Prayers Of The Suffering

Saturday, August 24, 2013, 7:45 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with this song:

Broken and Contrite / An Original Work / May 13, 2012

I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.

Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.

Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 8:1-5 (ESV):

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. ~ Rev. 8:1-5 ESV


Revelation is a prophecy of scripture concerning the last days before the return of Christ, and of the time known on earth as the Tribulation/Great Tribulation, at which time Satan will rule and reign on the earth, for a short period of time, in the form of an unholy trinity known as the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. The saints of God will endure great persecution and martyrdom during this time on the earth, beginning really with the ascension of Christ into heaven and culminating at the time of Christ’s return. Yet, in the very final days of mankind on our present earth, there will be a time unknown previously to mankind in which the saints of God will be martyred for their faith by astounding numbers, yet some will survive to see the Lord return. This will also be a time when God will pour out his wrath on all the ungodly like we have never seen before. It will be unprecedented.

I don’t think anyone really knows, except God, exactly how all these events are going to actually unfold, though many like to speculate. What we do know for sure is that Christ’s faithful servants throughout the centuries, since Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, and the church had its humble beginnings, have been hated, despised, rejected, persecuted and even martyred for their faith in and testimony for Jesus Christ and his gospel. For some, it is probably hard to imagine that things could actually get worse, i.e. I believe such severe persecution of Christ’s faithful servants is happening right now in countries throughout the world, though I have no direct knowledge of this. It is just something I believe the Spirit of God has revealed to me. And, I believe it is soon to come to America, too.

Suffering Saints

Whether our suffering is of such magnitude presently as is described here in the book of Revelation, or it pales by comparison, still all people suffer, and the Bible says that Christ’s followers will share in the fellowship of his suffering. So, how do we respond to unjust suffering? How did Jesus? For one thing, he spoke the truth in love. He didn’t give up. He didn’t back down. He called sin what it was, and he called all sinners to repentance. He prayed to the Father, committing himself to the Father’s will. He had compassion and mercy, which is why he died for us, but he didn’t pacify sin. So, even if they called him names, and even accused him of being crazy and of the devil, and even if they didn’t believe him and called him a liar, or they spat upon him, and mocked him, and even beat him, still he remained true to who he was, to what he was called to do, true to the truth, true to God, and true to his commitment to go to the cross for you and for me.

And, that is how we need to respond, too. We need to trust Christ that he knows what he’s doing, yet we need to speak the words in truth he would have us speak, as well. And, we need to put on our full armor with which to fight off all of Satan’s evil schemes against us. We need to put on love and the fruit of the Spirit, and be joyful, and sing songs of praise, and we need to pray in the Spirit, committing our hurts, our pain, our tears and all our suffering for the sake of Christ and his gospel to Christ - to his compassion and love, and for his comfort and his healing for our souls. And, he is faithful! Amen!! He will give us all we need for life and godliness while we walk the face of this earth, and while we go through difficult times, and he will heal our broken hearts. He will not leave us as orphans. He knows our hurt. And, he cares! So, we need to take our burdens to the Lord in prayer. And, we need to ask him, too, to search our hearts to see if there is any offensive way in us so we can receive his grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.

And, God takes our prayers voiced in faith seriously. He takes them to heart. Sometimes it may seem like he’s not listening or that he doesn’t notice, but he does. And, we may even grow impatient, wondering why he does not act, but he has his perfect timing. One day he will respond to the prayers of the suffering, persecuted saints, who have cried out to him many times over, and he will act justly and with vindication against their enemies. I hate all that is evil and all that sets itself up against God, yet I know God allows these things to continue to go on for a time, but one day he will say “enough.” And, then he will pour out his wrath on this earth, and then the end will come. And, then we will go to be with him in glory forever. And, he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Praise Jesus!

I Am Ready

When I finished taking notes on this passage of scripture this morning, the Lord Jesus then put this song “Fully Ready” in my mind (introduction included):

Paul said that he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what would happen to him there. He said, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (See Ac. 20). Awesome!

A prophet named Agabus prophesied that the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem would bind Paul and would hand him over to the Gentiles. So, Paul’s friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ pleaded with Paul not to go. And, that is when Paul said, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (See Ac. 21). And, Paul was indeed seized, beaten and they tried to kill him. He was bound with chains and was taken to the barracks. On the way there he asked the commander if he could speak to him. And, he was given permission to speak.

So, he took the opportunity to share his testimony of how he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and of Jesus’ calling upon his life. Acts 26 expands on this more when Paul again shared his testimony, at which time he shared specifically what God had called him to do – to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, turning them from darkness (sin) to the light of Christ, and from the power of Satan to God, so they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. And, that truly is the calling of every disciple of Christ, as Christ commanded us to go and to make disciples of Christ of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus’ commanded us.

I find great encouragement in this story, as well as a challenge to my own personal life to be truly ready to suffer and to die for my testimony for Jesus Christ, as well as to share the attitude of Paul that my life is worth nothing to me, but my only aim is to finish the race and to complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Amen! I pray I will always keep this focus in mind.

Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013

Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”