Some Thoughts on Prayer :: By Alice Childs

Power of Prayer

There is great power in prayer, but we must be careful to remember that the power is NOT in the words we speak, but in the God to whom our prayer is directed. Sometimes when our prayers are answered in the way we have asked or desired them to be, it is easy to think that it was OUR praying that did something, when in fact it was God hearing our pleas and responding to our petitions that made the difference.

We must never lose sight of the fact that God is SOVEREIGN; and HE has given us the PRIVILEGE, through His Son, to come before the throne of grace to ask and petition Him for whatever we need. But it is always with the understanding and acceptance that EVERY petition we make will be answered in accordance with HIS perfect will.

Here is where much confusion has been brought into the church by unsound teachers, who teach a false doctrine on prayer which is so DECEPTIVE that it leads many into an erroneous belief about what prayer is and how it works.

Here is the problem as I understand it. Many people teach that we can COMMAND or Decree whatever we want “in JESUS’ name” as if the holy, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God of Creation is nothing more than a genie in a bottle who is required to grant us our wishes, or some cosmic bell hop who is beholden to jump and run at our every whim!

How dare we presume to use His holy name as if it were some kind of magic word like “abracadabra!” This brand of teaching isn’t Biblical at all. It is OCCULTISM.

This teaching is DANGEROUS because it implies, subtly, that it is WE who command and GOD who must then do OUR bidding, which Almighty God is then BOUND to do what WE ask, speak, or decree.

The idea that we, who are fallen sinners saved only by the mercy and grace of a loving, merciful God, can COMMAND or decree ANYTHING of holy, omnipotent God is not just ludicrous, but is in reality sacrilege and an affront to the holy righteousness of God.

It was Jesus Himself who told us that we, as believers, because of the matchless grace of God by which we are saved, have the absolute PRIVILEGE that we MAY come before His throne of grace. We certainly may ASK; we may SEEK; and we may PETITION our Heavenly Father for any request or concern we may have, as long as what we are asking is in accordance with God’s Word. But we may NEVER demand or expect that GOD Almighty is beholden to do what we ask, to decree when we want it done, or demand how WE wish Him to do it.

We must never lose sight of the fact that He is GOD, that His ways are not our ways, and that sometimes in His omniscient sovereignty He sees fit NOT to answer our pleas in the manner, way, or in the timeframe that we might want.

There have been many times throughout the years when God’s people have cried out to Him to intervene in a certain way or situation: for healing; to save a life; or to bring what we have felt was justice when, for whatever reason, God has seen fit not to grant those prayers in the manner those asking may have wanted Him to do. Does that mean then that God didn’t care about these Christians, or that concerns do not matter to God? Are these Christians “lesser” Christians than others?

NO. NO. NO. — a THOUSAND times NO! What it DOES mean is that God is SOVEREIGN. He answers the prayers of His children in the way HE knows is eternally best for each and every one of us, and for His honor and glory. Does it mean then that because God is sovereign, that there is then no NEED for us to pray? Again, NO!

God WANTS us to ask; but He wants us to ask in FAITH, trusting that HE will do whatever is best for us in accordance with HIS perfect will, in HIS manner and in HIS timing. That is the whole point of asking “in Jesus’ name.”

Prayer is petitioning an all knowing, all powerful, all seeing God to intervene in our lives in a supernatural way, but ONLY in the manner and timing He knows is best for us and those around us for the fulfilling and outworking of His perfect plan.

“With prayer and SUPPLICATION let your REQUESTS be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6-8).

This way, when He answers our requests in whatever way He knows is best, we learn the lesson that transcends all our temporal understanding — that His grace IS sufficient and His strength IS made perfect in our weakness. In that manner, we learn that we CAN trust Him; then He alone gets the glory and not we ourselves.

We see things only from a temporal perspective. We do not consider or even fully grasp the reality that this world is not our home. THIS world is headed for judgment and destruction. These bodies are not our REAL bodies. We have yet to be given our glorified, Immortal, incorruptible bodies, and we have yet to reach our real and final Home.

Every time God does answer a prayer in the way that we would like, it is a down payment on all that is to come. And all the times when He sees fit NOT to answer our prayers in our way or in our time, is a reminder to us that we live in a fallen world and we see through fallen eyes.

We need a God who can look beyond the circumstances we are in to see our greater need, for our eternal good.

Jesus Himself — being God wrapped in flesh, as He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His crucifixion, asked His Father, “If there be any other way, TAKE THIS CUP FROM ME.”

Notice that God the Father remained SILENT. He HAD to remain silent in the face of His only Son’s request; for had He answered ANY OTHER WAY, all of mankind would have been doomed to an eternity in Hell with no hope of redemption.

Jesus HAD to go through the agony of Calvary or else there could have been no eternal victory at the resurrection. There was no other way to procure our pardon from the “wages of sin.”

God the Father remained silent in order to procure our salvation; and Jesus, God the Son, was obedient and in complete surrender to the PERFECT WILL of God the Father, which set the example that all of us must follow by saying, “Nevertheless not MY will but THINE be done.”

The real power in prayer lies in our complete surrender to the sovereign will of a holy God, who loved us enough to die in our stead so that we who are born condemned might be eternally pardoned.

We can see that power manifested in the prayers of the three Hebrew children who, being faced with the fiery furnace, stood before a pagan, Babylonian king and said with all boldness and confidence, “Our God is ABLE to deliver us from your hand oh king, BUT IF NOT, we will not bow to you.”

We see the power of prayer answered in Elijah, the Prophet of God, who stood before a throng of bloodthirsty pagans and petitioned God to show Himself greater than the false god Ba’al; and fire came down from Heaven, proving to ALL assembled there as witnesses that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was and is the one true God above all others.

We see the power of prayer manifested in a young Christian named Stephen who lay huddled at the feet of a howling, enraged mob hurling stones at him to kill him, who with his dying breath saw in vision the Lord he was about to die for rise from His throne in Heaven and stand to greet him. As Stephen’s dying body lay broken, bleeding and crumpled, his spirit was ushered into glory and into the presence of his Lord.

In each of these instances, God answered the prayers of His people in the way HE knew was best.

God preserved the three Hebrew children through the fire, showing a pagan king the power over death of the Hebrew peoples’ God. He demonstrated His unequaled power and supreme holiness through Elijah’s answered petition by sending down His holy all-consuming fire to burn to ash the sacrifice of the powerless “god” Ba’al. And in allowing the death of Stephen, He made the first move to reveal Himself as the resurrected Lamb of God to a young man at whose feet the stoners laid their coats.

A particular young man, whose hatred and persecution of the newborn church was legendary, watched as Stephen lay battered and dying with a peace beyond understanding shining on his face; and this sight made an impression that God later used to open this young man’s heart to the identity of the true Messiah on a Damascus road. Had God answered the prayers of the early church on Stephen’s behalf by sparing his life, then the Gentile world would never have had the Apostle Paul, who brought the gospel to those like us.

We see only a small portion of life at any given time, but the canvas upon which God is working His masterpiece spans all of creation. We live short periods of time in temporal years, yet God’s work spans millennia, eons, and eternity.

Christianity is a paradox. In order to live, we must first die. In order to gain, we must first lose. And in order to be exalted, we must first be brought low.

The secret to power in prayer lies not in commanding or decreeing the outcome we want, but in surrender to whatever our perfect, merciful God knows is best for us.

Praying “If it be Thy will” is NOT a sign of NO faith. It is a sign of GREAT faith. It is the mark of a true follower of Christ.

Payday Someday :: By Alice Childs

Judgement Day

Like everyone who understands the lateness of the hour, and all of us who mourn the condition of our once beloved America, I pray every single day that all of the evil people in our corrupt government, media, entertainment industry, and education system will at last be exposed and removed from power and position. I pray especially that those in political positions who are guilty of treasonous offenses will be arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and jailed (even executed where warranted) for their crimes of treason; but I have serious doubts that they will be, at least in this lifetime.

However, there is an appointed time when each and every one of these people will stand before the bar of justice facing the One who is JUSTICE incarnate. When that time comes, there will be NO place for them to run or hide, no political maneuvering that will save them, no media to lie or cover up their crimes or to shield them from their offenses being made known.

There will be no shady deals made behind closed doors in secret chambers that will keep them from their appointed rendezvous before Almighty God. There will be no corrupt lawyers to circumvent or hide the truth, no more billionaire cabals with deep pockets to bribe wicked men and women to twist the truth or rewrite history to suit their agendas. There will be no one able to shield those who have no value for life, those whose only “god” is money, prestige, fame and power.

One day, each one of these who currently wield the reins of power here in America and globally as well, will stand naked in spirit; each and every crime they have ever committed or abetted will be completely revealed, made  known and exposed before the Judge of All the Earth. These elite power brokers, who now reign with impunity in insulated freedom in every facet of global power, may or may not receive justice long delayed in the here and now; but oh, one day they will.

Many years ago, the great Southern Baptist preacher, R.G. Lee, gave his most famous sermon called “PAYDAY SOMEDAY.” His text was from 1 Kings 21:18, 19 & 23. This most powerful sermon focused on the judgment of wicked King Ahab and his even more wicked wife, Queen Jezebel. I urge each of you to listen to this sermon, or at least read the text of it. It is available online in both venues. It is one of the most powerful sermons ever given and is more apropos today than it was when it was first preached.

You see, the point of this passage of scripture is that God KNOWS the depth and breadth of evil in any given era. It is HE who will be the final arbiter. HE will be the final dispenser of justice. HE will have the final say. It will be HE who will bring about the final payday for ALL of the wicked, reprobate rebels who scoff at God’s grace and trample the mercy and pardon of salvation underfoot, trading their immortal souls for the steaming mess of corrupt, putrid porridge that is the power and prestige of this wicked, fallen world.

There IS coming a “Payday Someday” for ALL these who have consciously and willingly shaken their fists in the face of God, for all who have sold out and brutalized their fellow human beings for their own greed, avarice, and thirst for power.

There is a day of reckoning coming that will be swift, just, and eternal when the final sentence is passed.

Of course, God is willing to save and pardon from sin ANY and ALL who are willing to repent – to acknowledge and confess their sinful state (Romans 3:22-24; Romans 10:9-10), all who choose to believe on Jesus Christ alone for their salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 3:16-18); because the brutal truth is that we are ALL vile, guilty sinners, justly condemned, born under the curse and condemnation of sin (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-10). ALL of us are in need of a Savior. None of us are righteous, “no not one” (Romans 3:10).

Hard as it is for us to fathom, God is willing to save even those as wicked as George Soros, the Obamas or the Clintons. “For God is not willing that any should perish (eternally) but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-10). That mercy is His heart and the very essence of His nature.

Jesus, who is MERCY incarnate, wrapped Himself in human flesh and came to earth the only God/man—God in flesh who died in mankind’s place to pay in full the price for the sins of the world so that the JUSTICE God demanded be satisfied. God is both able and willing to save from the “uttermost to the guttermost.” However, God’s mercy does not extend forever. His justice will be satisfied. But if one refuses MERCY at the foot of the cross, then one will surely face JUSTICE at the foot of the throne.

There is a decision line for each person drawn in eternity that only God sees and knows. Should anyone choose to continue in their rebellion, continuing to refuse so great a salvation, then one day each one, who has chosen to continue in their sins by eschewing God’s free pardon of grace, runs the risk of crossing God’s final deadline for salvation and will be, from that point on, “given over” to the evil of their reprobate hearts (Romans 1:27-29). This is the sobering reality that we all face and why God repeatedly states that TODAY is the day of salvation (Hebrews 3:15; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

Once “given over” these doomed persons will have sealed their eternal fate in Hell as surely as if they were already there. The reprobates, once “given over” to remain in their sinful state, will by their own choice continue on in their sins, growing more and more hardened of heart – more and more conscience-seared – more and more wicked and depraved (Revelation 22:11). As the Bible says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

There IS a day of reckoning coming, and all of Soros’s billions, all of the Clinton’s power plays; all the might of their evil dynasty, all of the Obama’s smug machinations and blatant lies, all of those who openly revel in the murder and Satanic sacrifice of innocent babies on the altar of money and greed, all who flaunt their sinful sexual perversions openly and wantonly, all who force those perversions down the collective throats of our innocent young children in order to pervert them and kill their innocence…

Unless they repent (acknowledge their sinful condition) and believe in Christ Jesus alone for salvation, ALL of these will stand without excuse and without hope when they appear soul-bared before the One who eyes are as a flame of fire – the holy One who is able to divide soul from spirit, the One whose eyes see all and know everything.

Justice WILL be served. Justice IS COMING. There WILL be a PAYDAY SOMEDAY. Count on it.