Tuesday, March 29, 2016


18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” (Genesis 17:18)
This is the prayer of a man, who may have not heard clearly what God has said to him about an heir. In the previous verses of Genesis chapter 17, God had said emphatically two verses earlier that He was going to give Sarah - Abraham's legitimate wife - a child who will be the latter's true heir.

We all know, in review, that the son Abraham prayed to God for blessing for (above) - Ishmael -was not from the one whom God had designated. Ishmael's mother, Hagar, was the pawn in a disastrous scheme by Sarah which Abraham could have said "no way" to. When he agreed to have a child by proxy with his wife's maiden, knowingly, he committed an error which still plagues the world more and more today as we witness all over the Middle East.

Like Adam, Abraham listened to his wife instead of God. Both men made fatal errors which God still papered over for them and blessed them indeed for generations. Adam forsook permanent blessings and face to Face fellowship with the pre-incarnate Jesus. Abraham sowed the seeds of thousands of years of conflict.

However Adam had great descendants like Enoch, Methuselah and Noah. Abraham had a great line of heroes of the Faith like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel and David. We know Scripture is written as the model for us to live (or not to), so making mistakes at the critical time of testing - while gamechangers - is not the end of the story.

God went on to promise to take care of Ishmael. He sai

d in verse 20 "As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly". But our Heavenly Father did re-emphasize that HIS Covenant and Promise for the Son of the Promise - Isaac.

There is a huge lesson for us in this prayer because each and everyone of us have prayed for some kind of resolution of a problem WE have created and for God to help us find a way out.  We sin knowingly, or get blindsided because we are not where God instructed us to be and then get stuck with the consequences of our actions. This truth covers just about every area of life, you and I can fathom. How we resolve it is how Abraham did here.

Go back to Genesis 17:3 "Abram (Abraham) fell on his face and God talked to him". This is the action point in our prayer life - full surrender, in humility and with the knowledge that we are completely, totally and fully at His mercy, grace, compassion and longsuffering. Not just that, we are absolutely dependent on Him for everything in life, not just for ourselves but for those with whom we are entrusted to care for. The sooner we come to terms with this, we will know how to pray more effectively for our shortcomings to be dealt with.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Everything done in western courtrooms had its origins in the Bible.  The system of Justice practiced in most civilized countries of the West for almost 2000 years, came from the Book of Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20. From the swearing on the Bible to the calling of witnesses- all were given by God for our current Judeo/Christian paradigm.

Still when the religious authorities, who were persecuting Jesus for allegedly violating the same Law (Torah) that HE gave, brought Him up on the night before they killed Him, they violated every single letter of the Law they claimed to uphold! In less than 24 hours, there were, therefore, six (6) illegal trials conducting against the Messiah by evil men, bent on temporarily getting rid of the Man Who had threatened their corrupt lifestyle.

The deck was stacked against Jesus. Although He went willingly to the Cross to pay the penalty of sin for us, was nonetheless, railroad through a corrupt system. There were six illegal trials under both Jewish and Roman law:

Illegal Religious Trial #1: TRIALS WERE ILLEGAL (AT NIGHT/NO CHARGES): Jesus was arrested at night after being betrayed by Judas and immediately taken to trial in front of a man who had no legal right to question anybody, far less some arrested by the official Temple Guard. Annas was the former high priest with no legal standing AND he was also questioning a man, under this illegal authority, who was not charged with anything.

Illegal Religious Trial #2: FALSE WITNESSES: The second trial, less than two hours after the first corrupt one in front of Annas, was before the real Jewish High Priest - Caiaphas, who was appointed by his father-in-law Annas. It is against ANY law to have false witnesses (Commandment #9). We know from John 8:6 that the religious authorities were looking for something they could use against Jesus to bring a charge against Him. Still the Gospels showed that many of their pharisee priests lied openly about Jesus' teaching even though He did so openly in the Temple for three years.

Illegal Religious Trial #3: PASSOVER: Apart from the fact that the "trials" were conducted at 2 am (night) with no charges and false witnesses, it was against the Law of the Hebrews to conduct a trial on a Feast Day! To wit, it was Passover, the most sacred of days on the Jewish Calendar and which God had instituted into perpetuity for them.  But powerful men, full of hate and acting irrationally, cared nothing about breaking the same Law they claimed to be standing up for.

Illegal Roman Trial #1:  CHARGES CHANGED: When the Temple priests brought Jesus to Pilate the first time, they had by that time "cooked the books" and changed the charge from "Blasphemy" against God to "treason" because they knew Pilate would not prosecute a religious charge which he knew or cared nothing about.
Illegal Roman Trial #2: FALSE IMPRISONMENT: Pilate violated supposedly civilized European (Roman) law when he kept Jesus under arrest, knowing he was innocent. Jesus did not absolve him of that sin, in fact He told Pilate that those who handed Him over to Pilate had the greater sin. This too will be closed one day, on Judgment Day before the Great White Throne of Judgment when death and hades will be cast into hell forever.
Illegal Roman Trial #3: KANGAROO COURT JUSTICE: This final one was the kicker. Pilate knowingly let an innocent Man be killed. He could wash his hands with all the water in all the oceans, the Blood stains will never come off as the stain was on his soul. He did the bidding of evil "religious" men to save his own temporary powerful status and lost his soul. There was no proof of anything, no evidence presented and still, Pilate allowed Jesus to be sent to the Cross to die. The thing is - He knew the Truth and put it in writing at the top of the Cross for all History to note "Jesus, King of the Jews". What Pilate meant for mocking, God used for the facts of the matter.

Even the verdict was illegal (apart from Pilate's) for the following reasons:
- The Law said the Sanhedrin council should have been polled (like a real jury). This did not happen.
- The Law said that Jesus was supposed to have a defense counsel. None was allowed.
- The Law said there should have been 24 hours before any verdict and sentence and that if the sentence was execution, there was to be a period of waiting of three (3) days before execution, so that the Sanhedrin- the Jewish religious "supreme court" could pray and fast to see if they made the right decision! NONE OF THIS WAS DONE!

Jesus was rushed through this ENTIRE six trial process in less than six hours and was executed by the priests and Pilate in less than 12 hours. But He turned those three (3) days of waiting upside down on its head. He rose from the Dead on the Third Day and has been turning this world upside down for almost 2000 years now!!! As for these illegal trials, all of this will be addressed in God's Courtroom on Judgment Day when the Chief Judge of the Universe will be the same Jesus Whom they did all this to, on that fateful day for Mankind, on Passover, 33 AD.

1.     Annas
Matt 26:57-58
Mark 14:53-54
Luke 22:54-55
John 18:12-23
2. Caiaphas
Matt 26:59-75
Mark 14:55-65
Luke 22:56-65
John 18:24
3. Sanhedrin
Matt 27:1
Mark 15:1
Luke 22:66-71

4.     Pilate
Matt 27:2-14
Mark 15:2-5
Luke 23:1-6
John 18:28-38
5.     Herod

Luke 23:7-12

6.     Pilate
Matt 27:15-26
Mark 15:6-15
Luke 23:13-25
John 18:39/19:16

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


He said, “O Lord Godhow may I know that I will possess it?” (Genesis 15:8)
This very short prayer packs one of the biggest punches in history. We all know what became of this direct promise to God, not so much to Abraham as a mortal man with limited years to live, but to his seed and the vast array of his descendants. God had previously promised Abraham (Abram at the time) many descendants, which included those grafted into the Kingdom among the Gentiles (us) who believe in Christ and the Promise. Now, the Creator promised His servant the Land in which his untold millions of descendants would live.  As history records, both secular and Biblical, this land was Canaan, the pagan lands first settled by the wayward cursed grandson of Noah.

In this prayer, Abraham asked God one question "how may I know that I will possess it?" This answer was not for the man from Ur of the Chaldeans to know! The answer to this prayerful and thoughtful question was "bring Me a sacrifice"!

Now anyone who has been walking with the Lord for any good period of time, knows not just His sense of Humor, but HOW He answers our questions and prayers. Remember, His Ways are not our ways and while we may question "why" He may choose to respond (or not respond) the way He does, we must remain humble and grateful that He even responds to us. God owes us nothing but His wrath against our sin and it is only when we understand His mercy, grace, long-suffering and compassion that we will grasp why He answers one short question with the command to go get a sacrifice for Him.

He says in verse 9 "Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he (Abraham)brought all these to Him". Our Heavenly Father may guide, direct or command us to do something completely out of our comfort zone when our puny minds are set on one-directional responses for our immediate gratification. I remember a time when I was very down, if not depressed, over a matter and felt led to go help serve dinner at a Christian homeless mission. Lo and behold, with my mind being occupied doing things for somebody else and seeing the love through hungry eyes of the wonderful residents of that home, my troubles did not seem so bad afterwards, and all my self-pity was gone.

Let us remember when God does this, there is always a reason. God does not waste time like us or utter useless words. He answered a question about His Timing about His own generous plan with a lesson for Abraham on godly patience.  It was not an unfair question. Abraham had been wandering in the desert, it seems, and getting in skirmishes with kings etc. so it was entirely understandable that he wanted a place to plant his large contingent of employees and family. 

In the final analysis, ours is not to ask or reason why but to place our complete Faith and Trust in the One Who called us by His Grace. He has so many good things, plans and thoughts for us that if we just hold on, do not lose our minds or place and rely fully on Him, through pray and fellowship with Him, we can never go wrong. This is the absolute loving and awesome God we serve. Amen.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


2 Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.”  (Genesis 15:2-3)

This is the first recorded prayer from Abraham. Abram, as he was called at the time, had already obeyed the Call of God and crossed over from his pagan homeland in Ur of the Chaldeans (modern day Iraq) into the desert. There, he was looking for a city whose builder and creator of God. Abraham became the first Hebrew. The word Hebrew does NOT mean Jew, but has several meanings. The word Hebrew simply means "one who has crossed over, passed over or a sojourner, and one who has gone to the other side". We, who have obeyed God and accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ, have likewise crossed over, like Abraham did.

In his case, as in ours, we are now part of the family of the Hebrews - sojourners who have crossed over from darkness (paganism/idolatry/lost) to LIGHT (salvation/eternal life/Christianity). Abraham did not understand this plan when he was called to leave his idol-worshipping father's, Terah's,  house in dirty old heathen Ur. But God knew the plans He had for him.

In order to get to the context of this first prayer, we have to read the chapters leading up to Genesis 15:2 and on. Abram had just come through an amazing mountaintop experience with an example or type of Christ - the high priest of Salem Melchizedek, only to have a valley experience and a run-in with the corrupt king of Sodom. Then in Chapter 15:1, the LORD appeared to Abram and a vision, calmed his fear after the encounter with that king and proceeded to promised him a reward which stunned! God promised Abram, who had to be way into his 80's by now, a reward.

Abram was a very wealthy man at the time, even before he "crossed over" into Faith in the One True God of Heaven. He could not fathom what this reward could be. So he asked the Father what else could he possibly give a man, who was richer than all the billionaires in the world today! Ah, but there was one thing left....and it bothered Abram. He had no natural son with Sarah, his wife and the only heir, in his natural thinking, was Eliezar his main servant.

Here is when Abram prayed "O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?....Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” (Verses 2 and 3). We all know what happened next, even with his massive world-changing error with Hagar. Jesus appeared to him in Chapter 18 and promised Sarah would have a baby in her 90's.

What does this prayer say to us? We are a people pressed down on every side. We are buffeted, beat up in despair. Our people are persecuted here and mostly abroad. Churches and villages are destroyed and Bibles burned. But as God told Abram when the king of Sodom tried to make a worldly deal with him "Fear not" (Genesis 15:1). In this way, we too should fear now. God says He is our shield and buckler.

That means not only that He has our back but from His view from heaven, He sees all the arrows coming at us from all sides. God as our shield means He will protect us from ALL, and I mean, ALL frontal assaults of the enemy. The slings and arrows will not touch us, the fiery darts will never pierce this Divine Defense. But the original word which the Holy Spirit used in Scripture here was "meginnah" or "armed"! This Shield of God is not just a productive barrier in front of us but is like the Iron Dome over Israel today - it protects against ALL incoming and can repel anything!

Secondly, what this first prayer of Abraham says to us is this - if you and I allow Almighty God, the Great God of Heaven to be our defense, we shall not be only protected but our Faith will be rewarded! Are you and I ready to allow Him to be our "shield and buckler" and cross over into a full measure of Faith, or are we still thinking "we got this, God"...and are trying to fight life's battles in our own strength? The choice is as plain as day!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants. He shall be to his brothers.”
26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant".
27 “May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.” Genesis 9:25-27

As if things could not get any worse for mankind, in the annals of recorded human history, the very next prayer in the Bible was a very significant curse. This was not immediately after the Great Flood as Noah was already now a great first time Farmer and Owner of Vineyards which produced much wine. His three sons and their wives had already begun to be “fruitful and multiply" to "fill the earth" as commanded by God.

One day, Noah got a little too much into the fruit of the vine and passed out drunk without any of his clothes. His grandson Canaan, son of Ham, saw him in a most unfortunate position laid out cold and apparently merrily told his father, Ham. This was (and is) a shameful thing in many respects. Dishonor before God does not go unpunished, even now. It may not happen immediately (as Canaan was young) but it will happen! 

Therefore, Noah prays an imprecatory prayer against his own grandson while praying a blessing on the descendants of his other sons - Japheth and Shem! This curse from Noah to Canaan is NOT a model prayer for us. God does not want us to go around cursing, or calling the wrath of God upon anyone. We are to pray against evil and plead for the Protection of the Lord against any forms of demonic control or possession, but our goal is to pray for the enemies of God, thereby - as the Bible says - placing burning coals upon their heads. We can also rebuke the darkness and in Name of Jesus and resist the devil at all turns. (Read Ephesians 6 and the entire book of James).

Canaan ended up being more than Israel's servant as history noted. When the Israelites came out of Egypt in the Exodus, God gave them Canaan's land, as part of His great plan of Redemption. So the curse from verse 25 is a prophetic declaration, not for this time. Scripture is closed on this point.

The other part of Noah's prayer shows him swinging from imprecatory to Praise and Worship, just like he did for those hundreds of years which the Lord let him live. Verse 27 of Noah's prayer which has huge implications for mankind as that too is very prophetic. It is noteworthy the Holy Spirit used Noah's second son Japheth to cause Noah to pray for the enlargement of his future generations.

Through Japheth, the following peoples came: Russians; Greeks; Indians (Asia); Persians; Southern Europeans (Spanish, Portuguese etc.); Anglo-Saxons; Germans and Celts (Irish)! We will look at the breakdown of the nations of the other brothers at another time.

The amazing run of the Nations out of one man, via the blessing of his Father Noah, is also an example for us to pray for our own children. Even before kids are born, we should be praying for their salvation and for the salvation of their children and their children's children, if Jesus Christ tarries. We should pray with them nightly, in our homes during family time, at meals and at every opportunity thereby giving feet to the imperative to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). 

Our prayers will not create nations like Noah's did for Japheth, but God has a different plan for each of our children, and for us as well. Ask and we shall receive. Ask of the Lord on behalf of our sons and daughters and even if we may not live to see their full measure of the blessings we prayed for on their lives, it is the contention of those of us who believe that we will do so, on the other side of glory. 

In this, I pray therefore, my life verse upon all of my own children, as I claimed for myself, so many years ago (Psalm 27:4) "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple". Amen

Monday, March 14, 2016


13 And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”  15 And the Lord said to him,  “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. (Genesis 4:13-15)

The very first prayer in the Bible was the end result of a rebuke from God to the first murderer in history. Cain had just killed his brother Abel, when worship and sacrifice to God went awry, due to jealousy. Cain also lied to the Father insisting he did not know where Abel was, using those immortal words "Am I my brother's keeper". Because of his vile actions, God banished him, cursed him and sent him on his way to roam the earth as a fugitive, who will even a hard time growing his own food.

This shook Cain to the core.  He obviously had not thought of the consequences of his action and in shock, sorrow, fear and sadness, Cain offered the very first prayer of the Bible from a human. From the tone of this prayer and the very fact that Almighty God heard, listened to and responded to it, it does appear to be a prayer of repentance. Looking at this prayer closer, we see the following:
- Cain accepts his punishment but it dawns on him it is more than he can possibly bear. (Verse 13).
- Cain then grasps what being cast from the very presence and protection of God really means....that is, the Hand of God will be withdrawn from him, thereby leaving him in real danger . (Verse 14).
- Cain experiences the grace, mercy, compassion, blessing and protection of our Heavenly Father, when God chooses Cain as one of his elect and gave him a new life away from farming. Cain built a city and started a family. (Verse 15).

This is just an amazing situation, right off the bat. When we get to the very next prayer of the Bible, the Prayer of Noah, we see things get even worse...and not too long after God had cleansed the earth of evil and bad people in the Great Flood.

The Fall of Man led to ungodly conduct even in service to God. Abel was killed because he revered, loved and honored God more with this offering, obedience and willing heart of sacrifice where he earned the love and favor of God. He did not give what was left over from his earnings, or paycheck or after he had taken care of his own needs, as most Christians do today. Abel was a perfect example of a man of God whose faith is counted to him as righteousness. He even made it in the Great Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith - "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4).

But God is a good, good Father, that's Who He is. He is a gracious God, full of mercy, patience and long-suffering. Even though Cain shed innocent blood out of pure jealousy and hatred....even though Cain dishonored and slighted the Father, God listened to the first recorded prayer in the Bible and turned Cain around. He then proceeded to give him a life as the builder of cities and even His Hand of protection. The lesson here for us is that human beings in can be like Cain.

We can use words and conduct unbecoming a man or woman of God to hurt others. Words and actions can destroy another's life. Still there is forgiveness if there is a repentant heart and the willingness to make things right with those whom you have hurt, if you just turn it over to God. He is a just and loving God and stand with open arms to love His prodigal children.

Monday, March 7, 2016


9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
Oh that we too shall pray like the Apostle does here in verse 9! This is one of the most powerful prayers of the entire Scriptures, neatly hidden in plain sight! Here is what a man of God - Paul - writes from a prison cell: 
- He prays that the Love we should have for our brethren in the Faith grows by leaps and bounds.
- He prays for us, (through the Church at Philippi) may growing in actual doctrine and theological knowledge of the Oracles and Word of God. The word oracles is used in Romans 3:2.
- He prays for us (since ALL Scripture was written THEN for us NOW, for our instruction ) to UNDERSTAND the knowledge we are learning.
- He prays that because of THAT understanding that we remain authentic and with as little sin as possible until Christ calls us home!

Should this prayer not be obvious to us Christians who believe and stand firmly on the Word of God? Yes it should, but is it put into action? In the west, we can hardly get preachers and teachers to remember and pray for our persecuted brethren in the middle east, Asia or elsewhere. Christianity is an "inside-the-four-walls" system in most churches. There may be an acknowledgment of the lost and hurting outside church walls, but little is done to change that downward spiral. But here is a real encouragement to our prayer lives, which can have a positive impact, that leads to proactive solutions.

As simple as this model prayer from Paul is, it behooves us to add its pattern to our prayer lives, in order than we may grow richer in grace and love while blessing others. This is imperative as we see in verse 11. By following the progression of this prayer, as Paul demonstrates in his many flow charts of the attributes we need for spiritual maturity, that we are lifting high the Name of Jesus and the Father.

He is saying in this prayer that Prayer, rich in love, growing into knowledge and understanding will certify us as authentic and whole, until we are home with Christ. Therefore a life, which reflects such a solid lifestyle, visible to all around us (fruits of righteousness) will lead many to see the Power of God visible in you, and all of us, who glorify Him by our actions and obvious Christian character!

This is transformation aglow! Oh, that we may be so worthy! May such active and repeatable prayer lead to many seek the peace, power and loving arms of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


....WITH ALL JOY....
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. (Philippians 1:3-7)

Keep in mind, as we read this prayer, that this man - the Apostle Paul - is in prison for preaching the Gospel of Christ! Still, note how he is praying for the saints:
- With all of His Heart (vs 7)
- With all Joy (vs 4)
- With Confidence (vs 7)

However the Confidence which he exudes is not for him but for encouragement of the church at Philippi. Thus, as Paul has written so many times, direct from the Oracles of Heaven - everything written in Scriptures are given as instructions for us NOW. That includes ALL Scripture, "Old and New" Testament.

It is my humble theory that this prayer can therefore be appropriated by us, in these last days, to pray for the encouragement for the hurting and hope for the hopeless. We should do this, even when we do not feel like it! What can be more challenging for a man than to be so confident of this positional salvation in the Kingdom so much so that he exhorts many to do the same. He proposes they also engage in Apologetics. 

The greatest impact we can have on the life of another is to love them to Jesus, when we are in the valley ourselves. By taking ourselves from under the circumstances and lifting another up to Him, in prayer, we exhibit a form of grace upon grace, which testifies to the Love He embedded in us at the point of conversion.

Many Christians have a problems in the recent past few decades with defending even what they claim they believe. We are specifically instructed, in the passage above, to engage in not just the "defense" (Apologetics) of the Christian Faith but to confirm the Good News of the Gospel. That is, we are to testify by a consistent daily lifestyle and by words, the truth of what Christ has done for us.....the Grace He has given us and the new life included, therein.

By this, we affirm, confirm and make firm the prescient precious words of the Great Apostle Peter "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).