prayer

The Truth About What Faith Actually Looks Like

Has feeling sad or afraid while facing a difficult time ever caused others to question your faith? Has it ever made you ask yourself if you were really trusting God? In this freeing video, Frank shares the truth about what faith actually looks like.

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The Truth About What Faith Actually Looks Like

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Have you ever been there with God, the place where nothing in life makes sense? Where you just cry out, “This makes no sense!”

Oh, how hard it can be to remember that He is God, and His mind is bigger than ours. He knows what He's doing.

Habakkuk just couldn’t come to grips with that, have you been there? When you just can't come to grips with what God is allowing? So, he gets tenacious, and he goes up in his prayer tower and he tells God, “I'm not coming down until you answer me!” Two weeks go by, and God finally answers. Hallelujah, God answers! Now, are you ready for what God said? He told Habakkuk to trust Him. Wait, that's it? Now he has a whole new problem; he's cried out to God, and God has said, “No.”

I don't like it when God says no, do you? So what does Habakkuk do? He starts recalling to his mind, all that God is, and all that God has done. He remembers how God parted the Red Sea and made the sun stand still for Joshua, and he says, “Bring on the Chaldeans.” He makes the choice to rejoice, a choice we all have.

In chapter 3, he makes this famous statement, “There was trembling on my lips and decay in my bones.” I love that statement because faith isn’t always a huge smile on our faces, faith is trembling, faith is decay, faith is “I'm dying and I don't understand, but I believe you because you are good and all that you do is good. This doesn't look good, but somehow by faith, it's going to be good, and I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

David says, “Though the fig tree does not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine, my soul is going to cling to you.” And what tense does David use there? He uses the present tense. You see friends, you can cling all you want in the past, it's not going to deliver you in the present. You can say that you will cling in the future, it's not going to deliver you in the present. His name is I AM, and your faith must be present tense to connect to the I AM. Take a look at what David adds, “Your right hand is going to uphold me.” That's what God does beloved, our part is to believe and trust, and God's part is to deliver or sustain.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
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So, What Is Prayer?

Prayer is seeking to experience Jesus in ALL that we do.  Driving on the interstate, shoveling dirt, changing diapers are all opportunities to be praying without ceasing because they are all opportunities to live in the Spirit at the same time we are living in this physical world.

Prayer is seeking to experience Jesus in ALL that we do. Driving on the interstate, shoveling dirt, changing diapers are all opportunities to be praying without ceasing because they are all opportunities to live in the Spirit at the same time we are living in this physical world.

PRAYER!

I don't know about you, but that instantly puts an image in my brain of heads bowed and eyes closed, but I do not believe that is what the New Testament teaches prayer really is. Paul said we should be "praying always" - if we did that, how could we ever get anything done? It would be kind of hard to drive to work with our eyes closed and our head bowed, don't you think?

Further, have you ever read the account in the Gospels where the disciples were unable to cast out a demon, then Jesus Himself cast out the demon? When the disciples asked Him why they could not cast the demon out, Jesus told them that this kind of demon is cast out only by prayer.

BUT READ THE PASSAGE CAREFULLY! Jesus Himself DID NOT PRAY when He cast the demon out! The event is recorded in three different gospels and none of the writers says Jesus prayed first. (But I think He was praying...)

So, what is prayer?

It is an attitude of humble and intimate sharing of the relationship
we have with God as we go through our daily lives. 

It is simply remembering we are not in this life, facing the circumstances of life, by ourselves and with our own resources. We are in union with God.

My personal conviction is that the disciples could not cast out the demon because they were using "prayer" or the name of "Jesus" as a formula or method (which we are all prone to do).  Ours is a journey of faith in a Person. We do not reduce this incredible reality to a question of "what works" but "Who works".  Prayer is seeking to experience Jesus in ALL that we do. Driving on the interstate, shoveling dirt, changing diapers are all opportunities to be praying without ceasing because they are all opportunities to live in the Spirit at the same time we are living in this physical world.

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Father Is A Name of Summation

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

On the final night of His life, Jesus prayed what has been called His “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17. It is one of the most incredible possessions we have because it takes us into the “dialogue of God”. In it, we are afforded the privilege of listening in to “God talk” between the Father and the Son. Amazing! 

In that prayer, Jesus declares that He has finished the work that He was sent to do. He states that “Father, I gave unto them (us) your name!” Now think about that! Throughout the Old Testament God manifested Himself through a multiplicity of names. El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah Rapha and so on. This is as it should be, because really, how do you describe God?

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent
that no one name can adequately describe Him.

There was one name however, that was not used in the Old Testament that Jesus used throughout the Gospels. In fact, in His communication with God, the religious world was scandalized at how freely and intimately Jesus used this name - - - Father! I believe with all my heart that this is the name that Jesus was referring to in John 17.

All those other names, though they contain wonderful truth about the nature of the Father, are limited in their scope. Father is a name of summation. It wraps up in one word all that He is and longs to be to us. A father is strong, a father is a provider, a father is a protector, a father loves his children and desires and implements the best for his children, and we could go on and on. It really is, the name above all the other names for God, the name that He desperately wanted us to know, the name He sent Jesus to herald to us.

This is so important to understand because most people get their view of the Father from distorted sources. They view our heavenly Father through the lens of their own earthly father. That is so potentially destructive because so many earthly fathers are horrible fathers. Please understand, even the best earthly father is a hideous distortion of what our heavenly Father is really like. Others get their understanding of the Father from religious leaders, renaissance art, and a faulty understanding of the Scriptures and end up with a heavenly Father that they are desperately afraid of in His awesome glory. No, my friends. The Father is love. That is what it says in I John. And our Father wants to be known for who and what He is really like. Maybe I could put it this way if I could be so bold? He is tired of so many others telling what He is like in their own distorted views, so He sent His Son to herald once and for all what He is all about. “I am your heavenly Father, and so you could know Me and how much I love and care for you, I sent you My Son to provide you with a visual so that once and for all you would know what I am really like!"

Who is God? Oh, He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes. But He is above all else, My Father, which means that He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes to me personally as my Abba (Papa) God!

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Prayer's Posture...

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I was recently at an event for young people. An adult opened and closed with prayer. Each time he called the kids to "bow their heads and close their eyes." Hmmmm.....

Now, I understand the heart behind that. We are honoring the sovereign, almighty God of the universe with our posture. But, I function as a teacher, and I wonder what we are communicating to young people if that is our consistent approach to prayer. Are we saying inadvertently that we are "coming into His presence" at that moment?

That would be a mistake because WE LIVE IN HIS PRESENCE!

Or are we focusing on His mightiness and missing the relational aspect of what Christianity is supremely about?

I am a father, and when my kids talk to me, I do not want them bowing to me with their eyes closed. I want to see their eyes and look into their heart. Supremely, though, through my body language I want them to see my heart for them.

The almighty, sovereign God of the universe has come to man, as man, in the Person of Jesus. Just before He departed this earth, He told us in John 17 that He gave men, God's name. I believe that name is "FATHER", and He wants ABOVE ALL ELSE, a relationship with us. He did not secure us so that we would obey Him, serve Him, or worship Him, though all those things we do. He is NOT the supreme co-dependent of the universe. Please know, that He does not need us!

The supreme desire of His heart is for us to have a parent - child relationship with Him. With us learning of His love for us and responding in love to Him.

Perhaps our posture in prayer could exemplify that sometimes, maybe even right now.

Prayer: What It Is - and Is Not

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PRAYER!

I don't know about you, but that word instantly puts an image in my brain of heads bowed and eyes closed, but I do not believe that is what the New Testament teaches prayer really is. Paul said we should be "praying always" - if we did that, how could we ever get anything done? It would be kind of hard to drive to work with our eyes closed and our head bowed, don't you think?

Further, have you ever read the account in the Gospels where the disciples were unable to cast out a demon, then Jesus Himself cast out the demon? When the disciples asked Him why they could not cast the demon out, Jesus told them that this kind of demon is cast out only by prayer.

BUT READ THE PASSAGE CAREFULLY! Jesus Himself DID NOT PRAY when He cast the demon out! The event is recorded in three different gospels and none of the writers says Jesus prayed first. (But i think He was praying...)

So, what is prayer? It is an attitude of humble and intimate sharing of the relationship we have with God as we go through our daily lives... it is simply remembering we are not in this life, facing the circumstances of life, by ourselves and with our own resources. We are in union with God.

My personal conviction is that the disciples could not cast out the demon because they were using "prayer" or the name of "Jesus" as a formula or method (which we are all prone to do)... Ours is a journey of faith in a Person. We do not reduce this incredible reality to a question of "what works" but "Who works"... Prayer is seeking to experience Jesus in ALL that we do. Driving on the interstate, shovelling dirt, changing diapers; these are all opportunities to be praying without ceasing because they are all opportunities to live in the Spirit at the same time we are living in this physical world.