Thoughts and insights about prayer

This blog is for me to publish my thoughts, expereinces and insights regarding prayer from a Christian perspective and from the Scriptures

Name:
Location: Tahmoor, Wollondilly Shire / NSW, Australia

I'm 41 years old, married to Rose and have 5 boys, 3 whom are step sons. I love God, love people as well as all creation. This is where I post my thoughts,aspirations, activities and any other quirky thing that catches my interest.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

walking with God

It is Sunday over here in Oz and we are getting ready for church.

I love Church, I can't get enough of it, I love the fellowship, the music, the prayers and the preaching and I just can't understand how some people don't like it. ....I do actually, the reason why most people don't like church is it's to do with them, they get nothing out of it.. I think in the majority of the time, we don't get nothing out of chruch because we don't put anything into it.

Christianity is not about self, it's about relationship pure and simple, relationship with our true and living God, and relationship with others, helping them to come into a relationship with the real risen Lord.

Walking with God requires us to share our selves, sharing with God about who we are, what is going on in our life and sharing the needs of others as well with our risen Lord and in turn responding to the needs of others as God moves us to do so.

Read the link to the article I wrote about walking with God, because when we do start sharing with God about the needs of others, God will in return start changing us to help in providing the needs of others, but first we must share.

Next time you go to Church, think how can I give of myslef today?, Can I pray for someone, smile at someone, shake someones hand, have a conversation with someone, and even during the course of the conversation have the opportunity to be able to meet someones needs.

Blessings, ask the Lord today to help you to see and to be able to meet someones needs, in his way.

craig

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ask and Recieving.

My children are a great source of inspiration to me, last night I had my son (5 & 1/2) come to work with me for a few hours as I cleaned a shop. On the way home he was coughing and I asked him if he wanted me to pray for him to which he said yes. Kids are very observant you know, he said to me,

"Daddy sometimes prayer doesn't work and sometimes it does work"

My reply back to him was, "Well you see son, God is our heavenly father, and just like sometimes when you ask daddy to do something for you, sometimes I will do it straight away, sometimes I will say yes son, you need to wait a little while and sometimes I will say no because I know what is the best for you, and other times you have to keep asking God for things, just like sometimes you keep asking your daddy for things."

He went quiet for a bit and said, "I know that daddy" you see on the way home he wanted to go to maccas, and when we went to the service station to fill up he wanted me to buy him something there, I said to him, "if we do buy something here, we don't go to Maccas, what do you want?" and he pointed to a pkt of bubble gum.

"We are going to go to maccas instead," I told him.

We are told to ask in the scriptures, but if we ask amiss we will not get, just as I knew what was better for my son, though I'm not saying Maccas is that great a choice, he does like the cheese burgers with no onion, gerkin and last night no sauce and fo rhim it is a healthy choice... I wont say what I ate...if only I had the wisdom of a child!

Sometimes we ask and ask and we don't seem to recieve, we need to wait on God timing, he is never early and allways on time, and while he wants us to ask, I love it when my son asks me for stuff, our heavenly father does as well, and he will decide when, where and how he will give to us what we ask.

Blessings

craig

Being honest

As a christian I have struggled with the whole concept of being honest before God, putting on some kind of mask, pretending to be OK when deep down I am angry, sad, peeved off etc. I have come to realise though that God knows all we are going through, so why pretend otherwise.

Peter says in,

1Pe 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
This word anxiety means in the greek, all your cares, Peter is saying for us to cast all of our cares upon God, cast means to throw upon, to cast away from us. God cares more for us than we can ever truly know on this side of heaven. If some ome or something is bugging us, he wants us to tell him about it, be honest with him. In return God wants to give us something back in exchange.
For instance you might be angry, tell him about it, give it to him and in return he will give you peace, it may be you are suffering from unforigveness, give him that unforegiveness and he will give you instead forgiveness.
I hope all of us have had the pleasure of talking to friends and feeling better afterwards, how much better would it be in being completely honest with God?
Try it, and you will find your prayer life will start to abound.
craig

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

feeling flat

Tonight I feel a bit flat, mind you I have spent most of the day down at Lake Alexandra at Mittagong NSW Australia with my near 6 year old boy, waiting for van to be serviced. We went for a walk, a .....long walk, we fed the ducks, we had something to eat, we played on the play equipment and I pushed him on the swing and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed some more - geee no wonder I'm tired. Then tonight I went to work doing doing cleaning work.

I would not have missed today for any thing in the world, apart from my son getting a bit stroppy because he had to wait for a time on the swings while another family was using them, but that is good for him to learn a bit of patience.

I remmember reading a story about a well known person, I have forgotton who, whose father took him out to the beach for the day. This boy grew to be a man and remebered it as one of his high lights in growing up and time spent with his dad, just him and dad on their own. Later on after his father died, he was reading his fathers dairies and found the entry for that day, it read.

"I took my son to the beach, a day wasted"

I don't ever want to consider time with my children as a waste, they are precious, and every minute I spend with them is good time, I don't spend enough time with them as it is. You know our heavenly father never thinks of us spending time with him as a waste of time, he loves us and wants us to spend more time with him.

Think about it, do you like spending time with those who like spending time with you? Why don't you go and spend a bit of time with your heavenly father, and if you don't know him, give me a yell and I will introduce you to him, for he knows you, and wants you to meet him personally.

craig

Monday, April 11, 2005

fatherless-ness


Monday 11th April 2005

To our Men of the land
Tonight the lord was talking to me about his being a Father and how there is a wound that runs deep within Australia of many being fatherless and that wound is reflected in our churches and across this nation of ours. He has been talking to me about how Australia has roots that run deep of fatherless-ness right from the very beginning of Australian settlement, a wound that caused much wounding of the original inhabitants.
Australia was settled by many children ripped from the care of their parents and sent out here without a father, many men were ripped from their families and sent out here causing an issue of fatherless-ness where they left.

This wound was what was behind the killing of many aborigine men in the land, again causing the issues of fatherless-ness to increase, and then this wounding was the root cause of what caused the men of this land to then rip many aborigine children from their families and caused another deep wounding of fatherless-ness,
This wounding on the nation was again compounded by the various wars across that our nation was involved in, where many men were killed or in action while their wives gave birth back home, causing an issue of wounded-ness in these children of being brought up with no father, during world war one may of our men who went to war never came back and the same with the second world war, those who did come back found it hard to be a father to their children and the cycle was growing worse and worse. Then the Vietnam war came and men went to war and caused much heartache and brought home much heartache, and as a result again many children increasingly were being raised up with no father.

Again we are at war, this ugly issue of Fatherless-ness is again increasingly raising it’s ugly head, only the spiritual stronghold behind this is worse, fathers are abandoning their children in many ways, one is through abortion, another is to leave their families and there kids for a life of their own, and the 3rd issue is that men are opting out of father hood altogether, deciding not to have families, deciding not to have children at all.

Then the lord spoke to me and said,

There is a deep wound in the men of the land, a wound that has been caused by fatherless ness, a wounding that runs deep into the very soul of Australia, a wounding that is festering and weeping, a wound that is gaping open and is ugly and is a wound that can not be left to heal on it’s own, it’s a wound that can only be healed by me. Men of the land, you need to turn to me and to come to me as your father, you need to lay down all your hurts, you need to lay down all your pretences, you need to lay down all your pride and come to me and allow me to be your father. Men of the land listen up, I am the father of all fathers, I have seen and I know the weaknesses and the failings of your own natural fathers, the very weaknesses and failings that were caused by them being wounded by less than perfect fathers, men of the land listen up, you cannot do it on your own, you can not continue to be independent, you cannot continue to pretend you are not hurting, men of the land, many of you are orphans, many of you have no father, many of you have never known a true father and for many of you wish that you never had a father. Men of the land listen up, I am the only perfect father, to the men of the church you need to get a revelation of me as your father, you need to get this revelation deep into your soul, deep into your spirit, and you need to bring about that revelation into your community. Men of the land listen up, your communities are hurting because of fatherless-ness, your children are hurting, your walk with me is hurting, men of the land turn to me,
Deu 14:29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

And

Psa 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Men of the land I am calling you to stop the curse in this land, I am calling you to me and for you to rise up and defend the cause of the fatherless and for you to turn to me, to seek my face and for the stronghold of fatherless-ness to be broken in this nation.

Men of the land listen to me, my son died for you, and through him I have called you to be my children, I have called you because of my son, come to me all you who are heavenly laden, cast your cares on me, my yoke is easy, my burden is light, come to me and cast all your cares on me because I care for you.

craig

spiritual discilpline

I have heard it said that praying doesn't really change anything except our selves. I disagree with this entirely,

Jesus said,


"Mat 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

We are in a relationship with our God, who is real and alive, and whom we can know and who knows us, I am a father and when my son asks me to do something or give him something, if it is good for him I will do so, sometimes even if it's not - such as a pkt of chips or a few lollies etc.

I give to my son because I love him and I want what is good for him, and I am in a real relationship with him, we too are in a real relationship with our heavenly father, we do not just get strengthened through praying, we also get strengthened through recieving what we asked for.

Can you imagine how disheartened my son would be every time he asked me for something i ignored him? Our heavenly father is the same, he gives to us what we ask, because he knows what we need and in the process this recieving helps us grow in our faith and in our relationship with him.

craig

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Forgiveness / remission of sins

At church we have been working through a specific scripture in Luke for the past few weeks in keeping with the Sydney Anglicans strategy of 40 days of prayer.


Luk 24:44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
Luk 24:46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
Luk 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
Luk 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."


Today after church I was at work and there I picked up a Gideons NT to read whilst I had to attend some very important business, of a private nature...say no more. BTW I am a member of Gideons and I actually placed this bible there.
This particular version is the NKJV and verse 47 say's


Luk 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be proclaimed in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Now we all know what forgiveness of sins means right, well i do, but this word remission of sins struck me because this is the subject I'm preaching on next Sunday - "Sin" - what struck me is how we can carry guilt around with us, condemn our selves about something we did years ago, or just 5 minutes before hand. As christians we carry a mixture of belief and unbelief, and often we mix belief and unbelief in the outworking of our faith. We allow ourselves to carry guilt and shame because we just can't or don't want to believe we are forgiven.

Remission is a great word, often used to describe terminal illness or cancer, remission in these cases means it is no longer there, it has been cured, it is no longer a threat, the body is carrying no trace of it.

Friends I can not urge you enough to believe that when you tell God you are sorry for your sins he has cast them from you as far as the east is from the west, and he remembers them no more.

Who in their right mind if they had a case of cancer or other serious terminal illness, when told that it had gone into remission, would ask the doctor to re-inject them with that desease, or germ, cancerous cell etc to bring it back to life? - the same is with our sins, stop munching on them, bringing them up and chewing on them like a cow does it's cud.

Once you are forgiven, you are forgiven, yes you might sin again, and if so, ask God to forgive you for it, don't sin lightly, do your best not to sin, and if you fail confess it to our living God and believe he has forgiven you.

Friends the greatest gift we have been given is the forgiveness of sins, the remission of them, dare believe that you have been given the all clear dispsite the past, it's what Jesus died for "YOU"

craig

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Honor

1Pe 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers,
fear God, honor the king.

I have been thinking and reflecting a lot lately about the whole subject of honor. In the world in which we live, I believe that we have forgotton what it is to truly honor each other, to honor those amongst us. I know in Australia we have the tendancy towards the tall poppy syndrome - to cut down those who it may seem to be growing taller then what we are and it can make us uncomfortable. This reflection hasn't been a just a recent thing, but something I have meditated on and off for some time now.

A few years ago I was thinking about this whole issue of honor, and I prayed to the Lord, "Father I really want to honor all the local clergy in this area, open the doors for me to do so" and he did. One pastor I spent the whole day starting early and going with him a few hours drive to help him pick up a whole heap of furniture and items from his house he was selling, and we did so and did some basic maitanence on his house such as painting and fixing the fences, cleaning the pool etc. Another pastor the Lord had me give a certain book to when he was retiring which he recieved with much thanks, another one the Lord had me knock on his doorstep and pray with him, another he had me write a letter too etc etc. all in all the Lord showed me a specific way in which I could honor every clergy person in the local area and each person recieved it with joy and thankfulness.

I think honor, respect, love are all tied up with one another, I am a mrried man, I have 5 children - and sometimes my household gets very messy, noisy and relationships can get very strained, and thats before the devil gets in and stirs the pot a bit, you know sticks the knife in the back and puts the boot in. Being honorable people can often be the hardest thing that we as Christians can be, certainly I find it hard and I reckon it is so for all of us as well at times. And I have to be honest in saying that I often fail in being an honourable man towards my family and those around me - I don't go and do what I do deliberatly, but as the Apostle Paul says about this inherent failure in us all,

"I do what I don't want to do and I don't do what I want to do"

But then I am reminded of John and him telling us that if any one has sinned we have an advocate with the father who is willing to forgive us our sins. And so I turn to the Lord and ask him for my forgiveness and for him to strengthen me to be an honorable person - or what ever other failing may have broken through in my life.


Friends we are called to be people of honour, we need to ensure that our hearts are filled with the good things of God and not of evil things, the scriptures tell us that our lips speak forth from the overflow of our hearts, and as well to ensure that our talk is not just empty words but that our words truly come from a heart of goodness.

Luk 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Mar 7:6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.

One of the quickest and effective manners that satan uses to bring his people down is through the dishonoring of each other with our words and our actions, satan is called the accuser of the brethren, let us ensure that we do not join his ranks and find ourselves being used as his tools to bring any one down, instead let us make sure that we are used by God as instruments of his mercy and his grace to build each other up, to build those up around us, to build ourselves up. As a man of prayer, it frightens me that I could be a man of empty lips, that my prayers would be of no avail because of my own sinfulness and lack of showing others honor, instead I want my prayers to be as James says about a righteous person, fruitfull and effective - prayers that avail much, I want to be a person who reaps honor because I am a honorable person. As men and woman called to prayer, it is easy for us to become judgemental of anothers failings and shortcomings, I think the lord shows us these things about those around us, not for us to be judgemental, not to be condemning, because thats not Gods nature, but for us to put love and mercy into action and to pray into those very areas and build those people up in those areas of weakness and failings that we see in those around us.

God has been speaking to me a lot about this issue lately, perhaps I'm only sharing my own weakness and you do not share this weakness in your own life, I give Glory and Praise to our living Lord if that is so, perhaps it's an area that you struggle in, if so know that you are not struggling alone in this area, let us not ignore it, let us not give in to it, instead allow God to deal with it in our hearts, allow it not to leave our lips, to affect our thinking, to give a critical spirit a foothold in our lives.

Its my heart, it's my hope and it's my prayer that God will pour out his spirit into our hearts and truly make us honorable men and women, truly make us honorable children, that he will help us to speak forth blessings after blessings after blessings, and in return recieve Gods blessings back to us. I pray for us all, not only in the various groups I send this to, but for all those who we have a influence over, for all those we have a job to witness to, and I would ask that you in return would pray the same for me and each other as well.

May each and every one of us be the beginnings of turning the world in which we live around on it's head, may we bring honor into a broken world that glorifies dishonor, may we be world changers, may we be peace bringers, may we be glorifed as Gods people and known as such.

Blessings craig