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 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

Praising God Amidst Brokenness

Taken From2013-0715-Brokenness
A Prayer of Paul’s
That We Often Miss

The HCSB calls it
A Hymn of Praise
and it is found in
Romans 11:33-36

http://bible.us/Rom11.33-36.nasb

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

Paul has just spent the previous 3 chapters, 86 verses, discussing Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, and what that means, to them and to Gentiles. In much of these 86 verses, you hear Paul’s heart breaking for his people…and it is in THAT context that he praises God.

  • APPLICATION…Can you praise God when your heart is broken…for your loved ones, for your nation? Can you praise God when you are broken through being laid off, being divorced? Can you praise God when brokenness comes because of sin, that you let get out of hand, that you “hid” from God, that you lied to a loved one about?
  • Pray Paul’s prayer with me, applying it and using our own words where appropriate… Father, the depth of Your riches, of Your wisdom, and of Your knowledge…Oh Lord they are too wonderful, too overwhelming to me. And yet, it is THAT wisdom and knowledge of the riches You have given me, through Your Son, that allows me to approach You in praise, in the midst of my brokenness. Lord, I praise You for I don’t need to know exactly how You plan to work, I don’t need others to give You “advice”  as they pray, for I trust You. In fact it is foolish for me to think You owe me any explanation. I trust and know that You do ALL things, and they are all done for Your glory, Amen.

Common Thread Ministries

 

Moses and the Lampstands

Praying for the “little Things”

The post below is from our 44 page booklet, Prayer Made Alive. To consider purchasing it, click on the icon of the book cover at the bottom of this page (it is also available in Spanish).

But regardless, enjoy the read…God really is interested in the “little-things.”

READ | Numbers 7:89-8:3 (NASB)

 (89) Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.

 (1)Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

 (2)”Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.'”

 (3) Aaron therefore did so; he mounted its lamps at the front of the lampstand, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

 

Have you ever wondered who to talk to about all of the “little things” in your life?  I know that we all believe that we can talk to the Lord, but really, do we?  How many of you talk to the Lord about which gasoline to put in your car, what date/s you should go to the ball-game, where you should go on holiday?  I bring this up because if you look at our passage above it would seem that the Lord talks to Moses about something that we would think is inconsequential, the direction of the lamps!  How bizarre is that?  But it should be a reminder to us that our God is interested in EVERYTHING in our lives!

Look at the passage, the Lord essentially is telling Moses to tell Aaron which direction to face the lampstands…incredible!

Let me take this another step further, have you ever thought that God knows everything about everything?  I know that you recognize that in your head, but I wonder if you recognize that in your heart.  When you are at work, and you are stuck and don’t know what to do next, how quickly do you bring the Lord into the equation?  How quickly do you ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to complete the work (James 1:5)?  I don’t expect you to drop to your knees at your desk, but you can get up, walk to the restroom, walk outside, etc.  There are all kinds of ways for you to bring the Lord into your workplace.  The same thing goes at your home, when you are struggling with something (or someone) there, get away for a few minutes and talk to the Lord.  He really is interested in each of those “little things” in our life.

There’s one more practical reason this is important.  If you are a person who is committed to praying for others, we would all agree that it is important to take seriously trusting in the Lord.  After all, those we are praying for expect us to have confidence, when we pray for their needs.  I believe that we demonstrate to the Lord, to ourselves, and to those that are closest to us, how much we REALLY trust the Lord, by how we bring our “little things” to Him.  If you pray for others with supposed confidence in the Lord you need to demonstrate it at home too.

So I challenge you to have confidence in coming to the Lord, even on those “little things” in your life, like which direction a lampstand should face.

Questions for Moses and the Lampstands:

  • Amazing that God would allow an example in scripture of how He is really concerned about the little things.  Can you think of how you might make the same point to your family?
  • What things do those around you want prayer for, that you would have looked at as a little thing?
  • Now as you pray for them, what impact on your child do you think this will make?  How likely are they to pray for everything and anything as they get older, because they saw you praying for little things.  You have a wonderful opportunity to influence your family GREATLY.  Pray for the LITTLE things!

Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries

Prayer Made Alive Book

Click Icon to Purchase Prayer Made Alive

 

Common Thread Ministries

Bartimaeus’ Humility

Bartimaeus and Prayer
Mark 10:46-52 (HCSB)

46 They came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!” 48 Many people told him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; He’s calling for you.” 50 He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51 Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” “Rabbouni,” the blind man told Him, “I want to see!”

52 “Go your way,” Jesus told him. “Your faith has healed you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road.

On my way to Denton Baptist Church yesterday I memorized this passage…not word for word, but “picture by picture.” You see, each verse has such a clear picture that memorizing the passage really was quite easy. And as I memorized it, I saw, relating to 21st Century pray-ers, INCREDIBLE applications and indictments, contrasts  and promises. Let me just share a few of them below.

Notice first of all that Bartimaeus was not dissuaded by those in the crowd who didn’t want him to reach out to Jesus. Verse 48 tells us that after many people told him to be quiet, “…he cried out all the more…” Probably all the louder! Let me ask you a question friend, “Why do you let others dissuade you from the presence of Almighty God? That’s just coo-coo!”

And then notice that when Jesus called for Bartimaeus to be brought to Him, Bartimaeus, in verse 50, “threw off his cloak, jumped up, and went to Jesus.” How  do you think he “went to Jesus?” He probably RAN to Jesus. Can’t you just see Bartimaeus, blind, running to the sound of where Jesus was at, tripping all over people on his way. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited and smiling for Bartimaeus! Tell me, when you are in your prayer closet, do you, in your heart, RUN to Jesus…or is it just, not that big of a deal?

Now this next verse (verse 51) could be looked at as really bizarre, but Jesus then asks him, “What do you want?” I hear a lot of people praying today, and I could just hear them responding to Jesus, “What do You mean, ‘What do I want?’ It should be obvious Jesus! I want my sight!” I hear a lot of people today praying for, “my will to be done, here on earth, just as it should be in Heaven.” When of course the passage in the Lord’s prayer really says, “Thy will be done, on earth as it ALREADY is in Heaven.” And that is what makes Bartimaeus so special. I can see him bowing his head before Jesus, and then submissively saying, “Rabi, I would like my sight.” I look forward to meeting this humble man. I confess that sometimes I pray to the Lord, expecting Him to give me what I want, WITHOUT regard to His sovereignty.

Oh forgive me Lord, for presuming upon You, when what You really want is my trusting You, my seeking You, my being broken before You.

And then look at the end of verse 52. It says that this formerly blind man, immediately began to follow Jesus…ON THE ROAD! It is as if he just, full out, without regard to anything in his past, just started living for God, Amen!

Oh friends, how many of our encounters with God, DO NOT affect our living? As we seek the Lord, let it change your life, for the rest of your life!

Common Thread Logo