Tag Archives: Valson Abraham

Weighty Prayers

True-PrayerWe must all learn to pray more “weighty” prayers.

The great 19th century preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, once said, “True prayer is measured [by God] by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.”

How do we pray more “weighty” prayers? In humility. In faith. In accordance with God’s will. Focused upon others. In boldness. In the name of Jesus.

This is a critical time for your “weighty” prayers on behalf of India Gospel Outreach.

Over the years, our praying friends have opened many new doors of ministry in many new places. We are grateful to each of you who have been a part of this critical prayer support. So also are the countless men, women and children who have been blessed through your faithful and “weighty” prayers.

Again, this is another opportunity for you to help enlarge the influence of the gospel in India, especially through this ministry and to potentially change the eternal destinies of millions.

In addition to the daily prayer requests that follow, I request that you pray daily this month for a very special need:

In the past year, enemies of the gospel were elected to the highest offices of Indian government during the most recent national election. Their stated aim is to make India a nation for Hindus only. Since that election, persecution of Christians has increased in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

They are even attempting to bribe Christians to become Hindus. In Uttar Pradesh, they planned a mass conversion of 4,000 Christian families to Hinduism for Christmas Day. Praise God, through the prayers of many of you, so much infighting and confusion took place among the leadership, the event never took place!

But they have not given up, and neither must we. We must continue to pray “weighty” prayers until all things are subjected to Him.

Therefore, I would greatly appreciate your daily prayers for the Christians in Uttar Pradesh where much persecution is taking place. With more than 210 million people in this large state with 1,325 people/square mile, 742 urban centers, 307,452 villages, there are only about 200,000 Christians, many of them only nominal believers.

IGO has sent a number of trained church planters to this state and is planning strategic things in this large state, so influential for the rest of India. Please pray daily that God will raise up and prosper these schools to train many evangelists who will plant churches in every zip code and reach every ethnic group in Uttar Pradesh with the Good News.

Pray for a mighty awakening to the gospel, not only in Uttar Pradesh but throughout India. Pray that God will give IGO many opportunities and resources to take the Good News to many new places.

Thank you for your bold, faithful—and essential—“weighty” prayers.

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Lydia and All of Us

Throughout the centuries, men have tended to regard women as inferior. This judgment upon women is a judgment upon God who made women and can only quench the Holy Spirit in men who make such judgments.

Lydia is a good example of God’s great work through a woman. Overnight, the history of Europe began to change because Lydia heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speak through Paul. She responded and became Europe’s first convert.

Because of her faithfulness to the message she heard, the gospel spread to those around her, like a stone whose ripples spread out over a pond.

Lydia serves as an example to both men and women of how the Holy Spirit can work in anyone to change the world in the name of Christ.

  1. God opened Lydia’s HEART to do a work of grace in her life. God alone ordained her time to come to Christ and to use her conversion as a means to ultimately change the direction of a whole continent and the rest of the world. Through her witness, her entire household believed and received baptism. Through her and her household, the church at Philippi was born. That church became a strong witness for the Lord and served as a model for future churches. All of this began with the conversion of one woman. There are no small people in the kingdom of God. We must open ourselves to all that God chooses to work through our lives.
  2. Lydia opened her HOME for God’s servants and fellow believers. Like Lydia, we all show our gratitude to God by the way we treat God’s servants and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  3. Lydia offered her HANDS to minister to others. Lydia took Paul and Silas into her house to nurse their wounds from jail and beatings and help them recover. A helpful spirit is not just “woman’s work.” A helpful spirit is an effective witness for Christ in men and women alike. A helpful spirit is a spirit of salt and light that preserves and enlightens families, cultures and nations with the power of Christ.
  4. Lydia had a good HEAD for business and practical affairs. Lydia was a prosperous businesswoman. Lydia is a good example of a wealthy servant–one who regards all wealth and personal possessions as gifts from God to serve Him and others in need of His transformation.

Since Lydia’s generation, the Spirit of God has worked in the hearts of other women to do great and mighty things. Think of Amy Carmichael who ministered to girls caught in forced prostitution. She modeled ministries in India later founded by men.

Think of Monica, mother of a wayward youth named Augustine who became one of Christianity’s most influential theologians because of her prayers.

Think of Susannah Wesley, mother and faithful teacher to 19 children including John and Charles Wesley.

Think of Elizabeth Elliott, wife of martyred missionary, Jim Elliott, who took up her husband’s mantle and served as God’s instrument to change a savage culture for Christ.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we depend upon God’s Spirit. Let us all thank God for such boundless grace that works in so many ways. Let us especially make sure we accept all the grace He reveals through His chosen women.

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The Finger of God

All of us need a special healing touch of God upon our lives that renews as well as purges out what is unnecessary or harmful.

The ancient Egyptians of Moses’ day referred to this as “the finger of God.” This is a colorful term that refers to God’s direct and miraculous intervention in human affairs. The Egyptians were referring to how God miraculously freed the Israelites through the judgment of plagues upon Egypt. At the same time, the finger of God brought freedom to His chosen people.

We also see “the finger of God” in judgment upon the corrupt Babylonian monarch, Belshazzar, as a large hand appeared and spelled out his imminent doom.

But “the finger of God” appears also in God’s acts of grace and mercy as He writes the Ten Commandments for His chosen people, Israel. Later, Jesus frees people from the power of demons by “the finger of God” (Luke 11:20).

Today, we experience “the finger of God” most notably through the work of the Holy Spirit. Before He departed His earthly ministry, Jesus promised His disciples—and us—the privilege and blessing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit—God’s very presence—is our guarantee all that He intends to miraculously work in us.

The Holy Spirit is more than a force or power. The Holy Spirit is God Himself dwelling in and through us. The Holy Spirit is the same One who created the heavens and the earth, the galaxies and stars, and all the millions of species of plants and animals. None of us has fully grasped or experienced the full power of the Holy Spirit that is our awesome privilege.

The Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance in God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion. The Holy Spirit does battle for us and gives us protection and victory. The Holy Spirit sets up divine appointments for us, guides us into truth, and gives us heavenly power. The Holy Spirit enables us to display the life of God to a world who does not believe in God.

“The finger of God” is still at work today:Image
• The finger invites us and others to become a part of His kingdom and join Him in His work.
• The finger writes His law on our hearts.
• The finger grips us for all eternity.
• The finger points us to the truth. We can depend upon the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom in life’s most challenging circumstances.
• The finger works. The Holy Spirit works in us, and when we give Him permission, He enables us to live and work in ways that display the glory and character of God to the world around us.

Through the Holy Spirit, we may become agents of the Holy Spirit, inviting others into His kingdom. We may write things that move others to respond to Christ. We may faithfully seek out those whom God wants to seal for His kingdom. We may point the way for others to receive Christ. We may do the work that God has given to us, empowered by His might.

Let each of us seek to become better acquainted with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we may better minister to others who await Him.

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The Source of Abundant Life

“Religion…is the opium of the people,” wrote Karl Marx, considered the founder of modern-day Communism and icon of secular humanism.

Opium is a drug one takes when he or she feels hopeless, weak and depressed and has no realistic approach to a better life. To Karl Marx, Christianity was an opiate because it kept a person from fulfilling his own agenda for a “realistic” and better life.

Karl Marx did not know about Jesus’ “I have come” statements. Jesus plainly tells us, “I have come…to fulfill the law…to reveal the Father…to bear witness to the truth…to serve others and give my life as a ransom for many…proclaim freedom…call sinners to repentance…seek and save the lost…give life in abundance.”

I have come Statments of JesusThese are positive statements of purpose, not to deaden our pain and hopelessness, but to give life new meaning, love and fulfillment. Jesus Christ comes to put us back in touch with God who leads us to a life beyond human capacity to think and imagine. He leads us to a loving Father, to the truth that sets free. He leads us to a supernatural power to live full and productive lives in partnership with God the Father that multiplies into hope for those around us.

This is not “pie in the sky, bye and bye,” but for this life as well as the life to come.

God’s abundant life and love is anything but an opiate. As we trust Him, He awakens our senses, lifts us above our circumstances and transforms individuals, families and nations by awakening our dead spirits.

Jesus’ “I have come” statements declare His purpose—to put God’s redemptive plan into effect. Jesus claims a power that no other person can claim because He is the Heaven-sent One.

Karl Marx is right about one thing, however. Religion can become an opiate–if it conflicts with God’s plan for our lives. Both the Pharisees and Karl Marx had their own “religions.” However different they may have been, they had one thing in common—they relied on the opiate of self-sufficiency. This is the false notion that we can “do it alone,” whether we try to obey God’s law or revolutionize society.

These are illusions—drugs that deaden reality of our true condition before God and our ability to transform our situation. These drugs make us “feel good”—while we actually kill ourselves. People who “feel good” hate to be reminded they are following deadly pipe dreams. They may fight back and get nasty and destructive about it.

This is why Jesus said—prophetically, it turns out, “I have come, not to bring peace but a sword.” He foresaw the day when those drugged by the opiate of self-sufficiency would kill Him, persecute His followers, and say all manner of evil against Him and them.

Jesus proved his detractors wrong through His resurrected life which has multiplied itself hundreds of millions of times since.

This Good News of the kingdom, Jesus tells us, will not stop until all peoples on earth have heard it. That includes all of India. Even anti-conversion laws will fail to stop it, and may even help to speed the Good News along.
Let each of us make sure that we live in God’s abundant grace so that we may effectively take that Good News to those who have not yet heard it.

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Christ is All

This past January, the theme of our 89th annual convention was “Christ Is All,” based upon Colossians 3:11.

Read that passage, and also Luke 24:27, where Jesus explains to His two followers on the road to Emmaus how even the earliest scriptures up through the prophets spoke of things concerning Jesus Christ.

fingerHow we all need to daily remind ourselves that “Christ Is All”! The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were terribly depressed and discouraged by the awful events that led to Jesus’ totally unexpected humiliation and crucifixion (though He had warned them of these things beforehand). At that moment, they were so wrapped up in their own grief that they failed to recognize Jesus Himself in their midst.

The reason for their depression was that they forgot how fully Christ really is all. They failed to understand the very scriptures that they no doubt had memorized from childhood.

They were overcome by circumstances rather than truth. Unknowingly, they allowed events and theological fads of the day to dictate their interpretation of scripture rather than let God speak for Himself.

They allowed themselves to pick apart the smallest details of scripture while remaining blind to the scripture’s overall plan and purpose. When Jesus cleared the cobwebs from their thinking, we are told that their hearts burned within them at their own blindness. As Jesus opened their eyes to truth, their hearts and minds were set free.

This happened, not to godless men, but to the best of men. If it happened to the most spiritual men of that day, it also can happen to you and me. How easily we can allow our own present circumstances to twist the clear teachings of scripture! If you are grieving endlessly over the state of things right now, you share their same weakness!

How quickly we forget that Jesus Christ is at the center of all scripture from Genesis through Revelation! How quickly we forget that Jesus Christ is at the center of history and controls it! Jesus’ life was not snatched from Him by wicked men more powerful than He, but rather, He gave up His life as a ransom for many. It was all part of “The Plan” that leads to a New Heaven and New Earth.

Likewise, all the circumstances that cause our own distress.

Whatever troubles us, Christ is still all and controls all. Like the two men on the road to Emmaus, we all face personal weaknesses of body, soul and spirit. We face economic and political instability, and even collapse. We face persecution and slander from enemies of the gospel.

In short, we face the same challenges faced by the two men 2000 years ago. But Jesus continues to walk the same road with us, eager to open our eyes and cause our hearts to burn within us as He shows us the truth. Will we allow Him to pry our self-imposed scales from our eyes?

When we see and know the truth that sets us free, we will, like the two men, tell others what we have seen and heard until all of India and the world will have the truth that sets free.

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The Lord’s Prayer

As we pray for India, we can find no better prayer model than the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, popularly known as “the Lord’s Prayer,” in Matthew 6. I say it is a model for prayer because it suggests larger, more detailed and specific prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Prayer enables us to discern if we are praying in the spirit of Christ or only in human power.

Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, reminds us that the Lord’s Prayer is not for everyone. It is reserved only for those who recognize the sovereignty of the One who first revealed it to His disciples. It is reserved for those who are “possessors of grace and are truly converted.” A heart of trust in Christ reveals the power of the Lord’s Prayer to those who seek to pray effective and powerful prayers.

The Lord’s Prayer is a very organic prayer in which every part works together in perfect harmony.

“Our Father” sets the tone for the rest of the prayer, reminding us that prayer is not just reserved as a personal exercise but a corporate relationship with the One who possesses authority, love, responsibility, wisdom and goodness.

As His children, we depend upon Him and submit ourselves to Him. God may or may not grant our request, but He always does well and wisely as a loving Father.

“Who art in Heaven” reminds us that all our earthly needs and desires are best met, not with earthly wisdom, but in Heaven. Why is this? Because the name and reputation of the Father is “hallowed.” God’s reputation and character far exceeds that of the greatest mortal man. His eternal and triune Personhood surpasses that of any created earthly person who soon passes away.

At the same time, when we remember that this holy God is “our Father,” we know that God is approachable, that He is as humble as He is holy.

A hallowed Father excludes no one who approaches Him in deep trust with heartfelt needs. A hallowed Father rightly requires obedience to Him, not from fear but in a loving response to His love. A hallowed Father gives us peace, for nothing can shake our relationship with Him. A hallowed Father is committed to His children and gives them privileges that no earthly father possesses.

This hallowed Father possesses a Kingdom that reflects His ways, His character, His will, His plan, His presence, His authority. It is a Kingdom of Heaven.

We can realize this Heavenly Kingdom on earth, not only in some future time when Christ returns, but now. We experience the Kingdom of God on earth as we see Him meet daily needs, bring two people together in marriage, enable us with wisdom and power to conduct our businesses, study for school and engage in creative endeavors that glorify God and bless others as well as ourselves.

“Our Father” reminds us that we have many brothers and sisters who do not yet know their Heavenly Father and feel orphaned from Him. “Our Father” reminds us of the multitudes who feel abandoned by God because of circumstances beyond their control, who are ignorant of Him who has loved them for all eternity.

May His Kingdom come on earth to all of these who have not yet heard!

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