The Missing Link: Prayer

Ron English, Editor
Ron English, Editor

Years ago I heard a preacher say from the pulpit, “Every failure in America is a prayer failure.”   I think we can all agree that prayer is missing from too many hearts of our Christians today.  Oh, we might say a quick “thank you” over a meal, or a simple “bless me” as we retire at night, but how much serious praying do we do?  Praying is the one thing you can do that will not add any cost to your daily living, or take away much time from your crowded schedule.  You can pray while you drive—some of you text while you drive.  hope you stop that.  You can pray while you do the dishes or take out the garbage.  You can pray while you bathe the kids.  You can pray when you are out and about.  You can pray at your desk.  Have you spent any time this week doing mischief?  Think about this: What would happen good in your life if you substituted Prayer for that activity that detracts from you as a Christian, as a mother, as a father, as a friend?  Muse on this.  Reflect on Michael Guido’s brief devotional on Prayer this morning.  Let good thoughts flood your mind and heart.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., the founder of Bob Jones University, was noted for his pithy sayings.  One of his sayings resonates today, “Do right!  Do right even if the stars fall.” 

You might never have the opportunity to teach a Bible class.  You may never answer the call to preach a sermon, or go away to some distant mission field.  But you could become a minister of prayer.  You could be the best prayer warrior in your church or family.  If prayer changes things–and I believe it does–you can become God’s agent for change through prayer. 

To whom should we pray?  I can almost hear your answer.  “We should pray to God!”  That is a powerful concept, praying to God.  Dr. J0hn R. Rice wrote a book that became America’s best selling book on prayer.  That book, “Prayer, Asking and Receiving.”  His big premise, “Prayer is asking God for things.  The answer to that prayer is receiving what you ask God for.” 

It is said that God delights in answering prayers.  We could provide a great deal of delight in His life and renewed life in ours if we learned how to pray.  Remember that the Spirit helps us pray.  With our determination to pray, and with the help of the Holy Spirit of God who shapes our prayers as He presents them to God–How can we fail in our prayer life? 

 Here is a verse that should encourage you to pray more: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. –Phil. 4:6

Make today a “Prayer Day”  in your heart.  It has  been said that prayer changes things.  What things would you like to see changed in your life?  What changes need to be made in your work?  What changes need to be made in our country?  Make a prayer  list that is private and personal and important to you.  It might start like…

1. America

2. America’s leaders

3. Family

4. Work

5…..

The following is a brief devotional from the pen and heart of the late Michael Guido, www.the-sower.org

                                                          THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER
                                                                           Read Luke 18:1

A fellow was worried over his pending court case. He asked his lawyer, “How shall I plead?”

“On your knees,” he answered.

Our Lord invites you to tell Him your needs, and you may pray kneeling, standing, or sitting.

You may pray for any need – for rain, as did Elijah; for length of life, as did Hezekiah; or for a son, as did Hannah.

You may pray any time – in the morning, as David did; at noon, as Daniel did; and at midnight, as Silas did.

You may pray anywhere – in the garden, like our Lord; on the street, like Jairus; or in the temple, like Paul.

So pray. Remember, God specializes in the impossible.

Prayer: Father, we now turn to Thee in prayer; trusting Thee with our lives and our loved ones; waiting upon Thee to bless us with a happy, useful, victorious life: through Christ. Amen.

That’s My King!

Dr. Shadrach Meshach (S.M.) Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000)

Shadrach Meshach Lockridge was born March 7, 1913, in Robertson County, Texas, the oldest of eight children and the son of a Baptist minister. A graduate of Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, he worked for two years as a high school English teacher. In 1940 in Dallas, he felt led to preach. In 1941 he married Virgil Mae Thomas but they never had any children.

In 1942, he accepted his first pastorate at Fourth Ward Baptist Church in Ennis, Texas. In August 1952, he was named pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego where he served until retiring in 1993.S.M. Lockridge

During Dr. Lockridge’s tenure at Calvary Baptist, a predominantly African-American congregation, his ministry touched the lives of more than 100,000 people. He preached at crusades, revivals, religious rallies and evangelistic conferences around the world.

He also served in key regional, state and national positions with the Baptist Church, including being elected the first president of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.

He held doctorates and numerous honorary degrees and was often sought as a public speaker, even after he retired in 1993. He served as guest lecturer at numerous schools and universities and on the faculty of several others, including the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.

Dr. Lockridge was active in the civil rights movement, and under his leadership Calvary Baptist hosted several of its leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson.

His best-known message is a six and a half minute description of Jesus Christ, known as “That’s my King!” for Lockridge’s repeated refrain.

http://www.voiceofvictoryonline.com/Sermons.htm

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._M._Lockridge

Unusual Search for Jesus

Ron Zywotko
Ron Zywotko

A story of personal evangelism told to this editor by Ron Zywotko. 

 

I was in Seattle preparing for my next meeting when I received a call from the pastor. He confirmed my engagement and told me of a man who was leaving soon for his second tour of duty in Iraq. He said the man had surrendered his life to serve God as an evangelist. Now, when have you heard of anyone doing that. I have, as I am sure you have, known of men to surrender to be a missionary, or a pastor, but almost never (in my case never) to be an evangelist. Praise the Lord!

The pastor asked if I would take this young man out with me to do personal evangelism in the public places of Seattle. He wanted him to gather some first hand experience from a man who has been doing this kind of work for the last 27 years. I assured him I would be happy to do this and we arranged a time to meet.

As is my custom, I arrived at the church early—about two hours early. It was unseasonably hot for Seattle and I remained outside in my car and prayed. I normally don’t spend a solid hour in prayer—especially in my car on a day like that one was, but I felt keenly I must have God’s power. I wanted this young man to have a blessed experience. So I prayed and I prayed some more.

When the time arrived for us to meet we were together and exchanged greetings. The pastor left and off we went to see about winning some poor lost souls to Christ.

When I tell you that we had a rough time of it, I am not joking. One person after the other rejected my approach. No one, it seemed, had the slightest interest in hearing anything about Jesus. We went into several public stores, a coffee shop, a market, a restaurant. The fish were not biting–they were snapping! Get out of here! Leave us alone! Nothing doing!

After a good long while, even I was discouraged. Remember, this is my line of work. Outside evangelism is my ministry. I am supposed to be gifted at this work. I am supposed to demonstrate that I have God’s power for this work. Nothing! People shouted—yes, shouted, profanities. I was ordered out of places. Angry people made hand gestures at us representing their attitude toward us and the Lord.

I was greatly disappointed, because I had hoped to show this young man how to engage people in public places and prayerfully win them to Christ. That didn’t happen. I felt badly for me, and I felt awful for him. I don’t think I have ever had an afternoon with so many painful rejections as that one.

I paused for a moment and walked over to a pole where I leaned my body against it and started praying. I remember telling the Lord my concerns and even fussed at Him a little. I wondered out loud to Him what good did that hour of prayer do? I felt like a complete failure.

I opened my eyes and the first thing I noticed was a young woman coming toward me from across a parking lot. She walked almost straight to me. I moved out to speak with her and asked her if she could possibly help me. I have used this approach a number of time to start a conversation. I asked, “Lady, I am not from here. I am from Tennessee. I wonder if you could give us some directions?” She was an Asian lady and she very kindly responded, “I will help you if I can. Where do you wish to go.?” I asked, “Could you give me directions to Heaven? I want to know how to get to Heaven.”

I thought the young lady would cry. She had a most pained expression form on her face, her countenance fell and she was obviously saddened at that question. She was not offended in the slightest.

She replied, “Mister, you have asked the wrong person. You see I am from India. My parents are steeped in their own religion over there, I left India to come to America where I hoped I would find this salvation that I know so little about. I visited one church and one religious group after another, but to no avail. I have been here for seven years and no one, it seems, knows the answer. I am very, very sorry that I can’t help you. I, too, want to know how to get to Heaven.”

I smiled and then told her that I could assist her. I explained that I was out here on the streets looking for people who wanted to know about Jesus. I asked, “Would you permit me to tell you how you can become a Christian?”

“Oh, yes. Please tell me.” And I did and right there on the sidewalk in Seattle I shared the Gospel with this Asian lady and she bowed her head asking Jesus to come into her heart and save her soul. I am happy to report Jesus, indeed, saved her on the spot. She was so happy. I asked if she had any word for us. This is what she said.

“I arrived in America some seven years ago. I have been searching for Jesus. I didn’t know how to search for Him. I didn’t know the right questions. I visited many of your churches and religious meetings and talked with numbers of people. It seems no one really knew the answer, at least no one that I was able to speak earnestly with. Then, today, just a few minutes ago, I was over at that Pizza place—she turned an pointed to it. I had ordered my pizza and the waiter said we are rushed it will take about 30 minutes. You can take seat, or you can walk around the mall while your order is being prepared. I took a seat at a table and was there about a minute when I had the strangest impression to get up and walk over here. I was compelled to come to where you were stranding. I didn’t know why. So that is what I was doing when you spoke to me.”

“Now I know why, but over at the Pizza place I didn’t know. God was ordering me to come to you and get my prayers answered.” She didn’t know it, but God was answering my prayers, too.

She gave us her name, her address, her phone number and her email address. She was so happy to be a Christian. We, too, were happy. The young man rejoiced with me and asked, “Does this kind of thing happen often with you.” I laughed and said, “Sure, all the time.” Then I told him the truth. This is the first time in 27 years it has been this way.

He left for his tour of duty armed with a remarkable answer to prayer and a testimony I am sure he will repeat many times in his ministry. I know I will. Winning souls is a work we are commanded to do, but we must never forget the salvation part is entirely God’s work. He does His work in mysterious ways and he uses all kinds of people to do it. Here was a case where He brought the workers and the sinner together under unusual circumstances. To God be the glory!

Editor’s Note: I have known Ron Zywotko since 1972.  We worked together in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  He has been a frequent guest in my home.  He is an unusual human being.  To say he is unorthodox would be a gross understatement.  He may very well be America’s last circuit riding preacher.  He goes from church to church to church each week.  Usually preaches in 150 congregations each year and will have from 50 to 200 people saved in his personal visitations.  I  don’t know of another soul that has the discipline or drive to do this kind of work week after week.   He rarely stays in a motel taking rest in church prophet chambers or private homes.  Most of his worldly goods are stored in his car.  I am glad to report this story here with complete confidence it is true.

W.A.Criswell:Ishmael: Islam and the Oil Slick

Ever wondered where the current day troubles we have with Islam originated and why?  The late Dr. W. A. Criswell, long pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, shares his studied thoughts and spiritual wisdom on the subject.  Dr. Criswell was one of America’s best prepared pastors and was, indeed, a spiritual giant for the cause of Christ.  His sermons in text, audio and video live on through his website cared for through his foundation.  This message, ISHMAEL: ISLAM AND THE OIL SLICK is a fervent sermon that rolls back the veil that prevents the world from seeing the truth and the history of the great nations of Islam.  You need to be acquainted with these facts, truths and spiritual insights of this man of God.  The following web link will present his video from that site.  Once there you will have access to over 1900 of his famous messages.  Click here: http://tinyurl.com/n7xpqe

Notice the date Dr. Criswell preached this in his church: September 14,  1980

ISHMAEL: ISLAM AND THE OIL SLICK

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Genesis 16:10

9-14-80     7:30 p.m.

It is a gladness, infinitely so, for us to welcome all of you who are listening on KCBI, the Sonshine radio station of our Bible Institute, and over KRLD, that carries the Cowboys game.  But, we are a lot better than they, I can tell you that.  All of you who listen on KRLD, you listen to a triumph every time you tune in on us.  We never are defeated, never, ever; not until the kingdom comes and we look at Jesus face to face.

These days the pastor, and you are listening to him now, of the First Baptist Church in Dallas—the pastor is preaching two tremendous series of sermons.  The morning ones are on the great doctrines of the Bible, and it will continue over three years.  And the first two messages were introductory, delivered last Sunday morning, and this Sunday morning.  And then, next Sunday morning, we begin the first section of the fifteen sections on “The Great Doctrines of the Faith.”

The first section concerns the Bible, Bibliology; and the title of the sermon this coming Lord’s Day morning is “Books and the Book.”  “The Book: There is just one Book,” cried the dying sage, “read me the old, old story.”  And the winged words that can never fade wafted his soul to glory.  There is just one Book.   That is the sermon next Sunday morning.

And the next Sunday night, the series on Sunday night regards “The Problems of Human Life—the world in which we live, have to live, you cannot escape it.  You cannot say, “Stop the world.  I want to get off.”   We are in it, and we are involved in everything that happens.  And the sermons on Sunday night are concerning some of those dramatic problems that are forced upon us.

This message is continued on this web link: http://tinyurl.com/n7xpqe

ISHMAEL: ISLAM AND THE OIL SLICK

My Father is Rich

                                                   MY FATHER IS RICH
                                                 Read Romans 11:33-36

One night, before my conversion, I heard a man sing the hymn, “My Father Is Rich.”

I sighed, “If only He were my Father.” And today He is!

He’s rich in head. Paul exclaimed, “How great are His wisdom and knowledge.” He knows everything, and can solve every problem.

He’s rich in heart. Because of the “riches of His kindness,” I am now His child.

He’s rich in hand. The Bible says, “How great are His riches!” And He can fill to the full all of our needs.

What His mind plans for us, what His heart proposes for us, His rich hand can provide for us.

Aren’t you glad?

Prayer: We thank Thee, Father, that Thou hast never fooled us or failed us. We are so glad that Thou will never forsake us or forget us. Great is Thy faithfulness to us: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

By Michael Guido

Ladies, Don’t Get Raped!

Forgive me for this shocking header.  One of the great horrors a woman has is being assaulted.  The following is the account from interviews with a group of men who are in prison  for rape and date rapes.  They provide tips on how you or your daughters can, hopefully, avoid becoming a victim of this horrible crime and assault.  I publish it here for your precaution and safety.  Please scroll down for all the tips on this subject.  (Received these tips in an email)

Through a Rapist’s Eyes (No Joke)

   This is important information for females of ALL ages

When this was sent to me, I was told to forward it to my lady friends. I forwarded it to most everyone in my address book. My men friends have female friends and this information is too important to miss someone. Please pass it along.

 A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts

  1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.They are most likely to go after a woman with   a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed.They are also likely to go after   a woman with long hair .  Women with short hair are not common targets. 

2) The second thing men look for   is clothing . They will look for

 women who’s clothing is   easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing. 

 3) They also   look forwomen on their cell phone,

 searching through their purse   or   doing other activities while walking   because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered. 

 4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between   5: 00   a..m.   and   8:30   a.m.        

     5)The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. Number two is   office parking lots/garages. Number three is   public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are   looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location   where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.  

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.      

8) If you   put up any kind of a fight   at all,they get discouraged   because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that   going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming. 

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.         

 Keys are not a deterrent   because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it..          

 10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell,look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: “I can’t believe it is so cold out here”, “we’re in for a bad winter.” Now you’ve seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.

 11)If someone is coming toward you,   hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK !   Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back . Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

 12) If youcarry pepper spray   (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,)

  yell :  I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY   and   holding it out will be a deterrent.   

 13)If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can by   outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind,   pinch the attacker either   under   the arm   (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY   HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands -the guy needed stitches.  Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts.

 14)After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful . You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble.  Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.  

 15)When the guy puts his hands up to you,   grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible! The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply.   Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and   if you see any odd behavior,don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts!!!    You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.          

 1. Tip fromTae Kw on Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body.  If you are close enough to use it, do!      

2.Learned this from a tourist guide in  New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,   DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM   Toss it away from you….chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.   RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!      

3.If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will.. This has saved lives.     

4.Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS!)The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.   AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.    

 a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head   DO NOT DRIVEOFF, repeat:   DO NOT DRIVEOFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.    

 5.A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:   

   A.)Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.  

 B.)If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.        

C.)Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.       

  IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)    

6.ALWAYStake the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)     

  7.If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, 

 ALWAYS RUN!  The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likelyWILL NOTbe a vital organ..RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern!       

8.As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic:   STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women .  He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim ..     

 ***** Here This! ******

 9.Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her   “Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.”    

 The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, “We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.” He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.

 Please pass this on and DO NOT open your door at home for a crying baby —-This should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America’s Most Wanted when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana..  

 Forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, share this with your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

Editor’s Note: I can not vouch for the validity of these methods, but they seem like good advice to me.  Prayfully consider them and file them away in your mind.  Always be alert and ready to defend your person.  Don’t ever, under any circumstance get in a vehicle with a person who almost certainly means you harm.  An ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure.  Stay safe!