Cleveland Brown Praying Players

Masthead for Aug 12 Prayer in the News showing Cleveland Browns Players praying

Non-Political Article About Political Stuff

I have been wanting to engage in this political stuff, but am very convicted to not alienate my left leaning Christian friends, nor my right leaning Christian friends. I told my friend Chuck in California this and that I was in the middle of a NON-Political post regarding political matters.

He guffawed and asked, “How are you going to do that?” I answered, “By simply giving a Biblical perspective on the questions brought up.”

Tell Me How I Did

The first thing I think of when I see people praying is, “Cool, I wonder what they’re praying?” Is what they prayed scriptural? I want to know this because if it is, God will hear their prayers and if He hears their prayers, He’ll answer them (1 John 5:14-15).

I didn’t see the game, but after reading the article (CLICK HERE or see below) I thought, “Hmmm, whatever I may believe about one’s attention during the National Anthem, I had to admit that what they did was in an orderly fashion. And there is a verse in Scripture that refers to doing things in an orderly manner.

Now, while the Holy Spirit, through Paul is talking about doing worship services in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40), that verse is the first thing I thought of. I’m NOT saying that is from the Lord, I’m just sharing with you my thoughts.

So that got me thinking about other things The Holy Spirit may have said through Paul. Now this is by no means exhaustive, but it is an interesting view, a Biblical view, of certain items relative “attaining change” which these men said they prayed about (when I saw their YouTube interviews).

Biblical View of Attaining Change

How did the Holy Spirit, through Paul suggest that we attain change?

  • He first assured us that our struggle isn’t with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).
    • Compare that to the anger we see pointed towards one another.
  • In another verse He says to thank the Lord IN every situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18), but He also says to thank the Lord FOR everything.
    • Now I’m sorry, but that’s just hard to swallow.
  • Another interesting, and very counter-intuitive instruction is that we are to rejoice in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
    • Maybe i’m blind, but I’m not seeing this, anywhere!

Look, this stuff is hard for Christians to follow. And it is impossible for the unsaved to even understand (1 Corinthians 2:14), let alone follow. But my friends, the grid of the Bible is where we start and where we finish (Hebrews 4:12-13), so it is here that we must consider our reactions to what is going on.

Here is what I don’t read in Scripture, and I’m more than happy to be shown where I’m wrong. But nowhere do we read about civil disturbances as a way to make change.

Look, I expect the unsaved to act like the unsaved. They’ve been doing that for 6000 years, but you and I, IN THE CHURCH have got to live according to Scripture, whether we like it or not.

The Holy Spirit on Authority

So you might ask, what does the Holy Spirit say about those in authority? Well, look at Romans 13:1-2. It says that the person in leadership is who God put there and who God wants there.

Now before the Trumpsters say, “Right-on!” Let me remind you that the same verses carried the same authority during the previous 8 years!

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you are on I hope that you are getting the sense that you need to look at bit more humbly at your own life? You see, PERSONAL HUMILITY is the real meaning of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

May I? There is another Holy Spirit inspired passage that comes to my mind, Philippians 3:13b in the NASB, “. . . but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” Is there some legitimate application to us in that verse? Maybe, and if so another verse comes to mind, Matthew 16:24 where we are told to “deny ourselves. . .” which again conjures up the expectation of humility on my part.

Blessings my friends,

Mark S Mirza Signature

To read the article by Dan Labbe @dan_labbe Browns reporter for @clevelanddotcom: http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2017/08/browns_players_decided_on_pray.html

 

Prayer, Prayer, Prayer, What’s the Difference?

Prayer in the news masthead for August 18 - Where Chip Warren describes Biblical prayer

Today’s Prayer in the News article is a very simple and short article where the The Sand Mountain Reporter in Albertville AL (www.sandmountainreporter.com) records what real prayer is and is not. It is a short as succinct article by Chip Warren, the President of the Albertville Ministerial Association.

Kudos to Chip Warren.

Here is the article, and its link:

http://www.sandmountainreporter.com/article_1d9e0cb6-844b-11e7-9906-5f713daf04c4.html

Chip Warren: The Biblical concept of prayer

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 2:26 pm | Updated: 3:45 pm, Fri Aug 18, 2017.

Where do you get your theology and beliefs about prayer?

Unfortunately, many have some strange concepts about prayer. They may have acquired these strange ideas from lack of Biblical teaching on prayer or simply accumulated them over the years like germs on the street. Some have been influenced by the theology, or lack of theology, of those who write scripts for TV programming or movie scripts. I suspect all these writers do not have a Biblical theology of prayer.

So, what really is prayer?

For many, God is not the one to whom their prayers are directed. It is just some vague, religious, mystical experience practiced by all religions or even those who claim no religion at all. Jesus referred to pagans praying in Matthew 6:7.

How foreign is all this so-called prayer to the Biblical concept of prayer. The One to whom we pray is what makes prayer prayer. “Prayer” to anyone or anything but the one, true, eternal God is not Biblical prayer. Only a God who is alive can hear and answer prayer. A wooden or stone idol or leader of some religion who has been dead for centuries cannot hear and answer prayer.

You remember the account in I Kings 18 of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal called on their god, but there was no answer. You have to love Elijah’s sense of humor as he told them that they should shout louder or perhaps he was busy, or traveling, or asleep. Only the God who is alive can hear and answer our prayers as He demonstrated in this passage.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Our thoughts are with you”? I have often wondered what good those thoughts would do. Do they mean that their thoughts can effect some cosmic force in the universe or something akin to ESP?

Prayer is simply talking with God. Have you talked with Him today?

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16.

Chip Warren is president of the Albertville Ministerial Association.


Again, excellent, succinct article.

Nice job Chip Warren.

Blessings my friends, and remember, if you are not getting our E-Letter CLICK HERE

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Positive Steps Toward Healing

Prayer in the news masthead for August 17 - Prayer in Thomasville

Take Advantage of a Tragedy

I know that there are a lot of people who want to view tragedies as something to exploit. They want to use them to build animosity against another people group. And it doesn’t matter where you sit on the political fence. There are extremists everywhere.

All I can do is look at Scripture, and the counter-intuitive words of the Holy Spirit.
For example: Romans 8:28, God works all things out for the better, for everyone? No, for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Positive Steps to Healing

To have an idea of what I mean, take a look at this photo, and watch the video. These aren’t folks wanting to “take advantage by not wasting a tragedy,” rather, these are folks taking positive steps to heal.

Kudos!

The link to this ABC 27 WTXL @ABC27 story is HERE.

Day 2 of protests in Thomasville ends in prayer

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

Creative Pray-ers Prayers

Prayer in the news masthead for August 15 - Praying for Motorists

You gotta love this!

The guy stops at a corner, gets a free water AND A PRAYER!

Let me ask you a question. You may feel uncomfortable stopping cars on the street, but what other ways might you do this?

  • Make a water station in front of your home where people walk their dogs after work
  • When you’re in a restaurant, ask the waitress or waiter how you can pray for them

Want to make it more personal?

There are a number of way that you can pray for someone a little closer to home.

  • Text your pastor once a week asking for a prayer request
  • Start praying a particular verse of scripture for a family member
  • Pick a young person in your church, that reminds you of you and start praying for them weekly

There a million ideas.

What are you ideas?

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

PS. Kudos #WarrenDillaway and to The Star Beacon for this article.

 

Here is the article that the photo above goes to:

http://www.starbeacon.com/news/local_news/church-offers-prayer-to-motorists-along-street/article_c271eec1-ff46-5104-974d-5c097cc9bdcb.html
http://www.starbeacon.com
Twitter: @thestarbeacon

Church offers prayer to motorists along street

By WARREN DILLAWAY warren@starbeacon.com Aug 13, 2017

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP — Motorists were often surprised but warmed up quickly to a cold bottle of water and the offer for prayer at Plymouth United Methodist Church Saturday.

“We’ve done 500 prayer requests,” said pastor the Rev. Samara Jenkins.

Jenkins said the church purchased 200 bottles of water to give out at the intersection of State and Plymouth roads. Three people worked the intersection early Saturday morning.

She said Saturday was the third year the church offered motorists the opportunity for prayer. Jenkins said motorists often come back to the intersection and bring a prayer request. Some people park their vehicles and get out to form a circle to pray while others stay in their vehicles.

“I’m living Jesus out loud,” said Jeri Bell, who has volunteered the last several years.

Jenkins said there is so much despair in the community that the church wanted to reach out in a different way.

“The heroin and opioids has been an epidemic but now suicides has become an epidemic,” she said.

Jenkins said the prayer opportunity was a way for the church to reach out and show love for the community.

The church is also partnering with Signature Health for a prayer vigil for the community at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Signature Health parking lot, Jenkins said.

“We know the county needs prayer,” she said, adding, “We pray for people in their vehicles and they pray for them in church,” Jenkins said.

Illness is the leading prayer request, Jenkins said. She said the next often requested prayer option is for the United States, followed by police and law enforcement.

CNN Almost Gets it Right

Prayer in the news masthead for August 10 - Regarding Trumps Prayer in the oval office

I’m Trying to Agree with CNN

How can I agree with CNN?

Seriously! That’s my question. I started reading this article by looking for ways to agree with the writer. But he’s so wrong in so many ways that I was beginning to lose hope. So I read thru the article a second time. And I did find something, and unfortunately it is a major issue that he is absolutely right about.

When he writes about religious leaders “. . . expect and demand overt shows of religious sentiment from government leaders. . .” he’s right! And though he sees the problem he misunderstands the conclusion. Let me try to expound on what I see, because I believe that we in Christendom MUST acknowledge his observation.

Giving God Advice

I’m in the prayer business and what I keep seeing in fellow pray-ers is their desire to give God advice, about our nation, about our leaders, about their decisions and about their direction.

Here’s what I don’t see. We don’t seek the Lord for His will! While we would never say this, we act like WE KNOW what’s best, hence we “give God advice” and we fail to pray aright for our president, our nation and the decisions and direction to be taken by all of our leaders.

When the CNN writer, Errol Louis implies that we’re trying to have some sort of control over things in this nation, he’s right! This is the way many of my Christian friends think. But friends, brothers and sisters, do you not see? This is the problem! Our lack of humility!

Errol Louis, the writer of this story, with his, in my opinion, “back handed vitriol” for religious conservatives has stumbled into the problem in our nation.

The Problem

While he didn’t say this, my guess is that he considers us, the Christians, the problem. And if he thinks that, he’s right!

Right about now, if you are on the political left you’re probably saying, “Right-on!” And if you’re on the other team you’re considering bouncing to another link.

Let me address the right, the conservatives, the Christians, for I do not expect “the unbeliever to welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to them; they are not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.” (A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB).

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, do you really think that the problems in our nation are the result of the unsaved? My friends, the unsaved are acting like the unsaved! They are doing what we expect them to do. God does not say that judgment begins in the White House, He said that judgment begins in the Church House 1 Peter 4:17). God is judging you and I.

I re-listened to a Leonard Ravenhill message today. He reminds us that Revelation 3:20, Jesus standing at the door knocking is NOT to the unsaved person’s heart, but He is at the door of the lukewarm church He’s getting ready to vomit out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). And then Ravenhill brought in another verse that surprised me. He said, “Today we pray that where two or three are gathered there God is in our midst. No! God is standing at the door trying to get in!” (Matthew 18:20)

One More Challenge

Stop for a moment and remember when you prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14 for the nation and you asked God to forgive the sinners, WHO WERE WE TALKING ABOUT? Too many of us were considering the sinners, “those other people!” Friends, the modern day application of this verse is us, you and me, believers. What we are to do AND THEN KEEP DOING is to humble ourselves. Friends, we keep pointing our fingers at everyone else but they’re not the problem, you and I are.

Let me make my point going back to 911. Do you remember 911? We, the church, we still complain that right after 911 the country came together in united prayer, “for 2 weeks” and then it dissolved. But my friends, we too dissolved our newly attained resolve for Prayer.

How many are you as devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2) now as you were right after 911? How many of you are as devoted to pray now as you were at the end of the Presidential Campaign? My friends, Errol Louis is right, we are the problem, for completely different reasons than he thinks, but we are the problem!

If we do not begin praying with an honest evaluation of us, you and me, we are as foolish as this CNN writer thinks we are.

So before you pray for President Trump and those around him, pray for God’s will, for it may just be different from your will! If we do that then you and I will STOP giving God advice and pray His will for this nation.

Prayer In The News

And if you wonder how I think we should pray for these issues of our day, watch this category and see my posts where I take Prayer In The News and look at it through the grid of Scripture.

CLICK HERE for my #PrayerInTheNews posts.

To read the CNN (@cnn) article by Errol Louis (@errollouis) of NY1 (@ny1) CLICK HERE.

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

Courageous City Official Encourages Prayer

Masthead for Aug 12 Prayer in the News showing Mayor Gloria Garcia

Kudos to Victorville CA Mayor Gloria Garcia.

Prayer, In or Out of the Public Arena

We have spent a generation (and more) taking God out of the city center, it is promising to see Him asked back in by a city government official.

As you pray for her you will want to also pray for those who will oppose her. But as you pray, ABOUT THEM and BECAUSE OF THEM remember HOW you are to view them. Think of this, thru the eyes of Scripture.

You will want to pray AGAINST those opposing her, but you must remember that your struggle and her struggle is not and will not be with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

So, with that being said, how would you pray for them (those opposing her) and how would you pray for her?

Let me suggest 2 simple passages:

For Those Opposing Mayor Garcia:

Lord, as I think of those that even now are planning the destruction of Mayor Garcia’s decision to plan and encourage prayer in the public square, we recognize that they are deceived by the evil one into thinking that a person’s religion does not impact the rest of their lives. Father, let this event begin the process OF THEIR eyes and ears being opened. Father, begin to change the hearts of those who would come against this brave mayor. (Genesis 3:1, Ephesians 1:18)

For Mayor Garcia Herself:

Lord, Mayor Garcia has been moved by You to do a very courageous thing, encouraging public prayer because of the city’s problems. Lord, allow her to recognize the deception of those around her, “good people” who will want her to reverse her actions, for various reasons. And Father, let her see, open the eyes and the ears of her heart, that she might recognize the various ways You are using this action of hers. Lord, let her courageousness not only curb the violence in Victorville but please also encourage other Christian mayors to do the same thing. (Genesis 3:1, Ephesians 1:18)

To see Shea Johnson’s (@DP_Shea), Daily Press (@VVDailyPress) article from Victorville (vvdailypress.com) CLICK HERE or go directly to:

http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20170810/amid-rising-violence-victorville-mayor-calls-for-prayer

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Praying Ladies, North Korean, Nukes and Comfort

North Korean Escalation Masthead for Prayer in the News

Every Thursday my prayer partner and I pray with a number of crazy ladies (I told them I’d take out the word “crazy”).

I shared with them that I want to write on this N. Korean threat but remain consistent to the way I have been teaching on praying for leaders for the last few years.

So before I share with you their prayers let me remind you of a few details about Romans 13:1 & 2.

The Background

  1. The leaders in place are there because God wants them there, and
  2. Because God put them there
  3. Paul wrote this when Nero led Rome
  4. Nero is the one who put Christians on the top of poles. . .
  5. Lighting them on fire for his nightlights
  6. THAT is the context of Romans 13:1 & 2.

Their Prayers

The following are this morning’s prayers from each of us in this special prayer time with these ladies. I never, NEVER record our prayers, but this is one that I wish I had. Note their prayers:

  • Father, I often teach that Romans 13:1-2 means that you placed leaders in positions, and you want them in positions of authority, both in the USA, and N. Korea and so we trust You Lord
  • Lord, You are our refuge in a time of trouble
  • We have confidence in You who is our strength
  • Father, we know that You shake things up and when they are shaken what is left is what You wanted to be left. So we trust You as the God who is and will shake things up regardless of man’s plans
  • Father, we trust You to revisit N. Korea with revival, and forgive us Father, in the USA for being too arrogant to allow revival in our land. We want You to protect us, but like 911 we will soon leave the churches, again.
  • Thank You for being a God who brings and allows difficulties SO THAT we turn to You
  • Praise You Lord, our defender and our comforter
  • Father, cause us to STAY in prayer and not stop after a few weeks, cause us to be devoted to prayer
  • Lord, use this time to cause folks to know You, who is to know life eternal
  • Father, open the eyes and the ears of the hearts of our leaders and the leaders of the world to be led by Your Word

To say the least, this was a very special time on the phone. I’m sure that on the phone there were some fears, but as is ALWAYS the case, when we place our focus on Him, the things of earth grow strangely dim, because of His glory and His grace.

The Article

To read the article from the Baptist Press that prompted this post, CLICK HERE

http://www.bpnews.net/49342/north-korea-nuclear-escalation-spurs-call-to-prayer

Blessings my friends, and I trust that you will return to our “Prayer In The News” posts often.

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Not What I Expect From The New York Times

Featured photo of NY Times masthead over article

Fake News!

We hear about fake news everywhere, and from every side.

So, IF YOU LOOK AT THE NEW YORK TIMES WITH DOUBT let me be the first to show you a great little article from them, that you would not expect.

In Joel C Rosenberg’s novels he constantly makes out the reporters, and specifically writers for The Gray Lady to be upstanding folks. And I think we lose sight of that. There are good people, Christians even, in hostile work places. And they need our prayers.

So the next time you are angry at the media, pray for them, not necessarily the ones you are angry at, but rather the good and decent employees trying to do a good job.

And enjoy this article by Monica L Williams (@monicalwilliams and monicawilliamsonline.com)

Here is her article:

Dear Diary:

After a recent foot operation, I have had to take taxis to get around. I took one to see a doctor at Beth Israel Hospital. When we got there, I paid and got out, only to realize that I had left behind my bag with indispensable belongings like glasses and keys.

I started running after the cab as it moved away, although, with an orthopedic boot protecting my foot, it was more like trying to walk swiftly. “My bag is in that taxi,” I shouted to the passers-by looking at me. The cab stopped a block away at a red light, then sailed off.

As I walked back toward the hospital trying to figure out what to do, I was surrounded by three women who appeared at almost the same time and expressed concern about my situation.

“You couldn’t stop it, could you?” one of them said. Another, a tall woman with blue eyes, had an idea: “Let’s pray together for the recovery of your bag.” And that was exactly what we did.

It was a lovely, slightly strange scene: Four women, hand in hand in Union Square, praying in a circle among an afternoon crowd of office workers, shoppers, joggers, older people, children and others.

It was a good prayer, as the tall woman said when we finished. And some hours later, it was answered when an official from the taxi commission who was searching for the lost bag called my phone, and the cabdriver picked up.

Blessings my friends,
Mark S Mirza Signature

Prayer Combats “High-Mindedness Raising Itself Above the Knowledge of God”

Prayer in the news masthead

2 Corinthians 10:5 is the passage often forgotten about when people preach on Spiritual Warfare.

In verses 3 & 4 Paul has reminded us that we battle with spiritual weapons tearing down strongholds.
Watch my words carefully because I may not go where you expect I this post.

Humbled Before God

These people’s prayers effected them, the pray-ers! They humbled themselves before God, submitting their needs before God and received Grace from God.
Here’s the contrast. We try to design a program to “fix” the problem.
  1. We give our arguments to God and others because of our fears.
  2. We come up with our own plans, not because God needs help, but because “these are good ideas.”
  3. And then our thoughts multiply and multiply in our head convincing ourselves that our arguments and our plans are the solution.

But that’s the opposite of verse 5.

Living verse 5, doing Spiritual Warfare is destroying OUR arguments and high minded ideas that become more important than God’s plans. When we take away our own arrogance we are left with the humility that God desires from us. A humility that says, “We need You!”

I believe these folks’ prayers will be answered

Because they destroyed a demon’s stronghold? No! Because they humbled themselves before God, submitting themselves to Him, and He will give them mercy.
Spiritual Warfare is not out yonder. We do not do Spiritual Warfare for others. We intercede for others, but Spiritual Warfare is accomplished in us, in our mind when we:
  1. Destroy arguments in our head
  2. No longer focus on our ideas, but on His, and
  3. Take our thoughts captive

And this reveals where the battle is at. . . our mind.

Just ask any of these folks that walked and prayed, I would guess that EACH one walked away with a peace that transcended their understanding (Philippians 4:7). Why the peace? Because God had fixed the situation? Time will give that answer. No, I believe the reason they had peace is because of God’s grace which is given to each of us when we make our focus Him and not our problems (Romans 8:6).
See the actual article below from Channel 3000 in Madison WI:
Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

School Prayer Benefits Teachers and Students

Prayer In The News Article

I love the quote in the article below:

Pastor Bill Villapiano of Faith Fellowship. “. . . Prayer is not new, nor should it grow old. Prayer is timeless.”
The article below “The Sixth Annual Prayer Zone Challenge” came from the Houston Herald. See below for its digital address.

 Praying For Your Schools

Prayer Walking in Houston County GAPraying for our schools is happening everywhere.
Let us know where you are Praying For Your Schools
I posted this on FB a few days ago.
It’s from Houston County GA.
The photo came from Associational Missionary Gary Leutzinger.
To read my FB post CLICK HERE

The sixth annual Prayer Zone Challenge –– an effort to pray for Texas County Schools –– has been announced for Aug. 20 inside Hiett Gymnasium.

Launched in the fall of 2011, the event rallies believers with an annual August service to begin the school year that includes every district in the county. The effort is hosted by the Houston Ministerial Alliance.

This year’s service will include worship by the praise team from Faith Fellowship. Pastor Cody Neugebaur of Souls Harbor Family Worship will deliver a message on prayer. To conclude the night, representatives from each of Texas County’s seven school districts –– Houston, Cabool, Licking, Raymondville, Summersville, Success and Plato –– as well as home schoolers will pray specifically for that community and its students.

The Prayer Zone Challenge isn’t a new endeavor in Texas County. But area pastors say it continues to be an incredibly important one.

“As with far too many things when the new wears off, we look for something else new and shiny,” said Pastor Bill Villapiano of Faith Fellowship. “We must not treat this effort in the same manner. Prayer is not new, nor should it grow old. Prayer is timeless.”

The 2017 Prayer Zone Challenge t-shirt is $10.

The effort crosses many different churches and denominations. The alliance itself consists of Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals and pastors from other backgrounds.

“Every person is needed at this rally,” said Pastor Todd Haley of Ozark Baptist. “As a community, we all desire to have our children, youth adult educators know how important they are to us. By coming together as a community, we send the message, “You are loved and cared for. You are important.”

A prayer guide with instructions about praying for schools will be handed out to those in attendance. New “Prayer Zone Partner” signs will also be available to pick up.

To assist in fundraising to purchase the signs and make them available for free, the Houston Ministerial Alliance designed prayer-themed T-shirts that can be purchased through local churches or the Houston Herald. They are $10 apiece and available in sizes youth small through adult 5XL.

FACT CHECK See inaccurate information in this story? Tell us here.

 

Read more: http://www.houstonherald.com/news/sixth-annual-prayer-zone-challenge-set-for-aug/article_94a1dd20-7b76-11e7-ae6e-130b789c3181.html#ixzz4pAH4qgpM

Read more: http://www.houstonherald.com/news/sixth-annual-prayer-zone-challenge-set-for-aug/article_94a1dd20-7b76-11e7-ae6e-130b789c3181.html#ixzz4p7pU3cVv

 

Blessings,
Mark S Mirza Signature