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Chapter 16 Part 2: The Prayer God Always Answers Yes...God Is Non-Denominational...Prayer Tool For Unity

Chapter 16 Part 2: The Prayer God Always Answers Yes…God Is Non-Denominational…Prayer Tool For Unity

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For the Audio version of this chapter click: http://godisforus.sermon.net/da/2484786/play

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For the index to the book (both written and audio version to date) click: http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/live-link-index-for-the-book

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For Part 1 of this chapter click: http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/chapter-16-part-1-the-prayer

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Senior Pastor Tobe Johnson has done a truly inspired job of delivering God’s messages of encouragement regarding the ‘tools’ God gives us for doing His Work. Pastor Johnson has emphasized over and over the purpose for these tools…these Gifts of the Holy Spirit…those parts of God that are poured into us when we are born again through Christ.

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That common theme in the Scriptures is love toward one another…the entire Body of Christ…not just the ones we know at our particular ‘brands’ of churches. This commandment extends to our neighbors as well…more on that in subsequent chapters…but right now we are focusing on the importance of unity in the Body of Christ.

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It is this universal love and unity in the Body of Christ that underpins Jesus commandments regarding His Prayer Covenant with us…and the tools, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, that are bestowed upon Christians.

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Our Lord will forgive many things when He returns to claim His Kingdom, the New Jerusalem…but consider this a Word from God that one thing that will tick Him off to no end is divisions, fractures, in the Body of His Bride…He demands unity in Jesus’ Prayer Covenant…He expects us to set aside our petty little inter-denominational bickerings…our man-made doctrines that divide rather than unite us.

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The tactic of ‘divide and conquer’ is one of the enemy’s oldest and most effective tools in undermining the ‘simplicity that is in Christ’. Paul writing in 2 Corinthians 11:2-5 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear…as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds will be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

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Then Paul goes on to warn about another spirit (different from the Holy Spirit) and another Jesus (the false teachings of the enemy…’doctrines of demons’, chapter 6 of this book).

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Here is just one of many examples we could sight regarding how the enemy uses human pride to distract God’s sheep from the simple truth of unity:

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There are at least four theories floating around regarding the so-called ‘rapture theory’. One theory says that the rapture will occur ‘pre-tribulation’. Another insists that it will occur ‘mid-tribulation’; another says it will occur ‘post-tribulation and another states that the rapture will not occur at all.

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I am not picking on the rapture theory. You can fill in the blanks in the following account…use any theory or any thing that divides our unity in the Body and the principle remains the same:

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Once a fist fight nearly broke out at a luncheon of Christian Pastors…in public…with the most vile words being spoken arguing about something that has nothing to do with Jesus’ simple message of Salvation.

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A young Christian man at that luncheon was terribly embarrassed by the negative witness this incident gave to the public who were also eating close to the table.

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At one point, when one of the men slammed down a glass on the table and actually pounded the Bible with his fist and declared that anyone who did not see it his way would “…suffer eternal separation from God”.

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The young man had had enough! Right after the glass broke there was a silence…he had been praying for God’s Wisdom…during the break in confusion…when everyone was silent and in shock…he stood up and just before walking away God delivered this message through him, not in angry tones but in firm tones:

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“You can’t all be right! What are you going to do if you are the man who was right? Sit around with God and brag about being right at the expense of these non-believers who only see the fighting and the division? Are you proud that the enemy just won a victory here?

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Think about it Pastors…none of us should care the size of a piece of roach poop about when or if the rapture will occur…obedience to God, by definition, means that we are willing to go anywhere at anytime God calls us! That means anywhere at any time…to do less is called disobedience…and that is called sin…why do you so pridefully try and second guess God regarding His Plans for us? He will do with us what He wants…when He wants! I, for one, do not care about second guessing God…I care about doing whatever He wants…whenever He wants it done and doing it where ever He wants it done! I know in my heart of hearts that whatever His Plans for us as individuals are…they far exceed anything that we can possibly imagine”!

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On the drive home, his Pastor friend, who had invited him along to the luncheon, told the young man that God had delivered, through the young man, the theme for his sermon in the coming week.

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They discussed the fact that the enemy always looses when he is ignored…also his Pastor friend commented, in an encouraging way, that God had blessed him with boldness...a small point missed by some at the luncheon who stopped speaking to the young man completely.

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Here is another example of Theological ‘in-fighting’ that occurs regularly:

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I was in a Theological discussion with a Pastor with whom I have the deepest regard recently.

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The subject was Biblical lineage. I do not claim to be an expert on the subject, in fact I am sorely lacking in that area because the ‘begat stuff’ is quite boring to me. But he made the comment that Adam and Eve were the only people on earth during the time of Adam and Eve and their family.

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I made the comment that actually Adam and Eve were our examples, and no where in the Bible does it say that they were the only people alive at that time.

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Please keep in mind that this point is not worth arguing over because it has nothing to do with Salvation and it is not worth causing division or fractures in Christ’s Bride…the Body Of Christ…the Christian Church.

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This Pastor, like so many, had been taught that Adam and Eve and their immediate family were the only people alive during that time and frankly, it does not appear to be that way.

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I pointed out to him (and we read) Genesis 4:13-16…this is after Cain had murdered Able and God was telling Cain that he would be banished from the garden and sent to a place East of Eden called Nod. Please study Genesis 4:13-16. In those passages it is quite clear that Cain was afraid that “whoever finds me will kill me”. And so God set a mark of protection on Cain and promised that whoever killed Cain would suffer 7 times over.

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If there were no other people other than Adam and Eve and their immediate family, who was Cain afraid was going to kill him?

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Obviously there were other people alive on earth during the time of Adam and Eve and their immediate family..

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My Pastor friend’s face turned red, his juggler vein began to throb. He looked at me like I had a spiked tail growing out of my rear end. Then he started reciting something which made no sense, something that he had learned in seminary and then he huffed off talking to himself in very loud tones…something about my mother being a female dog and I was her son.

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The truth sometimes has that affect on people whose learning has just been turned up side down.

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I had nothing to do with writing that Scripture. He wasn’t angry with me…even though he acted that way. I hope to see him again soon and mend fences. His opinion on the subject or my opinion on the subject is not worth creating a division in the Body of Christ.

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Nothing is worth creating a division in the Body of Christ!

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That subject has nothing to do with why Jesus was here (salvation) but the bickering has everything to do with Spiritual Warfare…the enemy trying to fracture, cause divisions, in the Body of Christ…His Bride…using man’s pride and ego.

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This leads us to the meat of this message:

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Why, in order to keep Jesus’ Commandments, there must be unity exhibited in the Body of Christ…if we are to expect Him to keep His Prayer Covenant. He promises, He makes a covenant…that if we keep His commandments, then whatever we ask will be done…again…if we keep His commandments…and something Jesus was animate about was for us to show love and unity…there is one Body…one Church…not various flavors that we humans have invented. He emphasized unity over and over again.

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And if we don’t feel love, we can at least exhibit love…show love…who knows, that seed might grow…it is in God’s Will that we do so.

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We are commanded to love each other with agape’ love (1 John 4:7-11).

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Agape’ love is defined as an active, self-giving love which, in goal and action, consistently seeks the highest good of another. Unlike other kinds of love, agape’ is not based on the high value of a person to whom it is given or upon any hope of reciprocation. Agape’ is an act of will rather than the emotions.

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This love unconditionally and generously elects to set its love upon persons for their sake and benefit without demanding a return and in spite of a person’s worth, attractiveness, present condition, previous actions, or consequential response.

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Notice here: Agape’ love should be the foundation of ‘Eros’ love…mating love. In a marriage there are hopes and expectations such as faithfulness and attractiveness (chemistry). These elements are imperative for a healthy marriage.

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So if agape’ love was the foundation on which the marriage was built, then that is where the commitment to the marriage resides. So that during difficulties when the attraction wanes, the unconditional love serves as a ‘safety net’. There will be more on marriage and other relational subjects in subsequent chapters of this book.

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Notice in the book of Revelation chapters 2 through 3 God addresses the 7 original seed churches…those churches are us…today…right now…we all grew out of those 7 churches.

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There were only 2 churches out of 7 that God did not have a strong warning for. The church at Philadelphia, the faithful church (brotherly love, kindness) was one of those churches that had found favor with God in all ways…and the persecuted church at Smyrna was the other.

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Imagine that…He has a bone to pick with about 70 percent of us.

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Ephesus was the ‘loveless church’. Pergamos was the ‘compromising church’. Thyatira was the ‘corrupt church’. Sardis was the ‘dead church’. Laodicea was the ‘lukewarm church’…these things that God found flawed in those churches were all divisive elements…fracturing the Body of Christ…prayerfully study those Scriptures and do not take them lightly…God doesn’t.

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In our hearts and in our attitudes and actions toward one another we are supposed to look beyond our denominations because God does. He is a non-denominational God. He expects us to see our brothers and sisters and treat them not as Catholic or Protestant…Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, Jews or Gentiles…black or white, red, brown or yellow…but as God’s children…the Bride of Christ. We all worship the same God through the same Christ and have opportunity for the same salvation…whether we recognize that fact or not…it is Biblical.

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It is sad that many of our brethren are not fully taught about the Holy Spirit...and, in fact many Christian leaders have led many sheep astray in various other areas of Theology. Some of these areas are addressed in 5 of the 7 seed churches spoken of in Revelation 2 and 3…but that is for God to sort out…the sheep from the sheep, the goats from the sheep and to identify the false prophets and deal with them in His Way at His Time. Our job, as Christians, is to fulfill the Great Commission in every way God sees fit…and to not fracture Christ’s Bride.

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God sees the hearts for Him poured out to Him through Christ…that is what is important to Him…not our petty little differences…that create huge divisions in Christianity.

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He keeps it simple for us in that way. He always does His part if we do ours…and part of our job is to stay out of His Way while we do whatever part that we can fulfilling the Great Commission. This is the ‘simplicity that is in Christ’ that Paul wrote about.

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Does this mean that it is wrong to have, for a lack of a better term, ‘brands’ of Christianity? No, of course not…names do not cause divisions…people cause divisions…the damage comes from the bad behavior (chapter 10).

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It is in the attitudes and actions that we have and exhibit toward Christians of other denominations that are important to God…the same is just as true regarding what race or color we are. God is just as color blind when it comes to denominations as He is regarding race.

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There is no power in the name of a denomination…the name in and of itself, does not put up fences and barriers and fractures in the Body…it is our legalistic behavior and self-serving opinions that are so damaging to the Body of Christ (chapter 10…Legalistic Behavior).

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A day will come that we must dissolve our divisions…if we fail to do so…God will bring those men to their knees to see the truth of Unity in the Body…those stiff necked ones will be forced to bow their heads and humble their selves to God…and it won’t be pretty.

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What about the false teachers written about in chapter (6) of this book? Again, that is God’s Call to make in His Time.

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God has always made provisions for those who have been misled…those who have sinned (disobeyed Him) in ignorance or unintentionally. He has always spared those of innocence or ‘unknowing’ during times of judgment. Under the old Mosaic Covenant, for example, God had provisions for those who had sinned (disobeyed Him) unintentionally (Numbers 15:22-27, Leviticus 4:2, Ezekiel 45:20, Leviticus 5:15).

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So it is up to Him to determine who are the false teachers and those who have been misled through false teaching…to sort out the sheep from the goats…in some cases for over two thousand years…that is His Job and His Job alone…to sort out the goats from the sheep.

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The reason this subject has come up is because there is a pattern that has emerged over the years in our Prayer Ministry and in our Christian Counseling ministry:

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I can’t recall all the times someone has contacted us being very distraught because they recently lost a loved one and because the person wasn’t of a certain denomination their Salvation was in question. Please refer to Chapter 2 of this book for the Scriptural References regarding Salvation…but the short answer is YES they are saved regardless of their Christian denomination…if they have a heart for God through Christ and all that means.

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The point remains the same…we worship the same God, through the same Christ and share the same Salvation.

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For any man or man made Institution to come between a person and their Salvation, for or against, is self-idolatry…self-worship…plain and simple…Christ is the only mediator between a person and God (1 Timothy 2:5)…not a Priest or a Pastor or any other human.

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Regarding the confession of sin to another Christian: In James 5:16 it tells us to “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer (knowing what is proper to pray for) of a righteous man avails much”. How do we know what is proper to pray for? Practice.

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This type of confession is not the same as confessing to God as part of our Salvation…only God can grant Salvation through Christ…but using others as ‘sounding boards’ for the sake of reproof and ‘setting things straight’ (2 Timothy 3:16) is a very healthy tool for encouragement…it gives an opportunity for us to remember that conviction exists to serve the learning process…the growing closer to God process (chapter 10 of this book).

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God designed us as social beings and we need each other for encouragement…part of this process includes using each other as sounding boards…sometimes as shoulders to cry on…for the express purpose of encouragement.

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Please prayerfully refer to the Scriptural references in Chapter 10 of this book regarding legalistic behavior.

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So folks, next time you are tempted to look down your nose at a fellow Christian because they don’t belong to the ‘right’ denomination…remember that if you step on their toes you are stepping on part of Christ’s Bride.

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His Bride is us collectively…and without the word us, there is no need for the word me.

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Next we are going to consider a Prayer Tool:

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We are to pray for God’s Wisdom in all matters. He promises to give it liberally (in abundance) and without reproach (He won’t make us feel stupid for asking). The only dumb question is the one that we fail to ask Him.

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Imagine that, developing the fruitage of the Spirit of self-control (discipline, self control, Galatians 5) to the point that we ‘live in prayer’ or ‘walk in the Spirit’. Is this possible?

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Yes! Can we imperfect humans do that 100% of the time? No. But then, even Job was an imperfect man and he was close enough to God to overcome everything the enemy through at him and everything he lost was restored to him twice over.

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The interesting thing is that Job simply loved God all his life and was extremely wealthy way before the enemy attacked him. And Job didn’t have the benefit of written history, the examples in the Bible that we do today.

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And, unlike Solomon who was promised that his years would be lengthened…or like us today who are promised not only everlasting life through Christ, we are also given God’s miracles through the Holy Spirit…the Helper, the Comforter who Jesus sent so that we would not be left Spiritual orphans (chapter 9).

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Job was faithful simply because he genuinely loved God…because of his love for God he trusted and obeyed God…and did good works for God…something to ponder (chapters 5 and 6).

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So on to the prayer tool:

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This prayer tool uses contention in marriage as an example…but it can be used in any Christian relationship during moments of heated argument. We recommend this in all of our counseling sessions where a divisive spirit rules the moment. Rather we should say, at those moments that we fail to ignore the enemy and allow the divisive spirit to rule our thoughts and actions.

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This prayer tool works because it is physically, emotionally and Spiritually impossible to argue with our spouse, or anyone else, if we are in prayer. The enemy cannot occupy our mind when God is there. The enemy will actually flee from God. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… (James 4:7-8).” That is simplicity that is in Christ.

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Guess who makes it difficult to do this? It is not God. He always does His part if we do ours. But in those moments of heated argument when our pride is rearing its ugly head and we are trying to out do the other with hateful words (the enemy at work in us not God) and we are making the enemy smile with our destructive words and actions…during those moments that the adrenalin is gushing and we think that we are gaining control…guess who is actually in control? I can tell you, it isn’t God! And it isn’t we who are in control. Obviously it is the enemy who is in control because we choose to allow him to control our minds and therefore our actions at those moments.

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So what do we do? We PRAY and we REPENT to God during those moments or better yet before the damage is done! In those moments before we open our big mouths and spew the vile words and actions that grieves our God!

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No mystery there…just plain, Scriptural, common sense.

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The husband has the burden, the duty, the responsibility and the honor of being the one to recognize the toxic situation and remedy it through action.

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What do we pray for? Well first STOP yourself. Shut your mouth long enough to ask for God’s Wisdom.

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Look at your wife with God in your eyes instead of the enemy in your eyes and say something softly and lovingly like “Sweetheart listen to us…I am so sorry…I’ve had a huge part in this…please, let’s talk to God…let’s pray together”.

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Then give her a moment to let it sink in. Walk toward her to gently and hold her. If she walks away, that is o.k. Let her walk away. At least the damage has been stopped from escalating and you have given her something Godly to think about. Then pray alone.

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Through Christ with the Holy Spirit inside of you, you might pray what King David prayed…”Father please give me a pure heart”. “Please don’t let Your Holy Spirit leave me”. Try praying for God’s Wisdom and guidance like king Solomon did. Pray for God’s Words to come out of your mouth. Pray for those feelings of love to return…the very reasons you and your wife decided to be married. Try confessing how you hurt your spouse…and beg God for insight on how to heal the damage. It will mean more to your spouse if the thoughts are expressed directly to Father while she witnesses your confession.

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Pray for whatever God brings to your mind…and if they are not Godly thoughts then command the enemy to leave you and your family through Christ’s Authority. Pray for a protective hedge to be placed around your family and extended family. These principles work whether we are dealing with our spouses or in regards to others in the Body of Christ.

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Do these things before the word ‘divorce’ is ever uttered and it will be much easier to heal. Pray for that healing. Pray to rebuild the trust and emotional intimacy. Above all, pray for God’s Wisdom in the matter then listen to Him…actually hear Him with your Spiritual ears located in your conscience.

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We are closing this chapter with a poem titled ‘Love Attitude’.

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LOVE ATTITUDE

(Unconditional Love)

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I want you as my friend at first
And learn to make you laugh
Build a strong foundation of trust
Together draw a map
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See you through many cycles’ times
In higher ones and lows
See you when you’re not at your best
Learning to make you glow
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I’ll be your friend and let you be
Your truest self always
I won’t look for the black and white
No right or wrong just gray
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You can be who you are
And if we are a match
We will want to share our time
A glimpse we’ll want to catch
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Of separate worlds we have built
Of direction and of growth
Of dreams and goals for us to share
And ones we need alone
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I don’t know yet what we will be
We both need change and growth
I hope it’s for the rest of life
I simply want to know
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What it is that makes you smile
And learn to make you glow
I want you as my friend at first
God’s love our marriage to know

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COPYRIGHT 1989 MARK DIAZ

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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This work is copyrighted and not to be used to any commercial purpose but please share it freely with your friends.

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Please remember that our God is a non-denominational God. The Body of Christ is us…all of us and without the word ‘us’, there is no need for the word ‘me’.

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Comment by God Is For Us on September 11, 2010 at 1:07pm
Bless you Shynu...God really is non-denominational.
Comment by Shynu Varughese on September 11, 2010 at 6:34am
Thanks bro mark. God bless u and give u more annoiting to write
Comment by Shynu Varughese on September 11, 2010 at 6:30am
God is non denominational.Jesus has not created any denominations. Denominations are man made. It surprised me when i read that there are over 25000 christian denominations in this world. Jesus prays for us in John 17:20 & 21, that those hear the word should be one.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

When satan saw that he could not destroy the church so he mixed up faith with wordly things and divided it into pieces. Now there are too many divisions looking each other with strife and envy. Even the members of the same denominations have no love towards each other. We find faults with each other eventhough we have one bible and one saviour Jesus and one God.
So, there is a clear answer from scriptures in Jude:3 that" I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints". Here the scripture says to earnestly contend to the geniune faith which was once delivered that is above the denominational barriers.

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