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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

I love to sit on my porch in the mornings as the sun is coming up and watch the dragonflies bob and weave across the lawn, snatching up gnats like winged Pacman’s. The sun’s rays cut across the morning’s chill and catch their weaving flights like illuminated spots of light. They never seem to run out of gnats to pick up; the swarms are renewed every morning. By noon, however, they are all gone, disappearing under the heavy blanket of Texas heat as the sun asserts its dominance on the day.

In some ways, that reminds me somewhat of the Church. How many times has the exciting times that comes with the emergence of the Son in a time of spiritual refreshing slowly settle into the lethargy that comes with the afternoon’s heat. Like a heavy blanket pressing us into drowsiness, time has a way of reducing us into spiritual slumber.

As our fervor begins to wane, our prayer life becomes conversational, formal, and polite whereas it was once full of outrageous passion and fire.  Services go from fiery calls for repentance and the fear of God to intellectual messages on theology and how we should live our mediocre lives. Altars for repentance, which used to be called “the Mourner’s Bench”, now have become havens for “pity lines” for the sins we never seem to overcome. We are encouraged to be nice to one another by “feel good” ministries whose reputations are bolstered by their best selling book rather than their prophetic effectiveness to call the people of God to repentance. (Jer. 23: 22)

“And my people love to have it so …” (Jer. 5:31)

Jeremiah makes the point that false prophets of peace and safety flourish in times like these. Prosperity is the ensign that our leaders wave in their pursuit of wealth so that they can show how God has “blessed” them (1 Tim. 6:5). We love the comfort of settling into a soft gospel that lulls us to sleep like the heat of a Texas afternoon. We are satisfied; we are comfortable; and we feel blessed.

Several years ago, I pleaded with God for the people in the American church. As I was wrestling in prayer, I cried out, “But God, they are really nice people!”  There was that ominous pause like what you feel before a storm breaks, and then the Lord answered me directly in words, “I will spue the lukewarm out of my mouth … and you think they’re nice?”  Ouch.

We are in desperate need of revival. The problem is that as the Church slides deeper into apostasy, they are less and less able to see it in themselves. There has to come a spiritual earthquake to wake them up. The deeper we fall asleep, the more we need a revival, the greater the calamity that is needed to awaken us.

“Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season:” (Jer. 5:24)

No revival comes without repentance. The harvest will not come without the former and latter rain (Joel 2:23), and they won’t come without our prayer life being gripped with the fear of the Lord to crack our knees in abject, heartfelt repentance. The kind that moves mountains.

Jonathan in 1 Sam. 14 had his earthquake after all Israel had fled because he climbed the mountain that was before him on his knees to engage the enemy and fight. We need to take on his same faith and tenacity to fight for the people of God and climb that mountain which is before us. If we won’t fight, who will?

It’s another hot, sultry dog day afternoon in Texas. The temperature is hitting 100 degrees and the heat smothers you. Tomorrow morning the air will be fresh and cool again and the dragonflies will be back, zooming around like dive bombers playing in the rays of morning sun, but then by noon, that oppressive heat will be back again, draining the life out of the rest of the day.

Lord, we need it to rain.

Brother Dale

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“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5:17-18)

I did four messages on YouTube under “Dale Garris” about the Secret of Answered Prayer. I need to do another one on the effect of sin on prayer and on the power of praise in prayer. The importance of these things in getting answers to prayer is not always well understood in many churches.

But I also need to do one on passion. Passion is the element in prayer that really gets a hold of God and moves Him. I’m talking about a “Garden of Gethsemane” type of passion, a “how-bad-do-you-want-it” kind of passion.

I’m mentioning this because I just received a phone call from Pastor William Iddi who has gone on a 30-day fast with just water for God to send me to his church in Tanzania. Now that’s passion!

He did this once before and God moved for him.

He heard me preach in Nairobi about ten years ago, and started asking me to come to his little village in Tanzania. My standard answer has always been to these requests is, “Don’t ask me. Go ask God. He makes all my appointments.”

So he did.

For seven days, he laid up on top of a mountain, sleeping on the rocks, no food or water, praying for God to send Brother Dale to his village. Seven days! But he did not get an answer.

So he went back up to the top of the mountain for another seven days. Still no answer.

So he went up a third time, and this time, the Lord spoke to him and said, “Stop your crying. He’s coming.”

Down he runs from the mountain to find that his cell phone is jammed with messages from me asking where he was. God had stopped me dead in my tracks and told me to go minister to prayer warrior and his church. It would not have mattered if he had been on an outpost in Antarctica. When the Lord says go, you go, asking no questions and doubting nothing.

I don’t have that kind of passion. I mean, geez! Three seven-day fasts! That’s a substantive confidence that God will answer you and a holy boldness to hammer away until He does. And that is true faith – not that you believe God will answer you, but that you will stay there and contend before the Throne of Grace until He does!

Remember the Unjust Judge.

Not everyone is able to muster up that kind of passion like Pastor Iddi. That is why prayer warriors – true prayer warriors – are so precious. They know they can move God because they have done it before. Their passion grows with each victory, and the power that they wield in battle grows as they tear down strongholds, rip open new pathways, and triumph in the battleground of prayer.

May we all find that same passion in prayer, like Elijah and like Pastor Iddi, to call down the fire of God and send the latter rain of the greatest revival of all time.

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The Secret to Answered Prayer

I am doing a series of messages on Youtube about the secret to answered prayer (https://youtu.be/UVMC-Z3LebQ). Basically, I went to 4 different passages in the Bible that deal with prayer and the promises that God gives us if we follow His conditions. Those conditions are to keep His commandments, to sow mercy on the lost, and to dive deeply into His Spirit. Pretty simple stuff.

In the midst of this, the Lord reminded me that, above all things, He is still sovereign. Sometimes He doesn’t do what you want Him to do when you want Him to do it and the way you want it done. And sometimes, just about when you think you have it all figured out, it can make you wonder how everything is supposed to work. I have prayed my guts out and watched nothing happened, and I have barely whispered some quick mutterings over a group of women and watched them all get healed. Go figure.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that, God prefers to move within the bounds of Creation. It is when He cannot that he will shatter the glass dome of the supernatural to do miracles.

I have seen the supernatural at work hundreds of times, so I expect a miracle when I pray … but a lot of times it just doesn’t happen no matter how hard I pray. And that is where faith steps in and takes over.

Presumption is proclaiming that God is going to do all kinds of things for you, but faith leaves it in His hands and trusts Him for the solution.

A huge difference.

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