Tag Archives: Bruce Atchison

Dare We Claim it in Jesus’ Name?

Dare We Claim it in Jesus’ Name?

by Bruce Atchison

trust

In my previous post, I wrote about the childish prayers I used to pray. Though my surrender to Christ in 1969 corrected my errant notions about what prayer is, elders at a house church led me into a far worse error.

The congregation I joined met in a widow’s basement which had been converted into a place of worship. The doctrines which the lay minister taught were a syncretistic mix of lies, blasphemies, and misapprehensions of scripture. One of these wrong teachings was that believers could name and claim whatever they wanted to happen in Jesus’ name. This appealed to me particularly since I felt tired of being powerless.

My hopes were soon dashed when the results of my presumptuous declarations refused to happen. No matter how much I worked up my faith, my sight never improved and things didn’t occur the way I wanted them to. Even when the congregation laid hands on me, spoke in tongues, and prayed, my eyesight never improved.

Worse yet, the elders accused me of lacking faith, hiding sin in my heart, having a root of bitterness, lusting for good sight, and being cursed with ancestral sin. At no time during my attendance at that church did they admit that their faith might not be up to the task.

These chidings and failures to be healed, angered me to the point where I turned my back on God for nine years. I figured that He was too stingy to give me what would help me earn a living and glorify His name. Only after I made a bad condo purchase did I realize I needed Christ’s help in running my life.

The Lord led me to an evangelical church and to the broadcasts of excellent apologetics teachers. Now I know that God is sovereign and that whatever comes our way is permitted by Him. I feel so much happier knowing this wonderful truth. No more can I be blamed for lacking enough faith to make something happen.

My faith is my trust in the heavenly Father,
not some spiritual force I generate. (click to tweet)

“Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (Hebrews 12:13, NIV).

What happens is part of God’s plan, therefore it’s for our long-term good and His glory.

Bruce Atchison

Bruce is a legally-blind Canadian freelance writer with articles published in a variety of magazines. He has also authored three paperbacks. He frequently posts on his www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com and www.bruceatchison.wordpress.com blogs. Atchison lives in a tiny Alberta hamlet with his house rabbit, Deborah.

What is Your Motive for Praying?

What is Your Motive for Praying?

by Bruce Atchison

pray

 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11, KJV). 

Were you taught how to pray when you were a child? Doubtless you did so because your parents wanted you to. In my case, my parents didn’t teach me to kneel and pray at bedtime but the supervisory staff at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind made us say grace. We recited the same words at each meal. As a result, I formed the opinion that God was a supervisor who would punish me if I didn’t say the right words at mealtime.

Learning The Lord’s Prayer was also important to the Anglican Church people with whom I attended church each Sunday morning. We had to recite the words exactly, even if we didn’t understand what “trespasses” meant. When I did manage to get all of the words in their proper order, I felt proud of myself. It gave me an advantage over those who couldn’t do so. The same held true for The Apostle’s Creed when I learned how to recite it.

When I found out that I could ask God for things, I prayed selfish prayers. Often times, I felt disappointed when I wasn’t sent back home from that horrid institution or I didn’t get what I wanted for my birthday. The lack of positive answers to my prayers caused me to resent God and to feel that He was mean.

Only when I was a teenager did I learn
about prayer as communication with God.
(click to tweet)

By then, I had surrendered my life to Christ after learning about having a personal relationship with Him. Though I prayed mainly for my needs and wants, I began petitioning for others.

It seems to me that many people pray today as a way to get their wants fulfilled. When nothing happens, some folks use that excuse to justify their unbelief.

As I matured, I came to realize that praying
for others helps us take our eyes off our own situations.
(click to tweet)

It also benefits those who hear us when we pray for them. Though the context of 1 Corinthians 13:11 isn’t specifically about prayer, we all have had times when we mouthed the words taught to us or didn’t even know we could talk to God as the heavenly Father that he is. A day will come when we’ll speak face to face with him and no longer need to guess at His reply.

Bruce Atchison

 Bruce is a legally-blind Canadian freelance writer with articles published in a variety of magazines. He has also authored three paperbacks. He frequently posts on his www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com and www.bruceatchison.wordpress.com blogs. Atchison lives in a tiny Alberta hamlet with his house rabbit, Deborah.

What’s the Point of Prayer Anyway?

What’s the Point of Prayer Anyway?

by Bruce Atchison

Prayer

Kneeling to Pray

 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him (Matthew 6:7-8 KJV) .

In my previous post to this blog, How I Got a Miracle House, I’ve dealt with my childish misunderstanding of prayer and my errant use of Christ’s name. Both misapprehensions came from my not knowing about the sovereignty of God. Because many Christians lack this knowledge, they stray into many harmful beliefs.

One question which comes up often is why bother praying if the Lord already knows what we need.

Prayer isn’t some magic incantation but
our dialogue with our heavenly Father.

As a loving father, he wouldn’t give us what would maliciously hurt us. Whatever happens to us is filtered through his permissive will. The first chapter of Job is a good example of how Satan can’t do anything unless God lets him do it. At the end, Job had twice as many cattle and other things. He also had another family on earth as well as those waiting for him in heaven.

The Lord demonstrated his sovereign power to me by granting my prayer for a quiet location in which to write. I moved from place to place in Edmonton but every new apartment, condo, or house I moved to had disagreeable neighbours. I finally concluded that relocating to a small town might be better.

In the spring of 2000, I received a lump sum payout from the federal government. As a clerical worker, the Public Servants Alliance of Canada claimed that people in my category weren’t paid the same as other government employees. The Treasury Board awarded us with the accumulated back pay after they lost their court case against the PSAC.

As I toured house after house in small communities, I prayed that I would find a place with no nearby neighbours and within walking distance of a town. When I found my current home, I realized the Lord let it stand empty so that I could occupy it right away. Moreover, the hamlet had a grocery store and other amenities that were within walking distance of my house.

I used most of the money from the government to put a down payment on my new  home and to install a septic field. My gift from God has been paid off for seven years and my hope is that I can live here for the rest of my life. It’s like a permanent writing retreat.

Bruce Atchison

Bruce is a legally-blind freelance writer. His articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and newsletters. Additionally, he is VP of Communication for the Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater constituency association of the Wildrose Party. Atchison is also the author of three memoirs. He lives in a tiny prairie hamlet with his two house rabbits. See him at his blog (WordPress) blog (Blogspot), TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Virtual Bookworm.

HOW I GOT A MIRACLE HOUSE

Today I would like to welcome Bruce Atchison, a new contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer. He discusses how his prayer request changed as he grew closer to God.

The Miracle House

by Bruce Atchison

A Shelter and Quiet Place (not Bruce’s house!)

John MacArthur once said that providence is a far greater miracle than miracles are. Since God is all powerful, He can create whatever He wishes. With providence, countless variable factors have to line up for God’s will to be done.

A dozen years ago, I learned this important lesson.

I prayed earnestly each day for a quiet place where I could write in peace.

God seemed deaf to my cries as I waited for his answer. Wherever I moved, noisy neighbours and loud cars ruined my concentration.

In April of 2000, my mom happened to mention a real estate lady who she chatted with at the mall. When she gave me her phone number, I asked about seeing houses in small towns.

The realtor drove me to several hamlets but the houses were too expensive or not the sort I had prayed for.

The Prayer:

I asked the Lord for a home not near other houses and outside of  a town with a grocery store.  I also said that if the house I liked was still on the market for a few days after I saw it, I’d buy it.

The Answer:

The real estate woman drove me to Radway one afternoon. The house we looked at was located across the tracks and had no other houses nearby. The hamlet had a grocery store, post office, drugstore, and library. When I called a few days later, it was still on the market.

Additionally, I received a large payment from the federal government at that time. Since I had been a clerical worker, the government had underpaid us. The lump sum not only paid the down payment but I added a septic field to the system.

If any one of the factors had been different, I might still be renting or paying a hefty mortgage.

Thanks to God’s all-inclusive care, I now own my home and have had twelve wonderful years of solitude. Most importantly, His marvelous gift corrected my errant notion that the Lord only gave people what they needed if they worked up enough faith.

Psalm 37:4 shows that we should line up our desires with those of our Lord. He knows what will be best for us and accomplish His will as well.

“Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

I wrote about this answer to prayer in my new paperback and e-book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.

 Bruce Atchison

Bruce is a legally-blind freelance writer. His articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and newsletters. Additionally, he is VP of Communication for the Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater constituency association of the Wildrose Party. Atchison is also the author of three memoirs. He lives in a tiny prairie hamlet with his two house rabbits. See him at his blog (WordPress) blog (Blogspot), TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Virtual Bookworm.