Powerful and Effective Prayer

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

James 5:16

After calling his readers to pray in times of trouble and sickness, and to confess their sins one to another, James asserts that, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). To illustrate, James refers to the prophet Elijah as a person who had a powerful and effective prayer life. Assuming that we can have an effective prayer life like the prophet Elijah, the question is, “How?” Some people would suggest we do things such as recite a verse or a word repetitiously, sit in silence to achieve an altered state of consciousness, walk a prayer circle, or employ other techniques and methods to experience God. However, prayer is not some “magical incantation” or “manipulative tool” we use to control God or conjure phenomena. As Jesus Himself taught:

And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7).

Prayer is not looking inward but upward. “Looking up toward heaven, He [Jesus] blessed the food” (Matthew 14:19). Jesus often separated Himself from others to spend time in prayer with His Father. He would slip away to the wilderness and pray (Luke 5:16) or go up on a mountain (Matthew 14:23) or to a secluded place to pray (Mark 1:35). Right after Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He told them a parable illustrating the importance of persistence in prayer (Luke 11:5-10). In this parable, Jesus asks His disciples what they would do if a friend unexpectedly showed up at their house and they had no food to give them. In a culture that highly valued hospitality, this parable demonstrates how they could find the means to meet their obligation to feed and lodge their friend for the night.

For instance, despite the fact it was night and their neighbor was sleeping, the host went to the neighbor’s house and asked for food. Note the response of the neighbor: he did not want to get up to give them food because he would wake his children. This may not make sense to us today, but at this time:

the children would sleep on mats on the floor of the one-room dwelling; unbolting the heavy bar that was laid through rings attached to the door was a bother and would make noise that would awaken them (The IVP Bible Background Commentary).

So considering this, we can understand why the neighbor did not want to get up and get the food. Yet, Jesus goes on to explain that the person would eventually get up and do it, not because of his friendship, but because of his persistence.

The Greek word for persistence carries with it the idea of urgency, boldness, shamelessness, and relentlessness. Thus, just as the friend was not afraid to go to his neighbor, despite the fact it was late at night; so too, we should approach God with that same boldness and persistence. Why should we do this? Because as this parable demonstrates, “if a sleeping neighbor…will act in response to [a] persistent request, how much more God” (Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels).

Any believer following the Bible can have a powerful prayer life just like Jesus and Elijah. Seven biblical principles on prayer are explained in BJ’s e-book, Powerful and Effective Prayer, which is available free of charge in the store at https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/e-books/.

The Highest Example of Integrity

by Jim Weikal

Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness” (Apple Dictionary).

The highest example of integrity/honesty is God Himself. This quality is important to believers because we represent Him here in this fallen world. Believers are examples to unbelievers every day whether we like this role or not. It’s just the way it is. When we fail to live up to His standard, we sully God’s reputation as well as our own and hurt those in our sphere of influence.

According to Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

We need to realize that men and women in the church will disappoint, fail, or even disgrace the name of Christ. But we don’t serve them; we serve God. He does not disappoint!

In addition, how are you doing in living up to God’s example? Though they may curse you, the world sorely needs Godly examples. (Check out Psalm 89:35; Titus 1:2; Hebrew 6:18.)

Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

Is Progressive Christianity even Christian? Podcast – Part 2

What is progressive Christianity? Should we even consider it to be part of the Christian faith? In this podcast we will examine the dangers of progressive Christianity? We will also share ways you can identify if progressive Christian beliefs have infiltrated your church.

Make sure to watch part 1 of our podcast on progressive Christianity. Also make sure to like, subscribe, and comment below on any topics that you would like us to do in a future video.

Click on the following link to read the article, “Theological Agnosticism Coming to a Church Near You”

https://www.billrudge.org/resources/s…

To see more videos from BJ Rudge please check out his YouTube channel “Living Truth for Today.”

Sorrow and Joy

By Joyce Haslebacher

He’s gone now, this son we love,
Called to his home up above.

The pain, the grief, the woe
Through which he had to go,

It’s over now and he’s at peace,
But we who love him have great grief.

He was kind and gentle, sweet and dear,
Oh, how we’ll miss him being here.

But You know best and do things wise
And though we hurt, praise does arise,

That all his suffering now is past;
He’s in heaven at long last.

The mantle cell that took such toll,
Young he was but grew so old;

At 65 and young at heart,
Yet You called and he must depart.

Thank You, Lord, his pain is gone,
And with You he’s living on.

Due to Christ and His Calvary,
One day soon his face we’ll see,

And all rejoice on heaven’s shore
With love and peace forevermore.

No more cancer called mantle cell
No more misery from devil’s hell.

Just together in Your heavenly place
Due to Your mercy, love, and grace.

Christ shed His blood to end all pain,
Hell to shun and heaven to gain.

Amen and Amen

Joyce Haslebacher wrote the above touching poem in honor of the memory of her son, Charles Haslebacher, who died February 4, 2021 of mantle cell lymphoma. Joyce and her husband Herbert met Bill and Karen Rudge many years ago when Bill spoke at the church they attended in Clarksburg, West Virginia. They have been dear friends and faithful supporters of BRM ever since.

Is Progressive Christianity even Christian? (Podcast Part 1)

by BJ Rudge

What is progressive Christianity? Should we even consider it to be part of the Christian faith? In this podcast we will examine the key beliefs that are being promoted in progressive Christianity today, and how we can respond from a biblical perspective. Make sure to look out for part 2 of our podcast on progressive Christianity. Also make sure to like, subscribe, and comment bellow on any topics that you would like us to do in a future video.

To see more videos from BJ Rudge please check out his YouTube channel “Living Truth for Today.”

‘Spot On’

by Darlinda McDonald

The Last Days was written in 1999 but is so relevant for today! Bill Rudge is ‘spot on’ as he reveals what’s ahead for the body of Christ, the apostate church, and the world.

We are living at the most exciting time in the history of the world. Our generation has the potential more than any other generation to see the fulfillment of Revelation. We have had false prophets. We have had wars and rumors of wars. We have had earthquakes, famines and pestilence. But never before in history have we seen such an increase in both intensity and frequency of these and many other signs that indicate Christ’s return is near. This book is an eye-opener. It will stir you to readiness.

Some topics are:

• Seven Mountain Peaks of Bible Prophecy
• Signs of the Times
• Mark of the Beast
• Global Society
• Unity of Religion
• Increasing Persecution
• Apostate Church
• Defeat of Antichrist
• God Has it All under Control
• Paradise Restored

Bill and BJ are in the process of updating and expanding this book on The Last Days. In the meantime, the 1990s edition is available free of charge upon request or as an e-book at https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/2000/05/30/the-last-days-e-book/.

In Pursuit of a Dream

By Darlinda McDonald

Carson (Bill and Karen Rudge’s grandson) was born in San Diego one month after 9/11. His family moved to Pennsylvania several years later. Carson graduated from high school during the coronavirus. A dedicated athlete, he played soccer for the Riverhounds in Pittsburgh and played in soccer tournaments across the country as well as in Italy. At age 18, Carson turned down a scholarship to play soccer in college to pursue his dream of special military service in the Navy.

Carson has been a great blessing to Bill Rudge Ministries for many years. He helped Bill with school assemblies, defense clinics, and the obstacle course for sports teams and military recruits, as well as assisting with grounds maintenance, mail pick-up, delivering clothes, school supplies and household items to local missions and ministries, and loading trucks with boxes of books, sports jerseys, soccer balls, school supplies, etc. for delivery to Third World countries. Carson has been willing to help in any way needed at BRM. He also mentored several peers, assisted an injured Vietnam Vet by moving furniture, doing yard work and various other projects. He delivered and moved furniture for Building of Hope to those in need and for several elderly people.

Carson is greatly missed by family, friends and BRM staff and volunteers. He continues to support the ministry by having a portion of his pay from the Navy automatically given to BRM. We pray God’s protection for this young man of excellence, a consistent and valued volunteer – never charging anyone for anything he did to help.

(Photo captions from top to bottom: 1. Carson standing on top of a climbing obstacle at BRM. He has hurtled many obstacles and excelled in making great accomplishments. 2. Carson (left) was commended by the Navy Chief and the Commander for training Navy recruits and providing them transportation for several weeks before he himself left for Boot Camp. 3. Michael, Carson and Lucas with some of the Cub Scouts they led through the BRM obstacle course last summer. 4. Carson (on left) leading the Sharpsville Varsity Soccer Team through “Black Tire Pain” – one of the hardest challenges at the BRM obstacle course.)

Bill’s Words To Carson Before Boot Camp

“Always remember the tetherball battles, hockey games, boxing, obstacle course, sleeping on our couch and borrowing my clothes.”

“Always remember, Carson Brock, that you were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Never forget that He loves you so much He died for you (John 3:16). Realize that Jesus will forgive anything if you ask (1 John 1:9).”

“Rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life and one day you will rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:6). You may have some lonely times but He will never leave you or forsake you (Matthew 28:20).”

“Have faith, courage, determination, discipline and integrity because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).”

“There will be challenges and difficulties but God will use them to make you strong and work everything out for good (Romans 8:28).”

“Through it all you will be molded into the man He intended you to be (Romans 8:29). In the end you will look back and know the truth of God’s Word and that He honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).”

“One day we will never have to say goodbye again. Stay safe, healthy and close to Jesus. And never, ever forget how much I love you. I am so proud to have you as a grandson!”

Papa Bill

The Shadow of the Cross

by Bill Rudge

While exercising outside in the early morning hours, I noticed the shadow of one of our crosses silhouetted on the lightly snow-covered ground. Looking for the source of this shadow (the security light of our former ministry center – now the Mercer County Area Agency On Aging) it struck me that every person who has ever been born is affected in some way by the Cross.

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was determined before the creation of the world. Since the Fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden, God promised a coming Messiah and Savior. Those before Christ’s sacrificial death looked forward to the coming of this Promised One, while those after Jesus’ crucifixion look back to His finished work on the cross.

Both Sides of the Cross

Who I was and what I did before coming to Christ is in stark contrast to who I am and what I do after coming to know Him. My philosophy of life, words, behavior and lifestyle have so dramatically changed that they are in diametric opposition to what they were before. Before the Shadow of the Cross passed over my life, my passions were rebellion, violence and pleasure. This side of the cross my zeal is for obedience, compassion and reaching this world for Christ.

Some thought I was hopeless as a teenager but Jesus knew otherwise. I thank Him virtually every day for His amazing grace to me, received many years ago when I was 18.

How has the Cross affected you? What kind of a shadow (influence) has it been on your life? Has the cross drawn you closer to God and the Savior or are you still hiding – running from or rebelling against the LORD of all Creation? You do realize that it’s time for you to come home! Fall on your knees beneath the Shadow of the Cross and surrender your life to Jesus.

Remember, eternity will be determined by your association with the cross. The cross of Christ is our only hope to see our departed loved ones again. For believers, it is a guaranteed promise! As Bill Glass succinctly said, “Christ arose! Your redeemed loved ones will too, and you can spend eternity with them in God’s presence.”

Ben Hur

Lew Wallace (4/10/1827 – 2/15/1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman and author. According to an article in Israel My Glory magazine:

He and his famous ungodly friend, Robert Ingersoll, once agreed to write a book that would forever destroy the “myth” of Christianity. For two years, Wallace gathered information from the leading libraries of Europe and America. He got no further than chapter two when he suddenly found himself on his knees, crying out, “My Lord, and my God.” He had found his evidence, and it overwhelmingly and conclusively supported the deity of Christ. He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. So Wallace abandoned his project and became a Christian. Later he wrote one of the finest novels ever written concerning the time of Christ, Ben Hur.

Instead of disproving the deity of Christ and His resurrection – Lew Wallace ended up defending it in his famous epic Biblical novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, described as “the most influential book of the nineteenth century.”