Archive for March, 2023

3-28-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 8 – TREATMENT

Now let’s address our original question, “Are there inoculations and or antitoxins used by the Lord to warn us away from immorality? The answer is yes there is. Most of us are aware of them but just not used to thinking of them in this sense. I first learned of them from my mother when I was thirteen. I do not even remember the whole conversation now, but the pertinent part addressed the heavy perfume prostitutes would use to cover up the smell involved in their occupation.

The next memories revolve around conversations of two roommates I had while in the military. Michael and Brentzel were two typical characters (lacking any moral integrity) of their time. Their conversations involved two main subjects; women and drinking, and they would expound on these subjects at length. Michael, a man of many varied and frequent sexual experiences, would speak of the difference between sex with a woman the first time and thereafter. He would comment on the smell being repelling the first time, more acceptable the next, and then intoxicating thereafter. Not that Michael had too many relations that went beyond the third or fourth date, but it does speak to an awareness that even the most foolish have.

Years later as a Dallas Police Officer assigned to patrolling an exceedingly high crime area, I was frequently called upon to answer shooting calls or search for fugitives in a house of prostitution. I was struck by the unique and decidedly unpleasant smell of these places. On many occasions, we would walk into a room while people were still having intercourse. The smell was always unpleasant. When I began this study, the Lord brought to mind these experiences with the prompting that this was another and final warning to a person not to continue in iniquity. Scripture touches on this in Proverbs when speaking of the adulteress. The text says “I have decked my couch with coverings, colored spreads of Egyptian linen; I have perfumed by bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.” What were these spices for but to cover up the smell? How come? Someone may ask, is this sensation not experienced negatively in marriage? It is because in marriage the Lord created the experience to bond the couple, to make them one. One’s own smell does not bother oneself, a further indication of the depth of the meaning of phrase, “and the two become one flesh.”

The remedy for adultery is applied most effectively when it is in concert with the persons’ motivational gift. The healer must consider the primary emotional, physical, or intellectual makeup of the adulterer.

The person’s degree of religiosity is another attribute which affects treatment. Sincere piety in an individual affects both the approach and timing of any intervention. Most failures in acquiring repentance of a very pious person can be attributed to lack of consideration given to these two elements. King David is the best illustration of timing and approach in the confrontation of immorality.

Nathan, the friend and prophet of David, waited nearly a whole year before the Lord prompted him to confront David.

Our tendency is to immediately react. But reacting this quickly inspires resistance. This is especially true if the person knows right from wrong. During the initial stages of sin, a person does not feel distance from the Lord. This is critical if one is to be successful in intervening. One waits for the Lord’s prompting not for one’s own feelings. Nathan waited for the right moment. How does one recognize this moment? It is a moment filled with loses and tragedy, for the offender. It might include, but not limited to personal illness, loss of significant family and or friends, and the potential loss of the most important person in this person’s live. Frequently this is months after the sin begins.

Also, during this period, the sinner will experience intense mood shifts which include euphoria, irritation, anger, and depression. One does not confront in a manner that allows the reaction to be displaced to another. One avoids any interaction which emotionally drains energy or anxiety from the adulterer. These feelings must be allowed to build with no release. For the most part passivity by as many significant people as possible is important until the proper moment arrives.

Confrontation, when it does come, is followed by as many consequences as possible experienced in as short a time as possible. Confrontation comes usually three to nine months after the onset. If the person is a physical person (motivational gifts of server, giver, or organizer), then it is important to emphasize physical consequences. If the person is an emotional person (motivational gifts of prophet, or mercy), then the consequences need to be emotional. If the person is intellectual (motivational gifts of teacher, exhorter), then the consequences are primarily intellectual and secondarily physical.

Examples of consequences might be rejection or abandonment for the emotional person. Utilization of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, or hearing) for consequences for physical individuals. Intellectual isolation for the intellectual persons is the effective avenue for consequences. The higher degree of religiosity in the offender tends to improve success.

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3-27-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 7

There is no cure for adultery. That however does not mean a person cannot stop, for they can. That does not mean they carry the guilt, for the blood of Jesus washes away sin. No, what we mean is the most that can be said is, “go thy way and sin no more.” Adultery, like the sins of betrayal, and murder goes with us to our graves. Hawthorn’s idea of the Scarlet Letter is not to far from the truth. Cain carried to his grave the murder of his brother. Peter was always haunted by the betrayal of his Lord. It needs to be made perfectly clear that these sins are forgivable. That is not the point. It is that the violation can never be undone.

Let me give an example from several years ago, what is being described is the beginning of an affair between two people who are “Christians.” Please note that at the time, this individual was saying these things, he was still married. In this case, the spouse had filed for divorce and in fact was ‘in love with another man’ who she later married.

“Thank you, Father, for giving me Janice. She is something my wife never was; an ideal woman. Just her touch causes me intense pleasure. Thank you for your gift.” Notice please the mixture of worshipfulness toward the Lord, who in this circumstance is given credit for providing a girlfriend. Notice the feelings or worship toward the girlfriend. This perfect couple married the day after the divorce was final, and themselves divorced nine months later. Seems they both found more perfect mates whom they then married. Often in the beginning stages of immorality there are intense religious feelings. These feelings go back to an awareness of God’s creative purposes, which Satan immediately twists into immorality.

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3-24-2026 – A Word to the Wise – PART6 –


The Lord has placed within people a powerful force which when used properly inhibits the sexual response over a short period of time, with two different people. What I am speaking of now is the normal person who is a Christian who is remorseful about their infidelity. How one can know it exists is by this simple test. If you are being unfaithful do you desire sex with your spouse after your infidelity? Have you wondered why you did not? Now reverse the situation. Did you desire sex with your paramour after sex with your spouse? Is there not a feeling of repulsion at the thought? Where did it come from? It may be identified as guilt however if examined closely one will discover that it originates as a physical feeling, not an emotional experience. Believe it or not, the marriage sexual relationship is very influential in the lives of a married couple. A man is typically repulsed by other women after sex with his wife. It is rare for a person to go and have sex with another person right after sex with one’s wife or husband. The Lord has built into our make up certain barriers, which are difficult to surmount. Wives open doors to other women when she talks to other women about her husband. One should never talk to the same sex person about his or her spouse and the sexual relationship.

Moreover, have you given thought to the type of disease that afflicts those who are unfaithful? I mean besides sexual transmitted disease? You see illicit sex results in illness. This illness begins with the breakdown of the autoimmune system caused by guilt, and anxiety. As physical breakdown starts to occur usually within the first three months of transgression symptoms such as susceptibility to minor illness, colds, flu, and other minor illnesses occur. Allergy problems either begin or intensify. Stomach and bowel problems, blood pressures and other physical difficulties begin. Later more severe illness may set in. Diabetes, cancer, and a whole host of genetically rooted illness start to reveal themselves. Our bodies are now vulnerable because of the breakdown of our system due to anxiety and guilt. Quite a price to pay for a little fling.

The severity of the experience of the faithful mate is often just as great as for the guilty party. This can be explained to some degree, by the fitness principle. For those who marry without premarital promiscuous sex, the experience of infidelity can be excruciatingly painful. This is because the fit to one mate was much closer. The breaking of this link brings intense pain. No one escapes from adultery unharmed.

For the person who has had an unfaithful spouse the element of trust is crucial. How can I trust this person or anyone else they ask? The truth, though painful, is that you cannot. In fact, the trait of trust is forever removed from this relationship. How then can I know or be secure in the relationship again? Is it worth reestablishing the relationship again? The answer is yes, most certainly, under specific conditions. The innocent party must never ever suggest, ask, or demand, the mate promise fidelity. Nor does one accept such a promise. To make such a request is paramount to asking them to gouge out their eyes and it is doomed to failure. Security can only come from one’s relationship with God. Moreover, he or she can be sure of one’s faithfulness by the manner or relationship he or she maintains with the Lord. If one fails the other will not be far behind.

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3-23-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 5

Perhaps the two most destructive consequences of illicit sex are disease and pregnancy. Amazingly, both are strong attractions in adultery. Note please the tremendous spread of sexually transmitted disease. One might say, “no one wants a sexually transmitted disease.” But the reality is that the offenders do want to be infected. Both want to have children in these unions. The modern age, with all of its preventive medicine, is unable to halt the intense desire for infection or pregnancy. The powerful overwhelming need for infection and pregnancy when immoral is far greater than the desire for protection. This is warned about in Proverbs. Chapters four through seven warn about his powerful desire. Just a couple of examples will suffice. In Proverbs 5:10-16, Solomon warns of three powerful consequences. The first is financial. The immoral person will experience others taking his wealth. Second, immorality will consume the flesh, and even in the process one will reject the warnings. Third, verse fifteen reveals the desire for pregnancy and many illegitimate children.

This drive for infection and pregnancy is all consuming. Even in an age when so many means are available to prohibit both pregnancy and infection, they continue to occur at an alarming rate.

The next stage is the aftermath. What takes place afterwards? Many whose marriages survive are prone to say ‘I will never do that again.’ They have discovered some of the most intense emotional pain possible. Though serious about never getting involved again, he or she is making a promise, which may not last. What the person knows at the time is that the cost was far beyond what was anticipated. Remembrance excruciating pain lapses and once again longs for the forbidden pleasure. Their spouse on the other hand learns first hand the price of forgiveness.

The innocent party, if they survive the storm, has some very difficult questions to ask and decisions to make. Questions like: Will it happen again? What do I do? Can I ever trust again? Should I get a divorce? What about the children? But most importantly: What would Jesus do?

More frequently these days you see bracelets on the wrist of teens, and on occasion adults with the initials “WWJD.” When asked what does it mean, most will readily say that the phrase stands for, “What Would Jesus Do? They know, but they really do not know. Just be aware that this phrase began in 1896 when it was created by Charles M. Sheldon in his little devotional book “In His Steps.” This book has been translated into twenty-one different languages and sold millions of copies. Some say its success was encouraged by the failure of the author to themselves asking.

Jesus has never been in my place with an adulterous mate, one may say. Yes, but that is only partially true, for He did experience betrayal at the hands of two friends, one of whom was very close. So what did He do? What did it cost?

For the first betrayer, it meant death, death by his own hand. We, of course, are speaking of Judas. I suppose some spouses have killed their mates for adultery whether it is physically, emotionally, or perhaps spiritually. Historically, betrayal ultimately cost more than any other sin past, present or future. Betrayal cost the Son of God his life. It was the direct cause of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., God’s judgment for the ultimate rejection of His Son, and His grace, and most importantly it is directly related to our salvation.

The second betrayer of Jesus was Peter. Jesus deals with Peter in much the same manner in which he deals with the woman caught in adultery in John 8. He deals with it simply, compassionately, directly. “Go thy way and sin no more.” In Peters case it comes in the sentence “Do you love Me, Peter?” Most commentators on John have a field day with the use of two different words for love found in this passage. Perhaps it is much simpler if we understand that it takes two Greek words to explain the powerful concept being spoken of. For the Hebrew word for love is such a powerful all-consuming term that it influences both the Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, and the Greek, the written language of the New Testament. All of that is to say betrayal is best met with love. Love is the crucial element in the cure of adultery, not the misfocused, erotic emotions of the moment. Rather, it is the love, which calls one into account for one’s behavior. Love which challenges one to forsake one’s immoral behavior.

copyright it, others suspect even more powerful reasons. The full saying by Sheldon was, “What would Jesus do if He were in my place?” This is the question many innocent mates find

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3-18-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 4

Men tend to not take the indebtedness seriously. A woman takes it very seriously, and will extract her price by one means or another, even if it means selling the debt to Satan. How does she do this? One method is bitterness. The other is cursing the man; a curse that is without cause has no effect. However, one that does have cause will bring harm, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Examples can be seen in sexually transmitted disease, mental and emotional illness, and spiritual weakness. One should not assume these are the only consequences. Ultimately, immorality utterly destroys the individual.

Proverbs outlines the stages of adultery. The first stage is a state of mind. This state of mind is ignorant of consequences and oblivious to the laws of God; a person looking for a good time bored with the routine of everyday life hoping to hide transgression under the cloak of darkness. This person knows what he is seeking, and the search is observable by others. It is observed in the eye, in the dress, facial expressions, non- verbal language and the dress of the predator. The person does not have to be a prostitute. It can be a bored housewife or a man just looking for a good time.

Often the path to adultery begins with the little things, such as the normal every day kindness of another, which we focus on and compare with the behavior of our spouse. Here are some sample statements given by clients in this initial state.

John, several years ago, was a client who was locked into a marriage with a selfish, self-centered wife, who was consumed with her own attractiveness. In the beginning, John tried to be giving and hold on to the biblical principles his parents had taught him. But the first indication of a breakdown in his moral judgments came when he was observed ‘admiring ‘ every female coming into his line of sight. He talked about how innocent this was and how all men do it. As time pasted, he started talking incessantly about a girl at work, which seemed to be very helpful. She would listen to him talk about his unfulfilling marriage. His complaints about his wife increased, compliments decreased, and his praise of Judy escalated. John, his family, Judy and her family quickly became aware of the high price of this mutual attention.

It takes a considerable amount of energy to engage in the emotional requirements of the pre-adulterous state. On the one hand you have the emotional desires toward the new friend which are somewhat fulfilling while on the other anger and hostility towards one’s spouse grow with accusations of the spouse’s unfitness for not meeting needs. Significant time spent engaging in this new relationship robs one’s family of valuable time, emotional, mental, and physical presence, and ones spiritual involvement. So, from the onset the investment made in the new relationship takes away from the old.

Warning signals from friends are ignored. Soon communication between the two is accomplished in every secret dark conceivable manner, at work or at home, at midday, or midnight. There is no more peace. The person involved in this kind of relationship tends to become highly irritable for no apparent reason. Often their behavior seems irrational or purposeless. Time once spent with family members is now spent with one’s lover. Relationships deteriorate, at home, at work, in the community, and in the church. When the hunt begins it is much like watching a moth flying close to a flame. The attempt is to get as close as possible without being burned. Few escapes unhurt.

The actual attempts at lovemaking create a huge chasm. Notably most experience this as a milestone in life, a dividing point, a great divide. Once the sexual relationship occurs the couple becomes aware that all things are different. The betrayal affects virtually every relationship in life, parents, friends, even enemies, but most importantly, one’s relationship with the Lord changes dramatically. To some, these changes can be very exciting. The excitement even becomes addictive. To others, the guilt is overwhelming, and the trite saying ‘the agony and the ecstasy,’ takes on a whole new personal meaning. Once this chasm has been crossed no one will escape unhurt. Even if a spouse has deliberately pushed the mate into the relationship, just to get rid of them, the consequences for everyone is overpowering.

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3-16-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 3

Satan knows he cannot duplicate this sense of pleasure and contentment. Thus, he masks the purpose of sex by focusing on the outward appearance of the woman entangling the man in a web of lies. These lies lead to sexual addiction, for the imitation lacks the satisfaction of the real thing. The real thing is fulfilling companionship. Because Satan’s substitute does not work, it is sought many times in hopes of attaining that which it promises, but fails to deliver. Satan perverts good and delivers as a substitute an immoral act incapable of providing a real sense of companionship. Rather it provides just the opposite–a deep sense of emptiness and loneliness making one hunger and yearn even more intensely.

It is quite simple. After the sex act, the man is drawn frightenly close to the person. This happens because God created the yearning for companionship in man’s spirit. The strength of these feelings equals that experienced in any addiction. Addiction proceeds from the mind or heart. Addictions diminish the yearning for companionship as found in the marital relationship. The yearning for companionship is sewn into the fabric of mans spirit, and is a kin to the experience of worship. The fear man experiences in the sex act accounts both for the desire for immoral relationships (because closeness is not required) and explains why sex outside of marriage is so different from sex in marriage. For the women the chief fear in sex is that the man will possess her, consume her, own her, and not honor his debt to her.

Outside of marriage, man has sex with a woman for much the same reason a dog urinates on every tree or car in the neighborhood. It enlarges his domain. The woman is promiscuous because she desires to destroy man. She innately knows that promiscuous sex is destructive, destructive physically, in that one may acquire all manner of disease, destructive emotionally because intimacy is impossible and it is destructive spiritually since God’s Word expressly says that adultery will get one the hot place. The foolish man fails to recognize that this behavior robs him of his wealth, health, and heritage.

Moreover, the result of immorality for the man is anger towards the woman. This anger may be displaced to another object, but it is rooted in the sexual relationship. Examples stretch over six or more thousand years of biblical history to name a few as representative; Lamech, Hagar, Lot, Sarah, Isaac, Esau, Samson, David, Judah, Tamar, Moses, Absalom, Hosea, Herod, Herodias, and the list goes on.

Why is illicit sex a source of anger? (Illicit sex as used here means sex outside of marriage, or unpaid or perverse in marriage). Because it is like stealing, and there is no outlet for the emotions experienced. While when one has premarital sex with the future wife, it is problematic, it hardly compares with the devastation of multiple sex partners. The latter leads to each sex partner having a stake or claim on a part of the sinner’s soul which he or she can sell or trade to Satan.

The man owes a debt to the woman he has sex with in marriage or out of marriage. The woman senses this. If the debt is unpaid in marriage then bitterness accrues with the wife. Lack of payment in non -marital circumstances is rarely allowed for any significant period of time.

The debt may be paid at the discretion of the woman in one of the following ways. First, it may be paid physically. One example of this is the man sees that the woman is fulfilled sexually. It may be paid for materialistically, that is through money or gifts. It may be paid for emotionally, that is by meeting needs of affection or other emotional needs of the woman. It can be met spiritually. A positive example of this would be character training. A negative example would be in taking possession of another’s soul.

Now immorality never pays the full debt incurred. The failure to pay the debt in full results in an outstanding unpaid debt. Satan has a stake in that wherever there is an unpaid debt, he may step in, and buy out the debt and become the lien holder.

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3-15-2023 – PART 2


Sex gives one a unique knowledge of the other person. Sex is a function that bonds two together. Each time this occurs with a different person the capacity for a deep relationship becomes weaker. Neither male nor female can serve more than one mate. Even when God allowed it (Abraham, Jacob, etc) the consequences were extreme. Jacob took two wives in one week. I doubt he ever had another day of peace. Sarah forced upon her husband a sexual relationship with her handmaid. The children from that union continue to war even today.

One cannot be unfaithful in marriage or, have multiple marriages without paying a heavy price. This is one of the central problems that occur in blended families. They just do not mix. What allows a mixture in a marriage (like adoption) is the correct authority structure. In re-marriages, the authority structure is always confused. Ask any one who has been in a previous marriage to tell you about it, and the first words will usually indicate some of that confusion. For instance, how do they refer to the previous mate? People tend most often say their ‘ex.’ What exactly is an “ex-mate”? Do we refer to prior pregnancies in this manner? Am I ex-pregnant? Thus, even our language suggests the confusion surrounding prior marriages. Confusion leads to anxiety and insecurity, which are rampant killers of new marriages. Or is it more appropriate to say repeat marriage, or perhaps next marriage.

There are other reasons why multiple marriages are a bad idea. The man makes himself very vulnerable to the woman he has sex with. Her knowledge of him has the potential to destroy him. Ironically, by engaging in multiple relationships, the man hopes to weaken his fear, and dilute the strength of the woman’s power over him. I suspect much of the distrust between men and women may be traced back to a man’s subconscious awareness of his vulnerability to the woman. These warnings are spelled out in Proverbs chapters five, six and seven.

As startling as it may seem those who misuse, and abuse sex have no real knowledge of sex. Since sex was created by the Lord not Satan, true understanding must flow from the source. Certain things are known about God and may be trusted. God does not reveal his truths to the evil one, nor in the hands of the evil one will one discover the paths of life. One must seek knowledge of sex from its Creator, not its perverter. God is the source of all knowledge. I do not think for a moment that He would trust such knowledge to such wickedness. He would give it to the person who in marriage needs and desires such wisdom.

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3-14-2023 – A Word to the Wise – PART 1 OF 10



How does the Lord inoculate us against infidelity? Is there an antitoxin that He provides that neutralizes the toxic effects of dissoluteness? What are the long -term effects of immorality?

These are questions that are pertinent and timely given our present society.

The intended audience is Christians who are caught in the web of infidelity and desire to be free. Also in mind are Christians attempting to help individuals or families struggling with adultery. Some observations may be insightful for non-Christians, yet the treatments do not necessarily apply. The information present in the booklet on sex is a prerequisite to this booklet. The information presented will be of no importance to those who consider immorality a great pastime.

Some who have experienced firsthand the betrayal of a spouse wonder why the Lord refuses to intervene, or at the very least strike the offending mate dead. The Lord does not stop the headlong rush into sin. Surely, however the Lord places roadblocks and warnings in one’s path to warn one away from the impending destruction. One must really be serious about sinning in this manner to do it. Adultery is not accidental, nor something you just fall into unless the Lord is angry with you.

A basic understanding of the companionship needs of the man and the wisdom nature of the woman helps to explain some important things about the marital relationship. It also points to problems that occur when others are brought into the relationship. No one can have two sexual relationships without damaging one. Consider that in God’s Word you do not find one example of marriage, which included more than one woman in which peace reigned. The Lord accepted the relationships, but the consequences were always present.

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3-10-2023 – A Word to the Wise – CHRONICLING GOD’S BLESSINGS

My mother taught me about prayer. She was the godliest woman I have ever known. Many who knew her would agree and depended heavily on her prayers. Her first lesson: Prayer is a reciprocal conversation.

For years, until I was in my mid-teens, I thought that talking with the Lord was as natural as breathing. One Sunday in Bible class, the teacher mentioned praying about something. Naively I asked, “What did the Lord say?” The teacher’s reply was, “God does not talk to people.” I said, “He talks to me.” The teacher’s response, characteristic of the unbeliever, was that I must be crazy.

I went home and told my mother about the conversation. After hearing what had happened, she gave me a warning. “It is best,” she said “not to talk to people in the church about prayer. Few desires to believe deeply enough in the Lord to want to commune with Him.” She had some very stout words about Christians who pray and yet do not believe.

This incident introduced doubt into my prayer life. I struggled for several years wondering if prayer was a two-way conversation. Then I discovered a little devotional book called Prayers of a Modern Mystic. As I began to read, I was amazed at the author’s descriptions of his prayer life. It was just as my mother had taught me. Thereafter, I believed and practiced what I had been taught. However, I did refuse to talk with other Christians about prayer.

This disdain for speaking to others about prayer reached a peak in graduate school. I was sitting in a class one Wednesday evening, and the topic of prayer came up. One lone individual began to verbalize his experiences with prayer. It was what I had been taught and practiced all my life. Everyone in the class started criticizing and demeaning the person. I sat in silence. My silence reflected my fear of what people thought. Later, I was ashamed of my silence. I felt I had been disloyal to God.

One may believe or disbelieve in this type of communion. Entrance into heaven will not be determined by an individual’s belief on this subject. But after years of study and reflection, I have concluded that those who desire the experience of this type of prayer life should have it. Therefore, I would like to share how one goes about developing a reciprocal prayer life.

Why Differing Levels Of Intimacy In Prayer?

One question I have struggled with over the years is, “Why is it that some people experience reciprocal prayer naturally and others either do not experience it, or find it difficult to develop?” Ten years ago I was asking the Lord about prayer, and why some did not experience prayer as I did. He brought to mind something that happened in my life long ago.

When I was twelve, my father died. This was the culmination of a very painful childhood filled with abandonment, rejection, abuse, and neglect. About a month after his death, I was walking home from school one day. The thought came to mind, “Do you want me to be your Father?” The question was a direct statement and came as a thought in my mind. I said that I did.

As God reminded me of this incident, a flood of other thoughts filled my mind, almost faster than I could assimilate them. Pictures of Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Solomon, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Paul, Timothy, and on and on. All of these individuals had a common experience. They had been abandoned, neglected, abused, fatherless, widowed, orphaned, or had forsaken everything for the Kingdom of God. People in these circumstances tend to naturally desire a more personal relationship with the Lord.

The Lord then brought to mind II Corinthians 1:3-4 which says, “…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.” Two groups of people are identified, those who are comforted directly by the Lord and those who are comforted by those whom He has comforted. The people who make up the second category prefer that God comfort them through others. Similarly, they prefer that God speak to them through others. There is nothing wrong or inferior about this prayer method. It is like the situation at Mount Sinai when the people fled from God and insisted that He speak through Moses. Some prefer a little distance between themselves and the Lord. For those who yearn for greater intimacy, another experience is possible.

The Prayer Journal

The easiest way to teach prayer in this manner is to start by keeping a prayer journal. I would not recommend a pre-published journal, which has a lot of categories or praying suggestions. I prefer starting with a blank page. Office supply stores and bookstores have hardbound blank books suitable for use. Loose-leaf notebooks are not very suitable for journals of intimate prayer. The reason for using a bound book is so that it will survive. Loose-leaf notebooks come apart and the pages can be removed added or changed, which can detract from the journal’s credibility. You want your writings to be credible to the reader. Repeatedly, the Bible contains injunctions to write down what the Lord has said. One of the passages most meaningful to me is Malachi 3:16, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another; the Lord heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and thought on His name.” Why not name the prayer journal A Book of Remembrance of God’s Faithfulness?

The reason that the journal needs to be durable and credible is displayed in the purpose the journal plays in the Lord’s scheme of things. The journal is a chronological record of your prayer requests and the answer to those prayers. It is to be passed on to your children and their children as a testimony to God’s faithfulness in your life. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” The journal is a record of your faith and the Lord’s intervention in your life.

The writer of Hebrews talks at length about the faith of our fathers, saying, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” When you start recording God’s interventions in your life, you add your name to the list of faithful witnesses. When your children are confused, tempted, and afflicted, they open God’s word to find strength and renewal. They pick up your prayer journal, and page after page affirms prayer and answers to prayer, continuing even until the present. They now have a stronger faith and hope rooted in God’s Word and your experience.

Entering Prayer Requests in the Journal

The next step is the composition of the prayer request. On the left side of the page, write the date and time of the prayer. This is to establish a chronological order, where page after page will reflect first the prayer and then the answer. Anyone viewing the journal will be able to see the order and establish the sequence of events. It is important to include the time because God might answer later in the day or even immediately.

It is important to formulate your request in a single simple sentence. If you include more information than the one request, you are faced with the problem of partial answers. The Lord may answer part of the prayer now and another part ten years from now. Therefore, it is not wise to have compound or complex sentences because it makes it difficult to record the answer and show God’s work.

You might wonder whether you should write every prayer in this journal. You should not. The journal should include only the prayers which address issues which may build faith in you, and in those who read it after you. The journal is not a diary of your feelings. It is a journal of God’s work. Some things may be entirely too personal to share with others. Some prayers may address issues in the lives of others, which need not ever be made public.

On the right side of the page, you will record the date, time the prayer was answered, and the method employed. Some of the prayers will be answered immediately, some later in the day, week, or month. Sometimes it may be years. This means you will frequently have to go back and check your prayers for answers. It is not necessary to repeat prayers, but you may if you wish.

How God Answers Our Prayers

When we say to record the method of answer, we are referring to how the answer came. One way the Lord answers prayer is by putting a thought in someone’s mind. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously.” The typical manner in which this is received is in the form of thoughts which He gives us.

How, you may ask, do you tell the difference between your thoughts and the ones He gives you? One of the first characteristics is that you realize, “ I have never thought about that before.” You might also experience a sense of wonderment. Another experience that accompanies the answer is a sense of peace. That does not necessarily mean you like the answers. Some you like, and some you do not. It does not mean you must do or believe something. But you do experience the uniqueness of the answer.

When I counsel, I continually ask the Lord for wisdom, understanding about the person’s root problems, insights, interventions, and I pray for these things even during the sessions. The answers come just as quickly. Most often, the answers include references to biblical characters or events, which reflect something about the situation at hand.

Some prayers are answered in dreams. Job 33:14-17 declares, “For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, that He may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man.”

Several years ago, I worked with substance abusers at a state mental hospital. I was en-route to work one day, and I had been praying about many things, when suddenly it was as if part of the sky parted, and I walked into a huge room. Scattered all over the floor were golden egg-like objects. I picked one up. It broke apart, and knowledge came out. As this began to occur, I asked the Lord to see that I forgot nothing until I could get it written down. What were some of the bits of pure knowledge? For one thing, I desired to know the root of addiction and how to conquer it. The knowledge escaping from the object indicated that the root sin was idolatry, and the treatment was gratitude. I began to use this information in my therapy classes and was amazed at the results among those who wanted to be released from bondage.

So, prayers may be answered in visions. How else are prayers answered? Often, they come through authority figures. It is not necessary for that authority to be a Christian or even “a good person” for that matter. It becomes our task to distill the Lord’s words for us from what authorities tell us.

Several years ago, I had a client who was greatly distressed because of his father’s verbally abusive manner. This abuse occurred all through childhood and continued even into the present. The father had always criticized the son for being overweight. He was not overweight and was in excellent physical shape. Nevertheless, his father had quoted the scripture to him found in Titus 1:12 “…Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This verse is a harsh and cruel thing to say! Now on the surface, the passage did not apply to the son. The father was expressing his own anger. Yet the Lord had used this incident to get the son’s attention about something, He wanted the son to change. When the son put aside the outer clothing of the cruel father and sought God’s message, he found an answer to some spiritual problems he had struggled with for years.

What If You Are Unsure Of Your Answer?

Confusion asserts itself when the will is involved. If we resist the answer, we feel confused. Some may wonder how to know whether an answer might be from Satan. There is a vast difference between a thought from Satan and one from God. With Satan, one feels pleasure or even intense pleasure and guilt at the same time, like what one might experience with pornography. This never happens with prayer. Moreover, Satan is not omniscient. He does not know our thoughts. He can plant thoughts, but he does not know what we think. He knows us by our behavior and by what we say. Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and no be no.” The more we verbalize, the more Satan knows about us. The verbal prayers he hears, the silent ones he has no awareness of. I cannot say with any degree of certainty, but it would seem that Satan is illiterate. Would that not be a real laugh!

One further bit of direction. I John4 1-4 tells us to test the spirit speaking to us. How one may as? Simply ask the spirits to say that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God who died and was resurrected. Satan cannot affirm that answer.

Often one hears that we should not pray for everything. Frequently some would suggest that material things should never be requested. The Lord wants us to be totally dependent on Him. He asks for absolute surrender. If one surrenders everything to the Lord, he has no choice but to ask for everything from Him. There is nothing too great or too small. Whether something should be asked for is based on its use. Is this going to be used to further God’s Kingdom, His good name or mine?

What do you do if you are unsure of an answer? Simply ask the Lord to verify the answer. Gideon was unsure, so he asked the Lord to verify His word. That was not disbelief. I want to do God’s will, so at times that means making sure my will is not in the way.

Last year I had a client who started keeping a prayer journal. He was struggling with whether he should go ahead and build a home on some land his father gave him. He felt the Lord had answered yes and had entered it in his prayer journal. But it was such a big endeavor; he wanted to make sure. I had told him when in doubt about an answer, simply ask the Lord to verify the answer. So, he asked the Lord to verify his first answer.

The next day he was walking with his daughter at the base of the hill where he was thinking of building the home. Suddenly, his daughter asked, “When are you going to start building the house?” Now he had never told her of his thoughts about building a house. He immediately knew the Lord had verified his previous answer through the mouth of his daughter. He built the home.

Examples of Intimate Prayer

It is important to date and time one’s prayers. I learned this by reading the prayer journal of George Mueller. In his journal you read where Mueller pours out his needs for the orphanages in England that he established. Frequently, he would tell the Lord of needs for food, clothing, and other needs of the orphans. A knock would come at the door. A person would tell him that he had been prompted to bring a certain gift. Now the amazing thing about this ministry was that Mueller never told anyone about the needs of the orphanage. He never advertised or sought funds. He simply told the Lord his needs. He died at the age of ninety-three, thousands of orphans cared for, and never a public request about a need. The timing of the prayer builds faith. We will return to some examples from George Muller’s prayer journal.

The prayer journal thus presents to others and ourselves a history of the Lord’s saving works. Most of all, the journal becomes the most important part of our heritage which we leave for our children.

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