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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

The other day I saw a comment on my Twitter feed.  It didn’t, for some reason, link to the original post that began the kerfuffle to which I arrived.  The most vocal commenter was ranting about biblical tongues being no more than a distracting, self-induced, self-aggrandizing gibberish, while some others tried without success to reason with the critic.

Later on (while mowing and praying, actually), I formed a general mental retort to that critic; However, a Scripture popped into my head which, in turn, popped my “bubble,” so I purposed to check my Bible (always a good place to start!), which I did that evening.

This took me to First Corinthians 13 and 14, but let’s begin in Acts, Chapter Two, which the critic used as her sole basis for her rant:  (NKJV used except where indicated.)

 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:4-6).

Her reasoning, based on this single passage, was that anyone within earshot should understand someone “speaking in tongues,” and since she didn’t understand it, it must be fakery.

Rather than here quote huge portions of Scripture, I’ll point you to it and “let your fingers do the walking,” as the old ad used to say.

There are distinct instances of tongues: first, that initial physical evidence of having been filled (or baptized with) the Holy Spirit—separate from the Holy Spirit being received upon being born again. The first is the result of seeking the infilling, Luke 11:13; the other is received at the new birth (John 3:6, 14:16). Second, there is the use of said language to edify oneself (1 Corinthians 14:4), giving personal, private praise and thanks to God.  Lastly—and the critic apparently experienced a misuse of this—is a “message” in tongues given aloud in a gathering of believers. Such a prayer (for that is what it is) must always be directed toward God, and must always be followed immediately by an interpretation so that the assembly may be edified. I repeat: tongues, in whichever situation, is always directed Godward – it is never a message to the flock or to an individual. (1 Corinthians 14:1-33).  That is something else entirely, into which I will not delve here.

One more thing.  Speaking in tongues is always the initial, physical evidence of being “baptized” in the Holy Spirit.  The Scriptures clearly state this in every instance but one, where the language strongly implies it:

“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:18-22 KJV).

How did Simon perceive they’d received the Holy Spirit?  I have bolded the word “matter,” above. This is the key.  This word is, in the Greek, logos, or “something said.”

I hope I have given some of my readers food for thought.

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This is a letter to the body from a family in our local church assembly:

Dear Family,

She had blood work done on Monday. Our faith was hoping for a positive report,
but in the natural we were discouraged because she has not been feeling well the last few weeks. She has also been experiencing many physical, emotional, and spiritual attacks … it’s been a battle. But God has been so incredibly faithful through it all.

In addition to the liver function tests,  she asked the doctor to retest the Autoimmune function panel. Last February while in the hospital, she tested positive for an autoimmune disease…more specifically Autoimmune Hepatitis (Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver). The liver biopsy done in May, confirmed the Autoimmune Hepatitis and showed continuing and extensive damage to the liver.

However, the autoimmune function panel from Monday came back completely NORMAL – saying she has NO autoimmune disease anymore.

And the liver function tests are the BEST they have ever been!!

To explain it a little better – her liver function results should be under 30.  When she was admitted to the hospital last February, her counts were about 1,000 (according to the doctor she was in “end stage liver failure.”)  This past year, her liver has continued to function and symptoms subsided without the use of the steroids and immunosuppressant medication.  However, her liver levels have stayed dangerously elevated. The hepatologist told us repeatedly that he has never seen anyone come back from end stage liver failure without the use of high dose steroids and immunosuppressants.

In November, the UVA hepatologist told us that her liver levels were going back up and her liver was failing again.  At that point, he told her she had 1-2 years max to live (unless she started the steroids and immunosuppressants) and she would definitely need a liver transplant within the next year.

BUT GOD.

Her liver function results on Monday (remember, the normal range is under 30) were 36 and 43!!!!

We still need to see those numbers COMPLETELY normal and stay normal, but there is absolutely no other explanation for this other than GOD.

WE GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE.

Thank you for your faithful prayers, intercession and encouragement on our behalf.

We love you all.

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Moved?

I inadvertantly saw a brief portion (I could bear to watch only seconds, and thankfully it has been removed) of a video showing “Pakistani Islamists” beating with sticks a domesticated dog which was hung up by a harness. My emotions were instantly torn between heartbreak for the dog and seething hatred for its tormentors. The face, the eyes especially, of one of the torturers made me think of a demon in the third panel of Bosch’s triptych, “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” which depicts a (Dante’s) Inferno-like punishment for past sins.

That, in turn, made me think that even now people are tormented – in their minds, their bodies, their souls – by Satan’s “henchmen.”

It has been said, with respect to a lack of compassion for the lost, that “our eyes are dry because our hearts are dry.” If I but look upon those who do not have faith in Christ, should I not feel for them as much as I did for the animal? Should I not seeth with hatred for the devil’s minions under whose power these folks unknowingly (for the most part) find themselves? Should I not at the very least speak to them, pray for them, and see them illuminated and given the opportunity for freedom?

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:36- 38).

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What comes to my mind when I think of “God”?
First, I guess, that HE IS, He exists. No doubt in my mind.
Next, that He is there. Where? There, here. Where I am. He has His eye on me; not spying, but like a good parent keeps an eye on his child. That’s all there, without a conscious thought.

When I begin to think about God, He expands, gets bigger. He’s still here, but at the same time, as I actually ponder, He is everywhere. He is beyond the Universe; He is infinite. He contains or perhaps infuses everything, from every star down to every molecule.

Time. We track time; perhaps He does also, but not as we do, for He, unlike we are, is not constrained by time. Not only is He infinite in space, but in time as well. Perhaps I am slow in learning of someone’s physical need. They’re already in Recovery, but I’m unaware. Too late to pray? No! My prayer enters the infinity of time and space in which God “resides.” It may be as effectual as a prayer offered at their bedside prior to surgery. “Lazarus, come forth!”

That He is, and “where” He is, comes first. It is after this point that I can then think about what He is like, the attributes He revealed to Moses, and which are spoken of in the Twenty-third psalm.

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