Pastor Jason's Blog
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June 14, 2017, 8:58 AM

The Reward of Prayer



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“When you pray… your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Our Lord Jesus did not hesitate to associate reward with prayer, and who can measure the blessings that come through the avenue of prayer? The value of a daily habit of prayer is beyond exaggeration. The contemplation of the unseen, the attempt to think in terms of the Eternal, and the honest endeavor of the soul to enter in communion with God in themselves redeem life from all that is fitful, fretful, and futile. Apart from specific blessings, the sheer influence of a daily habit of prayer is incalculable. Consider the life of Moses and just three of the rewards he discovered from a life of prayer.

First, prayer is a place of revelation. Moses found God in the mount. You can read the story in the third chapter of Exodus. After forty years of exile for his championship of God’s people, the shepherd-prince found the God of Israel. He was not a stranger to Him in Egypt. He had renounced the privileges and pleasures of a royal palace and cast in his lost with the afflicted people of his race. He had given proof of his zeal for the Most High, but he had never had a personal revelation of Him till he found Him that day in the mount. It is on the mount of prayer where the Lord manifests Himself to those who pray in secret as He cannot to those who have no inner sanctuary of the soul.

Second, prayer is a place of power. In Exodus 17 the Amalekites came against the Hebrew people. Joshua commanded the army of Israel, while Moses went up into the mount to pray. The fluctuation of the battle was astonishing. In turns the opposing forces prevailed, until it was found that the issue of the battle was not with the fighters in the field, but with the intercessors on the mount. It was the weaponless hand of prayer that ruled the battle. “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning” (Exodus 17:11). Is it necessary to point out the moral of the story? Power is the reward of prayer. Unfortunately, it seems to take us entirely too long to learn that prayer is more important than organization, more powerful than armies, more influential than wealth, and mightier than all learning. Samuel Chadwick writes, “Prevailing prayer makes men invincible... All things are possible to secret prayer.”

Third, prayer is a place of fellowship. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face on the mount, as a man speaks to his friend. Like Abraham, Moses was admitted to the friendship of God. He did not come simply to lead petitions and receive orders. He was there for communion on a common basis of fellowship. The inner chamber is an audience chamber where the soul enters into friendly interaction and mutual interchange. It is a place for listening as well as for speech. The most important part of prayer is not what we say to God, but what God says to us as we fellowship together.

Let us pray together: O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens




May 31, 2017, 9:30 AM

Persistent Prayer



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is not far off. He is near. He does not need to be informed, for Jesus says, “your Father knows what your need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:8). Neither does he need to be persuaded; for the Scripture says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Nothing could be simpler, more natural, more assuring. “Ask and you will receive” (John 16:24); “For everyone who asks receives” (Matt. 7:8). Yet, alongside this teaching there comes the parables of the friend at midnight (Luke 11:5-13) and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). They are not like Jesus’ other parables, for they teach by contrast, and not by comparison. Then why tell the stories? The point in common between them and prayer is that in both persistence prevails.

Our Lord Himself prayed with intensity and persistence. He rose early to pray (Mark 1:35). He spent entire nights in prayer (Luke 6:12). Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears (Heb. 5:7). In the Garden He called upon the Father, but in His praying there was the sweat and agony of blood. “‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me …’ And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood” (Luke 22:41-44). If God is our Father, and if He hears, then why at times is prayer such tedious, bloody, hard work?

Samuel Chadwick writes, “Jesus prayed in an agony unto blood. If God be Father, why such agony in the praying of His Son? …It is quite clear that prayer is not the easy thing that seems to be implied in the simplicity of asking our Heavenly Father for what we want and getting it. There is travail in it. There is work in it. There is entreaty in it. There is importunity in it. Maybe Coleridge was not far wrong when he spoke of prayer as the highest energy of which the human heart is capable and greatest achievement of the Christian’s warfare on earth.”

Prayer is full of apparent contradictions. It is so simple that a child can pray, and it is so profound that the wisest cannot explain its mystery. It is so easy that those who have no strength can pray, and it is so strenuous that it taxes every resource of energy, intelligence, and power. It is so natural that it need not be taught, and it is so far beyond nature that it cannot be learned in the greatest school of this world’s wisdom. Prayer is a world in itself. The fervent effectual prayer of the righteous is a great force (James 5:16). Yet, we also understand, as Jesus has declared, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Prayer is more mystery than a formula for getting what we want. So, we pray without ceasing, asking for that which burdens us, until the Father answers in His own way (2 Cor. 7-9).

Let us pray together: Almighty Father, fill us with a comforting and sustaining sense of your presence throughout this day. Teach us to pray and to trust, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens




May 24, 2017, 10:44 AM

Our Father in Heaven



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lord Jesus bases prayer on personal relationship. He taught us to call God our Father, and the implication of sonship changes the whole aspect of prayer. Whatever difficulties may remain, interaction must be possible between father and child, and to suggest that a child may not ask of a father would be to empty the terms of all meaning.

It is a child’s right to ask, and it is a father’s responsibility to hear in affectionate sympathy and discerning love. The wonder is not that God hears prayer, but that He is our Father. The greater wonder includes the less. The revelation that God is Father establishes the possibility and reasonableness of prayer. The one establishes the other. God would not be Father if His children could not pray.

All the teaching of Jesus about the supremacy of the child-heart in the kingdom of God is rank blasphemy if God is not our Father. The relationship carries with it accessibility, intimacy, and fearless love. Sons of great men have sometimes remembered their father as an institution rather than as a father, and God is to some of His children little more than an institution. It was not thus that Jesus revealed Him. God is our Father and Jesus reminds us of that fact repeatedly in the New Testament. Consider one such passage:

Jesus declares in Matthew 6:25-26, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Samuel Chadwick writes, “He is our Father! That is the crowning fact. To the child he is just Father. Others may cringe in fear, but the child heart is a stranger to terror… Love is the bond of fellowship in prayer. Attempts to rationalize love dampen its fires, but where reason is dethroned, emotion becomes a conflagration… God as Father is the key to the problem of prayer. God is more than a Creator. He is our Father: Heavenly Father, holy Father, righteous Father, the God of love and still the God of law. ‘The Sabbath was made for man,’ and the universe of God was made for the family of God.”

Let us pray together: O Father, make it our delight to praise you, to call to mind your loving-kindness, and to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Do more and better for us than we can either desire or deserve, for the sake of our blessed Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens




May 17, 2017, 9:51 AM

Prayer in the Spirit



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit does nothing of Himself, neither does He do anything for Himself. His mission is to glorify Christ, and all He does is based upon the finished work of Christ. He could not be given until Jesus was glorified, and in experience there can be no Pentecost until there is a coronation. The Spirit is the coronation gift of Jesus, whom the Father has made to be both Lord and Christ.

The fellowship of the Spirit in prayer is made possible by an experience in Christ. The sequence is set forth in the eighth chapter of Romans (vv. 9-27). According to the Apostle Paul, those who pray in the Spirit must be in the Spirit, and if the Spirit of God is to make intercession for us, He must dwell in us. If we live after the flesh, we die; if we are led of the Spirit, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, then the Spirit dwells in us, lives through us, and works by us. Then comes to pass that which is written: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (vv. 26-27).

The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God. He takes of the things of Christ and reveals them unto us. God knows the mind of the Spirit; we pray in the Spirit, instructed and inspired by Him, and He makes intercession for us in wordless intercession. That is the New Testament explanation of prayer that prevails.

Samuel Chadwick writes, “The Spirit instructs and inspires all true prayer. There is no truer word than that ‘we know not what we should pray for us as we ought.’ There is no realm in which we so soon come to the end of what know as in that of prayer. Our petitions urge wants that are immediate, obvious, and urgent. We cannot see deep enough or far enough to know what is real need. Most people would like good health, home comfort, congenial conditions, happy friendships, a little more money, and better success; but who can tell if these would be for their ultimate good? God sees deeper and farther, and He may will otherwise… The Holy Spirit knows the mind of Christ and the will of God, and He teaches us how to pray and what to pray for.”

Let us pray together: Lord God, send your Holy Spirit to be the guide of all my ways, and the sanctifier of my soul and body. Give me the light of your presence, your peace from heaven, and the salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens




May 10, 2017, 8:34 AM

In Jesus' Name



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The most incredible things are promised to prayer. The Old Testament abounds in promises and examples. Deliverance and help, guidance and grace were assured to those who called upon God and committed their way unto Him. Nothing was too hard for the Lord, and nothing was impossible to those who prayed. Some of the passages are overwhelming in their challenge to prayer. For example, 1 Kings 3:5 declares, “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” Prayer passes from entreaty to command. There is no limit to the possibility of prayer, and the Old Testament confirms and attests the promises by examples and demonstrations of its power.

Our Lord speaks with the same unlimited speech in the New Testament. He declares, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to the him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Jesus gave prayer a new basis, a new confidence, and a new range. For he gave as its reason the fact that God is our Heavenly Father. Prayer is a child’s petition. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). There is one saying of Jesus that is even more starting. “Therefore,” he says, “I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

Samuel Chadwick writes, “The promise to prayer reaches its climax in the Upper Room on that memorable night of revelation and tragedy. Jesus declared Himself to be the basis of prayer. They were to pray in a new way. They were to pray in His name, and they would be heard for His sake... ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask for in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14)… Prayer reaches its highest level when offered in the Name which is above every name, for it lifts the petitioner into unity and identity with Himself.”

We are not heard for our much speaking, nor for our loud shouting. Neither are we heard for our fine phrasing, nor our much weeping. Neither are we heard for our good works, nor for our self-denials. Prayer in Jesus Name is heard for His name’s sake. “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

Let us pray together: Gracious Father, thank you for Your Son. May He abide in me and I in Him. Through Him, may I have victory over sin and death. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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