My top posts of 2014

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Note this that my Christian, spiritual blogs get the most  readers, and this is not surprising  

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The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog Come Holy Spirit was viewed about 110,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.  The busiest day of the year was October 15th with 954 views. The most popular post that day was 7 Spiritual anointings, 7 Spirits of God. and the 2nd most popular post  was The Holy Spirit’s anointing

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Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog  Hot Discussions  was viewed about 67,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. The busiest day of the year was December 18th with 1,166 views. The most popular post that day was PEOPLE WHO DISOBEYED GOD IN THE BIBLE and the 2nd most popular post  wass Jews, Israel, Arabs and Jesus Christ, the Bible  

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Other popular Christian posts were  “Son of Man” is a title that Jesus used of himself,  CHRISTIAN POSTERS- BIBLE, HOLY SPIRITChristian attitudes towards drugs, smoking and alcohol Bad Pastors, bad deacons, bad elders = bad church what does the word chosen mean in the Bible?  , The consistent, ongoing Symbols of the Holy Spirit In the Bible ,  The Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Messianic MovementNow why was Jesus even so angry with the Pharisees

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These are some of my most popular Christian based posting read 

Jesus himself gets all the credit.

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wolves in sheep clothing

Matthew 7
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

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Matthew 10
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

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Matthew 16
6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

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Mark 8
15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

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Mark 12
38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

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Luke 12
1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

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Luke 20
46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;

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Acts 13
40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

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Philippians 3
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

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Colossians 2
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

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2 Peter 3
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

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2 Peter 1:5-8 For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort to supply to your faith virtue, to your virtue knowledge, to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control endurance, to your endurance godly devotion, to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love, For if these things overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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You can have no idols before God ever.

(Isa 66:3 KJV) He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
It seems that many people, professing Christians included now,  tend to personally only seek God only when they have serious needs, problems or they do want something really bad and next when the problem is solved, or they got what they wanted, they next often tend to, do seem to forget about God again? But even all Christians now still do have major problems in life.. for there is a real devil who troubles us personally all of our life and we we are to resist him in the faith.. True happiness cannot be in reality achieved without having a continual, personal relationship with God here on earth and us continually knowing and following solely his will of our life too, instead of Idols.    Why is God jealous of idols before us? well it means he is envious for our own good.. he strives for all things to be our good… What idols? what ever replaces God is an idol.. what ever you falsely worship as substitute for God. And it can be drugs, booze, sex, or your wife, son , daughter, a persons, car,  self, even your church, your pastor, your denomination, your own doctrines, beliefs, your culture, your nationality … for we all had or  have a god shaped vacuum in our life.. but  filling it with extremes or  false substitutes, junk will never be acceptable to God. Never. If you still do have a God shaped vacuum that is unfilled, then no other things, no relationships or careers, goals, next will satisfy you, not even any personal, social, community relationships, acts.  Hey I also have learned long time ago that merely telling the truth to some people will not work, they have their false idols, false lies they still want to handle, and they will take the Ostrich approach to the truth, but hopefully the truth will next still help some people. https://witnessed.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/you-can-have-no-idols-before-god-ever/
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And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
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We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12
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“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them–Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:10-13
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And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:22
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 For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
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For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
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“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
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As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
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Too many of us seek do also now an easy life, do take wrong shortcuts, want instant rewards, happiness, and as a direct result too we still do personally experience negative consequences in our life next as a direct result too.
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One of the most common topic in personal counseling I encounter often is a request for help for a troubled marriage relationship where generally only one of the spouses seeks help here and not the other one.
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On the often next related subject of divorce between Christian spouses now there now re so many different views and all are supposedly valid, right to. Really? Why are there so many different views, different and contradiction even in the Biblical advices too? One God but so many different views. God personally severely still does punish those who destroys marriages, trouble the families.
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It seems that many people tend to personally only seek God only when they have serious needs, problems or they do want something really bad and next when the problem is solved, or they got what they wanted, they next often tend to, do seem to forget about God again? But even all Christians now still do have major problems in life.. for there is a real devil who troubles us personally all of our life and we we are to resist him in the faith..
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Dwelling on God brings us not only more happiness but it reduces our personal stress.
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If you still do have a God shaped vacuum that is unfilled, then no other things, no relationships or careers, goals, next will satisfy you, not any personal, social, community relationships..
http://cityocean.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/marriage-problems-or-a-realtionship-problem/
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Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received SEED by the way side. 
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Notice this God has only room for one seed.. one seed in our life.. it is Jesus.
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John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s SEED ; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23 Of this man’s SEED hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, JESUS:
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Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; :4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: :5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: :6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
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Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
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Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
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(Gal 3:29 KJV) And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
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James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? :2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
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I was really saddened to note that too many of the abuses I have witnessed were done by bad , greedy people trying to steal , them trying to get other people’s money for themselves, stealing the money, or getting it under false pretenses. The love of more money is still the basis of what many of the wrong doings is, was all about..
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(1 Tim 6:6 KJV) But godliness with contentment is great gain.
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(1 Tim 6:17 KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
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(Psa 37:16 KJV) A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
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Many years ago some one had said that most marriage problems, divorce are over the issue of money.. some are, but many marriages break down are due to uncontrolled lusts of the flesh, and unforgiveness as well.. But I would agree that many problems amongst so called Christians, including church fights are often over over money, the control over it, and many professing Christians depart from the faith over the false lust for more money and what money can buy for them. 
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Any Children of God even who are verbally abused they will next be also physically abused if the matter is not adequately dealt with ASAP{.. Abusing others is a common reaction of the carnal flesh and is brought on by many different reasons such as
1: unfulfilled lusts or
2: a spoiled child syndrome who tries to get their own way by whatever method it can
3: sibling rivalry
4: people who have no or little moral values, respect of others
5: one’s parental influence and upbringing.
.6: demon possessed persons, etc. The devil, demons and demon seduced persons, professing Christian persons falsely, wrongfully take false delight in slandering, abusing, bashing others and their evident fruits of hatred alone shows how false they themselves now are too. they clearly had, do manifest the opposite of the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is love. ,
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People who have been abused ironically will also next abuse others.. . Free speech has never been a right to bully, slander, degrade, abuse anyone anywhere for that matter basically anyway, not even a religious or a political group.
http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/the-too-common-abusive-silent-treatment/
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“Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence…him will I not endure” (Psa. 101:5). “You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother’s son…But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face!” (Psa. 50:20-21).”
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The verbal and mental abusers often known as control freaks, or bullies, and then there are the physical abusers. The sad reality is abusers rarely change unless they are made personally to face some severe negative consequences, and the older they are the more severe it seems it has to be..
Now what about
1: Can people change?
2: Sibling rivalry
3: Bullies
4: Control freaks
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“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” -Romans 16:17-18 KJV

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God does not at all not not allow, accept any human rights, verbal and physical abuses and neither should we.. And Exemplary public exposure of the Bullies, abusers, the bad, guilty persons serves everyone’s best interest next too. God undeniably himself does not show false partialities . Shout the abuses, sins truth from the housetops..

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Let me tell you we do not have to accept human rights abuse that is a lie of the devil.. in this world we have the same rights as the bully even the right to see that a bully is punished for abusing us.. God is not ignorant about the injustices inflicted upon his people, nor does he accept any of our human rights abuses without punishing the abusers shortly.. see the Bible book of Esther if you have doubts..

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Est 9:25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

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Did you know that sibling rivalry, abuse is one of the most common forms of family violence? Siblings will use physical violence because they have learned it from their parents, a bad mother or a bad father, or other adults. In fact, one study found that 76% of the children who were repeatedly abused by their parents also abused their siblings.. and their spouse next too
http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/young-offenders/

.John 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Many people make a mistake.. they think each one of us having plenty of fruits is what really counts.. note the usage of fruit, singular, it us having more of Jesus Christ and his love is what our goal is rather..
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If you still do have a God shaped vacuum that is unfilled, then no other things, no relationships or careers, goals, next will satisfy you, not any personal, social, community relationships.. http://cityocean.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/marriage-problems-or-a-realtionship-problem/
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SEE ALSO

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name

Psalm 29:1  A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5  The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6  He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7  The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8  The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9  The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10  The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
         

Psalm 30:1  A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David. I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2  O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3  O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7  LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8  I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9  What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

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The person Who trusts God

 

The person Who trusts God in all things shall be blessed in all things

GOD IS FAITHFUL,

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning.
Great is thy faithfulness.”

(Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV)

(Psalm 100:5 KJV)  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).

“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). “

“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5).

The dictionary defines “faithful” as “true or trustworthy in the performance of duty, the fulfillment of promises or obligations, etc; constant”, and as “worthy of belief or or confidence”. In the Old Testament, ‘emunah, Strong’s # 530, means firmness, security, steadiness. In the New Testament, pistis Strong’ #4102, means both faith and faithfulness. It means to believe, and to be worthy of belief.

(Heb 13:8 KJV)  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 

“I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6).

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:1-2).

“The word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

“The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11).

(2 Pet 1:3 KJV)  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: :4   Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).

(Heb 6:18 KJV)   in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

There are thousands of God’s promises in the Bible. Learn to  appropriate them, to stand on them,  because God is faithful! There are no broken promises from God. He God   who is ALWAYS faithful, true to his character, we can always trust him, rely on him, depend on him totally and without reservation. He will do what he says. God will keep all of his promises as well towards us, and look after us, keep us in the right path, in the faith, always will   protect us too.

GOD remained faithful to the calling he had for the prophet  Jonah even while Jonah next was trying to escape the responsibilities that He God  had given him. Jonah still ended up fulfilling his mission.  Jonah was given great gifts from GOD for his calling as well.

No matter how far we stray, we’re never out of his reach. If we genuinely seek forgiveness, He accepts us back and loves us with no memory of how we may have faltered.

(1 Cor 1:9 KJV)  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1 Cor 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

(1 Th 5:23 KJV)  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24  )  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

(2 Th 3:3 KJV)  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

(2 Tim 2:11 KJV)  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

(2 Tim 2:13 KJV)  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

(Titus 1:9 KJV)  Holding fast the faithful word

(Titus 3:8 KJV)  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

(Heb 2:17 KJV)  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

(Hebrews 10: 16  KJV)   This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21  And having an high priest over the house of God; 22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

(Heb 11:11 KJV)  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

(1 Pet 4:19 KJV)  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator

(1 John 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(Rev 1:5 KJV)  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

(Rev 3:14 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

(Rev 19:11 KJV)  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

(Rev 21:5 KJV)  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

(Rev 22:6 KJV)  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

 God promised to Abraham  in Genesis 12:2-3. .

I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.

God kept his promises to Abraham even though Abraham made a detour and want into Sarah’s handmaiden…

Not one word has failed of all the good promises [God] gave through his servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56).

Now we may falter in our walk with GOD at times. Our faith may be shaken to it’s very foundation even. GOD doesn’t leave us then. We are never beyond His reach. God is always still holding our hand and does not let us go. 

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Exodus 34:6).

The once shepherd boy, next King  David’s unfaithfulness is his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.  Next David is an excellent example of God’s infinite ability to forgive even the most grievous sins and to bring us back to his will for us. But a constant disregarding of God’s will next will  not to be tolerated by God but will even leave negative personal consequences on us too, as was in the case of Kind David as well

In  Daniel chapter 3. The three Hebrew youths were thrown into a fiery furnace because they had refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. The King next looked into the flames and he said , “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25 KVJ).

“The Lord is faithful to all his promises” (Psalm 145:13).

 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2).

(Heb 4:16 KJV)  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

(1 Th 5:16 KJV)  Rejoice evermore.

(1 Th 5:17 KJV)  Pray without ceasing.

(1 Th 5:18 KJV)  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(1 Th 5:19 KJV)  Quench not the Spirit.

(1 Th 5:20 KJV)  Despise not prophesyings.

(1 Th 5:21 KJV)  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

(1 Th 5:22 KJV)  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

(1 Th 5:23 KJV)  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Th 5:24 KJV)  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself” (Psalm 89:1-2).

(1 Chr 16:34 KJV)  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

(1 Chr 16:35 KJV)  And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).

(Eph 3:8 KJV)  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Read the Bible daily , and get to know and appropriate for yourself all of the FAITHFUL, Promises of God

(Psa 23:4 KJV)  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

(Psa 91:10 KJV)  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

 

 GOD WILL  ALWAYS DO HIS PART WHILE WE DO OUR PARTS.

(James 2:17 KJV)  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

(James 2:20 KJV)  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

(James 2:26 KJV)  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

(Mat 24:45 KJV)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

(Mat 25:21 KJV)  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

(Luke 12:42 KJV)  And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

(Luke 16:10 KJV)  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

(Luke 16:11 KJV)  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

(Luke 16:12 KJV)  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

(Luke 19:17 KJV)  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

(1 Cor 4:2 KJV)  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

(1 Cor 7:25 KJV)  Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

(Gal 3:9 KJV)  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

(Eph 1:1 KJV)  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

(Eph 6:21 KJV)  But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

(Col 1:2 KJV)  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Col 1:7 KJV)  As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

(Col 4:7 KJV)  All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

(Col 4:9 KJV)  With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

(1 Tim 1:12 KJV)  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

(1 Tim 3:11 KJV)  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

(Heb 3:2 KJV)  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

(Heb 3:5 KJV)  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

(1 Pet 5:12 KJV)  By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

(Rev 2:10 KJV)  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

(Rev 2:13 KJV)  I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

(Rev 17:14 KJV)  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

(Heb 11:6 KJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

(Heb 13:5 KJV)  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6   So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

(Heb 12:15 KJV)  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

(1 Pet 1:10 KJV)  Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

Too many people still falsely want to reap blessing from God by faith, the same persons often who have not sowed any good things beforehand.

(Psa 119:11 KJV)  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(Psa 119:12 KJV)  Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:13 KJV)  With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

(Psa 119:14 KJV)  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

(Psa 119:15 KJV)  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

(Psa 119:16 KJV)  I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

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1 DOWNLOAD all CHRISTIAN BOOKS-HTM.zip
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1 More Christian Resources.htm
100 Bible Proofs that Jesus Christ is God!.htm
100 Bible Proofs that Jesus Christ is God!.pdf
28_Psalms.pdf
29_Proverbs.pdf
A Farmer’s Wife by J. H. Willard.pdf
Absent from the Body- Edwards 2.pdf
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adultery.htm
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adversary.pdf
Alcohol.htm
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Bible Quickbibleamp_setupvb.zip
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Bibleniv2.free edition.zip
Bondage to Liberty in Religion George T. Ashley,.pdf
Christian 4Keys.pdf
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Christian essentials.pdf
Christian Healing-Toolbox.pdf
Christian Overcome.pdf
Christian Power- Evangelism.pdf
Christian SemGuide.pdf
Christian StepsToChrist.pdf
CHRISTIAN world training material.zip
Churches_that_Abuse.pdf
Confession_for_Guidance.pdf
Dailylight Your daily Bible devotional.zip
David Danced Before the Lord.pdf
Divine Healing By Andrew Murray.htm
Divine Healing By Andrew Murray.pdf
Doing the Will of God (trans).pdf
Earthly judgments and Heavenly judgments.pdf
Earthly judgments and Heavenly judgments_.htm
Eastons Bible Dictionary.pdf
Elijah The man who would not die J. H. WILLARD..pdf
Even as to the promised land.htm
ever-increasing-faith ebook.zip
Excellency Christ Edwards1.pdf
Excellency Christ Edwards2.pdf
Excellency Christ Edwards3.pdf
Faith_for_Healing.pdf
Family Worship.pdf
Fasting-Tithing-Blessing-Bringers-or-Burdens.pdf
Fox’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe.pdf
Foxes Book of Martyrs.pdf
From Death into Life William Haslam.pdf
Rev George Muller of Bristol by ARTHUR T. PIERSON.pdf
God’s path.htm
God’s path.pdf
Godliness Catherine Booth.pdf 7:48
Greatest Thing In the World Henry Drummond.pdf 7:48
HARMONY of the 4 gospel.zip
Heaven and its Wonders and Hell Emanuel Swedenborg.pdf 7:48
Hell is Real.htm
Help! I Think I’m Possessed!.htm
Help! I Think I’m Possessed!.pdf
Historical- Biblical study of Jesus.htm
Historical- Biblical study of Jesus.pdf
Hope of the Gospel George MacDonald.pdf 7:48
How To Cast Out Demons.htm
How To Cast Out Demons.pdf
Humility Andrew Murray.pdf 7:48
Hymns and Spiritual Songs I. Watts, D.D..pdf 7:49
Hymns and Spiritual Songs.pdf
I Know God Answers Prayer Rosalind Goforth.pdf 7:49
I Know God Answers Prayer,.pdf
Imitation-of-Christ.pdf
In Darkest England and The Way Out General William Booth.pdf 7:49
In His Steps Charles M. Sheldon.pdf 7:49
Jeremiah by George Adam Smith.pdf 7:49
Jesus Himself by Andrew Murray.pdf 7:50
Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself.htm
Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself.pdf
John the Baptist, by F. B. Meyer.pdf 7:50
KING JAMES BIBLE CLARIFIED NEW TESTAMENT.htm
King James Version of the Bible.htm
KingJames Bible.pdf 7:51
KJ Bible Ebook.pdf
KJV BOLD.htm
Last Days Ministries.htm
Last Days Ministries.pdf
Lawrence_Practice_of_Presence.pdf
Lord of glory Arno Gaebelein.pdf 7:51
Lord, Teach Us To Pray A Murray.pdf 7:51
Love to the Uttermost F. B. Meyer.pdf 7:51
Lying, Lies.htm
Lying, Lies.pdf
Madame Guyon Autobiography.pdf
MAGNA CHARTA OF WOMAN by Jessie Penn-Lewis.htm
MAGNA CHARTA OF WOMAN by Jessie Penn-Lewis.pdf
Maintaining Your Healing (trans).pdf
Maintaining Your Joy (trans).pdf
MCM CG To Fall or Not to Fall.pdf
MCM_CG_God_Kind_of_Faith_Long.pdf
MCM_eb_THFOS_Warfare.pdf
Ministers of the ministry.htm
Ministers of the ministry.pdf
Moody’s Stories D. L. Moody.pdf
Necessity Prayer EM Bounds.pdf
nee normal christian life.pdf
Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible.pdf
Our Christian Inheritance and Israel.htm
Our Christian Inheritance and Israel.pdf
Our Master, by Bramwell Booth.pdf
Personal Friendships of Jesus J. R. MILLER, D. D..pdf
pilgrim.htm
pilgrim.pdf
pilgrims progress.pdf
PlymouthBrethren.htm
PlymouthBrethren.pdf
Popular Bible Verses.htm
Popular Bible Verses.pdf
Power Through Prayer EM Bounds.pdf
Praise – Worship.htm
Praise – Worship.pdf
Prayer and Praying Men EM Bounds.pdf
Prayer For Every Need.pdf
Prophecy today.htm
Prophecy today.pdf
Prophecy, Prophecies of Messiah Jesus, Israel, End Times_.htm
Prophecy, Prophecies of Messiah Jesus, Israel, End Times_.pdf
prophet.html
prophet.pdf
Purpose in Prayer EM Bounds.pdf
Refutation Dispensationalism Pink.pdf
Resist Satan Your Worst Enemy.pdf
Resist the devil.htm
Resist the devil.pdf
Rev Andrew Murray 4 books.zip
Rev George Mueller and his method of financial collections.htm
Rev George Mueller and his method of financial collections.pdf
Rev GEORGE MUELLER OF BRISTOL.htm
Rev GEORGE MUELLER OF BRISTOL.pdf
revivals-golden-key.pdf
Samson Power Gone Sour (article).pdf
SCRIPTURAL-Truth-Vs-Pulpit-LIES.pdf
Separation and Service DL Moodly.pdf
Seven Demons That Attack the Church.htm
Seven Demons That Attack the Church.pdf
Severely Troubled persons.htm
Severely Troubled persons.pdf
sibling rivalry.pdf
Sickness & HEALING.htm
Sickness & HEALING.pdf
Six Women Leaders to Avoid.htm
Six Women Leaders to Avoid.pdf
Soul mates or a Marriage Mate_.htm
Soul mates or a Marriage Mate_.pdf
Sovereign Grace DL Moodly.pdf
Sowing and Reaping DL Moodly.pdf
Spiritual Reformers in the 16th &17th .pdf
St. Francis of Assisi PAUL SABATIER.pdf
Stepping Heavenward by Mrs. E. Prentiss.pdf
Stories of Boys and Girls Who saviour by John Wesley.pdf
That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope D. L. Moody .pdf
The Authority to Bind and Loose (trans).pdf
The basic Christian Life.htm
The basic Christian Life.pdf
The Bible A Progressive Revelation.htm
The Bible A Progressive Revelation.pdf
The Christian Home by Shirley Rice-.htm
The Christian Home by Shirley Rice-.pdf
The Essentials of Prayer EM BOUNDS.pdf
The false Demotion of the Holy Spirit, Jesus.htm
The false Demotion of the Holy Spirit, Jesus.pdf
The Gospels in Four Part Harmony.pdf
The Great Doctrines of the Bible by Rev. William Evans.pdf
The Holy War by John Bunyan.pdf
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.pdf
The Jerusalem Sinner Saved by John Bunyan.pdf
THE KING JAMES BIBLE CLARIFIED NEW TESTAMENT.pdf
The Lamp of the Lord BYM.pdf
The Life of Trust George Müller.pdf
The ministry of the spirit A. J. GORDON, D.D..pdf
The Name of Jesus (ltr).pdf
The Names of Jesus.htm
The Names of Jesus.pdf
The Necessity of Prayer EM Bounds.pdf
The New Testament Church Structure.htm
The New Testament Church Structure.pdf
The Overcoming Life D. L. Moody.pdf
The oxford movement R.W. Church .pdf
The Pharisee And Publican John Bunyan.pdf
The Pilgrim’s Progess MG John Bunyan.pdf
The Pilgrim’s Progress SWT by John Bunyan.pdf
The Possibility of Prayer EM BOUNDS..pdf
The Practice of the Presence of God Brother Lawrence,.pdf
The Praise of a Godly Woman Hannibal Gamon.pdf
The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.pdf
The Reality of Prayer EM BOUNDS.pdf
The Relations of Christ to the Believer by Charles G_ Finney_htm.htm
The Relations of Christ to the Believer by Charles G_ Finney_htm.pdf
The Release Of The Spirit by Watchman Nee.htm
The Release Of The Spirit by Watchman Nee.pdf
The Secret Place SW.htm
The Secret Place SW.pdf
The Seven Spirits.pdf
The sin of presumption.htm
The sin of presumption.pdf
The Spirit-Filled Life John MacNeil.pdf
The Story of John Wesley Marianne Kirlew.pdf
The Voice of the Lord.htm
The Voice of the Lord.pdf
The Weapon of Prayer EM Bounds.pdf
The World English Bible (WEB).pdf
The_Bible RSV.pdf
The_Origin_of_Demons.pdf
The Pilgrims Progress SWT by John Bunyan.html
The_Present_Day_Ministry_of_Angels.pdf
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theword.pdf
Thievery-in-the-House-of-God.pdf
Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael .pdf
Things which remain DANIEL A. GOODSELL .pdf
Torrey’s New topical Textbook.pdf
Tozer Pursuit of God.pdf
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Traditions of men.pdf
Visitation From God.htm
Visitation From God.pdf
War On The Saints by Jesse Penn-Lewis.htm
War On The Saints by Jesse Penn-Lewis.pdf
Way to God and How to Find It Dwight Moody .pdf
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Thinking about God reduces distress,

 
One of the funny things I find about real  life for me is that it is too often  still is periods of either feast or famine, of one having an abundance or one faces poverty, having an absolute minimum essentials.. one has too much work or not enough.. one has too little time or too much free time, or one can’t find the time to be alone, to rest, versus one has  too much solitude and the same thing applies to one’s friends..  one has loads of superficial friends, or a bare minimum of good, trustworthy friends.
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(Eccl 5:19 KJV)  Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
 .
(Eccl 6:2 KJV)  A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
 .
(Eccl 7:14 KJV)  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
 .
(Eccl 7:15 KJV)  All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
 .
(Eccl 7:16 KJV)  Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
 .
(Eccl 7:17 KJV)  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
 .
(Eccl 7:18 KJV)  It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
 .
(Eccl 7:19 KJV)  Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
 .
(Amos 3:10 KJV)  For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. 11   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
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 Thinking about God reduces distress, study finds
 http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20100806/religion-stress-study-100808/
 .

If you want to reduce your stress level and feel less upset, perhaps you should think about God. Investigators at the University of Toronto Scarborough found that when people think about God and religion, their brains respond in ways that allows them to react with less distress.

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Stress, Religion and God

The physiological and psychological impacts of stress are well known and range from depression and anxiety disorders to gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, obesity, and diabetes, among others. Findings effective ways to help people cope with or manage stress, therefore, is an important goal.

Given that 85 percent of people in the world have some type of religious belief system, Michael Inzlicht, assistant psychology professor, and Alexa Tullet of the University of Toronto Scarborough decided to uncover what functions such beliefs might serve.

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/reduce-stress-think-about-god
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(1 John 1:10 KJV) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
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YOU DO REALIZE THAT DEPRESSION IS A BIG PERSONAL PROBLEM IN MANY PEOPLE’S LIFE EVEN CAUSE THEY DO NOT FACE THE ROOT, OTHER CAUSES OF IT BUT THEY INSTEAD TOO OFTEN RATHER TRY TO MASK IT WITH DRUGS, MEDICATIONS, BOOZE, ACTIVITIES..
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Sadly very few persons still do care about taking positive steps to insure a healthy body, or dealing with depression, those who do tend to do the absolute minimum.. most people do not know what to do or do not care to do anything until it is almost too late. Few people seriously read about these topics now too..

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READ MORE

https://jesussayscome.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/depresion-and-major-problem-for-many/

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and I saw a new heaven and a new earth

 

(Rev 20:10 KJV)  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

https://witnessed.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/the-promises-of-eternal-life-by-jesus-christ/

http://www.divinerevelations.info/Documents/HA_Baker/Visions_Beyond_the_Veil_HA_Baker.htm

http://www.divinerevelations.info/Documents/the_heavens_opened/The_Heavens_opened_by_Anna_Rountree.htm

http://www.divinerevelations.info/Documents/Rawlings/Dr_Rawlings_Near_Death_Experiences.htm

http://www.divinerevelations.info/Mary_K_Baxter_A_Divine_Revelation_of_Hell.htm

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In the “Life of William Tennent,” that zealous, devoted minister, and friend and fellow-laborer of Whitefield, the author of his memoirs gives an account of Tennent being three days in a trance. He became prostrated with a fever, and by degrees sunk under it, until, to appearances, he died. In laying him out, one felt a slight tremor under the left arm, though the body was cold and stiff. The time for the funeral arrived, and the people were assembled. But a physician, Tennent’s friend, plead that the funeral might be delayed.

Tennent’s brother remarked: “What! A man not dead who is cold and stiff as a stake?” The doctor, however, prevailed; another day was appointed for the funeral. During the interval, various efforts were made to discover signs of life, but none appeared save the slight tremor. For three days and nights his friend, the physician, never left him. Again the people met to bury him, but could not even then obtain the physician’s consent. For one hour more he pled; when that was gone, he craved half an hour more. That being expired, he implored a stay of fifteen minutes, at the expiration of which Tennent opened his eyes.

The following brief account is given in Mr. Tennent’s own language, and was related to a brother minister: “As to dying, I found my fever increase, and I became weaker and weaker, until all at once, I found myself in heaven, as I thought. I saw no shape as to the Deity, but glory all unutterable. I can say as Paul did, I heard and saw things unutterable. I saw a great multitude before His glory, apparently in the height of bliss, singing most melodiously. I was transported with my of situation, viewing all my troubles ended, and my rest and glory begun, and was about to join the great and happy multitude, when one came to me looked me full in the face, laid his hand upon my shoulder, and said: “You must go back.”

“These words went through me; nothing could have shocked me more. I cried out: “Lord, must I go back?” With this shock, I opened my eyes in this world, I fainted, then came to, and fainted again several times, as one probably would naturally have done in so weak a situation.

For three years the sense of the Divine things continued so great, and everything else appeared so completely vain, when compared to heaven, that could I have had the world for stooping down for it, I believe I should not have thought of doing it.”

To the writer of his memoirs, Mr. Tennent, concerning this experience, once said: “I found myself, in an instant, in another state of existence, under the direction of a superior being, who offered me to follow him. I was accordingly wafted along, I know not how, till I beheld, at a distance, an ineffable glory, the impression of which on my mind, it is impossible to communicate to mortal man.

Such was the effect on my mind of what I had seen and heard, that if it be possible for a human being to live entirely above the world, and the things of it, for some time afterward I was that person. The ravishing sounds of the songs and hallelujahs that I heard, and the very words that were uttered, were not out of my ears, when awake, for at least three years. All the kingdoms of the earth were in my sight as nothing and vanity. So great were my ideas of heavenly glory, that nothing which did not in some measure relate to it, could command my serious attention.

Mr. Tennent lived a number of years after this event, and died in the triumphs of a living faith, March 8, 1777, aged 71 years; his mortal remains being interred at his chapel, in Freehold, N. J. He was an able, faithful preacher; and the Divine presence with him was frequently manifested in his public and private ministrations. In personal appearance, he was tall, erect, and of spare visage, with bright, piercing eyes, and grave, solemn countenance.

The following was related and vouched for by the late Robert Young, the missionary. We quote his account of the trance as given in a tract entitled, “A Vision of Hell,” issued by the Evangelical Publishing Company, Chicago:

While residing in a British colony as a Christian missionary, I was called one evening to visit Miss D—-, who was said to be dying. Mrs. Young, by whom she was met weekly for religious instruction, feeling a deep interest in her spiritual welfare, accompanied me to her residence. We found her in the chamber of a neat little cottage, exceedingly ill, but confiding in the merits of Jesus; and after spending some time with her in conversation and prayer, we commended her to God, and took our departure, without the least hope of seeing her again in this life. Soon after we left she seemed to die; but as the usual signs of death, which so rapidly develop themselves in that country, did not appear, her friends anxiously waited to see the end.

She was watched with great interest, both night and day; and after having been in this state for nearly a week, opened her eyes and said: “Mr. C—- is dead.” Her attendants, thinking that she was under the influence of delirium, replied that she was mistaken, as he was not only alive but well. “Oh, no!” said she, “he is dead; for a short time ago, as I passed the gates of hell, I saw him descend into the pit, and the blue flame cover him. Mr. B—- is also dead, for he arrived at heaven just as I was leaving that happy place, and I saw its beautiful gates thrown wide open to receive him, and beard the host of heaven shout: “Welcome, weary pilgrim!”

Mr. C—- was a neighbor, but a very wicked person, and Mr. B—-, who lived at no great distance, many years had been a member of the Church of God. The parties who heard Miss  D—-’s startling and confident statements immediately sent to make inquiries about the two individuals alluded to, and found, to their utter astonishment, that the former had dropped down dead about half an hour before, whilst in the act of tying his shoe; and that about the same time the latter had suddenly passed into the eternal world. For the truth of these facts I do solemnly vouch. She then went on to tell them where she had been, and what she had seen and heard.

VISIT TO HEAVEN.

After being sufficiently recovering to leave the house, she paid us a visit, and Mrs. Young, as well as myself, heard from her own lips the following account of what she had passed through. She informed us that at the time she was supposed to die, a celestial being conducted her into the invisible world, and mysteriously unveiled to her the realities of eternity. He took her first to heaven, but she was told that, as she yet belonged to time, she could not be permitted to enter into that glorious place, but only to behold it; which she represented as infinitely exceeding in beauty and splendor the most elevated conceptions of mortals, and whose glories no language could describe.

She told us that she beheld the Savior upon a throne of light and glory, surrounded by the four-and-twenty elders, and a great multitude which no man could number; among whom she recognized patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all the missionaries who had died in that colony, besides many others whom she mentioned; and although those parties were not named by the angel that attended her, yet she said that seeing them was to know them.

She described these celestial spirits as being variously employed; and, although she felt herself inadequate to convey any definite idea of the nature of that employment, yet it appeared to be adapted to their respective mental tastes and spiritual attainments. She also informed us that she heard sweet and most enrapturing music, such as she had never heard before, and made several attempts to give us some idea of its melodious character, but found her notes too earthly for that purpose.

While thus favored, the missionaries already referred to, and other happy spirits, as they glided past her, sweetly smiled, and said they knew whence she came, and, if faithful to the grace of God, she would, in a-short time, be admitted into their delightful society. All the orders of heaven were in perfect and blessed harmony, and appeared to be directed in all their movements by mysterious influence, proceeding from the throne of God.

She was next conducted to a place whence she had

A VIEW OF HELL.

 

 

 “This she described in the most terrific language, and declared that the horrid shrieks of lost spirits still seemed to sound in her ears. As she approached the burning pit, a tremendous effort was made to draw her into it; but she felt herself safe under the protection of her guardian angel. She recognized many in the place of torment whom she had known on earth, and even some who had been thought to be Christians.

 

 “There were princes and peasants, learned and un-learned, writhing together in one unquenchable fire, where all earthly distinctions and titles were forever at an end. Among them she beheld a Miss W—-, who had occupied a prominent station in society, but had died during the illness of this young woman. She said that when Miss W saw her approach, her shrieks were appalling, beyond the power of language to describe, and that she made a desperate but unsuccessful effort to escape. 

 “The punishment of lost souls she represented as symbolizing the respective sins which had occasioned their condemnation. Miss W—-, for instance, was condemned for the love of money, which I had every reason to believe was her besetting sin; and she seemed robed in a garment of gold, all on fire. Mr. O—-, whom she saw, was lost through intemperance; and he appeared to be punished by devils administering to him some boiling liquid.

 

 “She said there was no sympathy among these unhappy spirits, but that unmixed hatred, in all its frightful forms, prevailed in every part of the fiery regions. She beheld parents and children, husbands and wives, and those who had been companions in sin, exhibiting every mark of deep hatred to each other’s society; and heard them in fiendish accents upbraiding and bitterly cursing each other. She saw nothing in hell but misery and despair, and heard nothing there but the most discordant sounds, accompanied with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

 

 “While she gazed upon this revolting scene, many souls arrived from earth, and were greedily seized by innumerable devils of monstrous shape, amid horrid shouts of hellish triumph, and tortured according to their crimes.” 

 ************* 

 John Wesley, in his Journal of August, 1746, vol. 1, pages 374-375-376, concerning one he styles “S.T.,” says:

 “About six in the morning she was rising, and inwardly praying to God; when on a sudden, she was seized with a violent trembling. Quickly after she lost her speech in a few minutes her hearing; then her sight, and, at the same time, all sense and motion.

 “Her mother immediately sent for Mrs. Designe, to whom she then went to school. At the same time her father sent for Mr. Smith, apothecary, who lived near. At first he proposed bleeding her immediately, and applying a large blister; but upon examining her further, he said ‘It signifies nothing, for the child is dead.’ About twelve o’clock she began to stir; then opened her eyes, and gave the following account

 “As soon as I lost my senses, I was in a dismal place, full of briers, and pits, and ditches; stumbling up and down, and not knowing where to turn, or which way to get either forward or backward; and it was almost quite dark, there being but a little faint twilight, so that I could scarce see before me. I was crying, ready to break my heart; and a man came to me, and said: ‘Child, where are you going?’ I said: ‘I could not tell.’ He said: ‘ What do you want?’ I answered: ‘I want Christ to be my refuge.’ He said: ‘You are the child for whom I am sent; you are to go with me.’ I saw it grew lighter as he spoke. I observed his clothes; they reached down to his feet, and were shining and white as snow.

 

  He brought me through a narrow lane, into a vast, broad road, and told me: ‘This leads to hell; but be not afraid; you are not to stay there.’ At the end of that road a man stood, clothed like the other, in white, shining clothes. Turning to the left hand, we went down a very high, steep hill. I could scarce bear the stench and smoke of brimstone. I saw a vast many people that seemed to be chained down, crying and gnashing their teeth. The man told me, the sins they delighted in once they are tormented with now. I saw a vast number who stood up, cursing and blaspheming God, and spitting at each other; and many were making balls of fire, and throwing them at one another. I saw many others, who had cups of fire, out of which they were drinking down flames; and others, who held cards of fire in their hands, and seemed to be playing with them.

We stayed here, I thought, about half an hour. Then my guide said: ‘Come; I will now show you a glorious place.’ I saw the gate of heaven, which stood wide open; but it was so bright I could not look at it long. We went straight in, and walked through a large place, where I saw saints and angels; and another large place, where were abundance more. They were all of one height and stature; and when one prayed, they all prayed; when one sung, they all sung. And they all sung alike, with a smooth, even voice, not one higher or lower than another.

We went through this into a third place. There I saw God, sitting upon His throne. It was a throne of light, brighter than the sun. I could not fix my eyes upon it. I saw three, but all as one. Our Savior had a pen in His hand. A great book lay at His right side; another at His left; and a third partly behind Him. In the first He set down the prayers and good works of His people; in the second He set down all the curses, and all the evil works of the wicked. I saw that He discerns the whole earth at a glance.

Then our Lord took the first book in His hand, and went and said: ‘Father, behold the prayers and the works of my people.’ And he held up His hands and prayed, and interceded to His Father for us. I never heard any voice like that; but I cannot tell how to explain it. And His Father said: ‘Son, I forgive Thy people; not for their sake, but Thine.’ Then our Lord wrote it down in the third book, and returned to His throne, rejoicing with the hosts of heaven.

It seemed to me as if I stayed here several months but I never slept all the while. And there was no night; and I saw no sky or sun, but clear light everywhere. Then we went back to a large door, which my guide opened; and we walked into pleasant gardens, by brooks and fountains. As we walked, I said: ‘I did not see my brother here’ (who died sometime before). He said: ‘Child, thou canst not know thy brother yet. Thy spirit is to return to the earth. Thou must watch and pray. Thou shalt come again hither, and be joined to these, and know everyone as before.’ I said: ‘When is that to be?’ He said ‘I know not, nor any angel in heaven; but God alone.’

 

  While we were walking, he said: ‘Sing.’ I said ‘What shall I sing?’ And he said: ‘Sing praises unto the King of the place.’ I sung several verses. Then he said: ‘I must go.’ I would have fain gone with him; but he said ‘Your time is not yet; you have more work to do on earth.’ Immediately he was gone; and I came to myself, and began to speak.

She received remission of sins when she was nine years old, and was very watchful from that time. Since this trance she has continued in faith and love.” 

 Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer By S. B. SHAW. Grand Rapids, Mich. 1893: S.B. SHAW, PUBLISHER,1188 S. Division St.

 
From: http://www.ccel.org/

God’s promises to his own

 
(Isa 35:1 KJV)  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.
5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

POWER THROUGH PRAYER

EDWARD M. BOUNDS

 


1 Men of Prayer Needed

Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

WE are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The world’s salvation comes out of that cradled Son. When Paul appeals to the personal character of the men who rooted the gospel in the world, he solves the mystery of their success. The glory and efficiency of the gospel is staked on the men who proclaim it. When God declares that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” he declares the necessity of men and his dependence on them as a channel through which to exert his power upon the world. This vital, urgent truth is one that this age of machinery is apt to forget. The forgetting of it is as baneful on the work of God as would be the striking of the sun from his sphere. Darkness, confusion, and death would ensue.

What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.

An eminent historian has said that the accidents of personal character have more to do with the revolutions of nations than either philosophic historians or democratic politicians will allow. This truth has its application in full to the gospel of Christ, the character and conduct of the followers of Christ — Christianize the world, transfigure nations and individuals. Of the preachers of the gospel it is eminently true.

The character as well as the fortunes of the gospel is committed to the preacher. He makes or mars the message from God to man. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwasted flow.

The man makes the preacher. God must make the man. The messenger is, if possible, more than the message. The preacher is more than the sermon. The preacher makes the sermon. As the life-giving milk from the mother’s bosom is but the mother’s life, so all the preacher says is tinctured, impregnated by what the preacher is. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and the taste of the vessel impregnates and may discolor. The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make the man. The true sermon is a thing of life. The sermon grows because the man grows. The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful. The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of the divine unction because the man is full of the divine unction.

Paul termed it “My gospel;” not that he had degraded it by his personal eccentricities or diverted it by selfish appropriation, but the gospel was put into the heart and lifeblood of the man Paul, as a personal trust to be executed by his Pauline traits, to be set aflame and empowered by the fiery energy of his fiery soul. Paul’s sermons — what were they? Where are they? Skeletons, scattered fragments, afloat on the sea of inspiration! But the man Paul, greater than his sermons, lives forever, in full form, feature and stature, with his molding hand on the Church. The preaching is but a voice. The voice in silence dies, the text is forgotten, the sermon fades from memory; the preacher lives.

The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher. Under the Jewish dispensation the high priest had inscribed in jeweled letters on a golden frontlet: “Holiness to the Lord.” So every preacher in Christ’s ministry must be molded into and mastered by this same holy motto. It is a crying shame for the Christian ministry to fall lower in holiness of character and holiness of aim than the Jewish priesthood. Jonathan Edwards said: “I went on with my eager pursuit after more holiness and conformity to Christ. The heaven I desired was a heaven of holiness.” The gospel of Christ does not move by popular waves. It has no self-propagating power. It moves as the men who have charge of it move. The preacher must impersonate the gospel. Its divine, most distinctive features must be embodied in him. The constraining power of love must be in the preacher as a projecting, eccentric, an all-commanding, self-oblivious force. The energy of self-denial must be his being, his heart and blood and bones. He must go forth as a man among men, clothed with humility, abiding in meekness, wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove; the bonds of a servant with the spirit of a king, a king in high, royal, in dependent bearing, with the simplicity and sweetness of a child. The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.

The preacher’s sharpest and strongest preaching should be to himself. His most difficult, delicate, laborious, and thorough work must be with himself. The training of the twelve was the great, difficult, and enduring work of Christ. Preachers are not sermon makers, but men makers and saint makers, and he only is well-trained for this business who has made himself a man and a saint. It is not great talents nor great learning nor great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God — men always preaching by holy sermons in the pulpit, by holy lives out of it. These can mold a generation for God.

After this order, the early Christians were formed. Men they were of solid mold, preachers after the heavenly type — heroic, stalwart, soldierly, saintly. Preaching with them meant self-denying, self-crucifying, serious, toilsome, martyr business. They applied themselves to it in a way that told on their generation, and formed in its womb a generation yet unborn for God. The preaching man is to be the praying man. Prayer is the preacher’s mightiest weapon. An almighty force in itself, it gives life and force to all.

The real sermon is made in the closet. The man — God’s man — is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages were got when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor.

The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the pulpit too often only official — a performance for the routine of service. Prayer is not to the modern pulpit the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or Paul’s ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.


2 Our Sufficiency Is of God

But above all he excelled in prayer. The inwardness and weight of his spirit, the reverence and solemnity of his address and behavior, and the fewness and fullness of his words have often struck even strangers with admiration as they used to reach others with consolation. The most awful, living, reverend frame I ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his prayer. And truly it was a testimony. He knew and lived nearer to the Lord than other men, for they that know him most will see most reason to approach him with reverence and fear.

— William Penn of George Fox

THE sweetest graces by a slight perversion may bear the bitterest fruit. The sun gives life, but sunstrokes are death. Preaching is to give life; it may kill. The preacher holds the keys; he may lock as well as unlock. Preaching is God’s great institution for the planting and maturing of spiritual life. When properly executed, its benefits are untold; when wrongly executed, no evil can exceed its damaging results. It is an easy matter to destroy the flock if the shepherd be unwary or the pasture be destroyed, easy to capture the citadel if the watchmen be asleep or the food and water be poisoned. Invested with such gracious prerogatives, exposed to so great evils, involving so many grave responsibilities, it would be a parody on the shrewdness of the devil and a libel on his character and reputation if he did not bring his master influences to adulterate the preacher and the preaching. In face of all this, the exclamatory interrogatory of Paul, “Who is sufficient for these things?” is never out of order.

Paul says: “Our sufficiency is of God, who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” The true ministry is God-touched, God-enabled, and God-made. The Spirit of God is on the preacher in anointing power, the fruit of the Spirit is in his heart, the Spirit of God has vitalized the man and the word; his preaching gives life, gives life as the spring gives life; gives life as the resurrection gives life; gives ardent life as the summer gives ardent life; gives fruitful life as the autumn gives fruitful life. The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.

The preaching that kills is non-spiritual preaching. The ability of the preaching is not from God. Lower sources than God have given to it energy and stimulant. The Spirit is not evident in the preacher nor his preaching. Many kinds of forces may be projected and stimulated by preaching that kills, but they are not spiritual forces. They may resemble spiritual forces, but are only the shadow, the counterfeit; life they may seem to have, but the life is magnetized. The preaching that kills is the letter; shapely and orderly it may be, but it is the letter still, the dry, husky letter, the empty, bald shell. The letter may have the germ of life in it, but it has no breath of spring to evoke it; winter seeds they are, as hard as the winter’s soil, as icy as the winter’s air, no thawing nor germinating by them. This letter-preaching has the truth. But even divine truth has no life-giving energy alone; it must be energized by the Spirit, with all God’s forces at its back. Truth unquickened by God’s Spirit deadens as much as, or more than, error. It may be the truth without admixture; but without the Spirit its shade and touch are deadly, its truth error, its light darkness. The letter-preaching is unctionless, neither mellowed nor oiled by the Spirit. There may be tears, but tears cannot run God’s machinery; tears may be but summer’s breath on a snow-covered iceberg, nothing but surface slush. Feelings and earnestness there may be, but it is the emotion of the actor and the earnestness of the attorney. The preacher may feel from the kindling of his own sparks, be eloquent over his own exegesis, earnest in delivering the product of his own brain; the professor may usurp the place and imitate the fire of the apostle; brains and nerves may serve the place and feign the work of God’s Spirit, and by these forces the letter may glow and sparkle like an illumined text, but the glow and sparkle will be as barren of life as the field sown with pearls. The death-dealing element lies back of the words, back of the sermon, back of the occasion, back of the manner, back of the action. The great hindrance is in the preacher himself. He has not in himself the mighty life-creating forces. There may be no discount on his orthodoxy, honesty, cleanness, or earnestness; but somehow the man, the inner man, in its secret places has never broken down and surrendered to God, his inner life is not a great highway for the transmission of God’s message, God’s power. Somehow self and not God rules in the holy of holiest. Somewhere, all unconscious to himself, some spiritual nonconductor has touched his inner being, and the divine current has been arrested. His inner being has never felt its thorough spiritual bankruptcy, its utter powerlessness; he has never learned to cry out with an ineffable cry of self-despair and self-helplessness till God’s power and God’s fire comes in and fills, purifies, empowers. Self-esteem, self-ability in some pernicious shape has defamed and violated the temple which should be held sacred for God. Life-giving preaching costs the preacher much — death to self, crucifixion to the world, the travail of his own soul. Crucified preaching only can give life. Crucified preaching can come only from a crucified man.


3 The Letter Killeth

During this affliction I was brought to examine my life in relation to eternity closer than I had done when in the enjoyment of health. In this examination relative to the discharge of my duties toward my fellow creatures as a man, a Christian minister, and an officer of the Church, I stood approved by my own conscience; but in relation to my Redeemer and Saviour the result was different. My returns of gratitude and loving obedience bear no proportion to my obligations for redeeming, preserving, and supporting me through the vicissitudes of life from infancy to old age. The coldness of my love to Him who first loved me and has done so much for me overwhelmed and confused me; and to complete my unworthy character, I had not only neglected to improve the grace given to the extent of my duty and privilege, but for want of improvement had, while abounding in perplexing care and labor, declined from first zeal and love. I was confounded, humbled myself, implored mercy, and renewed my covenant to strive and devote myself unreservedly to the Lord.

— Bishop McKendree

THE preaching that kills may be, and often is, orthodox — dogmatically, inviolably orthodox. We love orthodoxy. It is good. It is the best. It is the clean, clear-cut teaching of God’s Word, the trophies won by truth in its conflict with error, the levees which faith has raised against the desolating floods of honest or reckless misbelief or unbelief; but orthodoxy, clear and hard as crystal, suspicious and militant, may be but the letter well-shaped, well-named, and well-learned, the letter which kills. Nothing is so dead as a dead orthodoxy, too dead to speculate, too dead to think, to study, or to pray.

The preaching that kills may have insight and grasp of principles, may be scholarly and critical in taste, may have every minutia of the derivation and grammar of the letter, may be able to trim the letter into its perfect pattern, and illume it as Plato and Cicero may be illumined, may study it as a lawyer studies his text-books to form his brief or to defend his case, and yet be like a frost, a killing frost. Letter-preaching may be eloquent, enameled with poetry and rhetoric, sprinkled with prayer spiced with sensation, illumined by genius and yet these be but the massive or chaste, costly mountings, the rare and beautiful flowers which coffin the corpse. The preaching which kills may be without scholarship, unmarked by any freshness of thought or feeling, clothed in tasteless generalities or vapid specialties, with style irregular, slovenly, savoring neither of closet nor of study, graced neither by thought, expression, or prayer. Under such preaching how wide and utter the desolation! how profound the spiritual death!

This letter-preaching deals with the surface and shadow of things, and not the things themselves. It does not penetrate the inner part. It has no deep insight into, no strong grasp of, the hidden life of God’s Word. It is true to the outside, but the outside is the hull which must be broken and penetrated for the kernel. The letter may be dressed so as to attract and be fashionable, but the attraction is not toward God nor is the fashion for heaven. The failure is in the preacher. God has not made him. He has never been in the hands of God like clay in the hands of the potter. He has been busy about the sermon, its thought and finish, its drawing and impressive forces; but the deep things of God have never been sought, studied, fathomed, experienced by him. He has never stood before “the throne high and lifted up,” never heard the seraphim song, never seen the vision nor felt the rush of that awful holiness, and cried out in utter abandon and despair under the sense of weakness and guilt, and had his life renewed, his heart touched, purged, inflamed by the live coal from God’s altar. His ministry may draw people to him, to the Church, to the form and ceremony; but no true drawings to God, no sweet, holy, divine communion induced. The Church has been frescoed but not edified, pleased but not sanctified. Life is suppressed; a chill is on the summer air; the soil is baked. The city of our God becomes the city of the dead; the Church a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching have helped sin, not holiness; peopled hell, not heaven.

Preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer the preacher creates death, and not life. The preacher who is feeble in prayer is feeble in life-giving forces. The preacher who has retired prayer as a conspicuous and largely prevailing element in his own character has shorn his preaching of its distinctive life-giving power. Professional praying there is and will be, but professional praying helps the preaching to its deadly work. Professional praying chills and kills both preaching and praying. Much of the lax devotion and lazy, irreverent attitudes in congregational praying are attributable to professional praying in the pulpit. Long, discursive, dry, and inane are the prayers in many pulpits. Without unction or heart, they fall like a killing frost on all the graces of worship. Death-dealing prayers they are. Every vestige of devotion has perished under their breath. The deader they are the longer they grow. A plea for short praying, live praying, real heart praying, praying by the Holy Spirit — direct, specific, ardent, simple, unctuous in the pulpit — is in order. A school to teach preachers how to pray, as God counts praying, would be more beneficial to true piety, true worship, and true preaching than all theological schools.

Stop! Pause! Consider! Where are we? What are we doing? Preaching to kill? Praying to kill? Praying to God! the great God, the Maker of all worlds, the Judge of all men! What reverence! what simplicity! what sincerity! what truth in the inward parts is demanded! How real we must be! How hearty! Prayer to God the noblest exercise, the loftiest effort of man, the most real thing! Shall we not discard forever accursed preaching that kills and prayer that kills, and do the real thing, the mightiest thing — prayerful praying, life-creating preaching, bring the mightiest force to bear on heaven and earth and draw on God’s exhaustless and open treasure for the need and beggary of man?


4 Tendencies to Be Avoided

Let us often look at Brainerd in the woods of America pouring out his very soul before God for the perishing heathen without whose salvation nothing could make him happy. Prayer — secret fervent believing prayer — lies at the root of all personal godliness. A competent knowledge of the language where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, a heart given up to God in closet religion — these, these are the attainments which, more than all knowledge, or all other gifts, will fit us to become the instruments of God in the great work of human redemption.

— Carrey’s Brotherhood, Serampore

THERE are two extreme tendencies in the ministry. The one is to shut itself out from intercourse with the people. The monk, the hermit were illustrations of this; they shut themselves out from men to be more with God. They failed, of course. Our being with God is of use only as we expend its priceless benefits on men. This age, neither with preacher nor with people, is much intent on God. Our hankering is not that way. We shut ourselves to our study, we become students, bookworms, Bible worms, sermon makers, noted for literature, thought, and sermons; but the people and God, where are they? Out of heart, out of mind. Preachers who are great thinkers, great students must be the greatest of prayers, or else they will be the greatest of backsliders, heartless professionals, rationalistic, less than the least of preachers in God’s estimate.

The other tendency is to thoroughly popularize the ministry. He is no longer God’s man, but a man of affairs, of the people. He prays not, because his mission is to the people. If he can move the people, create an interest, a sensation in favor of religion, an interest in Church work — he is satisfied. His personal relation to God is no factor in his work. Prayer has little or no place in his plans. The disaster and ruin of such a ministry cannot be computed by earthly arithmetic. What the preacher is in prayer to God, for himself, for his people, so is his power for real good to men, so is his true fruitfulness, his true fidelity to God, to man, for time, for eternity.

It is impossible for the preacher to keep his spirit in harmony with the divine nature of his high calling without much prayer. That the preacher by dint of duty and laborious fidelity to the work and routine of the ministry can keep himself in trim and fitness is a serious mistake. Even sermon-making, incessant and taxing as an art, as a duty, as a work, or as a pleasure, will engross and harden, will estrange the heart, by neglect of prayer, from God. The scientist loses God in nature. The preacher may lose God in his sermon.

Prayer freshens the heart of the preacher, keeps it in tune with God and in sympathy with the people, lifts his ministry out of the chilly air of a profession, fructifies routine and moves every wheel with the facility and power of a divine unction.

Mr. Spurgeon says: “Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians, else he were disqualified for the office he has undertaken. If you as ministers are not very prayerful, you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied but your people also, and the day cometh in which you shall be ashamed and confounded. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with our closets. Our seasons of fasting and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never has heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central Glory.”

The praying which makes a prayerful ministry is not a little praying put in as we put flavor to give it a pleasant smack, but the praying must be in the body, and form the blood and bones. Prayer is no petty duty, put into a corner; no piecemeal performance made out of the fragments of time which have been snatched from business and other engagements of life; but it means that the best of our time, the heart of our time and strength must be given. It does not mean the closet absorbed in the study or swallowed up in the activities of ministerial duties; but it means the closet first, the study and activities second, both study and activities freshened and made efficient by the closet. Prayer that affects one’s ministry must give tone to one’s life. The praying which gives color and bent to character is no pleasant, hurried pastime. It must enter as strongly into the heart and life as Christ’s “strong crying and tears” did; must draw out the soul into an agony of desire as Paul’s did; must be an inwrought fire and force like the “effectual, fervent prayer” of James; must be of that quality which, when put into the golden censer and incensed before God, works mighty spiritual throes and revolutions.

Prayer is not a little habit pinned on to us while we were tied to our mother’s apron strings; neither is it a little decent quarter of a minute’s grace said over an hour’s dinner, but it is a most serious work of our most serious years. It engages more of time and appetite than our longest dinings or richest feasts. The prayer that makes much of our preaching must be made much of. The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, gives it unction, and makes it stick. In every ministry weighty for good, prayer has always been a serious business.

The preacher must be preeminently a man of prayer. His heart must graduate in the school of prayer. In the school of prayer only can the heart learn to preach. No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.

Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men. More than this, prayerless words in the pulpit and out of it are deadening words.


5 Prayer, the Great Essential

You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it — Sir Thomas Buxton Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother: pray, pray, pray — Edward Payson

 

PRAYER, in the preacher’s life, in the preacher’s study, in the preacher’s pulpit, must be a conspicuous and an all-impregnating force and an all-coloring ingredient. It must play no secondary part, be no mere coating. To him it is given to be with his Lord “all night in prayer.” The preacher, to train himself in self-denying prayer, is charged to look to his Master, who, “rising up a great while before day, went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” The preacher’s study ought to be a closet, a Bethel, an altar, a vision, and a ladder, that every thought might ascend heavenward ere it went manward; that every part of the sermon might be scented by the air of heaven and made serious, because God was in the study.

As the engine never moves until the fire is kindled, so preaching, with all its machinery, perfection, and polish, is at a dead standstill, as far as spiritual results are concerned, till prayer has kindled and created the steam. The texture, fineness, and strength of the sermon is as so much rubbish unless the mighty impulse of prayer is in it, through it, and behind it. The preacher must, by prayer, put God in the sermon. The preacher must, by prayer, move God toward the people before he can move the people to God by his words. The preacher must have had audience and ready access to God before he can have access to the people. An open way to God for the preacher is the surest pledge of an open way to the people.

It is necessary to iterate and reiterate that prayer, as a mere habit, as a performance gone through by routine or in a professional way, is a dead and rotten thing. Such praying has no connection with the praying for which we plead. We are stressing true praying, which engages and sets on fire every high element of the preacher’s being — prayer which is born of vital oneness with Christ and the fullness of the Holy Ghost, which springs from the deep, overflowing fountains of tender compassion, deathless solicitude for man’s eternal good; a consuming zeal for the glory of God; a thorough conviction of the preacher’s difficult and delicate work and of the imperative need of God’s mightiest help. Praying grounded on these solemn and profound convictions is the only true praying. Preaching backed by such praying is the only preaching which sows the seeds of eternal life in human hearts and builds men up for heaven.

It is true that there may be popular preaching, pleasant preaching, taking preaching, preaching of much intellectual, literary, and brainy force, with its measure and form of good, with little or no praying; but the preaching which secures God’s end in preaching must be born of prayer from text to exordium, delivered with the energy and spirit of prayer, followed and made to germinate, and kept in vital force in the hearts of the hearers by the preacher’s prayers, long after the occasion has past.

We may excuse the spiritual poverty of our preaching in many ways, but the true secret will be found in the lack of urgent prayer for God’s presence in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are preachers innumerable who can deliver masterful sermons after their order; but the effects are short-lived and do not enter as a factor at all into the regions of the spirit where the fearful war between God and Satan, heaven and hell, is being waged because they are not made powerfully militant and spiritually victorious by prayer.

The preachers who gain mighty results for God are the men who have prevailed in their pleadings with God ere venturing to plead with men. The preachers who are the mightiest in their closets with God are the mightiest in their pulpits with men.

Preachers are human folks, and are exposed to and often caught by the strong driftings of human currents. Praying is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full, smooth sea. Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory, and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for flesh and blood to bear. It is easier not to pray than to bear them. So we come to one of the crying evils of these times, maybe of all times — little or no praying. Of these two evils, perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salvo for the conscience, a farce and a delusion.

The little estimate we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it. The time given to prayer by the average preacher scarcely counts in the sum of the daily aggregate. Not infrequently the preacher’s only praying is by his bedside in his nightdress, ready for bed and soon in it, with, perchance the addition of a few hasty snatches of prayer ere he is dressed in the morning. How feeble, vain, and little is such praying compared with the time and energy devoted to praying by holy men in and out of the Bible! How poor and mean our petty, childish praying is beside the habits of the true men of God in all ages! To men who think praying their main business and devote time to it according to this high estimate of its importance does God commit the keys of his kingdom, and by them does he work his spiritual wonders in this world. Great praying is the sign and seal of God’s great leaders and the earnest of the conquering forces with which God will crown their labors.

The preacher is commissioned to pray as well as to preach. His mission is incomplete if he does not do both well. The preacher may speak with all the eloquence of men and of angels; but unless he can pray with a faith which draws all heaven to his aid, his preaching will be “as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” for permanent God-honoring, soul-saving uses.


6 A Praying Ministry Successful

The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write or read or converse or hear with a ready heart; but prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any duty is the more my carnal heart is apt to start from it. Prayer and patience and faith are never disappointed. I have long since learned that if ever I was to be a minister faith and prayer must make me one. When I can find my heart in frame and liberty for prayer, everything else is comparatively easy.

— Richard Newton

IT may be put down as a spiritual axiom that in every truly successful ministry prayer is an evident and controlling force — evident and controlling in the life of the preacher, evident and controlling in the deep spirituality of his work. A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; the preacher may secure fame and popularity without prayer; the whole machinery of the preacher’s life and work may be run without the oil of prayer or with scarcely enough to grease one cog; but no ministry can be a spiritual one, securing holiness in the preacher and in his people, without prayer being made an evident and controlling force.

The preacher that prays indeed puts God into the work. God does not come into the preacher’s work as a matter of course or on general principles, but he comes by prayer and special urgency. That God will be found of us in the day that we seek him with the whole heart is as true of the preacher as of the penitent. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry that brings the preacher into sympathy with the people. Prayer as essentially unites to the human as it does to the divine. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry qualified for the high offices and responsibilities of the preacher. Colleges, learning, books, theology, preaching cannot make a preacher, but praying does. The apostles’ commission to preach was a blank till filled up by the Pentecost which praying brought. A prayerful minister has passed beyond the regions of the popular, beyond the man of mere affairs, of secularities, of pulpit attractiveness; passed beyond the ecclesiastical organizer or general into a sublimer and mightier region, the region of the spiritual. Holiness is the product of his work; transfigured hearts and lives emblazon the reality of his work, its trueness and substantial nature. God is with him. His ministry is not projected on worldly or surface principles. He is deeply stored with and deeply schooled in the things of God. His long, deep communings with God about his people and the agony of his wrestling spirit have crowned him as a prince in the things of God. The iciness of the mere professional has long since melted under the intensity of his praying.

The superficial results of many a ministry, the deadness of others, are to be found in the lack of praying. No ministry can succeed without much praying, and this praying must be fundamental, ever-abiding, ever-increasing. The text, the sermon, should be the result of prayer. The study should be bathed in prayer, all its duties so impregnated with prayer, its whole spirit the spirit of prayer. “I am sorry that I have prayed so little,” was the deathbed regret of one of God’s chosen ones, a sad and remorseful regret for a preacher. “I want a life of greater, deeper, truer prayer,” said the late Archbishop Tait. So may we all say, and this may we all secure.

God’s true preachers have been distinguished by one great feature: they were men of prayer. Differing often in many things, they have always had a common center. They may have started from different points, and traveled by different roads, but they converged to one point: they were one in prayer. God to there was the center of attraction, and prayer was the path that led to God. These men prayed not occasionally, not a little at regular or at odd times; but they so prayed that their prayers entered into and shaped their characters; they so prayed as to affect their own lives and the lives of others; they so prayed as to make the history of the Church and influence the current of the times. They spent much time in prayer, not because they marked the shadow on the dial or the hands on the clock, but because it was to them so momentous and engaging a business that they could scarcely give over.

Prayer was to them what it was to Paul, a striving with earnest effort of soul; what it was to Jacob, a wrestling and prevailing; what it was to Christ, “strong crying and tears.” They “prayed always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.” “The effectual, fervent prayer” has been the mightiest weapon of God’s mightiest soldiers. The statement in regard to Elijah — that he “was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” — comprehends all prophets and preachers who have moved their generation for God, and shows the instrument by which they worked their wonders.


7 Much Time Should Be Given to Prayer

The great masters and teachers in Christian doctrine have always found in prayer their highest source of illumination. Not to go beyond the limits of the English Church, it is recorded of Bishop Andrews that he spent five hours daily on his knees. The greatest practical resolves that have enriched and beautified human life in Christian times have been arrived at in prayer.

— Canon Liddon

WHILE many private prayers, in the nature of things, must be short; while public prayers, as a rule, ought to be short and condensed; while there is ample room for and value put on ejaculatory prayer — yet in our private communions with God time is a feature essential to its value. Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying. Prayer which is felt as a mighty force is the mediate or immediate product of much time spent with God. Our short prayers owe their point and efficiency to the long ones that have preceded them. The short prevailing prayer cannot be prayed by one who has not prevailed with God in a mightier struggle of long continuance. Jacob’s victory of faith could not have been gained without that all-night wrestling. God’s acquaintance is not made by pop calls. God does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comers and goers. Much with God alone is the secret of knowing him and of influence with him. He yields to the persistency of a faith that knows him. He bestows his richest gifts upon those who declare their desire for and appreciation of those gifts by the constancy as well as earnestness of their importunity. Christ, who in this as well as other things is our Example, spent many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much. He had his habitual place to pray. Many long seasons of praying make up his history and character. Paul prayed day and night. It took time from very important interests for Daniel to pray three times a day. David’s morning, noon, and night praying were doubtless on many occasions very protracted. While we have no specific account of the time these Bible saints spent in prayer, yet the indications are that they consumed much time in prayer, and on some occasions long seasons of praying was their custom.

We would not have any think that the value of their prayers is to be measured by the clock, but our purpose is to impress on our minds the necessity of being much alone with God; and that if this feature has not been produced by our faith, then our faith is of a feeble and surface type.

The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else, and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.” John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Sometimes he would pray all night; always, frequently, and with great earnestness. His whole life was a life of prayer. “I would not rise from my seat,” he said, “without lifting my heart to God.” His greeting to a friend was always: “Do I meet you praying?” Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.”

Archbishop Leighton was so much alone with God that he seemed to be in a perpetual meditation. “Prayer and praise were his business and his pleasure,” says his biographer. Bishop Ken was so much with God that his soul was said to be God-enamored. He was with God before the clock struck three every morning. Bishop Asbury said: “I propose to rise at four o’clock as often as I can and spend two hours in prayer and meditation.” Samuel Rutherford, the fragrance of whose piety is still rich, rose at three in the morning to meet God in prayer. Joseph Alleine arose at four o’clock for his business of praying till eight. If he heard other tradesmen plying their business before he was up, he would exclaim: “O how this shames me! Doth not my Master deserve more than theirs?” He who has learned this trade well draws at will, on sight, and with acceptance of heaven’s unfailing bank.

One of the holiest and among the most gifted of Scotch preachers says: “I ought to spend the best hours in communion with God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not to be thrust into a corner. The morning hours, from six to eight, are the most uninterrupted and should be thus employed. After tea is my best hour, and that should be solemnly dedicated to God. I ought not to give up the good old habit of prayer before going to bed; but guard must be kept against sleep. When I awake in the night, I ought to rise and pray. A little time after breakfast might be given to intercession.” This was the praying plan of Robert McCheyne. The memorable Methodist band in their praying shame us. “From four to five in the morning, private prayer; from five to six in the evening, private prayer.”

John Welch, the holy and wonderful Scotch preacher, thought the day ill spent if he did not spend eight or ten hours in prayer. He kept a plaid that he might wrap himself when he arose to pray at night. His wife would complain when she found him lying on the ground weeping. He would reply: “O woman, I have the souls of three thousand to answer for, and I know not how it is with many of them!”


8 Examples of Praying Men

The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men are absolutely incapable of prayer.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

BISHOP WILSON says: In H. Martyn’s journal the spirit of prayer, the time he devoted to the duty, and his fervor in it are the first things which strike me.”

Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: “His continuing instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his distinguished and almost uninterrupted success.”

The Marquis DeRenty, to whom Christ was most precious, ordered his servant to call him from his devotions at the end of half an hour. The servant at the time saw his face through an aperture. It was marked with such holiness that he hated to arouse him. His lips were moving, but he was perfectly silent. He waited until three half hours had passed; then he called to him, when he arose from his knees, saying that the half hour was so short when he was communing with Christ.

Brainerd said: “I love to be alone in my cottage, where I can spend much time in prayer.”

William Bramwell is famous in Methodist annals for personal holiness and for his wonderful success in preaching and for the marvelous answers to his prayers. For hours at a time he would pray. He almost lived on his knees. He went over his circuits like a flame of fire. The fire was kindled by the time he spent in prayer. He often spent as much as four hours in a single season of prayer in retirement.

Bishop Andrewes spent the greatest part of five hours every day in prayer and devotion.

Sir Henry Havelock always spent the first two hours of each day alone with God. If the encampment was struck at 6 A.M., he would rise at four.

Earl Cairns rose daily at six o’clock to secure an hour and a half for the study of the Bible and for prayer, before conducting family worship at a quarter to eight.

Dr. Judson’s success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he gave much time to prayer. He says on this point: “Arrange thy affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause. Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God.” Impossible, say we, fanatical directions! Dr. Judson impressed an empire for Christ and laid the foundations of God’s kingdom with imperishable granite in the heart of Burmah. He was successful, one of the few men who mightily impressed the world for Christ. Many men of greater gifts and genius and learning than he have made no such impression; their religious work is like footsteps in the sands, but he has engraven his work on the adamant. The secret of its profundity and endurance is found in the fact that he gave time to prayer. He kept the iron red-hot with prayer, and God’s skill fashioned it with enduring power. No man can do a great and enduring work for God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of prayer who does not give much time to praying.

Is it true that prayer is simply the compliance with habit, dull and mechanical? A petty performance into which we are trained till tameness, shortness, superficiality are its chief elements? “Is it true that prayer is, as is assumed, little else than the half-passive play of sentiment which flows languidly on through the minutes or hours of easy reverie?” Canon Liddon continues: “Let those who have really prayed give the answer. They sometimes describe prayer with the patriarch Jacob as a wrestling together with an Unseen Power which may last, not unfrequently in an earnest life, late into the night hours, or even to the break of day. Sometimes they refer to common intercession with St. Paul as a concerted struggle. They have, when praying, their eyes fixed on the Great Intercessor in Gethsemane, upon the drops of blood which fall to the ground in that agony of resignation and sacrifice. Importunity is of the essence of successful prayer. Importunity means not dreaminess but sustained work. It is through prayer especially that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. It was a saying of the late Bishop Hamilton that “No man is likely to do much good in prayer who does not begin by looking upon it in the light of a work to be prepared for and persevered in with all the earnestness which we bring to bear upon subjects which are in our opinion at once most interesting and most necessary.”


9 Begin the Day with Prayer

I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, it is eleven or twelve o’clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is unscriptural. Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says: “Early will I seek thee”; “Thou shalt early hear my voice.” Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness, and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. Then when in secret prayer the soul is often out of tune, I feel it is far better to begin with God — to see his face first, to get my soul near him before it is near another.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

THE men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day.

Behind this early rising and early praying is the ardent desire which presses us into this pursuit after God. Morning listlessness is the index to a listless heart. The heart which is behindhand in seeking God in the morning has lost its relish for God. David’s heart was ardent after God. He hungered and thirsted after God, and so he sought God early, before daylight. The bed and sleep could not chain his soul in its eagerness after God. Christ longed for communion with God; and so, rising a great while before day, he would go out into the mountain to pray. The disciples, when fully awake and ashamed of their indulgence, would know where to find him. We might go through the list of men who have mightily impressed the world for God, and we would find them early after God.

A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that keeps so far behind the devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up.

It is not simply the getting up that puts men to the front and makes them captain generals in God’s hosts, but it is the ardent desire which stirs and breaks all self-indulgent chains. But the getting up gives vent, increase, and strength to the desire. If they had lain in bed and indulged themselves, the desire would have been quenched. The desire aroused them and put them on the stretch for God, and this heeding and acting on the call gave their faith its grasp on God and gave to their hearts the sweetest and fullest revelation of God, and this strength of faith and fullness of revelation made them saints by eminence, and the halo of their sainthood has come down to us, and we have entered on the enjoyment of their conquests. But we take our fill in enjoyment, and not in productions. We build their tombs and write their epitaphs, but are careful not to follow their examples.

We need a generation of preachers who seek God and seek him early, who give the freshness and dew of effort to God, and secure in return the freshness and fullness of his power that he may be as the dew to them, full of gladness and strength, through all the heat and labor of the day. Our laziness after God is our crying sin. The children of this world are far wiser than we. They are at it early and late. We do not seek God with ardor and diligence. No man gets God who does not follow hard after him, and no soul follows hard after God who is not after him in early morn.


10 Prayer and Devotion United

There is a manifest want of spiritual influence on the ministry of the present day. I feel it in my own case and I see it in that of others. I am afraid there is too much of a low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us. We are laying ourselves out more than is expedient to meet one man’s taste and another man’s prejudices. The ministry is a grand and holy affair, and it should find in us a simple habit of spirit and a holy but humble indifference to all consequences. The leading defect in Christian ministers is want of a devotional habit.

— Richard Cecil

NEVER was there greater need for saintly men and women; more imperative still is the call for saintly, God-devoted preachers. The world moves with gigantic strides. Satan has his hold and rule on the world, and labors to make all its movements subserve his ends. Religion must do its best work, present its most attractive and perfect models. By every means, modern sainthood must be inspired by the loftiest ideals and by the largest possibilities through the Spirit. Paul lived on his knees, that the Ephesian Church might measure the heights, breadths, and depths of an unmeasurable saintliness, and “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Epaphras laid himself out with the exhaustive toil and strenuous conflict of fervent prayer, that the Colossian Church might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Everywhere, everything in apostolic times was on the stretch that the people of God might each and “all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” No premium was given to dwarfs; no encouragement to an old babyhood. The babies were to grow; the old, instead of feebleness and infirmities, were to bear fruit in old age, and be fat and flourishing. The divinest thing in religion is holy men and holy women.

No amount of money, genius, or culture can move things for God. Holiness energizing the soul, the whole man aflame with love, with desire for more faith, more prayer, more zeal, more consecration — this is the secret of power. These we need and must have, and men must be the incarnation of this God-inflamed devotedness. God’s advance has been stayed, his cause crippled: his name dishonored for their lack. Genius (though the loftiest and most gifted), education (though the most learned and refined), position, dignity, place, honored names, high ecclesiastics cannot move this chariot of our God. It is a fiery one, and fiery forces only can move it. The genius of a Milton fails. The imperial strength of a Leo fails. Brainerd’s spirit can move it. Brainerd’s spirit was on fire for God, on fire for souls. Nothing earthly, worldly, selfish came in to abate in the least the intensity of this all-impelling and all-consuming force and flame.

Prayer is the creator as well as the channel of devotion. The spirit of devotion is the spirit of prayer. Prayer and devotion are united as soul and body are united, as life and the heart are united. There is no real prayer without devotion, no devotion without prayer. The preacher must be surrendered to God in the holiest devotion. He is not a professional man, his ministry is not a profession; it is a divine institution, a divine devotion. He is devoted to God. His aim, aspirations, ambition are for God and to God, and to such prayer is as essential as food is to life.

The preacher, above everything else, must be devoted to God. The preacher’s relations to God are the insignia and credentials of his ministry. These must be clear, conclusive, unmistakable. No common, surface type of piety must be his. If he does not excel in grace, he does not excel at all. If he does not preach by life, character, conduct, he does not preach at all. If his piety be light, his preaching may be as soft and as sweet as music, as gifted as Apollo, yet its weight will be a feather’s weight, visionary, fleeting as the morning cloud or the early dew. Devotion to God — there is no substitute for this in the preacher’s character and conduct. Devotion to a Church, to opinions, to an organization, to orthodoxy — these are paltry, misleading, and vain when they become the source of inspiration, the animus of a call. God must be the mainspring of the preacher’s effort, the fountain and crown of all his toil. The name and honor of Jesus Christ, the advance of his cause, must be all in all. The preacher must have no inspiration but the name of Jesus Christ, no ambition but to have him glorified, no toil but for him. Then prayer will be a source of his illuminations, the means of perpetual advance, the gauge of his success. The perpetual aim, the only ambition, the preacher can cherish is to have God with him.

Never did the cause of God need perfect illustrations of the possibilities of prayer more than in this age. No age, no person, will be ensamples of the gospel power except the ages or persons of deep and earnest prayer. A prayerless age will have but scant models of divine power. Prayerless hearts will never rise to these Alpine heights. The age may be a better age than the past, but there is an infinite distance between the betterment of an age by the force of an advancing civilization and its betterment by the increase of holiness and Christlikeness by the energy of prayer. The Jews were much better when Christ came than in the ages before. It was the golden age of their Pharisaic religion. Their golden religious age crucified Christ. Never more praying, never less praying; never more sacrifices, never less sacrifice; never less idolatry, never more idolatry; never more of temple worship, never less of God worship; never more of lip service, never less of heart service (God worshiped by lips whose hearts and hands crucified God’s Son!); never more of churchgoers, never less of saints.

It is prayer-force which makes saints. Holy characters are formed by the power of real praying. The more of true saints, the more of praying; the more of praying, the more of true saints.


11 An Example of Devotion

I urge upon you communion with Christ a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn aside in Christ that we never saw, and new foldings of love in him. I despair that I shall ever win to the far end of that love, there are so many plies in it. Therefore dig deep, and sweat and labor and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can. We will be won in the labor.

— Samuel Rutherford

God has now, and has had, many of these devoted, prayerful preachers — men in whose lives prayer has been a mighty, controlling, conspicuous force. The world has felt their power, God has felt and honored their power, God’s cause has moved mightily and swiftly by their prayers, holiness has shone out in their characters with a divine effulgence.

God found one of the men he was looking for in David Brainerd, whose work and name have gone into history. He was no ordinary man, but was capable of shining in any company, the peer of the wise and gifted ones, eminently suited to fill the most attractive pulpits and to labor among the most refined and the cultured, who were so anxious to secure him for their pastor. President Edwards bears testimony that he was “a young man of distingushed talents, had extraordinary knowledge of men and things, had rare conversational powers, excelled in his knowledge of theology, and was truly, for one so young, an extraordinary divine, and especially in all matters relating to experimental religion. I never knew his equal of his age and standing for clear and accurate notions of the nature and essence of true religion. His manner in prayer was almost inimitable, such as I have very rarely known equaled. His learning was very considerable, and he had extraordinary gifts for the pulpit.”

No sublimer story has been recorded in earthly annals than that of David Brainerd; no miracle attests with diviner force the truth of Christianity than the life and work of such a man. Alone in the savage wilds of America, struggling day and night with a mortal disease, unschooled in the care of souls, having access to the Indians for a large portion of time only through the bungling medium of a pagan interpreter, with the Word of God in his heart and in his hand, his soul fired with the divine flame, a place and time to pour out his soul to God in prayer, he fully established the worship of God and secured all its gracious results. The Indians were changed with a great change from the lowest besotments of an ignorant and debased heathenism to pure, devout, intelligent Christians; all vice reformed, the external duties of Christianity at once embraced and acted on; family prayer set up; the Sabbath instituted and religiously observed; the internal graces of religion exhibited with growing sweetness and strength. The solution of these results is found in David Brainerd himself, not in the conditions or accidents but in the man Brainerd. He was God’s man, for God first and last and all the time. God could flow unhindered through him. The omnipotence of grace was neither arrested nor straightened by the conditions of his heart; the whole channel was broadened and cleaned out for God’s fullest and most powerful passage, so that God with all his mighty forces could come down on the hopeless, savage wilderness, and transform it into his blooming and fruitful garden; for nothing is too hard for God to do if he can get the right kind of a man to do it with.

Brainerd lived the life of holiness and prayer. His diary is full and monotonous with the record of his seasons of fasting, meditation, and retirement. The time he spent in private prayer amounted to many hours daily. “When I return home,” he said, “and give myself to meditation, prayer, and fasting, my soul longs for mortification, self-denial, humility, and divorcement from all things of the world.” “I have nothing to do,” he said, “with earth but only to labor in it honestly for God. I do not desire to live one minute for anything which earth can afford.” After this high order did he pray: “Feeling somewhat of the sweetness of communion with God and the constraining force of his love, and how admirably it captivates the soul and makes all the desires and affections to center in God, I set apart this day for secret fasting and prayer, to entreat God to direct and bless me with regard to the great work which I have in view of preaching the gospel, and that the Lord would return to me and show me the light of his countenance. I had little life and power in the forenoon. Near the middle of the afternoon God enabled me to wrestle ardently in intercession for my absent friends, but just at night the Lord visited me marvelously in prayer. I think my soul was never in such agony before. I felt no restraint, for the treasures of divine grace were opened to me. I wrestled for absent friends, for the ingathering of souls, for multitudes of poor souls, and for many that I thought were the children of God, personally, in many distant places. I was in such agony from sun half an hour high till near dark that I was all over wet with sweat, but yet it seemed to me I had done nothing. O, my dear Saviour did sweat blood for poor souls! I longed for more compassion toward them. I felt still in a sweet frame, under a sense of divine love and grace, and went to bed in such a frame, with my heart set on God.” It was prayer which gave to his life and ministry their marvelous power.

The men of mighty prayer are men of spiritual might. Prayers never die. Brainerd’s whole life was a life of prayer. By day and by night he prayed. Before preaching and after preaching he prayed. Riding through the interminable solitudes of the forests he prayed. On his bed of straw he prayed. Retiring to the dense and lonely forests, he prayed. Hour by hour, day after day, early morn and late at night, he was praying and fasting, pouring out his soul, interceding, communing with God. He was with God mightily in prayer, and God was with him mightily, and by it he being dead yet speaketh and worketh, and will speak and work till the end comes, and among the to glorious ones of that glorious day he will be with the first.

Jonathan Edwards says of him: “His life shows the right way to success in the works of the ministry. He sought it as the soldier seeks victory in a siege or battle; or as a man that runs a race for a great prize. Animated with love to Christ and souls, how did he labor? Always fervently. Not only in word and doctrine, in public and in private, but in prayers by day and night, wrestling with God in secret and travailing in birth with unutterable groans and agonies, until Christ was formed in the hearts of the people to whom he was sent. Like a true son of Jacob, he persevered in wrestling through all the darkness of the night, until the breaking of the day!”


12 Heart Preparation Necessary

For nothing reaches the heart but what is from the heart or pierces the conscience but what comes from a living conscience.

— William Penn In the morning was more engaged in preparing the head than the heart. This has been frequently my error, and I have always felt the evil of it especially in prayer. Reform it then, O Lord! Enlarge my heart and I shall preach. — Robert Murray McCheyne A sermon that has more head infused into it than heart will not borne home with efficacy to the hearers. — Richard Cecil

PRAYER, with its manifold and many-sided forces, helps the mouth to utter the truth in its fullness and freedom. The preacher is to be prayed for, the preacher is made by prayer. The preacher’s mouth is to be prayed for; his mouth is to be opened and filled by prayer. A holy mouth is made by praying, by much praying; a brave mouth is made by praying, by much praying. The Church and the world, God and heaven, owe much to Paul’s mouth; Paul’s mouth owed its power to prayer.

How manifold, illimitable, valuable, and helpful prayer is to the preacher in so many ways, at so many points, in every way! One great value is, it helps his heart.

Praying makes the preacher a heart preacher. Prayer puts the preacher’s heart into the preacher’s sermon; prayer puts the preacher’s sermon into the preacher’s heart.

The heart makes the preacher. Men of great hearts are great preachers. Men of bad hearts may do a measure of good, but this is rare. The hireling and the stranger may help the sheep at some points, but it is the good shepherd with the good shepherd’s heart who will bless the sheep and answer the full measure of the shepherd’s place.

We have emphasized sermon-preparation until we have lost sight of the important thing to be prepared — the heart. A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.

Volumes have been written laying down the mechanics and taste of sermon-making, until we have become possessed with the idea that this scaffolding is the building. The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product. We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness. By it we have lost the true idea of preaching, lost preaching power, lost pungent conviction for sin, lost the rich experience and elevated Christian character, lost the authority over consciences and lives which always results from genuine preaching.

It would not do to say that preachers study too much. Some of them do not study at all; others do not study enough. Numbers do not study the right way to show themselves workmen approved of God. But our great lack is not in head culture, but in heart culture; not lack of knowledge but lack of holiness is our sad and telling defect — not that we know too much, but that we do not meditate on God and his word and watch and fast and pray enough. The heart is the great hindrance to our preaching. Words pregnant with divine truth find in our hearts nonconductors; arrested, they fall shorn and powerless.

Can ambition, that lusts after praise and place, preach the gospel of Him who made himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant? Can the proud, the vain, the egotistical preach the gospel of him who was meek and lowly? Can the bad-tempered, passionate, selfish, hard, worldly man preach the system which teems with long-suffering, self-denial, tenderness, which imperatively demands separation from enmity and crucifixion to the world? Can the hireling official, heartless, perfunctory, preach the gospel which demands the shepherd to give his life for the sheep? Can the covetous man, who counts salary and money, preach the gospel till he has gleaned his heart and can say in the spirit of Christ and Paul in the words of Wesley: “I count it dung and dross; I trample it under my feet; I (yet not I, but the grace of God in me) esteem it just as the mire of the streets, I desire it not, I seek it not?” God’s revelation does not need the light of human genius, the polish and strength of human culture, the brilliancy of human thought, the force of human brains to adorn or enforce it; but it does demand the simplicity, the docility, humility, and faith of a child’s heart.

It was this surrender and subordination of intellect and genius to the divine and spiritual forces which made Paul peerless among the apostles. It was this which gave Wesley his power and radicated his labors in the history of humanity. This gave to Loyola the strength to arrest the retreating forces of Catholicism.

Our great need is heart-preparation. Luther held it as an axiom: “He who has prayed well has studied well.” We do not say that men are not to think and use their intellects; but he will use his intellect best who cultivates his heart most. We do not say that preachers should not be students; but we do say that their great study should be the Bible, and he studies the Bible best who has kept his heart with diligence. We do not say that the preacher should not know men, but he will be the greater adept in human nature who has fathomed the depths and intricacies of his own heart. We do say that while the channel of preaching is the mind, its fountain is the heart; you may broaden and deepen the channel, but if you do not look well to the purity and depth of the fountain, you will have a dry or polluted channel. We do say that almost any man of common intelligence has sense enough to preach the gospel, but very few have grace enough to do so. We do say that he who has struggled with his own heart and conquered it; who has taught it humility, faith, love, truth, mercy, sympathy, courage; who can pour the rich treasures of the heart thus trained, through a manly intellect, all surcharged with the power of the gospel on the consciences of his hearers — such a one will be the truest, most successful preacher in the esteem of his Lord.


13 Grace from the Heart Rather than the Head

Study not to be a fine preacher. Jerichos are blown down with rams’ horns. Look simply unto Jesus for preaching food; and what is wanted will be given, and what is given will be blessed, whether it be a barley grain or a wheaten loaf, a crust or a crumb. Your mouth will be a flowing stream or a fountain sealed, according as your heart is. Avoid all controversy in preaching, talking, or writing; preach nothing down but the devil, and nothing up but Jesus Christ.

— Berridge

THE heart is the Saviour of the world. Heads do not save. Genius, brains, brilliancy, strength, natural gifts do not save. The gospel flows through hearts. All the mightiest forces are heart forces. All the sweetest and loveliest graces are heart graces. Great hearts make great characters; great hearts make divine characters. God is love. There is nothing greater than love, nothing greater than God. Hearts make heaven; heaven is love. There is nothing higher, nothing sweeter, than heaven. It is the heart and not the head which makes God’s great preachers. The heart counts much every way in religion. The heart must speak from the pulpit. The heart must hear in the pew. In fact, we serve God with our hearts. Head homage does not pass current in heaven.

We believe that one of the serious and most popular errors of the modern pulpit is the putting of more thought than prayer, of more head than of heart in its sermons. Big hearts make big preachers; good hearts make good preachers. A theological school to enlarge and cultivate the heart is the golden desideratum of the gospel. The pastor binds his people to him and rules his people by his heart. They may admire his gifts, they may be proud of his ability, they may be affected for the time by his sermons; but the stronghold of his power is his heart. His scepter is love. The throne of his power is his heart.

The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Heads never make martyrs. It is the heart which surrenders the life to love and fidelity. It takes great courage to be a faithful pastor, but the heart alone can supply this courage. Gifts and genius may be brave, but it is the gifts and genius of the heart and not of the head.

It is easier to fill the head than it is to prepare the heart. It is easier to make a brain sermon than a heart sermon. It was heart that drew the Son of God from heaven. It is heart that will draw men to heaven. Men of heart is what the world needs to sympathize with its woe, to kiss away its sorrows, to compassionate its misery, and to alleviate its pain. Christ was eminently the man of sorrows, because he was preeminently the man of heart.

“Give me thy heart,” is God’s requisition of men. “Give me thy heart!” is man’s demand of man.

A professional ministry is a heartless ministry. When salary plays a great part in the ministry, the heart plays little part. We may make preaching our business, and not put our hearts in the business. He who puts self to the front in his preaching puts heart to the rear. He who does not sow with his heart in his study will never reap a harvest for God. The closet is the heart’s study. We will learn more about how to preach and what to preach there than we can learn in our libraries. “Jesus wept” is the shortest and biggest verse in the Bible. It is he who goes forth weeping (not preaching great sermons), bearing precious seed, who shall come again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Praying gives sense, brings wisdom, broadens and strengthens the mind. The closet is a perfect school-teacher and schoolhouse for the preacher. Thought is not only brightened and clarified in prayer, but thought is born in prayer. We can learn more in an hour praying, when praying indeed, than from many hours in the study. Books are in the closet which can be found and read nowhere else. Revelations are made in the closet which are made nowhere else.


14 Unction a Necessity

One bright benison which private prayer brings down upon the ministry is an indescribable and inimitable something — an unction from the Holy One . . . . If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant constant fervent in supplication. Let your fleece lie on the thrashing floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven.

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

ALEXANDER KNOX, a Christian philosopher of the days of Wesley, not an adherent but a strong personal friend of Wesley, and with much spiritual sympathy with the Wesleyan movement, writes: “It is strange and lamentable, but I verily believe the fact to be that except among Methodists and Methodistical clergyman, there is not much interesting preaching in England. The clergy, too generally have absolutely lost the art. There is, I conceive, in the great laws of the moral world a kind of secret understanding like the affinities in chemistry, between rightly promulgated religious truth and the deepest feelings of the human mind. Where the one is duly exhibited, the other will respond. Did not our hearts burn within us? — but to this devout feeling is indispensable in the speaker. Now, I am obliged to state from my own observation that this onction, as the French not unfitly term it, is beyond all comparison more likely to be found in England in a Methodist conventicle than in a parish Church. This, and this alone, seems really to be that which fills the Methodist houses and thins the Churches. I am, I verily think, no enthusiast; I am a most sincere and cordial churchman, a humble disciple of the School of Hale and Boyle, of Burnet and Leighton. Now I must aver that when I was in this country, two years ago, I did not hear a single preacher who taught me like my own great masters but such as are deemed Methodistical. And I now despair of getting an atom of heart instruction from any other quarter. The Methodist preachers (however I may not always approve of all their expressions) do most assuredly diffuse this true religion and undefiled. I felt real pleasure last Sunday. I can bear witness that the preacher did at once speak the words of truth and soberness. There was no eloquence — the honest man never dreamed of such a thing — but there was far better: a cordial communication of vitalized truth. I say vitalized because what he declared to others it was impossible not to feel he lived on himself.”

This unction is the art of preaching. The preacher who never had this unction never had the art of preaching. The preacher who has lost this unction has lost the art of preaching. Whatever other arts he may have and retain — the art of sermon-making, the art of eloquence, the art of great, clear thinking, the art of pleasing an audience — he has lost the divine art of preaching. This unction makes God’s truth powerful and interesting, draws and attracts, edifies, convicts, saves.

This unction vitalizes God’s revealed truth, makes it living and life-giving. Even God’s truth spoken without this unction is light, dead, and deadening. Though abounding in truth, though weighty with thought, though sparkling with rhetoric, though pointed by logic, though powerful by earnestness, without this divine unction it issues in death and not in life. Mr. Spurgeon says: “I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into word what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence. Samaria, in famine, typifies a discourse without it. Jerusalem, with her feast of fat things, full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Every one knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who can describe it, much less produce it of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing. We know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish, to counterfeit it. Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless. Yet it is, in itself, priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Christ.”


15 Unction, the Mark of True Gospel Preaching

Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear and your heart full of God’s Spirit is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin. Remember that God, and not man, must have the glory. If the veil of the world’s machinery were lifted off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of God’s children.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

UNCTION is that indefinable, indescribable something which an old, renowned Scotch preacher describes thus: “There is sometimes somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is, or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Word; but if there be any way to obtain such a thing, it is by the heavenly disposition of the speaker.”

We call it unction. It is this unction which makes the word of God “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It is this unction which gives the words of the preacher such point, sharpness, and power, and which creates such friction and stir in many a dead congregation. The same truths have been told in the strictness of the letter, smooth as human oil could make them; but no signs of life, not a pulse throb; all as peaceful as the grave and as dead. The same preacher in the meanwhile receives a baptism of this unction, the divine inflatus is on him, the letter of the Word has been embellished and fired by this mysterious power, and the throbbings of life begin — life which receives or life which resists. The unction pervades and convicts the conscience and breaks the heart.

This divine unction is the feature which separates and distinguishes true gospel preaching from all other methods of presenting the truth, and which creates a wide spiritual chasm between the preacher who has it and the one who has it not. It backs and impregns revealed truth with all the energy of God. Unction is simply putting God in his own word and on his own preachers. By mighty and great prayerfulness and by continual prayerfulness, it is all potential and personal to the preacher; it inspires and clarifies his intellect, gives insight and grasp and projecting power; it gives to the preacher heart power, which is greater than head power; and tenderness, purity, force flow from the heart by it. Enlargement, freedom, fullness of thought, directness and simplicity of utterance are the fruits of this unction.

Often earnestness is mistaken for this unction. He who has the divine unction will be earnest in the very spiritual nature of things, but there may be a vast deal of earnestness without the least mixture of unction.

Earnestness and unction look alike from some points of view. Earnestness may be readily and without detection substituted or mistaken for unction. It requires a spiritual eye and a spiritual taste to discriminate.

Earnestness may be sincere, serious, ardent, and persevering. It goes at a thing with good will, pursues it with perseverance, and urges it with ardor; puts force in it. But all these forces do not rise higher than the mere human. The man is in it — the whole man, with all that he has of will and heart, of brain and genius, of planning and working and talking. He has set himself to some purpose which has mastered him, and he pursues to master it. There may be none of God in it. There may be little of God in it, because there is so much of the man in it. He may present pleas in advocacy of his earnest purpose which please or touch and move or overwhelm with conviction of their importance; and in all this earnestness may move along earthly ways, being propelled by human forces only, its altar made by earthly hands and its fire kindled by earthly flames. It is said of a rather famous preacher of gifts, whose construction of Scripture was to his fancy or purpose, that he “grew very eloquent over his own exegesis.” So men grow exceeding earnest over their own plans or movements. Earnestness may be selfishness simulated.

What of unction? It is the indefinable in preaching which makes it preaching. It is that which distinguishes and separates preaching from all mere human addresses. It is the divine in preaching. It makes the preaching sharp to those who need sharpness. It distills as the dew to those who need to he refreshed. It is well described as:

“a two-edged sword

Of heavenly temper keen,

And double were the wounds it made

Wherever it glanced between.

‘Twas death to silt; ’twas life

To all who mourned for sin.

It kindled and it silenced strife,

Made war and peace within.”

This unction comes to the preacher not in the study but in the closet. It is heaven’s distillation in answer to prayer. It is the sweetest exhalation of the Holy Spirit. It impregnates, suffuses, softens, percolates, cuts, and soothes. It carries the Word like dynamite, like salt, like sugar; makes the Word a soother, an arranger, a revealer, a searcher; makes the hearer a culprit or a saint, makes him weep like a child and live like a giant; opens his heart and his purse as gently, yet as strongly as the spring opens the leaves. This unction is not the gift of genius. It is not found in the halls of learning. No eloquence can woo it. No industry can win it. No prelatical hands can confer it. It is the gift of God — the signet set to his own messengers. It is heaven’s knighthood given to the chosen true and brave ones who have sought this anointed honor through many an hour of tearful, wrestling prayer.

Earnestness is good and impressive: genius is gifted and great. Thought kindles and inspires, but it takes a diviner endowment, a more powerful energy than earnestness or genius or thought to break the chains of sin, to win estranged and depraved hearts to God, to repair the breaches and restore the Church to her old ways of purity and power. Nothing but this holy unction can do this.


16 Much Prayer the Price of Unction

All the minister’s efforts will be vanity or worse than vanity if he have not unction. Unction must come down from heaven and spread a savor and feeling and relish over his ministry; and among the other means of qualifying himself for his office, the Bible must hold the first place, and the last also must be given to the Word of God and prayer.

— Richard Cecil

IN the Christian system unction is the anointing of the Holy Ghost, separating unto God’s work and qualifying for it. This unction is the one divine enablement by which the preacher accomplishes the peculiar and saving ends of preaching. Without this unction there are no true spiritual results accomplished; the results and forces in preaching do not rise above the results of unsanctified speech. Without unction the former is as potent as the pulpit.

This divine unction on the preacher generates through the Word of God the spiritual results that flow from the gospel; and without this unction, these results are not secured. Many pleasant impressions may be made, but these all fall far below the ends of gospel preaching. This unction may be simulated. There are many things that look like it, there are many results that resemble its effects; but they are foreign to its results and to its nature. The fervor or softness excited by a pathetic or emotional sermon may look like the movements of the divine unction, but they have no pungent, perpetrating heart-breaking force. No heart-healing balm is there in these surface, sympathetic, emotional movements; they are not radical, neither sin-searching nor sin-curing.

This divine unction is the one distinguishing feature that separates true gospel preaching from all other methods of presenting truth. It backs and interpenetrates the revealed truth with all the force of God. It illumines the Word and broadens and enrichens the intellect and empowers it to grasp and apprehend the Word. It qualifies the preacher’s heart, and brings it to that condition of tenderness, of purity, of force and light that are necessary to secure the highest results. This unction gives to the preacher liberty and enlargement of thought and soul — a freedom, fullness, and directness of utterance that can be secured by no other process.

Without this unction on the preacher the gospel has no more power to propagate itself than any other system of truth. This is the seal of its divinity. Unction in the preacher puts God in the gospel. Without the unction, God is absent, and the gospel is left to the low and unsatisfactory forces that the ingenuity, interest, or talents of men can devise to enforce and project its doctrines.

It is in this element that the pulpit oftener fails than in any other element. Just at this all-important point it lapses. Learning it may have, brilliancy and eloquence may delight and charm, sensation or less offensive methods may bring the populace in crowds, mental power may impress and enforce truth with all its resources; but without this unction, each and all these will be but as the fretful assault of the waters on a Gibraltar. Spray and foam may cover and spangle; but the rocks are there still, unimpressed and unimpressible. The human heart can no more be swept of its hardness and sin by these human forces than these rocks can be swept away by the ocean’s ceaseless flow.

This unction is the consecration force, and its presence the continuous test of that consecration. It is this divine anointing on the preacher that secures his consecration to God and his work. Other forces and motives may call him to the work, but this only is consecration. A separation to God’s work by the power of the Holy Spirit is the only consecration recognized by God as legitimate.

The unction, the divine unction, this heavenly anointing, is what the pulpit needs and must have. This divine and heavenly oil put on it by the imposition of God’s hand must soften and lubricate the whole man — heart, head, spirit — until it separates him with a mighty separation from all earthly, secular, worldly, selfish motives and aims, separating him to everything that is pure and Godlike.

It is the presence of this unction on the preacher that creates the stir and friction in many a congregation. The same truths have been told in the strictness of the letter, but no ruffle has been seen, no pain or pulsation felt. All is quiet as a graveyard. Another preacher comes, and this mysterious influence is on him; the letter of the Word has been fired by the Spirit, the throes of a mighty movement are felt, it is the unction that pervades and stirs the conscience and breaks the heart. Unctionless preaching makes everything hard, dry, acrid, dead.

This unction is not a memory or an era of the past only; it is a present, realized, conscious fact. It belongs to the experience of the man as well as to his preaching. It is that which transforms him into the image of his divine Master, as well as that by which he declares the truths of Christ with power. It is so much the power in the ministry as to make all else seem feeble and vain without it, and by its presence to atone for the absence of all other and feebler forces.

This unction is not an inalienable gift. It is a conditional gift, and its presence is perpetuated and increased by the same process by which it was at first secured; by unceasing prayer to God, by impassioned desires after God, by estimating it, by seeking it with tireless ardor, by deeming all else loss and failure without it.

How and whence comes this unction? Direct from God in answer to prayer. Praying hearts only are the hearts filled with this holy oil; praying lips only are anointed with this divine unction.

Prayer, much prayer, is the price of preaching unction; prayer, much prayer, is the one, sole condition of keeping this unction. Without unceasing prayer the unction never comes to the preacher. Without perseverance in prayer, the unction, like the manna overkept, breeds worms.


17 Prayer Marks Spiritual Leadership

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.

— John Wesley

THE apostles knew the necessity and worth of prayer to their ministry. They knew that their high commission as apostles, instead of relieving them from the necessity of prayer, committed them to it by a more urgent need; so that they were exceedingly jealous else some other important work should exhaust their time and prevent their praying as they ought; so they appointed laymen to look after the delicate and engrossing duties of ministering to the poor, that they (the apostles) might, unhindered, “give themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer is put first, and their relation to prayer is put most strongly — “give themselves to it,” making a business of it, surrendering themselves to praying, putting fervor, urgency, perseverance, and time in it.

How holy, apostolic men devoted themselves to this divine work of prayer! “Night and day praying exceedingly,” says Paul. “We will give ourselves continually to prayer” is the consensus of apostolic devotement. How these New Testament preachers laid themselves out in prayer for God’s people! How they put God in full force into their Churches by their praying! These holy apostles did not vainly fancy that they had met their high and solemn duties by delivering faithfully God’s word, but their preaching was made to stick and tell by the ardor and insistence of their praying. Apostolic praying was as taxing, toilsome, and imperative as apostolic preaching. They prayed mightily day and night to bring their people to the highest regions of faith and holiness. They prayed mightier still to hold them to this high spiritual altitude. The preacher who has never learned in the school of Christ the high and divine art of intercession for his people will never learn the art of preaching, though homiletics be poured into him by the ton, and though he be the most gifted genius in sermon-making and sermon-delivery.

The prayers of apostolic, saintly leaders do much in making saints of those who are not apostles. If the Church leaders in after years had been as particular and fervent in praying for their people as the apostles were, the sad, dark times of worldliness and apostasy had not marred the history and eclipsed the glory and arrested the advance of the Church. Apostolic praying makes apostolic saints and keeps apostolic times of purity and power in the Church.

What loftiness of soul, what purity and elevation of motive, what unselfishness, what self-sacrifice, what exhaustive toil, what ardor of spirit, what divine tact are requisite to be an intercessor for men!

The preacher is to lay himself out in prayer for his people; not that they might be saved, simply, but that they be mightily saved. The apostles laid themselves out in prayer that their saints might be perfect; not that they should have a little relish for the things of God, but that they “might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul did not rely on his apostolic preaching to secure this end, but “for this cause he bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s praying carried Paul’s converts farther along the highway of sainthood than Paul’s preaching did. Epaphras did as much or more by prayer for the Colossian saints than by his preaching. He labored fervently always in prayer for them that “they might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

Preachers are preeminently God’s leaders. They are primarily responsible for the condition of the Church. They shape its character, give tone and direction to its life.

Much every way depends on these leaders. They shape the times and the institutions. The Church is divine, the treasure it incases is heavenly, but it bears the imprint of the human. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and it smacks of the vessel. The Church of God makes, or is made by, its leaders. Whether it makes them or is made by them, it will be what its leaders are; spiritual if they are so, secular if they are, conglomerate if its leaders are. Israel’s kings gave character to Israel’s piety. A Church rarely revolts against or rises above the religion of its leaders. Strongly spiritual leaders; men of holy might, at the lead, are tokens of God’s favor; disaster and weakness follow the wake of feeble or worldly leaders. Israel had fallen low when God gave children to be their princes and babes to rule over them. No happy state is predicted by the prophets when children oppress God’s Israel and women rule over them. Times of spiritual leadership are times of great spiritual prosperity to the Church.

Prayer is one of the eminent characteristics of strong spiritual leadership. Men of mighty prayer are men of might and mold things. Their power with God has the conquering tread.

How can a man preach who does not get his message fresh from God in the closet? How can he preach without having his faith quickened, his vision cleared, and his heart warmed by his closeting with God? Alas, for the pulpit lips which are untouched by this closet flame. Dry and unctionless they will ever be, and truths divine will never come with power from such lips. As far as the real interests of religion are concerned, a pulpit without a closet will always be a barren thing.

A preacher may preach in an official, entertaining, or learned way without prayer, but between this kind of preaching and sowing God’s precious seed with holy hands and prayerful, weeping hearts there is an immeasurable distance.

A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for all God’s truth and for God’s Church. He may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers, but it is a funeral, notwithstanding the charmful array. A prayerless Christian will never learn God’s truth; a prayerless ministry will never be able to teach God’s truth. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by a prayerless Church. The coming of our Lord has been postponed indefinitely by a prayerless Church. Hell has enlarged herself and filled her dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless Church.

The best, the greatest offering is an offering of prayer. If the preachers of the twentieth century will learn well the lesson of prayer, and use fully the power of prayer, the millennium will come to its noon ere the century closes. “Pray without ceasing” is the trumpet call to the preachers of the twentieth century. If the twentieth century will get their texts, their thoughts, their words, their sermons in their closets, the next century will find a new heaven and a new earth. The old sin-stained and sin-eclipsed heaven and earth will pass away under the power of a praying ministry.


18 Preachers Need the Prayers of the People

If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers — had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent and incessant prayers for them — they would have been much more in the way of success.

— Jonathan Edwards

SOMEHOW the practice of praying in particular for the preacher has fallen into disuse or become discounted. Occasionally have we heard the practice arraigned as a disparagement of the ministry, being a public declaration by those who do it of the inefficiency of the ministry. It offends the pride of learning and self-sufficiency, perhaps, and these ought to be offended and rebuked in a ministry that is so derelict as to allow them to exist.

Prayer, to the preacher, is not simply the duty of his profession, a privilege, but it is a necessity. Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray. It is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for. These two propositions are wedded into a union which ought never to know any divorce: the preacher must pray; the preacher must be prayed for. It will take all the praying he can do, and all the praying he can get done, to meet the fearful responsibilities and gain the largest, truest success in his great work. The true preacher, next to the cultivation of the spirit and fact of prayer in himself, in their intensest form, covets with a great covetousness the prayers of God’s people.

The holier a man is, the more does he estimate prayer; the clearer does he see that God gives himself to the praying ones, and that the measure of God’s revelation to the soul is the measure of the soul’s longing, importunate prayer for God. Salvation never finds its way to a prayerless heart. The Holy Spirit never abides in a prayerless spirit. Preaching never edifies a prayerless soul. Christ knows nothing of prayerless Christians. The gospel cannot be projected by a prayerless preacher. Gifts, talents, education, eloquence, God’s call, cannot abate the demand of prayer, but only intensify the necessity for the preacher to pray and to be prayed for. The more the preacher’s eyes are opened to the nature, responsibility, and difficulties in his work, the more will he see, and if he be a true preacher the more will he feel, the necessity of prayer; not only the increasing demand to pray himself, but to call on others to help him by their prayers.

Paul is an illustration of this. If any man could project the gospel by dint of personal force, by brain power, by culture, by personal grace, by God’s apostolic commission, God’s extraordinary call, that man was Paul. That the preacher must be a man given to prayer, Paul is an eminent example. That the true apostolic preacher must have the prayers of other good people to give to his ministry its full quota of success, Paul is a preeminent example. He asks, he covets, he pleads in an impassioned way for the help of all God’s saints. He knew that in the spiritual realm, as elsewhere, in union there is strength; that the concentration and aggregation of faith, desire, and prayer increased the volume of spiritual force until it became overwhelming and irresistible in its power. Units of prayer combined, like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance. So Paul, with his clear and full apprehension of spiritual dynamics, determined to make his ministry as impressive, as eternal, as irresistible as the ocean, by gathering all the scattered units of prayer and precipitating them on his ministry. May not the solution of Paul’s preeminence in labors and results, and impress on the Church and the world, be found in this fact that he was able to center on himself and his ministry more of prayer than others? To his brethren at Rome he wrote: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in prayers to God for me.” To the Ephesians he says: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” To the Colossians he emphasizes: “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” To the Thessalonians he says sharply, strongly: “Brethren, pray for us.” Paul calls on the Corinthian Church to help him: “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.” This was to be part of their work. They were to lay to the helping hand of prayer. He in an additional and closing charge to the Thessalonian Church about the importance and necessity of their prayers says: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.” He impresses the Philippians that all his trials and opposition can be made subservient to the spread of the gospel by the efficiency of their prayers for him. Philemon was to prepare a lodging for him, for through Philemon’s prayer Paul was to be his guest.

Paul’s attitude on this question illustrates his humility and his deep insight into the spiritual forces which project the gospel. More than this, it teaches a lesson for all times, that if Paul was so dependent on the prayers of God’s saints to give his ministry success, how much greater the necessity that the prayers of God’s saints be centered on the ministry of to-day!

Paul did not feel that this urgent plea for prayer was to lower his dignity, lessen his influence, or depreciate his piety. What if it did? Let dignity go, let influence be destroyed, let his reputation be marred — he must have their prayers. Called, commissioned, chief of the Apostles as he was, all his equipment was imperfect without the prayers of his people. He wrote letters everywhere, urging them to pray for him. Do you pray for your preacher? Do you pray for him in secret? Public prayers are of little worth unless they are founded on or followed up by private praying. The praying ones are to the preacher as Aaron and Hur were to Moses. They hold up his hands and decide the issue that is so fiercely raging around them.

The plea and purpose of the apostles were to put the Church to praying. They did not ignore the grace of cheerful giving. They were not ignorant of the place which religious activity and work occupied an the spiritual life; but not one nor all of these, in apostolic estimate or urgency, could at all compare in necessity and importance with prayer. The most sacred and urgent pleas were used, the most fervid exhortations, the most comprehensive and arousing words were uttered to enforce the all-important obligation and necessity of prayer.

“Put the saints everywhere to praying” is the burden of the apostolic effort and the keynote of apostolic success. Jesus Christ had striven to do this in the days of his personal ministry. As he was moved by infinite compassion at the ripened fields of earth perishing for lack of laborers and pausing in his own praying — he tries to awaken the stupid sensibilities of his disciples to the duty of prayer as he charges them, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.”


19 Deliberation Necessary to Largest Results from Prayer

This perpetual hurry of business and company ruins me in soul if not in body. More solitude and earlier hours! I suspect I have been allotting habitually too little time to religious exercises, as private devotion and religious meditation, Scripture-reading, etc. Hence I am lean and cold and hard. I had better allot two hours or an hour and a half daily. I have been keeping too late hours, and hence have had but a hurried half hour in a morning to myself. Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean. But all may be done through prayer — almighty prayer, I am ready to say — and why not? For that it is almighty is only through the gracious ordination of the God of love and truth. O then, pray, pray, pray! — William Wilberforce

 

OUR devotions are not measured by the clock, but time is of their essence. The ability to wait and stay and press belongs essentially to our intercourse with God. Hurry, everywhere unseeming and damaging, is so to an alarming extent in the great business of communion with God. Short devotions are the bane of deep piety. Calmness, grasp, strength, are never the companions of hurry. Short devotions deplete spiritual vigor, arrest spiritual progress, sap spiritual foundations, blight the root and bloom of spiritual life. They are the prolific source of backsliding, the sure indication of a superficial piety; they deceive, blight, rot the seed, and impoverish the soil.

It is true that Bible prayers in word and print are short, but the praying men of the Bible were with God through many a sweet and holy wrestling hour. They won by few words but long waiting. The prayers Moses records may be short, but Moses prayed to God with fastings and mighty cryings forty days and nights.

The statement of Elijah’s praying may be condensed to a few brief paragraphs, but doubtless Elijah, who when “praying he prayed,” spent many hours of fiery struggle and lofty intercourse with God before he could, with assured boldness, say to Ahab, “There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” The verbal brief of Paul’s prayers is short, but Paul “prayed night and day exceedingly.” The “Lord’s Prayer” is a divine epitome for infant lips, but the man Christ Jesus prayed many an all-night ere his work was done; and his all-night and long-sustained devotions gave to his work its finish and perfection, and to his character the fullness and glory of its divinity.

Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loath to do it. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of serious attention and of time, which flesh and blood do not relish. Few persons are made of such strong fiber that they will make a costly outlay when surface work will pass as well in the market. We can habituate ourselves to our beggarly praying until it looks well to us, at least it keeps up a decent form and quiets conscience — the deadliest of opiates! We can slight our praying, and not realize the peril till the foundations are gone. Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions, questionable piety. To be little with God is to be little for God. To cut short the praying makes the whole religious character short, scrimp, niggardly, and slovenly.

It takes good time for the full flow of God into the spirit. Short devotions cut the pipe of God’s full flow. It takes time in the secret places to get the full revelation of God. Little time and hurry mar the picture.

Henry Martyn laments that “want of private devotional reading and shortness of prayer through incessant sermon-making had produced much strangeness between God and his soul.” He judged that he had dedicated too much time to public ministrations and too little to private communion with God. He was much impressed to set apart times for fasting and to devote times for solemn prayer. Resulting from this he records: “Was assisted this morning to pray for two hours.” Said William Wilberforce, the peer of kings: “I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours.” Of a failure in Parliament he says: “Let me record my grief and shame, and all, probably, from private devotions having been contracted, and so God let me stumble.” More solitude and earlier hours was his remedy.

More time and early hours for prayer would act like magic to revive and invigorate many a decayed spiritual life. More time and early hours for prayer would be manifest in holy living. A holy life would not be so rare or so difficult a thing if our devotions were not so short and hurried. A Christly temper in its sweet and passionless fragrance would not be so alien and hopeless a heritage if our closet stay were lengthened and intensified. We live shabbily because we pray meanly. Plenty of time to feast in our closets will bring marrow and fatness to our lives. Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. Hasty closet visits are deceptive, defaulting. We are not only deluded by them, but we are losers by them in many ways and in many rich legacies. Tarrying in the closet instructs and wins. We are taught by it, and the greatest victories are often the results of great waiting — waiting till words and plans are exhausted, and silent and patient waiting gains the crown. Jesus Christ asks with an affronted emphasis, “Shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him?”

To pray is the greatest thing we can do: and to do it well there must be calmness, time, and deliberation; otherwise it is degraded into the littlest and meanest of things. True praying has the largest results for good; and poor praying, the least. We cannot do too much of real praying; we cannot do too little of the sham. We must learn anew the worth of prayer, enter anew the school of prayer. There is nothing which it takes more time to learn. And if we would learn the wondrous art, we must not give a fragment here and there — “A little talk with Jesus,” as the tiny saintlets sing — but we must demand and hold with iron grasp the best hours of the day for God and prayer, or there will be no praying worth the name.

This, however, is not a day of prayer. Few men there are who pray. Prayer is defamed by preacher and priest. In these days of hurry and bustle, of electricity and steam, men will not take time to pray. Preachers there are who “say prayers” as a part of their programme, on regular or state occasions; but who “stirs himself up to take hold upon God?” Who prays as Jacob prayed — till he is crowned as a prevailing, princely intercessor? Who prays as Elijah prayed — till all the locked-up forces of nature were unsealed and a famine-stricken land bloomed as the garden of God? Who prayed as Jesus Christ prayed as out upon the mountain he “continued all night in prayer to God?” The apostles “gave themselves to prayer” — the most difficult thing to get men or even the preachers to do. Laymen there are who will give their money — some of them in rich abundance — but they will not “give themselves” to prayer, without which their money is but a curse. There are plenty of preachers who will preach and deliver great and eloquent addresses on the need of revival and the spread of the kingdom of God, but not many there are who will do that without which all preaching and organizing are worse than vain — pray. It is out of date, almost a lost art, and the greatest benefactor this age could have is the man who will bring the preachers and the Church back to prayer.


20 A Praying Pulpit Begets a Praying Pew

I judge that my prayer is more than the devil himself; if it were otherwise, Luther would have fared differently long before this. Yet men will not see and acknowledge the great wonders or miracles God works in my behalf. If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.

— Martin Luther

ONLY glimpses of the great importance of prayer could the apostles get before Pentecost. But the Spirit coming and filling on Pentecost elevated prayer to its vital and all-commanding position in the gospel of Christ. The call now of prayer to every saint is the Spirit’s loudest and most exigent call. Sainthood’s piety is made, refined, perfected, by prayer. The gospel moves with slow and timid pace when the saints are not at their prayers early and late and long.

Where are the Christly leaders who can teach the modern saints how to pray and put them at it? Do we know we are raising up a prayerless set of saints? Where are the apostolic leaders who can put God’s people to praying? Let them come to the front and do the work, and it will be the greatest work which can be done. An increase of educational facilities and a great increase of money force will be the direst curse to religion if they are not sanctified by more and better praying than we are doing. More praying will not come as a matter of course. The campaign for the twentieth or thirtieth century fund will not help our praying but hinder if we are not careful. Nothing but a specific effort from a praying leadership will avail. The chief ones must lead in the apostolic effort to radicate the vital importance and fact of prayer in the heart and life of the Church. None but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews. We do greatly need some body who can set the saints to this business of praying. We are not a generation of praying saints. Non-praying saints are a beggarly gang of saints who have neither the ardor nor the beauty nor the power of saints. Who will restore this breach? The greatest will he be of reformers and apostles, who can set the Church to praying.

We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the Church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives, and ministry will be of such a radical and aggressive form as to work spiritual revolutions which will form eras in individual and Church life.

We do not mean men who get up sensational stirs by novel devices, nor those who attract by a pleasing entertainment; but men who can stir things, and work revolutions by the preaching of God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Ghost, revolutions which change the whole current of things.

Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter; but capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory, and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God — men who can set the Church ablaze for God; not in a noisy, showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God.

God can work wonders if he can get a suitable man. Men can work wonders if they can get God to lead them. The full endowment of the spirit that turned the world upside down would be eminently useful in these latter days. Men who can stir things mightily for God, whose spiritual revolutions change the whole aspect of things, are the universal need of the Church.

The Church has never been without these men; they adorn its history; they are the standing miracles of the divinity of the Church; their example and history are an unfailing inspiration and blessing. An increase in their number and power should be our prayer.

That which has been done in spiritual matters can be done again, and be better done. This was Christ’s view. He said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The past has not exhausted the possibilities nor the demands for doing great things for God. The Church that is dependent on its past history for its miracles of power and grace is a fallen Church.

God wants elect men — men out of whom self and the world have gone by a severe crucifixion, by a bankruptcy which has so totally ruined self and the world that there is neither hope nor desire of recovery; men who by this insolvency and crucifixion have turned toward God perfect hearts.

Let us pray ardently that God’s promise to prayer may be more than realized.


Even when you have lost it all now

 
  

Even when you have lost it all now it is still not the end  of your life.. or of God’s goodness.

(Eccl 7:20 KJV)  For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

When you have absolutely nothing, and you have lost it all, everything you had, your friends, money, job, family,  health and you in desperation do now again maybe cry out to God how does he respond next? maybe you won’t know the answer until you walk in these shoes yourself?? God is always more important, to be put first over anything on earth, Trust him full and he will also look after you fully, and meet all of your needs too..

Now I have been there now a few times and God next responds the same way.. “I will never leave you or forsake you, I will always be there holding your hand”..

(2 Cor 1:3 KJV)  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

(Eph 1:17 KJV)  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

(Heb 13:8 KJV)  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

(2 John 1:3 KJV)  Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

and why does God now he God respond  in  this manner of reminding you firstly of his presence ?

God reminds us of his continual presence and nothing takes God by surprise, nothing can prevail against God , (John 21:24 KJV)  This is the disciple which testified of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

(Rom 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

(1 John 5:19 KJV)  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

(1 John 5:20 KJV)  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

We need to refocus on God always..

(Exo 33:14 KJV)  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

(Jer 5:22 KJV)  Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

(Jer 23:39 KJV)  Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

(Ezek 38:20 KJV)  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

(Phil 2:12 KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Face Life with a positive attitude

(Phil 3:1 KJV)  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

(Phil 4:4 KJV)  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Faith in God is essential and brings  rewards too..

(Gal 3:5 KJV)  He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
(Acts 20:21 KJV)  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:.. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. – 1Peter 4:12, 13
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf… Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. – 1 Peter 4:16,19
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. -Revelation 21:4
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. – Psalms 34:17,18
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. – Psalms 37:24
Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. – Psalms 71:20,21
This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. – Psalms 119:50
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. – Psalms 138:7
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. – Isaiah 25:4
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. – Isaiah 41:17
For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. – Lamentations 3:31-33
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: – Philippians 1:6
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. – Psalms 9:10
In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. – Psalms 86:7
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. – Psalms 147:3

What initially ALSO appeared as the most tragic demonic events in my own life  next, they had  turned  out to be the most blessed event, even prolonging my life.

Imagine that I  as an adult in Calgary Alberta was firstly fired from my job because I had refused to cheat, lie, steal on behalf of my firm. Next my sadly unfaithful wife filed for divorce, and she even stole my personal belongings and my 3 children too, even our house next went into foreclosure and was taken over by the bank, so what can happen worse than that?
Well next the pastor of the local church tried to kick me out of the local church cause I could not longer give to him, and he for sure falsely was not willing to give in return.. What next?

Well for 2 years the lying, pretending local  bad doctors, hospital  could find anything wrong with me too.. even though I knew for sure there was something wrong with me..

So I next moved back to my home town, Montreal to another province, Quebec.

Shortly the doctors there confirmed the fact that I need quintuplet heart by pass surgery, and they also next installed a pacer, and a  defliberator as well.. thus  prolonging my life much longer than had I strayed in Calgary Alberta.

 

You see I was working and living in Calgary Alberta in 1982 and for 2 years I had gone to various doctors, I had undergone various medical tests and the doctors said they could find nothing wrong with me specifically, rather it appears they must have known the truth but refused to do anything, for the Alberta government has a policy that they give medical services priority mainly to people born in Alberta. Had my wife not filed for divorce for sure I would have had been dead next there, and when she filed for divorce, we lost our home as the lawyers had seized it  for their future payments, so next I had no choice but to eventually go back to Montreal to firstly get medical help cause I was in continually stomach  pains. By the blood pressure alone the doctor should have know how seriously I was sick, 165/145.. my wife being a nurse she knew right away.. God even told me I was seriously ill.. and he had refused to allow me to work hard.

When I got to Montréal and visited the McGill Hospital, the doctors here said I was ok originally, amused me and put me into a bed for 4 weeks and conducted no medical tests at all.. next finally they decided to discharge me, but someone had to sign off on me and they decided to do one test, the echo gram, the technician doing the test next she start to cry, and I asked her why she was crying, she replied that I was too young to have such a serious heart problem, 1/3 of my heart was dead. The next day the doctor said the McGill Hospital  came and told me that there was nothing they could do for me, I would have to go home and get ready to die. But right then at the same time I heard Jesus say “do not worry Paul, it will all turn  out all right”.. so next day the 2 doctors came back and and said they will give me a heart surgery tomorrow, a quintuplet heart by pass. After the heart surgery I was totally normal for 2 weeks but then it seemed to have been inadequate.. the surgery was only partially successful. I was able to walk but I had difficulties in any serious exercise, physical activity.  God told me next he took my wife away cause it was her bad cooking that was killing me, something the dieticians confirmed next too.  He God had now freed me to work on the internet, I have been on the internet actually since computers had first started in the 80’s  both as a political lobbyist on behalf of all Canadians,    as a Christian pastor promoting God’s truth.

I had now also wanted to return to Alberta, because I loved the weather and scenery there, so  as I prayed as to why I could not go back there. God told me I he had provided everything I needed in the city of LaSalle Montreal where I was I was even for my medical care. I shortly had a vision. It was a view of Montreal from above, but on the south side of the Montréal, across the river instead was a huge European looking city. I was told I could not cross the south  river, and I saw from the air above the Montreal General Hospital and I was told I would have to go there next. That week my main doctor called and said I would have to go to the hospital to have a defliberator installed for I have a tendency to die in my sleep. So they implanted the medical device and next it significantly improved my breathing.

I was now also basically limited to biking, since walking any long distance was too difficult for me but eventually next even Biking that  was too hard for me, I could not make it up the hill. So in desperation I prayed and told God that. Just after I had prayed the phone rang and a fellow said he had acquired an electric bike he would like to sell me.  I bought it, and it really solved my biking need. I loved it. I could travel at 30 mph and do about 60 miles before I recharge it, bout 2 a week.
Meanwhile I continue on the net daily for hours, generally my mornings at least, writing my messages, replying to letters. I have been happy, fulfilled  with God the last 15 years too. I have been very visibly active on the net as a Christian, even daily writing Bible devotionals to many pastors, college students too. Gladly  here doing the work of the Lord. Although I liked being a pastor of a home church better in Calgary, I loved the daily home , hospital and political visitations too. So as you see there are no complaints here. God let me serve him  more next  instead of having me die. God had said to me also he had let me live cause I had served him..

Is 61:1 THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed {and} qualified me to preach the Gospel {of} good tidings to the meek, the poor, {and} afflicted; He has sent me to bind up {and} heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison {and} of the eyes to those who are bound,  Is 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, Is 61:3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, {and} failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Is 61:4 And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Is 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Is 61:11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness {and} justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].

Is 62:11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the Daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes [in the person of the Lord]; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work {and} recompense before Him. Is 62:12 And they shall call them the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.


God through Jesus Christ has promised to deliver us from all of sickness, sadness, sorrows, troubles even today, and we can stand on many such  promises in his Word, the Bible. There is no pit that you fall into that is so deep that Jesus now next cannot still help you out off.

for 25 years since I lost it all God still looks after me

(Jer 17:5 KJV)  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6   For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.8   For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The third  worse thing supposedly that happened to me  initially was finding out I was going blind cause I had diabetes turned out to be another blessing.. a more stringent food diet, plus the diabetes medicine itself led to my health, heart problems improving next instead.. 30 percent of persons who take the diabetes pill, medicine find out it strengthens, helps their heart also.. and here I was expecting the worse when God  made it next a blessing too. My eyesight came back to normal too

 

do see also