Is Your Faith Showing?

Yesterday I posted some pictures taken from my class at Renewal Ranch.  Today I wanted to share with you a little of what we talked about and learned.

I visited a local church's library on Monday looking for suitable material to aid in the teaching of our residents.

I came across a a book and dvd study called When God's People Pray by Jim Cymbala.  Jim is pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York.  He has been pastor there for about 30 years.  Under his pastorate they have grown from under 30 members to 16,000.

They have a Tuesday night prayer meeting every week that is the lifeblood of their church.  Pastor Cymbala states that he would rather be at that service than any of the others throughout the week.

'Our God loves us deeply and longs to be in a relationship in which we receive the spiritual and physical blessings he wants to give us. We, as individuals and as churches, suffer great loss when we fail to ask God for these blessings. 
These blessings can change our lives, invigorate our churches, transform our communities, and even alter the course of history! Best of all, they are available to every believer and every church if we will only pray for them in faith and obedience."  Jim Cymbala

God says that His house shall be called a house of prayer--not of preaching, not of singing, but a house of prayer.  Sometimes I wonder if we as Christians are making sure that His house is a house of prayer.

Also, Pastor Cymbala reminded me that the disciples asked, "Teach us to pray, Lord."  They didn't ask for him to teach them how to preach or how to minister but how to pray.

The main teachings for this first lesson were:
  • God is rich in mercy to all who call on Him
  • Prayer is the evidence of true faith
  • God answers prayer
  • Life's problems remind us to call on God
  • No place to go but God

I especially loved the second one--Prayer is the evidence of true faith and where you find faith, you find praying people.

That really convicted me because I admit, I have grown lax in my praying for my country thinking that we have sunk as low as we can go, that nothing can stop the headlong spiraling into the deepest recesses of sin--

But that is what satan wants me to believe--he not only wants to lead us into sin but he visits the sins of hopelessness and despair upon Christians so that we won't pray and thereby move the hand of God.

Take a look at the last one--No place to go but God--how many times have you heard a Christian brother or sister lament in a sad dejected tone that "all I can do about it now is pray."  

We tend to forget or overlook at times that prayer is our greatest resource and is the most effective thing we can do.  It needs to be our first response, not our last resort.

So far this study has been like an "intravenous shooting up of the Holy Spirit through my being."  I am finding myself longing to pray more than ever.

Have you ever given serious thought to your prayers changing the course of history?  Hey friend, it can happen.

Through faith and obedience, it can happen!

Hope your weekend is blessed.  


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 © all photographs and text property of Dianne Hogue unless otherwise noted

I am linking with the good folks over at Spiritual Sundays.