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)

Jesus And The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:34-40 The Calhoun Church of Christ Podcast

  1. Jesus And The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:34-40
  2. Jesus And The Master Parable: Matthew 13:1-23
  3. Jesus Preaches In His Hometown: Luke 4:14-30
  4. Jesus Loved His Father’s Words
  5. Praying Through Revelation – 14: Answered Prayers

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)

Available now online (search by title):

 Amazon.com

 www.ChristianBook.com

 www.BarnesAndNoble.com

http://www.booksamillion.com/

www.Xulonpress.com/bookstore.php

For Kindle & other e-readers:

Amazon.com

NOOK

Changes to ‘Why God Waits For You To Pray’ book site

If you’ve landed here looking for the site for my book ‘Why God Waits For You To Pray’, you’re in the right place.

It was time for an upgrade and a refresh, so this is the place where it will happen. It may take a few days, but you’ll soon see new pages and items to inform you about the book and how to get the most out of it.

You can find ‘Why God Waits For You To Pray’ on lots of internet book sites, including Amazon.com and Barnes And Noble. You can also search the internet by the book’s title (Why God Waits For You To Pray) and find deals at several book sites.

Thanks for your interest in the book! You can contact me at CalhounVicar@gmail.com or find me on Facebook.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Keith Roberts

Why We Quit Praying

If my core values as a Christian don’t include a serious prayer life, there must be a good reason.

  1. If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t really believe in God. Most atheists and agnostics say they can’t pray because they don’t believe in a Supreme Being. Why bother to pray? There’s no one there to hear you. It’s useless.
  2. If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe God cares. So if there is a God but I’m not praying, I must’ve decided that this God doesn’t care to hear what I have to say. Maybe this God is so distant and transcendent that He has no use for human beings. Maybe this God never notices me or my puny problems. Maybe “God” is just a force of nature instead of an intelligent, loving being.
  3. If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe prayer works. Maybe I’ve prayed before again and again, but didn’t see the answer I was looking foPraying girl at crossr. Maybe I figured that answered prayers are for others, but not for me. It could be that I’ve never been able to get much traction in a prayer life because I don’t understand how it works. And that I emphasize the prayer failures I see around me rather than what the Bible says about prayer.
  4. If I’m not praying, it could be I think I can handle my own life without help. Maybe I think that if I ask God for help it will obligate me. I’ll have to let God take over my life in ways I’m not ready for. Maybe I’m afraid that if I rely on Him I’ll get disappointed. So why bother? Just forge ahead and handle my own life.
  5. If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe Jesus’ life as a man of prayer is valid. We all know Jesus prayed and taught His disciples to pray. We can tell from the Gospels that He prayed strenuously and with supreme dedication, sometimes praying all night long. And even praying till His sweat was mixed with blood. But if I don’t believe that He’s my Lord and I’m His disciple, I won’t pursue His kind of prayer life.
  6. If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t understand that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both praying for me. Maybe I haven’t realized I’m not alone. That when I’m praying, the Lord prays. And the Spirit prays, too. (Romans 8:26 & 8:34)
  7. If I’m not praying, it could be that I’m just too busy.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1 NIV)

 

 

Prayer changes nothing!… Really?

Why God Waits for You to Pray

“Prayer changes nothing!”

Often attributed to Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, famous author and Bible expositor, that quote puts into words what many Christians seem to think.

In decades of teaching seminars & workshops on prayer, I’ve heard it often. “Prayer really doesn’t change circumstances, it just changes us.”

The problem is… that’s wrong. It borders on heresy, denying the personal working of God in this world today.

It’s wrong for these basic reasons:

The Bible contradicts it. Even though true prayer certainly changes the person doing the praying, that isn’t the whole story. Here’s a sample of what the Bible says about answered prayer:

  • Prayer gave Isaac twin sons even though his wife was barren – Genesis 25:21.
  • Prayer kept Esau from killing Jacob and caused the two to reconcile – Genesis 32:11 & 33:4.
  • Prayer freed the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage – Exodus 2:23-25.

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Yes, the church can be intimidating

Churches have a problem.

How do we win people to Christ and still please the culture around us?

Sometimes we can’t. Sometimes a church that’s ‘on fire for God’ intimidates unbelievers. That’s why they avoid it.

Notice what happened in Acts chapter five when the apostles demonstrated the supernatural power of God:

“And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.”

Did you see that?

Outsiders felt intimidated by the supernatural activity in the church, but it didn’t stop the growth.

And the supernatural events continued to happen:

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”CPPLogo

That reminds me of a passage in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25:

“But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’”

Despite the intimidation factor, that’s what unbelieving seekers want.

They want an encounter with God!

That means that we—the church—must encounter Him regularly. If not, unbelievers won’t be intimidated (or won) by a timid church.

Stop apologizing for being the church. The unbelieving culture will never understand us (1 Corinthians 2:14). But when they encounter God and His love through usWow!