Tag Archives: intercession

Praying for the President

Why can’t more Christians be like Pastor Brunson and pray for the President?

How many times do folks like myself have to remind fellow believers that even if you dislike the man, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and we are therefore instructed to petition God on his behalf, to pray for him when he might not even recognize his needs, and to thank God for him.

Don’t believe me?

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 CSB

Notice the “why’s” attached to the above commands:

  • So that we may lead a peaceful and quite life.
    Tell me, how in the world is throwing civility out the window helping things? Is our nation peaceful and tranquil? Heck, no! And why not? Could it be that many Christians are guilty of allowing Satan to use them as tools to stir up strife?
  • So that we lead a quite life of godliness and dignity.
    Oh, tell me, how much godliness is there in forcing people out of restaurants and threatening constant incivility? Where is the dignity in screaming at the sky and clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court?
  • It pleases the Lord.
    Newsflash: Rioting in the streets and burning police cars does not please the Lord. Sending hate mail does not please the Lord. Creating an atmosphere of chaos and incivility – even anarchy – does NOT please the Lord.
  • For the sake of the gospel!
    Yes, we are to pray for our leaders so that we might live peaceable, godly, and dignified lives in order that the good news of Christ might be shared with those for whom Jesus died, and that those for whom He died might be saved.

If that’s not enough, and you can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump, Jesus Himself leaves you with no excuse for the hatred and violence.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:44-45 KJV

Some of you can’t believe that any Christian would support Donald Trump. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that any Christian could support Barack Obama, the man more hostile to the Church than any other president in history.

But I can tell you this without blinking an eye: I prayed for President Obama.

We should be praying for President Trump, too.

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Filed under America, Christian Living, Christian Unity, community, current events, ministry, Prayer

Would You Pray for Us?

I don’t want to go long with this post, but I need to ask for your prayer support. We are nothing short of desperate for your intercession.

Here are some specific ways you can pray:

  • Please pray for my family and myself, that the Lord will protect us, strengthen us, bind us together.
    • Pray that God will protect our marriage
    • Pray that we will be wise parents during these later years
    • Pray that our daughters (even though the youngest is now turning 18) will not suffer any more harm due to ministry, but will grow in their desire to serve Him
    • Pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen me and encourage me in my role as husband, father, and spiritual leader
  • Please pray for the health issues my family is facing, specifically for my wife and my mother.
    • Pray for healing
    • Pray for clarity and provision with treatments
    • My mother’s back surgery
    • My wife’s myriad of health issues
    • Pray that the Lord will strengthen “the weak hands [and] steady the shaking knees!” (Isa. 35:3 CSB) Heck, just pray the whole chapter over me!
  • Please pray for provision through this very lean time.
    • Pray that my income will increase in order to not only pay the necessary bills but to allow me to pour into ministry needs
    • Pray that financial provision will come into our church in order to continue the work of reaching our community with the gospel (we have only enough funds to last through September, that’s all)
    • Pray that favor will be shown as I seek new clients (I work with Aflac)
    • Pray that God will burden the hearts of those in the position to give generously unto the work of a local ministry
  • Pray for our little church that it will become mighty through prayer and an outpouring of grace.
    • Pray that we (I and a couple others) will be able to reach the lost and unchurched with the good news of the love of Jesus
    • Pray that the Lord will send us workers, even just a few
    • Pray that God will receive glory through the revitalization of South Soddy Baptist Church
    • Pray that our new website (set to launch in a couple of weeks) will be successful in reaching new people, both here and abroad
    • Pray for clarity and vision as I do my best to shepherd this congregation, including my family
  • Pray that I (I can’t speak for anyone else), no matter what, will see that my Hope, like sung by Mercy Me, is not just in Jesus, but IS Jesus. He is why I do what I do. He is why I’m still here.

  • Help me to remember the words of Lauren Daigle’s powerful song, “Trust In You.”

Brethren, pray for us. – 1 Thessalonians 5:25

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Filed under Christian Unity, Church, ministry, Parenting, Prayer, Struggles and Trials

Keeping Watch at Night

“And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan…” (2 Samuel 7:4)

2:30 a.m.,etc.

Believe me, I am not one who enjoys getting out of bed before the sun does. If it were up to me, I would prefer stumbling to the coffee pot in daylight. But that’s not my life – I’m a school bus driver; 5 o’clock mornings have been my norm for the last 10 years.

But I am also a pastor. A “shepherd.” And because I am a shepherd of souls, sometimes I have to do like the shepherds of old, keep watch over my flock by night. That requires being on call all the time, including the dark times. And when I say “dark times,” I mean that literally and figuratively.

In the Christmas story, we read of shepherds “keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). Have you ever wondered why the shepherds stayed awake? Simple: because wolves and thieves work the night shift, too! Sometimes shepherding involves looking out for your sheep while they sleep. Often it is in the dark times that pastors and intercessors are needed most.

Because of my shoulder surgery, I have been woken up by pain nearly every hour every night this past week. A few of those times I decided to pray while awake, and that got me to thinking.

The Night

It was in the night that “the word of the LORD came unto Nathan.” What would have happened if Nathan had refused to wake up? What would have happened had he refused to listen, but instead said, “I have GOT to get some sleep?”

This morning, like a lot of recent mornings, the Lord placed a prayer on my heart long before any alarms were set to go off. He gave me a “vision in the night.” I could have griped, rolled over, looked at the clock, and asked, “Why now?” Instead, I sat up, forced myself to thank God for the pain I’ve been enduring, and began to intercede for certain individuals and the ministry in which I’m involved.

What would have happened had Nathan decided to go back to sleep? We can only guess. What would have happened had I brushed away God’s nudging? Only God knows. But if history is any kind of teacher, disobedience in even the smallest of things can be catastrophic; going back to sleep might have fed a wolf.

Your Call

Just the other day I mentioned to my wife how that I didn’t want to miss what God was wanting to teach me through this painful recovery. When I told her about David, Nathan, and my inability to get more than an hour or two of sleep each night, immediately she replied, “Looks like you’ve found your lesson.” As she pointed out, since I can’t do much else right now, God is calling me to pray more – especially in the night.

Have you ever woken up at night with another person on your heart? When that happens, what do you do? You see, dark times come at all times, especially when it’s most inconvenient. As a matter of fact, the “darkness” may even be a difficult time in your life. It may be in the wee hours of your “night” that God chooses to speak.

God wouldn’t call in the middle of the night if it wasn’t important.

Don’t ignore Him.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Christmas, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching

National Day of Prayer 2015

Our Resource

We seek out panaceas to resolve the conflicts of the world and to heal our own personal and private wounds. Many are consulting the psychiatrist, the doctor, the minister, and anyone else who will listen. But we do not seem to recognize that the great need in our own personal lives is prayer. Prayer is the greatest neglected resource that we have; it’s a power that we simply are not using today.” – J. Vernon McGee (emphasis mine)

Today is the National Day of Prayer, and so I want to encourage each of you to pray. We need to be on our knees for our country, our cities, and our homes instead of rioting, protesting, and cursing each other. Oh, how much could change if we would just take advantage of the resource that’s been provided to us!

However, be careful; prayer is nothing but idle words and wishful thinking, motivational self-talk at best, if the Object of our prayer is not God.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him (Jesus), that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” – 1 John 5:13-15 (emphasis mine)

Pray, but go to God in prayer. Prayer doesn’t change things – He does.

Specifics

When you pray, pray with intent. Don’t pray in generalities; be specific. If you don’t already have a list of specifics, let me suggest a few to get you started. Let the Holy Spirit guide you after these.

  • Praise God for the opportunity to pray. Thank God that He even allows us into His presence.
    • “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.” – Psalm 100:4
  • Confess your sins to God, and repent. 
    • “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” – Psalm 32:5
    • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
  • Pray for your President (or Prime Minister), your regional officials, and your local government leaders by name, if possible. 
    • “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
  • Pray for Wisdom.
    • “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart.” – Psalm 119:34
    • “Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:7

“A man is powerful on his knees.”  – Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

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Sounding the Trumpet

“And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work [is] great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place [therefore] ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.” – Nehemiah 4:19-20

The children of Israel were trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, yet they had to be spread out because of the size of the work. And since there were but few of them, and the threats from the enemy was ever-present, they worked with one hand, kept a sword in the other, and listened for the sound of a trumpet.

Nehemiah saw that their few numbers, if attacked in one spot, could be overrun. However, if when one group working on one section of the wall would sound a trumpet when under attack, the rest of the groups would come to their aid, increasing their fighting power.

For those of you who understand, the parallels between the Jews rebuilding their wall and those of us who fight spiritual battles are striking. If nothing else, we should understand that Satan always looks for the greatest points of weakness, and that’s where he will attack. If we never sound the trumpet for reinforcements, and if we, the reinforcements, never show up when called, is it any wonder so many battles are lost?

Friends, I’m sounding a trumpet. I need you to intercede for me, my family, and my church congregation. I cannot, in my own strength, bear up under the demonic attack being launched. I don’t need to give you details…I don’t need anything from you…all I am asking is for you to hold up my arms (Exodus 17:11-12) through intercessory prayer.

This is the proper use of the internet, wouldn’t you say?

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Keeping Watch at Night

2Samuel 7:4 “And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan…”

2:30 a.m.

Believe me, I am not one who enjoys getting out of bed before the sun even hits the snooze button on its alarm clock. If it were up to me, I would prefer stumbling to the coffee pot in daylight. But that’s not my life – I’m a school bus driver. 5 o’clock mornings are my norm.

But I am also a pastor. A shepherd. And because I am a shepherd of souls, I sometimes have to do like the shepherds of old, keep watch over my flock by night. That requires being on call all the time, including the dark times. And when I say “dark times,” I mean that literally and figuratively.

The Night

Just like the time mentioned above, sometimes shepherding involves looking out for your sheep while they sleep. In the Christmas story we read of shepherds “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” Why? Because evidently wolves and thieves work third shift, too. It’s in the dark times that pastors and intercessors are needed most.

It was in the night that “the word of the LORD came unto Nathan.” What would have happened if Nathan had refused to wake up? What would have happened had he refused to listen, but instead said, “I have GOT to get some sleep?”

This morning, at 2:30 a.m., the Lord placed a prayer on my heart. He gave me a “vision in the night.” I could have griped, rolled over, looked at the clock, and asked, “Why now?” Instead, I sat up on my elbows and began to intercede for the one God placed on my heart, and for a ministry for which he has given me a burden. What would have happened had Nathan refused the word meant for King David, all because it was after working hours? Would the Temple have been built by God’s design?

Your Call

Have you ever woken up at night with another person on your heart? When that happens, what do you do? You see, dark times come at all times, especially when it’s most inconvenient. As a matter of fact, the “darkness” may even be a difficult time in your own life. It may be in the wee hours of your own “night” that God chooses to speak.

Don’t ignore Him. He wouldn’t call in the middle of the night if it wasn’t important.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Christmas, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching