Posts by Keith Roberts

I'm curious about what makes people tick... and about the quest for spirituality. Why are most of us hungry to discover higher powers? How can we relate to God and how do we get there? (See more at www.whygodwaits.com).

PRAYERS THAT CHANGED THE WEATHER… AND SOULS    

Hudson Taylor almost died before he ever got to his missionary assignment in China.

            The sailing ship carrying him fell into calm winds, then drifted toward a dangerous reef near an island where cannibals had settled.

            The captain gave up trying to save the ship, but Taylor said, “Four of us on board are Christians. Let us each retire to his own cabin and agree in prayer, asking the Lord to give us immediately a breeze.”

            Certain their prayers had been answered, Hudson Taylor went up on deck and asked the first officer to let down the sails, but the officer said, “What would be the good of that?”

            Taylor answered, “We’ve been asking a wind from God; it is coming immediately.” Within a few minutes the wind began to rise.

Taylor’s ship soon landed in China where he spent his life winning souls to Jesus. (Autobiography of Hudson Taylor)

Scriptures on Praying For Spiritual Strugglers

  1. Why Pray for Them?
  • “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2nd Corinthians 4:3-4 ESV).
  • Jesus said to Saul (Paul) in a vision: “But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose… to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18 ESV).
  • “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 ESV).
  • “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV).
  • “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1st John 5:19 NIV).
  • “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Eph. 2:1-2 NIV).
man in orange top beside eyeglasses on brown book

2. Bible Examples of Praying for The Lost:

  • “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38 NIV).
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people… This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1st Timothy 2:3-4 NIV).
  • “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9 NIV).
  • Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our messagePray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4 NIV).
  • “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness… After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Acts 4:29-31 NIV).
  • “Paul replied…’I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.’” (Acts 26:29 NIV)
  • “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1 NIV).
  • Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel… Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV).
  • “Brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:1 NIV).
  • Remember: “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2)

Is This The Great Neglected Prayer?

    Jesus said on two occasions, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38 & Luke 10:2)

    Have you ever prayed that prayer? Or if you have, do you pray it regularly?

    I haven’t.

    And I guess most believers would say the same. It isn’t always at the top of our prayer list.

    I suspect most of us pray occasionally for lost people—especially for family members that we want to see in Heaven.

But Jesus thought, and said, that praying for harvest workers was important, so important that he spelled it out specifically, ”Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

If he thought it was so important, I’ll bet he prayed it himself. Often. And with passion.

So, here’s the big question—why don’t we pray more often for the Lord to send workers?

· Maybe we don’t think it’s a life or death issue. Are we reluctant to “change someone’s religion”, believing that most people are going to find God on their own without our help?

· Maybe we don’t believe that hell is real and that people actually go there. The reality of hell is a central doctrine of the Bible. And Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone else did. It’s real and people really go there—not because God hates them but because Satan rules human flesh (1st John 5:19) and he’s taking people to hell with him (Rev. 20:10-15).

· Maybe we don’t believe prayer makes much difference. We think God will do what He’s going to do without our input. But the Bible says otherwise; “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 5:2)

· Maybe we just don’t get around to it. Maybe someone else will do it.

Whatever has caused our prayerlessness, begin now to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send them out (and send us, too)!

Surprise At The Oval Office

She came all the way from California on a fixed income to meet the President, but the White House guard stopped her. She hadn’t understood that the elegant stationery in her wrinkled hands was only a fund-raising letter not an invitation to dine. There was nothing the guard could do.

 But a savvy eavesdropper standing nearby alerted presidential staffers, who arranged for Mrs. Green to take the next day’s White House tour. Moving like patrons passing through a museum, the tour group slowed as they caught sight of the Oval Office; there sat President Reagan.

Thanks to a heads-up from his staff, President Reagan saw the lady, rose and motioned to her.

“Frances! Those darn computers, they fouled up again! If I’d known you were coming, I would’ve come out there to get you myself.”

According to speechwriter Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan sat quietly chatting with Frances Green, comparing notes on life in California.

Despite riding in the high-pressure vortex of geopolitical power, Reagan had paused the world’s most powerful government long enough to talk to a woman who, though powerless, represented The People.

Despite your politics this story stirs our fantasy that, somehow, the powerful might really care about the powerless. We don’t always see much evidence of it, but a story like that gets your hopes up.

Maybe that’s why so many people want to believe in prayer. We can’t seem to let go of the warm idea that God cares. That the Most High will stoop down to help the most low. That God would pay attention to what we think.

The President’s happy invitation to Mrs. Green inspires all but the most cynical heart to imagine what it’s like being invited into God’s office. It can happen. It has happened, sometimes to surprised victims who were merely taking the usual religious “White House tour.” While paying their polite respects to Deity, they found themselves suddenly ushered into His presence.

Take the case of a certain ninety-nine-year-old Sumerian sheik. God, on His way to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, stopped off to have supper with Abraham. As the impromptu dinner party ended, the Almighty toyed with inviting Abraham into the Oval Office:

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (Genesis 18:17 NIV)

In other words: Should I let Abraham help me make this decision? After all, he has relatives in Sodom. Besides that, I’ve chosen him to father the Messianic nation. His descendants are a nation set apart for my plans. Should I tell Abraham, my covenant partner, what I’m about to do to?

Well, the Most High did let Abraham give his ‘advice’ in prayer. And it nudged the course of history. Can’t it still happen today?

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

What Makes Life Truly Worth Living?

What kind of life is truly worth living?

A life with the long-range in mind.

Notice what Jesus promised his disciples who’d be faithful to the end—those he calls the “overcomers”:

· The right to eat from the Tree of Life in God’s Paradise, forever. (Rev. 2:7)

· The Crown of Life, and escape from the “second death”. Rev. 2:10-11)

· The Hidden (secret) Manna & a white stone with your new heavenly name written on it. (Rev. 2:17)

· The authority to rule over the nations with  the Morning Star (Jesus). (Rev. 2:26-28 & 22:16)

· The right walk with Jesus dressed in heavenly white, your name permanently in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and to have Jesus call you by name in front of the Father and the angels. (Rev. 3:4-5)

· The permanent position as a pillar in the Temple of God, the right to wear God’s name and the name of the New Jerusalem, and a new name given by Jesus himself. (Rev. 3:12)

· The right to sit with Jesus on his throne  next to the Father. (Rev. 3:21)

            “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3:22)

Following Jesus: Is God Happy? The Calhoun Church of Christ Podcast

  1. Following Jesus: Is God Happy?
  2. Following Jesus: The Reward
  3. Following Jesus: Believer or Disciple?
  4. Following Jesus: Prayer's Finest Hour
  5. Following Jesus: "I Am Prayer"

When Faith Outperforms Science

               According to several news outlets, 68-year-old Margaret Adenuga from Nigeria recently gave birth to twins. She and her husband, Noah (77), married in 1974 but couldn’t conceive, so they tried in-vitro fertilization several times. Finally, the twins were born, a healthy boy and girl who’re doing well. 

But to top that, 73-year-old Erramatti Mangayamma from India has given birth to twin girls. They were conceived by in-vitro fertilization and delivered by caesarian section and are healthy. (It took mom a while to recover, though.) Some think this is a world record for the oldest woman to give birth… but then there’s this lady named Sarah.

                At ninety years old Sarah had a son, conceived in the natural way with her husband who was one hundred years of age. No C-section and no modern medical science to help. Now that’s a world record!

The reason Sarah surpassed these other ladies is faith. Human ingenuity and medical science can do remarkable things but can’t compete with this superior power called “faith”.

God had promised Abraham and Sarah for twenty-five years that they would produce children who’d change the world, beginning with a son from their own bodies and they believed it.

According to the Book of Genesis, they both got so tickled at the prospect of having a child in their ‘nursing home years’ that God told them to name the child “Isaac” – which means “laughter” in the Hebrew language. Finally, after decades of faithful patience, this child of promise came by their faith in God and in his words.

The Apostle Paul wrote this about Abraham & Sarah: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations… Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God… being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21 NIV)

Abraham faced the facts, yet he and Sarah didn’t put the “facts” above the truth – the truth that God had spoken, that he had promised them this child and had sworn it with an oath. And you can face the facts, the circumstances, of your life and not waver, still receiving from God what he has promised you. What has he promised you?

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV)

A Request Backed By Covenant

The Apostle Paul almost got another beating that day. During his travels as a missionary to the Roman world he’d already been beaten five times with whips and three times with rods. The last thing he needed was more scars on his back. But, he was scheduled for more.

                As the Roman centurion’s men strapped the apostle down, Paul startled them with this: “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

                The centurion reported quickly to his commander; “What are you going to do?… This man is a Roman citizen.”

Alarmed, the commander went straight to Paul and confirmed his story. The same citizenship that had cost this Roman commander a small fortune, Paul had gotten by birth. His citizenship covenant with Rome saved Paul that day when he outranked his persecutors. (Read the whole story in Acts 22:22-29.)

                As believers in Christ “our citizenship is in heaven”, which means we share the rank of Jesus the Messiah. We have a blood covenant purchased for us by Christ. When we pray, we’re treated as covenant partners with God. When we pray, the Holy Spirit starts praying, interceding for us. When we pray, Jesus himself intercedes for us as he sits on the throne at the Father’s right hand*.

When we pray, we’re right in the middle of a vibrating divine conversation. And our little voices matter to God.

                So, don’t pray as a poor beggar. Remember this: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

                *Romans 8:26-34

The Bold Faith Of Covenant Praying

Praying with boldness doesn’t come naturally. Too much of our ‘natural’ praying comes from utter weakness, from being broken down by life, from being at wit’s end and not knowing what else to do but beg. But these aren’t usually bold prayers.

Desperate prayers have their place, but as a steady diet they produce spiritual anemia. Instead of building faith, they weaken it. The self-pitying prayers of perpetual victimhood cripple a prayer life, hiding the essential ingredient in answered prayer… “according to your faith will it be done to you.” 

Here’s a hint to the secret of boldly praying in faith – covenant.

Think about Abraham’s bold prayer as he challenges God: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Far be it from you!” (Genesis 18:23-25 NIV).

That astonishing prayer stood on bedrock, on his blood covenant with God. Notice this: In Genesis chapter twelve, Jehovah had chosen Abram. In chapter fifteen God confirmed the covenant with a blood sacrifice (literally “cut a covenant”) and in chapter seventeen He changed Abram’s name to Abraham (“father of many nations”), requiring circumcision as a sign of this blood-contract between Jehovah and His human partner.

That’s why, concerning the upcoming judgment of Sodom, God said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Then He answers His own question – “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation… For I have chosen him.”

Notice how Jehovah respects blood covenant. Because He has chosen Abraham and entered into this solemn covenant with him, He gives the patriarch a voice in the coming exercise of Divine Justice. Because of covenant, God considers a man’s advice and input as He decides to act on the earth.

Although Abraham didn’t have a Bible, every time he heard his new name, or disrobed, or saw the stars, or watched an animal sacrifice, he saw proof of his blood covenant with the Almighty. And that made his prayers bold. He didn’t pray like a hireling, like an orphan. He prayed the way a son talks to his father, like one who had authorization to speak intimately with Jehovah.

So, if you’d like to pray boldly and change the course of history, explore your covenant rights. Read about blood covenants*. Do a Bible word search on the word, covenant. Since “Jesus has become the guarantee of a better (blood) covenant”, we can “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance (boldness)of faith.” (Hebrews 7:22 & 10:22)

                *See The Blood Covenant by E.W. Kenyon.

The Book

Why God Waits For You To Pray

By Keith Roberts

WhyGodWaitsCoverShadow

Is it really true that God doesn’t act until you ask… that He waits for you to pray?

The answer could change everything.

An amazing testimony (30 sec read):

“I have read your book at least 10 times in the past 3-5 years. Applying it has helped me overcome the same cancer (gliobastoma multiforme) as John McCain without conventional cancer treatment. (I) rose and stayed at the top on my day job, and led many souls to Christ, very supernatural results.

“When I got the diagnosis in November 2015, they gave me 4 months to live. I already had your teachings in my mind so I devoted myself to 3 hours of prayer 3am- 6am for at least 6 months everyday… walking by faith continuing the work of the Messiah is an amazing journey. I revisit your book every few months for a reminder to spend much time in prayer.”
-T.B. (Texas)

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