Tag Archive: nations


D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

I used to attend a church where, when it was time to pray, one particular deacon prayed for an extremely long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people fell asleep while he prayed. Seriously, he was long-winded when he prayed. I’ve heard people say, “If we ever needed prayer before, we sure do need it now.” Well, that has never been truer then it is today! Matter of fact, I think we would welcome that praying deacon right about now. Just the other day, I read about a 5-year-old child bowing their head to say ‘Grace’ over their lunch, which was their habit at mealtime, and a teacher told them that they were not allowed to pray. Huh? Like I said; “If we ever needed prayer, we sure do need it now.”

Daniel faced a similar challenge during the reign of King Darius. (Daniel 6) The king set over the regions 120 princes, and over them, he appointed three presidents. Daniel was one of those three presidents. Then, Darius planned to appoint one man over all the regional leaders, including the presidents. Daniel, a man of integrity, was highly favored, by the king, for the job. The jealous leaders didn’t like that. Therefore, they searched for something to discredit Daniel but, could find nothing. So, they decided to use Daniel’s faithfulness to God against him. (Daniel 6:5) Three times a day Daniel opened his window facing toward Jerusalem and prayed to the Lord, God of Israel.

Darius conquered many nations, and though he did not worship the God of Israel, he allowed the people to continue to practice their religions. The jealous princes and presidents went to Darius and persuaded him to sign a decree which would outlaw prayer. For thirty days no one could pray to anyone except to Darius. Violators would be put down into the lion’s den. After Daniel saw that Darius signed the decree, he went to his chambers; opened the window towards Jerusalem (which was his habit), got on his knees and prayed, and gave thanks to the God of Israel three times a day. (Daniel 6:10)

Believing that this would eliminate Daniel from Darius’ favor, the princes hurried to tell the king of Daniel’s violation of the law. Darius, regretting that he had outlawed prayer, tried to think of a way around it but, reluctantly, he had to have Daniel put into the lion’s den. However, after fasting and not sleeping all night, the king hurried to the lion’s den early the next morning and in anguish called, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you faithfully serve, able to deliver you from the lions?” To the delight of the king, Daniel answered,  “O King… My God sent His angel, and shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me…” (Daniel 6:12-22)

Darius had Daniel pulled up from the den, and there were no scares or injury found upon him. Afterward, the king (angry at their ploy) commanded that those men who had accused Daniel, be cast into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives. Then, King Darius wrote unto all the people, nations, and languages, which he had conquered; “Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel for; He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:23-27)

Look at this. After Daniel prayed; the king fasted for Daniel’s safety, Daniel escaped harm from the lions, and the king glorified the living God throughout the nations. Wow! Imagine what would have happened had Daniel not been persistently praying when they outlawed prayer. I think that Daniel went to his knees in prayer after Darius signed the decree because, “if they ever needed prayer, they sure did need it” then: when they outlawed prayer.

Think it is bad now? Imagine what it would be like if we had ever stopped praying. Then, imagine what it will be like because we never stopped praying.

“…I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:16-17

Don’t stop praying.

Pray without ceasing… 1Thessalonians 5:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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Something Happens When You Pray by D.J. Martin

The other day, in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion at Normandy, a recording of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to and prayer with the nation aired. When I heard the words of this prayer it reminded me of the blind man standing on the side of the road, who after he heard Jesus was there, began shouting, “Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me (Mark 10:47)!” The people tried to hush him but, the man desperately needed healing from Jesus so, the more they tried to quiet him, the more persistent and louder he got. The blind man kept calling His name until Jesus stopped and then had the man brought to Him. Jesus made his persistence worthwhile, for He granted his request and opened his blinded eyes. Now, not only could he hear Jesus, but he could also see Jesus.

The words of President Roosevelt’s prayer also reminded me of the desperate mother who cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is severely demon possessed (Matthew 15:22).” Jesus acted as if He didn’t hear her. But, she persisted. Therefore, the disciples said to Him; “Send her away!” When He finally acknowledged her, Jesus told her that He would not help her because of her ethnicity. But, she persisted. Then, He insulted the mother. But, she persisted. Finally, Jesus complimented her undaunted faith and freed her daughter from demonic possession.

To emphasize that we ought always to pray and never give up, Jesus told the story of a widow who went to an ungodly judge. The widow asked the judge for justice against her adversary. He refused, but she kept asking. She was so relentless that the judge grew weary of the widow’s constant approaching him with the same request. Therefore, because of her persistence, he granted her request (Luke 18:1-5). Then, Jesus said to them;

 And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? tell you that He will avenge them speedily… Luke 18:7

The Allied Forces fought against the vicious physical and spiritual forces of evil. Though many were overcome with wounds and death, the Allied Forces were persistent and eventually victorious. Life, liberty, and righteousness were well worth fighting for. Their valiant persistence resulted in setting captives free and deliverance of nations from tyranny. There are times when individuals face their own personal battles confronting physical and spiritual forces of evil.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places… Wherefore put on the whole armor of God… Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance…” Ephesians 6:12-18

As the Allied Forces, the blind man, and the desperate mother; and Jesus encouraged, be persistent in prayer. Pray without ceasing. We must continually call on the name of “Jesus, son of David.” Don’t allow the strength of the evil, the length of the journey, and the difficulty of the battle to discourage. Let the desperate desire for overcoming, for healing, for deliverance, for righteousness, for freedom, and faith in Christ’s ability determine our persistence. Never give up, because “Jesus, the son David,” is able. We must pray until Jesus stops, hears our cry, has mercy on us, and rewards our undaunted faith.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. 

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. 

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won.” 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Pray without ceasing.” 1Thessalonians 5:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Years ago, a dear misguided acquaintance of mine invited me to the Church he attended. I told him that I would give it some thought. One day he brought a copy of the Church program to me. On the first page at the top of the program was a congregational prayer chant. The first line was “Our Mother/Father God.” It was a very glaring sign that this Church had a shaky doctrine. Jesus is not confused as to whether God is His Father or His Mother. He always called Him, “Father.” The devil will give confusing and contradictory words (Genesis 3). God does not have an identity problem but, the devil will perpetuate identity confusion. If the messenger doesn’t know that God is Father, they are confused and cannot lead you anywhere but to false doctrine and away from the truth. It is a sure sign that they don’t know God and never met the true Christ.

“A Father of the fatherless …is God.” (Psalm 82:3)

What are you waiting to hear?

At that Church and many other religious congregations, they show no love toward their parishioners, in that they do not admonish them to live holy. Instead, they tell them that they are not sinners in need of a Savior. They cleverly preach that “You will not die… (Genesis 3)” They neglect to tell them that those who deliberately live a continuous lifestyle of sin will not see the kingdom of God. (1Corinthians 6:8-10) Endorsing and embracing their sin, unfortunately, they deceive many people. Though in bondage to sin; still, people flock to hear good feeling, ear-tickling messages of positive thinking. The religious leaders will encourage the sick to take their medicine, avoid nicotine and fried foods to protect their physical bodies but, they do not warn them about the fiery destiny awaiting those who mock God and proudly practice immorality (Revelation 21:8). So, the sinners flock to places where they teach that Jesus endorses or has no problem with their sinful lifestyle because this is what they want to hear.

There is a favorite song of the world that has a lyric “Imagine there is no heaven; imagine there is no hell…” When you choose a church or a pastor do you want to hear them say, “There is no hell?”

What are you waiting to hear?

A rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked, “What should I do to assure eternal life?” What do you suppose he wanted to hear Jesus say?  Jesus said, “You know the laws …” The man replied that he had kept them from his youth.  Then, Jesus said, “Sell all you have and give to the poor,” and the young man went away sadly. Do you think he went looking for the Pharisees and Sadducees to start spending more time with them? I just wonder where he went because obviously, Jesus had not said what he wanted to hear. (Luke 18: 18-23) 

 What are you waiting to hear?

Are you visiting churches and making your decision of membership based on whether the preacher condemns living together out of wedlock? What are you waiting to hear? The first miracle Jesus did was at a Wedding between a man and a woman. (John 2:1-8) He confronted the woman at Samaria about “shacking up.” What do you think she was waiting to hear? I know it wasn’t that. That’s why she was at the well at that time of day. However, after hearing the truth from Jesus, she and the town assured their eternal destiny with God. (John 4:16-42) 

What are you waiting to hear?

In Numbers 22 we are told that the Moab and Midian nations, fearing them, strategized how to eliminate the children of Israel.  Therefore, they sent messengers to Balaam to bless them and curse the Israelites. Balaam sought God as to whether he should curse the people. God said, “No.” That’s not what the elders of Moab and Midian wanted to hear. So they offered Balaam a lucrative bribe to say what they wanted to hear. For the fee, Balaam started to travel to speak to them the words they wanted to hear. But God’s angel blocked the path so that the beast Balaam rode would not go forward. Balaam started beating his ride until the beast had enough. Instead of braying, he heard the donkey speak audibly, “Don’t you see that angel blocking the path?” I know that this was not what Balaam wanted to hear. When he recovered his senses, he went to the princes and told them that he would not curse whom God had not cursed. (Numbers 23:8) You know this was not what they were waiting to hear. (Numbers 23:11)

What are you waiting to hear?

Sadly, today there are false prophets leading churches and governments who have accepted bribes and are saying what the enemies of God or the carnal Christian want to hear. They are teaching doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1)

If you are chasing after fads, prophets, and preachers who promise the world but neglect to show you how to have a personal relationship with Christ and receive eternal life, test the spirit. (1John 4:1) Are they saying what the Word of God says or what you want to hear?  If you read the scriptures, you may find that it’s not what you want to hear. But, it will be the truth, and God will remedy your condition and set you free from sin. You’ll become heir and a joint heir with the King and have everlasting life. Don’t just rely on what the preacher is saying. Don’t be deceived, search the scriptures, “for in them you think you have eternal life.” (John 5:39)

What are you waiting to hear?

Four men brought their friend who was sick of the palsy to Jesus. Jesus looked at the man, and said; “Your sins are forgiven.” Not what the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were there, wanted to hear. Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, looked back at the man and said, “Get up, take up your bed and walk!” And the man did just that. Again, this is not what the Pharisees and Sadducees were waiting to hear but, every bit of what that man and his friends wanted to hear. The man heard the truth (“You’ve sinned, but I have forgiven you”) and his condition remedied (healed) in one meeting with Jesus.          (Mark 2:3-12)

What are you waiting to hear?

Saying they caught her in adultery, several Scribes and Pharisees threw a woman at the feet of Jesus. Jesus responded, “He that is sinless, let him throw the first stone.” Not what they were waiting to hear. So her accusers left one by one. When Jesus looked up again, there was no one there but the adulterous woman. Jesus looked at her and asked, “Has no man condemned you?” “No,” she replied. Then, Jesus said to her, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-12) Now, that’s not what she expected to hear but glad she did! (John 12:3)

What are you waiting to hear?

Poor shepherds were watching their flock one night. They were listening for the sound of creatures trying to devour their sheep. They wanted to hear the peaceful and quiet baaing of their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared engulfed by the light of the glory of God. It frightened them for they weren’t expecting this. They didn’t know what they would hear next. The angel said, “Fear not; for I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Then, suddenly the sky was full of a host of angels praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 8-14)

Now, that’s well worth hearing!

What are you waiting to hear?

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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