WELCOME to the FEB - 2005 edition of the Shalomindia.com E-Info Service.
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(Psa 23:6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
 


Reasons for  unanswered prayers.

1. The greatest obstacle to effective prayer is sin.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Ps 66:18). This scripture was penned by David, a man who certainly was not perfect. David did, at times, sin
 before the Lord. But he also acknowledged his sin, repented, and then did his best to live on in obedience before God.

2. Another obstacle to effective prayer is un forgiveness or strife.

 Jesus taught His disciples, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him…” (Mark 11:25). Jesus emphasized the importance of love
and unity in relationships when He prayed for the Church (John 17:20,21).

 Paul also strongly exhorted believers about loving and forgiving one another: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ
 forgave you”
(Eph 4:32; also read Ephesians 4:1-6 and Colossians 3:12-15).

 Critical to the effective prayer life is love – the love of God ruling in our hearts and motivating our prayers. However, this pure motivation of love can be challenged by tensions
or trials in relationships with others.

3. A third obstacle to effective prayer is wrong desires.

 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (Jas 4:3).

Many times in prayer, the things we ask of God are not necessarily bad. But the reasons we want them may be wrong. We are asking for something for the wrong reason, or “asking amiss”. This usually means we are asking for something with a selfish motive, or without thought or care for others, or for what God sees as best.

 God is a loving Father. He will never give His children things that are carnal or harmful. Granting selfish requests would only make us more selfish, separating us from God and preventing His highest purpose from being fulfilled through us.

 Would you give a child everything he asked for? Does a child always know what is good or what is harmful? In the same way, our Heavenly Father may not answer every request,
 if He sees that it is not the most loving thing for us.

 We do not always ask of God with pure desires. Are we seeking God’s forgiveness just to escape our feelings of guilt? Do we desire healing so that we can pursue our own
pleasures? Do we want financial provision for our own selfish gain or because we don’t want to depend fully on the Lord?

 It is not wrong to seek forgiveness, healing or provision. But what is our motive? Would what we ask for improve our walk with God, or take us away from Him?

 4. Doubt is also an obstacle to effective prayer.

 Throughout the Bible, faith (the opposite of doubt) in God is necessary to effective prayer. Jesus declared this guiding principle, “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matt 9:29).
 The Bible teaches, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6).

 The Holy Spirit speaks by the Apostle James: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord”
 
(Jas 1:5-7).

 We must have faith in God, and not doubt, if we expect to be heard in prayer and answered. But what does it mean to have faith and not doubt?

Prayer And Obedience

 There are times, however, when we have prayed, and God will direct us to do something which He requires to bring the answer.

 There are many instances in the Bible – in both the Old and New Testaments – when there were very specific instructions or directions as to how to receive the Lord’s answer
 to prayer. One example is when Naaman was required to go and dip himself in the Jordan river seven times to be healed (2Ki 5:10-14).

 There was nothing special about the river (vs.10,12). But there was something significant about Naaman’s willingness to obey that helped him to recognize the One True God Who alone holds all power (v.15).

 God places a high value on obedience. When we pray, our own will must be subject to His. We must be willing to do whatever God asks of us.

 But how will we know if God is requiring a specific step of obedience as part of His answer to prayer? Many times, it will already be written in the Word of God. There are
 thousands of verses in Scripture that begin with “if you will…”, followed with “then I will…”. God has already made His pathways known to us in many instances (for example, read Leviticus 26 or Deuteronomy 28).

 At other times, we may “hear” within our heart the Lord prompting us to take a certain action after we have prayed. This will ALWAYS be in agreement with the Word of God. God will never contradict Himself, and say something different than what He has already revealed through His Word.

 At these times we must step carefully and submit our direction to God, patiently allowing His peace and provision to lead us. We can also submit our situation to godly counselors and ask for their help.

 There may be times when we pray, and it seems that God is asking us simply to wait for Him and do nothing. That can be the hardest thing of all!

 Wait Upon The Lord 

The most important thing to remember is that we are to remain humble and submitted to God in all matters of prayer. We are never to try and force situations or people to change
 by our own strength or impatience. We should be willing to wait upon the Lord, and trust His timing for the answer. We must also be willing to obey if God asks us to take an action as part of His answer.

 Partnership With God 

There may be times when we have prayed earnestly for a person, and yet we have not seen any change. We may be tempted to think our prayers are not making a difference.

 Be assured that God does respond to prayer. However, God will never violate a person’s free will or force them to do what He desires. He has not created people to be puppets or robots. We are created with the ability to make choices.

 So, although you may be praying for someone according to the will of God, the person you are praying for may still choose to reject God and His attempts to draw them to Himself.

 For example, you may be praying every day for someone to get saved. You know this is the will of God, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count
slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”
(2Pet 3:9).

 As you pray, God will go into action to draw the person to Himself. But the person can still choose to reject God and His love, or to reject the laborers God directs to their path. However, keep praying for them!

 Conclusion

 God has made it clear in His Word that He desires us to come to Him regularly in prayer. He has also given us clear warnings about the things that can block the effectiveness of our prayers: sin, unforgiveness, ungodly motives, doubt, and fleshly actions.

 But praise God! His Word provides clear and abundant guidelines for identifying and overcoming these obstacles – that God may use our prayers for His glory, for the good of His people, and for the advance of His Kingdom.

 “The prayer of the upright is His delight” (Prov 15:8).

- Acts Magazine


The True Meaning Of Submission

Just as the husband is charged to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, the wife is charged to come under the husband’s protective covering and receive his love and headship in the home. The wife is to receive – not resist – the headship role God has given her husband. She is to follow her husband’s leadership. That is what is meant by submission (Eph 5:22).

The word “submission” is made from two Greek words: hupo, which means “under”, and tasso, which means “an orderly manner, appoint”. So the word submission literally means “to live in an orderly, appointed manner under headship”. When the Bible instructs a wife to submit, it means that God has appointed a wife to live under the leadership of her husband in a God-ordered manner.

Many women fear submission. They may think submission means they are somehow less worthy or less loved by God than a man is. Or because of abuse or mistreatment by a male authority figure, a woman may think submission is a bad thing and should be resisted.

But God understands better than we can the special way He created a woman. She is unique, and has a different makeup and role than a man. A woman is more tender and sensitive; she is “weaker” (1Pet 3:7), which means more vulnerable to attack because of her lesser physical strength. Thus, God provided a way for women – His daughters (2Cor 6:18) – to be loved, cared for and protected. And He charged husbands to fulfill this role.

Sadly, many men do not understand the role God has given them as husbands. They may not properly love or care for their wives. At the same time, many women do not understand how to receive their husband’s love and leadership. They may fail to encourage, support or help him. This misunderstanding of the biblical roles of husband and wife is the cause of much heartache and disillusionment in marriage.


TH1 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

So turn your focus off your problems. Praise God and
Give Him Thanks! You really do have so much to be THANKFUL for.
Be thankful you’re a Christian. Be thankful that you have God as your
best friend.

Take a moment right now and Make a list of all that you have to be
thankful for! The more you thank God for what you’ve received, the
more Blessings you will receive!!

Again without ceasing...
TH1 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

TH1 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is
 in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

ACT 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

ROM 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

TI2 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

So let's also "Pray without ceasing."


Living by Grace: Humility and Faith

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. (Jam_4:6 and Rom_5:2)
How does a believer in Jesus Christ access the ongoing, sanctifying grace of God for daily godliness? It is accessed the same way that the initial, justifying grace of God was acquired - - by humility and faith. We were justified, declared righteous in God's sight, when we humbly trusted in the Lord Jesus. We humbly agreed with the Lord's account of our guilty condition. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death" (Rom_3:23; Rom_6:23). We also put our trust in Christ concerning His offer of life (based upon His death and resurrection on our behalf). "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom_6:23). Thereby we partook of the justifying grace of God, through humility and faith. This is how the Lord wants us to continue to relate to Him for sanctifying grace.
Our God wants us to walk in humility, because grace is what we need for growth in godly living. Remember this great truth of grace: "But grow in the grace . . . of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe_3:18). If we are unwilling to walk in humility, we will not enjoy this wondrous sanctifying impact of grace, because "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." When we live by self-sufficiency, God's resists us. When we function in humility, God gives us grace for living.
Our God also wants us to walk in faith, because faith accesses grace. "Through whom [Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand." We now stand in a kingdom that offers "grace upon grace" (Joh_1:16). Abundant grace is available for every step we are to take. This grace is partaken of by faith. Whenever we trust in the Lord Jesus concerning any issue of life, we are reaching by faith into God's unlimited resources of grace, by which we are enabled to live effectively.
Hereby we see that living by grace involves two relational realities: humility and faith. We do not produce either. Neither are a work. Humility admits we cannot do the work (of being holy, loving, perfect). Faith relies upon the work of another, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are both relational realities, since they become real in our lives through a growing relationship with the Lord. The more we get to know the Lord Jesus Christ, to that degree humility and faith will become realities in our lives.
O Lord, You are my salvation, from justification throughout a lifetime of sanctification. Forgive me for underestimating my need for You. Forgive me concerning the self-sufficient, self-confident ways by which I have often lived. I humble myself before You. I want to live by trust and confidence in You. I long to live by Your grace, not by my best efforts. Help me to know You, that humility and faith might develop in my life, Amen.

 


Quotes

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis."
- Margaret Bonnano

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
- Babatunde Olatunji

 


Prayer Requests
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Today's Bible Verse

Phi 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 
Phi 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


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