Praying Father

Job 1:5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

There are many biological fathers. To become one takes no character or heart. But, great is the man who has the heart of a father for his children.

When we think of Job we think of all of the possessions he lost and then his children were killed. But when you read verse 5 you realize that losing his children would have knocked the breath out of him. This was a father who not only provided for his children but took much effort to regularly offer up a sacrifice for each one of them just in case they had thought something wrong.

As a child I always heard about praying mothers and on Mothers Day we would sing the song “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” thank God for praying mothers. But where are the praying fathers like Job. Fathers who will intercede for their children on a regular basis. Not that the prayer of a mother does not work, but the prayer of a father is a missing element.

It is said that Hallmark donated Mothers Day cards to a prison one year and they ran out of cards. So, for Fathers Day they made sure that they had enough, but only three were taken. It was evident that these men didn’t have praying fathers, or at least fathers who cared about even what their children were thinking.

Back to Job. Now, you can fully understand the pain in his loss. Not only did he lose possessions but he lost the children of his heart.

What was the result of Job’s faithful intercessions? Verse 10 says that a hedge was built around his household.


He Did Not Depart From The Tabernacle

In His Presence

In His Presence

Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

This is one of the most important pictures in scripture depicting relationship with God.

Moses had a friendship with God.

Moses spoke to God face to face.

For me, the most important picture is the one over in the corner. It is not the focus. It often goes unnoticed. It’s what is going on with Joshua.

You see, unlike Moses, there is not much written of Joshua’s relationship with God. He was a warrior and the second leader of Israel. He led Israel into their promised land to conquer it.

But, this verse establishes the heart of Joshua. He was not of the priestly tribe of Levi that Moses was from. He was not their national leader. He is young and by this point has played two very important roles; he led Israel into their first fight to defend themselves against and enemy and went with Moses to the Mountain of God.

Notice what is in this verse. It would seem that Joshua followed Moses into the temporary tabernacle that was built before the Tabernacle of Moses was built. He was off to the side while Moses and God had their conversation. But, when business was concluded Moses left but Joshua stayed. Let’s just ask some questions:

  • Why did Joshua stay behind?
  • What was his motive?
  • The verse said that he did not leave the tabernacle. How long did he stay? All day long?
  • Did he and God talk too?
  • Was this the first time he did this and was it the last?

Now, put yourself in Joshua’s place. How long would you stay? What would you talk with God about?

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The Principle of Asking

images-13Matthew 6:8 . . . For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

There is a very important principle in God’s word that is tightly threaded throughout the whole Bible. It is the principle of asking before you receive.

There is a key word in this verse that can not be overlooked. Jesus said that God knows our need. Not only does He know it, but he was aware of it long before you were. Yet, because Jesus said that the Father knows the need before we “ask,” it implies that we will be asking.

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will given to you . . .” Matthew 7:7

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in My name . . .” John 14:13

Jesus said, “If you ask anything in My name . . .” John 14:14

Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire . . .” John 15:7

Jesus said, “. . . that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16

Jesus said, “Until now you have asked me nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

Although God said that He would send the much needed rain (1 Kings 18:1), Elijah still had to ask for it (1 Kings 18:41-45).

Although Jeremiah had prophesied that God would deliver Judah from the Babylonian captivity within 70 years, Daniel still prayed in order for it to happen (Daniel 9).

The principle still remains. If you are in need, just ask Him and let God take care of you.

The Lord Is One

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

This is known as the “Shema,” the first part of the central prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)  of the Jewish prayerbook. It is often the first scripture that a jewish boy will learn.

In these six Hebrew words there are two enlarged letters, one in the first word and the second in the last word. The two letters are “Ayin” and “Dalet.” These two letters form the word “ed” which means witness, suggesting that this prayer is a witness of God.

Second, the word for one is the Hebrew word “echad” which means unity in diversity. Ezekiel used this word to represent two sticks reunited into one (Ezekiel 37:19). In Exodus 26:6 this word was used to describe all of the parts of the Tabernacle making up one Tabernacle.

Could this be another example of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being One?

Longing for the Wilderness Experiences

In The Wilderness

In The Wilderness

Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

All of my life I have been taught that spiritual wilderness walking was something to be feared. It was recognized by lonely times, moments that God felt so far way.

We often relate the wilderness to spiritual hunger and thirst, doing without, wondering with no direction. But, is it really.

  • Was it not in the wilderness that God gave Israel their first laws as a new nation?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel never had to worry about hunger again because of God’s Manna that He sent them?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel’s clothes never became thread bare?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that God was always visible to Israel as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Never in their history was God ever so close to them visibly.

It is true that all but two of the first generation out of Egypt died in the wilderness. But when we are spending time in God’s presence, learning during lean times how faithful He is to provide – that is when the desires of Egypt can be conquered and our Independence can be placed in check.

Jesus often went into the wilderness to pray. His 40 day fasting took place in the wilderness. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness.

The promise land is wonderful, but let’s not forget what can be accomplished back in the wilderness.

That leads me to another question as food for thought. If Israel moving into the promise land represents heaven, as so many songs suggest, then where were there so many battles taking place in the promise land in order to conquer the land?

Alexander Peden

Alexander Peden was born in 1626. He died in 1686 and never married. In all Scottish literature he is known as Prophet Peden. He prophesied things about nations that came to pass. He was always running from the law because of the message he preached. He preached that Jesus was the head of the Church and the English Church said that the King was the head of the church. This mask and wig pictured here is what he often wore to evade the soldiers and are on display in a British museum.

He never had a home but had to always be moving around. He always seemed to know how long he could stay at a home before the authorities came after him. He was famous for this.

One night, in his old age, the soldiers were behind him on horseback catching up to him and he cried out to God. He always referred to himself as “poor old Sandy.” He looked up to heaven and said, “Oh Lord, would you just through you cloak over poor old Sandy?” All of a sudden a fog rolled in, covering up the horsemen. It was so thick that the English could not see one another let alone Alexander Peden.

One time he was caught and imprisoned for just over 4 years. There a young girl that looked through his prison cell and mocked him. And Peden told her that she only had a few hours left to live. Within two to three hours she was washed off the island they were on.

A guard, shortly after that, looked through is prison door and mocked him. Peden told him that not long from now the Spirit of the Lord will fall on you and you will change your mind. It was reported that in less than an hour the guard began to weep and was converted.

In 1682 he officiated the wedding a very godly Scottish couple, John Brown and Isabella Weir. John Brown was farmer but very godly, always helping the persecuted pastors and prophets. Following the ceremony he took Isabella aside and told her, “Today, you have gotten a good man. Prize his company highly. For you shall not enjoy him very long. When you least expect it he will come to a bloody end. Always keep a linen burial sheet close by, because you will be needing it.” What a wedding day prophecy. Every day she thanked God for another day she had John Brown and treasured that relationship.

By 1685 they had two children, a baby boy and a girl almost 2 years old. It was the night of April 30, 1685, Alexander Peden came to their house to spend the night. Early in the morning, before the sun was up, he was heard going out the door saying, “Poor woman, a dark misty morning, Poor woman.”

At 6:00 a.m. John was out in his field when a troop of English soldiers was led by John Graham of Claverhouse, came up and arrested him. John Graham has gone down in history as simply “Claverhouse.” He brought John back to his house and asked him, “Will you repent of your conviction the Christ is the head of the church rather than the King of England?”

Standing beside John Brown was his wife, who was holding the baby, and their little girl. And John Brown said, “No, I will not.”

Then Claverhouse said, “Well, then say your prayers for you shall immediately die.”

John Brown dropped to his knees and he began to pray. Then he stood back up and looked down at Isabelle and said, “Isabelle, you see me, shortly, summoned before the court of our Redeemer, to be a witness in his cause. Are you willing that I should be parted from you?”

Isabelle looked into his eyes and said, “Hartley willing.”

He took her into his arms and he kissed her. Then he kissed his baby boy that was in her arms. Then he knelt down beside his two year old girl. He took her by the hand and said, “My sweet child, always put your hand in God’s hand as your guide. And be a comfort to your mother.”

Then he stood up and he looked up to heaven and said, “Blessed be thou oh Holy Spirit who speaketh more comfort to my heart than the voice of my oppressors can speak terror to my ears.”

This enraged Claverhouse and he order six of his soldiers to shoot John Brown on the spot, but the soldiers remained motionless. They would not draw their weapons. They could not kill someone who love his God that much, who loved his wife that much, who was willing to lay down his life for his God and who had no unkind words for his enemies.

Claverhouse drew his own pistol and shot John Brown right through the head. Brown fell crumpled at the feet of his wife.

Isabelle took off her apron and knelt down and rapped his shattered head with it. Claver house asked her, “Well woman, what thinkest thou now of thy husband?”

Isabelle looked up and she said, “I have always thought well of him, but never more than at this moment.

It was now 7:00 a.m. and Alexander Peden was 11 miles away. He was entering the gate of his friend, John Muirhead’s house. He banged on the door and asked the family to gather around the fireplace with him. He knelt down and said, “Oh Lord, Let the blood of Brown be precious in Thy sight. How long before Thou wilt avenge the blood of John Brown.”

Muirhead grabbed him by the arm and asked him, “What are you talking about?”

Peden said, “This morning, just as the sun was rising, I saw a strange thing in the sky. I saw a bright and shining star fall to the earth. Truly this day, the greatest Christian I have ever conversed has fallen. Claverhouse has been at Priesthill this morning and he has shot John Brown dead and his widow, Isabelle, kneels at his corps with no one to speak comfort to her.

Back at Priesthill the soldiers had all gone. Isabelle gets up and she walks into the house and she gets the linen burial sheet that she has reserved for this very day, since the day of her wedding. And she goes over to the body, and with a shattered heart she begins to wrap the body in that linen burial sheet. But her heart was not shattered over wasted days. She made the most of every day with John because God used a man to prepare of this day.

Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, 1998

The Fulfilling of Scripture by Robert Flemming, 1668

Martin Boehm

Henry Boehm

Henry Boehm

Martin Boehm was born in 1725 and lived in Lancaster, PA where he was a farmer and was appointed as pastor of his Mennonite parish. But something began to happen at prayer meetings in his home and he was asked to leave. These prayer meetings would have as many as 50 to 100 people packed into their farm house.

Here is an excerpt found in his son’s book, Henry Boehm, which is listed below. His son lived 100 years and traveled with Francis Asbury and records some outstanding works of God. The book can still be purchased at where the family has had it republished.

“Mr Abbott wrote his life, and in it he describes his visit to my father’s, his preaching, and the wonderful results that followed.  I prefer he should give it in his own peculiar style.

At Boehm’s we found a large congregation.  When I came to my application the power of the Lord came in such a manner that the people fell all about the house, and their cries might be heard afar off. This alarmed the wicked, who sprang for the doors in such haste that they fell over one another in heaps.  The cry of mourners was so great that I though to give out a hymn to drown the noise, and desired one of the English friends to raise it; but as soon as he began to sing the power of the Lord struck him, and he pitched under the table, and there lay like a dead man.  I gave it out again, and asked another to raise it.  As soon as he attempted he fell also.  I then made the third attempt, and the power of God came upon me in such a manner that I cried out and was amazed.  I then saw that I was fighting against God, and did not attempt to sing again.

Mr Boehm, the owner of the house, and a preacher among the Germans, cried out, ‘I never saw God in this way before.’  I replied, ‘This is Pentecost, father.’  ‘Yes, be sure,’ said he, clapping his hands, ‘pentecost, be sure.’  Prayer was all through the house, up stairs and down.  I desired Mr Boehm to go to prayer.  He did so, and five or six of us did the same.

…seeing no prospect of this meeting being over, although it had begun at eleven o’clock (am), I told Mr Boehm we had best quietly withdraw from the meeting-house.  When we had got out of the door a young man came out and laid hold upon the fence to support himself from falling and there cried amain for God to have mercy upon him.  ‘To be sure,’ said Mr Boehm, ‘I never saw God in this way before.’

I took the old gentleman by the arm, and we went quietly to the house to get some dinner.  About five o’clock a messenger came from the preaching house requesting that I would go there immediately, for there was a person dying.  We went without delay.  I went up stairs, and there lay several about the floor in like manner.  I then went to see the person said to be dying.  She lay gasping.  I knelt down to pray, but it was instantly given me that God had converted her soul, and therefore, instead of praying for her deliverance, I gave God thanks that he had delivered her, and immediately she arose and praised God for what he had done for her soul.

…In the morning I found the people were still engaged, and had been all night.

We set out with about forty friends to the next appointment.  The people being gathered, after singing and prayer I began to preach, and God laid to his helping hand.  Many cried aloud for mercy. One young man being powerfully wrought upon retired up stairs, and then thumped about on the floor, so that Mr Boehm was afraid that he would be injured in body.  ‘To be sure,’ said he, ‘I never saw God work in this way before.’…”

Boehm’s Reminiscences, by Henry Boehm; 1865, p20-24

By the way, this is a relative of mine of which I am proud of.