Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Power of United Prayer

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Charles Spurgeon makes the following interesting statement about united prayer:

“It has pleased God to make prayer the abounding and rejoicing river through which most of our choice mercies flow to us. It is the golden key which unlocks the well-stored granaries of our heavenly Joseph. As many mercies are conveyed from Heaven in the ship of prayer, so there are many choice and special favors which can only be brought to us by the fleets of united prayer.”

Do you agree? From what I observe at many prayer meetings, I am not so sure many agree! That is sad, for it is true that many of God’s choicest blessings come as we unite praying together.

This statement comes from a wonderful sermon where he speaks to the need for united praying and praising, and points out that praying for pastors is especially called for when we are praying together.

He also strongly believed that all of God’s children could  and should pray:

“We cannot all preach. We cannot all rule. We cannot all give gold and silver-but we can all contribute our prayers. There is no convert, though he is but two or three days old in Divine Grace, but can pray. There is no bedridden Sister in Jesus who cannot pray. There is no sick, aged, imbecile, obscure, illiterate, or penniless Believer who cannot add his supplications to the general stock. This is the Church’s riches. We put boxes at the door that we may receive your offerings to God’s cause-remember there is a spiritual chest within the Church into which we should all drop our loving intercessions, as into the treasury of the Lord. Even the widow without her two mites can give her offering to this treasury. See, then, dear Friends, what union and communion there are among the people of God, since there are certain mercies which are only bestowed while the saints unitedly pray.”

Spurgeon, by the way, is one of my favorite authors when it comes to prayer. He was considered one of the greatest preachers that ever lived, and preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington (London) England.

You can read the rest of his sermon on United Praying and Praising at path2prayer.com.

You can also find a handout to use at your midweek prayer service at path2prayer.com.

My Prison Hath Neither Lock Nor Door

Monday, February 8th, 2010

“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.” Hosea 7:8

In the past centuries God often used letters to bring great blessings to His children. Among famous letter writers were John Newton, Fenelon, Gerhard Tersteegen and Samuel Rutherford.

The following comes from a letter by Samuel Rutherford who was a non-conformist Scottish Puritan, who was banished from Edinburgh for refusing to comply with the dictates of the ruling prelates, and forced to live in Aberdeen where he was not allowed to preach. The banishment was not welcomed and hard to endure, but in his difficulties he discovered an understanding of God and His ways that would not have been possible in any other context. In this letter he extolls God’s gracious care and blessing in his “confinement,” concluding that his prison had “neither lock nor door.” This was obviously true since he was free to move about, but he was speaking to the greater reality of God not only bringing blessings no matter what was going on, but also God bringing special blessings. Eventually Rutherford was condemned to death for his non-conformist views, but he was spared the execution, for he died of illness before it was carried out. However, he was looking forward to dying for Jesus. I think we need to adopt Rutherford’s attitude towards our trials and begin viewing them through the lens of God’s love and perfect keeping, for our situations have “neither lock nor door” in our day.

Rutherford’s letter…

Dear Brother:

I never believed, till now, that there was so much to be found in Christ on this side of death and of heaven. Oh, the ravishments of heavenly joy that may be had here, in the small gleanings of comforts that fall from Christ! “What fools are we who know not, and consider not the weight and the telling that is in the very earnest-penny, and the first fruits of our hoped-for harvest! How sweet, how sweet is our infeftment (old Scottish word referring to taking possession of property, in this case of the blessings found in Christ)! Oh, what then must personal possession be!

I find that my Lord Jesus hath not miscooked or spilled this sweet cross; He hath an eye on the fire and the melting gold, to separate the metal and the dross. Oh how much time would it take me to read my obligations to Jesus my Lord, who will neither have the faith of His own to be burnt to ashes, nor yet will have a poor believer in the fire to be half raw, like Ephraim’s unturned cake! This is the wisdom of Him who hath His fire in Zion, and furnace in Jerusalem. I need not either bud or flatter temptations and crosses, nor strive to buy the devil or this malicious world by, or redeem their kindness with half a hairbreadth of truth. He who is surety for His servant for good doth powerfully overrule all that. I see my prison hath neither lock nor door: I am free in my bonds, and my chains are made of rotten straw; they shall not bide one pull of faith…. Therefore we wrong Christ who sigh, and fear, and doubt, and despond in them. Our sufferings are washed in Christ’s blood, as well as our souls; for Christ’s merits brought a blessing to the crosses of the sons of God. And Jesus hath a back-bond of all our temptations, that the free-warders shall come out by law and justice, in respect of the infinite and great sum that the Redeemer paid….

I bless the Lord, that all our troubles come through Christ’s fingers, and that He casteth sugar among them, and casteth in some ounce-weights of heaven, and of the Spirit of glory that resteth on suffering believers, into our cup, in which there is no taste of hell.

My dear brother, ye know all these better than I. I send water to the sea, to speak of these things to you; but it easeth me to desire you to help me to pay my tribute of praise to Jesus. Oh what praises I owe Him! I would I were in my free heritage, that I might begin to pay my debts to Jesus. I entreat for your prayers and praises. I forget not you.

Your brother and fellow-sufferer in and for Christ,
Samuel Rutherford,
Aberdeen, Sept. 17, 1637

Read the rest of Rutherford’s letter and more articles on how to endure trials at path2prayer.com.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

What does it mean to be too busy? That is a question I often ponder and one I suspect you ponder too. Is there such a thing? When you read of Jesus going and praying through the night and appearing in the early morning hours, it is hard not to question his personal temperance. I know questioning what Jesus was doing isn’t the first thing one thinks of doing, but are there limits?

I choose not to suggest an answer, since I believe God apparently grants supernatural strength to those who are living for Him. Note the following example of Gerhard Tersteegen, the German Pietist, who was greatly used of God in his day.

Tersteegen was in ministry in the early 1700s. Though he was naturally reclusive, yet he had such a relationship with Jesus that God began sending people to him from far and near.

“For thirty years, starting at the age of 30, he remained incessantly busy doing good to others, though his own health was always delicate, and from time to time he had severe attacks of illness and of neuralgic pain. From morning to night he never had a moment to himself; the number of those who flocked to him for counsel was so great that there were frequently twenty or thirty persons waiting in his outer room for a chance to speak with him, while his meetings were always attended by as many as could crowd into the rooms of the ground floor of his little house—about four hundred people. People came to him from England, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland; sick person would send for him, and he would pass hours or whole nights at their bedside. If he went into the neighboring country for rest, people would watch for him by the roadside and carry him off to the nearest barn, where a congregation would immediately assemble. He had an immense correspondence, and new editions of his hymns and other religious works were constantly demanded. To his quiet temperament this incessant labor and absence of solitude was most uncongenial, but he accepted it willing as his appointed task…. In all his dealings, it is recorded, he was most ‘circumspect, punctual, and practical,’ though ready to set aside his ordered plans at any call of obvious duty.” (H. E. Govan, Gerhard Tersteegen: Life and Selections)

Something tells me I need to first make sure I have an authentic relationship with Jesus, such that my work is really the work He has chosen for me, and that I have something real and personal to share—religion is more caught than taught.

What do you think?

You can learn more about Gerhard Tersteegen at the Gerhard Tersteegen Page at path2prayer.com

Repose in Thee

Friday, April 10th, 2009

I love the poetry of Gerhard Tersteegen. Here is another gem!

Reposing in Thee

Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathomed, no man knows,
I see from far Thy beauteous light,
And inly sigh for Thy repose;
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest till it finds rest in Thee.

What is there more that hinders me
From ent’ring to Thy promised rest
Abiding there substantially,
And being permanently blest?
O Love, my inmost soul expose,
And every hindrance now disclose!

Is there a thing beneath the sun,
That strives with Thee my heart to share?

Ah, tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of every motion there!
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in Thee.

Tell me, O God! if aught there be
Of self, that wills not Thy control;
Reveal whate’er impurity
May still be lurking in my soul!
To reach Thy rest and share Thy throne,
Mine eye must look to Thee alone.

O love Thy sovereign aid impart,
To save me from low-thoughted care;
Chase this self-will from all my heart,
From all its hidden mazes there;
Make me Thy duteous child, that I
Ceaseless may, ‘Abba Father,’ cry.

Ah no! I would not backward turn;
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am!
Thrice happy he, who views with scorn
Earth’s toys, for Thee his constant flame!

O keep, that I may never move,
From the blest footsteps of Thy love!

Each moment draw from earth away,
My heart, that lowly waits Thy call;
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
‘I am thy Love, thy God, thy All!’
To feel Thy power, to hear Thy voice,
To taste Thy love, be all my choice.

Find more poems of Gerhard Tersteegen and other meaningful Christian poems at the Christian poetry page at path2prayer.com.

Hudson Taylor | Pressing Forward

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Abstract: Hudson Taylor, one of the greatly blessed instruments of God in bringing the gospel to inland China, succeeded in spite of facing impossible circumstances at the outset. Upon arriving in Shanghai he discovered that rebels were in control of the city and were fighting a 50,000 man Imperial Army, food was selling at high famine prices, the dollar was soaring and out of control, he had no money and lodging couldn’t be found either. Yet he succeeded as he looked to God as the Great Circumstance in his life!

I want to share a quote from Hudson Taylor who was the instrument God used so marvelously to bring the gospel to China in the middle 1800s.

He set sail for China on the Dumfries on September 19, 1853, and voyaged for the next five and half months as the sole passenger. He arrived at Woosung on March 1, 1854, which was a short distance from Shanghai.

Conditions were far from ideal, for his home country was on the brink of the Crimean war, Shanghai was in the hands of rebels, the city was invested with an imperial army of 50,000 soldiers, food was at famine prices, the cost of the dollar had risen from four to seven shillings, and was soaring.

He was twenty-two and his courage was strong, and in his pocket were letters of introduction to three individuals. Seeking these people, he discovered the first was dead, the second had left, but the third was still there. In spite of sincere desires otherwise, as a result of the fighting in the area there were no lodging places available in the foreign compound and fighting was taking place on the outside.

Sadly he also lacked funds to get such lodging, for he had come with few funds, and was looking for a letter of credit that was to come from his sending organization. But there was no such letter for months, and he became dependent on the kindness of some missionaries who took him in as a paying guest.

As a result of the conflict going on, all he could do was pray and learn the Chinese language—a feat which he assured missionaries joining him later could be accomplished in six months!

He was not daunted by these circumstances, for he looked to God whom he had already learned was THE GREAT CIRCUMSTANCE in life.

Speaking of this he said the following:

“The believer does not need to wait until he sees the reason of God’s afflictive dealings with him ere he is satisfied; he knows that all things work together for good to them that love God; that all God’s dealings are those of a loving Father, who only permits that which for the time being is grievous in order to accomplish results that cannot be achieved in any less painful way. The wise and trustful child of God rejoices in tribulation… Our Heavenly Father delights to trust a trustworthy child with a trial in which he can bring glory to God, and through which he will receive permanent enlargement of heart and blessing for himself and others.”

I will share more from Taylor’s life in the days to come, but for now be encouraged knowing that the same God who was the great circumstance in Hudson Taylors’ life is still ruling the affairs of this world for the good and advancement of His kingdom and the good of His children, and is working ALL THINGS WELL for them!

Happy witnessing!

Dan

James McConkey: Holy Ground

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

What does it mean to continually live on Holy Ground? This is the question that James Mcconkey seeks to answer in his booklet, Holy Ground.

In the booklet, McConkey shows how consecration, responding to God’s call at GOD’S TIME, patience, suffering, service, and soul-winning, are all facets of what it means to live on Holy Ground.

Regarding patience, James McConkey says the following:

Much of our prayer life consists in beseeching God to surround us with a new set of circumstances. Instead of that we should pray for grace to stay under the present circumstances while He works out in us His purpose of Christ-likeness. God does not need a new set of circumstances to make you Christ-like. All He needs is for you to “stay under” the old set with which He has environed your life. I question if there is any Christian reading these lines who needs a change of circumstances as much as he needs that Christ-like change in himself which God is seeking to work out as he stays under his present conditions. A young man came into my room one day for a conference. He said he had been praying earnestly to God to make an important change in his environment, but God had failed to do so. So his faith had been much shaken. I suggested that God might have a purpose in keeping him where he was, and that it might be well to submit it all to Him and stay under His hand while He worked out His great purpose. We got down upon our knees together and I prayed that he might make such a committal. I waited a moment to hear it, but when I looked up he was standing with his hand upon the door knob ready to go out. He had no intention nor desire to stay under God’s hand, but was getting ready to get out. We pray to God to change our environment, but when God puts His hand upon us to change us instead of staying under that hand we reach for the door to get out. Of course if God Himself changes our circumstances it is different. But until He does so, it is well for us to stay under our present environment, realizing that the place whereon we stand is the holy ground of patience for us.

This is a VERY INSIGHTFUL discussion on this all important subject. I shared a written copy with a friend of mine today, and she immediately asked for twenty more copies to share with friends in various places. Read it, you will understand why she was so interested!

Here is the link to read James McConkey’s Holy Ground.

Here is where you can find more of the books and pamphlets of James McConkey.

Here is information on practical Christianity.

Prayer and Obedience and Fruit-bearing

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

“‘Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He may give it you.”—John xv. 16.

Some people approach prayer in the same way gamblers approach slot machines in the casinos: If you just pull the lever enough times, eventually you will get something. And, apparently, it must work some of the time or the patrons wouldn’t return. Does God work the same way? If we ask God for something enough times, is He bound to respond? I don’t think so and I suspect you know that too. Sometimes it wouldn’t be for our good and in mercy God doesn’t respond! Notice the following from the book Steps to Christ

“We are so erring and short-sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good-that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise: for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’” Steps to Christ 96

In fact, I have often read that in heaven we will discover some of our GREATEST blessings were the UNANSWERED prayers.

But perhaps you have noticed that some people seem to get more prayers than others. Why is that? Notice this excerpt from Andrew Murray and then read the rest of the chapter from With Christ in the School of Prayer at path2prayer.com:

“How often we have sought to be able to pray the effectual prayer for much grace to bear fruit, and have wondered that the answer came not. It was because we were reversing the Master’s order. We wanted to have the comfort and the joy and the strength first, that we might do the work easily and without any feeling of difficulty or self-sacrifice. And He wanted us in faith, without asking whether we felt weak or strong, whether the work was hard or easy, in the obedience of faith to do what He said: the path of fruit-bearing would have led us to the place and the power of prevailing prayer. Obedience is the only path that leads to the glory of God. Not obedience instead of faith, nor obedience to supply the shortcomings of faith; no, but faith’s obedience gives access to all the blessings our God has for us.”

Murray has much more to say on the subject. find the rest of the article at path2prayer.com.

Helplessness: The Decisive Factor

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

I came across this quotation this morning and thought it might encourage some of you today. It comes from Hallesby:

“Helplessness … is the decisive factor not only in our prayer life, but in our whole relationship to God. As long as we are conscious of our helplessness we will not be overtaken by any difficulty, disturbed by any distress or frightened by any hindrance. We will expect nothing of ourselves and therefore bring all our difficulties and hindrances to God in prayer. And this means to open the door unto Him and to give God the opportunity to help us in our helplessness by means of the miraculous powers which are at His disposal.” O. Hallesby, Prayer, p. 17, 20, 26

Perhaps, like me, you want to feel at least a little competent, be it in daily life or in the spiritual life, and sometimes struggle when the “how” isn’t clear, or when things seem so so out of control that nothing can possibly change them.

Hallesby’s words remind us that our very vulnerability is the great-in his words “decisive”-point of strength, whether in prayer, or in our ongoing relationship with God.

Paul’s words “When I am weak, then I am strong” give us the Scriptural grounds to stand on.

I hope that today you can go to God realizing that helplessness is your GREAT decisive source of strength!

Find more on this subject at path2prayer.com

Blessings from New Zealand!

About

Monday, April 30th, 2007

I’m a much blessed follower of the Lord Jesus and am pleased that the web affords an easy way to witness for Him on a global basis.

I hope I have one passion, Jesus! like Count Nicholas Zinzendorf of the Moravians. He made his commitment to Jesus at the age of 4. I’m a bit further along than 4:), but it is never too late to get serious with God.

I love God, I love my family, I love people, books (books of the great Christians, particularly from the 1600s to the early 1900s), sharing what I am finding with others, making friends in many parts of the world, and seeking to make a bit of a difference wherever God happens to place me.

I’m a Dad with two daughters, and am part of a large family, either by way of human blood that is European (Swiss, French, German, Dutch), and a global family by the blood of Jesus. Mom was a nurse—and tells everyone about it; Dad taught church history—said he never worked a day of his life…that he only had fun! I used to believe in original sin until my daughters came along and then I had second thoughts. Now, I know that there is—I’m praying for them, but they are darlings and are great treasures in my life

God has blessed me with a global circle of godly friends who pray with and for me, who have immeasurably blessed my life. I cannot begin to name them—there are too many—for which I am so grateful.

I am also very grateful to be part of a small group family that lives their experience with Jesus. I hope you are a part of a small group; the blessings cannot be counted.

I spend my time on the road speaking, keeping an eye on my Mom, preparing for future assignments, uploading stuff to Path2Prayer.com—you should visit; there are many resources, hanging out with friends and LOTS of reading—preferably old books of people who really knew the Lord.

Some of the people I wish I could have spent time: Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Gerhard Tersteegen, William Burns, S D Gordon, Charles Trumbull, F B Meyer, Andrew Murray Nicholas Zinzendorf, Anna Nitschman, August Francke, John Wesley, Charles Wesley and his wife, George Whitefield, to name just a few.

Neat things done in the last year include speaking in NZ three times, Fiji twice, England, France, multiple times in Canada and the US. Like I said, I am very blessed!

Finally some secret dreams: my entire family being thoroughly surrendered to the Lord Jesus, part of a global circle of intercessors like the Moravians maintained for 100 years, part of a genuine revival like William Burns was a part of, to have a constant in His presence relationship to God, to be an active fruit-bearing witness for Jesus like Praying Hyde, and to see Jesus coming in person.