Prayer Temple

2 Chronicles 7: 15

My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.

After Solomon built and sanctified the temple, God made him the above promise. God’s omnipresence and attention would always be in the temple. At the time, that promise would have meant a great deal to the people of Israel. However, we don’t live in Israel. What has it to do with any of us?

The answer for that question is in John 14, verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” The apostle Paul made it clear, “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16 GW). These verses bring 2 Chronicles into sharp focus for our lives today. God’s eyes and ear are always attentive to the prayers offered in His temple and you are His temple.

Do you ever feel like you are praying into a void? Me too! Sometimes it seems like our prayers are cast into a vast silence of brooding space. However, now we know that is not true so how we feel can be overwritten with truth. Last week’s Word of the Day told us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The point I tried to get across was that we should not let our feelings be the final authority. The same applies here. Though it does not always feel like God is listening, the truth is that He has no choice. He tied Himself to His temple thousands of years ago. Besides that, He loves you and is always attentive to your voice because He loves to hear from you. Still, I like having scripture to stand upon when I am not feeling my strongest. Scripture is solid and reliable.

So, what would you like to pray for today? Father is waiting and listening. Let Him know the desires of your heart.

Unusual Kindness

Luke 6: 35

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great; and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

Jesus says a lot in this short passage. It is a summation of the previous several paragraphs. He is giving us a model for living. This is the way He and His Father interact with others. Jesus tells us that God is kind to ungrateful and evil men as a way of showing us that we, being made in the image of God, should behave in like manner.

Anyone can be kind to those who are kind to them, but the life of Jesus calls us to a higher plane of existence. Jesus wants us to be like Him. To do so, we must expect more of ourselves than the simple life that anyone can accomplish. We should aspire to the high life, and that is the life and likeness of Jesus.

We need to love even when it is uncomfortable. We must learn to not only forgive those who transgress against us but also to pray for them; and moreover to pray from a generous and kind heart. We should learn to give generously, especially when there is no hope of a return. It is not a gift if you are expecting something in return. It is an investment. God, on the other hand, gives even to those who hate Him. He would have given His son even if there was only one person on earth and that person hated Him with the full strength of his being. Our God is a loving God, and we are seeking to be just like Him. Therefore, we must give from our heart love, goodness and every good thing, expecting nothing in return but just to please the Father.

Hindered but not Stopped

Daniel 10: 12

“Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.”

It can be very discouraging to pray for something and see no results. Daniel had the same experience. Verse 13 says that the “spirit prince” of the kingdom of Persia withstood the angel God sent for twenty-one days. Isn’t that amazing? From the very first prayer Daniel uttered, God dispatched His angel with the answers Daniel needed. Twenty days passed without Daniel seeing an answer to his prayer. However, on the twenty-first day, the angel arrived and greeted Daniel.

Don’t you find this passage fascinating? It is a glimpse into the spiritual realm. We learn that the bad angel of that region was able to hinder God’s angel. There are angels and then there are angels, and they are not all of the same strength and power. The angel who spoke with Daniel told him that the arch-angel Michael went to his aid. He was withheld until Michael showed up and helped him. Wow!

There is much going on in the spiritual realm of which we are mostly unaware but take heart. There is much good news in this passage. First, from the moment Daniel first prayed, God sent His angel with the answer. Yahoo! That is what we all need to hear. Second, even though Satan tried to prevent the angel from getting through to Daniel, God prevailed; as He always does and as He always will. Yahoo again!

There is a very important lesson in this too. Don’t give up! Jesse Duplantis says, “Don’t be defeated by time.” In other words, just because you have not seen the answer to your prayer yet does not mean that God has not answered it. Hang in there! Remember God’s answer is “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1: 20). There are, though, hinderances to prayer. You do not need to concern yourself with what they are actually. All you need to do is keep your confession of faith in your mouth. Remember, overcoming is achieved through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12: 11). So, we must keep our words in agreement with the Word of God and keep praying in faith. That means that we don’t need to beg to God, repeating the same petition over and over. No, instead we use that prayer time to talk with the Lord, to give voice to the Bible scriptures that speak to our need and to wrap it all up with thanksgiving and praise.

Persevere in prayer because the Lord is in agreement with you. Sometimes, it takes time. Keep making your positive confessions of faith. You may have to break through a battle that is going on in the spiritual realm and you can do that with the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

Faith Calls

Luke 18: 40

Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him.

A funny thing happened on the way from the showers . . .. I was at a bicycle weekend recently. My friends and I were walking back to our campsite after leaving the shower truck and walking by some lovely old homes in Edenton, NC. As we walked past one particular house, there were people sitting on the porch and somehow we began speaking with them. I noticed a crutch leaning against the house and asked to whom it belonged. A woman there said it was hers and without a moment’s hesitation I asked if I could pray for her. I didn’t know her from Adam and didn’t know what her ailment was. I just felt compelled to pray for her, so I did.

As I mounted the porch, she arose telling me she had scoliosis. Well, given one more minute I would have surmised as much for she was bent over. I prayed for her and as I prayed, I felt the Spirit moving. The woman began to pray along with me. I know something happened that day though when I left, she was not standing upright like when Jesus prayed for the woman in Luke 13: 13.

Days later I was thinking about this incident, and something struck me. The two ladies I was walking with each had a need. One has MS and the other has Celiac Disease. I did not have a compulsion to pray for them even though I camped with them all weekend, but I was compelled to pray for a woman I literally was walking by and didn’t know at all. Isn’t that interesting? What was the difference?

Faith calls. Faith pulls. Faith demands. It turns out that the woman with scoliosis, Connie, is a person of faith. In fact, she is the worship leader at her church. The spirit in her sensed the spirit in me and pulled on that anointing whereas the two women with me have no faith for healing.

This was astounding to me. As I pondered this event, I recalled James 5: 14 – 15. It reads, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” The person who is sick is to call for the elders and the prayer offered in faith shall restore the one who is sick. My friends had no faith, but Connie did. Her faith reached right out to me and stopped me in my tracks the way Jesus was often arrested by faith. Isn’t that amazing?

I think too about the woman with the hemorrhage. She, literally, went and pulled on Jesus. There is a lesson here. Your faith heals. Jesus felt power go out of him. He told the woman, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well,” (Matthew 9: 22). That statement causes me to pause. We know God is the healer, but our faith must connect with that healing power and that is when the miracle happens. Even though Jesus didn’t know the woman was there, her faith reached out and took a miracle. Bless God!

Did you know that Jesus couldn’t always work miracles? Mark 6: 5 reads, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” (NLV). As crazy as this first sounds, it does make sense when you recall Revelation 12: 11, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.” We would think that the blood of the Lamb is sufficient to overcome all obstacles, but we would be wrong and unbiblical. This scripture is very clear in teaching that overcoming is the product of the blood and the “word of their testimony” or, in other words, the words of our mouth. This reality makes us uncomfortable for two reasons. First, it places responsibility on our shoulders when we just want Jesus to make everything alright for us. Second, it defies our theology. We have been taught God is omnipotent and we took that to mean that He acts independently of us. That just isn’t Biblically sound. There is nothing in the Bible that says that. In fact, it says just the opposite. Psalm 115: 16 says, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” God gave us freewill, and He gave us authority and He will not usurp either.

Well, this devotional might speak to a number of different things for you today. One take away for me is that you never know when God is going to move or when and how He is going to teach you something. I would have never guessed that the blessing of the Lord would manifest while I was walking from a shower truck to my tent with a towel slung over my shoulder, but there He was. Ready to bless someone. Oh, but this touches my spirit. Paul told Timothy to be ready in season and out (2 Timothy 4: 2) and brother, I am glad I was ready. We were also taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5: 17). That means even when you are not at church and not dressed up.  Be ready to pray at all times.

You can see the implications for an entire message in each of those scriptures as it relates to this experience. So, be ready at any time to minister but also, stir up your faith for whatever you need. Pull on the anointing in your spiritual leaders. If you aren’t calling me or writing me, you are missing an opportunity for God to minister to your need. Be filled and overflowing in Jesus’ name.

Let Him Call

James 5: 14 – 15

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

Earlier in this series I wrote to you on Matthew 18:19. Here is the text of that verse, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” The point of the message, and indeed of the verse, is that there is power in praying together. James addresses this point specifically related to healing. We all want to know what to do when we get sick and here is Jesus’ brother telling us exactly what to do.

Let me ask you a challenging question. Have you asked an elder of the church or pastor to pray for you for healing? If not, was it because you didn’t know this instruction or was there another reason? Truthfully, we have not been trained in the way we should go, so when things come up, we do not default towards these kinds of instructions. It is a shame that we have not been taught. After today, though, none of us will have that excuse. So, what is the next excuse?

Would you be embarrassed to ask me to pray for you? This isn’t just prayer list praying, is it? This is in person, anointing with oil. What? Does this sound weird to you? I imagine to some it does sound odd and how tragic is that? Jesus’ own brother gave us explicit instructions and yet it sounds strange to us. Some of us have been in the church for many years. This should be old hat by now, but here we are, feeling awkward. I hope, though, by talking about prayer for healing it becomes more natural to us.

There is one other part that we must tackle. You know if you get sick you are going to be hesitant to call me or another elder to go lay hands on you, anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith. Can we predict that? The first question is why? Why are we hesitant? The second question is, what do we call it when we have been given direction by God and choose not to do it? I think you see the problem. How are we availing ourselves of God’s grace for healing while we are in disobedience? This is a very hard lesson, I know, but believe me, things have been changing in my household as well. Once we see what God has said to us, then it is incumbent upon us to obey. Embarrassment is not an excuse for disobedience.

God loves you. He is trying to get blessing and healing to you. He isn’t trying to embarrass you. We embarrass ourselves, but don’t let that be an impediment. Do as the Lord says, receive prayer and be healed, in Jesus’ name.


Mark 16:17 – 18

And these signs will accompany those who have believed; in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Here is a passage written in red that we are challenged by! I would like to preach on the whole bit for a week, but I cannot. I hope you, though, will ponder all the things Jesus said. Each of these should accompany those of us who believe. Thus, the question becomes, “Do we believe?” Today I am just trying to get us to believe the last one, “they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Have you already conceptualized this statement even as you read it? What does it mean to you? Surely, this puts us in a different position than previous verses. No longer are we necessarily the sick person, though that could still be where we see ourselves in this scenario. However, we could also be, and the passage suggests this, the person who lays hands on the sick.

We have already seen that there is power in agreement. Jesus is taking us a step further today. He suggests that if we are the sick, we should call for a believer to pray for us with the inevitable outcome that we will recover. However, he really wasn’t speaking from that perspective. He was sharing what the life of a believer looks like. Wherever they go, the blessing follows them. Not only do they benefit from the blessing but also, others share in that benefit.

If you are sick, you should call for a believer. Then, that believer should lay hands on you and pray the prayer of faith. The prayer offered in faith shall quicken mortal flesh and the sick will recover. You recover from sickness.

Now, the other side of the coin. Are you a believer? Well, of course you are! Then, you may be the person called upon to pray for the sick, and what should you expect when you lay your hands on a person and pray for them? You expect them to recover, right? It is not by our power nor our might but by the loving grace of our Father and big brother. Jesus already healed every one of us. So, we are simply the marshals of his good will towards them. You are the point of agreement between the sick and the Lord. In that moment of contact, there are three of you in agreement and whatever you ask, the Lord shall do.

Okay, what if the sick person is a believer? It doesn’t actually change the equation. Call for another believer knowing the signs that are supposed to follow believers. Have that person pray for you. You can still use your faith too, but Jesus is giving us a model here. He was teaching that signs, wonders, and miracles should follow believers. Where we go, there goes the Spirit of God and where there is the Spirit, there is always healing power.

Can your heart embrace this today? I know some of you accept this truth readily and would be the first to pray. For others of you, this passage presents a challenge. You have been very private in your faith and perhaps have never prayed for another person. We have not done enough corporate prayer in church, so we have learned to be bashful. I can promise you this, no one ever described Jesus as bashful. Faith needs an outlet, and here is a bit of good news. It grows as you let it out.

Now, I understand that laying hands on others and praying for them may not come easily to you but if Jesus said it, we must move ourselves towards compliance. Do you agree? The easiest thing is when someone asks you to pray for them rather than you having to offer so do a believer a favor, ask them to pray for you. Require that they lay their hands on you. If you are the pray-er, you can just put your hand on someone’s forehead or on their hand. It doesn’t have to get weird. Just make a physical and spiritual connection and ask Jesus to make the person whole. We know his healing is running around in their veins. It just needs to be made manifest in their flesh. Jesus said the sick will recover so let it be so.

What do You Want?

Matthew 21: 21 – 22

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the seas,’ it shall happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

Jesus was keen on prayer. All things, when approached through prayer, are, he taught, possible. He didn’t need to speak to us directly on healing because he was interested in all things. The conclusion being “all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” So, here is the question, have we asked, while believing, for healing. Let’s do that today, shall we?

What physical ailment have you? I know we often have several but let us choose one to focus upon today. Imagine Jesus is holding a healing meeting. You see yourself walk up to him. He asks, “What do you wish healed?” You tell him. Then he asks, “Do you believe I can do this?” What do you respond?

Jesus deals with a world of unbelief. In fact, most of the people who read this verse read it in unbelief. Want me to prove it? When Jesus spoke of casting the mountain into the sea, was he speaking literally or metaphorically. Most people do not believe Jesus was speaking plainly. In fact, Jesus had a very difficult time being understood because when he was being quite literal, people took him as speaking figuratively. Let me give you the inside scoop on the meaning of today’s verse. Jesus spoke literally. He meant exactly what he said. You don’t have to look for the hidden meaning. He meant that if we understood and believed, we have power over the physics of this planet and could, literally, cause the mountain to be removed. However, because of doubt and unbelief, we have made his words capricious, though that is not how most of us would describe Jesus. So, it turns out that we only categorize him as fanciful when we encounter statements that our faith is too small to handle. This, then, is the task, to believe Jesus. How can he teach us if we will not take him at his word? Do we believe him or do we not? If we will answer this very basic question, we can move forward.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day, Jesus taught that God would do what we ask when two or more of us agree about anything. Today we learn that anything we ask will be done for us if we ask without doubting. This is where the work comes in. Twice Jesus has said that Father will do all things for us, but the condition of faith is sometimes a tough hurdle to get over. We have a difficult time believing Jesus’ words. How, then, are we going to believe he will actually do what these scriptures promise? Harder still is that we must move out of our thinking centers, our minds, and into our believing centers. You would either call that your heart or your spirit. You see, we sometimes “believe” with our minds though doubt remains in our hearts. How can that be? Well, your mind is not your believer. What we really should say is, “I think that is true,” because we are actually thinking in agreement, but have not graduated to believing in agreement with Jesus. How do you get your spirit to come into alignment with Jesus’ words?

It comes down to these tools again: mediation, prayer, visualization, rehearsal. This is where it is beneficial to write down a key verse and talk with Jesus about it continually. Visualization is very helpful. See Jesus sitting in a chair at your house and ask him to teach you how to have the kind of faith you need. See him sitting there teaching you and even praying for you. Watch as he lays his hand on you and prays for your healing. Do this until the switch goes on inside you. All of a sudden you have an “aha” moment.

These things should be the most natural things in the world, but because the world is broken, it has come down to work for us to believe and see as we should. You, however, are built as a faith machine. You are God’s own handiwork. Listen to me in this! He has prewired you with the network to believe all things. You even have the capacity to look with your God given visionary ability and see that mountain get up and jump itself into the sea. Do not be discouraged. Jesus sends you this good word today so that you will be encouraged. All things for which you ask and believe, you shall have. It has been proven time and time again. You are the blessed, living in the blessing. This is your birthright and God’s will. Fire up that believer and ask what you will because the Father is willing and waiting to get into agreement with you. What do you want?