God's Answering Machine

Answering machine

God Takes Every Call


What if God Had an Answering Machine?

Though I detest talking with a computer, I have learned to live with answering machines as a necessary part of modern life. But I have often wondered, “What if God decided to install a mega-automated computerized answering machine in Heaven?” Imagine praying and hearing this:

“Thank you for calling my Father’s House. Please select from one of the following four options.

Press 1 for request. Press 2 for thanksgiving. Press 3 for complaints. For all other inquiries, press 4.”

Worse yet, suppose you heard:

“All the angels are helping other clients now. Please stay on the line. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

“If you would like to speak to Gabriel, press 1. For Michael, press 2. For any other angel press 3.”

“If you would like King David to sing a psalm for you, press 6.”

“To find out if your relative or friend is here, enter the first four letters of his/her last name and his/her date of birth and date of death; then listen for the list that follows:

“Our computer shows that you have called once today already. Please hang up immediately.”

“This office is closed for the weekend. Please call Monday.”

Thank God you cannot call Him too often. You need only ring once and He answers. Because of Jesus, you never get a busy signal nor are you put on hold. God has instant caller I.D., knows personally every caller and takes every call.

Isaiah 58:9
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.

REASONS FOR PRAYING

1. Giving praise to God

Philippians 4:6, 8
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Colossians 2:7; 4:2
Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving:

2. Needs

Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

3. For Help to Overcome Worry

Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.
Psalm 55:22
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

4. Guidance and Direction

James 1:5-8
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

5. Help for daily task

Colossians 2:6
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him:
Psalm 37:5
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

6. For freedom from guilt and forgiveness

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

7. To pray for others

Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1 Timothy 2:1
I EXHORT therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

8. For those in government

1 Timothy 2:2
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

9. For our nation

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

10. To pray for Israel

Psalm 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Rules for Effective Prayer

1. Set aside a few minutes every day. Be very still. Simply practice thinking about God. This will make your mind spiritually receptive. When you concentrate on God alone, your thoughts about yourself will have less room to block God’s answers to your prayers.

James 4:8
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Matthew 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (spoken by Jesus)

2. Pray as you perform your duties of the day, whether riding, walking or at work. Utilize “minute prayers” by closing your eyes to shut out the world and concentrate briefly on God’s presence. The more you do this every day the nearer you will feel God’s presence.

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (spoken by Jesus)

Minute prayers, some of the shortest:
Lord, help me, or Jesus help me. There is power in those names.

Take time to enjoy nature. Smell the flowers. God made them for our pleasure and enjoyment.

Go slow. You may pass someone who needs you.

3. Do not always ask when you pray, but instead affirm that God’s blessings are being given. Use most of your prayer in giving thanks. Thank Him for past blessings and thank Him in advance for those He is going to answer. We serve a great God. Nothing is impossible.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

4. Pray with the belief that sincere prayer can reach out and surround your loved ones and others who are lost with God’s love and protection. Life is rather fragile. Death, illness, accidents and injury occur all too frequently in our lives and in the lives of those we love. Worry over the possibilities that harm will come to a loved one is unproductive. All the worry in the world can’t alter the possibilities. God can handle your worries and in His love, He will protect, strengthen and care about those you love.

1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

5. Never use a negative thought in prayer. Only positive thoughts get positive results. Positive thinking is synonymous with faith. When you pray with positive faith you will find your answer. When you pray with negative faith there isn’t much chance that you will be open to receive an answer. Can you imagine for example, the lame man saying to Jesus, “I don’t believe you can heal me. Prove me wrong.” Keep your thoughts positive and your faith will be positive.

James 1:5-7
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.

6. There is a perfect will of God for our lives and there is a permissive will of God. God always knows best. He sees the future. He knows our needs.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

7. Practice the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands. Ask for the ability to do your best and to leave the results confidently to God. The power of prayer is awesome. There is nothing too hard for our God. When God calls you to a task, obedience and preparation in prayer and study are our part. Maybe we can’t do just like others; our talents are different. God made us to be different.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

8. Pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you. Remember, resentment is blockage number one of spiritual power. You might say, “That’s hard to do.” Only with God’s help can we do it, for the natural man wants to retaliate. But let’s think, how does my resentment affect the other person? Usually very little, but it certainly is making life miserable for me. We hurt ourselves more than we hurt the other fellow. Resentment is a terrible thing that can grow and destroy from the inside and cause us to be destroyed spiritually.

9. Make a list of people for whom to pray, especially those not connected with you. The more you pray for other people, the more prayer will bring wonderful blessings into your life. Answers to prayers come in many forms. The knowledge that someone is on your side praying with you can mean a great deal. Prayer can change things. Prayer can change circumstances and situations. We’ve seen it work.

James 5:13-16
13Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

PRAYER

James 5:13-16
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Successful Prayer Life

Psalm 66:18
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

1. Faith:

Matthew 17:20
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 7:7-8
7Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
James 1:5-8
5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For not let that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

3. Free from wrath and doubting:

1 Timothy 2:8
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

4. Together:

Matthew 18:20
(Jesus speaking) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

5. Persistently:

Luke 11:5-10
(Jesus speaking) 5And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

6. Obedience:

1 John 3:22
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

7. Assurance:

1 John 5:14-15
14And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: 15And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

8. Contrition:

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

9. In line with God’s will:

Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1 John 5:14-15
14And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: 15And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

The only way to learn to pray is to pray. Hindrances: Why Prayers Are Not Answered

  1. Lack of study of God’s Word
  2. Criticism
  3. Gossip
  4. Frivolity
  5. Boasting
  6. Failure to testify
  7. Unforgiving spirit
  8. Self-dependence
  9. Failure to walk in revealed light
  10. Worry
  11. Discouragement
  12. Ignoring our claims and promises of the Holy Spirit
  13. Lack of faith
  14. Bitter spirit


Praying Early

Mark 1:35-39
35And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36And Simon and they that were with Him followed after Him. 37And when they had found Him, they said unto Him, All men seek for thee. 38And He said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

Through this exercise Jesus strengthened Himself for the task that waited that day. The best time to seek God in fellowship and for strength for the day is the first thing in the morning.

The soldier does not put on his gear in the heat of the battle but before the fight begins. Is it not necessary for us to prepare ourselves prayerfully for the day with its ups and downs before the battle begins? Later in the day our mind is preoccupied; our heart is filled with cares, so it takes much more effort then to free ourselves from all the busyness of life to be alone with our Father. In the morning we still are free and fresh and a new episode of life and all its obligations still lie ahead of us.

Why We Should Pray
We need to learn firsthand about God for ourselves: what He is like, His love for us as individuals, His great power. Fellowship with Jesus is the true purpose of life and it’s the only foundation for eternity.

Prayer
Prayer for the believer is communication with God. What a privilege! To think that the God of Heaven and earth has invited us to talk to Him! It is not only a sacred privilege, it is also a solemn responsibility. Our Savior engaged in prayer frequently. If He, the Son of God, found it necessary to pray, how much more so should we. Prayer was such a vital part of the life and testimony of the Son of God that the disciples had become accustomed to this feature of His ministry.

Prayer is more than a necessity, more than a duty. It is a marvelous privilege. God wants to make our times of prayer channels for Divine Strength, blessing and help. It pays to pray. Jesus did not always have time to eat or rest, but He always found time to pray.

The Prayer Life of Jesus
Our Lord Jesus Christ instructed His disciples to pray and in so doing He taught them by precept and example. Jesus taught much about prayer. Prayer was a natural part of His life. He was surrounded by the same circumstances which touch our lives, and prayer was the mighty weapon which He used repeatedly. In the four Gospels there are no less than fifteen recorded occasions on which Christ prayed. From these we can learn lessons that can strengthen us in our own prayer life.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Luke 3:21
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened.

This was the beginning of His public ministry and He dared not commence it without prayer and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In answer to Christ’s prayer, the Father approved Him; the Spirit anointed Him and the people acknowledged Him. Many times during Christ’s ministry He prayed all night long. One time was when He was seeking the Father’s guidance for selecting the twelve apostles.

This is an example for us today. Before any church selects a pastor, deacons or councilmen, prayer, fasting and waiting before God should be done. It is important that God’s man be chosen for God’s work and all such choices call for much prayer.

The Open Heart
When one is going somewhere, the first step is preparation. We are going on a journey together, a most important and interesting journey. The destination is the Kingdom of God, progressively. We must all become knockers, askers and seekers. The directions are clear and loud:

Matthew 7:8
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Prayer can be meditation or direct intercession. Prayer can be fellowship with God or making a request to God. There are different resources of prayer. It is a relationship between God and man based on the atoning blood of Jesus Christ and guided by the Word of God. Without that there can be no prayer.

Along with the reading and study of the Bible the child of God is to enter into the experience of prayer. Prayer helps us to learn God’s will. Prayer is simple and direct, so the youngest may participate. It is profound and far reaching so that the most mature will sense its challenge. Prayer is the vital answer to worry, fear, unrest and other problems. No one knew more about prayer than God’s own Son.

Fret Not Thyself
Many times in life we fret because of this or that or the other thing. Life is full of irritations, and we rebel against them. The oyster is wiser than we are. When an irritating object, like a grain of sand, gets under the mantle of its shell, it simply covers it with the most precious part of its being, its life fluid, and makes of the irritation a pearl. Let’s learn a lesson from the oyster. The next time you see a beautiful string of pearls, remember, a string of victories over irritation. Every irritation that gets into our lives each day, every little thing we fret about, is an opportunity for pearl culture. The more irritations the devil flings at us, the more pearls we may have. We need only to welcome them and cover them completely with prayer.

Pray orally using simple, natural words. Tell God everything that is on your mind. Talk to God in your own language. He understands.

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.
Ephesians 3:19-21
19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

What a foundation to stand on!

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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