Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Archive for October, 2011

Train Up.


Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Satan‘s strategy since the Garden of Eden has been to tear down the spiritual foundation in the family.

He will move against our children any way he can.

He will try to attack them with sickness, accidents, violence, spirits of rebellion, and spirits of the occult.

He will try to invade their minds with ungodly philosophies and doctrines of demons that undermine the teachings of their parents and their church.

In too many homes, family worship and Bible study have been cast aside for the television set.

It is time for Christian families to take the power and authority God has given to us and use it against the enemy!

It is time to re-establish the home as the spiritual foundation God intended it to be.

Parents and grandparents, consecrate and dedicate your home and your family to God.

Declare today that, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Jesus, as for me and my house, we will serve,honor, and obey You.

We respect Your authority and humble ourselves before You in all things. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

We Are Required to Bear Fruit.


I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. —John 15:1-2

It is necessary to remember that as God‘s field, the true vine, we have the responsibility to be obedient.

For if there is no obedience, there will be no fruit to grow on that field.

We are told in John 15:8 what the gardener wants: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.” What is required is abiding or remaining in Christ.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.

Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. —John 15:4

We cannot do things our way and still abide or remain in Him.

Abiding in Him means obedience.

So you can see why the mystery of God’s sovereignty is not limited to His saving work.

He alone makes things happen in the work of sanctification, but without my obedience there will be no sanctification.

It is, as I say, a mystery.

The second aspect of the believer’s responsibility is observation of what we are within ourselves.

The crops in a field are observable, are they not?.

What is required, therefore, is that I examine myself. Is there fruit?

If I examine myself, it means I must have objectivity about myself.

It is as though I stand back and look at myself; I observe myself.

And if I see something that is not right, I deal with it.

Paul calls this “judging” ourselves. He says, “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment” (1 Cor. 11:31).

If by the Word of God or by external chastening I judge myself, I will not have further chastening.

Yet Paul does say that when we are judged, it is chastening: “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world” (v. 32).

Even when God steps in like that, it proves the person is a Christian.

Excerpted from When God Says “Well Done!” (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).

By R. T. KENDALL.

{ Day 304 }.


But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

People with prominent spiritual giftings, as well as those with callings to leadership, must constantly guard against high-mindedness.

High-mindedness is simply considering that you, your position, or your purpose is so important that you are judged more leniently.

High-minded people are those who consider that, because they are doing such an important work for God and because His power is manifest through them, they are not accountable for things like integrity, honesty, and kindness—especially in the small and unseen matters of life.

It is this temptation to self-deception that plagues many people in positions of power and influence.

It is a great deception because, in actuality, the opposite is true.

Every person through whom spiritual gifts operate, as well as every person in a position of privilege or leadership, needs to be acutely aware that a day of reckoning is coming.

We will all stand before God one day for a final evaluation of our lives and ministries (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Holy Spirit, convict me of any high-mindedness that is present in my life.

Fill my life and my mouth with integrity, honesty, and kindness.

Help me never to forget that I shall give an account to You for every word I speak or think.

We will all stand before God one day for a final evaluation of our lives and ministries.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Why We Must Talk about Faith at Home.


One of our most exciting research projects at the Fuller Youth Institute is our College Transition Project, a culmination of 5 years of study of 500 youth group kids as they transition to college.

The goals of this research are to study youth group graduates as they leave youth ministry and to offer help to parents, leaders and churches in building a faith that lasts, or “Sticky Faith”.

In the midst of a host of factors that help develop Sticky Faith, some of our most intriguing findings point to the role of parents and family conversations about faith.

Reason #1:  Parents are usually the most important spiritual influence in their kids’ lives. 

While we believe in the power of adult mentoring (we are both youth ministry volunteers at our respective churches), it’s challenging to point to a Sticky Faith factor that is more significant than students’ parents.

Following his nationwide telephone survey of 3,290 teens and their parents, as well as 250 in-depth interviews, sociologist Dr. Christian Smith concluded, “Most teenagers and their parents may not realize it, but a lot of research in the sociology of religion suggests that the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.”[1]

As Smith more simply summarized at a panel at Fuller Seminary, “When it comes to kids’ faith, parents get what they are.”[2]

Of course there are exceptions.  Your own faith might be vastly different than your parents’.

Plus we’ve met plenty of parents whose kids end up all over the faith spectrum.

But parents are more than an initial launch pad for their kids’ journeys; they continue to shape them as ongoing companions and guides.

Reason #2:  Most parents miss out on opportunities to talk about faith with their kids. 

At Fuller Seminary, we have great respect and affection for the Search Institute, a research center devoted to helping make communities a better place for kids.

According to Search’s nationwide study,12% of youth have a regular dialog with their mom on faith/life issues.

[3]  In other words, one out of eight kids talks with their mom about their faith.

It’s far lower for dads.  One out of twenty, or 5%, of kids have regular faith/life conversations with their dad.

One more interesting statistic:  Approximately 9% of teenagers engage in regular Bible reading and devotions with their families.

So not even one out of ten teenagers looks at Scripture with their parents.

When it comes to matters of faith, mum’s usually the word at home.

Reason #3:  The best discussions about faith happen not just when parents ask questions but when parents share their own experiences too. 

That relatively small group of parents who do talk with their kids about faith tend to default to asking their kids questions.

  • What did you talk about in church today?
  • How was youth group?
  • What did you think of the sermon?
  • Depending on the personality and mood of the kid, responses usually range from grunts to “the usual”.  Not very satisfying for the parent or the kid.

Our research shows that asking these questions can pay off.

But as vital to Sticky Faith is that parents also share about their own faith.

In other words, parents shouldn’t merely interview their kids; they need to discuss their own faith journey and all of its ups and downs too.

How Can I Help Parents Talk About Faith in the Midst of Normal Life?

While the average age of youth leaders is on the rise, many of you are likely not yet parents.

Or if you are parents, your kids are not yet teenagers, which is true of both of us.

Like you, one of the great benefits of our experience in youth ministry is the hundreds of families we have closely observed.

Regardless of your age or life stage, one of the best ways to cast a vision in your ministry for family faith discussions is to share stories of other innovative parents—either stories of parents in your ministry or stories of parents like those below.

During the course of our research, our FYI team has been continually impressed with parents’ creativity in planting that same DNA in their own families.

In most cases, parents are simply weaving faith conversations through the everyday events of life (i.e., you’re going to have breakfast anyway, right?).

Breakfast Dates

One member of our team, Dr. Cheryl Crawford, talked with one dad of four daughters who took each of them out for a one-on-one breakfast date every week.

Yes, that’s four breakfast dates every week.  And he did that with them throughout middle school and high school.

Dinner Questions

On nights our (Kara’s) family has dinner together, we have a tradition of sharing our “highs” and “lows” of the day.

Because of what we’ve learned about Sticky Faith, we’ve added a third question:  how did you see God at work today?

The first time we added that question to our conversation, our seven year-old said quickly, “But I can’t answer that question.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because I don’t have a job.”

Once we explained that we meant, “How did you see God working today?” she realized she could be part of the discussion.

Often our kids don’t have an answer to that question, and that’s OK.

In fact, more important than the kids answering that question is that they hear Dave and me answer that question every day.

By Dr. Kara E. Powell.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People.


One of life’s most perplexing mysteries is why bad things happen to good people.
We have all heard the stories of how the most dedicated teenager in the church was abruptly killed in an automobile accident, or how the beautiful young mother with three children is stricken with cancer and suddenly passes, leaving her infants to be raised by loving family members.
Why the righteous suffer has always been an enigma.

There is no one set reason or explanation as to why bad things happen.

However, after years of ministry, I have some observations as to what may, at times, help prevent bad things from occurring:

  1. Avoid making wrong choices. A shortcut through a dangerous part of the city is not a wise choice. Leaving your wallet or purse on the seat of your car while you stop at a convenience store for a restroom break is foolish. Mowing the grass on a riding mower on a steep hill can get you killed. The barrel of a gun is not a small telescope to look through. When people make unwise choices, they can open the door to difficulty or tragedy.
  2. Don’t override better judgment. Years ago, a noted pastor was ministering in Kentucky and wanted to return to his church in Ohio for the next morning. The weather was bad so he was advised against it, but his personal desire overruled his better judgment. The plane crashed into the trees. When numerous individuals advise us not to do something, it is wise to pay attention since “in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 24:6).
  3. Do your job properly. Years ago, my wife and I were having Sunday dinner with one of our spiritual sons. He had mentioned a few days prior that his brakes were going bad and he had to get them fixed. He either forgot or didn’t take the time to fix the problem. Bad brakes are like a loose electrical wire in a house—something bad could happen if they are not repaired. He had an accident, which took his life.
  4. Don’t be in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time. Whomever you rub shoulders with will rub off on you. Many teens find themselves in dangerous, life-threatening situations—especially with drugs and alcohol—because of their friends, like magnets pulling them into sin.

All of the above examples were the results of people not paying attention, not listening or not following wisdom, but there are many times in life that circumstances occur over which we have no control.

Some examples are the effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, armed robbery, crime and accidents caused by drunk drivers.

In these and countless other examples, believers feel helpless to defend themselves or their families.

For this reason we need to know and understand God’s ability, willingness and promises to protect His people.

The Scriptures show that He has made covenant agreements with His people that continue to impact us today (see Gen. 9:13-15; Gen. 13:15).

For many years I have taught on the covenants of the Bible, emphasizing the new covenant that was ratified by the blood of Christ.

After further research I observed that there was one covenant made between a father-in-law and his son-in-law that I knew existed in the Old Testament, but I had never identified it as a pattern for a practical covenant for believers until doing detailed research.

It is called the Mizpah covenant. This covenant has supernatural power to establish the gate of heaven in your family’s life—just as it did in Jacob’s, which will enable God’s angels to ascend and descend from heaven as they provide protection to your family.

God’s angels are on assignment from God Himself. As you walk humbly and obediently before your God, His angels will protect and defend you and your family members.

Christ Himself stands before our heavenly Father to intercede on your behalf, as the Holy Spirit comes alongside to comfort you and to pray through you, even though you are uncertain of what to pray.

Fasting forms a supernatural hedge of protection around you and your family, and your prayers activate the angels as guardians of your home. The power of your intercession overcomes the barriers of distance, and the angels hear your call and rush to your assistance.

Remember that God Himself has given you access to His angels through your diligent fasting and praying,

Bad things do happen to good people, but you can establish this remarkable covenant in your life today, and begin to experience the blessings of a covenant relationship with God. You and your loved ones are in good hands!

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 10-31-2011

As October draws to a close this week, and the world celebrates Halloween thank God that our times are in His hands, and His kingdom will be established on earth no matter how it looks.

Praise God that on this same day, in His timing and in the midst of great darkness He raised up Martin Luther and others to mark the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and change the course of history.

Thank Him for calling on modern day intercessors to pray His will and bring reformation where needed. Continue to pray for Israel, revival in our churches, the global spread of the gospel, and the return of our nation to godly principles and righteousness.

Thank Him that no matter what you are facing you are victorious in Him and you can count on Him to cover you and your family with His angelic protection in these perilous times. Ps. 91; Gen. 31:49.

Adapted from Angels on Assignment by Perry Stone, copyright 2009, published by Charisma House. In spite of the dangers all around us the scriptures promise that God can and will protect us. One of the promises is the Mizpah covenant, which forges a protective barrier around you and your loves ones especially when you are apart. To learn more order a copy by clicking on this link:

By Perry Stone.

A Test Only You Can Handle.


God has plans for us and sometimes those plans take us through places to test us, try us, fortify us, and prepare us to stand for God and witness for His glory and His glory alone.

It doesn’t matter where you might find yourself right now – about to give up, give in, give out – you are in a test that is designed just for you and you must look within to pass the test.

Job was a man who was blameless and of complete integrity. J

ob feared God and stayed away from evil.

He had seven sons and three daughters.

He owned many animals, employed many servants and the Bible says he was, in fact, the richest person in the entire area.

One day, Job’s test came.

Better still, his series of tests began—one thing after another… no light at the end of the tunnel.

Have you ever felt like that?.

I’m talking about, day in and day out of no breaks, no easing up, and no rest for the weary. Well, there is a light, but it’s attached to the front of a train.

We need to understand that God desires to move us through these times not just so we can say look at what I’ve come through, look at me I’m tough, I can handle it, I can take it.

God brings us through so that He alone can get the glory.

The Bible says in Job that one day, the angels and Satan came to present themselves to the Lord.

Satan told the Lord, “I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

In Job 1: 8, God asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job?”

This struck me because the devil always notices somebody living for the Lord.

But here’s the good news: while the devil is watching God’s people, God is watching the devil.

God said, “Have you noticed my servant Job?.

He is the finest man in all the earth – a man of complete integrity.

He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil.”

As Job continued through his tests, he had to contend with his friends, his wife, and his own emotions.

But through it all, he never let go of God.

Job talked to God.

Job talked to his friends.

Job talked to himself.

But he allowed himself to continue to believe in, trust in, and live in God.

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life with even more than in the beginning.

It’s easy to praise and worship God when every question is answered and everything is going your way.

It’s easy to praise and worship God when you’re in good health, you have a job, and there’s money in the bank.

But when we find ourselves in the valley of the shadow of death, when we find ourselves wandering in the wilderness with no water, we must not lose our faith in God.

Just know that it’s a test that only you can handle.

It’s through the test that your latter will be greater than your former.

It’s through the test that we receive a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

It was in the test that Jesus made it possible for you and for me to have life and have it more abundantly.

Scripture Of The Day: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

By Dr. Marvin Moss.

No, Never Alone.


And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

John 16:32

Recommended Reading
Isaiah 43:1-5

Jesus twice told His listeners that despite the solitary nature of His work, He was not alone.

In John 8:16, He said, “I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.”

And in John 16:32, He said similarly, “You will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.

And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

Sometimes our work for Jesus yields a loneliness that can tempt us to self-pity.

Yield not. Even if you’re the only Christian in your school, office, or apartment complex, you’re not alone.

Jesus has promised to be with you to the end of the age and to never leave nor forsake you.

Perhaps you’re serving the Lord far from home, but by opening the Bible you have Moses, Job, David, Isaiah, Peter, and Paul as your companions.

You have the Holy Spirit whispering to your heart.

You have Jesus standing beside you and the Father listening to every prayer.

You are not alone today.

The One who sent you is with you.

When darkening shadow ‘round me falls and light and hope seem gone, there is one thought my heart upholds. It is, I’m not alone.

Mary B. Peck, hymnist

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Acts 14:1-16:15

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