The Breadth of God’s Love


This last Thursday I gave the closing prayer at the Stand and Pray Georgia event at the State Capitol ( There I reiterated what I believe that God has been saying to me since 2008, that revival will NOT occur in our land, UNTIL it occurs in Christian’s hearts, and that it isn’t occurring in our land, tells us that IT ISN’T occurring in our hearts.

So let me ask a question: Does God love us enough to, metaphorically, “take us out to the woodshed?” Before you say yes, consider what I saw this morning…

This morning’s passage reminded me of the events of the last few days. No one doubts that God loves us right? But here’s the question, how much does He love us? In fact, how far is He willing to go to show us Godly Fatherly love? I was reminded of this while reading Joel 2:13. It was the last phrase of the verse that caught my eye afresh, “He relents from sending calamity.” (NIV)

Here’s the context of the verse in the New American Standard:

Return with All Your Heart
12“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. 14Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?

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The end of verse 13 means that, “He relents from sending calamity.” (NIV) So, if He relents at sending calamity, or “relents from sending disaster.” (HCSB), then what does that tell you of His relationship to disaster? As hard as this may be to hear, it tells us that 2 Chronicles 7:13 is TRUE! That God sends natural disasters, things that badly impact our finances and pestilences upon our body.

Now, this article isn’t long enough to discuss two questions that come up, 1) God sending things versus God allowing things in our lives; and 2) that verse 14 of Second Chronicles 7 ISN’T a prayer! 2 Chronicles 7:14 is what we are TO DO, BEFORE God will listen to us. Just look at verse 15 where He says, “NOW I will listen to what you have to say.” Here is the point of these two questions that I can’t get into, the authority of the Word. The Word HAS to be taken into account. Words have meaning, and so we cannot deny the clear wording of scripture, when we don’t like what they say.

Moving on, I believe that the same Old Testament passages above, are told in Romans 1, where God says that because people choose to worship something other than Him (Romans 1:23,25) He turned them over to their lusts (Romans 1:24). But their guilt was not restricted to sexual disobedience. Look at verses 29-31:

They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. (Romans 1:29-31)

In the last half of Romans 1 God is against, SOMEBODY. So, who, or whom is He against? The answer is that God is “against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people” (Romans 1:18m). The rest of the verse then says what godlessness and unrighteousness in people causes. Namely, they suppress the truth (Romans 1:18e). I would say it this way, “the outcome of their godlessness and unrighteousness is that ‘by their unrighteousness [they] suppress the truth.'” Romans 1:18

Stick with me now as I make this jump…

Isn’t THIS the reason we need revival? We need revival IN OUR CHURCHES because the people OUTSIDE of the church that know us, our kin, coworkers, neighbors, etc. They know us, and our unrighteousness in front of them suppresses the truth of God!

Let me say it this way, do those who are our kin, coworkers, neighbors, etc. who know us, who really know us, do they want our Jesus? By and large, NO! That is why we need revival, to revive US, you and I, in the church!

And that is why God loves us enough to metaphorically, “take us out to the woodshed” to get our attention, so that WE WILL CHANGE.

Friends, our problems ARE NOT out yonder, they are right here, in your heart and mine.


Mark S Mirza
Founder/Speaker Common Thread Ministries
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ThePrayersBook1BusCardsIt is a book that I wrote to teach prayer, but in the format of a “fun-read.” I hope that you’ll take the time to consider learning from Thales, the nephew of Epaphras (Colossians 4:12), Alexander Rich, an itinerant preacher and friend of D. L. Moody, and Dr. Dale Riley, a modern day coach and leader of his church’s men’s prayer ministry.

I have “leaked” information from the book here in this SWAY that I have done for this book. Click here. I promise to add more “leaks.”

To pre-purchase at significant savings, click here.



I am so excited to share with you that this book is going to be released before Christmas. It is, of course, a book that will teach prayer, through the lives of these “unlikely” prayer heroes. They are dealing with problems that you and I can relate to, BUT, unlike most of us, they deal with their “Troubles” through prayer, teaching us prayer principles.

Over the next few weeks I will release portions of the book. I am already completed with most of the outline of “Book 2 – Spiritual Warfare” which I cannot wait to get started writing.

If you are wondering if the story-line is interesting, let me quote a friend of mine, “Mark, do Alexander Rich and Gretchen get together?” I just smiled at him.

Enter into the story
of 3 prayer heroes
from 3 historic prayer eras
on 2 continents
with 1 nine foot tall Angel
and a handful of demons

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Mark S Mirza

Common Thread Ministries

Praying in the New Year with The Godfather II

A reminder of our prayers at the end of each year…

Rent Hearts

Psalm 51:17 (HCSB) The sacrifice [which is] pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise [or turn away] a broken and humbled heart.

  • Movie:…..Godfather II
    • Michael Corleone grips Fredo by the cheeks and looks into his eyes and says, “Fredo, you broke my heart.”
      • We look at a broken heart as something to stay away from, something to run from, as Fredo did.
  • Background for Today’s Prayer:
    • Does God hear your prayers?
    • 1 Peter 3:7 tells us that if there is anything between you and your spouse your prayers will be hindered.
    • Proverbs 28:9 tells us that sin keeps our prayers from being heard.
    • As we begin this new year, let’s get serious about sin in our lives.
  • Today’s Prayer:

Lord, as we come to You, thinking about this new year, Oh Lord we want You to hear our prayers. So Father, show us where our hearts need to be broken before You. Lord, we know that the sacrifice You want is a broken, a contrite, a humbled heart. Lord we know that You will NEVER turn aside a humbled heart. Thank You for that promise Father.

To see all five of these prayers click here.

Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries

Common Thread Ministries

Praying For The Elections


Yesterday on FB I had the opportunity to express my views on how and why I believe we should pray for the elections. Those of you who have heard me speak on this subject know that my ideas are not necessarily what we want to hear. Of course I do not share this to make you angry, I’m just sharing what I believe the Lord is laying on my heart.

So here it is in a nutshell; If you want to pray Biblically for the elections, then ask for forgiveness, and mercy.

I believe that we, the Christians in the USA are being judged by God…NOT the unsaved. Us, HIS CHURCH, we are the ones being judged. Peter made it clear when he said that Judgment Begins in the Church House (1 Peter 4:17)…And I would add, not the White House. Further, if Romans 13:1-2 are true, then the ones in authority are there because GOD Has Put Them THERE, not because somehow “His will was thwarted!”

I think that God is longing for us, His people, to INDIVIDUALLY seek Him for complete forgiveness, but NOT ONLY forgiveness, we need to also forsake (or turn from) our sins! We have spent too long asking for forgiveness, but not forsaking our sins. It will only be then, that I will be able to call upon Him to be merciful to us as a nation. I do not believe that I can ask ANYTHING for my nation, while there is sin in my life, personally.

I was in Kenya recently and was asked about some of the BIG sins that we are “accepting” in the church. I responded with, “Scripture is clear what it says about all sins. Our problem in the USA is that we do not forsake the “little” sins IN OUR LIVES. And because we are not faithful (we don’t care) about the “little” sins, we are not faithfully forsaking the “bigger” sins.

I personally do not think that God is interested in “blessing” the land where I walk, and live, until I seek Him for forgiveness, forsaking sin in my life, personally.

What I’ve stated above, is, I believe, the real meaning of 2 Chronicles 7:14. We quote that verse as if IT IS the prayer, but that verse is simply God telling us what to do, BEFORE He’ll listen to us. In verse 15 He says, “NOW I will listen to your prayers!” And while we’re at it, let’s look at verse 13, where God says, basically, “IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING natural disasters, IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING the things that impact your income, IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING illnesses…” God is the One sovereignly orchestrating events! So while I may or may not agree with what is done in our congressional halls, my Saviour is bringing and allowing these things, because He wants MY ATTENTION. And I believe the reason He wants my attention, is because He wants me focused on cleaning up MY LIFE. And right now, He wants me to repent!

Finally, why does He want repentance FIRST, before we pray for His mercy? Because sin has an impact on our prayer life. Your sin, and my sin separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). When sin is in my life, my prayers will not penetrate the clouds above me (Lamentations 3:44). If there is anything between my spouse and me, my prayers will not be heard (1 Peter 3:7). Unfortunately I could go on and on about sin having an impact on our prayer life. Remember that John was concerned enough about sin to give the Christians 1 John 1:9.

Do you want to pray Biblically for the elections? Then ask for forgiveness, and mercy.


Mark S Mirza

Common Thread Ministries





Our latest book is being presold at significant savings.

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Mark S Mirza

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (43 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:19-20 (NASB)
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Matthew 5:23-26 (NASB)
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25  Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

Father, we so often stray from the truth in ways that are more subtle to us that we realize. Forgive us Father, as a nation and as Your church, for not helping others reconcile with their brethren. Cause us Lord to see, with discernment, how we can help our brother, by encouraging him to make right, a bad relationship that he keeps ignoring. In the Name of Your Son, the great Reconciler, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (42 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:15-16 (NASB)
15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Matthew 6:12-15 (NASB)
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] 14  For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Father, You have so clearly shown that the words we speak to one another are so important. Lord, we have forgotten that what comes out of our mouths are what is in our hearts (Matthew 15:19). Father, forgive us as a nation and as Your church for not realizing that our ineffective prayers are due to our unrighteous lives. Cause us Lord to be delivered from evil, forgiving others of their transgressions, just as we expect You to do the same for us. In the Name of Your Son, who took all of our sins, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (41 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:12b (NASB)
12 …or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

Matthew 5:37 (NASB)
37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

Lord, so closely tied with the idea of “swearing an oath” is the idea of our words, “Yes, Yes,” or “No, no!” Father, forgive us as a nation and as Your church for NOT being trustworthy. So many of us, in the church, can not be relied upon, with our words and promises. Cause us Lord to be pricked in our heart, and to no longer be untrustworthy, but to in fact be counted upon, when we say, “Yes,” or No.” In the Name of Your Son, who died and promised to build us rooms in heaven, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (40 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:12a (NASB)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth…

Matthew 5:34 (NASB)
34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

Lord, we have become a nation and a church where the idea of the oath is something that we do simply because  it is what someone wants to hear. Father, cause us to live a life, that is, in itself, an oath of trustworthiness. Father, it does not matter what we swear, if our life does not exemplify our oath. Thank You Lord that You see the heart, and judge our motives. In the Name of Him who died for all, amen.

Common Thread Ministries