Quick Access-1

Nairoi Background

Below are some quick access links to some items you’ll find interesting:

Prayer Boot Camp SWAY:
https://sway.com/qfjb6fOtAaI0HF5X

  • A pictorial view of the Prayer Boot Camps thus far

Kenya SWAY:
https://sway.com/HAs-zyFJv9y6hyW9

  • A pictorial view of my last trip to Kenya

Kenya Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmv2J0u_jU0

  • A 5 minute video looking at previous Kenyan visits

Worry SWAY:
https://sway.com/S0wnXS8F1wUeP9Tm

  • This is a quick SWAY I did on worry, with a 3 minute video

Have a great day,and I hope that these are helpful.

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker
Mark@CTMPrayer.org

Kenyan Ministry Growth Pains

kenyaministryteam-2015-webresFrom my first visit I became burdened for the elderly, retired pastors. I’ll never forget the retired pastor who came up to me, NOT to ask me for money, but to ask me to remember him, for as with nearly all retired pastors, they have no money.

Well, we plan to engage them, the retired pastors, to marshal other elderly individuals in their towns and villages.

I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night and recorded some thoughts that have been reverberating in my heart for awhile. Let me share my late night writing with you below:

My Kenyan Burden

God is opening doors in Kenya where we are rebuilding the foundations of prayer in men and women EVERYWHERE we go. We are now working to disciple retired pastors who in turn will marshal the elderly into prayer cells:

  • It is interesting that the dictionary defines “marshal” as, “to gather or organize people or things, especially in order to achieve a particular aim

And what is that aim? To rebuild the foundations of prayer in the ones who, with their life experiences, SHOULD BE our prayer warriors, the elderly.

This next paragraph is so far out of my comfort zone that I am struggling to write it, but I am, because I really believe the Lord laid this on my heart.

We would be honored if some of you would commit to supporting Kenya monthly. If you do, we’d like to do the following:

  1. Send you a personally signed copy of Mark’s novel, “The Pray-ers”
  2. Keep you actively involved in Kenya by introducing to you, every month, to individual team members that live and serve there
  3. If 100 people gave $25.00 per month we could
    1. Raise one of our part-time staff to a full-time position.
    2. We could schedule 3 – 4 visits per year; and
    3. Our “Retired Pastors” ministry could reach into all 47 counties in Kenya.

The burden of my heart is big, for them in Kenya, and has been since my very first trip. After my last trip I returned home and told Naida, “I could return as a full time missionary, if God called me to do so.” The spiritual need is so great. Doctrines of demons runs rampant.

Nearly every-time I speak, and especially the last two visits pastors would stand up and say, in front of their congregations, “We have got to rethink the way we pray,” or “I have been convicted about the way I have been praying.” And then the words of Bishop Zachariah still ring in my ears, ‘Oh Bro. Mark, I am so ashamed of the way we order God around.’

If you believe the Lord is leading you, please join us in our ministry.

You can donate here

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza
www.MarkMirza.com

Mark@CTMPrayer.org

Praying about Needs, Protection and Worry

WP_20160903_09_16_34_ProI worked a book festival yesterday, came home exhausted, ate, not so well, and awoke at midnight with heart burn. So I stayed up for a bit wanting to enjoy some time in Psalm 119. The first verse I read was verse 65.

Psalm 119:65 (NIV 1988) says, “Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.”

As I meditated on the verse I realized the following:

Ask someone to pray Psalm 119:65 to the Lord and you might hear this, “Oh Lord I need You to do good for me in this area of my life and in that area of my life . . . “

But I am convinced that this kind of praying is not what God expects from us.

In fact, I think this kind of praying tells a lot more about ourselves than we realize.

-Hasn’t God already said that He will take care of all of our needs when we but seek Him? (Matthew 6:33)

-Hasn’t God already said that He is our protector? (Psalm 34:7)

-Hasn’t God already said that we do not have to worry? (Matthew 6:34)

Now let’s go back and look at the verse we started with.

Psalm 119:65 says, “Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.”

I believe that the way we should pray about needs, protection and worry, using Psalm 119:65, is as follows:

-Father I know Your word and I know You. I thank You for my current financial situation, though I may not know how things will be taken care of, I trust You to take care of my needs, as Your word says.”

-Lord, thank You for reassuring me that I do not need to plead for Your protection. Your throne is above the heavens and You are sovereign over all (Psalm 103:19). Your Angel already encamps around me and delivers me according to Your word, according to Your sovereign plan for my life.

-Forgive me Lord for so many times when I worry. I know You and I know Your word and Your word tells me that the same God who adds all these things that I need (Matthew 6:33), will take care of tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).

Now be careful when you think like this and plan to pray like this. This is NOT positive confession. This is simply trusting the God of the word, because they are His words to you and me.
&n case you want to invest the time, here is a 3 minute video of me speaking on worry.

Worry, You Don’t Gotta

Blessings my friends,

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker, Common Thread Ministries
www.CTMPrayer.org
www.ThePray-ers.com
Mark@CTMPrayer.org

Decatur Book Festival Press Release

pressrelease-image-1-WebResVery excited that I can share this press release with you. This will now be my third Book Festival since The Pray-ers came out. This weekend is in Decatur GA. Will you be one of the 85,000 people that will attend?

Before you read the Press Release you may want to hear my 3 minute video of why I wrote this novel. You might find it interesting. Click HERE to go to my YouTube Channel

John Wald Fetner & Associates
A Professional Advertising Agency
405 Glenwood Avenue SE Atlanta, Ga. 30312 (404) 522-9177

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday August 31, 2016
WHO: MARK S MIRZA FOR INFORMATION
WHAT: BOOK FESTIVAL CONTACT: MARK MIRZA
WHERE: DECATUR (404) 606-2322
WHEN: SEPT 2-4

Hey, this is Mark Mirza and I’m inviting you to stop by and say hello this weekend at the 2016 Decatur Book Festival.BookShow-2016-Decatur-WebRes

I’ll be at CTM Publishing Atlanta’s BOOTH 703 near the intersection of Ponce de Leon and Clairmont to promote the new fiction trilogy The Prayers / Book 1 Troubles. My new book is all about modeling prayer thru the example of the three main characters living in three different historical periods. We’ve already sold a number of copies, and I love for you to order one for you and your Church library.

The Pray-ers, CTM Publishing AtlantaJ. Gerald Harris, Editor of The Christian Index writes, “Mark Mirza has used his fertile and creative mind to craft a novel that is both innovative and inspiring. The author vividly reminds us that we have a formidable enemy who can be defeated when we link ourselves via prayer with an omnipotent God with whom nothing is impossible. The imaginative link between the 1st century characters, 19th century characters and modern day characters in the book is inventive, but effective in producing the desired result. Navigating carefully the first few pages prepares you to enjoy the flow of a book that will fascinate you, inspire you and bless you.”

 

CTM Publishing Atlanta is the publishing arm of Common Thread Ministries.

Our vision statement is “Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer (Psalm 11:3)

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend

 

Mark S Mirza
Founder/Speaker
CTM Publishing, Inc.
E: mark@ctmprayer.org
C: (404) 606-2322

Politics and Serving

politics, serving

Psalm 119:91e, “. . . all things serve You.”

What an incredible statement, ALL things serve Him, ALL!

The NASB and the HCSB, both say, “. . . all things are Your servants.”

Now the context is the physical creation, but the application is EVERYTHING!.

Remember Romans 8:28, it says there that He uses ALL THINGS for the better, ALL THINGS! Amazing.

So if God says that “all things serve” Him, what does “all things” include? How about sickness? How about bad financial issues? I wonder if “all things” includes . . . Wait, all things means just that doesn’t it? All means all!

Now please note, does the Romans 8:28 say that all things GET BETTER? No, it says that all things “work out for the better.”

But let’s not get off topic, “all things serve” God.

The day I write this is in the middle of two “Great political parties’ conventions.” Literally, one has just ended and the other will begin. Whichever party you prefer, please remember what the Word says, by application, These “important” men and women serve Him, whether they realize it or not. 

God is the one who is served by all things (Psalm 119:91). He is the One who is sovereign (Psalm 103:19). He reigns (Psalm 9:7). He is where we put our trust (Jeremiah 17:7), praise the Lord.

What is His will for the November elections? I don’t know, but I’m excited to see what He has up His sleeve! (cf Romans 13:1-2)

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza

Author/Speaker

Ministry: Common Thread Ministries

Book: The Pray-ers

Email: Mark@CTMPrayer.org

Politics, Motives and Prayers

Politics, Motives and Prayers

POLITICS

During a weekly conference call where we pray for a particular Washington D.C. legislator, my prayer partner and I prayed about the Republican Convention and the November elections. While he prayed 1 Timothy 2:2 it occurred to me that the verse’s reference to “tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity” is expected of Christians, REGARDLESS of who is in office.

MOTIVES

While I would like my country’s leaders to create circumstances where life is convenient for me as a Christian, I have to be honest about my motivation for praying for these leaders. And when I check my motivation for praying I find myself having to say, “Yes, my motivation is selfish (cf James 4:3)! I don’t want to face the turmoil that 1 Peter 4:12 implies, namely that I should expect fiery ordeals.”  And then I am reminded where Jesus, in Matthew 10:16ff says, basically, “They persecuted me. They WILL persecute you.”

PRAYERS

So how do I make sense of these realities and then let them impact my prayers so that my prayers are true to God’s Word?

  1. I submit myself to the Lord, dying to my desires, daily (Luke 9:23). This means that I am willing to wake up every morning and sign a document that says, “God’s Will For My Life” BEFORE its details of the day are filled in.
  2. I thank the Lord, for every circumstance, difficulty, etc. We know that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to be thankful IN everything but do we own the reality that we are to thankful FOR everything? (See Ephesians 5:20). You may think that there is NOTHING you can give thanks for, relative to certain issues, but test the Lord. Let Him lay on your heart what you can give thanks for. It will completely change your perspective of your difficulty.
  3. Finally, pray God’s Word, “Lord, You have ALREADY given me everything I need to live a life of godliness, (1 Peter 1:3) regardless of who is in official leadership roles. When they threaten my peace, I simply ask You to consider their threats and give me the opportunity to be bold for You (Acts 4:29).

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker
Common Thread Ministries
CTM Publishing, Atlanta
The Pray-ers
E: Mark@CTMPrayer.org

The Gospel of Self

Godiva-Amsterdam

Why is combating the “gospel of self” so important?

Because focusing on our will, instead of God’s will, causes us to compromise Scripture, meaning we look at it for what we WANT it to say, not letting it speak for itself.

So how do we fall into this deception? What does “compromising Scripture” look like? I suggest that it is as simple as us “bending” Scripture to meet our preconceived notions of what it SHOULD say.

And then when someone disagrees with us we say, “Oh that’s just your interpretation.” But, these ARE NOT interpretation issues! These are context issues. HUGE difference!

I like what the AiG founder, Ken Ham says when he is talking about evolutionists and creationists looking at the same evidence but coming up with completely different conclusions. The difference, he says is, “Where we start impacts where we end-up.”

Let me draw what that looks like:

Proper Context         ++   Passage’s Interpretation      ==   Peace
IM-Proper Context    ++   Passage’s Interpretation      ==   NO-Peace

Here’s the sobering part of why we end up with NO-Peace:
Romans 8:6, For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.

  • Here’s the context of Romans 8:6: The Holy Spirit makes a difference in our life.
  • The interpretation is above.
  • So, when I do NOT have peace, it is for one reason, because I am NOT focusing on the things of the Spirit.

Now let me challenge your prayer life, and I will use just one example:

Giving Thanks

We all know 1 Thessalonians 5:18, that we are to give thanks “IN” everything, but do we realize that we are to give thanks “FOR” everything (Ephesians 5:20)?

  1. Example of when my checking account is low. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that You have another opportunity to strengthen my faith muscle, and I get to watch You do it!”
  2. Example of protection when I drive, or, traveling mercies. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that your angel is alongside me, guarding me along the way so that I arrive at the place that you have prepared for me (Exodus 23:20), WHEREVER that is.”
  3. Example of a child in the military. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that I can trust You with my child to do WHATEVER You want in his life, because You are sovereign and You know what is best (Psalm 103:19).”
  4. Example of poor personal health. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You Lord that You have promised to comfort me IN this affliction, so that I can comfort others in the self-same way (2 Corinthians 1:4).”

We need to rethink the way we pray. And hear me, I’m not saying this is the ONLY way to pray about these issues. I’m merely showing how “giving thanks” can be done IN everything and FOR everything, just as Scripture says.

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker
www.ThePray-ers.com

PS: Giving Thanks (for everything) often leads to worry. Here is a 3 minute video I did on worry last year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QufiGwdMjBc 

Praying About An Ark Encounter

Ark Encounter Model

Ark Encounter Model

As The Ark Encounter gets ready to open in a few days, I want to share with you how I have been praying. No! I have NOT been praying about the weather. I should have, it’s supposed to rain. But then I thought, “Hey, rain on the  day of the ribbon cutting of The Ark Encounter is absolutely appropriate!”

But I want to share with you how I have, for the last few weeks, been praying. I have been reminded of the explorers of old and their reasons for wanting to find the Ark. Many of them, the Christians, wanted to find the Ark for much the same reason Ken Ham and company has built this Ark, namely, to bring the truth of the Word of God to the world. Well, on July 5th, in a very real sense, these men and women explorer’s prayers have been answered, THE ARK HAS BEEN FOUND!!! Here has been my prayer:

Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth. Lord, let Your Name be so real, so majestic, so excellent in men and women’s lives, as You rehear and then answer the prayers of these men and women explorers from the past. Cause men and women and boys and girls from all over the earth to experience You in a personal way, accepting Your Son, our Ark, and enter into eternal salvation in You as they visit The Ark Encounter.

Now I want to be real careful here to not set a dogmatic doctrine on a theme that ArkEncounterOpeningmany will say, “Mark, you’re just crazy!” I want to be clear, this kind of praying is a VERY, VERY SMALL percentage of my praying. Let me illustrate how small. My prayer partners and I have a friend who has been in heaven for a number of years, none of us met Bill personally. Our first face to face meeting with him will be in heaven, but I can also tell you that, probably once a month or more, we remember to ask the Lord, “To rehear Bill’s prayers afresh for his family, and for his friends and for his pastor.” And that’s it!

Let me say this a bit differently, in a month or two of praying, praying by men who are on the phone together for many hours per month and then in their own prayers for many more hours in the same month, the ONLY length of time this prayer gets, is maybe, 10 seconds, maybe. So it is a VERY small amount of our praying.

Forgive me for the previous two paragraphs warnings and pleadings, but I want to be careful that we DO NOT let this become a new “Fad” in your praying. God is interested in YOUR effectual and fervent prayers! That’s what He wants to hear.

But you might ask, “Why Mark do you even pray this way at all?”

ArkEncounterTimeSquare

Ark Encounter Advertising on Times Square

Great question. You might want to say that in Revelation 5:8, the prayers of the saints are stored up for God to rehear. I personally wouldn’t push the verse that far because there is too much that isn’t said in the verse, about prayer.

You might also look at an argument that departed saints are in heaven praying, as Revelation 6:9-10 implies. Again, I think that it is pushing the envelope of prayers and where they originated, which is in heaven and not on earth (remembering that this post is because of my reference above of explorer’s prayers). Also, Revelation 6:9-10 is focusing on the pray-ers said in heaven by martyred saints. And the subject of their prayers were very specific, vengeance. So please, do not take the focus off of what God would have us do, namely, here on earth, pray.

There is however, one reason that I would ask the Lord to rehear the prayers of the previous Ark explorers as I did above, and there isn’t single verse in Scripture that associates this reason with prayer. Time. The reason is time, TIME! God is outside of time! I don’t really know what that means, but it is a bit comforting to me to think, that maybe, just maybe, God can rehear afresh, the prayers from the past. Call me crazy if you want, it’s okay. But if  you do not call me crazy, then please, pray with me:

Oh Lord, our Lord, rehear the prayers of those Christian explorers who so wanted men and women and boys and girls to find Your Son thru the finding of the Ark. For truly, THE ARK HAS BEEN FOUND!!! It might be in Kentucky and not in the mountains of Ararat, but Lord, our Lord use it to bring the saving knowledge of Your Son to men and women.

To visit the ark and get the details on tickets click here.

 

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker
E: Mark@CTMPrayer.org
C: 404-606-2322