Effective Keys to Prayer

Years ago I attended several Christian Men’s Network (CMN) events let by Edwin Louis Cole. I first heard Dr Cole speak at a Promise Keepers event. His book Maximized Manhood had a powerful effect on the Men’s movement.

One item that came out of CMN was 9 Keys to Effective Prayer. Below is from a link I found of the list put out by his son Paul.

9 Effective Keys to Productive Prayer
1. CONFESS ALL KNOWN SIN FROM YOUR LIFE. Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. I Jn 1:8,9 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2. ADMIT NEED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO DIRECT YOUR PRAYER. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
3. DIE TO YOUR OWN IMAGINATIONS, DESIRES, BURDENS. Proverbs 3:5 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Isaiah 55:8,9 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
4. ASK GOD TO FILL YOU WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Ephesians 5:17-20 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
5. PRAISE GOD IN FAITH FOR THE PRAYER TIME YOU ARE ENTERING. Psalm 100:4,5 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.
6. DEAL AGGRESSIVELY WITH THE ENEMY. James 4:7,8 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
7. WAIT EXPECTANTLY FOR WHAT GOD BRINGS TO YOUR MIND. John 10:27,28 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
8. CONFIRM PRAYER WITH THE WORD. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
9. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MARVELOUS WORK IN YOUR LIFE. Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Psalm 92:1,2 1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night

These are some favorite scriptures relating to prayer…
Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when you pray… *24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. *24 That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Paul L. Cole President CMN Worldwide

So as you consider prayer, consider these 9 keys and how they may impact your prayer.

Prayer, what is it?

What is prayer? This is a basic question that must be asked before we can practice prayer we need to know what it is.

A basic dictionary definition.
a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.
“I’ll say a prayer for him”
synonyms: invocation, intercession, devotion; archaicorison
“the priest’s murmured prayers”
a religious service, especially a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together.
“500 people were detained as they attended Friday prayers”
an earnest hope or wish.
“it is our prayer that the current progress on human rights will be sustained”

So does this basic definition cover what prayer is?

I found this and like it for a definition:
Genuine prayer has all of the qualities and characteristics of a deeply meaningful conversation between two people. God said to the prophet Isaiah, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah. 1:18). This image of God and man sitting down together for a good talk is our best image of prayer.

Sitting down together for a good talk!  Is it always positive, no not all talks are.  A good talk allows you to express yourself, good and bad, to the other person.  So when we pray we express ourselves to God, when we read His word he express Himself to us.  Sometimes God uses people to speak into our lives.

So if we are starting out and know not what to say to the God of the universe what do we say?  Sometimes nothing at all, sometimes we just need to listen.

Sometimes using something to get you started is a good idea, here is one pattern I have used in the past, ACTS!

One structure for prayer is given by the acronym “ACTS”, representing adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (or intercession.) This is one order, where we start off focusing on who God is, and praising him for that. Let’s look briefly at each in turn :

Adoration is to adore God, to worship him and to fulfil the commandment to love him with all of our heart, mind and soul. As we spend time in adoration, we praise God for who He is – our Creator, our Sustainer and our Redeemer. (more about praise and adoration.)

Confession allows us to clear away the things in the relationship between you and God which are displeasing to Him. All of us have sinned. St John writes in his epistle “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:8,9)

Thanksgiving. From childhood we are brought up to say “Thank You” when someone does something for us, or gives us a gift. Each moment God is blessing us, every minute we can recall the wonderful things that God has done for us, and the gifts that we have been given. And so, we need to be constantly thanking God for his blessings. In writing to Timothy, Paul makes it clear that we also need to be giving thanks for everyday, worldly things ” I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1.

Supplication or Intercession. Finally we come to ask God for our needs and the needs of others. There are many demands on our prayer time – many topics and issues that we could pray for, so we need to choose, and to be specific.

So if you are looking for a place to start in communicating with God consider the above.  Can you talk to God if you are not “saved”, YES!  He listens to us no matter where we are at, His desire is that we come to know and trust Him, prayer is a gateway to this.

From Executable Outlines:
The Purpose Of Prayer

Immersion In Water

The following is from:



This forms the fourth condition in the order of salvation. About it there has been the greatest dispute among religionists; and there is to this day the greatest variety of opinions. After what our learned brother Campbell has done towards setting the world right in regard to this institution, it would be presumption in me to undertake any lengthy argument concerning it; and I shall not attempt such a thing. Still I shall endeavor to prove from the Bible that it is an essential to salvation, which I think is a proposition very easily sustained.

The error in regard to this ordinance is twofold. The first is as to the mode ; and the second is as to the importance of it.

The error in regard to the mode is, that immersion is denied to be the only way in which it can be administered, sprinkling and pouring being considered equally proper and efficacious. There are three objections to be urged against this opinion; either one of which is sufficient to overthrow it.

1st. The proper and primary meaning of the word in the original Greek is immersion, – or rather the verb is, to plunge, to dip, etc.

2nd. Immersion, it is conceded, was the practice of the primitive Christians, even up to the third century; about which time infant baptism was introduced, and it being found difficult to immerse infants, sprinkling or pouring was resorted to, as being a more feasible method.

3rd. The connexion in which baptism is referred to in the Bible, with the attendant circumstances. Paul says that we are buried with Christ in baptism. Common sense teaches us that a burial must necessarily be a covering up of the whole person. Again, in reference to John, the Immerser, it is said that he baptized in a certain place, because there was muck water there. The inference is plain. And then in the case of Philip and the eunuch, it is related that they both went down into the water. Was there any need of this, except it was immersion which Philip administered? Could he not have very easily taken up a little water in his hand, and wet the forehead of the Ethiopian? – for such is the custom of the sects of this day.

But I shall come now to consider the institution as essential to the pardon of one’s sins. There is not a proposition in the whole Scriptures of Divine Truth more clearly set forth than this. We find it in Christ’s commission to his Disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” If there be any sense in language, baptism is here as necessary for salvation as is faith.

Again, on the day of Pentecost, when the three thousand believed, and requested what they should do to be saved, Peter replied, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.”

Now, if a man can repent because his sins have been forgiven, then our Baptist brothers are right in their interpretation of this passage, viz: that a man should be baptized because his sins have been remitted. No man in his senses, however, is willing to believe that a remission of sins ever causes sorrow. It is too absurd a proposition to be entertain- ed for a moment. Of course, then, repentance and baptism are for one and the same thing—to-wit, re- mission or pardon of past sins. Paul’s conversion proves this. For three days he was a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and most bitterly all that time did he repent him of his iniquities. If faith brings salvation, Paul surely ought to have been pardoned long before Ananias visited him. Or, if repentance alone secured remission of sins, Paul ought to have been pardoned before Ananias visited him. But what did Ananias say to him so soon as he came into his presence? Did he ask after his experience? Did he say, “Brother Paul, you have been most signally visited by our gracious Lord, for I understand you have seen a great light and heard a mighty voice, by which means God has informed you that you are an accepted son and child of glory?” Oh, no. But Ananias said to him on this wise: “Why tarriest thou, brother Paul? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Can any man doubt now that baptism is for the remission of sins? If he can, he doubts God’s Word, and is at heart a scoffer and an infidel. Here we have a man who has believed and repented, and who is yet told to arise and wash away his sins by immersion. If he had been saved by faith, as I re- marked a while ago, there would have been no sins to wash away. So neither would there have been had he been saved by repentance. But God’s plan is the more perfect one, and here we see it exemplified. Paul is told to wash away his sins by baptism – not that the virtue is in the water, but simply because God has chosen to make that His ordinance. Under the Mosaic Law it was customary for the priest to take a goat, and laying hands on him to send him forth into the wilderness, and God promised that thus the sins of Israel should be carried away, and hence this was called the scape-goat. Does any man think the virtue to bear off sins was in a goat? Of course not. It was God’s command, and there lay all the merit. So in the case of water baptism. God has commanded us to per- form the ordinance in order to remission, and it is obedience to God’s Word that ensures salvation and cleanses us from all sin, and not the mere washing of water. Or, as Peter has expressed it, for doubt- less the same objections were urged against this institution then as now, “The like figure where unto baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good con- science toward God, ) by the. resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

This much will suffice on the subject of immersion, for if a man will not believe the Apostle Peter, he will not even listen to anything which I might feel inclined to write.



Baptism – Antitype

1 Peter 3:21 (NKJV)

21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

The following is from:
Letters From Peter, Bruce Oberst, College Press, Joplin, Missouri

Expanded Translation
Which (that is, water) also now saves you in the antitype-baptism, which does not have to do with the removal of dirt from the flesh (i.e., the body, the outside of one), but to provide ground or reason for having a good conscience toward God (which comes when the one is right on the inside). All this is possible because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

which also after a true likeness doth now save you
LIKENESS – antitupos, meant first of all a thing formed after some pattern (Heb, 9:24), then a thing resembling another, its counterpart; hence, something in the Messianic times which answers to the type prefiguring it in the Old Testament. It is this very word from which we have the English word, “antitype.”
We understand that God was responsible €or their salvation, and it was through His mercy and love that He provided a means whereby they could escape the doom of the world, But the means He chose was water. Had Noah refused to accept the means God had provided, we could only call him rebellious, and he would have been lost.
Today, God has also provided a means whereby we may avail ourselves of His salvation, and where we may meet the blood of Christ. He has provided it in His mercy, kindness and love, but we must accept what He has provided. The Holy Spirit says baptism “doth now save you.” God saves us through the blood of Christ, BUT THE MEANS HE HAS CHOSEN IS WATER!

not the putting away of the filth of the flesh
BILTH-h~upos, filth, squalor, dirt. The purpose of baptism is not to obtain an outward cleansing. We can take care of that matter in the bathtub.

but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God
INTERROGATION-eperofema, W. E. Vine states that the word is not here to be rendered “answer.” It was used by the Greeks in a legal sense, as a demand or appeal. The word is often rendered “seeking.” The meaning is easily seen when this phrase is compared with the previous. The purpose of baptism is not to cleanse the outside. Rather, it is to gain a clean inside, that is, to gain or obtain a clear conscience toward God. Any true Christian can testify to the truthfulness of this verse in his own experience. When he met the blood of Christ in the baptismal waters by faith, and arose to walk in newness of life, his conscience no longer condemned him and the purpose for which he was immersed – to meet the blood of Christ-was fulfilled. He was “seeking” and he found! “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered’’ (Psalm 32-1). If you have not obtained a clear conscience in baptism, then it has not fulfilled its purpose in your life!

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
That is, all this is possible through the resurrection of Christ. If He had not arisen, our baptism would have been in vain and Christ would have no power to save us. See I Corinthians 15:12-14. His resurrection showed His power over death. For the exact relationship between His resurrection and our baptism, see Romans 6:l-6.

How was Noah’s family saved “through water”?
Of what is this a “true likeness”?
How can water save us? Is not the principle of the Jews true, “who can forgive sins, but God alone”? (Luke 5:21.)
What is baptism not for, according to Peter?
What does it obtain for one?
Explain the phrase “interrogation of a good conscience toward God,” v. 21,
Baptism is effectual because of what great event in the life of Jesus?

Sins on the Cross

1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Expanded Translation
who himself carried the burdens of our sins in his own body upon the cross, in order that we, after having died (ceased from) sin, might live for righteousness; by whose bloody wounds ye were healed, (restored from a state of sin and condemnation). For you were misled and wandering about like lost sheep, but are now returned (brought back) unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Letters From Peter, Bruce Oberst, College Press, Joplin, Missouri

“He himself bore our sins”, who is Peter talking about here? He is talking about Jesus the Christ, the savior of the world for all who choose him.
It was known at the time who the only one who could save us from our sins was God, so here Peter states what in some ways is theobvious and in other ways what is new.

He goes on to state “in his body on the cross”. Why? It is important for us to realize that God sent his only son, born of a virgin to become a man. A full flesh and blood man who was capable of sin but did not sin. He was in this human form when he was put on the cross to bear our sins. As we think about this it is easy to say he boar the sins of the world, but not so easy to say, the Lord God of the universe, creator of all things, more than we could ever imagine, came to earth to bear MY sins on the cross. HE DIED FOR ME! That part is not so easy sometimes. He not only did this for the world he did this for ME! He also did this for you, if you let him, that is if you accept the grace he offers.

He suffered and died in my place! There are times when I can not comprehend the true meaning of this phrase. I know the logic behind it but how much I have hurt God by the things I have done and thought. Yet with all this, even if it had only been for me, he sent his son. There are times when the idea of this brings me to my knees and I weep because I do not feel worthy, WHY LORD? Why would you die for someone so unworthy? His reply is always LOVE! Because I Love you so much I sent my son to die for you so we could have the opportunity to be together forever!

“by his wounds you have been healed.” The important part here is that we are healed! Reconciled to God, forgiven, made righteous. Does this happened automatically? NO, God offers it as a gift, one we must accept. We get to choose life with God or life without God! Then also this translates to Eternity with God or Eternity without God. All this is offered to us but we must accept the gift.

Have you accepted the gift?  Are you allowing Jesus to die for your sins or are you carrying them yourself?  Don’t take them down off the cross, accept the gift and leave them on the cross, let God love you with all that he has.


1 Peter 2:24 Puzzle, Scrambled Scriptures

Who am I

Matthew 16:15-17 (NKJV)

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

God was a living God because he had interacted with the Jewish nation so many times. He was the creator of the universe and all that is in it, us included, and he knows the very hairs on your head.

Jesus was his son, the Word, who came into the world to seek and save the lost. All who understand this and turn to him as he declares shall be saved.

Christ is Savior. He died on the cross for the sins of the world, to pay the penalty for us because we could and can not do it ourselves. He only ask us to receive this gift and follow him. To reject this gift means we take the penalty on ourselves for all eternity. To accept the gift means we get to spend eternity with a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Jesus is the Christ (Savior) the son of the Living God! Will you walk in darkness or in light? He loves us but gives us the choice because he loves us, we can accept or reject the choice but we can not deny his love.

Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


So what do you think about the Nicene Creed, is it something that should be brought back into churches? There was a time when this and other items were said in churches on a regular basis. It was a way to draw people closer to God, to affirm their faith. We have moved away from this, why? I believe because those leading the church have moved more to the pop/new songs and items and away from the traditions and in some cases the solid Word of God.

So many churches are moving away from the truth! God’s word is truth! Recently I read an article of a group of pastors working to legalize gay marriage. Not because of the word of God but so they can “love” every one the same. I believe it is a poor argument, where does it stop? When you walk away from God’s Word where do you draw the line, how can you then say one thing is write and another is wrong. Do they not love other sinners because their sin might not be “legal”? Wrong, we love all but we hate the sin. We love and show love in the name of Christ, to try to draw folks closer to Him. To argue you can’t show love to a sinner because their sin is not legal is wrong!

Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thank goodness Christ did not feel that way, he died for us while we were still sinners. He wanted us to move away from sin, to repent of our sins, but he still loved us and died for us while we were in a state of sin. Thank God he did not say, I will change truth then I can love you. No he said I love you, I love Truth, and I will die for you so that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Freedom is not staying in sin, freedom is accepting Christ and moving away from sin. You will not be perfect right away but in this life as a Christian you should always be moving the the direction of Christ and his perfection and away from sin. We will stumble and fall but He is there to lift us up and help us back on the path to Him.

So take some time in prayer and meditation to move closer to God, use the Nicene Creed as a guide for your prayers for a week and see how it effects your life.

John 8:31-38, Are You Free?

John 8:31-38

John 8:31-38 (NKJV)
The Truth Shall Make You Free

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

Many believed in Jesus as the Christ because of his words. He encouraged them to stay true to his teaching, to rely on the promises he gave them, and to be on guard against the temptations of the enemy. If they did this they would be his disciples, they would teach his word to those who would come to know Him as well. Their hope wold lie in Jesus, no matter what would come. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts suffer the draw of the carnal body.

To speak to the disciples of the loss of property, bondage, captivity of the body and they would not agree with you. Speak to them of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan and the liberty of Christ and they totally understand what you are all about. Share this with the world he told them.

Jesus reminded them that the man who practiced any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which is the case with most of them. Christ offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. We walk in spiritual freedom, but struggle with the carnal body. Often we see persons disputing about liberty to every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.

If Jesus sets us free then why do we continue to walk in carnal lust? Focus on Christ and all that he teaches, He gives us the word to teach us how to follow him. Will we get it right? Not all the time but his grace covers us as we move forward to draw closer to Him.

Lord, help us draw closer to you, help us as we struggle with our worldly lust, the things of this world that draw us away from you. Help us to move ever closer to you. When we fail, Lord, lift us up again and draw us into your presents so that we can stand before you. May your grace cover us all the time, protecting us in spirit from the one who seeks to draw us away from you. In Jesus Name!


Isaiah 40:21-26; God’s people are comforted.

Wow, since the foundations of the earth, those who are ignorant are willingly ignorant of God’s Creation.  Isaiah tells us that that God sits above the “Circle of the earth”.  God created and rules over the earth.

In Romans 1:18-25 Paul emphasizes the same theme, God created everything and the creation points to God.  Those who do not know this willingly ignore God and the items that point to him.

God is He who created all, who knows all.

Lord thank you for all creation and your word to point us to you.  Forgive us and hel us to walk in your ways all the days of our lives.