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APRIL, 2007

REFLECTION

T he following is in the form of a parable, but it


is actually a true story of three UP Team
members who were discussing their commitment to
different degrees of being pleasing to God. And my
answer is “Absolutely not!! There is a principle of
Christian living: God always looks at the heart.
their hour(s) of prayer. When I heard about it from When praying is easy and we do it with passion and
one of the ladies, it struck me that this is something love we are pleasing to God; when we are struggling
important to share with all current and potential and distracted but are trying our best we are
UP intercessors. Do you remember the story of the pleasing to God; and when we for whatever reason
three bears and the just have to spiritually offer the time to God and
three beds and the three have trouble praying at all we are pleasing to God.
bowls of porridge? One In all three cases, the prayer is effective; God
was too hard or too hot, always answers prayer from the heart – not always
the second was too soft as we want Him to, but always in a way that is
or too cold, and the third absolutely best. So, wherever you are right now in
was just right. Well, the your comfort level with prayer, keep on going on;
“true parable” is you are in God’s will. Thanks to the three members
something like that in of the Team who provided this important insight.
terms of comparing All prayer is highly valuable and effective – we are
three people’s comfort level with prayer. Here is a praying, after all, for spiritual transformation and
summary of their discussion: The first one said that is indeed God’s perfect will.
that she absolutely loves her hour of prayer. She
sets her alarm to get up right before it begins and
she dives right in with great enthusiasm. She
considers it a tremendous blessing in her life. The
second one said that she remains totally committed
to her hour of prayer, but she is really struggling.
Her mind wanders, she finds herself at times almost
dreading the hour, but she knows that her
commitment to it is right. The third one said that
REFLECTION #2

T
she has multiple hours of commitment, but because
of her health struggles she is not really praying the his is really a good lead in to the Reflection
full hours or even the specific ones she committed that I indicated last month would be the topic
to. She said that she can only offer the time to the for this Newsletter: Spiritual warfare. There are,
Lord and try to make her offering a pleasing prayer to be sure, purely physical, emotional or spiritual
to God. Three commitments, three different places reasons why prayer is easy or difficult. But there is
in the journey of life – and, of course, the question something else that we should be keenly aware of,
in their minds and perhaps in yours is if there are and that is that Satan both hates and fears prayer.
three different degrees of effectiveness here, three In fact, he is powerless in the face of true prayer
from the heart, and that is why he hates it. So, we

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can be sure that the enemy will try to keep us from frees him from the demonic influences that control
praying, because he knows what impact spiritual him. This is absolutely the first thing that must be
transformation would have on him and his plans. done. And this freeing process is accomplished
Last month I shared from a little book entitled through prayer!! (My note: This is an expression
“Praying Effectively for the Lost,” by Lee E. of the absolute importance and power of prayer –
Thomas. As I stated last month, the bottom line of and the devil wants to blind us to that.) In order to
spiritual transformation is the salvation of souls. win the war for souls, there are some basic things
That should be the #1 goal for all Christians – to see we need to do. The first of these is to use our God-
the lost saved, to have the light of Jesus shine in appointed weapons…God has provided powerful
their hearts and minds. The weapons for us to use in this spiritual war. ‘For the
reason why every genuine weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty
Christian is at war is that through God to the pulling down of strongholds’ (2
there is a spiritual Corinthians 10:4). Our problem is that we are
battle raging for neither familiar with our weapons nor indeed the
human spirits; Satan war itself. But before I acquaint you with your
wants them in hell, weapons and how to use them, let me remind you
God wants them in that the actual combat is prayer – we fight by
heaven. But God will praying…So when we aren’t praying, Satan is
never force a human winning by default, but when we are praying, he is
being to choose one way or the other; our free will is losing because he has absolutely no defense for
one major way that we are created in the image and prayer. Could this be why God wants us to ‘pray
likeness of God. Prayer is the key and primary without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17) (Note: This
weapon in this battle, and every intercessor is on is the Scriptural slogan of the Uninterrupted Prayer
the front lines. That is why it is so critical for us to Team.) and why the apostles gave themselves
put on the armor of God (see Ephesians 6). Let’s ‘continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the
return now to Mr. Thomas’ book; I will be quoting word’ (Acts 6:4)?…Let’s get familiar with our
from Chapter 5, “The Spiritual Warfare.” “The mighty weapons and use them when we pray. The
primary purpose in praying for the lost is NOT to blood of Christ is one of our most powerful
convince God to save them, for He is ‘not willing weapons. Revelation 12:11 says, ‘And they
that any should perish’ (2 Peter 3:9), having sent overcame him by the blood of the Lamb’…When
Christ to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John we plead the blood of Christ, we are reminding
2:2). But rather, it has to do with spiritual warfare Satan and all his demons that they are already
– freeing them of demonic influence so they can be defeated. This is especially significant in the battle
saved…The lost are prisoners which Satan refuses for souls, since the shedding of Christ’s blood on
to release (Isaiah 14:17), slaves under Satan’s Calvary paid the sin-debt for all mankind, and now
authority and jurisdiction (Acts 26:18), children of Satan holds souls captive only by default – because
the devil (John 8:44), blinded to the gospel (2 we have not insisted that he turn them loose!!
Corinthians 4:3-4), ‘energized’ by Satan (Ephesians Another very powerful weapon is the name of
2:2), helplessly held in Satan’s grasp (1 John 5:19), Jesus! The Lord’s disciples, returning from their
and a strong man’s house (Mark 3:27)…The lost witnessing mission, joyfully exclaimed, ‘Lord, even
are literally ‘energized’ by the spirit of the devil. Of the devils are subject to us through your name’
course, a lost person doesn’t know that, and (Luke 10:17). And they are
certainly would not admit it if he did. He thinks he subject to us also!
is free (that’s part of his lostness), but in truth his There are three Biblical
course of action is dictated by the prince of the reasons why the name
power of the air…Mark 3:27 is what I consider to of our Lord Jesus is so
be the most important verse in the Bible concerning powerful in the spiritual
winning the lost to Christ. In this verse Jesus realm. Firstly, because He
Himself says, ‘No man can enter into a strong is Lord over all by creation:
man’s house and spoil his goods, except he will first ‘For by him were all things
bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his created, that are in heaven and
house.’ If this verse means anything, it means that
no lost person will ever be saved unless someone

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that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they Love ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth
be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or all things, endureth all things…it never faileth.’ (1
powers; all things were created by him and for him’ Corinthians 13:7-8)…The strongest of all
(Colossians 1:6). Secondly, He is Lord through strongholds that Satans uses in the lives of people to
crucifixion: ‘…that through death he might keep them from being saved is UNBELIEF. It is the
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the major stronghold in every person – saved or lost!!
devil, and deliver them who through fear of death In a Christian it is designed to keep him from really
were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ believing certain truths in God’s Word that will
(Hebrews 2:14-15). And thirdly, He is Lord make him/her powerful and effective in God’s
through coronation: ‘…who is gone into heaven kingdom. In the unsaved it is designed to keep him
and is on the right hand of God; angels and from believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…
authorities and powers being made subject unto There is absolutely no reason for even one single
him’ (1 Peter 3:22). The Word of God is another soul to die and go to hell because Christ as already
mighty weapon we can use in paid their redemption price. And the only reason
prayer…All Satan has to why anyone will go to hell is that we have not taken
work with is a lie. However, our place of authority and bound the strong man.
he is pretty good with it The devil will not release them until we make him…
seeing as how he is able to To resist the devil means that you do not let the
‘deceive the whole world’ negative reactions, circumstances, etc. stop your
(Revelation 12:9). But the continued fervent effort of prayer…I mention one
Word of God is truth, and last strategy that works well for the individual
truth beats a lie every time. praying alone – a prayer list!! I, along with
Therefore, if we use the Word thousands of others, have used a prayer list for
of God in warfare prayer, we years, having seen many souls come to Christ
will win every time and souls through this method. I leave you with a story that
will be set free. Praise is another powerful weapon blessed me, hoping the same for you: ‘Some years
we can use, for when we begin to praise God, He ago in Springfield, IL, an earnest man gathered
comes into the situation (Psalm 22:3) and how about him a praying band and made this suggestion
wonderful it is to have the ‘commander-in-chief’ on to them: ‘When you reach home this evening, write
the scene of battle!! A wonderful testimony to the down the names of all persons in Springfield whom
power of praise is the story found in 2 Chronicles you would like to have saved, and then pray for
20…Most of us have no concept of how powerful them by name, three times a day, that they may be
praise is in the battle for souls – could it be that we saved. Then make your best possible efforts to
haven’t used it enough to understand its mighty induce those persons to turn to God for salvation.
power?…Fasting is another powerful but little-used There resided in Springfield at that time an invalid
weapon in our arsenal…My personal opinion is that woman who physically was almost absolutely
fasting enhances the power of prayer by at least helpless. She had been bed-ridden for seventeen
tenfold! (Note: Fasting does not always mean not years. She had been for a long time praying to God
eating or drinking, for many are physically unable in a general way to
to do that. The “Daniel Fast” consists of not eating save a multitude of
choice and desired foods. Also, we can focus on souls. When her
“fasting” from impatience, unforgiveness, lack of family told her of the
service to others, and we can “fast” from some of suggestion made to the
our purely recreational use of time, etc.)…One praying band, she said, ‘Here is something I can
other weapon that exerts much force in the spiritual do.’ She could use her right hand. There was an
realm is love. The one who loves the Lord with all adjustable writing table at the side of her bed. She
of his being and loves lost souls as himself cannot be asked for pen and paper. She wrote down the
stopped!! Revelation 12:11 says, ‘And they names of fifty-seven acquaintances. She prayed for
overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the each of each of them three times a day. She wrote
word of their testimony; and they loved not their them letters telling them of her interest in them.
lives unto the death.’ When you love someone She also wrote to Christian friends, in whom she
enough, you will do whatever it takes to keep him or knew these persons had confidence, and urged them
her out of hell. As a matter of fact, love cannot fail. to speak to these person about their souls’ welfare

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and to do their best to persuade them to repent and
believe. She had unquestioning faith in God. In her
humble, earnest dependence upon Him she thus
interceded for the unsaved. In time every one of
those fifty-seven persons avowed faith in Jesus
Christ as Savior.’” ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

STORY I n honor of mothers and Mothers’ Day: Answers


given by 2nd grade school children to the

“T here once was a Shakespearean actor who


was known everywhere for his one-man
shows of readings and recitations from the classics.
following questions: 1) Why did God make
mothers? a) She’s the only one who knows where
the scotch tape is; b) Mostly to clean the house; c)
He would always end his performance with a To help us out of there when we were getting born.
reading of Psalm 23. Each night, without exception, 2) How did God make mothers? a) He used dirt,
as the actor began his recitation, ‘The Lord is my just like for the rest of us; b) Magic, plus super
Shepherd, I shall not want,’ the crowd would listen powers and a lot of stirring;
attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the c) God made my mom just the same like He made
Psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in me; He just used bigger parts.
appreciation of the actor’s incredible ability to 3) What ingredients are mothers made of? a) God
bring the verses to life. But one night, just before makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and
the actor was to offer his customary recital of Psalm everything nice in the world, and one dab of mean;
23, a young man from the audience spoke up: ‘Sir, b) They had to get their start from men’s bones;
do you mind if tonight I recite Psalm 23?’ The then they used mostly string, I think. 4) Why did
actor was quite taken aback by this unusual God give your mother and not some other mom? a)
request, but he allowed the young man to come We’re related; b) God knew she likes me a lot more
forward and stand front and center on the stage to than other people’s moms like me. 5) What kind of
recite the Psalm, knowing that the ability of this little girl was your mom? a) My mom has always
unskilled youth would be no match for his own been my mom and none of that other stuff; b) I
talent. With a soft voice, the young man began to don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess
recite the words of the Psalm. When he finished, would be pretty bossy. 6) What did Mom need to
there was no applause. There was no standing know about Dad before she married him? a) His
ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard last name;
was the sound of weeping. The audience had been b) She had to know his background, like, is he a
so moved by the young man’s recitation that every crook or does he get drunk on beer? b) Does he
eye was full of tears. Amazed by what he had make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs
heard, the actor said and YES to chores? 7) Why did your Mom marry
to the youth, ‘I don’t your Dad? a) My Dad makes the best spaghetti in
understand. I have the world; and my Mom eats a lot; b) She got too
been performing old to do anything else with him; c) My grandma
Psalm 23 for years. I says that Mom didn’t have her thinking cap on. 8)
have a lifetime of Who’s the boss at your house? a) Mom; you can
experience and tell by room inspection because she sees the stuff
training, but I have under the bed; b) I guess Mom is, but only because
never been able to she has a lot more to do than Dad. 9) What’s the
move an audience as difference between moms and dads? a) Moms work
you have done tonight. at work and work at home and dads just go to work
Tell me, what is your at work; b) Moms know how to talk to teachers
secret?’ The young without scaring them; c) Dads are taller and
man quietly replied, stronger, but moms have all the real power ‘cause
‘Well, sir, you know the Psalm. I know the that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over
Shepherd.’” at your friend’s; d) Moms have magic, they make
you feel better without medicine.
10) What does your mom do in her spare time? a)
Mothers don’t do spare time;

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b) To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long. 11) breakfast and talk on May 3 at Celebration City,
What would it take to make your mom perfect? a) call me at 331-1028)…for the health of Danny
On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I Webb, and for his family…for a young boy,
think some kind of plastic surgery; b) Diet – you Connor, who has a brain tumor…for the health of
know, her hair; I’d diet, maybe blue. 12) If you Kelly Riggs…for Reina Daleske and her family…
could change one thing about for Missouri Prayer, Regina Shanks and upcoming
your mom, what prayer events…for the Otleys from St. Louis, MO
would it be? a) coordinators of the National Day of Prayer…for the
She has this weird prayer team in Lee’s Summit and IHOP in Kansas
thing about me City…for the continued health improvement of
keeping my room John B….for Jackie Hartman, health issues…for
clean; I’d get rid Lyle Burchette, health…for Seth…for Alvin Nelson,
of that; b) I’d health…for the embryonic stem cell issue in MO, as
make my Mom some legislators are working to have human cloning
smarter; then she banned…for Brenda Jackson, as she returns to
would know it work after a long time following an auto accident…
was my sister who for Sarah, health and direction…for
did it and not me; c) I would like for her to get rid Torchbearers…for Backstage Ministries…for
of those invisible eyes on the back of her head. BMFI and CBNC, that both men’s organizations
grow in drawing men to praying together…for a
MORE ON THE LIGHTER SIDE permanent home for First Baptist of Hollister, and

A lso in honor of Mothers’ Day – sort of: A man


and his wife walked into a dentist’s office. The
man said to the dentist, “Doc, I’m really in a hurry!
for a quick rebuilding of the Branson Hills Church
of God destroyed by fire…that God will bless the
couple who have pledged some seed money for an
I have two buddies waiting outside in my car area prayer center, the dream of Don Gabriel, and
waiting for us to go play golf. So forget about the will draw others to commit to the dream…for all
anesthetic and just pull the tooth and be done with businesses and attractions in the region as they
it. We have a 10:00 tee off time and it’s already begin a new season…for Mike Leidecker and One
9:30. I don’t have time to wait for the anesthetic to Passion Ministry…for open jobs to be filled with
work.” The dentist thought to himself, “My the right people and for all people to find
goodness, this is surely a brave man asking to have employment…for the Lordship of Christ to be
his tooth pulled without using anything to kill the boldly proclaimed in all sectors of our
pain.” So the dentist asked him, “Which tooth is it, communities…for Asleep kNOw More (see below)
sir?” The man turned to his wife and said, “Open …for all other needs, personal and corporate.
your mouth, Honey, and show him.”

PRAYER MOBILIZATION

P lease pray for the following: International


Renewal Ministries (Pastors Prayer Summits)
and for the health of the Director, Dennis Fuqua
and his son, and for the upcoming National Pastors LOCAL STORY
Prayer Summit…for the Marketplace Prayer
Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) story:
Summit on the National Day of Prayer (if you “We have just had an awesome year in knowing
would like to participate, from 9 to 3, please call me
that the Lord is alive and well in Branson,
at 331-1028 for more information)…for the Mayors Missouri! Recently our office manager took a call
Prayer Breakfast in Branson on the National Day of
from a woman who had severe dental problems
Prayer – and for CBMC who is sponsoring it, for (infection and a broken tooth needing to be pulled)
the speaker, Paul Teas, Founder of Camp
and no way to pay for a dentist. One of our
Barnabas, and for the new Branson Mayor churches offered to pay the dentist bill in full, but
Rayeanne Presley and the outgoing Mayor, Lou
we asked that they let us see if there were other
Schaefer (if you would like to go to the 7-8:30 a.m. churches who would go in on the expense. In

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calling another church coordinators cell phone, our and the school district that fired Gregory from his
office manager misdialed the number. When she position as Principal because of his stand on the
introduced herself and asked for Kimily, the reply Ten Commandments. Also, please keep telling
was ‘This isn’t Kimily’s phone but hi Cally from people about the UP Team and remain committed
Love INC.” Cally asked if she knew her and the to your hour(s) or consider joining if you are not a
lady said no but that she had talked to Anita, the member. One new member has already recruited
Love INC executive director, the previous week another new member. One lady who was at the
about doing some parenting classes for Love INC Gathering has joined. And a new employee on the
clients. As she and Cally visited, Cally apologized same Team I am on at Silver Dollar City has just
for bothering her and told her who she had been joined.
trying to get a hold of and why. The lady said,
‘What a coincidence, my son-in-law is a dentist in FINAL TRIBUTE TO MOTHERS DAY
Springfield and I have been telling him and my BEFORE I WAS A MOM
daughter that they need to find a way to give back “Before I was a Mom – I had hot meals, I had
to the community. Here’s his number, call him and unstained clothing, I had quiet conversations on the
tell him his mother-in-law sent you to him.’ Cally phone. Before I was a Mom – I didn’t worry
called the dentist who not only agreed to call in whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never
prescriptions to treat the infection, but to see the thought about immunizations. Before I was a Mom
lady once the infection was gone and remove the – I had never been puked on, wet on, spit on,
tooth at no cost. Misdialed number? You decide.” chewed on or pinched by tiny fingers. Before I was
a Mom – I had complete control over my thoughts,
UP TEAM GROWTH my body, my mind; I slept all night. Before I was a

O ne of our UP Team members e-mailed me


recently, saying that she felt bad because she
is having trouble sticking with her scheduled prayer
Mom – I never held down a screaming child so that
doctors could to tests or give shots. I never felt my
heart break into a million pieces when I could not
times. I told her that she was certainly welcome to stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small
take a different hour or hours. Well, she did – and could affect my life so much. I never knew that I
she wound up taking about six hours, including two could love someone so much. I never knew I would
open slots (a midnight and a one a.m. time)! Thank love being a Mom. Before I was a Mom – I didn’t
you! Also, Gregory Thompson in his travels with know the feeling of having my heart outside my
Asleep kNOw More Ministry, has been very body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed
successful recently in signing up quite a few folks a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a
who want to pray for both Polk and Cedar Counties Mother and her child. I didn’t know that
(where the UP Team he established focuses) and for something so small could make me feel so
Stone and Taney important. Before I was a Mom – I had never
Counties! As soon as I gotten up every ten minutes, in the middle of the
firm up their names night, to make sure that all was okay. I had never
and addresses and known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
desired times (some the wonderfulness, or the satisfaction of being a
have specific hours, Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so
some do not), then I much – before I was a Mom.”
will put them on the
mailing list. Thank May you and yours have a Blessed Easter Season.
you Gregory and Judy He is Risen, Alleluia!!
and Coleen and all
who are working so
diligently with Asleep kNOw More! Right now, and
from this day forward, all UP Team members Peace and love,
please add Polk and Cedar counties to your prayer
hour(s). Their sectors are the same as ours, with
the exception of Monday: Instead of Entertainment Bob Burton
they have Agriculture and Agri-Business. That
region, north of Springfield, includes Humansville