PRISON MINISTRY OF FATHER’S HOUSE BIBLE CHURCH

PRAISE REPORT

Jesus Christ says: “I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me” (Mt 25:36)

Last Friday, our church went to do ministry at the Warri Okere Prisons. All the male prisoners were gathered in their open hall and waiting. There is a great revival going on there. Pastor Leigh preached a message of salvation. He told them that God arrested them to talk to them. That it is better to be in prison and become saved by Jesus Christ, than to be ‘free’ walking in the town and maybe killed by police. At the end Pastor gave an altar call and many came forward to give their lives to Christ. They prayed and prayed with loud voices and tears. Their ‘prison pastor’ brought a plate for offerings. My husband and our church members were surprised to see that the prisoners had money and gave offerings. (The money was for their prison pastor and his ministry and not for our church.)

The next day, the prison pastor called to say that one of our church members forgot his Bible there. The prisoners found it and returned it to him. Inside the Bible they found 700 Naira. They gave the Bible and the money to their prison pastor. This is a miracle. They could have stolen the Bible and the money but they did not.

God bless the prisoners in Okere Prison Warri, especially the ones who are children of God!

To God be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!

STOP GOSSIP

“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much… I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (PV 20:19; Mt 12:36)

Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the private affairs of others. It is the work of the devil, a form of spiritual attack. The Hebrew word is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.” A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip is more than just sharing information. The intent of the gossipers is evil! Their desire is to build themselves up by making others look bad; by exalting themselves to be like God, as the source of all knowledge and secrets. Gossipers speak of the faults of others, revealing potentially embarrassing details about the lives of others without their knowledge or approval.

In the book of Romans, Paul reveals the sinful nature of mankind, stating how God poured out His wrath on those who rejected His laws. Because of that He gave them over to their sinful natures. The terrible list of sins includes gossips and slanderers (Romans 1:29-32). We see from this passage how serious the sin of gossip is and that it characterizes those who are under God’s wrath. Men and women practice gossip. But the single or divorced women and also young widows have a higher tendency to gossip because they have more time to spend with one another and learn to talk too much. This is how they bring God’s judgment on themselves (1Tim 5:13).

Gossip is a very dangerous activity. It is a slow poison poured in the midst of families and church. Gossip may look like innocent entertainment but it is sin and God hates it! Because gossip is ‘sweet’ it becomes more addictive that heroin. Demons take control over the heart and the tongue. The character of the persons practicing gossip changes radically. They become trouble makers, liars, boasters, proud and lazy. Gossips need deliverance in the name of Jesus! (PV 18:8). The gossips become traitors, home-breakers, deeply hurting many (PV 11:13; 12:18; 20:19). The gossips ignite quarrels and divisions. They destroy friendships and can lead couples to divorce (PV 16:28; 26:20). The gossips are cowards, untrustworthy and rebellious people. They reject God’s law that says ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.  In fact, they hate their neighbors unto death. God is watching and we are to pay for every careless word we speak! “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the LORD” (Lev 19:16; NLT)

What is the solution? Hope and healing is found in Christ alone! If you are a gossip, repent of the sin and turn away from it. Come to Jesus! Stop this wicked, restless and reckless way of life. Settle down! Learn to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life! If you are not a gossip but you have friends who practice this sin, then separate immediately from them. Do not associate with them so that they may feel ashamed of their conduct. The Holy Spirit will convict them of sin and He will vindicate your choice to withdraw from them. In this way, you avoid evil and you cut off the possibility of hurting your emotions, your marriage and your children (1Thess 3:6-15)! God will help you!

THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYER HAS COME

“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer” (Dan 10:23)

Intercession is a blessed work. The greatest favor and love you can show to someone is to pray for him or her. The devil hates it! But keep on praying! When you pray for someone, learn to keep your eyes on Jesus! Stay focused! Be patient, loving and faithful! The devil attacks with doubts and distractions. Do not get lost in details. Persevere in prayer and you shall be rewarded with God’s presence and a testimony.

The following examples are taken from my ministry as a wife and as a pastor. These are to encourage you to persevere in prayer. The first example: your husband is passive spiritually. You pray for him to be a man of God. Then one day he buys a religious book that is not a Christian book. Or he starts praying in a way that is not good, or he wants to attend a ‘dead’ church.  Do not panic! Encourage him in his efforts. After many ups and downs he will arrive at Jesus and become born again. The second example: your husband is not loving or romantic but you want him to be. You pray for him! One day he invites you to the wrong restaurant or buys for you a gift you hate, trying to be romantic. Do not complain! Encourage him. It takes great effort to improve in life. This is the third example: your husband is lazy and you pray that he will become more responsible. He needs to work so that he can provide for the home. Suddenly, he accepts a wrong job (according to you). Do not be discouraged! God is working in mysterious ways! He may have to learn from a wrong job with a wicked boss.  But the wrong job will force him to wake up in the morning and go to work. That is already a gain. It may be a little gain, but the little gain will increase when God is inside.

These are just few examples to increase your faith and patience. Trust God that once you start praying, an answer shall be released in your favor. The devil will try to stop the work of God but he will surely fail! Do not be afraid! The answer to your prayer has come! God can never lose! Be ready for a great testimony!

THE NEW ROOT OF PEACE

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Heb 12:14, 15; LBT)

The root is the underground (invisible) part of a plant. Roots make up around one-third of the total dry weight of a plant. These are the main functions of the roots:

*To anchor and support plants

*To absorb and conduct water and minerals to the leaves and the fruits

*To store products of photosynthesis (carbohydrates, sugars, proteins)

*For winter survival of perennials

It is difficult to predict the root spread of any plant.  Under favorable growing conditions, the typical root spreads very fast. For example, I read that the total length of root tissues in a single rye plant is around 380 miles!

Bitterness is the result of a past painful injury that has not been healed. It comes from broken promises, lost dreams, proud and unrealistic expectations, childhood neglect or sexual abuse. Bitterness starts with blaming God for the pain. Its root is in rejecting Christ crucified, the only mediator between God and man. Bitterness is lack of peace between God and man. God chastises His people. That is He loving work as a Father. We should be grateful for His corrections. Jonah was angry with God. He eventually repented when rebuked by Him. Absalom was angry with his father and brother but he never repented and died a bitter rebellious man. What a loss…

The work of the Holy Spirit is to create the peculiar loving bond between the believers which is the unity of the Spirit. Bitterness destroys this holy bond of peace and love. Bitterness is a major source of divisions in the churches, quarrels and divorces even among the believers.

In Christ I declare:

I am a child of God!

As much as it is in my power, I shall pursue peace with all people!

I repent and reject all forms of quarrel, division, slander and jealousy!

I pay the price for holiness for I desire to see the Lord Jesus Christ!

I humble myself so that God’s grace, God’s favor may increase on my life!

I repent and uproot any root of bitterness! I have no regrets!

I am deeply grateful for what God has done and what He does in my life!

The deep root of bitterness has been replaced with the deep root of gratitude and peace!

The new root of peace shall be fruitful in my life!

I am a peace-maker!

I separate myself from any loser who lives in habitual sexual sin and idolatry like Esau!

I vow to immediately repent from any sin the Holy Spirit reveals to me!

I vow to give God all the glory for all good things in my life!

In Jesus name

Amen!

TOO MUCH SLEEP

“But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:13, 14)

From time to time I meet believers who are under demonic spells. They need help and deliverance. But mostly they need to hear the truth and wake up from the bewitching slumber. Truth is like cold water in the morning. It is not pleasant but it will do you good! The normal adult needs eight hours of sleep daily to stay healthy. Many have difficulty waking up early in the morning. These are some of the causes: you do not sleep enough; you drink too much coffee or tea in the evenings; you hate the things you do in the mornings; depression and other sicknesses.

What can you do to wake up easier in the morning? You need to get up from the bed immediately you hear the alarm. The longer you stay in bed, the greater the temptation to fall back to sleep. Do not worship sleep! Go to the bathroom and take a (cold) shower. Put on the light. Sleep hates the light but you need to wake up! You also need a good plan for the mornings, something to make you happy. For example, do you remember, as a child, if you have a bad teacher you will not like to wake up to go to school? But if in the morning you plan to go on vacation, you will wake up early, quickly and excited. Spiritually it is the same. The devil brings negative thoughts, fears and depression. These are spiritual arrows and attacks. Sleep is like a drug. That is why going to sleep you will not like to wake up, so that you do not have to face these terrible thoughts.

Sleep in the natural is the same as spiritual slumber. If an evil person places a spell on you, your spirit just goes to sleep. You become like the ‘sleeping beauty’. The mind, the spirit becomes dull and passive. This may be the result of demonic attack. Lack of vision or fears of tomorrow, these are common reasons why you will not like to wake up from the spiritual slumber. It is like you close your eyes hoping the tragedy or the pain will go away. But you need to wake up and stand to fight the battle to free your soul! Do not hide behind food or sleep. It is your duty to do spiritual warfare. Child of God, I encourage you! Stand up! Take the whole armor of God and fight back! May your body soul and spirit wake up and shine for all to see Christ on you! Pray in the Spirit! Pray in your language! But wake up and pray! Pray to be like God who does not sleep or slumbers! God will glorify Himself in you! This is a new season! You cannot afford to be sleepy, lazy or weak!  God loves you!   God will help you! I trust God for you!

WHAT THE WIVES NEED FROM THEIR HUSBANDS?

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph 5:25-28)

The answer to this question is taken from the Word of God, from my experience as a wife married for more than 41 years and my experience as a Pastor. The devil hates godly marriages. A successful marriage takes a lot of effort. That is why the spiritually lazy are unhappily married.

Any woman, but especially if she is born again, has her own dreams concerning marriage. This is because she reads the Bible and she sees God’s standard concerning the men. What does a Christian woman desire from her husband? The husband must love her ‘as Christ loves the Church’. This is the greatest love of all. This love is not just a seasonal emotion, but a forever sacrificial love. The husband must pray with and for his wife. Before praying for friends and the extended family, the husband must regularly pray for his wife. One of the sweetest times for me it is when my husband calls me and says: “My wife, let me pray for you…” To me this is the highest for of love in action.  A godly husband must ‘wash’ his wife with eth Word of God. He must study the Bible to have enough ‘water and soap’ to do it.

A husband must provide for the wife. He must be an ambassador of Jehovah Jireh in the home. A godly husband is to be a trustworthy man. He must keep his word. He should not promise things he cannot perform. Breaking a promise to the wife means breaking her heart. And that takes long to repair.  The husband must lead in the skill of communication. They should both talk ‘heart to heart’, about everything. Silence is not a good communicator. You may misinterpret the absence of words. My husband and I we talk about everything. We are friends, lovers and co-laborers in ministry.

The husband must correct the wife in love. This correction is an art. Do not correct in anger, but always in love. Be patient and expect good changes. Rejoice when the changes come.  The husband must be a good father to the children. The husband must help carry the wife’s burdens. He must pray to understand his wife. This is not an easy task but with the help of the Holy Spirit he will succeed. He must make her laugh for laughter is like a medicine. He should discuss the issues of money with her. They should not be greedy or wasteful. They should pay their tithes and offerings in the church.

He must encourage her to be all that God wants her to be. He should not expect perfection for no man or woman is perfect. But they should mature spiritually and rejoice in the journey of life. Each season of life is beautiful in the presence of God!

This is a prayer I pray for many years. It has worked for me. If you have faith, it will work for you!

“Lord Jesus, help me to see You in my husband’s eyes…help me to feel Your touch thru my husband’s hands. Bless our marriage. Bless our Home with your presence. Let the water be changed into wine in our marriage, In Jesus name, amen!”

PRAYER IN JESUS NAME

The prayer meeting started slowly. Maybe it was the rain outside that made some people spiritually cold. Maybe it was an attack. Only God only knows. But long ago we made a vow to God that each time we come to church we must seek God’s face until He reveals Himself to us. We praised and we worshipped until the atmosphere changed. We became hungrier for the Word. Then the message came.

What does it mean to pray in Jesus name?
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14)
This promise is so simple. Even a child can understand it. Then why does God not answer it more often when we pray? The asking is the easy part. What we stumble at is ‘in My name’. We do not understand what it means to pray ‘in Jesus name’. The following is a simple story that helps us to understand the authority we have as children of God to pray in the name of Jesus!
It is like a poor man going to Zenith Bank. All he has in that bank is 10 naira. His child is sick and he needs 1000 naira for the doctor. He writes a personal cheque with his name for 1000 naira. He presents it to the cashier. The Bank refuses to give him the money for he does not have that amount in his account. Even if he begs or screams and tells the bank officials that his child is sick, they will not give him the money.
The police arrest him for trouble making. They beat him and send him home. His child is still sick. He almost gives up. Then a stranger comes and gives him a cheque for 1000 naira in His name. The name of the stranger is Jesus Christ. He tells him that each time he has a need , he should ask and He will come back and supply. The poor man is not sure if that cheque will be honored. He has no other option. He goes back to the same Bank. The bank officials insult him at the gate. (When you learn to use the name of Jesus, the demons will mock and hinder you). But he ignores their insults and goes in. he presents the cheque signed by Jesus. The bank official looks at his computer. He discovers that under the name of Jesus are millions upon millions. Jesus has unlimited credit with the bank of heaven. They give him the 1000 naira and they even bow to him. It does not matter if he has money or not in his account. Pastor Tony added that even the Bank manager comes to bow down to this poor man.

This is the difference between asking in your name, using your self-confidence and asking in the authority of the name of Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I have to depend on the merits of Christ. If I depend on my righteousness no money shall be given to me, no matter how much I beg. But the grace and provision of my Lord is limitless!

We ended the prayer meeting with thanksgiving for God’s Word and God’s Spirit.