Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Praying in the Spirit 3/20/09

The promise of persistence

KJV Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Praying with the mind of the Spirit

KJV Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

"In any given day, we have to challenge our thinking in terms of how little (or how much) we actively contemplate God for who God is, and not for an answered prayer, a need, or an ongoing concern. After all, as A.W. Tozer said, the most important thing about us is our view of God".

Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him? Prayer is not simply getting things from God that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray. - Oswald Chambers

Recently I received an email from a brother in Christ who shared with me this quote from an unknown source, "You don't know the power of prayer until you are the subject of prayer."

All of us who have been on the receiving end of other's prayers for us understand the sense of that statement, for it affirms the nature and the power of prayer that connects all the members of the body of Christ, which is joined together by the heart of the body, Jesus Christ. Even though it is helpful to know that people are praying for us, the power in prayer is due to the reality that the body is praying for other members of the body. For it is the action that is done by others in prayer that God honors and not simply the knowledge that one is being prayed for.

Let us continue to pray.

KJV Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Always in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 20 Mar 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The Power of Praising His Holy Name 3/10/09
Martin Luther said, "When sadness comes to you and threatens to gain the upper hand, then say: Come, I must play our Lord Christ a song on the organ for Scripture teaches me that he loves to hear joyful song and stringed instruments. And strike the keys with a will, and sing out until the thoughts disappear...If the devil returns and suggests cares or sad thought, then defend yourselves with a will and say: Get out, devil, I must now sing and play to my Lord Christ."

Dear family,

God's grace and peace to you today!

Recently while flat on my back in the hospital I gained a new appreciation for the power of praise during difficult times in our lives. As I was somewhat downcast in spirit I began listening to the following song of praise sung by Robin Mark which had been given to my wife and I by a dear sister in faith recently.
As I began to think on the words and allow them to sink deep into my troubled heart, the spirit of heaviness began to yield itself to a spirit of praise and thankfulness, which resulted in my soul rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord!

Put on the garments of praise, for the spirit of heaviness;
Let the oil of gladness flow down from your throne!
Put on the garments of praise, for the spirit of heaviness;
Your joy is my strength alone, my strength alone!

Make these broken weary bones rise to dance again,
Wet this dry and thirsty land with a river!
Lord our eyes are fixed on you and we are waiting,
For your garland of grace as we praise your name!

(chorus)

Hallelujah, sing hallelujah!
We give all honor and praise to your name!
Hallelujah, sing hallelujah!
We trade our sorrows for garments of praise!

I was reminded of the words of the prophet Isaiah, who wrote these words long before Jesus ever walked with us on this earth.

KJV Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ of long ago understood the power of praise also.

2 Chronicles 20:7 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

David understood the power of praise.

KJV Psalm 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Paul and Silas were not bound by their circumstances, but they praised the Lord in the midst of trouble.

Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

May the Lord be praised for his goodness and mercy which endures forever!

Always in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 10 Mar 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Praying in the Spirit 3/20/09
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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