Prayer is Real

Prayer is a spiritual discipline I could never live without. I am a firm believer and practicer of prayer, knowing and experiencing myself that it works.

Prayer is so wonderfully taught by Jesus as a tool for many purposes.

It is one way of blessing your enemies:

Matthew 5:44-45 (KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

It is one way of communing with your Father:

Matthew 6:6 (KJV) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

It is one way of advancing God’s Kingdom on Earth:

Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

It is one way of multiplying labourers for the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 9:37-38 (KJV) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

It is one way of casting out demons:

Matthew 17:21 (KJV) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

It is one way of receiving from God:

Matthew 21:22 (KJV) all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Regarding if God has answered any of my prayers, yes, He has answered yes to many, no to some, and wait for the most.

We prayed for my uncle so he could walk normally without relying for some support. That was, after receiving a vision from God to pray for him to walk. After praying for him, he walked normally! Praise God!

I did not review well enough for my Board Exam for Professional Teaching, because I prioritized the ministry. God granted that I pass with a high score after praying.

We prayed for an old woman who was near blind. After praying, she could walk well in the dark without any guidance! Hallelujah!

We prayed for some sick babies and after the prayers, immediately, the fever left them!

We prayed in thanksgiving for a meal in a table, though there was no meal present. After the prayer, a friend knocked in the door and gave a meal.

After several days of prayer and fasting, I was freed from the spirit of fear that was holding me back to witness to my family. After receiving a certain vision, I ended my fasting and I was freed from the gripping fear.

A veterinary nurse declared my girl puppy to be dead. I got the puppy after an hour, wrapped in an airtight plastic. After praying and crying, the dead puppy girl was resurrected to life!

I still have many real life samples of how God answers prayers, from the smallest to the biggest ones. But the greatest benefit of prayer to me though, is close communion with God.

Seek God’s Face – An Open Letter

Prayer is basically a hungry soul reaching out to God in hot and earnest fervor.

My child,

Let me tell you a story.

It was the year 2004, I was sitting and occasionally facedown on my bed, asking God in prayer, “Lord, what is the heart of worship?” After some minutes of fervent asking, He replied and whispered strongly to my spirit, “It is knowing the greatness of God and your nothingness.” I was awed and literally speechless for around five minutes. The greatness of God and my nothingness; that God is everything and I am nothing.

It is really true that if you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him (Deu. 4:29), and that if you call upon Him He will reveal wonderful things beyond your thinking (Jer. 33:3). The best advice that I could give you is, Seek God’s face (Psa. 27:8). Pursue His Glory. Always pray with the heart of Moses, “Lord I beseech Thee, show me Thy Glory.” (Exo. 33:18)

Always pray that God will show Himself more. Never be contented with what you have now of God. Always desire for the more of His. I mean not His gifts, but God Himself, for God Himself is the greatest treasure, God Himself is our first inheritance. That’s why the Levites and the priests in Moses’s days didn’t have a portion of the land, for the Lord Himself is their inheritance – for God desires that they might be satisfied only in God, not in any other things (Num. 18:20; Eze. 44:28). That is very important, for the Levites and the priests were the first among His many servantsif you want to be a minister to God and to His people, you should have God at the center of your heart – God should be your first and only portion and inheritance. That is different from having many portions and having God at the first; no, you should have only God. It does not mean that you love not other blessings like the family or ministry, but, it means that when your heart seeks and treasures God, you treasure Him only. That is what it means to seek God with an undivided heart.  Loving God that way will also transform your love for others in a more Biblical and God-centered way, increasing your love for others. That is why the first commandment is loving God fully, and the second one, loving others founded on that love of God. (Matt. 22:37-39) In short, God becomes the center of your love for your family, God becomes the center of your love for the ministry, etc. Your life and love become God-centric.

From my observations and understanding of the Bible, I could say that much of the Church is not living up to the standards of God. Why? For two things. First, they are not experiencing God enough. Secondly, arising from the first one, is that they have substituted God’s ways with the ways of man and have become contented with that sorrowful condition. If they experienced God enough in their hearts, they would have forsaken the ways of the world and have not incorporated them in the activities, plans, and systems of the Church.

And why is it that most of the God’s people are not experiencing God enough? We don’t have that full-hearted love for God. We do not love God fully. We do not seek Him with an undivided heart. Again my advice, and the commandment from the mouth of God, “Seek Me with all your heart.” (Psa. 27:8)

If you seek God with all your heart, He will reveal wonderful things to you. He will begin to open up His heart to you in a much more personal level, in a much deeper way, and you will experience what He promised as a friendship-relationship with the Master. (John 15:15) Not all Christians have this kind of relationship with Jesus.

As He reveals wonderful things to you, you will get to know more of His heart, more of His standards, His likes and dislikes, and you will begin to receive directions from Him. Here comes the call to obedience – take the risk and obey, though many may not understand you, and most will not at first.

But you should obey. Obedience to God is like using a flashlight on a very dark night. The light is not used on long distances, rather, on just a few steps ahead of you. The light is His Word and His direction. The more you obey and walk, the further and longer the light will keep on guiding you. If you stop in walking and obeying, then the light will stop on going further. Remember what you did last Sunday in worship? It must not stop there. Surely God has revealed other things to do. Just keep on obeying. Do not stop. Take the risk for God!

Remember, God is also speaking the same things on some people around you. You are not alone, as it often seemed to be. God has reserved some. You must take courage, the more you obey, the more they will take courage too and the more they will also try to obey.

God is looking for His children who will be bold to take His things seriously. God is looking for the few whom He could use to restore true worship and service in the Church. He could use even the weakest in the Church – if only even the weakest is willing to obey at all costs, at all risks. Again, when you do His ministry, do not be persuaded by the rules and systems of the Church, but only by His Holiness, Love, and Majesty. The rules and systems themselves are not holy, only God is holy. If you seek and respond rightly to the holiness of God, then your actions in the ministry and in everyday life will far surpass the systems and standards of the Church.

Most of the systems and rules of the Church have adopted the ways of the world. Our services, worship, preaching, and other ministries are very much acting like marketing corporations. We target the ears, the psychological mind, and the manly-pleasures of the people. We do not really aim for the salvation of the lost and the strengthening of the Church. Our actions of glorifying God fall short of His standards. We must break free from this. We serve the Holy God, and not anything or anyone else.

God desires to restore true worship and service. Let us all heed God’s call.

May God in His mercy and grace help us all.

Bro. Francis S. Hernandez

This Summer will be Better than Last Year’s

What will summer be like for me this time?
What will summer be like for me this time?

Last year’s summer was a frustrating one, and history will not repeat itself this time.

I was so eaten up by the internet, movies, and other non-living stuffs that last year of summer’s  opportunity and privilege to hear from God was robbed from me. It was a tragic mistake, and it choked my life for the next whole year thereafter. It led me to wrong decisions and missed chances of service. It also took away some nice relationships.

And it’s summer again in the Philippines. It is still hurting me to remember that frustration, and all the aches it caused me. This time should be different, and that is my resolve.

I remember at this moment a nice thought from Facedown, a worship book from Matt Redman. It says that if we would like to hear from God, then we must ‘free’ ourselves from this busy world. we should go up higher and higher to relieve ourselves from the gigantic noises of this world to hear the silent and soft whisper of God.

A big challenge for me. No movies, no TV, no texting, and as much as possible, no internet. Ouch! Yes, that would really touch the most sensitive parts of my life.

But I have to do that. REALLY. That is my only chance of hearing from God. It would buy me some valuable time to pray, fast, reflect, and meditate on His Word.

God help me.