SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

UNSAVING FAITH

“All people are naturally inclined to some form of religion, yet they fail to worship their Creator…” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1613, “Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God”).

FATHER, I fear ____ has decided on (his/her) own to follow You because (he/she) finds it convenient. It’s quite possible (he/she) has a belief like the crowd described in John 2:23: “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name…” (John 2:23 NASU).

The crowd’s belief in JESUS was not a life-changing belief. They were quick only to acknowledge Him as a teacher, or a great prophet, or someone who could make their life better. The Amplified version sums it up, they …[identified themselves with His party]…. Surely they figured being close in proximity met He would save them from…whatever they wanted saved from.

FATHER, I fear ____ has found comfort in a faith that does not save. (He/She) may be content to know about JESUS, like Him, and conclude (he/she) identifies enough with Him that (he’ll/she’ll) go to heaven when (he/she) dies.

“To believe, for Paul, involves knowledge of the gospel’s content, mental assent to its testimony about Christ (Rom 10:14), and obedient trust and reliance on Him as Savior and Lord (Rom 1:5)” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1617, [Rom 3:22]).

I pray You give ____ ears to hear the Gospel. Convince (him/her) that (he/she) has no righteousness of (his/her) own and needs CHRIST’s righteousness. Be graphic about revealing (his/her) danger of perishing. LORD, give (him/her) a need to look for someone to save (him/her) from Your wrath. And then motivate (him/her) to make the effort to understand that CHRIST cannot save unless He becomes LORD of (his/her) life.

FATHER, give ____ opportunity to understand and grab hold of the faith that saves. By exercising (his/her) faith and by obeying, You will cause (him/her) to joyfully worship You. (He/She) does not need to be punished with everlasting destruction being forever away from Your presence and from the glory of Your power either in the rest of this life or in the life to come (2 Thes 1:9).

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CONFESSION

WHO IS DOING THE DOING?

“Not all deeds done for God are His deeds. Doing for Him is not enough; the question is, who is doing the doing? God will not recognize any labor as His if it simply reflects the believer’s activity and is carried out in his strength” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#101, p44).

When the Apostle Paul says I am to work out my own salvation (Phil 2:12-13), he is not saying to me to get busy and convince You, FATHER, that I love You. If I have any thought of impressing You it signals my activities are birthed from ruling myself. Working out my salvation is not choosing Christian activities that I want to do.

FATHER, instead of permitting my perverse nature to work out my salvation, bequeath me that I may, with concentration and care work out the nature You have put in me when You changed my nature (ref#7, June 6th). I want You to dominate more and more of my life (ref#7, June 7th); I want to be more and more acquainted with Your good work, not my own good work—Your rule, not my rule.

“The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than…carry on and rely on his grace,…and—sin” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p297).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN – Backsliders

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

PLANTS THAT DO NOT PRODUCE A CROP

FATHER, a backslider is like most of the scattered seeds in the “Parable of the Sower” (Matt 13:1-8). They, for a time, grow well but then something inhibits them. The attention of backsliders is often diverted by tribulation or persecution that arises from following CHRIST, or they are held back by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt 13:21-22). And, the subtlest and probably the most prevalent way a plant is attacked is the disease of pride. And all, like tender sprouts, their plight must be quickly reversed or they will die without yielding the fruit of eternal life.

FATHER, I fear the arrogance of ____’s heart is deceiving (him/her) (Jer 49:16). (His/Her) overconfidence gets (him/her) into trouble; making (him/her) unable to listen to Biblical teaching, or hear admonitions and warnings.

CHRIST dealt with pride in His Apostles (Matt 26:33). Peter said he would lay down his life for CHRIST (John 13:37). But, CHRIST knew that would not happen. So, since Peter would not listen to His teachings or hear His warnings CHRIST turned to prayer (Luke 22:32).

FATHER, I know You may give satan permission to sift ____ like wheat, as You did Peter, before You poured out mercy on (him/her) (Luke 22:31-32). But, through JESUS’ prayer Peter came to posses enough faith to turn and help others.

So, I come with a similar prayer for ____. Move ____ to see (his/her) sin and return like Peter with enough faith to grow into a plant that bears fruit and yields 30, 60, or hundredfold (Matt 13:23).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE GIFT OF SALVATION

“No part of us is untouched by sin, and no action of ours is as good as it should be. Consequently, nothing we do is ever meritorious in God’s eyes. We cannot earn God’s favor no matter what we do; unless grace saves us, we are lost” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p781, [Original Sin and Total Depravity]).

FATHER, since You are a great GOD who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number (Job 5:9), I defer to You with my request. I observe ____ depending on (his/her) own good accomplishments to please You. But, “obedience is a response to God’s favor, and not a means of gaining itThe Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1732, [Col 3:1] underlining mine).

Your Gospel that You provide as a gift, given freely by Your grace, causes both intense longing or intense resentment. I fear ____ is comfortable with (his/her) own moral achievements and resents any other way of pleasing You. I see (him/her) in the following quote:

“I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 28th).

FATHER, I pray You cause ____ to come to the realization that (he/she) must receive salvation as a pure gift or do without it. As long as (he/she) is possessed of anything in the way of independence, You can do nothing for (him/her) (ref#7, Nov 28th).

You say, “the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands (Ps 9:16 ESV). So I pray for ____ that (he/she) turn and repent so (his/her) sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19). FATHER, please make ____ a person who has an intense longing for Your gift of salvation. Make (him/her) like one who was in the crowd listening to JESUS. “Now, all the tax collectors and those sinners stained with certain vices and crimes were continually crowding close to Him for the purpose of hearing Him” (ref#37, p176 [Luke 15:1]). These people reaped the benefit of JESUS’ presence by their lowly and contrite heart, I pray ____ does, too.

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

CALL TO REVIVAL

FATHER, there are those in our congregation living on milk and content to be unskilled in righteousness (Heb 5:13) and, there are those who have unknowingly walked away from the SPIRIT they began with (Gal 3:3). ____ may fit in this category.

Only You can make steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.   Only You can make righteousness looks down from the sky and faithfulness spring up from the ground (Ps 85:10,11). Will You not revive ____, that (he/she) may again rejoice in You (Ps 85:6)?

The SPIRIT’s influence on the people that lived in Jerusalem when Ezra came to build the temple was something amazing. Ezra learned that the people, GOD’s holy race, had mixed themselves with the peoples of the nearby lands (Ezra 9:2). After Ezra prayed Your people, FATHER, in an unheard of, unthinkable act sent back home their foreign wives and their children (Ezra 10:12)!

I’m sure the action of Ezra, when he learned of the people’s intermarrying, influenced You in helping the people accomplish such unthinkable feats. Ezra tore his garment, pulled hair from his head and beard and sat appalled until the evening sacrifice then rose from his fasting and fell on his knees and prayed (Ezra 9:4,5).

FATHER, fasting and waiting on You for long periods of time is something rare today—as rare as the possibility of the work of the SPIRIT making current headlines. Burden ____ to seek revival for (his/her) own heart. Move (him/her) to concern (himself/herself) with Your goals. Give (him/her) a heart like Ezra’s.

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

EMBRACING SELF-MADE RELIGION IN IGNORANCE

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-3-40-37-pm…FATHER, “Let not those…who are amiable, moral, attractive, fall short of heaven at last;…” (ref#76, p113). Good is the enemy of the best. Sin can produce death through what is good (Rom 7:13).

I know ____, for like (him/her) I have, in times past, suppressed the truth as (he/she) is presently doing (Rom 1:18). I knew about You but choose to conduct my life the way I thought to be satisfying to You. And, in so doing worshipped and served me, the creature, rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25). And, in so doing did not honor You or give You thanks (Rom 1:21). It made sense to choose how to show my support, but yet my conscience caused suffering; I felt Your accountability for the wrongs I had done (ref#56, p1613 [Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God]).

I pray ____ not smother or quench (his/her) awareness of You. I pray You lead (him/her) to a broad place where (he/she) can see (his/her) ignorance—that is the ignorance of (his/her) own choosing of how to be a Christian.

FATHER, suppress (his/her) human wisdom and give (him/her) enough faith to long for, above all else, a relationship with You. Draw ____ right out of (himself/herself) and (his/her) thinking. Give (him/her) a peaceful conscience that (he/she) may know You have forgiven (him/her) and desire close fellowship with (him/her).

“Grant that the promising appearances of a tender conscience, soft heart, the alarms and delights of thy Word, be not finally blotted out, but bring forth judgment unto victory in all whom I love” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p113).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

REAL OR FAUX CHRISTIAN

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-21-43-pmNOTE: This post is directed to all my sisters and brothers that have at least at one point in their life questioned their salvation. If you sit in the pew and never question GOD’s saving grace to you then I would question your Christianity. The enemy only puts stumbling blocks in the path of believers.

7/17/2016

A thought has become clear enough that I can form the words into questions: Am I puling myself up to GOD with my bootstraps? Does my attempt to draw close to Him come solely from my effort? Am I more a faux Christian than real? This line of thought began a few days ago while reading this quote:

“…the very nature of love…is always active…the real trouble with the person who is seated there in his study reading beautiful…books about love and who feels that he is…a fine Christian is this: What is really happening to that person is that he is simply in love with himself, because he appreciates these elevating thoughts” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p116).

I earmarked page 116 and went back to it later and seriously asked GOD if I was sinning in this way. (I really do love to create at my desk and do not enjoy so much being active out in the madding crowd.) At that time He convinced me that I was okay, but now in my reading today I am again asking. The questions reoccurred as I read:

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God:

The quickening of conscience by His holiness

The nourishment of mind with His truth

The purifying of imagination by His beauty

The opening of the heart to His love

The surrender of the will to His purpose” Will Metzger (ref#79, p156).

“Yes, Yes,” I thought, “I want to submit all of me to GOD.” I want to, but am I? Is it really happening? Or am I only wishing it so? Am I just sitting at my desk dreaming I’m a good Christian?

Is GOD quickening my conscience by His holiness? Is He nourishing my mind by His truth? Is He purifying my imagination by His beauty? Is He opening my heart by His love? Is He…or am I pretending He is—do I just finding joy in dreaming that I’m like that?

My thoughts continue. I have a precious 1984 vision of me worshipping GOD with abandon burned in my mind and I have been seeking its fulfillment ever since. Am I allowing Him, in His time, to bring it about or am I attempting to self-fulfill it on my own?

These past few day the questions drive me further and further from my FATHER into my own conclusions that I really am, all these years, been a faux Christian! I have made a case for my failure as a lover of GOD. But…

But, the disappointment of it all drove me back to the beginning. What am I living for? What am I seeking? I sat in my prayer closet this Sabbath afternoon and wept while writing—my pen expressing my heart:

“I want to find the fulfillment of flat-out expressions of wonder toward GOD—of absolutely letting my heart define, to its capacity, the joy of being adopted by GOD. What a longing I have to exalt Him uninhibitedly—to possess total concentration on the object of my worship and make habits of various ways to magnify the TRIUNE GOD Who for some reason, chose, before the foundations of the world, to plant His very nature in me.

“This alone is all I live for—all I covet. There is no plan B or other options; I will entertain nothing else. This is the only prayer for myself—that I might find contentment with continual praise.

“And, FATHER, this is a prayer You will answer for You have put the desire in my heart (no matter what my thoughts tell me), and You, in Your time, will bring to fruition that request.

“JESUS, I shadow You—may I routinely confess my sin so I am prepared to let You infuse my brain with practical ideas of holiness. I now tell myself to be fervent, diligent and disciplined—keeping my body armed and ready for a sudden deployment to praise. Here I am—LORD, here—show me, show me righteousness that I might respond with abandon.”

I am not a faux Christian!

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

BEGGING TO BRING MY FRIENDS WITH ME

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 5.02.03 PM…FATHER, You multiply mercy and peace and affection to those You dearly love. You set them apart and keep them for CHRIST (Jude 1-2). How I’d love to have ____ in CHRIST, growing in peace and love.

“DADDY, can I bring ____ with me? My enjoyment of Your glory—the blessings that You give me through CHRIST will not be so joyful if (he/she) can’t enjoy Your presence with me.”

I will only be completely happy at the “supper of the Lamb” if all my family and friends are around the table. DADDY, You are the only one who can give consent for them to come with me. To You, DADDY, I will beg and bagger (Luke 11:8) and wear You down (Luke 18:5) in hopes You will relent so they can come. I’m not one of Your constantly obedient children, but remember You have said that even if I’m not a perfect child, if I persist You will answer me (Luke 11:8-10).

DADDY, remember You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth, and…You forgive iniquity (Ex 34:6-7). I look at You and see no reason why You would not let ____ come with me. DADDY, I will continually beg and bagger You about this.

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN – Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians.  It is up to us to pray for their salvation.  Here’s an opportunity to pray for them.  Fill his/her name in the blanks.]

JESUS’ DEALING WITH FLESH

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.10.18 PM…FATHER, “…everything a man naturally inherits from his parents belongs to the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p71). Therefore we are naturally hostile to You, for we do not submit to Your laws, indeed, we cannot (Rom 8:3,7). That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6).

“God…does not try to alter man’s flesh; He instead gives man a new life in order to help put it to death. The flesh must die. This is salvation” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p73).   “…By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:3-4 ESV).

But, man “does not understand God’s Word and so he tries continually to refine and reform his flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p73). Because I see no consistent spiritual fruit in ____, I pray, FATHER, that You provide (him/her) with a deeper understanding of You. I observe ____ is not willing to make (himself/herself) uncomfortable doing good works which makes me believe (his/her) actions are the actions of (his/her) selfish, not-regenerated-yet, flesh.

FATHER, this flesh is so predominate that even Your regenerated easily revert back to utilizing their sinful flesh to deal with daily situations (Gal 3:3). So I pray also for my fellow Christians as well, that they continue depending on Your SPIRIT as they did at first.

“Though He cannot alter our flesh God gives us His life. Man’s flesh remains as corrupt in those who are born anew as in those who are not. The flesh in a saint is the same as that in a sinner. In regeneration the flesh is not transformed. New birth exerts no good influence on the flesh. It remains as is. God does not impart His life to us to educate and train the flesh. Rather, it is given to overcome the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p76).

FATHER, unsettle ____ until (he/she) longs to walk by Your SPIRIT so (he/she) will not gratify the desires of (his/her) flesh (Gal 5:16). May (he/she) “experience less failure battling with sin and more success battling with self” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p79).

SUPPLICATION

TESTS FOR SANCTIFICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians. It is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.41.08 PM…FATHER, I fear, as the serpent deceived Eve, that ____’s mind is being corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere devotion to CHRIST (2 Cor 11:3).

But, first, FATHER, I need Your grace to cover my questioning—my judging. Continually remind me that I do not review the tests for sanctification to pass sentence on ____, but to learn how to help (him/her) turn from (his/her) shipwrecking ways.

You not only call me to pray, but also to confront, admonish, encourage and help ____ as well as be patient (1 Thes 5:14). If any of these testing questions below I perceive ____ failing at, make me ready to help (him/her) in the way You direct.

  1. Do I see Your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in (him/her) (1 Thes 1:3)?
  1. Does (he/she) attest to continuing in (his/her) belief in CHRIST (John 3:16)?
  2. Do I observe (him/her) being led by the HOLY SPIRIT (Rom 8:14)?
  3. Do I see traits of the fruit of the SPIRIT exhibited in (his/her) life (Gal 5:22-23)?
  4. Does (he/she) still listen to Christians and read and delight in Your Word (1 John 4:6)?
  1. Do I see evidence of (him/her) abiding in CHRIST for (his/her) day-by-day situations (John 15:4)?
  1. Does (he/she) regularly fellowship with CHRIST in prayer and worship (John 15:7)?
  1. Do I see results of (him/her) obeying CHRIST (1 John 3:24)?
  1. Does (he/she) show love to others (1 John 2:9-10)?
  2. Does (he/she) continue in fellowship with other Christians (1 John 2:19)?

(Points 1 – 10, ref#63, p803-805)