Be Careful for Nothing
Vol: 127 Issue: 25 Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Has anybody else besides me noticed just how many posts there are in our forums praising God for answered prayer? I mean, REALLY noticed?
We have had members that have posted testimonies of healings, remissions of disease, a new job, family members being saved, relationships restored, and deliveries from addiction.
New prayer requests are being posted almost daily, and invariably are followed up with a testimony of how they have been answered. It fills me with awe to be a vicarious eyewitness to the power of God as He works among His people.
The prayer fellowship in our forums transcend national borders and span continents, so that when a member posts his request, the sweet savour of offered prayer rises to heaven from places all around the globe.
I love to watch as relationships develop within the forum; read the questions, the replies, and absorb the shared wisdom.
Teachers have emerged, some of them rising to a calling they didn’t know they heard, and discovering for the first time a spiritual gift from God they didn’t know they had.
The forum has become a place where apologists sharpen their arguments and prepare for battle. Our members sharpen the arguments in the forums — but take the ‘battle’ part to the enemy, something unique among Christian discussion forums.
But more than that, I love to witness Christians relying on prayer. It is through prayer that power of God is made manifest. God gives good things to His children whether they know enough to ask for them or not. But He takes special delight in granting specific requests.
Jesus promised, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13) Note the unconditional promise is followed by the reason for its extension. ‘That the Father may be glorified in the Son’.
God answers prayer because He loves us. But also to reveal Himself through His Son. We pray in the Name of Jesus, our prayers are answered, and both Father and Son are revealed as One.
Do you follow? We testify of our answered prayer, more Christians are emboldened to seek His Face, relationships are strengthened, stronger Christians emerge out the other end, renewed and encouraged by the power of God and ready to take the battle to the enemy.
Prayer baffles science, because more than 190 scientific studies have shown prayer works.
One such study was conducted at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. Doctors did not tell patients they were being prayed for — or even that they were part of any kind of experiment.
For an entire year, about 1,000 heart patients admitted to the institute’s critical care unit were secretly divided into two groups. Half were prayed for by a group of volunteers and the hospital’s chaplain; the other half were not.
All the patients were followed for a year, and then their health was scored according to pre-set rules by a third party who did not know which patients had been prayed for and which had not.
The results: The patients who were prayed for had 11 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening complications.
Dr. Elizabeth Targ, a psychiatrist at the Pacific College of Medicine in San Francisco, has also tested out prayer on critically ill AIDS patients.
All 20 patients in the study got pretty much the same medical treatment, but only half of them were prayed for by spiritual ‘healers’. Ultimately, 10 of the prayed-for patients lived, while four who had not been prayed for died.
In a larger follow-up study, Targ found that the people who received prayer and remote healing had six times fewer hospitilizations and those hospitalizations were significantly shorter than the people who received no prayer and distant healing.
“I was sort of shocked,” says Targ. “In a way it’s like witnessing a miracle. There was no way to understand this from my experience and from my basic understanding of science.”
The results of these studies, although statistically significant, are not universally accepted. After all, if 11 percent of the heart patients prayed for got better, argue the skeptics, it means that 89% of those prayed for did not. That argument is canceled by it’s rebuttal that, sometimes God says, “No!”.
What is more to the point is that the power of prayer is demonstrable enough to merit scientific study in the first place.
One cannot study a myth and chart its progress or lack thereof. At best, the resulting chart would reflect the law of probabilities. The prayer studies do not. Prayer is not myth.
The Scriptures tell us:
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1st Thessalonians 5:17:21)
It is God’s Will for us to ‘pray without ceasing’ — I pray all the time. Sometimes formally, oftentimes, a muttered prayer at a specific moment to the One Who is always ready to listen.
Paul’s admonition to ‘pray without ceasing’ is a reminder that none of us walk through this life alone. There are several reasons to pray without ceasing. The first is because there IS a devil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The next verse, to put it in context, reads “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.” (6:13)
Next follows a description of the different parts of the Christian’s armor, which we are to put on if we are to stand against the devil. Then Paul brings all to a climax in the 18th verse, telling us that to all else we must add prayer.
The Apostle James writes; “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.” (James 4:2) James tells us in 5:16 that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
“Why is it,” ask many Christians, “that I am making so little progress in my Christian life?” God answers, “You have not, because you ask not.”
Your Omega Letter is an example of answered prayer. Those of you who have been with us from the start will recall the Omega Letter came to being as a result of answered prayer. It operates month-to-month on answered prayer. Our operating budget each month is an example of a new answered prayer.
We pray that God meets our needs, and, through His people, He always does. Sometimes, it is just in the nick of time, so we don’t forget on Whom we depend. Prayer is a powerful tool, and our God is an awesome God.
For every supporting member, there are at least ten of you who receive this free as part of somebody’s mailing list. We reach ten times as many as reflected on our own mailing list, and God provides the ten percent that support our work by faith – ours, and theirs.
He also has a terrific sense of humor. I remember, as a much younger man, when I first dedicated my life to the Lord’s service. I chose two verses from Proverbs as my guiding ministry principles.
“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)
I prayed for the Lord to honor them, and He has. (Sigh)
(In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t ask for ‘patience’ or ‘humility’. Be careful what you pray for. LOL)
Pray for us as we pray for you. Pray for the success of our shared mission as watchmen on the wall.
I encourage you to continue to post prayer requests in the forums, and to share your testimonies of answered prayer with us.
It is a source of great encouragement to me personally, a reminder to us all, and testimony to the world of the awesome Power of the God we serve.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phillipians 4:6)