Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

God's Ignoring Me!

Question: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves asking “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

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Dating & Marriage 101: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is She Marriage Worthy?

Proverbs 7Have you ever thought about the girl you would want your son or nephew to marry? Marriage is a lifelong covenant and the choice of one’s spouse is a decision one cannot take lightly. So you want to know if the young lady your son or nephew is interested in dating or marrying is in God’s Will. Or maybe you are a young lady who wants to know if you are dating or marriage worthy by God’s standards. Though it is not possible to know God’s decretive will or the hidden things of God that will come to pass, we do know God’s preceptive will or revealed commands in His published Word the Bible.

Question: Is the young lady my son or nephew dating in God’s Will for marriage?

God paints two pictures of women: the Proverbs 31 Woman and the Proverbs 7 Woman. One is a Woman to Pursue and the other is a Woman to Avoid. Let’s examine God’s Truths about these women.

The Woman to Pursue:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:

• Trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11-12
• Diligent – Proverbs 31:13-14, 18-19, 27
• Worker – Proverbs 31: 15-16
• Physically active – Proverbs 31:17
• Cares for the underserved – Proverbs 31:20, 2 Corinthians 9:6
• Fearless – Proverbs 31:21
• Crafty (domestic) – Proverbs 31:22, 24
• Strong, dignified, and optimistic – Proverbs 31: 25
• Wise with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26, Ephesians 4:20
• Kind with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26
• Praiseworthy – Proverbs 31:28
• Fears the Lord – Proverbs 31:30, John 14:15
• Observes the Sabbath – Deuteronomy 5:12
• Tithes – Malachi 3
• Honors her parents – Ephesians 6:2, Exodus 20:12
• Avoids sexual sin – 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Keeps her eyes from sin – Psalm 101:3
• Humble – Romans 12:16
• Forgiving – Romans 12:17-20
• Fruitful (Fruits of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23
• Godly in love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Woman to Avoid:

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she says to him: I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. “I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. “I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:1-27

Characteristics of a Proverbs 7 Woman:

• Sexual (adulteress, wayward, seductive in words) – Proverbs 7:5, Proverbs 5:3, 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Provocative and seductive (in dress) – Proverbs 7:10, 21, Psalm 101:3
• Cunning – Proverbs 7:10
• Boisterous or loud – Proverbs 7:11
• Rebellious – Proverbs 7:11
• Busy body – Proverbs 7:11-12
• Predator (pursuing him) – Proverbs 7:12-13, 26
• Enticing – Proverbs 7:21
• Haughty eyes – Proverbs 6:17
• Lengthy history – Proverbs 7:26
• Argumentative, contentious, nagging – Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, Proverbs 25:24
• Unstable and unaware – Proverbs 5:6
• Not in fellowship with Believers – Hebrews 10:25
• Deadly (eternal) – Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 5:5

Though God’s hidden or decretive will has not been revealed as to whom your son or nephew will marry, God has made it very clear in his preceptive will the characteristics the man of God should pursue in a woman of God. If the young lady your son or nephew is dating authentically loves the Lord and exhibits the character of God, CONGRATULATIONS! You have a fantastic Kingdom opportunity and possible new daughter (or niece) in law in the near future.

However, if the characteristics of the young lady your son or nephew is dating or considering dating lean towards the woman he should avoid, prayerfully ask God and your husband or other Godly men for an appropriate time to have an open discussion with your son or nephew about choosing healthy, Godly relationships in Christ Jesus. God is not the author of confusion and wants the absolute best for His children. Any relationship filled with strife, sexual sin, or confusion is not of Him and should be avoided. If you are a young woman who finds herself in the category of The Woman to Avoid, prayerfully ask God through Christ Jesus to come into your heart and change you into the woman He has purposed you to be. Then seek Godly accountability to help ensure that the changes you desire in your heart are realized.

Abba, thank you for showing us your revelations and for helping us to live in obedience to your Word. – Amen

Related Posts: Is He Marriage Worthy?
Resources: Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will ; Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will
Photo Credit: Bing

Service: Kids Community Spring Fair 2013

kidsfairhdMany are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Wow! We serve an amazing God. We had an abundance of children/family participants and community partner volunteers. Everything we needed, God provided. Helmets, healthy food, education session, gym equipment, and most importantly LOVE was provided by volunteers and community partners. In fact we had one additional community partner volunteer join us that we did not anticipate. It was a huge Blessing as this Person of Peace filled a gap in both dentistry and connection to the Somali community. The community partners were from all segments of society: Faith, school, government, private business and non profit. What is even more amazing is that the school and government participants came to us, seeking to participate in our service project. When I was initially contacted about them joining us, I was a bit confused. I thought “Don’t they know this event is in a Church and hosted by Believers in Christ? Aren’t they scared by the scriptures I have posted on my email (as one colleague suggested and insisted I delete as to not potentially offend those who don’t Believe)?” I mean after all the world systems tell us schools, government, and other nations like the Somali community want nothing to do with people like us (Christians). Abba told me to rest and let Him do the work. Abba called me to do two things: love and serve.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35

I remember asking God these questions as a youth: why I was born with brown skin and of the African Diaspora, why I grew up in the inner city amongst all walks of life especially the poor when my parents did not financially have to. I felt and often received ostracism in my youth by peers my Midwestern community as it was “common knowledge” (lies of the enemy) brown skinned people were not as beautiful as fair skinned people and all blacks who live in the inner city are underclassed including me. I resented being of the African Diaspora, resented my parents not moving to the suburbs like many of my peers families did, and I resented being told by oppressionists that because I was of the African Diaspora and from the inner city I was less than they. Fast forward into my thirties and Abba revealed to me that it was those painful racial experiences in my youth and sacrifices made my parents to live Christ by associating and living amongst the poor in my hometown as Romans 12:16 calls that equipped me more than most to do this particular work for the Kingdom. God gave me the call two years ago to love the children and families in the communities much like the one I grew up in. Now I answer. Amen

Highlights from the Kids Community Fair

A kindergartner asking a teenager “How old are you?” The teenager responding “Seventeen”. The kindergartner responding “Wow, you’re old!” The teenager responding “She just called me old.” Me thinking to myself “Just wait until you turn thirty!”

An elderly Somali woman and daughter donating to the Clothing Closet, accepting a cup of coffee and coming in only to be pleasantly surprised by our Person of Peace Somali volunteer (middle aged gentleman) who engaged them in coffee conversation. Shortly after several more Somali friends appeared at the coffee table for conversation.

Spiritual Warfare: Horses and Chariots of Fire

Chariots of FireNow when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17

This is one of my most favorite scriptures. It speaks to the infinite invisible army Abba had standing guard for His servant then and has standing guard for His servants now. It speaks to Abba’s adoration and care for us. There is no obstacle too great or troublesome for Abba to move. No need to contend with the the world’s resources, as He is the most connected social resource in the universe. He is lining up the exact divine appointments you need for your season of life. Trust in Him and He will deliver.

Abba is the Alpha and Omega. He makes our paths straight and directs us. No need to strive, just surrender. Abba can do far more with His infinite invisible army than we can do with our finite circle of tangible or virtual friends. Trust in Him alone – not our academic knowledge, not our street smarts, not our business savvy, not our degrees of social connectedness, or any other human efforts.

Thank you Abba for being our eternal papa, for growing us, and for gifting us with the incredible infinite resources to slay every work of the enemy. We confess and repent of our ways that are counter to your Truth. Prune us Lord, mold us Lord so that we may grow full with healthy fruit for your Kingdom. Amen

Photo Credit: Visual Bible Live

Prayer: “It takes two”…The Power of Agreement

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba…dance…and scene.

Okay seriously, do you remember that classic Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston song “It takes Two”?  A classic 60s pop music hit that sent most of our parents and/or grandparents to the dance floor.  Fun times.  So how does this song relate to the Faith?

Again,truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for,it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

When I began working in the Ministry almost two years ago I was charting into unknown territory.  I had no personal experience other than God’s Word and prayer.  Being inexperienced I thought it would be best to get someone with greater experience than I to pray the prayer of agreement according God’s Word in this new Ministry and naturally I sought Pastoral agreement.

Eight months after the birth of the Ministry I began attending a community based prayer group.  One of the things I routinely committed to prayer was our newly developing Ministry and the developing partnerships with other organizations in the Body of Christ.  By God’s grace, our Ministry received agreement in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ from two community Faith based organizations in the mission of serving the underserved.  God answered my prayer!  My prayer group also encouraged me to continue to seek agreement from the organization our Ministry was birthed out of, as we are all one Body and should be in agreement.  I am confident in the work that God is doing through our Ministry and His purposes will be established regardless of outcome.

It takes two baby…..

I attended a conference this Fall with a guest Pastor speaking about the many practical areas of the Christian Faith including prophecy and you guessed it, agreement.  The speaker kept the message very clear and practical.  Agreement is one of the basic principles of advancing the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, if you ask another Believer to pray in agreement with you on any matter according to God’s Word (i.e. relational, Ministry, career) and they pray in agreement with you on this matter, God will give you what you ask in accordance to His decretive and preceptive will. God will never give you something contrary to His Word.  On the other hand, if you ask an individual to agree with you and they tell you “No”, “Let me think about it”, “Let me get back to you”, or “Don’t respond at all”, you will need to find someone else who will agree with you according to Matthew 18:19.  Why?  Simply put, what motivates someone especially another Believer to take up your prayer requests and sit on them?  No worries, God does not say you need to allow your prayer requests to be held hostage by one individual.  God says we just need one other who will agree with us.  So if one does not consent to pray in agreement with you on God’s purposes, find someone else.  The speaker forewarns us against continuing to share personal details and/or prayer requests with individuals who will not stand in agreement with you.  What motivation do they have for collecting your personal details or prayer requests?  Hmmm…good question that I had never considered.

Summary:
If you are seeking agreement on any matter including but not exclusive to Ministry, your marriage, your children, your job, or anything else, God’s Word says according to Matthew 18:19 that it will be given to you if two of you agree.  We need to be on guard and/or flee anyone that holds prayer requests hostage or flatly does not consent to agree with you in prayer.

Again,truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for,it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

– Amen

Related Post: Discernment