The Reason

Are your prayers being answered on a regular basis? If they are not you might want to examine the reason that you are asking what you are asking. It is critically important that if we want prayers to be answered that we ask for what God promises to give us.

In James we read that people are not getting their prayers answered because they were asking to consume it on their own lusts (James 4:3). How often do you pray for things that all about accumulating wealth in your life.  These things will bring you glory and most likely make you proud.  God knows if He answers these prayers, it will drive you away from Him. God knows effects of such a prayer would be devastating on your life  Often, He will not answer prayers like  this.

However, if He knows that you will take that wealth and give it away to people that need it, He may answer that prayer.  if He knows that You will use that wealth to bring Him glory, He just may answer that prayer.  If He knows that pride will not result, the answer may come.  It’s all about the motive with these kind of prayers.

Another reason prayers don’t get answered is because we don’t pray according to God’s will.  Now we all realize that God’s will is His word.  Therefor, we believe that for everyone that is sick, He wants to heal them because by His striped we are healed.  But if that is the case, why do people die?  Why do some prayers end in miraculous healing while others take years to finally see healing come?  Why do people even get sick or injured in the first place if we are praying for their safety?

The reason is that we don’t know exactly what God’s perfect will is in any situation.  When Jesus prayed for the ten lepers, 9 were cleansed, one that came back and gave thinks was made whole (Luke 17:11-19).  What’s the difference?  Well, leprosy can eat away skin, noses, ears, fingers and make your body look like a leper the rest of your life.  You are cleansed when the sores stop oozing and take on a wholesome appearance.  None of the skin is completely restored, not the prats that may have been eaten away.  I believe the one who came back and gave thanks was made completely whole, completely restored.

The best thing we can do for anyone is that God’s will should be done in their lives.  Pray that they will be given the strength in God is ready to heal them.  Pray that they will endure the trial and learn what God has for them.  Pray that they will accept God’s timing in their lives.  Don’t override God’s plan by praying for what you think is God’s will.

A third reason is that we try to tell God how He should answer our prayers.  That is a recipe for unanswered prayer.  God is sovereign and He will answer the prayer the way in which he knows it will be best for us.  The trouble is that we do now know what is best for us as well as God does.  He knows our future and He knows the plans He has for us.  if we will just learn to place our lives in God’s hands, accept the situations that come before us, and lay them at His feet, then we will have a lot more peace.  Stop prescribing your own answers, your own medicine.  Allow Him to lead.

There are other reasons, but these are the big three in my opinion.  Personally, I would like every prayer to be answered.  I have worked hard to bring my prayer life in line with His word and I have seen more and more prayers answered.   Have you examined your prayer life lately?

 

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Laying on our Hands to Pray

Note: This is something I am adding to my book. It will be in the chapter that talks about How to Pray. Fortunately God brought this to my attention before the book was published. He’s so good to us!

One of the ways we can further strengthen our prayer lives is by utilizing the practice of laying on of hands. This practice actually goes back to the Old Testament and is used in two different ways. The first is as a sign of association for the sacrifice that was being offered. The Levites put their hands on the sacrifice and blessed it for the use that it was intended for. This could be for the trespass offering  the sin offering, the burnt offering or the meat offering. In all these cases the Levites, who were the spiritual leaders, placed their hands on the sacrifice and blessed it.  This can be found in Leviticus 1:4, 3:2, 4:15 and 16:21 and several other verses.

The second way that the laying on of hands was used in the Old Testament was to anoint an individual for service. This is especially true of the Priests and Levites, but also for Kings and leaders with authority.

Numbers 8:10-15

10 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the Lord: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:

11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the Lord.

12 And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and thou shalt offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, unto the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levites.

13 And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord.

14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.

15 And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering.

 

These  verses in Numbers show us both of the ways laying on of hands was part of the ceremony in the Old Testament.  First, the people laid their hands on the Levites to consecrate them for the Lord’s service.  Then the Levites put their hands on the sacrifice, consecrating it and identifying themselves as the priests of Israel.  They were then appointed to do the work of sacrificing the animals brought by the Israelites.

Deuteronomy 34:9 King James Version (KJV)

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.

This is a scripture which shows the transference of the spirit of wisdom from Joshua to Moses.  Since Moses was not going into the promised land with the people he had been leading for 40 years, he needed a replacement filled with the same wisdom God had endowed Moses with.  Joshua was chosen the next leader.  He was one of only 3 men to survive those 40 years (Caleb  and Moses being the other two).  This laying on of hands was done in front of the whole nation to let them know God had appointed Joshua their new leader.

In the New Testament, there are different uses for the laying on of hands as well.  This practice was used by Jesus and His disciples as well as Paul.  If they all thought it was important, we should take heed to its usage and practice our prayer in the same way.

Mark 10:16

16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

The children had come to Jesus because they loved Him and wanted to be near Him.  As they came near, Jesus stretched out His hand, placed it on each one’s head, and gave them a blessing.  We see this same thing in the Old testament when Jacob blessed his sons.  The laying on of hands is a way to show your favor on someone and bless them.  If given by someone in authority, it can signify separating them for service, much as the story above with Joshua.  This  can be a very powerful and meaningful time when entered into with the proper spiritual attitude of worship.

Luke 4:40

40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

This verse tells us that everyone who was sick and diseased was brought to Jesus.  When He laid His hands on them all of them were healed. I can’t imagine how many people were there but there must have been a lot. His touch is a powerful thing. We still crave His touch today.  We seek to be touched by the Holy Spirit when we worship and when we pray. I personally have felt His touch quite often.  It’s hard to described to someone who has never experienced it.  It feels as if He is in the room with us.  Powerful times in the Lord arrive when He is present.

 

Mark 16:17-18

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Jesus, in some of His last words before leaving the disciples, told them that the laying on of hands to heal the sick would follow those who believe in Him.  Thus we see in Acts several cases where the disciples and Paul laid their hands on people to bring healing to them.  Here are a couple of verses.

 Acts 8:17

17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Here we see the gift of the Holy Ghost is given by the laying on of hands. Again this is a transference from one person to another just like it was in the Old Testament. There’s a lot of power that comes with the laying on of hands.

 

Acts 28:8

And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

Paul laid his hands on the father of Publius and he was he healed. Once again, we see this method used to bring healing.

1 Timothy 4:14

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

2 Timothy 1:6 King James Version (KJV)

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

In both first and second Timothy it is mentioned that Timothy received his gifts from the laying on of hands.  This is the transference of power we have talked about before.

When we ask people to lay their hands on us to pray there are two things that take place. First of all it’s a way for them to associate with what we’re going through. In a way it puts them in our place and they can pray effectively for us because they are right where we are. It also gives us encouragement that somebody is praying for us. The second thing is it signifies a transference of power from them to us. It allows the Holy Spirit to work through them in our lives. It may be a prayer for healing, or finances or for a spiritual need in my life. Whatever the prayer it is strengthened by the laying on of hands.

 

I would urge all of us to make sure that we are making contact with those people that we’re praying for. It does not have to be a contact that’s out of place. Merely laying a hand on their shoulder or taking their hand in ours is enough to give them the reassurance that we care and that we’re there for them. That point of contact is more powerful than we can possibly imagine. So let’s not neglect this practice

 

 

 

The Right Dog

My best friend lost his cherished Rottweiler Bear in December of 2017. He was devastated and we all encouraged him to get a new dog soon. Keep in mind this man is a two time combat vet who was devoted to this dog, and the dog was devoted to him. They were inseparable. He was in a part a therapy dog for him. So losing this dog was heart wrenching and almost took his own life. Also keep in mind that he is a mighty prayer warrior, and has carried me through my cancer battle throughout 2016 and 2017. He knows the power of prayer. We agreed that another dog would be supplied, and prayed in Jesus name that God would  bring the right dog for him.

He was so distraught that he did not even want to try and look up Rottweiler breeders own his own.  He asked me to do that, so I proceeded to weed through the hundreds that came up in a search.   I gave him 4 websites to go to and they happened to be some of the best Rottweiler breeders in the country. At the time, we rejoiced because God had led me to the exact place for him to find a new dog   He said it seemed perfect, but he had a check in his spirit about it, so he waited. And he waited. And he waited, still praying for the dog to come.

Almost 6 months to the day of Bear’s demise,  he called me and said he saw an add in his local paper for pure-bread Rottweilers.  . He called the man and it turned out to be the very man who had sold him Bear almost 14 years earlier. As they talked, my friend discovered that the one male he had was Bears grandson! Of course he purchased that dog! We together marveled at God’s extreme mercy, and I told him I was so proud of him for waiting and listening to God. Even in his deep grief, he heard the voice of God. The prayer of 6 months earlier came through because he was willing to wait and listen. That to me is faith in action!

never get discouraged when your prayer is not answered immediately.  God has a plan in mind,m and it will always be for your best.  There are many times we will have to wait on an answer.  Waiting is the “Knock” in the A.S,K, Principle.  Jesus said knock, and it shall be open.  We need to knock until it is open.   I am always willing to wait, because I trust Him.

How about you?

The Topic of Prayer

Prayers is a fascinating topic.  I am convinced that everyone prays, even the atheist.   I believe there is something inside each of us that wants to communicate with a higher authority..  Even when times are good, we desire to have reassurances that our lives are headed in the right direction and that we are making good decisions.  These reassurances often come from family members and friends but looking above and wondering is a recurring event.  Our thoughts and hopes go out of us to try and find someone who will care and lend a helping hand.  And all of us believe they get to someone who fits that description.

For those of us who call themselves Christian, it is God who we pray to. He has every answer to every question because He knows all things. (Psalm 139:1-6).  He can be anywhere we need Him to be because he can be everywhere at once (Psalm 139:7-12).  Her has all the power of the universe at His disposal so can certainly take care of my meager needs.  There is nothing too hard for Him to do (Jer 23:27, Luke 18:27).

If I truly believe these three things, why do I fret and worry so much?  Why do I doubt that God is at work in my life, even during the most difficult times?  Why do I doubt He will answer my prayers?  These questions at times haunt all believers, from the strongest of faiths to the weakest.  That is a result of our human condition and the lies of our enemy.  He has been questioning God from the very beginning, and will never stop.

The book I will be publishing, “The A.S.K. Principle,” brings you insight into how to pray more effectively according to God’s word.  Over 200 scriptures from 45 books of the bible will walk you through what God says about prayer.

God loves to hear your prayers.  He loves to hear you cry out to Him for help.  He loves it when you rely on Him to guide you through difficult times (Psalm 34:15-19).  Never be afraid to bring Him your problems.  Never shy away from opening your heart to Him and telling Him what is going on in your life. He already knows, but He wants to hear you tell Him.

It is the way prayer works.  Let Him hear your voice today

Be blessed

A New Beginning

The last time I posted here I said the blog was ending.  Little did I know that God would have me writing a book.  This blog, which used to be Travelling with Paul, will now be devoted to my upcoming book – “The A.S.K Principle.”

In the coming weeks and months, This blog will be sued to talk about the progress on the book, the content of the book and various posts associated with the book The A.S.K. Principle.  I am not sure how often I will post, but I will try for at least once a week, although I expect it will be more often than that.  With two other active blogs that will be a challenge!

As a brief introduction, The A.S.K. Principle is a named that came to me almost 30 years ago when I did an extensive study on prayer.  At the time, it seemed a book should be put together, but I never got that accomplished.  When I came across my original notes a few months ago, The Lord led me to blog the ideas on  my “God’s Maintenance Man” blog.  This was January to February of this year.  About halfway through that series, the Lord led me to put it together as a book and find a publisher.  This has been done.

I am now in the editing phase of the book.  I have two wonderful editors combing through the book for anything they see that is out of place.  I also have several copies out for possible endorsements.  My goal is to have the book out by October.

I pray you will stay tuned in to this site as I start to weave back through the material in a different way.  Let your friends and followers know to come by and check out this new blog.  I am blessed to have all the followers God has led to my other two blogs, and hope many of them will find this one as well.

Thank you and be blessed!

Eph 6:19-24

Eph 6:19-24

19 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,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Paul loved to talk about Jesus.  Everywhere he went, he would find people to tell them about Jesus.  In the synagogue, in the open market place, or finding a place he could stand and preach.  It didn’t matter – Paul would preach and let people know the mystery of the gospel.  He was bold with the gospel at all times.

I want that kind of boldness.  My brother-in-law died a last week in a car accident.  He was bold for Jesus.  No matter where he was or who he was talking to, he would tell them about Jesus.  He would talk about the blessings of God.  He would ask them if they knew Christ.  There was no doubt he was a man of God, and that he loved the Lord, if you ever stopped  to talk to him.  You knew he loved the Lord.  Give me that kind of boldness – that I may always talk about Jesus!

21 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:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Another messenger from Paul, Tychicus, was sent to update the people on what was going on with Paul.  They knew he was in prison, but dd not know about his health, or his mood, or what was coming to him from the Romans.  They were concerned with how Paul was doing.  The people of Ephesus really cared about him, as he had planted the church there, and he was the one who led many of them to Christ.  Paul knew this, and wanted to make sure they knew he was doing fine.

People care about you, too.  I have been out of church now for almost a year due to the chemo and cancer I have been going through.  And my church has some mold in it, so I can’t go there for risk of getting sick.   People are asking all the time how I am doing, so my wife and the pastor keep the updated.  If you are a member of a local church, and you have not been lately, I would guess there are some who wonder if you’re okay.  They may not call, but they are thinking about it.  Make sure you attend regularly if you are able so people know you’re okay!

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Paul leaves with comforting words.  Peace, Grace, faith and love to all.  Paul was always concerned that  the people were well grounded in the things of God.  he desires peace in the church, that there will not be arguing, disputes or disagreements among thee brethren.  He wanted them to have love with faith – I like that combination!  Have love to one another, and have faith that love will return to you.  Never worry if someone may not show you the love you need – have faith it will come.  Love with faith!

Lastly, grace to all them that love Jesus.  Grace to all of you, my friends.  This brings an end to our study in Ephesians.  I have enjoyed going through this book,and I hope you have as well.  I am not sure what book  will do next – I am open for suggestions.  I am going to take a short break from this blog, and I will let you know through my other blogs when it will start up again

Thanks for reading!

Having Done All, Stand

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Take the whole armor of God.  It is important that we know each piece is securely in place in our lives if we are to take s stand for God.  If we try to stand without each piece in place, we could fall, because we will be left vulnerable.  Notice that Paul says having done all, to stand.  As we go through each piece, ask your self how securely they are in place in your life.  Have you put them all in place?  Have you done all you can?

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Stand with your loins gird with truth.  The loins are the area between your lowest rib and your hipbones, where a lot of vital organs are stored in the body, including the sexual organs.  When we speak of girding these with truth, we are of honestly assessing our diets and our sexual lives.  Are we walking in truth here so that you will not be swept away by the enemy when it comes to this vital part of your body?  Is truth covering these areas of your life?  Are you avoiding those things can cause harm to them?  For example, too much alcohol can destroy your liver.  Our sexual habits can cause us, and other people much harm.  They have in my life!  Truth must be maintained here – it is essential.

The breastplate, of course, covers the heart and lungs.  Our heart is so sensitive to the truth, and when trust is destroyed, t can take years to rebuild. When I destroyed the trust my wife had in me, it was a very long battle to get that trust back.  A wound in the heart is one of the most damaging, not only physically, but emotionally as well.  T=Righteousness must reign in our hearts at all times f we are going to stand against the enemy.  And our lungs bring in the breath of life.  We must bring in every breath with righteousness in mind, and do right to all with every breath we have.

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

At all times, we should be ready too share the gospel.  Wherever our feet may take us.  Be instant in season and out (2 Tim 4:2)  and be prepared give an answer for the hope that is within you (I Peter 3:15).  In he market place, on he street, in your workplace – no matter where you are – do you know your testimony well enough to give  it at an instant.  I am a big one on practicing what you will say if confronted with an opportunity.  I know God will give me the words, but here he tells us to be prepared.  I think it takes both to be ann effective witness.  Don’t get caught un[re[ared when the opportunity comes.

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

I used to fire darts at people all the time with my mouth.  I was good at it.  Sharp witted, II took every opportunity at put downs and funny, disparaging remarks.  I am so glad God took that out of my life when I got saved.  I think of that when I read this verse.  Our enemy just wants to hit us with a small dart so he can inflict a little pain, a little nudge in his direction.  But with faith on our side, we can deflect these darts.  They don’t have to affect us.  The shield of faith will take fiery darts and, as they stick into the shield, will put  out the fire so they cannot harm us.  This is a vital part of our defense, especially grouped with the other two items above.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The mind must be  protected at all times.  Our salvation is the key to this.  Remembering the price Christ paid on the cross for us is critical in keeping our mind focused on the battle.  It has already been won!  And if we feel like he enemy is getting the upper hand, the battle belongs to the Lord.  It is so essential that we never =forget the suffering servant, bruised, beaten and crucified for us.  he paid the price so that we could walk in victory.  Keep that always in your mind.

And the sword of the spirit, our only offensive weapon, the word of God.  How well do you know the word?  Do you read daily?  Do you study His word?D o you ask God to reveal truth to you when you read?  we need this offensive weapon, not only to defeat the enemies of our mind, but to keep ourselves walking with all the other elements of the armor.  The word must be instilled in us, and be constantly refreshed.  Be sure you are in he word regularly.

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Never, ever think you can stand against the enemy without prayer.  This is the last item listed, but I believe it is the most important.  Paul said having done all to stand – prayer is part of having done all!  {raring always – always.  Always keep the communication with God open.  Keep your requests for others (supplication) coming to God all the time.  It is so essential that we are in prayer.  And this is not the prayer to help ourselves, but to help others.  The other part of this is that we  pray n good times and bad.  A lot of us have a  tenancy  to  pray only when things are going wrong in our own lives.  Let’s change that habit by praying for those around us when things are going right in our lives.

So put it all on, and stand strong in  the face of anything  that may come against you.  Always remember that you are in a spiritual battle, not of this world, and that the enemy is already defeated.  Hallelujah!