Claiming the Victory in Prayer

I am reading a book called “the complete green letters” for school right now. Last night I read chapter 16 entitled “Help” and it had some revolutionary thoughts about prayer. Are you (the supposedly “mature” christian) praying “asking” (or worse, begging) God for help?

Its kind of a “spiritually immature” way to pray. It’s Satan’s technique to try and convince us that we need to ask God for things he’s already done or promised… (convicting, kind of reminded me of when Miles would share that you shouldn’t pray for salvation EVERY week that you should be thanking God that he’s already given you salvation each week). The thing is, if you’re resorting to begging God for help, you’re not trusting in the fact that he’s already promised you help, and you aren’t believing that he WILL help you.

So stop doing that, and instead pray for God to get you out of the way and for him to step in; claim (on the grounds of the blood of Jesus) the victory Jesus has already promised. Ask, yes (“ask and ye shall receive”), but beg not. Claim victory instead.

The Holy Wild (March Buchanan)

“Sometimes our faith in God is like that: snake infested. God doesn’t change but how we think about him does” -p21 hahha…so true

“If I am to go anywhere with God, to follow Him, … I will need more than a textbook knowledge of him.” -p27 ….dingding…seems obvious but so obvious its easy to overlook

“Wait, God says, Be patient. It will all work out in the end. That answer is infuriating in its vagueness and insipidness. … People in extremes are not much concerned about what works out in the end. They are wrung out in the agony of now.” -p41

Habakkuk: “The righteous,” he says, will live by his faith” -> key to the answer of is god good

“And faith is finally this: resting so utterly in the character of God–in the ultimate goodness of God–that you trust Him even when he seems untrustworthy.” p43

“Faithfulness bores us. Who among us lept up this morning as the sun rose, exclaiming ‘Look! Look…The sun!…its here again!’ Or who ran through he house shouting ‘…Behold Air! clean air, fresh air…’?” -p55

“In both creation and relationships, faithfulness is the most amazing yet least captivating trait” (examples: we tend use it in everyday speech to imply boring or lacking pizazz or drab but functional–such as a faithful car) -p56

“His faithfulness is great. it is not canceled out by our lack of faith” -p 58

Continue reading The Holy Wild (March Buchanan)

Screwtape Letters – Notes on Chapters 1-5

“Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think that is is strong or stark or courageous–that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about” –> remember how the devil often skips trying to convince you by strong argument of something and instead just appeals to emotion or desire to influence your actions, or will just flat out strike at whatever part of you he has the biggest or most convenient stronghold on.

Unconscious difficulties with religion not brought to the surface, without clarity = exploitable point

The devil will flat out lie to you and tell you that God’s not going to help you but will leave you to “do things on your own”

Devil technique: “Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones.” –> @todo: what are the “elementary duties” vs. “advanced ones”. how does this relate to Hebrews 5-6 where they talk about the elementary teachings of Christ?

Devil technique: keep the focus on sins and irritations, anything that distracts from prayer, especially prayers of physical healing.

Things associated with evil (AVOID): irritation, judgment, quarreling, terror, self-pity, contented worldliness

“Hence [by having double standards] from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or at least nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know this kind of thing: ‘I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.’ Once this habit is well established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offense is taken.” …watch out for and be cautious of the second half of that statement 😉

God works from the center outward, gradually bringing more and more of your conduct under his control and new Godly standards

Effectiveness of prayer should not be judged by whether it produces the desired feeling.

“Wherever there is prayer, there is danger of His own immediate action” 🙂

“He pours out self-knowledge in a quite shameless fashion”

When you are attending to God, the devil is defeated. The devil will try to get you to turn your gaze away from God to yourself…don’t fall to that temptation

The devil often works not through putting things into your mind but by keeping things (ie. godly things) out.

differentiate mood from concentration of will and intelligence in prayer

“For if he ever comes to make the distinction, if he consciously directs his prayers ‘Not to what I think thou art but to what though knowest thyself to be,’ our situation is, for the moment, desperate”

Are you directing your prayers to an image of God, a physical object that represents God, or to the REAL god himself?

The devil may try to paint a picture of terror about your future and fill you with self-pity about a happy past…–> counter = belt of truth

“The Enemy [ie. God], true to His barbarous methods of warfare, allows us to see the short misery of His favorites only to tantalize and torment us”

From the preface:

  • no uncreated being except God, God has no opposite (no such thing as perfect badness)
  • devils = angels gone bad…abuse their free will to oppose God and therefore by extension, God’s people
  • Satan = opposite of Micheal, not God
  • images (symbolic representations) of angels have wings in art & literature to suggest swiftness of unimpeded intellectual energy & human form because man is the only rational creature we know
  • Bad angels are practical. Two motives: fear of punishment, hunger to dominate

Something Cool I read Yesterday

In a sermon on “Discouragement” which he delivered over a century ago, Charles Spurgeon told his London congregation, “Depression comes over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my ministry. The cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. –From “For the Love of Mike” by Mike Macintosh

Encouragement of the Day

luke 18:1 ~ The parable of the persistent widow ~ “Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope
That verse totally stuck out in my reading tonight. I kind of randomly opened up somewhere, with a heart that “God would show me something really cool” and ooohmygosh, yep, this was exactly the kind of verse that’d put that kind of smile on my face. Don’t lose hope, just keep praying, God will give you the desires of your heart, just stay faithful and don’t lose hope. 🙂

And then there was a quote from a book that kept popping into my head all day so I finally looked it up exactly…”Media never reasons with us in its attempts to convince us to love lust and sin. You never see a CEO of a television network stand in front of a flip chart explaining why adultery is good–[but through emotion they make it] seem appealing.” –Not Even a Hint

Yep, it doesn’t reason. It just lies and says “this will bring you happiness”–but it won’t, not for long, its never a lasting happiness, its always just a mirage of imminent happiness…not like the kind of lasting happiness that comes from God.

Where Is God through all of this?

“Sing me a lullaby soft as you can. Its alright. Its alright” just keeps echoing through my head almost as if to counter just what an emotionally rough and tumble weekend its been.

“Where exactly is God through all of this? Why can’t I feel him? Why isn’t he here right now” my emotions would lie to me, despite the rational part of my brain telling me “You know God’s here, you know he said he’ll never leave you or forsake you, you know sometimes he holds back the feeling of his presence to test us and make our faith stronger, and most of all, you know perfectly well that even if you can’t see him, he’s still standing right there, just out of sight, watching over everything ready to step in the moment anything is out of control.”

“Many, many times I’ve simply come under a cloak of confusion so think I suddenly find myself wondering why I ever believed in Jesus in the first place. That sweet communion I normally enjoy with God is cut off, gone, vanished like the sun behind a cloud. If you don’t know what’s up you’ll think you have lost your faith or been abandoned by God or whatever spin the Enemy puts on it.” -Wild At Heart

Yep, that would pretty much be it. But I know what’s up. “He [the Enemy] simply loves to blame everything on us, get us feeling hurt, misunderstood, suspicious, and resentful of one another.” -Wild At Heart.

Go out and Serve God!

“the last thing many believers need today is to go to another bible study. they already know far more than they are putting into practice. what they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles” -Purpose Driven Life

Boy Meets Girl – Quotes & Notes

“But do you see who’s being forgotten in the equation of ‘two consenting adults’? The almighty Creator of their two bodies.”

“Learning to recognize true affection can be difficult, especially if you’ve learned to equate sex with love…Do you want to demonstrate your passion for them with more than words? Then guard against sin, fight lust, and refuse to arouse them sexually.” and that came to life as I read a story posed about temptation and the closing thought “Even though there was a part of her heart that wanted me to stay, she felt my love for her as I turned my back on temptation.” That, my friends, is love–to say to your fiance, I love you too much to let evil ruin our relationship by starting us down a road of temptation and unsatisfiable lust, and as much as I don’t want to do this, I know its what’s good for you, so I will anyway, even though part of me doesn’t want to.

“God not only wants to maximize a couple’s enjoyment of sex in marriage, He also wants them to learn to trust Him *together*. When a Christian man and woman systematically deny their own physical desires as an expression of mutual faith and submission to Jesus Christ, they are laying a solid spiritual foundation for their marriage. They’re learning to fight sin as a team. They’re learning to care for each other, pray for each other, and challenge each other.”

Lawlessness vs. Legalism. To be lawless is to throw away God’s commands and live for the self, do whatever you want with no concern for righteousness, no concern for others. Obviously, that’s bad. Legalism is said to be just as bad, following rules to the letter, rather than to the intent, placing the guidance not on God, but on human rule. Yet, at the same time, we can’t throw away “rules”–like them or not.

Rules are like the yellow line in the center of the road, the analogy was drawn. “We need the yellow lines on a road even though they can’t stop a car from swerving into the wrong lane and having a head-on collision.” a vague definition of righteousness quickly leads to compromise. “You don’t need [yellow lines painted in your relationship] when you’re feeling strong and spiritually sharp–you need them for the moments when your resistance is weak and your sense of conviction dull. In those moments of weakness you don’t want to start having to decide what you should and shouldn’t do. If you make your choices then, you’ll wind up in compromise.”

Specific guidelines for your physical relationship can never replace your humble reliance on the Holy Spirit–but they can reinforce your biblical convictions”

LUST IS NEVER SATISFIED. Don’t waste your time chasing it, it will only bring your destruction. profound to think how true it is that lust cannot be satisfied, it is only replaced for a craving for more or worse or additional.

Also, sometimes we forget we need to pray every time we feel tempted for God to ease our temptation and praise him for how wonderful it is that he could give us such strong feelings (desire?) so that when we ARE married it is absolutely a wonderful gift (what good of a gift would it be if it weren’t desirable??)…and ask for patience…