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Archive for May, 2008

Where There Is No Prayer, There Is No Power.

The church is weak. Especially in the West where we consider ourselves more advanced. It lacks the power that the early church did. It has become religious. It seems to me we spend more time condemning sin and sinners than we do loving them. In many ways we have become the new Pharisees. Oh we say we are Christians, but where is the love? Where is the power? We have become a self righteous lot and turn more people away from Christ than to Him. I think we are a lot like the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation. Not all churches are like this. There are some that are really on the move and have the heart of God.

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22 (NLT)

Why is the church this way? We don’t pray. The prayer meetings of many of our churches consist of senior citizens, mostly women. We are so busy with so many other things that our prayer, if we pray at all, consists of a few minutes over breakfast or as we lay our heads down on our pillows at the end of the day. Then when the enemy robs from us and so many things go wrong we wonder why. Oh we are zealous for many things of the Lord, but when it comes to prayer and our relationship with our God, we are lukewarm at best. Sad to say many are downright cold. I can talk like this because I am just as guilty. It seems some days that prayer just doesn’t seem to have a very high priority and I put it off as well.  Not all are like this. If you do take the time to pray and cultivate your relationship with God I commend you. You are in the minority and one of the faithful few.

There is a supernatural power in prayer. Take a look at many of those down through history who took the time to pray. The power of God was upon them and they did great deeds that could not be accomplished in the flesh. One of them was Daniel. A man who did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him as we do. He would pray faithfully three times a day. This man was able to interpret dreams and signs. He became an advisor to Kings and had visitations from angels, was given prophetic visions, and was also protected supernaturally from death.

The Apostle Paul recognized the power he had through prayer and mentions it 22 times in his epistles.  A pivotal passage in the teaching of the apostle concerning prayer is: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" (Phil. 4:4-6).

Jesus is our perfect example. Even though He was God incarnate, He still needed fellowship with the Father. He often went off by himself to pray. If He considered it important. Why don’t we?

I have seen great servants come into our church full of power because they would spend much time in prayer. The presence of God was very tangible in their meetings and because they took that time with God all except those with hardest of hearts were affected.

When I my wife developed mental illness I became desperate and like Daniel would pray three times a day for an hour each time. The supernatural would flow around me. I could hear God’s voice so clearly and had no doubt about the path I should take. My children began to see angels in our apartment. He also protected us supernaturally when our lives were in danger from violence. I know first hand the power that is there.

What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer. – E. M. Bounds

That is what we need, men and women of prayer. In spending time with God you get to know Him and become like Him. You cannot remain the same when you take the time to pray. It changes you. You see things more clearly and enter into the realm of the supernatural. Love flows from you naturally for those around you. You start to lose attachments to the things of this world. God and your relationship will become so much more important to you than anything else. You will begin to see God move supernaturally on your behalf and of those you have prayed for. As well the temptation to sin will have less of a sway over you.

We cannot afford to not pray. All great revivals in the church came about not by accident but because people chose to pray. The enemy will give you all kinds of excuses why you can’t take that time. Your flesh will cry out against it. You will battle fatigue and interruptions. It won’t be easy, but if you persevere the rewards are great. You will come to enjoy your prayer time and look forward to sitting at Jesus feet each day and you’ll also find that God will arrange your day in such a way that all you needed to do will be accomplished.

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT)

God is looking for those who will spend time with Him. Those who will put aside the business of the day and make Him the priority. Will you be one of them? Will you make the time? Do you want to see the church once again rise up with the power it should have?  It’s up to you. Pray! 

He Will Give His Angels Charge Over You

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
         Even the Most
High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
         Nor shall any plague come
near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
         To keep you in all your
In their hands they shall bear you up,
         Lest you dash your foot
against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
         The young lion and the
serpent you shall trample underfoot. Psalm 91:9-13 (NKJV)

This past week I had an accident that could have killed me
or crippled me for life. I fell backwards, headfirst down a flight of 15
stairs. As I was falling in my mind I was saying, this is it, I’m either going
to die or wind up in the hospital. I wound up on my back at the bottom of the
staircase with my legs resting on the stairs. One of my shoes had come flying
off and I lay there for a few minutes trying to assess what if anything was
broken. Because I have had two knees and a hip replaced due to damage done by
rheumatoid arthritis, I have limited mobility in my left leg. If I fall I am
unable to get up on my own as that leg will not bend enough for to get it under
me and rise.  Fortunately an elderly man
was passing by in his car and came to my aid. He helped me to my feet and asked
me if I needed him to call anybody. I was amazed that aside from a sore butt
and a stinging hand the only thing broken was my reading glasses which somehow
wound up underneath me. I thanked the man and went upstairs. I called my pastor
to let him know what happened.  He prayed
and the pain in my hand left immediately.

I started to think, how was it that after a serious fall
like that, that all I have to show for it is a bruise the size of a medium
sized pancake on my butt? I went down head first and yet my head or my back
managed to avoid any kind of injury. I still can’t figure it out. Even when I
hit the bottom you think my head would have at least smashed into the concrete sidewalk.
Yet there is not a scratch or a bump or any kind of mark. To me it’s simply a
miracle that I avoided serious injury.

A couple of years ago, as I was leading worship I fell off
the platform. Well some say I dived. Lol. The platform was about 2 feet high.
When I lead worship I get excited and can’t stay in one place. I move around a
lot because I believe that body movement is an expression of our worship as
well. In my enthusiasm I didn’t see a misplaced wire at my feet and tripped
over it. Again my thought was this is it, I’m going to get hurt real bad. It’s
funny in a situation like that. There is no panic, just an acceptance of well
this is happening and I have no control over it. I flew forward headfirst, and hit
the concrete floor. People came running forward to get me and help me to my
feet. The only thing that was hurting was my right elbow. So I got right back
up and finished the worship. The congregation told me afterwards that when I
fell it was if it was in slow motion and that I seemed to be caught as I fell.
They say I actually bounced when I hit the floor. There was no major injury and
yet I fell onto a concrete floor and all I had to show for it was a slightly
sore elbow.

I believe that in both cases an angel of God protected me.
It is the only explanation I have.  Because
I have had three joints replaced and bones that have been damaged by arthritis,
I am more susceptible to a serious injury if I fall. It is something I work at
very hard to avoid.

God cares very much for those that are His. How many times
have our lives been in danger only to have God intervene? The enemy hates us
because we belong to Jesus. He is wicked and will do all he can to trip us up
or destroy us. We have no way of knowing the countless times our lives have
been in danger and God sent his angels to protect us without us even being

If you have any testimony about a miraculous supernatural
intervention in your life, I would be interested in hearing about. Please share
your testimony with the group as encouragement for others as well.

May Lord bless you and keep you and give His angels charge
over you.

Gerry Desjardins

The Servant’s House, Lasalle, Quebec, Canada

Things to Pray About For Quebec

Quebec gets very little help from Christian organizations because we are considered civilized. We are not hungry or without homes. So you won’t see our faces on the television much or at missions conventions. Some how selling missions to congregations seem to work better when people are confronted with starving and homeless children. And yet what is most important is the soul and because of that Quebec is indeed starving, not for bread, but for the love and compassion of Jesus reaching out to sin sick souls. In Africa as much as 85% of the people have been reached with the gospel. They are now sending missionaries to North America. In South and Central America the church is growing as never before. In China the underground church is spreading like wildfire and yet here in Quebec there are less people who know Jesus then almost any nation on earth. Some Muslim nations even have a greater Christian population though they must live their faith underground. The cults seem to be more aware of the emptiness that is here in Quebec than most Christians are. So sad!

Here are a few immediate things that need prayer.

1.There is a group of 7 Christian schools that have been seeking a permit to teach a Christian curriculum here in this province. The closer we are getting to the goal, the harder it has been getting. Many are weary and fighting discouragement. Please pray for the workers involved that they would press on not matter what the cost. Pray for protection of their homes and families and those of the students. Pray that God would continue to give us favour with the government. There are a number of students writing provincial exams right now, pray they do well.

2.There are 3 schools that need specific pray,

a) A school in Hudson, Quebec is facing closure because after many years of existence at their location, the city of Hudson has decided that that school doesn’t have the proper zoning and must close. Pray that God would change the hearts of the municipal government or remove them from office and replace them with some who are more favourable towards the school.

b) A school in northern Quebec which is the oldest Christian school in the province faces closure by their own congregation. The pastor is faced with a church split after a number of teachers who teach in the public system sowed discord in that congregation and have convinced many that the school should close.

c) A school in Quebec has had many staff resign. They also lost their French teacher recently when she was killed in a tragic car accident. Pray that God will provide.

3. Municipalities across the province are no longer issuing permits to any new Christian churches and those that close are rezoned for residential areas. And yet many cults and other religions such as Hindus and Muslims are being allowed. Please pray this trend would reverse. The enemy is setting up camp here in a big way and putting up all kinds of roadblocks to the Gospel.

4. Pray for the public school system here. Teachers must teach from materials that they find themselves but within guidelines. In religious and moral classes students will have to participate in actual Muslim and other religions rituals and the rights and practices of even satanic groups such as Wicca. In some cases, depending upon the teacher, they may be even taught how to cast spells.

5. Pray that Christian organizations across the world would start waking up to the fact that Quebec is a large mission field and start investing here.

6. Pray for the churches and workers that are already here in Quebec. Pray for our protection and that God would show us how to reach this population.

Will You Take 5 Minutes a Day to Pray For Quebec?

One of the least evangelized areas of the world is found right in North America. It is strange considering that most of North America seems to be overly saturated with the Gospel, and yet only approximately 2.0% of the population of 7,700,000 knows Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. Included in that number only 0.5% is made up of French evangelicals. It is a province where the Roman Catholic Church dominated all that went on here up until the Quiet Revolution of the 60’s and 70’s when the population turned en mass against the Catholic Religion. The Quiet Revolution was a period of dramatic social and political change that saw the decline of Anglo supremacy in the Quebec economy, the decline of the Roman Catholic Church’s influence, the nationalization of hydro-electric companies under Hydro-Québec and the emergence of a pro-sovereignty movement under former Liberal minister René Lévesque.

It was very much religion that had hold of this province and it had little or nothing to do with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible was kept from the population and you could be excommunicated for reading it. The church also determined who you could and couldn’t marry. My dad who was a Catholic was excommunicated for marrying a Protestant, my mom. My dad’s family cut off all contact with him and we his children were considered bastards by the Catholics. We were not allowed to go to a French school and because of this we attended an English school, thus I am an Anglephone with a French name, Desjardins.

Because of these things and much more many Quebecois have turned their backs on Catholicism and put any form of Christianity in the same boat. At a time when much of Africa and South America are finding Christ, Quebec has become one of the darkest places on the face of the earth.

Quebec has been the most rapidly secularized society in North America. The religious and moral decline that took three generations in English Canada happened in one dizzying generation in Quebec. The toppling of the church’s domination by the Quiet Revolution left a huge moral vacuum.

According to figures from Statistics Canada, the province has the highest percentages for child poverty, divorce, abortion and out-of-wedlock births in Canada. The birth rate is the lowest. Attitudes towards pornography, homosexuality and casual sex are "avant-garde."

Quebec’s suicide rate ranks not only as the highest in Canada, but one of the highest in the industrialized world. The rate of teenage suicides especially continues to rise. New statistics reveal that three times more teenagers are seeing psychiatrists for major depression and mental illness than was the case 10 years ago.

Quebec society is fertile soil for cults, New Age spirituality and interest in psychic phenomena. Several new sects–from belief in Eastern prophets to aliens–have found a home here. One Christian student told me recently that some of her friends, after searching for truth in the Catholic and evangelical church, rejected both and became Muslims. They said the Jesus of the Christians was too weak–they wanted a God who meant business. (Christian Week)(1)

I get discouraged at the number of evangelical groups who will tour Canada and yet completely bypass Quebec. The last time an actual crusade was held in the province was in the 1980’s. At this time the evangelical church has stopped growing and what we see mostly are people migrating from one church to another.

Will you take time to pray for this great area of Canada? Just a few minutes a day is all I am asking. Pray for the churches and the workers here. There are some very strong spirits over this place and things need to change. I know prayer works. Nothing is impossible with God and even in the darkest area a light can burn brightly.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2

(1) http://www.christianweek.org/stories/vol16/no01/province.html