Starting the New Year with Prayer
Looking back on 2013, I am filled with gratitude to God for His many kindnesses shown to this church family and to me. One thing that I feel set the pace for this past year was starting it with a Ten Days of Prayer. We had a committed group of believers who came out night after night for 10 days. It grew from about 10 to 50 towards the end. I felt the power of Godâ€™s presence as we prayed and shared our petitions and praises with Him. It was a most precious time. Some experienced physical and spiritual healing miracles; everyone experienced a revival and renewal of their spiritual walk with God.
I am yearning for a similar experience for this new year. How about you? The dates are January 8-18. During this time, many groups around the world will be on their knees each day, praying for a spiritual revival of godliness. We will be meeting in the Youth Chapel at 7 p.m. each evening. Bring your Bible, a testimony of praise, and a deep desire for a closer walk with God. Will you join me?
If your immediate thought is, like mine, that you are too busy to come each evening for 10 days, then remind yourself that the devilâ€™s most successful weapon against Godâ€™s people is B.U.S.Y.-ness â€“ Being Under Satanâ€™s Yoke. This is his master plan.
Satan's Master Plan
Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, â€œWe can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their lavish potlucks, but steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.â€
â€œThis is what I want you to do," said the devil. â€œDistract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!â€
â€œHow shall we do this?â€ his demons shouted.
â€œKeep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,â€ he answered. â€œTempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade wives to go to work for long hours and husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.â€
â€œFill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes. Get them obsessed with social media, Facebook, Twitter, iPads, iPods, and smartphones.â€
â€œKeep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so husbands will believe that outward beauty is whatâ€™s important, and theyâ€™ll become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep wives too tired to love their husbands at night. Give them headaches, too! If they donâ€™t give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly!â€
â€œGive them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about His resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive; have them return from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.â€
â€œKeep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.â€
â€œIt will work! It will work! It is quite a plan!â€ they shouted. The demons went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to have little time for their God or their families. Having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.
How successful do you think the devil has been at his scheme? You be the judge!