Tag Archives: salvation

Does God Answer Prayers?

In my last post, I gave you 5 steps that will prepare you to stand in the gap.

  1. Get on your knees and tell God you are ready to get back on track, serving Him.
  2. Begin praying for your family first. Pray for your spouse, then your children.
  3. Teach your children how to pray and serve Jesus – before someone teaches them how to serve themselves.
  4. Conduct a spiritual house blessing.
  5. If you are not active in a church that preaches and teaches Biblical truth, find one that does and get active there.

Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. You have to listen just as much or more than talk. When you pray, do you really expect God to answer or do you just hope He will? How do you know He answers?

Years ago in Houston, I worked with an Indian lady. We had interesting conversations. As I headed out to lunch one day she stopped me to ask, “Jerry, do you pray to God?” Of course I do, daily. Then she hit me with a question I was not expecting. “How do you know that God answer your prayers?” I knew this was not going to be a short answer so I invited her to lunch.

I consider that chance encounter with my co-worker to be a divine appointment. She and I began having regular conversations about prayer. These led to a conversation about her asking Jesus to be her Lord and savior. I remember her asking me how to do that. She was struggling with the concept of verbalizing the feelings in her heart. I told her to write God a letter, just like she would write a letter to a friend. A few days later, she came to me asking where to mail the letter, then she gave it to me to read. Tis is what her letter said –

Dear God,
I have been a Hindu all my life and never understood what the Bible really says. I want to start being a Christian now.
Your friend,
Nimisha

She confirmed that she truly meant what she said in the letter, but insisted it to be mailed. I told her God already received the message and I would take the letter – consider it mailed.

We continued our conversations about God and Jesus over the next several weeks. Nimisha was considering a job change with a new company and was about to go on an interview. She wanted to know if it would be OK to ask God about the job change. I remember telling her to ask God to show her clearly what she needs to do about accepting or rejecting the offer. Before she left for the interview, we prayed together about this job change.

Before that day ended, she called me to say she prayed as she drove across Houston to the interview. She was bursting with excitement when she described what happened:

  • She asked God to make the traffic easy – He did, traffic was light on the freeways.
  • She asked God to take away her nervousness – He gave her a spirit of calmness.
  • She asked God to tell her what to do about the job – He did, she accepted the new position.

When I saw her after she returned the next day, I asked her how she knew God answered her prayers. She said God spoke to her heart. The last time we prayed together was when she left for her new job.

I know I will see Nimisha in heaven some day.

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man (or woman) can accomplish much. (James 5:13-16, NIV)

Friends, I am not going to pretend to know all the answers on how to turn America around. What I do know is this – we have a choice. We can sit back complacently and do nothing, believing our vote does not count, our voice does not matter. Or we can take an active role in restoring America to its greatness. I do know that God hears our prayers and will honor our requests – but our heart must be healed first.

What condition is your heart? It is not possible to be a righteous person without Jesus. Perhaps you have left your first love. Self has pushed the Holy Spirit away (Revelation 2:2-7). Tell God that you are ready for the Holy Spirit to reside in your heart. Tell Him you are sorry for pushing Him aside.

Perhaps you have never invited Jesus into your life. God is not looking for perfect people, He is looking for people who are willing to be perfected by the Spirit. What Jesus did on the cross was done for all mankind – It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. (Hebrews 10:14, The Message). Are you ready to write that letter to God?

The choice is yours. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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Triumph and Contrast, Resurrection

Holy week ended on a sad note with the death and burial of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. While Jesus repeatedly told His followers that He would be back from the grave, none believed Him. Even the disciple closest to Jesus, the Apostle John, was hiding with the other disciples. The tomb had been sealed and guarded. When Sunday morning came, the stone had been rolled away, the guards were nowhere to be found and the tomb was empty. The resurrection had indeed occurred, just as He said. Triumph and Contrast.

The Empty Tomb Groom, Texas

The Empty Tomb
Groom, Texas

You can read the complete account of the resurrection in Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-12 and John 20:1-18.

The significance of the resurrection of Jesus

Salvation from the penalty of sin

When sin entered the world because of the disobedience of one man, Adam, (Genesis 3), despair set in. Man tried everything he could think of to restore the relationship with God. The resurrection of Jesus ushered in the needed restoration. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

As we look around us today, we see hatred and bitterness, senseless killing of innocent souls, lack of trust in our leaders. When will it end? Have we turned our back on God and Jesus? Surely not, because our hope is in the Jesus who conquered the cross.

  • Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned. (Romans 3:10-12)
  • The price (or consequence) of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
  • Jesus died for our sins. He died on the cross for you and I. (Rom 5:8)
  • We receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:9-10)

Romans 5:1
Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, (NCV)

Romans 8:1
So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. (NCV)

Eternal security (life)

The Apostle John records several verses related to eternal security (life).

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus say,A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10, NCV)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can steal them out of my hand. 29 My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29, NCV)

I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God so you will know you have eternal life.  (1 John 5:13, NCV)

Empowered by the Holy Spirit

Even though the Holy Spirit does come until after Jesus’ ascension, we know the Holy Spirit does come based on Acts 2.

The Holy Spirit dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19

Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:24)

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. (1 John 4:13)

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5)

Jesus tell us in Acts 1:8, “we will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”


Hebrews 10:21-23 says:

Since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

Love and grace come from the cross, hatred and bitterness is not. God’s love and grace is not based on our goodness or how we perform but rather on the Cross. We are all God’s children when we accept His son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for all of us. Receiving the love of Jesus and living in his love everyday, is the first and most essential step in having a life worth living and love worth giving. Jesus gave His life for you so now is the time to give your life to Him.

We can have the assurance of where we will spend eternity.

If you were to die today, do you know where you will spend eternity?

Have you accepted the gift of salvation that Jesus offers?

Would you pray with me –

Lord Jesus,
I repent of my sins.
Come into my heart.
I want you to be my LORD and SAVIOR and accept you as such.
Thank You for taking my place on that cross.
Thank you for giving me a new life.
In Jesus Name,

AMEN

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