Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, October 31, 2013

#32 Pastors Need Intercession

C. Peter Wagner continues sharing with us in his book, PRAYER SHIELD:

"Every Christian needs intercessio

The little girl in the sixth grade learning what AIDS means needs intercession.

The long-haul truck driver trying to witness to his friends about Jesus Christ needs intercession.

The Christian stock broker wrestling with the ethics of that last deal needs intercession.

The mother and homemaker raising a family of four needs intercession.

I do not want to ignore the need for more consistent ministries of intercession across the board.

But I do want to argue that pastors and other Christian leaders need intercession more than ordinary members of the Body of Christ.

This may sound strange and even arrogant at first, but let me propose five reasons why I believe it to be true.

1. Pastors Have More Responsibility and accountability. Most of us Christian leaders get chills up and down our spines when we read James 3:1, "My brethren, let not many of you become teacher, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."

All Christian will come before the judgment seat of Christ, but pastors and other leaders have been forewarned that there is a divine double standard.

One for "teachers" and one for all the rest.

In other words, in the eyes of God a given sin is worse for a pastor to commit than for others.

The first problem, of course, is the sin itself and that may be the same for everyone. 

But the second problem is the violation of the office, which is even More serious.

When an office such as pastor or teacher (including seminary professor) has been granted by God and recognized by the Christian community, it is a grievous offense to break that trust.

Accepting a position of leadership in the Christian world is running a risk Sin becomes more dangerous than ever before.

And this is one reason why pastors have a greater need for intercession."

Today’s post -#32  Pastors Need intercession, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines. (pgs. 66,67) By Regal Books

The next
post Nov. 5th-  #33  Pastors Are more Subject to Temptation C. Peter Wagner (Wagner's reason #2 for why pastors need intercession) 

Saturday's post:  The Painful Lie  Veneal Williams  (It makes a difference what we tell someone who've lost a loved one)

Sunday's post:  Choose Joy  (a story of a cancer survivor)

Let’s pray:

   Father, we understand that our pastor(s) need our support, and we are determined to keep them in our daily prayers, and anytime their name comes to mind. May we be found faithful, as Your are Faithful to hear our prayers for them. Help us to tell them of our prayer support, as it will encourage them to know we are praying for them. In the Mighty Name of Jesus we ask these things, amen. 

Today’s Bible verse: Prov. 18:4 "The words of a mans mouth are as deep 
waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook."

Today’s quotes: Mary Southerland – “We can face every storm with confidence, knowing that God will redeem it for good. We can trust few things in this life, but God’s faithfulness is one of them. When the hard times come,
and the storms roll in, trust God and hold on. He is with you.”

- Dennis Fisher – “When we become frustrated with God’s apparent delay in answering our prayer, it is good to remember that He is interested in developing faith and perseverance in our character” James 1:2-4 Wait on the Lord!

Some thoughts today:  Notes from evangelist Mark Swiger’s message:

- You cannot separate miracles from God.
- The basis of our faith is miracles… Consider the virgin birth, Christ’s resurrection, etc.
- Miracles belong to you, if you’re a child of God.
- If it was God’s will to heal years ago, it’s till His will today.
- God’s not going to pour out more blood, for He has poured it out on Calvary, and Jesus said, “It is finished!”
- Jesus didn’t go through the experience of the Cross for nothing! He really does want to bless You!
- Jesus didn’t raise you to allow Satan to lay a curse on you!
- May the faith of Christ rise up within you, to come against Satan’s attacks!
- When you’re up against the devil, let the power of God rise up within you to come against him.
- STIR UP your faith to be successful in standing against the devil’s onslaught.
- The best way to honor God is to receive all that Christ died to provide for you.
- God has provided everything for your good, to bless you.

Saturday’s post:  The Painful Lie  Vernal Williams  (we need to be careful what we tell someone who's lost a loved one)

Sunday's post:  Choose Joy  Diana Derringer  (a cancer survivor's story)

A popular post:   A Fresh Glimpse of Glory  Scripture about God's glory

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#31 Pastoral Indiscretion

C. Peter Wagner relates more from his book, PRAYER SHIELD:

"Satan wins significant battles through causing pastoral burnout, but he inflicts immeasurably more damage to the cause of Christ when he influences a pastor to fall through sexual immorality.

Before I go into more detail on this delicate subject, let me just remind us that most American pastors have not nor will they ever fall into sexual immorality while they are in the ministry.

in fact 8 out of 10 have had no overt problems in this area, which by comparison is only half of the number of other church members who have had similar problems.

How many have gone all the way?

A survey by the clergy journal Leadership found that 12 percent of pastors had actually committed adultery. 

This means 88 percent have not.

Surveys like this would never have been dreamed of a generation ago.

Elmer Gantry was not looked upon as a realistic protype of anything but a miniscule fringe of American clergy.

Now the picture has changed. I have been dropping news items in a file folder.

I count 26 media reports of sexual immorality on the part of high-profile clergy; almost half of whom I know personally.

A front-page article in the Los Angeles Times carries the head-line, 'Sex Abuse Cases Rock the Clergy: Disclosures of misconduct—a problem hidden for years—are on the rise.'

A nationally syndicated column by the Associated Press announces that 'Sex scandals in higher ranks shake up hierarchies.'

{ Wagner goes on to list a long list of leaders from all areas of ministry that are in this group...}

"Where is it going to stop?

Reporting this makes me angry! I am not angry at my friends who have fallen even though I, along with the rest of the Body of Christ, have been harmed.

I am angry at the enemy who, I feel, is getting away with far too much these days.

We often fail to recognize the depth of the spiritual battle we are fighting.

The enemy
knows pastors are beat up; he knows they are vulnerable, and he attacks them at their weakest point.

This is not to say those who have fallen are not themselves guilty and do not have character flaws that need to be repaired through humility, repentance, reconciliation, restoration and holiness.

But I do hope and pray we will learn how to use our spiritual weapons more effectively in putting a stop to these blatant and all too successful attacks of the devil."

Today’s post -#31  Pastoral Indiscretion, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines. (pgs. 64-66) By Regal Books

The next post 10/30:  #32  Pastors Need Intercession  C. Peter Wagner

[3 Google images added]

Let’s pray: 

   Father, we understand that our pastor(s) are human, and that there are several opportunities for them to yield to various temptations, so unite us to be faithful to pray that You will give them the guidance, support, and good counsel that they need. May we be more faithful to pray for our leaders! They need and appreciate our support on a daily basis. We ask this in the Holy Name of Jesus, amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 119:80 "Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I
be not ashamed."

Today’s quote: Nate Stevens – “As I reflect on my life, I notice when my daily Scripture reading is limited or forgotten, or when I become distracted by other things, my heart starts to dry and spiritually harden. I become resistant to the Holy Spirit’s convicting attempts to purify my life. But when I regularly soak up God’s Word, it is much easier to live a life of purity. And when I sin, I more readily confess my sins to God and am much easier to 'clean'”.

Some thoughts today: - When Jesus exposes our sinful desires, remember, the battle is lost when we don't ask Him to help us.

God will restore to us what the devil has stolen from us, if we look to Him, and obey His Word.

- Our joy comes from our salvation in Christ Jesus.

Thursday's post:  #32 Pastors Need Intercession  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  The Painful Lie  Veneal Williams  (some words hurt, when talking with someone who's lost a love one)

Sunday's post:  Choose Joy  Diana Derringer  (cancer survivor story)

A popular post:  Be  Defensive - Keep the Serpent Out!: 
Prayer Note #120Guard or protect that which God has entrusted to your care from the subtle encroachment of the serpent.   Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book for women contemplating marriage.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Discovering God's Will

Dr. Charles Stanley shares with us something very important:

"Would you say discovering God's will is like trying to catch a butterfly that's always just out of reach?

Or maybe you feel it's like fishing, where you cast a lure and hope for the best?

Both scenarios lack the assurance that you can know God's will.

Jesus, on the other hand, was absolutely certain He knew what His Father had planned (John 6:38-39).

In fact, the Father gives believers His Holy Spirit to reveal His purposes for each one.

Scripture is God's primary means of communication. 

It is both complete and comprehensive in content. 

With principles that address all areas of life, the Bible is the Father's instruction book for living.

Maintaining the Christian life apart from a steady diet of His Word is impossible.

The Bible provides us with guidelines for living, and the Holy Spirit helps us apply its wisdom to our daily decisions.

The more familiar we are with God's Word, the easier it will be to see the relevance of scriptural precepts to our lives.

Not adhering to the Lord's plan will result in missing out on the abundant spiritual life that Christ has promised.

Even more importantly, veering from God's way will mean failure to bring Him the Glory He deservesglory that would result from following His plan.

Unless the Word of God has a central place in our lives, we will find it almost impossible to be certain we are in His will.

Today is the day to change all that.

God is waiting to meet with you in His Word. won't you join Him?

There isn't anything on your schedule that could possibly be more valuable than time spent with your Father."

{Discovering God's Will was Taken from Dr. Charles Stanley's magazine, In Touch, pg. 44 of May 2013}

[3 Google images added]

Let’s pray:  

   “Father, I desperately need Your guidance in setting priorities and goals. I am so tired of trying to please everyone in my life. I want to please You and do what You alone have created me to do. Help me learn how to listen for Your voice. Teach me how to see and do Your perfect plan for my life. I want to live each day abiding in You. In Jesus’ name, amen."  Mary Southerland

Today’s Bible verse: 2 Chron. 19:3b "And hast prepared thine heart to seek God."

Today’s quote:   Andrew Murray – Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.”

Some thoughts today: The lies of Satan tend to cut us to pieces. God’s Word is a sword that cuts things away so they can be healed.

If you have an ear to hear, God will guide your every step.

- The following is taken from Sarah Young's book, Jesus Lives. She writes to us as though Jesus is speaking, using Scriptures which tell us these truths:

"When the way before you seems dark and threatening, you can still trust Me to guide you. Walking by faith is akin to using radar to discern the way you should go. Instead of trying to see through clouds of uncertainty up ahead, fix your eyes on Me. I can show you a way forward where there appears to be none. Moreover, as you strive to stay in communication with Me, your soul opens up to Me. Even in the midst of your struggle, My loving Presence can fill your soul with warm delight." ( pg 8)  Ps. 139:12; 2 Co. 5:17; Ps. 143:8; Heb. 12:2

Tuesday’s post:  #31 Pastoral Indiscretion  C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post:  #32  Pastors Need Intercession  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  The Painful Lie  Veneal Williams  (some words are harmful, when consoling someone who's lost a love one)

Sunday's post:  Choose Joy  Diane Derringer  (cancer survivor story)

A popular post:  Stick Shift Life "When Christ and I are one, no one riding along the path of life can see me, my sins, or my failings. They see Christ"  
 Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book
 for women contemplating marriage.  Kindle addition

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What's in Your Sponge?

Barbara Latta shares with us, "I dipped my sponge into a bucket of soapy water, then squeezed the suds onto the bike’s fender.

My husband and I were washing all the dust and grime off his Harley after a long road trip.

Each time I plunged the sponge back into the bucket, it filled up with the cleaning solution and I continued the chore, trying to get “Ol Smokey Gold” clean again.

As I continued to work, the slippery sponge dropped out of my hand onto the ground and dirty water soaked into it.

Now I had to clean it before I could use it again.

As I worked, God brought to my mind how similar we are to a sponge.

We absorb whatever we are exposed to, even it if is not intentional.

If we sit in front of the TV for hours and watch depressing news or movies, we become depressed. If we watch horror shows, we become fearful.

When conversing with others who are critical, jealous, or rude, we can pick up their attitudes and habits.

If all we have in us are ungodly, negative, and fearful characteristics, bad things will come out of us when we are squeezed. 

If we have had a bad day and then someone says the wrong thing, or pulls out in front of us in traffic, we might respond with anger and accusation.

Anything that tempts us puts the squeeze on our character. And if our sponge has been dropped in dirty water, that’s all we will produce.

Because we have to live in this world, we will constantly be exposed to things that are opposite the kingdom of God. That’s why we have to fill up every day, and in every circumstance, with the water of His Word.

If that is what we put in us, then when we are squeezed, His sweet water is what will come out. We will be His glorious church, without spot or wrinkle.

Fill your sponge and wash clean."

"That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:26-27

Photo courtesy of

What's in Your Sponge - Barbara Latta

Barbara Latta is an aspiring writer residing in Meansville, Georgia with her husband and their two dogs.

The Lattas also have two grown sons. She loves gardening, reading, and traveling.

Her desire is to share the love of God to the world through writing articles, stories, and devotions based on the lessons God has revealed to her.

Read Barbara's devotions.

Receive a daily devotion on your Kindle!

Used by permission

Let’s pray: 

  Father, help us to fill up every day with the water of Your Word, then when we are squeezed, Your sweet water is what will come out. We want to do all that we can, to become Your glorious church without spot or wrinkle. We make this our prayer today, in Jesus' Name, amen.

Today's prayer for pastors:
"Let the mind of Christ be strong in my pastor. Guard my pastor from mental distractions, doubt, and futile thinking. Enable him/her to take every thought captive to obey Christ." 1 Cor. 2;16; Eph. 4:17; Col. 2:8; 2 Cor. 10:3-5 {Taken from Terry Teykl's Scripture-Based Prayers }

Today’s Bible verse: Prov. 18:15 NIV "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out."

Today’s quote: Justus Martin“As others receive our witness about Jesus, their reaction is the work of the Spirit. What we value will be evident to them as we show our compassion for them.”

Some thoughts today:  Do you see where bitterness will take you? Seek God to get free.

- When we read the Bible, there will come times that a Scripture will deeply impress you. It’s called a rhema word.

- We have great examples of faith, both in the Bible, and in real life! Let’s follow them, and see what God will do in and for us today!

Sunday’s post:  Discovering God's Will   Dr. Charles Stanley

Tuesday's post: #31 Pastoral Indiscretion   C. Peter Wagner

Thursday's post: #32 Pastors Need Intercession   C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:
Ingratitude is Contagious...Don't Be a Carrier Sharon Jaynes shares with us, "Ingratitude laced with grumbling, complaining, and murmuring is an easy trap to fall into."

The prayers of friends are indispensable!

[3 Google images added]  
 Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book
 for women contemplating marriage.  Kindle addition

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#30 Our Epidemic of Falling Pastors

C. Peter Wagner continues to share with us from his book, PRAYER SHIELD, about some pastors:

"Over the past couple of decades, an alarming number of pastors have dropped out of the ministry for two main reasons: pastoral burnout and sexual immorality. 

The numbers have reached epidemic proportions.

I cannot remember hearing about pastoral burnout 20 years ago. It must have existed, but not to the degree we see it today.

The situation I have described, #29 Pastors Are Beat Up
 (in my Tuesday's post, ), resulting in pastors being so beat up, makes it quite easy to understand why so much burnout would occur.

The enemy knows this well and has become quite astute at raising frustrations through feelings of inadequacy, hypocrisy, guilt and low self-esteem to such levels that selling insurance can seem to some a more attractive way to make a living.

A good bit of psychological research is currently being done on causes and remedies for pastoral burnout.

Good time-management training is helping many to avoid it.

Nevertheless, if I am correct in suspecting that the powers of darkness are also at work in causing burnout, spiritual weapons are also needed.

This is where intercession for pastors has enormous potential."

Today’s post -#30  Our Epidemic of Falling Pastors, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines.(pg. 64) By Regal Books

Let’s pray: 

   Father, we come to You now for help to support our pastors and leaders in our local church. We understand better, that our prayers for them are all-important to their welfare and success. May our prayers cover them continually, knowing they are human beings like we are. We know our need of You, so seeing their need anew, we agree they need our prayer support! In Jesus' precious Name we pray, amen.

Today’s Bible verse:  Prov. 18:16 AMP "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men."  [Gen. 32:20; 1 Sam. 25:27; Prov. 17:8; 21:14]

Today’s quote:  Eddie Jones – “God is able to make every grace overflow to you. Grace is the grease that lubricates relationships and keeps the love flowing. When cranky and low on kindness, turn to God. He is able to squirt grease into those rusty relationships.”

Some thoughts today: You have no idea who you are, just yet! You are seated with Christ in heavenly places because of His work in providing for your salvation through His sacrifice on the Cross some 2,000 years ago! Eph. 2:6

- The Cross is the tree to weep at and anchor to.

Don’t allow your life be dictated by how others treat you.

Saturday’s post:  What's in Your Sponge  Barbara Latta

Sunday's post:  Discovering God's Will  Dr. Charles Stanley

A popular post:   Biblical Watchmen: Prayer Note #117   Dutch Sheets tells us, "Let's broaden our understanding of biblical watchmen. What was their purpose?"

Pray for those who pray for our leaders.

3 Google images added  Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book for women contemplating marriage.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#29 Pastors Are Beat Up

C. Peter Wagner continues his thought from Tuesday's post, taken from his book, PRAYER SHIELD:

"Many, if not most, pastors will actually remind their people of this, (their being a human being), in their sermons from time to time.

When pastors talk about a certain temptation, for example, they might say, 'I am not exempting myself. I am human. 

This is as much of a temptation for me as it is for you.'

The people usually acknowledge this as an honest appraisal. But they do not really believe it, mainly because they do not want to.

Part of their own Christian well-being depends to a degree on following a pastoral leader whom they regard as somewhat higher on the scale of piety and spiritual attainment than they might ever be.

Using society's help, they often put their pastor on a spiritual pedestal.

Pastors are also trained not to be hypocrites. They know very well they are not all their congregations expect them to be.

Their spouses know this also, but few others do. 

Consequently, pastors are caught in a bind, for they sense God's calling on their lives to be a pastor and they know that they cannot do an effective job as a pastor if they do not outwardly conform to their congregation's expectations.

But how do they handle what is going on inside?

In a word—pastors need help—at least more help than they have been getting.

In the course of a year, I meet and interact with hundreds of pastors.

Even though I do not relate to them as a counselor or a pastor to pastors, I find that many are beat up; spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically.

Where can they go for help? 

They are reluctant to go to any of their church members, for the word could too easily leak out; Our pastor is failing us by not conforming to our expectations.

Pastors in the same denomination are usually on friendly terms with each other but somewhat distrustful at the deeper levels.

What would church members think if their pastor was seeing a professional counselor?

Pastors of other churches in the same community are likely prospects for help but frequently overburdened and unavailable. 

Beyond those circles, most pastors simply run out of meaningful relationships.

Happily, there are some exceptions. A fair number of pastors do not fit this rather bleak picture I am painting.

They have little internal conflict because deep down they actually are what they are expected to be emotionally and spiritually. 

Some are not, but they have found sources of help and are managing their situation well.

I wish I could report that these are in the majority but I am afraid I cannot.

Without wanting to oversimplify terribly complex situation, I do want to point out that Satan has many pastors just where he wants them. 

They are vulnerable to his attacks."

Today’s post -#29  Pastors Are Beat Up, in the series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s book, PRAYER SHIELD, How to intercede for  pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines. (pgs. 62-64) By Regal Books

The next
 post 10/24 - #30  Our Epidemic of Falling Pastors

Let’s pray: 

   "Heavenly Father, I’m so humbled that You would call me to anything. You have all the power needed for every job, yet you ask me to join you. Thank you, Lord. Please make my heart willing to say yes to everything you want me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” (Gwen Smith)

Today’s Bible verse: Jer. 5:51 "I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God."

Today’s quotes: Jonathan Swift  Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

Cindy O’Brien – “Look for ways to encourage through your words. Not only will they be blessed, but you will be too and the Lord will be glorified!”

Some thoughts today: Who are your heroes? Copy their good traits to become what you’re intended to be in the Kingdom of God. We become what we stare at, so be careful whose life you’re watching! You’ll direct the shaping of your life by what you watch.

We’re given supernatural giftings to fulfill God’s purpose in our local church. He will use anyone with His ability to change things. 

Sin saps our energy and dampens our progress as a Christian. We’re encouraged to press through temptations and hardships, and to run through them with Christ’s help. He was an overcomer, so we can be overcomers too!

Thursday’s post:  #Our Epidemic of Falling Pastors  C. Peter Wagner

Saturday's post:  What's in Your Sponge?  Barbara Latta

Sunday's post:  Discovering God's Will  Dr. Charles Stanley

[Google images added]

A popular post:   The Vision Confirmed: Prayer Note #111  Dutch Sheets tells us of his first confirmation that our nation will have revival at The National Day of Prayer.  Link to Granny’s Guide to Marriage in Verse  my book for women contemplating marriage.