Radical Prayers of Faith

One of the ‘Uniquely Cornerstone’ core values is embedded in the understanding that the church is called to be God’s House of Prayer. For this very reason, we should pray. It’s therefore not a matter of if we should pray, but when we pray. The result of our prayers should reveal the Kingdom, the power and glory of God.

From Matthew chapters 5 to 7, after Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes, the people were astonished at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And when Jesus taught them to pray, it was not some heartless command but a result of their witness of His relationship with God, His Father.

The effective, fervent and heartfelt prayer is quite the opposite of lethargic, repetitious, and superficial prayer. While we’re passionate, it’s not the conjuring of emotions, or the generating of exciting sounds or words – but prayer must be one of intense sincere confidence in a personal God.

When the Holy Spirit inspired James to illustrate such a prayer, he chose Elijah. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:16-18).

Elijah’s mighty prayers, which withheld rain in Israel, were legendary. His exploits of calling down fire from Heaven, destroying 450 prophets of Baal – who can forget this? And this same Elijah was also a man of frailties and flaws which was not obvious until God used him to demonstrate His mighty power to King Ahab of Israel, the wicked idolater. Elijah recoiled in fear and fled from the threats of Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, and crawled under a juniper tree where he asked the Lord to take his life (1 Kings 19:2-4).

We can easily identify with the Elijah who ran away from the fear and threats rather than his mighty prayers and exploits; not always strong in the face of opposition, embarrassed often, and recoiling because of the spirit of intimidation. Elijah was as human as you and I, imperfect and a mere mortal, but God used his prayers in such awesome and astonishing ways.

Our God has the power to give and to withhold life. Therefore your prayer and your life is of consequence. No one walking this earth has an unimportant life and we’re to pray into and invest in every life with a message the entire world needs to hear. Our prayers must be of faith and substance and gleaning from men of faith like the late William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army and Rees Howells, founder of the Bible College of Wales – men who knew something about radical prayer.

In 1865, this 36-year-old Englishman, William Booth, with the intent to evangelise the poor, who literally changed his society with the salvation message of Christ, once said, “You must pray with your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel, with eyes wide open, while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God. It means that grappling with Omnipotence, that clinging to Him, following Him about, so to speak, day and night, as the widow did to the unjust judge, with agonising pleadings and arguments and entreaties, until the answer comes, and the end is gained.

“This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame. They will ply you with suggestions and difficulties. They will ask you how you can expect that the plans and purposes and feelings of God can be altered by your prayers. They will talk about impossibilities and predict failures; but, if you mean to succeed, you must shut your ears and eyes to all but what God has said, and hold Him to His own word: and you cannot do this in any sleepy mood; you cannot be a prevailing Israel unless you wrestle as Jacob wrestled, regardless of time aught else, save obtaining the blessing sought—that is, you must pray with your might.”

Likewise, in the life of Rees Howells, founder of the Bible College of Wales, “The Spirit told him: ‘The meaning of prayer is answer, and of all that I give you, see that you lose nothing.’ He also told him that effectual praying must be guided praying, and that he was no longer to pray for all kinds of things at his own whim or fancy, but only the prayers that the Holy Ghost gave him.”

We should tremble when we read such words of passion and faith. Men such as William Booth and Rees Howells stood on the front lines of intercession, and persevered until God honoured their fervent radical prayers of faith. Likewise, we should pray with everything we’ve got, with all our heart, for God’s Kingdom to come, for His authority to reign in our hearts and His will to be done in our lives.

And if God could hear and answer the passionate faith-filled prayers of Elijah, a common man ‘with a nature like ours’, He can likewise hear and answer yours and mine. The Lord is eager to answer the effectual, fervent prayers of ordinary – but righteous – followers of Jesus Christ!


Ps. Daphne Yang

The Blessing of Things Going Wrong

You’ve made all your plans. Everything’s prepared. You double-checked and triple-checked. You committed it all to prayer. You’ve made every effort. Despite all the preparation, something goes wrong. The computer crashes and you lose all your data. Your guest speaker suddenly can’t come. The kids fall terribly ill. All of a sudden, your well-made plans are scuttled and you’re left wondering what on earth went wrong.
 
At this point, you can consider a couple of responses. God forbid but some blame their bad luck. The most natural response, in my opinion, is to point the finger squarely at someone else and, trust me, there’s always someone close enough to the matter to be blamed. Or, attribute the matter to spiritual warfare. The worst of all is to back away from ever attempting something quite as audacious.
read more…

When God Doesn’t Make Sense

February 2019 was an interesting month for me. I received not one – but two – watches. Instinctively, I began to seek its spiritual and prophetic significance as I believe the Lord is saying something to me through this. And so my mind began to run through all the ‘watch-related’ Scriptures for clues.

Is the Lord asking me to ‘watch and pray’ more (Matt 26:41)? Or am I to be ‘His watchman on the wall’ (Isa 62:6)? Maybe it’s about learning to ‘number my days’ (Ps 90:12) or to learn more about moving in ‘times and seasons’ (1 Chron 12:32) like the sons of Issachar, since one was a classic retro-looking watch and the other a modern high-tech watch. Or perhaps the Lord is bringing me into a ‘time of refreshing’ (Acts 3:19)? Or the new watches replacing the old read more…

Strengthen the Weak

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” 
Heb 12:11-12

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learnt a painful but valuable lesson, one which could permanently affect the way I live, how I move, and what I’m able to accomplish with my family. On a family trip to Mt. Kinabalu, I suffered a painful injury to my knee while carrying my youngest daughter on an uphill forest trail. I believe God is teaching me a spiritual lesson and reminding me to strengthen my aging body.

As God’s children, may we continue to allow Him to discipline us and follow His instructions, training, and correction to strengthen the body read more…

The Dark Side of Success

In Luke 12, there was a certain rich man whose ground yielded plentifully. This man could be any person – a stockbroker whose portfolio of stocks had risen greatly in value; a real estate owner whose property assets had dramatically improved; or even a businessman who had just gotten the deal of the century. Or, he could just be a senior pastor who’s seen increase year upon year and all it’s been is hunky dory. Whoever he is, he’s someone who’s struck gold and has now more than he can accommodate. So, he has a logistical problem. He doesn’t have enough space to store his increase.

There’s this internal chatter. He asks himself a question, ‘What shall I do since I’ve no room to store my crops or increase?’ In his mind, he replies to his read more…

Move with Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for faith to leap in us to believe.

I’ll soon be 59 years old and, like my husband, we’re both inching towards the big 6-0. I’m a good 20 years into the second half of my life if, by reason of strength, I live to 80 years. God is leading me to the finishing line, so there’s an urgency for me to live wisely and well as there are fewer days in front of me than behind. How I live from this time will shape eternity more than ever. The fact read more…

Move With Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for read more…

We’re Stewards, And Not Owners

The idea of stewardship is found throughout the Scriptures. In fact, an important foundation that needs to be laid in all our lives is a realisation that we’re all stewards in this life. The one thing that causes us to fail to understand this is when we think we’re owners instead of stewards.

This is easily evident in the way we speak and how we make decisions. When our conversations are filled with ‘mine’ and ‘I’, in all likelihood, we’re no longer thinking as stewards. In the same manner, do we pray and ask God about the decisions we’ve to make, recognising that our lives belong to Him?
 
Interestingly, Jesus spoke about stewardship extensively. In the many instances when He spoke on this subject, they were directed towards the Pharisees – the religious leaders of His days. read more…

Putting a Smile on The Father’s Face

Last November, after speaking at our weekend service for the second time, I asked the Lord what He thought of the message. His reply astounded me – what pleased Him most was not so much the message itself, but what happened the night before the service – the diligence in working through the message and the posture of desperation for His Presence in the service.

And the Holy Spirit said these three words to me that forever marked and changed my life – “Remember this day!” I immediately knew what He was referring to. It was a loving warning from my Confidant to keep this posture in my heart for the rest of my life, so that I’ll not be complacent when it comes to the things of God as I get more fluent in what I do, be it read more…

Strengthen Your Stakes

Long ago, ancient Hebrews constructed tents made of black goat hair, which was spun into strands and woven together, forming panels measuring some 2 feet wide and covering the length of the tent. This took about a year to complete and was primarily the ancient method of tent-making.

Isaiah 54:2 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.” When I think of this verse, I think of us expanding our potential, capabilities, and seeing an increase in the church. The intent of God has never changed but if this growth is going to continue, the church must be willing to be stretched beyond her comfort zone.

I believe God wants us to grow in our triune being today, by enlarging our capacity for others read more…

Musings of An Almost Senior Citizen

Age changes your perception of life. When I was 20, I was very concerned over what people thought about me. At 40, I didn’t care what people thought about me. Now at almost 60, I realised no one was thinking about me.

In just 11 months, I will reach my big 6-0. I’m not sure how I feel. In a way, I’m excited about the new possibilities, yet I’m also feeling a sense of trepidation. One of the things that’s been in my thoughts lately is the issue of life after death. Soon, I’ll breathe my last breath and slip away into eternity, which simply means everything I do now ought to prepare me for that moment.

I find myself reading a lot about books on heaven. I’ve just finished reading Dr. DGS Dhinakaran’s classic book, ‘An Insight Into Heaven’ read more…

An Open Door

2019 will be an exceptional year and it’s going to excel against the previous years! Entering a new year can bring with it many new things, it can refresh old things giving them a different perspective. Learning to view a glass as half-full rather than half-empty, re-defining problems as opportunities, and wearing new lenses to view more options as viable might be the new perspective that works this year. Perspective is the way one looks at something, it’s also an art technique that changes the distance or depth of an object on paper.

2018 is past but re-capturing encounters where God apprehended us are so very important. These encounters are keys God has given to unlock doors, doors which were once closed and now opened. I hear the Spirit say, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the read more…

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