Some people have more influence with God then others, that is God hears and answers their prayers more than others. Why is that? God has set conditions or requirements for Him to answer our prayers, even to hear our prayers. Years ago I wondered about this as I read the biographies of great prayer warriors of the past. I studied it thoroughly and as a result I preached a series of sermons called “The Dirty Dozen-twelve reasons why God doesn’t answer our prayers”. One of the reasons is that we don’t read His Word much and we don’t memorize it.
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
That verse is not hard to understand, but few really acknowledge it as truth. The word “if” is introducing a conditional statement, “if the first then the second”, and I might add “always”.
If we abide in Jesus and His Word abides in us, then and only then will He answer our prayers. So many people who claim to be Christians give Jesus token time, left over time, convenient time, comfortable time, time that cost nothing, and then get sick, have a problem with their marriage, with a kid, at work and then they pray. That is dishonoring to God, and you can’t treat God like that and expect that you will receive anything at all from Him.
“If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you”. Is that true of me? None of the “Dirty Dozen” is an on or off sort of condition. “My Words abide in you”, some read and memorize a little tiny bit, some a little more, and some a lot. I read 12 chapters in the Bible every day and I spend 30 minutes every day memorizing Bible verses, and a major reason is that I want God to listen to my prayers and to answer them,as I pray for you.
Dee’s 2020 Goals
- I will read 12 chapters in my Bible every day.
- I will pray by myself for 1 hour every day using the App, “Prayer Mate”, and I will keep the prayer App up to date with names and pictures and prayer needs and answers.
- I will read 80 pages every week in good books.
- I will pray with Patty 3 times minimum each week.
- I will write my blog every day, working hard to improve my writing skill, and praying and asking God to bless this ministry, so that the number of subscribers goes from 80 to 100, (it went from 58 to 80 last year) and the total number of views goes from 70,000 to 100,000 (it went from 57,000 to 70,000 last year).
- I will ride my stationary bike, lift weights, punch the heavy bag, and run for a total 90 minutes every day.
- I will restore my 1969 Mustang, Coupe with my grandson Isaac, and when it is done it will be his.
- I will ride a 1,500 mile bicycle trip in 30 days in the month of June.
- I will enter and finish the half marathon in Albany on Thanksgiving Day in 2.5 hours.
- I will take my dory boat halibut and tuna fishing off the Oregon coast.
- I will train and run a marathon under 4.5 hours which qualifies me to run the Boston marathon as an over 70 year old, and I will register for the Boston Marathon.
- I will memorize the books of Philippians well.
- I will teach through the book of Philippians during the Wednesday night service beginning the first Wednesday of November and finishing the last Wednesday of May.
- I will pray for every person in JBC once each week, and maintain my prayer app keeping current with names, pictures and prayer needs.
- I will study, write, and prepare 12 hours of teaching content and a syllabus for a seminar for church leaders on January 20th and 21st, 2020 called, “Leading for Change”.
- I will start 3 new men’s accountability groups, and hand off 3 groups.
- I will get involved in a group and shoot my bow competitively.
- I will start a training and mentoring program for young men who want to go into ministry. It will be a 6 year program ending with a Master’s degree, and I will work to enlist one new guy each year.
- I will work closely with and mentor, Brandon Morris in his ministry as the “Follow-up, Assimilation, and Evangelism” pastor.
- I will work with Brandon Morris to improve, revamp, and organize our “Home Group” ministry.
- I will practice, work hard, and exercise so that I can pull my PSE, “Full Throttle” bow back easily.
- I will work with Brandon Morris to plan, organize, and hold 3 “New Comers” dinners.
- I will be a faithful part of the pastor’s accountability group, and schedule and plan 3 lunches with them.
- I will continue to meet with Mike Dedera at least weekly to talk to him about his preaching, leadership, and plans for JBC.
- I will attempt to identify, and recruit from JBC a faithful, available, and teachable person, and to train them to be a volunteer staff/pastor.
- I will save and plan for a muzzle loader hunting trip in December for a trophy whitetail buck in Chadron, Nebraska, and attempt to take a grandson and/or a son with me.
- I will plan an archery elk hunting trip to the Catherine Creek unit the end of September and attempt to take a son, son-in-law and/or grandson with me.
- I will save money for and go on the white water rafting trip down the Colorado River with the JBC team in August.
- I will faithfully work on Scripture Typer for 30 minutes each day. When I am finished memorizing the book of Philippians I will go on to the book of Colossians.
- I will increase the total number of verses that I have memorized well to 1,000.
- I will plan and save so Patty and I can travel and see our kids and grandkids in Fairbanks, Alaska and Oahu, Hawaii.
- I will go fishing in Soldotna, Alaska in July, and will attempt to take a son, or son-in-law, or grandson with me.
- I will study and write 4 really good lessons on marriage, and have them finished by April 1st, to be taught at the marriage retreats planned at Odell Lake.
- I will, without a doubt, organize my shop, super well, and keep it that way.
- I will reroof my shop, and I will put new Hardy plank siding on my shop and paint it.
- I will refinance our house at a lower interest rate, eliminate all debt other than our house, and save at least $500 each month.
- I will begin the 2 year goal of taking out the 55 fruit trees on the front of our property and putting in a half acre fish pond.
- I will diligently prepare to teach my “Men’s Leadership Class”, “Ladies Leadership Class”, “Leadership Class II”, and “Leadership Class III”, and I will work super hard to improve all aspects of all the classes.
- I will take Patty on a date at least twice each month, and I will work hard at communicating well with her.
- I will faithfully attempt to encourage those who have drifted away from faithful attendance at JBC to return through notes, emails, and invitations to special events.
- I will watch the instructional DVD on taxidermy, and do a full body mount on the mountain lion I killed. If it turns out good, I will put it in the house, and if it turns out bad I will put it in my “Man Room”.
- I will write 50 hand written notes each week to people in JBC.
- I will work to make the Wednesday night service an effective time, and diligently recruit those who regularly miss the weekend services.
- I will pray through the JBC church family prayer letter each week, and transfer serious prayer requests to my “Prayer Mate” prayer journal.
- I will write in my personal journal at least twice each week, as part of my self-examination discipline to help myself to grow in character.
- I will religiously keep track of my time and record it each day in my iPad.
- I will pray at a minimum of 3 corporate prayer times at JBC each week.
- I will pray at least 40 hours in each of the 4 “Five Day Prayer Events” that are held at JBC.
- I will begin every day with a prayer of commitment presenting my life to Jesus, declaring Him Lord of my life, asking Him for guidance and strength for the day to please Him in all that I do.
- I will attend a major “Church Growth” seminar and take at least one staff member with me.
- I will give Patty and Sherri at least 2 hours of work on “Home Improvement” projects each week, and ask them to make a list at least one week in advance.
- I will maintain my “no sugar, no wheat” diet, and keep my weight under 200 lbs.
- I will start on the rebuild project of my 1986 Ford pickup.
- I will learn how to fish for and catch Pike Minnow in the Colombia River and earn at least $100 in bounties.
- I will pray for Patty, my Mom, my sister Laura, my kids and spouses, grandkids, jbc staff and families, Elders and families, and lost friends and family every day.
- I will be in bed by 11:00 pm at least 5 nights a week.
- I will subscribe to 6 blogs written by pastors and church health professionals, and read one of them each day.
- I will re-start my aquaponics system in my green house.
- I will use Facebook as a tool to connect with people in JBC and in the area, and I will write out complete prayers in response to problems or trials that I read about.
- I will start a “Doctrine and Theology” class and teach it at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings.
- I will look for a place that I can stake a claim on for a placer gold mine.
- I will fast one day (36 hours) a month, and I will fast for 56 hours in each of the 4 “Five Days of Prayer” event.
- I will drive up to Trout Lake to visit my Mom at least once each month.
- I will start a satellite church.
- I will plan a 4 day family camping and fishing trip in July or August.
- I will fix my hot tub.
- I will pray corporately for a total of 300 hours.
- I will attempt to recruit 3 more pastors to mentor/train in their preaching.
- I will listen to at least 100 sermons on “you tube” and pod cast.
- I will get my dory boat set up for crabbing.
- I will read these goals every day.
We are driving home from our hunting trip in Chadron, Nebraska, and today is the second 10 hour day of driving. Today sitting in the back seat of the pickup I am spending most of my time working on my memory verses using the very cool App “Scripture Memory”, which used to be called “Scripture Typer”. I have a goal of memorizing 1000 verses well, and included in that is memorizing the book of Philippians well, which has about 120 verses. Scripture memory is a discipline that very few Christ followers practice, it is to hard. The basic rule is, “the harder it is to make happen in your life, the more profitable it is in your life if you practice it faithfully”. Let me suggest some significant blessings and rewards that come from memorizing God’s Word.
1. The primary purpose of memorizing the Word of God is so we can meditate on it all during the day and even while we sleep, and the result is that we live life in a way that results in success in every area of life.
Psalms 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither;And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Notice that in both of these verses God promises that we will prosper and be successful if we meditate on His Word day and night. That doesn’t mean we will be rich, but it does mean we will accomplish a lot that matters for eternity.
2. The promise of the Bible is that we will be increasingly more successful at Conquering sin habits in our life as we memorize God’s Word.
Psalms 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Romans 12:2 be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
3. ￼The Bible is the living Word of God and memorizing it puts His thoughts into our mind, and we learn to think like God, and to have His wisdom. It amazes me as I spend at least 30 minutes every day memorizing scripture how much clearer my thinking becomes, and how my ability to communicate clearly improves. One of my goals is to increase in my wisdom and intelligence and to keep senility at bay all of my life. Our mind is like a muscle, the harder we work it the stronger it gets.