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Idol worship.

Que.  I’m from India,a Christian.From my childhood my parents prohibit me from going to Hindu temples and mosque. Now I am in college, my friends of other faith persuade me to go to temples and other religious centres.Is it wrong? My parents say that those places have evil spirits and possibly possess me. Who is correct – my parents or friends?
Ans.  Dear son, your parents are absolutely right and NEVER go with your friends to any temple or mosques ever to worship with them.  The Bible is very clear that those who do not trust in Christ are under the power of the evil spirits (Eph.2:2).  In fact, the whole world is under the power of the evil one (1John 5:19).  The Bible very clearly tells that those who sacrifice to idols are sacrificing to demons (1Cor.10:20).  So  NEVER go to temples or guru-dwaras or mosques ever to worship.
I need to give you a little more clarification about this.  Then only you will understand why this is very important.
Son, all religions say that man is a sinner.  We know this to be true in our personal life and in the life of all our friends.  There is selfishness, anger, envy, jealousy, pride etc etc in all our hearts.  These are the things which separate us from a holy God who is our one and only creator.  The Bible calls these attitudes of our hearts sin.  Sin is not merely adultery and murder or stealing.  Sin is the corrupt nature of our heart.

When any one calls on God without settling the sin problem, true holy God can NEVER listen.   When any one calls on god without a clean heart, only duplicate gods or gods of imagination will come to their aid. Demons come in the name of god and get their worship. Remember only house flies will come if there is some dirt in a place. Is it not?  You can never see a honey bee where there is dirt.

You can hear your friends who go to temples talk about miracles and answers to prayer.  True, Satan can perform miracles and that is how Satan is able to keep them in his fold. The Bible is very clear that when any one worships any idol, worship goes to demons (Acts 7:41,42).  But if you ask them whether their sins are forgiven, they will never be able to say it.  Truly, it is impossible for man to get forgiveness of sins by self effort (Mat.19:25,6).

So the Bible tells us that God made the way for man to be forgiven by sending His sinless Son as a man to this earth and Jesus took the punishment of our sins and if we repent and trust in Christ, we will be forgiven and our harts will be cleansed.  Then when we call on God, true and living God who is our only creator will listen to us and answer our prayers.

So what you need is to invite Christ into your heart now and become a child of God.  I will give you the link below which you can use to do that and you can know for sure that God has forgiven you and that you are a child of God.  May God bless you and make you a channel through whom many of your friends too will experience salvation and forgiveness of sins.    Here is the link for you.  www.4stepstogod.com/

If you have any more doubt or question please do not hesitate asking us.  I personally want to be with you and pray for you so that you can have a life full of blessings by God Almighty.  May His name be praised through your life.  Amen.

 

 

Striving In Prayer?

Question text:  Why did God wrestle with Jacob in Genesis 32? What was the point?

Answer text:  You have a very good question.  Many well meaning Christians do not understand the logic of prayer.  They say, rightly so, that God is loving and almighty and He knows all our needs even before we ask Him.  No loving parent who knows the need of children would ever wait for children to ask. But Jesus, after telling that our father knows  before we ask goes on to say, “Therefore pray in this way “(Mt.6:9).   Please note the last phrase of the verse in Mt. 7:11.  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” (Matthew 7:11).  And James says, “you have not… because you ask not” (Js.4:2).

The Bible contains what is known as progressive revelation.  For example, if the Book of Revelation was not there, we would not have known who that serpent was who came to the garden of Eden to deceive Eve.  But Rev.12:9 makes it clear that it was the Devil who was that old servant.   Now, the OT can be understood  only in the light of the NT.  While OT is the shadow of things to come, NT makes things explicit.   In OT we read about men praying.  The NT makes it clear that with out prayer God would not do any thing spiritual in the world today (Mt.7:7; Js.4:2). The NT also goes on to say  that the will of God is achieved only through striving in prayer (Rom.15:30-32).  Striving in prayer is essential  not because God is unwilling to fulfill His promises but because Satan is against us enjoying God’s best for us.

One of the greatest truths of the Bible is that God does NOT fight the devil!   How can the infinite God fight against his own finite creature who rebelled against Him?  After all, when God became man in Christ our Lord,  He asked us to love our enemies.  How could He Himself fight against His own enemy?  Satan knows it and He prevents man from enjoying God’s best for them.  But we can resist the devil and remove Satanic hindrance for us to enter into the perfect will  of God.

This is the truth that is exemplified in the life of Jacob.  At Bethel God promised  Jacob that He would bless him (Gen.28).  Jacob, after 20 years of his sojourn,  became more miserable and helpless.  But then at Peniel (ch.32) Jaocb wrestles with the Lord and enters into the blessing that was promised at Bethel.  His name was changed now.  So wrestling in prayer is not trying to move an unwilling God but rather it is resisting against the devil to remove his hindrance  to obtain the promises of God.

Again this truth is exemplified in the life of Daniel.  In ch.9 Daniel learns that the captivity was to come to an end at the end of 70 years.  Living at the end of 70 years Daniel turns his face to God in fasting and in prayer asking God to fulfill His promises for His people.  In the tenth chapter of Daniel we see that Daniel had to fast and pray for 21 days (or wrestle in prayer) to remove Satanic hindrance before he could get answer from the Lord  (Dan.10:2,3  cf.vv.12,13).

Let us learn this truth clearly that all promises of God remain promises unless they are claimed in prayer.  There are areas where Satanic hindrance is heavy and we need to strive in prayer before we can enter into the promises of God.  May the Lord help us to learn this truth and may He give us grace to strive in prayer against Satan and his viles. If interested please read my small book on prayer from www.mathewpaul.org/category/book-on-prayer . God bless

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Praying for others

Question Text :  If you feel led to pray for someone, do you need their permission to so?

Answer Text :  That prayer is a big mystery is indisputable. That God carries out His purposes in this world through answered prayers of His people is some thing the Scriptures teach again and again (cf. Dan.9:1-3; Lk.24:49; Acts.2:1). So if I feel led to pray for someone this means that God is at work within me (Phil,2:13). Since everyone does not have this kind of burden to pray for others, we must definitely cash in on this and do the needful immediately.

I wish to bring two examples from the Scriptures of people who were led to pray for others. In Gen. 18 the angel of the Lord appears to Abraham and tells him what was going to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot and family were staying. And this led Abraham to intercede for the cities of the plains. The cities were not spared, but Lot and family were spared; we are told in 19:29 that it was because the Lord remembered Abraham. Another example is found in 1Sam. 15. Here in vv.10-11 we are told that the Lord told Samuel of the behavior of Saul and his disobedience and this led Samuel to pray the whole night before the Lord and the result was that Samuel was shown David as the next one to be anointed as king instead of Saul (1sam.16:1).

 On both these occasions the Lord gave a burden to pray for someone else and they prayed without the permission of the ones for whom they prayed. I think it is a general principle taught in the Scriptures about praying for others. We are asked to pray for all men(1Tim.2:1). Naturally it is impossible for us to get everyone’s permission to pray for them.

But if we were led to pray for someone close to us, we might get into contact with them and find out the actual situation in which they are found so that we could meaningfully intercede for their needs. When prayers are specific answers are specific as well. When general prayers are done, answers are usually in general categories. So if we need specific answers it is essential to pray in specific terms.

The author remembers an occasion when he was led to pray for a pioneer missionary in an alien field. From four o’clock early in the morning till 12 noon the burden was so heavy on his heart that he spent the whole time interceding for that missionary. But he did not know what exactly was the situation there. So he prayed that the Lord would be gracious to him and protect the missionary. There were very few words in that prayer. It was like sending SMS after SMS to heaven at an SOS level (cf.Mt.26:44).

When at noon the burden was relieved, a letter was sent to the missionary in the field asking him what exactly was happening there. His response was awesome. He began his reply this way, “That you wrote to me on the 2nd of Feb. is remarkable. It is a red letter day in our lives when the Lord saved us from our enemies…”. The one who prayed did not know that the missionary in the field was planned to be attacked on that day. But the Lord placed a burden to pray for the missionary. And the result was, before the enemies came together on that day, the ring leader among them had an accidental death on his way! Remember we are asked to pray that the Lord would deliver His people from the hands of evil men (2The.3:1-2).

So if any one has a burden to pray for someone else, it is essential to pray through till the burden is over. One need not wait till permission is received. Let us remember that the Lord does nothing spiritual in the world today except in answer to prayers of His saints. It is a very clear teaching of the Scriptures and is seldom recognized and understood even by many well-meaning believers today(MT.7:2; Js.4:2: Eze.36:37; Isa.64:3; Is.62:6,7). So if you are led to pray for someone, try and stop doing every thing else and get on your knees and pray till the burden is lifted!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2009 in Prayer

 

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The Holy Spirit and Prayer

Question Text:  What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our prayer life?

Answer Text: The very desire we have to pray is given by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit within us whoThe very desire we have to pray is given by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit within us who prompts us to pray (Rom.8:26,27).

As His very name suggests (Jn.14:16,26) {paraclete (comforter) means the one who is called along side} the Spirit of God stands along with us and helps us to pray in the will of God.

Our Lord told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit shall come, He will lead them into all truth (Jn.16:13). So it is the Spirit of God who teaches us every thing, even including how and what should pray. Cf.1Jn.2:27 where it says you have no need for any one teach you, as the anointing within you will teach you every thing.

Then Eph.2:18 we are told we have access to the Father by the Spirit. The word access is interesting as it suggests the idea of an escort. When we go to God in prayer, we do not go alone there, as we are escorted by the Holy Spirit to the very presence of God!

Then, we have in our hands a visiting card, that of the Son of of God, because we approach the Father in the name of the Son. And the Father will look at us as He would look at His own Son! Truly we are privileged to pray in this manner. Praise be to His Holy Name. Ok.

I will also give you also two related answers which are already in our site. http://www.gotquestions.mobi/pray-Father-Son-Spirit-mobi.html http://www.gotquestions.mobi/praying-Spirit-mobi.html May the Lord give us grace to pray in His will and for His glory. Amen.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2009 in Christian life, Holy Spirit, Prayer

 

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Knowing Jesus

Question Text: What does it mean and how do I ‘know’ Jesus?

Answer Text:  Hi, I am so pleased to meet you with your questions. Your first question is: What does it mean and how do I ‘know’ Jesus. Ok. Two different words are used in the original language Of the New Testament to talk about ‘knowing’. The first word has the idea of knowing some thing in theory. We might say know about some one or some thing. Then the next word translated ‘know’ is experiential knowledge. It is knowledge based on experience. In both levels described above we need to ‘know’ our Lord. We read the gospels to know about Him. And the epistles will teach us to know Him intimately as a person, by being with Him, conversing with Him, being intimate to Him etc. Paul talks about knowing Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil.3:10). The NT talks about a time when we can become so intimate with the Lord that we become one spirit with Him (1Cor.6:17). That will be a glorious experience. When we reach that stage we will be able to think thoughts similar to what He thinks. That should be the goal of every true believer! This is made possible as you spend time with Him every day  in quietness with the Word and in intimate fellowship and prayer before Him.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Christian life, Prayer

 

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Doing The Impossible!

Question Text:  The  Bible talks about many impossibilities.  How can I do some thing which is impossible to people around me?

Answer Text:  Hi,  I am so very happy to see you with your question!  The Bible teaches that God is a God of impossibilites.  Nothing is impossible to God is repeated several times in the Bible in different words (Gen.18:14; job 42:2; Lk.1:37).  Now the most amazing thing about the Bible is that it also says “nothing shall be impossible to them that believe” (Mt.17:20). 

 We live in a time when every one talks about the human ‘mind power’ and about achieving the impossible as something which ordinary people can dream of.  Whether that is true or not, being in link with God, man is truly capable of  achieving what is otherwise  impossible with man!  There is NO doubt about it at all.  The Bible and histroy of the church is replete with examples of men and women who achieved the impossible with the help of God.  ok, 

Now coming to your personal situation,  your desire to achieve the impossible is really great and you are on the right track.  Your faith in the Bible and your genuineness is also deeply appreciable.  Now you seem to be staying with your parents and still you depend on them.  Very good.  The present impossible task you need to achieve is to remain obedient to them!  Look at Jesus, our Lord.  The Eternal Word who is the agent of creation, the one who sustains the universe by the word of His power, to limit Himself within a 6 foot human body is some thing beyond imagination!  Then at the age of 12 He demostrated such intellectual power which amazed those who were around and heard Him (Lk.2:47).  Still He continued to be submissive to His parents till He was 30 years old!  That was some thing really difficult for Him to do.  Why thirty years?  Because the Jews considered some one mature enough do do public service only at  age of thirty (cf. Num.4:2). 

 So my dear young friend, the first impossible thing you need to achieve in your life is to learn to be submissive to your parents till you are independent and ready to act on your own.  Remember Joseph had that dream when he was just 17 and he had to go through situations and turmoils beyond imagination till he was thirty when he became the supreme authority in Egypt!

While being submissive to your parents I would suggest that you get as close to the Lord as possible and become one spirit with Him (1Cor.6:17) so much so you train yourself to think the way the Lord thinks.  Fill your heart and life with the Word of God (Col.3:16).  Learn of the Lord what He wants you to achieve in your life (Ps.32:8).  Then when the time comes for you to demonstrate it in life,  do the impossible for Him  and for HIS GLORY (2Chr.16:9).  May God give you grace as you want to do the impossible for Him.  My prayers are with you.    Please go to  www.mathewpaul.org/category/book-on-prayer    and  learn about praying for the impossible.  God bless!!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Prayer

 

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How To Have Concentration While Praying?

Question Text:  I am unable to concentrate when reading bible and praying and mind gets distracted and deviates easily.   How can I overcome this? 

Answer Text:  This is a real problem faced by many who want to read the Bible and pray sincerely. This is one of Satan`s greatest tricks and we need to overcome this. Otherwise we will be defeated. Satan can prevent us from praying. He knows that once we pray sincerely he will be defeated. So he will do every thing within his limits to PREVENT us from praying. This is one of the tricks he uses for the same. But we must overcome this struggle by our determination. Remember that it is the Spirit of God who will teach us to pray (Rom.8:26). Remember also that it is God`s desire that we should resist the devil (1Pt.5:9; Js.4:7).

So let me try to give you some practical suggestions about your private prayer life. First and foremost is to find a quiet place and a fixed time for Bible reading and prayer. Man, as you know, is an animal of habits and once certain habits are fixed in us, it is very difficult to get out from there easily. Having a fixed place and time will create in us a hunger for the same when that time comes. You know that you can train our stomach in such a way that you become hungry at a particular time during the day. Many people have NO hunger for God`s Word and for prayer because they do NOT have a fixed place and time for doing this! Then go to that fixed place at that fixed hour with a Bible, a hymn book and a note book.

Then you need to PLAN YOUR TIME IN SMALL BITS of five minutes each. Use the first five minutes for praising God. Sing a song of praise, read a Psalm of praise or praise God from your heart as the Lord gives you utterance. Any one can concentrate for five minutes for the same. Then take the next five minutes to search your heart to see if what you did during the past 24 hours was pleasing to the Lord. Check through your life and ask God to search your heart for any thing which hinders your fellowship with Him. Again concentrating for five minutes is NOT a problem for any one. Then for the next five minutes take a small portion of the Bible and read it quietly with a prayerful attitude. If you try to stretch longer time for reading and for prayer mind will wander unknowingly. Now that you are timing your activities there is less temptation to wander. Then use the next five minutes to go through the same passage trying to answer three basic questions. Observation questions like who, what and where etc. Then interpretation question like why it is said like this. Lastly application question like how can I practice this truth today in my life. Use the notebook to answer these questions.

Since you are timing each of your activities, and since it is only for five minutes each, you can’t easily lose your concentration. Then take the next five minutes to pray for two prayer points. Take another five minutes to pray for another two prayer points. After every five minutes of prayer, you are going to open your eyes and look for new prayer points from your note book. So divide the twenty or thirty minutes of your prayer time in to five minute slots and if you do this for about three weeks regularly you will find that it will kind of become an automatic process with you.

Kneeling to read and to pray will give you a better atmosphere for prayer and it will also help you to concentrate because while kneeling you are humbling yourself in the presence of the Almighty and in His awesome presence.   Why don’t you try this out and respond to me after a month or so? If you want to read further about developing a meaningful prayer life you can go to. www.mathewpaul.org . May the Lord bless you and may you have a powerful prayer life for His glory. Amen. 

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2009 in Prayer

 

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