The Supernatural Power of Prayer

by

GF Herrin

Prayer is sometimes misunderstood in the Christian life. It is not merely a time to bring your requests to God. It is a time of communion with the Lord that enables the believer to connect with Him.  It is true that the Lord Jesus taught us how to pray when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).  But, true prayer that transforms the believer occurs when the sinner comes to a realization of his or her inadequacies and limitations and understands his total dependence on God in his life.

I had recently become overwhelmed by issues I was faced with in my day to day walk.  Job issues, family issues, and my ability to deal with them left me despondent and burdened. I was walking in my limited human strength instead of God’s strength.  But I finally came to a realization that I was not able to handle anything without His help.  The Lord brought to my mind some key texts in His word that put life in perspective for me.

If you feel overwhelmed and burdened by life’s struggles and feel that you alone must deal with your responsibilities, please remember that you are a created being whose existence is totally dependent on God’s creative work:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).

Remember that you did not start your life. God created you. In other words, you are a created being who is limited in your ability. You may feel that the world will spiral out of control if you don’t get your job, daily chores, errands, or other things that you deem important done today. But keep in mind, that unless the rapture occurs while you are alive, someday your life on earth will end and the world will go on without you.

Also, remember that you need to dedicate some time daily to ask for help and connect with the Lord. After all, even the Lord Jesus spent time praying daily putting the day’s events into the Father’s hands.

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Notice from Mark’s text that Jesus was alone. You need to be in some place where you are not distracted so that you can pray and hear the Lord’s voice in your heart or connect with Him spiritually in peace. Also, remember to confess any sins to the Lord.  Do not be afraid to bring your confession to the Lord Jesus because He is your advocate and high priest who is willing and able to forgive you.

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:10-11).

So, when we come in prayer and turn away from our sins and turn to Jesus our burden is lightened.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

 

We become refreshed and the Holy Spirit invigorates us and gives us supernatural peace.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, (Acts 3:19).

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,  And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (Psalm 51:10-12).

Time of refreshing come to our souls when we connect with the Lord in prayer. Like living water, the spirit fills us with His strength and supernaturally refreshes us and nourishes us, enabling to withstand the challenges of the day. Commune with the Lord today so that you can be filled with joy and live for Him.

 

 

 

 

 

Convicted or Offended?

 

 by GF Herrin

    The more that I experience life and the more people that I talk to people about faith, the more I realize that there are two basic types of people in this world:  Those who become convicted and feel guilt for the sins that they have committed during their life journey, and those who are offended if you dare to suggest that they are sinners in need of redemption from God.  Whether it be a pedestrian who shouts, “I don’t want that “sh–”, when you try to hand him a Gospel tract or a young man in a Bus station who listens carefully when you kindly tell him the Gospel, the difference is clear.

The Bible illustrates this difference in types of people early on in the Scripture.  In Genesis chapter 4 we see the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:3 – 13). Cain, because he could not accept God’s discontent with his offering of vegetables or fruit as a tribute to God, got angry at his brother, Abel, whose animal sacrifice was accepted as worthy. So, Cain, instead of swallowing his pride and changing his offering to please God, chose to murder Abel.  He was envious of Abel and got angry instead of changing his behavior to conform to God’s expectations.

Another illustration showing the difference in people comes to us in the parable that the Lord shares in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:9 – 14).  Here we see a Pharisee who considers himself righteous and justified by his works (he proudly fasts and pays offerings to the Temple).  He even considers himself better than a simple man who is a tax collector and is at the Temple at the same time as the Pharisee.  However, the tax collector is a man who humbles himself to God and (without even looking up to pray) confesses that he is a “sinner” and asks for mercy.  Jesus makes the point that this contrite man will obtain mercy and forgiveness from God.

The apostle Paul’s dramatic conversion story paints the ultimate illustration of a man who responded to God and saw his need to change and turn his life over to Him.  Paul, before he got saved on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-8), was a Jewish Pharisee who thought he was following God’s will by persecuting, arresting and executing Christians.  When the risen Christ appeared to him, Paul knew he was wrong and had been persecuting Jesus, the God of the Universe by hunting down His church.  He turned away from his sins, got baptized, and became the pre-eminent leader of the Evangelistic movement of the new church and took the Gospel message to the Gentiles.

The Bible is clear.  Many will be offended when told that they need to change their lives and turn themselves away from sin and ask God for forgiveness.  However, there are two types of people: those who are offended by the message to turn away from sin and turn their lives over to Jesus Christ and those who are convicted and feel guilty of their sins and accept Jesus’ offer for a new life that is glorious and adventurous.

Which kind of person are you?

Living for God’s Glory Means Dying to Self

by GF Herrin

If you’re going to do anything for God’s kingdom you will soon realize that the results and even the strength to do it will come from God.  So, to be able to accomplish the things of God you need to decrease in your own human strength and walk in the power that of God.  Your inner human strength must decrease and God’s supernatural power must increase in your life.

This may be a tough concept to accept.  After all, we live in a culture and society that celebrates self and our strength to do anything that we set our mind to do.  Also, we live in a narcissistic society that glorifies “ self”.  Millions of people worldwide snap selfie pictures of themselves and post them on social media.  Some Facebook users update their friends hourly with status updates when they so much as leave the house. Countless people spend thousands of dollars on the latest fashions, or spend staggering  amounts of hours at the gym, or the salon to make themselves look beautiful.  In addition, many ask continuously before committing to a job, task, volunteer event, or other altruistic venture, “what’s in it for me?”

This is not the philosophy that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lived out or preached.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

Paul encouraged others to follow Christ’s example:

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2 -3).

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Instead of possessing an attitude that focuses on how a venture might benefit us, we should instead have an attitude that asks, “What’s in it for God, or to the Gospel”? Or “how will this task benefit the Kingdom of God or bring Him glory”? When you become a Christian you put aside the claims to yourself. You may undergo a process of mourning or have a tendency to feel sorry for yourself when doing this. Do not embrace these feelings!  They are not from God, but from the enemy (see Matt. 16:23).  I am not telling you dying to self is an easy thing. Indeed, sometimes it is painful spiritually and even bodily. You may be in an unhappy marriage with an unbeliever and are the only one willing to stick with it no matter what. The world around you will say to bail but God’s Word says to stick it out and stay faithful to Him. Letting go of yourself for your physical  and spiritual sustenance, means holding onto Jesus, instead. The Lord may take you through several experiences in which you stop relying on yourself and begin relying on Him for your provisions. It is important to embrace the nature of Christ who loved you so much that He willingly died for your sins.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (1 Cor. 5:14-15).