til the door is opened to you. You have to be willing to become desperate if you want to see God move miraculously in your life.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Pray Desperate Prayers.

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Turn the World Upside Down

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~ Acts 2:1-4KJV

When the day of Pentecost had fully come. Please understand that the Jews were celebrating the Feast of Pentecost for centuries. This was not their first rodeo, as they say. That’s why Dr. Luke tells us when it had fully come. In other words, the fulfillment of the feast had finally come. God had given His Holy Spirit to His beloved Church. Now, the 120 believers gathered in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit, with power, with boldness, with confidence, with love. And they began to preach the message of the Good News. Souls were saved, lives were changed, and bodies were healed.

But the believers came together in one accord and waited upon Jesus as He had instructed them before His ascension. Great signs and wonders and miracles were wrought forth by the hands of the Apostles and the early believers.

Somehow, we, nowadays believers, have lost the power to perform signs, wonders, miracles, and great acts of healing. Maybe we need to get back to waiting upon the LORD, and to prayer, and to the study of God’s word.

So, this Pentecost Sunday, let us make a determination to wait, worship, and dedicate ourselves to prayer. Let us seek the LORD our God and turn the world upside down for Jesus once again.

Heavenly Father, please fill us with the promise of Your Holy Spirit, and with power and with love. In Jesus powerful name, amen.

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Remind God of His Promises

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.

11 But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” 14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. ~ Exodus 32:7-14

When God saw that His own people had corrupted themselves with the golden calf Aaron, the high priest, had made for them, He distanced Himself from them. He said, “Moses, these are your people, so you go down to them, for it did not take long for them to return to worshiping idols and false gods.” Then He gives Moses a proposal that he couldn’t refuse. He told him that He would make him, Moses, into a great nation, and he would be the father of a great and mighty nation. But Moses was an intercessor. Instead of accepting the good opportunity, he interceded for the people of Israel. He gently reminded God that Israel was His people, and it was Him who had brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand. Now, please understand, God does not need us to remind Him so that He can remember, but rather, we remind Him to show that we know His promise, that we believe His promise, and lastly, so that we may verbalize what we want.

I read a blog that a well-intentioned lady wrote, discouraging her readers from reminding God of His promises. She claimed that the passages of Scripture that are expressly reminding God of His promises really aren’t. They may sound like it, but it really is God who is doing the reminding? Although it is the person who is talking or praying. Now, this sounds good and pious, but as the old saying goes, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” end of story. Why do we try to be so religious? The Scriptures plainly teach that we are to make known what we desire in prayer; how can we do that if we are afraid to remind God of His promises to us? It is called prayer.

If when Jesus was on earth people had to verbalize what they wanted, when it was obvious. Jesus called the blind man in (Luke 18:40-43), and when he came, Jesus asked, what do you want me to do for you? His reply wasn’t, “Isn’t it obvious, Jesus.” No, he said, “I want to see.” We must let our request be made known to our God (Philippians 4:6). Psalm 119:49 says, “Remember Your word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope.” “Remember Your word…” Is not plain enough?

What about Elijah in 1 Kings 18:41-45? God had promised to send rain on the land because there was no rain for three and a half years. Yet Elijah prayed seven times after receiving the promise before the rain came. What is the conclusion then? Well, maybe we don’t receive our promises because we are under the false impression that we are not to remind God of His promises; therefore, we don’t pray about our promises, so God figures we are not interested since we never mention them, nor talk about them.

Listen, we have great and mighty promises from our good, good Father, and He wants us to come to Him, seek His face, and call upon His great name. I suggest we do as God said in Isaiah 43:26a, “Put Me in remembrance…” So, go ahead and remind God of His great and wonderful promises; He wants you to.

Heavenly Father, I remind you right now that You have promised me _____________. I know you have not forgotten, but I come in humbleness and in reverence to ask You to remember Your great promise to me and my family, and when You remember, please fulfill Your promise to me; in Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Fight Like Rizpah

The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest. ~ 2 Samuel 21:7-9

Rizpah’s two sons were put to death in the first days of the barley harvest. The barley harvest was in the spring. The time of the celebration of Passover. So, in one of the most joyous times of the year, Rizpah is handed down a heavy burden, one that no mother should bear and, even worse, bear alone. So, while everyone else is preparing for harvest – a time of festivities, preparing for Passover, preparing to celebrate, Rizpah is preparing for mourning.

The Gibeonites hanged the seven of them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven died there. Understand that my burden is not your burden. My joy is not your joy. And so, it was with Rizpah; she only had two sons, while Merab had five sons hanged. But it was Rizpah alone who got sackcloth and spread it for herself on a stone on the mountainside.

So, Rizpah spreads sackcloth on a rock for herself, indicating that she is there for the long haul, she is absolute in her conviction, she is solid as the rock she sits on, and she stays there on that mountain side from the beginning of the barley harvest until the rains fell on her.

The Barley harvest, as I said, is in the spring, they were to bring the tithe of the harvest the first day of the week after Passover. So, Rizpah stays from the middle of April all the through until the rains came in September or October. Some five or six months.

Day and night she is there. She wakes up in the middle of the night and rolls out of bed pleading for her children. She calls them by name before the throne of God.

LORD, save my child. LORD, bring my daughter home. My son is experimenting; save him, LORD. My child is strung out on drugs, my son is on meth, and my daughter is strung out on crack. LORD, please have mercy on my child.

  • Night and day, Rizpah is on the Rock, on her knees
  • Night and day, Rizpah is worshipping and seeking God on behalf of her children
  • Night and day for 5 or 6 months
  • No time is too long for Rizpah
  • Rizpah is a mother with a burden

Who would have that kind of tenacity? Only the burden of a mother would cause someone to sit on a sackcloth spread out on a rock for five or six months, fighting off wild beasts, fighting off the birds of the air.

Rizpah didn’t see her two sons have a proper burial for months, but because of her dedication, refusing to allow her sons’ bodies to be defiled in death, King David heard of her tenacity and had compassion on her. He had all the men’s bodies who were hanged to have a proper burial because of Rizpah. No, it didn’t happen overnight. It took day after day. Night after night. Week after week. month after month. Until she saw her prayers answered. So, be encouraged. Don’t give up hope. Fight for your children. Plead with God day after day, night after night, until you see that breakthrough. Tear down spiritual strongholds and fight off spiritual attacks from the enemy through prayer, worship, and fasting. Don’t give up until you see your prayers answered.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Fight Like Rizpah.

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Show Yourself Approved

15 Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15CSB

When I was younger, a movie entitled “Think Like A Man” came out. The plot, from what I remember, was a group of women who bought a book by Steve Harvey explaining the way a man thinks and how to get the most out of a relationship with a man. There were about maybe five different men with different personalities and faults, but the book explained how to deal with and get the most out of the relationship with each one. This group of women was so desperate that they bought the book, read it every night, highlighted it, and put it into practice daily with faith and hope of results. And you know what happened? They saw results. This is how the Church should be.

Today, the Church barely knows what’s in the Bible, let alone lives it. If you go online, the majority of people hate the Church. They hate any form of Christianity. We’re seen as lowlives, scum, cheats, the worst of the worst. When someone questions our faith, the majority of us can’t defend why we believe what we believe. The majority of us have never read the Bible all the way through before. The majority of us don’t have any kind of prayer life. The Church has a bad reputation in the world, so what are we going to do about it? How can we fix it?

We take a page from that group of women who wanted to see a change and we start with ourselves. We study the Scriptures daily to show ourselves approved. We spend time in prayer and worship putting our flesh into submission. We put into action what Jesus commanded and we start living for Christ instead of for ourselves.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Show Yourself Approved.

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Persistent Prayer

1 And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ ” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?~ Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told this parable in order to teach them the importance of persistent prayer. In the parable, the judge was not interested in giving the widow justice against her adversary. Every day she came with the same complaint: “Give me justice against my adversary.” And every day, it was the same thing: “You have no case.”

She came the very next day saying, “Give me justice,” and again, it was the same answer, “There is nothing here.” But the woman did not give up; she kept coming day after day after day. Soon, all the members of the court, even those who just came to watch the court proceeding, recognized her and knew her name. I can imagine people gathering early in the morning before court even started to place their bet. “I have ten dollars here that say Ms. Rosie ain’t coming today.” And others would jump on that, “I have twenty that say she will.” And sure enough, Ms. Rosie would show up to court to the amusement of those who bet on her. “Give me justice,” she would call out to the unjust judge.

The judge was getting weary with her coming and said to himself, “I better give her justice, or she will wear me out with her coming.” And he did give her justice.

Jesus said that if that unjust judge who neither feared God nor had respect for man would do what is right, how much more would our Heavenly Father do right by us?

It is our Father’s good will that we enjoy peace, joy, and justice. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give us good things, but we must stay persistent in prayer. We can’t come one day and not the next. We must bombard heaven with our coming. Give Him who promised no rest until we receive what we ask for. Believe me, God wants to give us good things.

What if Daniel had given up after two weeks? I suppose we would not have Daniel chapter ten to be encouraged with.

Next time a problem bombards you, you bombard heaven, and God will see that you get justice.

Heavenly Father, I ask You to help me not to give up so easily but to be persistent in my prayers. Hear me when I call on Your great Name. Thank You that You not only hear us but that You answer us as well. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Continue Praying

13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalms 19:13-14CSB

Oftentimes, when we willfully sin, shame begins to take root in our lives. It tells us lies that we should stop praying, stop seeking God, and stop reading our Bible because we’ve just disgusted God too much with our actions. Many of us believe those lies. I’m no exception. When I give into a temptation that I know I should and can overcome, but I give in anyway, the lies of shame really get to me. I feel like I have to fix myself before I can dare come before God again. This lie only separates us further from God because we can’t fix ourselves.

God doesn’t want us to do it alone; He just wants us to be willing to fight for righteousness. Look at how David prayed. He prayed that God would keep him from blatant intentional sins and that God wouldn’t let them rule him. He went on to pray for his mouth and his heart. What we meditate on is what will soon be our words and our actions. This is the reason shame tells us not to pray, seek God, or read our Bibles. If we meditate on the Word of God and spend time in prayer and worship seeking the face of God, those temptations that we gave into in the past will no longer be the temptations we succumb to in the future.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Continue Praying.

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Stay Under The Blood

21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. ~ Exodus 12:21-22

Moses told the elders of Israel to go and select the Passover lamb and then to slaughter it. They were to take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the basin where they had caught some of the blood of the sacrifice and then paint it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of their homes. Then he says,

None of you shall go out the door of his house until the morning.

Why was that?

Because the blood represented the blood of Jesus, even though He had not been crucified as yet, God had a plan to redeem us through the righteous and spotless blood of His Son. The blood represented protection from God’s wrath and from God’s judgment as long as they stayed under it by not going outside.

What they did with the blood of the sacrificial lamb on Passover is the same thing we must do today with Jesus’ blood since He is our Passover Lamb. We must apply it to our lives, the door of our hearts, our eyes, the windows to our souls. How do we do that? By accepting Jesus as LORD and Savior of our lives. Once we have accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior, then we remain in Him, and He in us.

That is what the statement ‘no one is to go outside until the morning’ represented. If they came out from under the blood by going outside, then they would suffer death just like the Egyptians or anyone else who did not have the blood on their doors because they came out from under the protection of the blood.

It is the same with us. If we are going to make it through the night, the night being this time that we are living in, and the morning being the Second Coming of Jesus, then we must stay under the blood by keeping the commandments that Jesus gave us to keep. We must love the LORD our God. We must love each other. We must live like we are living in the days of Unleavened Bread when no leaven, which is sin, was to be found anywhere in their borders. We must remove sin from our own lives and live a life worthy of being called Christians, not in and out of sin, which is represented by going out the door before morning.

Heavenly Father, teach us to number our days and to keep Your commandments so that we might find ourselves in Your good and perfect will. May we stay under the blood and inside of Your love and protection until You come back for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

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