When Doubt Tempts You

“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

In life, we face many struggles. These struggles though do not end because we have been saved by Jesus Christ.  You might have had terrible circumstance after terrible circumstance for weeks on end, for years on end.  The forecast for the next day seems to be the same, just more trouble, more stress to deal with, more sadness to endure, more fights to have, more sickness to overcome, more bills to pay.

We must accept one fact to begin with, we live in a fallen world, this is not heaven. The struggles are here because this world is passing away.  It is like a car with too many miles on it, it sputters away with issue after issue.  So living in this fallen world, we either accept the problem or we try to deny it and then get depressed.

At some point with the amount of struggle, doubt might creep in and tempt you. It is completely OK to ask God, “why are these things happening!” Then go to the word of God and trust in His promise “I will never forsake you”.  Meaning, good, bad, indifferent, He is always going to be right there with you.

If you are growing in Christ, you grow in trust in His sovereignty.  Knowing completely, trusting completely that He would never forsake you or cast you off, the unbearable then becomes bearable.  Knowing this is NOT your eternal home, but heaven is will make the unbearable become bearable.

If you take the name of Jesus Christ, you are tested. Tested always to grow in Him. Struggles are part of this test. Those who endure will be saved, those who let doubt win and fall away took the name of Christ, but were not saved.   The Parable of the Seeds in Luke 8 is a great study of this. Jesus explains this in Luke 8:14, “now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”

The Book of Job is always a great study. Job lost everything in a short period, including his family. His wife also scoffed and mocked him as did his friends.  As soon as doubt started creeping in, the Lord thundered away as to who He was and who Job was erasing any doubt in Job’s mind.  While it seemed like the Lord did forsake Job, He didn’t! He restored him, He taught Job a valuable lesson in trust and His sovereignty.

When the struggles ensue, the same question is asked of you. Who are you trusting, is it God or is it yourself and the world around you?  As time goes on, your trust should be steadily increasing steadily in God, not decreasing into doubt. The harder the struggle, the MORE you should be clinging to Jesus Christ, the more you trust in Him to see you through the pain, the suffering, and the despair.

Pride is a deadly sin, it infects all of us.  Humility is the cure to pride, and it is not just being humble to those around you, it is being completely HUMBLE to the God who created you!  Many miss this point.  They are humble to everyone but to God.  Being humble to God is to surrender, completely surrender your flawed will to His will in your life!  Pray in earnestly for this humility, those who endure until the end will trust in God, they will not doubt Him and His promise, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!”



A Test We MUST Pass!

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

In your life as a Christian, a hard test that will come along is when a friend or family member is following a different faith such as Catholicism.  You have invested much in this person, love and care, energy, memories, emotions, sentiments, and they are an integral part of your life. They know your past, they know your person quite well from youth and have spent years with you. They also have invested much love and care for you, much is intertwined.

So when the topic of faith and the Gospel comes up, the test surely will come. The temptation is to cast both aside, as your thought is possibly hurting this person in your life you care so much for.  Those are our fallen thoughts used against us and let me explain why.

Before you were saved, how did you think?  Most likely the Gospel was rejected, if you were in a world religion, the thought of God was always secondary to your fight or flight fallen nature.  You compromised your thoughts constantly to conform, to fit in, to appease in order to be looked at as someone with a good nature according to societal standards.  Everyone around you thought the same way when it came to God, so your goal was to fit in.  Your goal was to be accepted by your loved ones, not rejected.

Jesus said in Matthew 7, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way, few find it”.  I call your attention to “difficult is the way”.  One saved has been placed on the path to the narrow gate and it will not be easy being shaken off the old path.  The Gospel is the difficulty, it is a SHARP SWORD.  It doesn’t compromise or appease to fallen natures.  Coming from a fallen nature to a new nature in Christ, it is quite easy to realize this.

Our ties from our fallen life will still be in place.  Some are in marriages, some have families such as mine who are encapsulated in Roman Catholicism.  Some have close friends who they have grown up with and have been there for you in some terrible circumstances and have been there in your good circumstances.  So what are we to do?

This is the TEST from God.  If you are saved, you KNOW the Gospel which saved you and what God saved you from which mainly His wrath on your sins.  Do you cast it aside, or do you stand firm? Do you compromise it and alter it or do you stand firm?  A Christian will always stand firm, because they will not spit on the redemption which saved them. It is the difficult test we must endure, knowing that whatever God has planned or purposed in our relationships, it will always be to our good.

Do not fret if you failed this test a time or two, just confess that you have, and grow and learn from it, ask God to help you stand firm and bold.  But failing this test continuously should put pause to your own salvation.  If you aren’t standing firm, if it is easy to compromise and appease or alter the Gospel to maintain friendships, ask yourself if you are God’s child.  It is a betrayal of the Gospel, and should convict every part of a newborn saved Christian if this is ever done or even thought of being done.  If others are not standing firm, call them out, expose this so that they too would grow for the sake of the body of Christ.

If the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the power which has saved you, it is a living embodiment now to your new nature!

The test is a difficult one, but holding to God’s promises will always set your mind on the bigger picture. You desire your friends and family saved do you not? Then the BEST thing you can do, the MOST LOVING thing you can do is to stand firm in the Gospel!  Compromise, appeasement, alterations are the worst things you could do for them!


God Uses Any Means

In late November 2010, I was traveling through some very dark days leading up to my rebirth in Christ.  I had just had a major fight with a friend whom I had been seeing, she was seething, I was regretful but also seething.  I lied to her and said I spoke to my RC priest about my outburst, anything I could do to quell the pain I tried.  I said more Hail Marys than usual, but nothing seemed to work.

My finances were in shambles as well, after years of recklessness, everything was tumbling.  I had not left my former relationship completely either, which was also stupidity on my part since this is a person who had just scammed thousands of dollars from my bank accounts.  The HOLE I was in was getting deeper by the day as I sleepwalked through, trying to make sense of it while also covering it all up.

I was quite argumentative with my friend all throughout this period, we disliked each other greatly for things which were said. She didn’t know it and don’t think to this day she knows it, but she was the vehicle God used to break through to me.  I tried to make things right, so with my shattering finances I decided to buy her an IPAD she wanted for Christmas.  At that time, they were around $700 for the model she wanted, so I took the bullet and purchased it to her surprise.

Instead of waiting until Christmas, I gave it to her in early December.  Something inside me kept pressing to do this, and I know now what it was.  See, I thought at that time it would be a peace offering, showing I did love this person as well and willing to sacrifice my well being for hers.  But it was not the reason as I was shown by God.

In mid-December, this same IPAD was pulled by my friend in a busy restaurant. She said “my pastor said we should read the Bible together, so that’s what we are going to do!” I honestly said “Great, that would be fine” or something to this effect, not knowing she would respond with “Ok, how about right now!”

She went to Bible Gateway on her new IPAD and pulled up the Gospel of Mark, and began to read out loud, not in a small voice, but a loud voice.  I honestly was embarrassed, this had never been done like this in my life, and was more worried at first about the people around us, “what are they thinking”.  Yes, a devout Roman Catholic that I was, was completely embarrassed at first.

The embarrassment then went to complete attention and interest when she got to this point in Mark 1:14-18, as I read along on the IPAD, “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

I look back on this and know now this is when God opened my eyes to His truth!  I had read this before as a Catholic, but never really understood, now I did and my eyes took hold of “they immediately left their nets and followed Him”.  I could place myself as Simon or Andrew, as I have a brother.  My thoughts were on the words “immediately left their nets”.  I had never done this!  I claimed to be a Christian being a Roman Catholic, but cannot truthfully say BEFORE this point that I would have ever immediately left everything for Jesus.  I would have had a negotiation such as “Jesus, can I get back to You? I have all these things I am doing”.  There was never any leaving for Him before this point, but now in an instant my heart had changed.  I understood “they immediately left their nets and followed Him”, because every bit of my soul now yearned to do just this!

I was about to leave everything, including my Roman Catholic faith which had deceived me. There would be no long drawn out negotiation, God meant to have me and it would be right then and there in that busy restaurant on an IPAD I had bought for a hurt friend to glory in myself.  My unconditional surrender came without a murmur, without a “please Lord, give me a couple of weeks”.

God made absolutely sure there would be no boasting in myself. The narcissistic friend who read out loud the words, the IPAD I was able to purchase without having stable means to do so, the busy restaurant away from any vain religiosity. The conviction would come by His means, His way, and in a way I never would have expected nor would probably any common sinner.

The point is, God will use ANY means!  There isn’t some cookie cutter religious nonsense to find His lost sheep. His Gospel can come to you in the least likely circumstances at the least likely time as in my case.  His word can cut through the most stubborn hardened heart, and believe me, my heart was harder than diamond before my rebirth.

In the end, you will realize that the only praise and honor and glory due goes to the God who pulled you out of the wreck of your sins!  The faith came from Him!  The understanding came from Him! The conviction came from Him! The repentance came from Him! Your salvation came from Him!  God is not tied down to the terms of humanism, He is sovereign and will use anyone or anything to find you, to draw you in to His Son Jesus Christ.  Look around, what you might least likely expect God is now using to bring you in!  Praise His name, Praise His mercy, Praise His grace, Praise His eternal omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence!


Saved or Deceived

Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The wide gate is alive and well, many are still going in it. What is wide gate in the context of Matthew 7? World religion, false teachings and doctrines.  In Matthew 7, Jesus warns of false prophets and teachers who are selling tickets to this wide gate, the broad way which by deception tells the sinner that no repentance is necessary, that good works are the key to earning your salvation, and that bad fruit is totally ok.

Jesus makes a key distinction, the wide gate is easy, the narrow gate is difficult.  Just naming it and claiming it for example is easy. The difficult way is to repent, to actually live your life in Christ, giving up your idols, friends and family who are encouraging you to that wide gate.  It is difficult because we are born fallen, we naturally desire the world and its decay rather than God and His eternity.

Placing faith alone in Jesus Christ and you shall be saved is naturally difficult for a fallen sinner.  It seems rather simple and easy does it not? But it isn’t!  Just ask the billions of Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other worldly cultic religions.  Because placing faith alone in Him means denying oneself, admitting you have been deceived by your religion, having to accept that all those vain works you thought God counted were actually filthy rags, and your church attendance amounts to nothing.

Jesus goes on to say in Matt 7:21-23 that many will call Him “Lord” and He will respond basically “sorry, I never knew you”. He is indicating these were the folks who bought tickets to the wide gate.  I believe there will be utter shock and dismay on Judgment Day when Jesus makes this statement after hearing the arguments from those who thought their church was the “one true church’.  There will be desperate pleas such as “bring out Mary, she will vouch for us!”, “but Lord what about all those good things I did?”, “but Lord, I didn’t know it was sin so you cannot condemn me!”, and other sad pleas which will not work to change His mind.

Narrow is the way, it is difficult, not easy. If it were easy, the world would be filled with Christians living the Christian life by Scripture alone, desiring holiness, repenting of sin, praising God to His glory alone, while placing their faith ALONE in Jesus Christ.


Getting Your Attention!

Depending on the circumstance, sometimes God will use different means to get your attention. Looking back on the month before my rebirth in Christ which was 8 years ago this month, I recall several things.

A person who I had thought was a friend in my life, did some horrendous things to me, lied terribly to me, said some terrible things which hurt me.  I was still very much blind in Roman Catholicism, and my demeanor at this time was not to forgive, but hurt her in return. I wrote about this event in my book “The Roman Catholic Problem”, but everything in our relationship came to a head.

I lashed out in furious anger as to how I was treated not only in that past month, but for many many months by her and her family. I unleashed such a fury of profanity laced ranting, I surprised myself how much anger and rage that was stored up. Enough was enough, and I let it be known I was tired of being walked over and treated like an un-cared for animal or a doormat she could just walk over and toss out with trash. But I did so in an unkind hurtful way, and it reflected MORE to who I was than who she was.

But as I look back, I see it as the lowest point of my former life. The anger and rage at this level was something I never seen before and saw what I was capable of which was not a proud moment, but an embarrassing and regretful moment.  I had hurt my friend as I set out to do, but there was much regret. I didn’t feel better, I felt worse.

God was getting my attention to His own fury and rage over my sins, ALL those disgusting sins stored up and burning against His holiness. When I look back at the betrayals against Him, I can only imagine His fury and rage towards me. The rage I displayed was not even close to a scale of what His rage was towards me. The vile and disgusting life I was leading, the vain religious idolatry I was practicing, all flew in His face not for a month, but for decades!

In early December of 2010, this same friend who I was hardly getting along with, who I despised and could care not a thing for me, was the person who took time to read the Gospel of Mark out loud to me.  It was then my eyes were opened by God.

The point is, sometimes what we expect and what God’s workings are, are not even close. My rebirth happened at a time one would never expect and the word delivered to me by the LAST person I would of expected. He did this so He could be glorified alone! Yes, there would be no grand lovely story I could boast in about myself, my determination, my self-generating anything, it would be ALL to His glory and He made sure of it. There would be NO boasting my salvation, not a single iota. The perfection of God’s will is so amazing!

I take pause when I hear someone’s story, I look for God’s hand in it. If I hear boasting, more than likely it was the sinner’s intent, not God’s.  There has to be a breaking point of your old life of sin and a new life in Christ. There is not some back and forth negotiation, God is sovereign, it is by His way, His will, or not at all.

I am not saying everyone’s salvation story must mirror mine. What I am saying is not to pin terms on God on the HOW, the WHY, and the REASON. If He is your Savior, it will be His doing, not yours, His timing, not yours, His expectation, not yours. And in the end you will see His GLORIOUS work!!  I had to look back to see this, but there it was! How great our God is, and I praise the name of Jesus Christ for His work in my life and the lives of all His children!

Exposing and Opposing False Doctrines and Teachers

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

Throughout history the landscape has been littered with false teachers and their invented doctrines. Some are very confident in their false teachings as they withstood some test of time in their view. They can come at you in many different forms, the meek shepherd, the blowhard, the legalistic accuser, the inquisitive manipulator, the virtue signaler, and the dabbler and defender of tradition fallacies (i.e. a Roman Catholic).

Do not be deceived!  We must stand fast in the word of God despite the littered landscape. Paul said “put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God”. That armor is His word! Paul didn’t say “partial armor” or “put your armor in the closet”, rather he commanded to “put is on”!  The truth is the belt around your waste, the breastplate is Christ’s righteousness.


They (false teachers) will come at you as sure as the sun rose this morning. Be prepared. Not having your armor on will subject yourself to their attacks which can be incessant. They will attempt to wear you down, the armor if worn is impenetrable! But this will not stop the evil one.

They will search and search for weaknesses in your armor using emotional pleadings for example hoping to find a crease. One dagger they will use at the ready, is the term “love”. They believe this dagger can penetrate your armor if just for a minute. They use this dagger so that you actually let the guard down, take off that armor, and then will attack. Don’t fall for this trick!  They are simply using a term of love not as a means to connect with you, but to deceive you.  They will claim “you are not loving” for example if you don’t appease them or compromise to their false gospel hoping by this dagger, it penetrates your armor.  Don’t fall for it!

By all means speak the truth IN love, but never allow the enemy to use love as a weapon against you.  Remember Romans 8:38-39, there is NOTHING which can separate you from the love of Jesus Christ, NOTHING.

They come in all forms and many forms of attacks. Wear your WHOLE armor, put it on! If it were unnecessary to do so, Paul would of never had to decree this command. The enemy lurks, they are crafty, they are relentless, but in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM they can every penetrate the ARMOR God has by His grace granted you! Never take it for granted or lay aside His word and leave yourself vulnerable.



Leaving Everything Behind

John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

I can attest from my testimony and rebirth, several eye opening things happened upon leaving everything for Jesus Christ. One of the first feelings I had was that I was now an orphan, abandoned by my family and some close friends I grew up with because of my faith but took solace in the promise that Jesus would not leave me and would be there right with me. That was almost 8 years ago now, and I can rightly declare Jesus held His promise!

Things MUST change for a new creation. Your old former life of which was getting you absolutely nowhere must be abandoned for good. It is a definite struggle for some and sadly some search the Scriptures to justify holding on to former sins and to go on as if nothing had changed. If your heart has been regenerated by God, conviction should also come. The fear of God does not allow one to dilly dally in their sanctification nor try to negotiate their sins, they repent of them.

So must we abandon family and friends of our former life? This is a judgment call based on the person, and would suggest only if they are drawing you away from holiness and into sin and attempting to lead you away from Christ on a consistent basis. Your innate sense is to share the Gospel with them, keep doing so! However, what really happens if you have been set apart by God? Is they abandon you, not the other way around.

Red lines must be drawn. You cannot partner with evil any longer nor make it seem as you are tolerant to sin if you are taking your DUTY to the King of kings seriously.

If your friends and family of your former life do not see a change in you, ask if yourself if you have really been saved and regenerated. Some will naturally leave and abandon you and your saving faith, it is much too convicting. Some will play the wait and see game, tempting you back into former things to see if this was just a phase, and when they realize it wasn’t a phase more than likely they will also abandon you.

As I mentioned, in my testimony I for one really do know what Jesus meant by “orphans”, as I am one. Hardly if anyone of my former life in truth supports my saving faith in Jesus Christ. But I am never lonely nor do I feel alone because He is with me constantly!  Take comfort in this, that Jesus will NEVER leave you alone. The Holy Spirit insures this, guarantees this fact.

So when you are feeling left out, down and out because you are now not included, center your thoughts on Jesus Christ who is right beside you! Do you need anyone else? And if you still struggle in this respect, revisit your former life and see how terrible that was working out for you with the end being an eternity away from Him!  He did not leave you, orphan!

Matthew 19:27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.



FALSE Catholic Tradition

Mark 7:13 “thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

The Roman Catholic Church, via self declaration, has made invented oral tradition of the RCC equal to Scripture.  This creating a CLEAR disconnect with the biblical gospel of grace found in Scripture.  Feast days for Mary for example, the rosary, extreme veneration of Mary never really found or even hinted at in the pages of Scripture are all neatly authorized by an invented RCC tradition.

Jesus said Himself that such binding tradition “invalidates the word of God”.  In other words it is extra-biblical, it is not licensed by God, and it holds no weight with Him. Yet Catholics around the world cling to the tradition of the church with a quite sad prideful death grip.

If you have had a dialogue on the Gospel with a Catholic, the disconnect and communication difficulties stem from their invented tradition which in effect they HOLD ABOVE the very word of God.  While claiming oral tradition is “equal” to the word of God, if you discern what they say and how they attack Scripture’s sufficiency, Scripture is always in the lowest position below the teaching magisterium and oral tradition. To the Roman Catholic, Scripture bows the knee to the magisterium and RCC oral tradition, not the other way around.

One thing I like to point out to Catholics is their corrupt history. Scripture however cannot be corrupted, since God is the Author. In order to claim RCC oral tradition and their teaching magisterium is equal to Scripture, they are actually claiming they are equal to God Himself.  And I have said this many times, the Catholic does see their church as their god. They are not submitting to the God Almighty, but the RCC who is their actual god.  If they submitted to the God of Scripture, they would submit solely to Scripture where His revealed word is found! 

I ask Catholics one central question, how is one to know if your oral traditions and teachings are TRUTH without a test of Godly standard such as Scripture?  And do not try to deceive, Scripture is never the ultimate standard for discernment of the test.  The RCC test is circular logic, a fallacy.  Example you will hear if the Catholic is pressed, “what test can I use to validate your tradition as truth”? They will answer, “the Church”. You then ask, “who validates the church?”  They will answer, “the Church” and round and round they go in the fallacy.

Furthermore, the central verse used to license RCC oral tradition is 2 Thess 2:15 “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”   Since Paul stated “which you were taught”, “by us” meaning these traditions were in place and practice when Paul wrote this, what were these traditions?  Please provide a list of these infallible traditions.  In the 8 years since I have left the RCC, I have asked this question to several hundreds of Catholics and have yet to be answered.

If the tradition cannot be CLEARLY seen and tested thoroughly by Scripture, that tradition is NOT binding and can be discarded without question!   Catholics, by pride you will not let go of these invented traditions, none of which can save you!  Repent, and believe the word of God! Test your church through Scripture, what do you have to lose? Eternity is forever, your regret will be forever.



Why Share the Gospel to Catholics?

Romans 10:15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

I was asked over the weekend why I “was sharing the Gospel to Catholics if they are unable to believe?”.   My response was to ask “what makes you believe they are all unable?”  I asked this because for four decades I certainly was unable, but then God opened my eyes and ears and I was completely able.

We cannot look into the hearts and minds of others, that is God’s court, not ours. Our duty as Christians is to share the Good News to everyone and anyone. I do not and will not discriminate with others in this Good News based on my personal feelings or emotions.

Just because the Catholic you are witnessing to is not listening now, does not mean God will not enable them to listen in the future!  I can count on maybe one hand how many folks actually shared the Gospel with me in the four decades of being a Roman Catholic, and wonder at times IF there were more, I may have not spent so much time in darkness.  And IF that one person who did eventually come along did not come along, would I still be in darkness.

Do not shirk your duties to the King because you personally are not seeing the results. You do not know nor might NEVER know the workings of God’s hand on a heart.  He may not let you know to work on your own pride, removing you from the conversion you believe you made. God is always the sovereign converter, not you.

Don’t measure the success of the Gospel, rest in it, and trust in it!  God never fails to reach His children, remember NO sheep will be lost and how GREAT it is that He called you to be a searcher, a guide for Him! The mere fact He has entrusted you with His Good News should be all the encouragement and joy you need, don’t expect more.

So preach the Gospel with boldness to any Catholic or any lost sinner. Do not place expectations on their understanding, trust in God.  Never discriminate or withhold the Good News, it is not yours to withhold!  You should realize how joyous it truly is in being called and put into God’s field by Him.  You are not God, you are His servant remember this always. No duty He has graced you with should be shirked for pride and personal gain. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

The Power of Prayer

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Many pray and wonder, is there really a God?  They ask in prayer, and then whatever it is doesn’t come to pass, they then think again, is there really a God?

The answer is YES, there is a living God! He is not an ATM machine though.  He will not answer prayers so that you sin or continue in sin or for a sinful thing.  He doesn’t answer prayers of idolaters, I learned this one the hard way.  He won’t subject Himself to manipulation or the vain idols we might be clinging to.

The prayers He does answer are faithful prayers.  Jesus said “believe that you received it”, most overlook this and just see “ask and it will be yours”. The problem is when we DOUBT in God, doubt He working all things to your good, doubt in His providential grace, doubt He is God, we are not being faithful, we do not believe we have received whatever we asked from Him. Those prayers never work.

This means that let’s say you ask God for something, anything, BELIEVE that you have received it. Not IF you will, but that you have!  Now this believing must not come with strings attached or you are doubting God, testing Him.  Don’t put God to any test. Such as playing a game I used to play in my former life, “if God you do this for me, I will then do this for you”.  God does not play that game!  Again, He is not a quid-pro-quo God, or an ATM machine.

You must believe first that He most definitely, without a single doubt, exists. You must then also with a single doubt that whatever you have asked, the answer will be of His timing to His purpose alone, that He heard your prayer.  And that the answer He gives will not always be the way you expected, but according to His will being done.  There are some prayers answered which will be exactly to what you requested, some will be variants of which you will look back someday and know you were answered.  But BELIEVE you have received it!

The absolute great thing about God, is He doesn’t take breaks. 24/7/365, millions and millions of requests and nothing is beyond His power and realm.  He doesn’t have intermediators working in heaven either, repent of praying to others in heaven other than to Him if you are doing so. God does not work by a humanistic lobbying system.  You are not believing that you have received the request by doing so.

Each prayer you say, strengthens your relationship with Him. Pray without ceasing, meaning don’t cease your prayers with Him. Prayer is communication with Him, a relationship needs communication.  Get yourself out of the equation, and let God be God, believe in Him!  Asking in the name of Jesus Christ just as He lovingly told us.

Don’t pray as if He isn’t listening!  Some repeat His name over and over, as if He didn’t hear you the first time.  If you did this with someone in your life, they would most likely think you were a bit off that you kept repeating their name as if you didn’t know they were talking to you.  A growing relationship with God will be able to communicate with Him seamlessly, in reverence always, in respect always, in faith as to who He is and what He can do and what He cannot do which is to be a party to any sin, and even the hint of sin He cannot be a party of. Praying to be more worldly? Praying that you need that vacation to an exotic resort? Don’t expect God to bend to your sinful wants.

Pray always and openly!  God is pleased by FAITH, not by doubt, and not by sin.