Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

“Jesus Guns Down Sin”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

We don’t like the word “sin” anymore. Call them “mistakes,” or “Karma,” or “disabilities,” or “disorders” – anything but “sin.” Well, a rose by any other name smells as sweet, and a portable toilet by any other name smells as foul. Sin, no matter what we call it reeks, and spawns ill effects in my life. Lies. Fear. Lust. Sloth. The whole lousy lot would ruin my destiny! But Jesus demonstrates I’m not a victim, or at least don’t have to remain one. Jesus hits sin square on the jaw and breaks its grip. And it does the trick with two simple words. He’s how…

 

“Be clean!” (Mark 1:40)

 

Is there sin in your life?

 

“&^$#@*?&er!” Your enemy hates you. He knows where to strike. He coins a word for every sin you’ve committed. “Thief.” “Coward.” “Lech.” “You’re %#x!?*&ed and unclean!” He is right; and he has the right to say so. What you have done and left undone has corrupted creation. Every misstep is compounded into catastrophe. You are responsible for all the pain in the world.

 

A loathsome leper forced his way to Jesus. The despair of 40 generations was eating him alive. Unclean. Untouchable. Unbearable. But the man grew desperate. “Jesus, if you are willing you can make me clean.” “I am willing,” Jesus replied. Then he touched him. He touched him and became like a leper himself! “Be clean!” he said. And that was that.

 

“Be clean!” was enough. Basic algebra balanced the equation. Jesus exchanged heaven’s purity for a leper’s oozing sores. With that, the Son of God died in his place.

 

Your enemy has you on trial. He intends to sentence you to you to hell. “Guilty!” he scoffs. And how will you plead? Say what Jesus said. “Be clean!” and refute the charge.

 Announce to your mind: “Be clean!” Announce to your eyes: “Be clean!” Announce to your tongue, your hands, your feet, your heart: “Be clean!” Inside your soul and on behalf of others, put these two words to work.

 

Your mission: Listen to the prosecutor’s case. Admit guilt, but do not accept the sentence. Plead the Great Exchange – his life for mine – and “Be clean!” Then watch as all liability washes down the drain of God’s forgetfulness.

 

Question: “Where is there sin?” Answer: “Be clean!”

 

Explore more about this in the free ebook Fight Like Jesus at www.markherringshaw.com

Pray and Believe

posted by nsymmonds

“So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

I have been living this scripture for the last few weeks unlike I have ever lived it in my life. You see, a few weeks ago, my apartment received some unwelcome visitors. Visitors who, as of lately and thanks to the banning of DDT, are not uncommon to the urban dwellers here in New York City. No, it wasn’t a “Joe’s Apartment” situation. It was more of a “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the ____ ____ bite.” Yeah, I had THAT problem. That problem made me lose sleep for nearly two weeks and it made me sick. So like any good urban dweller, my roommates and I commenced to calling the authorities in to eradicate the problem. We had to turn our lives upside down in order to get our lives right side up. Through all of this I kept thinking, “There must be something else. How can I just trust human authority when I feel like it desires a bigger remedy?”

So I let the human folks do their job and got some sleep. Sleep, but I didn’t rest. I thought that we didn’t have a problem anymore until my roommates let me know they were still being affected. This was the day before we were having a follow-up appointment to make sure our problem was eradicated or eradicating. It was the last straw for me and I knew what I had to do. The night before our follow up, my roommates and I prayed. It started out as two of us, and as I listened, I sensed God telling me this needed the unification of the three of us. So there, in my bedroom, the three of us gathered and I prayed. I pleaded the purifying blood of Jesus over the apartment and everything in it. With authority I claimed eradication of our pests, the healing of our bodies and the restoration of our faith in God to work it out. I really believed and still believe everything I prayed for–down to the part where I said that I think our pests were the spawn of the devil. Even though to some it might sound a little crazy to pray to God about pests, I really do believe that he worked and is working in the situation.

That was all just one week ago. I have been sleeping but most importantly, I have been able to find my rest by trusting in God. I wanted to share this story with you to remind you that one of the biggest parts of prayer is sealing it up with belief. Prayer cannot be effective until we believe that what we ask for we will receive. But to also remember that when we ask, we cannot ask amiss. It is always in God’s will and in Jesus’ name that we pray. So here’s to believing that I am pest free and so will the new place that I move into in two weeks be!

I believe! 

“Jesus’ Weapon against Deception”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

 

How do I battle the lying tongue of my enemy? The devil is called “the father of lies,” and he deserves the title. Here’s how Jesus dealt with this threat and I can model his strategy.

 

“Be quiet!” (Mark 1:25)

 

Where is the devil attacking you?

 

Your enemy talks. What will you do? His imps poison the air with white lies. “Loser!” one sneers. “Look, they’re laughing at you…” “She always gets her way…” “Go ahead, no one is looking…” “Why not, you deserve it….” “This will never work for you!” “Make him live to regret that….” Today will be noisy, inside your head and out. But what else do you expect in your war of words? Say something!

 

Jesus faced noisy days. In chapter one of Mark’s Gospel, a demon with no tongue of his own used a broken man to blaspheme. “What do you want with us? Have you come to destroy us?” it squealed. Jesus showed no tolerance. “Be quiet!” he said. “Come out!” The demon gagged, winced, and fled. Jesus turned and gave the man a new life.

 

“Be quiet” was enough. Just two words fired this shot heard round the universe. Jesus faced-down his foes directly, simply, and violently: “Let there be quiet!”

 

Your enemy is talking. What will you do? Talk back! Today you face noise. Your enemy intends to dismantle the world this way. “Let there not be…” he says. But you will not remain silent. You will not show mercy. You will borrow Jesus’ words in Jesus’ name and shut down the nonsense.

 

Answer envy: “Be quiet!” Answer suspicion: “Be quiet!” Answer distrust and fear and self-pity and lust and anger and gluttony and pride: “Be quiet!” Inside your own soul and on behalf of others, put these two words to work. Then rest easy.

 

Your mission: Listen carefully for the slightest deception. Listen for the inaudible, invisible source of the lies. When you identify your target, take aim. Then from under your breath let fly the borrowed words: “Be quiet!” Then rest as the racket dies away.

 

Question: “Where is the devil attacking?” Answer: “Be quiet!”

 

Explore more in the free ebook Fight Like Jesus at www.markherringshaw.com

 

To God on a First Name Basis

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“Hallowed be your name”

 

God our Papa has a name. Actually, he has several, and the Bible tells us what they are.

Today parents name their children based on the sound or popularity of the word. Parents in the ancient world endowed character and even personality through the names they gave their children. People became – quite literally – “known” by their names. “Jacob” means “trickster” in Hebrew, and the story of his life reflected this character until God changed his name and in the process transformed his life and the destiny of his family.

 

So it is with God. We know God by knowing his names. We do not have to guess God’s personality. The names tell the story. 

 

In the Lord’s Prayer “Hallowed be your name” Jesus invites us to pray specifically to given names of God. He challenges us to revere God for the details of his character. When we pray, we’re calling God by name and by his very nature.

 

And what are God’s names? 

- “The Lord” is the infinite eternal, self existent “I AM” (Exodus 3). 

- “The Lord will provide” cares for his own (Genesis 22:14).

- “The Lord our healing” fixes brokenness (Exodus 15:26).

- “The Lord who wins” battles against evil (Exodus 17:15). 

- “The Lord sanctifies” makes us his favorite ones (Exodus 31:13). 

- “The Lord is peace” brings order to chaos (Judges 6:24). 

- “The Lord my righteousness” is holy and makes me holy (Jeremiah 23:6).

- “The Lord is there” never leaves me alone (Exodus 48:35). 

 

These names define God. They tell the truth about his character. Practice praying to God on a first name basis…  

 

Action: Today, begin to call God by his names. Perhaps there is a particular quality of God’s nature you need to see him express in your life right now. If you need provision, provision is his name, so address him as “The Lord who provides.” If you need to know you are not alone, God is “The Lord is there.” These simple steps of faith are the ways we “hallow” or revere his name.

 

Questions: What does your name mean?  Is there any correlation in your personality to the name you were given?  How about God’s names?  Which is the easiest one for you to personally understand?  Which is the most difficult?  

 

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