Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

POWER IN PRAYER

by David Wilkerson | September 9, 2014

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God is eager to show us that we have power in prayer!

“And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand” (1 Kings 18:42-44).

Elijah was human and was affected by the same things we are—the same fears, longings, hopes, despair and needs—yet his prayers got results! God is showing us here what to do in every crisis: Run to Him! Get in earnest! Pray doors open and shut! Elijah prayed earnestly and he kept praying and waiting until the Lord answered. Seven times he sent his servant to look over the horizon for just one little sign.

Today, after one or two prayer sessions, we give up and get angry with God. We say, “It didn't work for me. I prayed and my husband and I are still having problems. I still don't have what I need.”

It is obvious that people do not pray because they don’t think it works. They don’t know what persevering in prayer means, going back like Elijah time and again with your head to the ground. We call this “laying hold of God.” In the Old Testament it is called “wrestling with God.” Jacob’s prayer was, “I won’t let You go until You bless me” (Genesis 32:26, NAS). The waiting, the delays, are for a purpose: to conform us to Christ. You can’t spend a lot of time in His presence without getting to know Him. The longer the answer is delayed and the more effectually you pray, the more important He becomes and the less important the answer becomes. One way or the other, you win!
 

FACING DIFFICULT DAYS

by Gary Wilkerson | September 8, 2014

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“Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, ESV).

Paul is speaking here of dedicated churchgoers but describes them as having only a form of godliness. Paul said these Christians were “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (3:7). In other words, they listened to all gospel teachings but never took them to heart. That made them powerless, Paul said, because they “opposed the truth” (3:8).

We may never face the same trials that the New Testament believers did, but God still gives us New Testament power. We’ll surely face trials of our own because we are not immune to what is coming on the world. But those hardships can produce in us a power like we have never seen before.

That is why we can’t afford to be normal in our faith any longer. Think about the fast-growing number of nonbelievers in our world. Each one represents a soul headed to hell, someone for whom Jesus died. Those numbers alone call us to rise above “normal” Christianity, to proclaim Christ’s gospel without fear or hindrance. That requires His power, which cannot be achieved or obtained on our own merits—it is received only through His grace.

I have paraphrased Leonard Ravenhill many times but this comment of his bears repeating: “Christianity today is so subnormal that if any Christian began to act like a normal New Testament Christian, he would be considered abnormal.”

Tell me, are you not only hearing God’s Word but doing it? Or is there a disparity between Christ’s power and your life? Pray with me: “Lord, I’m tired of settling for normal Christianity. Merge my life with Your heavenly power. I am an empty vessel—fill me with Your power! Whatever it costs, Lord, lead me where You want me to go.” Pray this and you will see His power released in your life!

 

WE MUST PRAY

by Carter Conlon | September 6, 2014

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The book of Judges describes a time when Israel, God’s own people who were called to be a supernatural testimony in the earth, began to deal deceitfully with His presence. They refused to walk honestly with God and grew casual in their worship of Him, if not casting off the worship of God altogether.

Dealing deceitfully with God will always result in powerlessness, which eventually gives way to the enemies of that society. By enemies, I am referring to those who do not know God, who have no desire to know Him, and who do not want anyone else in relationship with Him. You and I are living in a day very similar to that period of time in the Old Testament.

It was during harvest season that Israel’s enemies, in this case the Midianites, came to devour everything that was being gathered by the people of God (see Judges 6:2-3). They intended to bring the Israelites to an impoverished place so as to render them unable to fulfill their God-given purpose on the earth. Knowing that they were far outnumbered by the enemy, which the Scriptures actually describe as being so numerous that they covered the earth like the sand, the children of Israel began to cry out to the Lord—as is beginning to happen in our day.

God hears the cry of the single mother whose children are out on the streets; the cry of the father who doesn’t know how he is going to provide for his family. He hears the cries of those who read the news and see the horrific crimes that are becoming a daily occurrence in this generation.

My dear friend, we must pray! The day and hour demands that those of us who still know the mercy of Jesus Christ begin to plead for this country. I believe that only a grassroots awakening of God’s people can offer a season of reprieve from the very dark days just ahead of us. How wonderful it would be if the record of heaven stated that 2014 was the year in which you and I began to pray for the people of this land with a faith and intensity only God could have given us!

 

 

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.

 

WE HAVE POWER IN PRAYER

by David Wilkerson | September 5, 2014

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Many Christians seldom pray, because they’ve been taught to “take everything by faith.” We preach faith here in Times Square Church, but not to the exclusion of prayer. We teach obedience, repentance, the Word, faith, and prayer! It is said, “Why pray? Why plead with God when He has already promised it? If He knows what we need before we ask, why keep asking?” Some even teach, “If you ask when He has already promised, that is unbelief. Just claim the promise and then rest; there’s no need to pray over it.”

Abraham had the promise of becoming a mighty nation locked up securely; God had already made him this promise: “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it. . . . And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth” (Genesis 13:15-16). God had promised to bless those who blessed Him and to curse those who cursed Him. Abraham had so much faith that God accounted it to him as righteousness: “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Here is a man of God, secure in God’s promises and full of faith; yet he ran to the altar over and over again to pray (see Genesis 12:8 and Genesis 13:4). So we see that neither his faith or God’s promises superseded prayer.

Moses, too, valued his intimacy more than any blessing. Look at him standing on top of the hill with his arms being held up to God by Aaron and Hur! God had already promised that the Amalekites would be defeated and Israel was promised victory. Yet, Moses goes up the hill to call on God with upraised hands. “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi” (Exodus 17:15).

We are atheists in this matter of prayer compared to the early church. Many today look upon secret prayer as hard work and boring, so they do it only occasionally. Can you imagine a husband and wife living in the same house, hardly ever speaking and yet in public speaking as if they were intimate? So some treat our blessed Lord! Prayer, hidden secret prayer, is the mightiest weapon God has given His people; yet it is neglected, disdained, and seldom used.

God is eager to show us that we have power in prayer. He gives us this glorious reminder: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
 

SPECIFIC WORDS FROM GOD

by David Wilkerson | September 4, 2014

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Peter was praying on a rooftop (Acts 10:9) and several miles away another man, Cornelius, also was praying. “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do” (Acts10:1-6). What detailed instructions!

Meanwhile, Peter had a vision. “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. . . . Go with them . . . for I have sent them” (Acts 10:19-20). Peter went to the house of Cornelius and met a praying man. “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard. . . . Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God” (Acts 10:30-33). The Holy Ghost was so specific He even gave both names: “Call Simon, whose surname is Peter” (verse 32).

All through Acts we read these words, “God said to them . . . The Lord said . . . The Holy Ghost said . . . The angel said. . . .” Heaven was not closed. They received the clear mind of the Lord, very practical, detailed and clear. But the word from heaven came only after much prayer, after being shut up alone with God in secret.
 

SEEKING THE FACE OF THE LORD

by David Wilkerson | September 3, 2014

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The book of Acts is the account of holy men and women seeking the Lord’s face. From beginning to end, it tells of how prayer moves God. Whether in the Upper Room, in prisons, in some secret house hiding from authorities, or in Simon’s house on a street called Straight— they prayed! In the morning and sometimes all night, they prayed without ceasing. Cornelius prayed always and Peter prayed on rooftops. By the seashore, in the temple, or in the desert, they called upon the Lord continually. They spent hours and days shut in with God, until they received dear, detailed guidance. And what incredible specifics God gave them.

Ananias was a man of God, a disciple given to prayer. “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight” (Acts 9:10-12).

Listen to the detailed instructions God gave him; He named the very house, the householder's name, and the man he was to pray for. Then God said, “He knows you are coming; he even knows your name. And he knows what you will do when you walk into his room, because I told him everything!” Why did the Lord tell this new convert such intimate details? Because he prayed! For three days Saul fasted and prayed. It was not, “Lord, what can You do for me?” Rather, it was, “Lord, what will You have me to do?”

Had Saul been saved in our time, he would have been caught up in our world of hype with a media blitz, a best-selling book, and invitations to give his testimony to churches everywhere. Like Saul, many are miraculously saved but, unlike him, they are soon living in confusion, not knowing what to do. God said to Saul, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). God was saying, “Go pray! Seek My face and learn to wait on Me.” No direction came until he had spent three days in prayer. But something powerful happened during prayer: Saul got to know the Lord’s voice and learned to depend on His leading. Although just a newborn believer, he was already being clearly led by God. He needed no counselor or prophet to show him what to do; he needed no one to give him a word of knowledge. Why? Because the Lord said, “I will show him” (Acts 9:16).

 

MORE OF JESUS

by David Wilkerson | September 2, 2014

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I can’t read the book of Acts without feeling ashamed. The apostles lived and ministered in the realm of the miraculous. Even laymen such as Stephen and Philip, men who served tables, were mighty in the Holy Ghost, working miracles and stirring entire cities. Angels appeared to them, unlocked their chains, and walked them out of high security prisons. They had mighty visions, clear and detailed.

Peter was so full of the Holy Ghost that the sick were brought into the streets on beds and couches so that his shadow would fall on them for healing (Acts 5:15). Cripples were healed and went leaping through the temple, and miracles are recorded: “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:11-12).

Why are we not living today in such a realm? God has not changed; we have! The same Lord is with us; we have the same promises; and God is more than willing to do it again. But regrettably, there is an idea today that we don’t need the miraculous. It is said, “This generation has a greater revelation; it’s more educated, more knowledgeable. We are not to expect the Lord to work like that today, as that was only necessary to establish the church.”

My answer to that is, if miracles were needed to establish the church, they are even more needed in the closing of the church age. Evil men have waxed worse and worse as sin has abounded many times over. Seducers have increased, violence has broken out beyond control, and hell has enlarged its borders. Satan has come down with great wrath. As doctrines of demons come in like a flood, apostasy grows worse.

We are in the great falling away. Abortion has filled the land with blood-guiltiness. Our youth are out of control with cocaine, crack, heroin and alcohol spreading throughout schools, devastating and killing, turning teenagers into sick, crazed thieves and murderers. New diseases are spreading death worldwide.

We need more of Jesus, more of His saving, healing power, than any past generation! The apostles knew the cost of the miraculous and eagerly paid it, but we have not been willing to pay the price.
 

KEEPING OUR EYES ON JESUS!

by Gary Wilkerson | September 1, 2014

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV).

We can be hindered in our race of faith by “sin which clings so closely.” As we run the race of faith, the enemy will stick his foot out to make us stumble. This often happens after our greatest times of victory. One moment we think, “God is on the move! Now I’ll see His promise come to pass,” but then our situation turns in the opposite direction, tripping up our faith. We’re left thinking, “Lord, I thought this was my breakthrough. Now things are worse than ever.”

So, where is our hope? We find it at the verse’s end: “Let us run with endurance the race [God has] set before us” (12:1). Though our circumstances cause us to doubt and we are easily tripped up by sin, the race we’re in is about endurance. We are instructed to endure by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Our race isn’t about mustering up enough faith—we can’t muster anything on our own. We must look to Jesus to supply us with faith, for He is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (12:2).

What a wonderful thing: Christ initiates faith in our hearts! Long before He called us to run our particular race, the thought was in His mind, “I want to see this done.” He initiated faith in us and set us on a race to see His purposes accomplished.

Tell me, what has happened to the faith God planted in your heart? Do you feel it has died? Are you weary after stumbling so many times? Friend, do not despair! God has promised to initiate faith in you, and that includes reigniting the faith you have known. “So then faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, ESV).

If your promise has not yet been fulfilled, be assured that God is at work “perfecting your faith.”
 

MY BAGS ARE PACKED

by David Wilkerson | August 29, 2014

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This is no time to be settling down to a life of ease. We must live in a stirred-up state. “And it shall come to pass at that time [before judgment], that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil" (Zephaniah 1:12). “Settled on their lees” means they are unconcerned. “Lees” are sediment of wine settled at the bottom of the barrel. Many Christians have not wanted Holy Ghost stirrings. They now sit back, taking it easy, and letting all the dirt settle in their hearts. Some have left Times Square Church because it is too intense; there is too much stirring up of the heart. They have gone on, looking for a place where there is no stirring. They say, “I can’t take the pressure, the strong preaching. You call for too much heart-searching.”

I say to you, a true Holy Ghost church will be the candle of God, searching through the city, making it very uncomfortable for those who have settled down. God’s Word calls it “being emptied from vessel to vessel” in Jeremiah 48:11-12: “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” These people refused to get involved. They preferred quiet, peace, and undisturbed prosperity, refusing to be probed, convicted, or stirred.

If we knew how close we are to our Lord’s return—how close to fiery judgments—we would thank God for His stirrings in us. We would be poured out in every meeting, getting rid of the dregs. We would thank God for ministers of the gospel who keep provoking us to walk in righteousness and who flood our souls with the convicting, piercing Word of truth. On Judgment Day, we will be eternally grateful to God that we were awakened by the trumpet messages that brought us to repentance and the true fear of God.

My bags are packed! I’m ready and longing to see Jesus face to face.
 

WATCH AND BE SOBER

by David Wilkerson | August 28, 2014

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God is calling His people to watch and be sober as the day of destruction nears. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Paul exhorts the brethren, “Ye . . . are not in darkness. . . . Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (5:4-5). What he is saying is this: “What is to this world a tragic night of darkness and fiery destruction is the dawning of a new day to you who watch and are sober!”

As surely as we are not of this world, we are not destined for darkness and destruction, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:9).

The increasing intensity of labor pains means something glorious to Christ’s Bride—we are one crisis closer to home! It is the world’s countdown to destruction but it is our countdown to glory! It is their appointment with wrath and our appointment with resurrection! While they weep and gnash their teeth, we will rejoice and shout for joy! Those who are the children of this gross darkness, this night of destruction, are drunken and asleep: “For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (5:7). “Let us who are of the day be sober” (5:8). This has to do with any kind of earthly intoxication. “To intoxicate” means “to excite the human spirit to a point of frenzy.” This is a powerful warning to us from the apostle Paul. He is warning us not to get excited over earthly things on the eve of destruction—not to become intoxicated (high) over anything but Christ.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We must occupy until He comes and remain diligent in all things. But, above all, we must be sober and watchful. The word “sober” here means “discerning, cautious.” In other words, don’t let anything take your heart. Do not get too involved, too excited, or too wrapped up in things of this life.

Be warned! Right now you may be drinking the devil’s wine of distraction—the wine of busyness. The Bible warns that Satan will attempt to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect. I have often wondered how that could be possible. I believe it is not by adultery, pride or evil habits but by letting something worthwhile take the heart—by using what is legitimate to obsess and consume all one’s time.
 

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