Persistence In Prayer

by Dr. BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

One of the keys to being persistent in prayer is to be patient. Abraham had to wait about 25 years before God fulfilled His covenant-promise that he would have a son. For me, it took about 15 years of prayer before I saw one of my wife’s family members put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Perhaps many of you who are reading this have also been in prayer about a situation for an extended period of time. Regardless of how long it has been, remember not to put a time limit on God; continue to be patient and persistent! You never know when God will respond, and you do not know what God may be doing right now in that situation. Regarding the family member I was praying for; I never knew until later, all that God had been doing in his life during the time I was praying for him.

A quick word of caution! Persistence in prayer does not mean we always get the response we want. Paul understood this as he prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). Despite his pleading, God’s response to Paul is a great reminder to all of us: His grace is sufficient for anything we may face.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Persistence in prayer is not about trying to get God to do what we want. Instead, it is patiently waiting upon God to respond according to His will.

Leaving A Legacy

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

One afternoon while walking through the woods, and spending time with the Lord in prayer, I reflected upon my life. Not only contemplating my past, I began to examine where I was in the present; specifically how I was spending my time and how this might impact my future. I thought of my children and what type of legacy I was leaving for them, and asked myself, “If I were to pass away, how would my children describe me? Would they talk about a father who not only loved them, but also desired to continually be in the presence of the Lord? Would they see me as a man who invested his life in prayer and in fulfilling God’s calling on his life? Would they want to follow in my footsteps as a man of integrity and emulate my spiritual walk with the Lord?”

The reality is that all of us will leave a legacy. Regardless of whether we are married and have children or not, God places people in our lives who are part of our circle of influence. A friend of mine has never been married and has no children, but he recognizes that he has been called by God to be a spiritual role model for his nieces and nephews. Another friend told me that he and his wife were not able to have children. However, he realizes that God has still called him to be a godly example to others. So he invests his time working with the children at his church, and serving as a chaplain at a local hospital to patients who are dying.

Considering this, ask yourself the following question: “What spiritual legacy am I leaving with the people God has put in my life?” The answer will depend upon how much time you spend in prayer, for it is in the time we spend in prayer that God prepares and equips us for His calling on our lives. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones asserts in his studies on the Sermon on the Mount:

Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when, upon his knees, he comes face to face with God.

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://billrudge.org/store/e-books.

Free E-booklet on Fasting

Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast and pray. Fasting enables you to enter God’s presence with a hunger in your belly that represents the hunger in your soul. This powerful booklet, Fasting for Sensitivity and Power, will equip you to master the ancient biblical principles of fasting, which have so greatly impacted Bill’s life and ministry. Bill’s updated booklet is a great way to start the New Year as it teaches you:

• The Purpose of Fasting  • Biblical Fasts
• My Fasting History  • Types of Fasts
• The Big Three  • Fasting Procedures
• Physical Restoration  • “Impossible” Situations
• Principles of Prayer  • Powerful Prayers
• Personal, Family, and Ministry Prayer and Fasting Lists

Bill’s e-booklet on fasting is available free of charge on our web site, https://billrudge.org/fasting-sensitivity-and-power-1. You can also find the e-booklet for a small fee on Amazon.com.

How Can You Prepare?

by Bill Rudge

There are things coming on this nation and world that will require extraordinary faith, strength, courage, discipline, determination, discernment, integrity, commitment and love to endure. What is coming will affect every facet of your life. So how can you be prepared? My suggestion is to begin immediately to get into the best possible shape – physically, mentally, emotionally, and above all, spiritually.

Now is the time to:

Research Scripture – consistent and intense Bible study, investigation, reflection, and meditation on God’s Word – with special focus on end time prophecy.

Reach the heavenlies through prayer (and fasting if able) using the ACTS acronym: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Renew your mind by replacing disturbing and distorted images and messages of the media with that which is beneficial.

Replace negative and destructive emotions such as hatred, bitterness, revenge, lust … with love, joy, peace, self-control (all fruits of the Spirit).

Respect your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, by fleeing immoral behavior and anything else that dishonors the Lord.

Regenerate your health. We are living during stressful times when we need a strong immune system. Instead of overindulging in unwholesome food and unhealthy snacks (which lead to the host of unwanted ailments and diseases that are surging today), substitute “junk food” and “empty calories” with nutritious food the Creator designed you to consume. Instead of sitting around watching television and following social media, get some exercise and proper rest.

Implementing the above, along with God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) will enable you to stand victoriously in these days. The alternative is not very comforting so don’t sit idly by and do nothing – do what God’s Word clearly teaches.

Rise Up! Get Off Your Face!

by Bill Rudge

Over three thousand years ago Joshua sent three thousand Israelites to conquer the walled city of Ai. But they were routed by the men of Ai.

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? (Joshua 7:6, 10).

Once Joshua dealt with the sin issue in the camp of Israel (see Joshua 7:11 – 26) they victoriously conquered Ai.

Many Christians today are on their faces prostrate before the Lord – in repentance, prayer, and fasting. While prayer is powerful and essential, it is also imperative that we get off our faces and fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for our lives. What is that purpose? Being witnesses for Christ to a lost and dying world (Acts 1:8).

Obviously, don’t quit praying! But rise up and share your faith in Christ any way you can. Use your phone, letters, e-mail, texts, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of media. Witness to telemarketers and anyone who will listen.

Coronavirus Crisis

God desires to bring many more to salvation before the Rapture of the Church. Perhaps He is using this current crisis to help us get His Gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14). If the coronavirus could so easily and quickly multiply to infect so many people, how much more can believers multiply their testimonies to impact an entire world for Jesus Christ. Begin today!

Living God's Vision for Your Life

Through Scripture and prayer, God’s goals and vision you will conceive

With all of your heart trust the Lord and believe

Persevere in faith till fulfillment of His promise you receive

Through the witness of your life those fallen away you will retrieve

Then keep serving the Lord till this world you leave.

– Bill Rudge

Words of Wisdom to Encourage You

“Never let what you can’t do stop you from
achieving what you can do.”
~ Author Unknown

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. How tough are you?”

“You can’t enjoy the roads to success until you’ve traveled the streets of failure.”

“Winners will fail, and losers will win, but the true champions never quit.”

~ Mike Senerchia

For more information about Bill Rudge Ministries, click here: https://www.billrudge.org.

Do You Have a Vision?

Through Scripture and prayer, God’s goals and vision you will conceive…

With all of your heart trust the Lord and believe…

Persevere in faith till fulfillment of His promise you receive…

Through the witness of your life those fallen away you will retrieve…

Then keep serving the Lord till this world you leave.

Bill Rudge

New Life Resolution

BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

Photo by Frank Rudge

Spending more time with family, getting into shape, quitting a bad habit and getting out of debt top the list of New Year’s resolutions. We make our resolutions with the best of intentions. Early in the new year we are like runners at the start of a race: excited to begin the quest toward the finish line. However, several months into the year, our enthusiasm wanes as motivation diminishes, distractions divert us, pressures and time constraints weigh us down, and apathy overtakes us. What started as a noble endeavor, often becomes just another New Year’s resolution that will have to wait until next year to be achieved.

So, too, in our Christian walk we start out with the best of intentions. We are enthusiastic in our faith and motivated to enhance our relationship with Jesus Christ. But if we do not nurture this desire and goal, in time motivation and enthusiasm begin to wane as trials and temptations take their toll. Many give up, beaten down by guilt, struggling to get back on track spiritually. As in other areas of our life, spirituality becomes just another resolution, indefinitely postponed.

Instead of waiting for another New Year, re-evaluate your priorities and goals right now. Rather than merely making a New Year’s resolution, make a New Life resolution – a lifetime commitment, through the power of God’s Spirit, to make Jesus Christ the center of your life. The following are some simple, but profound, principles to help you:

Live a life of prayer (Colossians 4:2).

Devote yourself to the study of God’s Word:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).

Be authentic in your walk with Christ (Ephesians 5:1, 2).

Commit to Him with your whole life:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).

Take on this challenge of a New Life resolution – begin today, and keep the passion burning throughout the year. If you notice the flame burning low, rekindle it and keep on going – until the very end!

Powerful and Effective PRAYER

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

Seeking God’s Will

God is looking for men and women who will inspire others. Those who will show, through the way they live, what it means to be totally committed to Jesus Christ regardless of the cost. This will only become a reality by those who devote themselves to prayer and Bible study.

An important principle for having a powerful and effective prayer life is to seek God’s will and not our own. This is taught by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer:

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prays in the following manner:

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The essence of Jesus’ life reflects His willingness to humble Himself and submit to the will of His Father (see Philippians 2:5-11).

The apostle John reiterates that we should pray according to God’s will:

“This is the confidence that we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

John could not have stated it more clearly: If we want God to hear our prayers, then we must seek God’s will and not our own. Our prayer lives will be ineffective if we approach God on our own terms and in accordance to our will. However, they will become powerful and effective if we humble ourselves before the Lord and submit to His will for our lives.

Praying the Promises

Praying the promises in God’s Word, having a powerful prayer life, and living by the truth and principles in the Bible are great ways to keep one’s life in submission to the Lord.

Excerpts from BJ’s E-book, Powerful and Effective Prayer, available free of charge at http://www.billrudge.org.