Prayers for the Parched: Expanding our Faith

God Will Not Be Shaken

God Will Not Be Shaken

I have set the LORD always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 16:8

 

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1

 

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, events of our carefully constructed worlds shattered.  Our ways of loving, praying, hoping, giving assurance and exercising tolerance don’t seem to be sufficient under the new reality of living with terrorism.

 

This is the time to press in toward God.  We need to expand our thinking, and expand our understanding of God’s grace.  We’re at a new level of needs:  personal, communal, and national.  Our God is big enough to meet these needs.  His promises hold me even now.  It’s time to draw on God’s limitless and untapped strength and wisdom to meet our evolving personal and word situations.  God promises to guide us in all aspects of our lives.  He is not shaken off his throne by these events, even if we are shaken.

 

Once we grasp what God shows us and we learn new navigation skills, insights, and truths, our hearts must consent to the new revelation.  Then it’s time to recommit our lives to living out these principles God will reveal more of himself to us to move the ever changing needs of the moment.

 

God, We need you more than ever

As the world we know crumbles around us

Reveal to us new levels of your grace and truth to meet the new reality we live in

Kindle our courage

Give us your heart and character to handle everything that’s coming our way

Help us redefine our faith

 

Lord, these events humble us and make us pause and realize that we need your diving strength and wisdom to figure out how to move forward

Teach us afresh, at this new place,

how to pray

how to love even our enemies

how to hope

how to give

how to comfort

how to tolerate

how to assure one another

Show us how to overcome our fears with confidence in you

Expand our faith to meet the shock waves of reality.

 

 


Prayers for the Parched: Recognizing the Riches

God's Riches are in His Wildflowers

God’s Riches are in His Wildflowers

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.  2 Thessalonians 1:3 

 

Psalm 50:14  Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High  Psalm 50:14

 

Forgive me for my ungratefulness

You have given me so much

And here I am asking you for more

Without fully appreciating the fullness of what I have in Christ

Without fully recognizing the riches in my current stage of life

Without enjoying all t he gifts of this days’ blessings

 

Open my eyes to see what I have

More importantly, let me see you in all of my life

You are present

Open my heart to receive

 

You are the decorator who adds that special touch to the décor of m y life

You are at work restoring all the pieces of the past

You are making all things new

You go before me to be there when I arrive at each stage of life

 

I will not wait for the final result to say thank you

In faith and by choice I say thank you now

For all that you are doing

For all that you have done in my life

Whether I recognize it or not

And for all that you have promised you will do in my life

 

 


Speaking Words of Life Over People

The  Angel Came and Called Gideon a Man of Valor

The Angel Came and Called Gideon a Man of Valor

Yesterday we looked at how the angel spoke over Gideon God’s view of Gideon.  Whatever Gideon’s excuse, the angel kept speaking the positive words of heaven. The angel had been sent to tell Gideon of God’s plan for Israel’s salvation.  As unlikely as the plan seemed in the natural, the prophetic words came to pass.

 

In the Healing Rooms, our Prayer Team spends the first hour “soaking.”  During this time, we ask God to strip off the pressures of the day and we take time to worship God and concentrate on His glorious presence.  We share the stories of people getting healed of diseases that have been happening in the previous two weeks. Stories of healing We focus on the power of our God to heal every disease.  We become so aware of God’s healing power that we are able to listen to whatever disease walks into our Healing Rooms and know that God is more powerful than any symptom.  He is able to heal all things.  By his stripes – His ability and His accomplished work – we are healed.

 

It is from soaking in this truth and reality that we pray for people out of a confident faith of what God can do.  We know He has compassion for all people.  And we know God is good.  These pillars of knowledge are the foundation of faith strength from which we pray for others when they walk in with cancer, insomnia, depression, shoulder pain, back pain – all kinds of symptoms.  God heals all illnesses.

 

 

 


A Look at Gideon – How God Changed a Self View

The Angel Found Gideon Hiding and Called Him Valiant

The Angel Found Gideon Hiding and Called Him Valiant

When we first meet Gideon in scripture, he is in hiding threshing wheat in the middle of the night in a wine press.  Difficult times for the Israelites required secrecy.  The Midianites, who were in power over the land of Israel, controlled the land by letting the Israelites grow crops and harvest them.  Then they would raid the land and take the harvest as their “tax” on the land leaving the Israelites at near starvation levels.

 

As Gideon was threshing away, an angel of the Lord appeared and called Gideon a valiant man.  His current activities were shrouded in cowardly behavior trying to avoid the penalties of the oppressors.  Yet the angel called him as God saw him: valiant.

 

The angel told Gideon what God was going to have him do – save the nation of Israel.  Then came a wave of excuses on how this was impossible in the natural  “O my Lord,[b] how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Gideon might even have wondered if this angel had the right address to be visiting.

 

The angel pays no attention and calls him a mighty warrior again and says Gideon might do this single-handedly. “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6:16.  It would appear to be a serious disconnect with reality.  Yet the angle saw Gideon as God saw him and was not to be dissuaded by the current cowardly circumstances.  The angel really did say Gideon will do this as one man.  The disparity between reality and the angels words deepened.

 

Somehow the words from heaven went into Gideon’s spirit and began to change his thinking  He tested God with two fleeces.  Each time, the words of truth were growing in Gideon.

 

What has God said to you about your destiny?  About your talents?  Are you taking the things God has said about your destiny and talents seriously?  This year, it is time to get out those prophecies, dust them off, and speak life into them once again.  Take action steps to develop the talents God says are there.  Try one thing to develop the unexplored talents this year and see what He might do with them.  Life with God takes us in exciting directions.


Prayers for the Parched: Ready and Steady

Learning to Balance in the Natural and Supernatural for the Challenges of Life

Learning to Balance in the Natural and Supernatural for the Challenges of Life

Ready & Steady

 

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. 1 Peter 5:2

Father,

Ready us and steady us

For the tasks at hand.

 

 

Note:  Sometimes it’s the simplest of prayers that stick with us.

I have loved and used this prayer often before entering into a meeting room or any kind.

One word prayers count.  “Help!” is a valid prayer.

Somehow I like the thought of being “Ready and Steady” for the tasks at hand for each day.

 

 

 


Ask God to Change the Way We See Things Before Things Actually Change

Ask God to Give Me His Perspective of People Who Are  Difficult

Ask God to Give Me His Perspective of People Who Are Difficult

When looking at a problem in the same old way, and not seeing change, it may be time to ask God for a new view of our circumstances.  Everything with God is life and new.  Nothing is impossible with God.

 

So I asked God for a new way to see an old friend of mine who is consistently becoming an angry person.  With the anger comes a controlling nature with rigid demands on the people around him in his family and in friends.

 

God reminded me of a former time when this friend was kind and willing to help people.  He was eager to learn the things of God. He would dialogue with people and reach his conclusions without  being defiant and angry using a raised voice to often make his points.

 

The Lord said to go back and see him as that same person I knew as a young man.  The Lord said He had put those original traits in that person and I was one of the few who remembered them in him.  I was to call them forth in the spirit realm and “water” the seeds God planted with blessing.  It is calling forth what is not as though it were.

 

I agreed to do this.  I declared he was nice and kind to people, including strangers. I declared that he loved God, even though he has chosen to not enter the doors of a church for many years.  He has chosen to not raise his children in a church environment.  I declared that he will once again seek a relationship with God.  He will care about the things of God in his life once again.

 

So far, there has been no change in his behavior or temper.  But, there has been a change in me.  God has turned my heart around.  I find myself looking for the good and positive in him, instead of dreading the anger outbursts.  I am becoming more confident of what God can do to reach this precious child of God.

 

Ultimately, through asking God to change the circumstances, God has changed me.  He has given my heart His compassion for this person.  God is giving me hope for His goodness to invade a hopeless situation.


Prayers for the Parched: Your Faithfulness

God Fulfills All His Promises Because He is a Faithful God

God Fulfills All His Promises Because He is a Faithful God

For He who promised it is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.  Joshua 23:14

Father,

I worship you for being faithful

Amen

 

“It” in Hebrews 10:23 is the hope we possess in God’s promises.  The Bible is filled with promises.  Most people have a promise they feel God included in the Bible just for them.  It’s like a personal commitment from God.  This specific of a promise is indeed something God intends to fulfill.

 

The following are three of my favorite commitments from God:

 

“Weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

 

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while (and here God andI differ on what a little while is), will himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  1 Peter 5:10 (italics are mine)

 

“I waited (forever) for the Lord, and he (finally) turned to me and heard my cry.”  Psalm 40:1 (italics are mine)


The Proper Response to Testimonies – Take It and Say Thank You

Sharing Testimonies Builds Faith

Sharing Testimonies Builds Faith

It’s no secret that testimonies are hard to come by.  Our churches teach. But when is the last time you can remember hearing testimonies of healing at our traditional churches?  Remember when there used to be Sunday evening services where people shared their testimonies?  These services were designed to build up the faith of the church members.  But they are rare these days.

 

At a recent Healing Rooms Training for San Francisco, the speaker Sue Burdullis unpacked Revelation 19:10  “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

When we hear a testimony, faith is released in the hearer’s heart.  Faith is a real substance.  Hebrews 11:1  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

So faith is a substance, and a gift from God.  What do we do with gifts?  Recipients “take” gifts, and start to use them.  When Jesus offered communion, He said to “Take and eat” my body.  Jeremiah also spoke of words as edible in Jeremiah 15:16.  So when we hear a testimony, we can “take” what is offered as a shared story of someone’s experience and receive it.

 

Like receiving a gift, we say “Thank you” as we “take” the story and ingest it.  When we hear a testimony, it becomes part of our shared experience base.  Our “body of experiences”, or our collection of faith data points, become the foundation that our faith is based in.  When we listen, receive and “take” the testimonies that we hear, we are building up our faith foundation. We pray out of our faith foundation.  Testimonies nurture and grow our faith confidence factor.

 

When we hear the “testimony” of Jesus’ healing someone, it becomes part of our faith base out of which we gain the confidence to pray for other people’s healing.

Revelation 19:10  “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

See also, The Power of our Testimony


Changing How We See Ourselves – How Does God See Us?

What God Says About Who We Are is Amazing

What God Says About Who We Are is Amazing

When we change our thoughts, we change our vision of how we see ourselves.  Have you ever thought of how God sees us?  God has amazing things to say about us.  It is our choice to believe what He says in the Bible.  It is worth considering some of these statements.

 

 

How God Sees Us…Through His Word

 

 

I am His own.  1 Samuel 12:22                                             He sets me free.  John 8:36

He sees my heart.  1 Samuel 16:7                                         I am chosen.  John 15:19

He heals me.  2 Kings 20:5                                                  I am accepted in the Beloved.  Romans 15:7

I will pass on an inheritance.  1 Chronicles 28:8                     I reap holiness and eternal life.  Romans 6:22

He knows the way I take.  Job 23:10                                    He quiets me with His love.   Zephaniah 3:17

He gives me eternal pleasures at His right hand. Ps. 16:11     He makes me the fragrance of life.  2 Cor. 2:14

He makes me glad with the joy of His presence.  Ps. 21:6      He sees me as I am.  2 Corinthians 3:16

I will gaze upon the beauty of the Lord forever.  Ps. 27:4       He turns my hardships to glory.  2 Corinthians 4:17

He will never forsake me.  Psalm 27:10                                He clothes me with Himself.  Galatians 3:2

He is near me.  Psalm 34:18                                                 He delivers me.  Galatians 5;1

He is enthralled by my beauty.  Psalm 45:11                          He gives me power to forgive.  Ephesians 1:19

He rescues me.  Psalm 91:4                                                 He blesses me with every spiritual blessing. Eph. 1:3

He crowns me with love and compassion.  Psalm 103:4         He gives me riches of His inheritance.  Eph 1:18

He satisfies my hunger with good things.  Psalm 107:9           He redeems my past. Philippians 3:13

I am wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14                                  He fills me wit thanksgiving.  Colossians 2:7

He cheers me and lifts me up.  Proverbs 12:25                      He gives me hope.  2 Thessalonians 2:16

I speak words of life to others.  Proverbs 15:4                       He encourages my heart.  2 Thessalonians 2:17

I belong to Him.  Song of Songs 7:10                                    He sympathizes with my weaknesses.  Hebrews 4;15

He delights in me.  Zephaniah 3:17                                       He gives me everything I need. 2 Peter 1:3

He makes my wilderness like Eden.  Isaiah 41:18                  I am alive with Christ.   Ephesians 2:5

He is doing a new thing in me.  Isaiah 43:19                          I am holy and blameless in his sight.  Ephesians 1:4

He bears my pain.  Isaiah 53:4                                             I have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:16

He gives me a crown of beauty instead of ashes.  Is. 61:3      I cannot be separated from God’s love. Romans 8:39

He wraps me in a robe of righteousness.  Isaiah 61:10           I am being transformed.  Romans 12:2

He calls me by a new name.  Isaiah 62:2                              I am a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17

He crowns me with splendor.  Isaiah 62:3                             He is rich in mercy toward me. Ephesians 2:4

I am His workmanship.  Isaiah 64:8                                      I am forgiven. Colossians 1:14

He knows me.  Jeremiah 1:5                                                He loves me with an everlasting love. Jer.31:3

I bear His name.  Jeremiah 14:9                                           He receives my spirit.  Isaiah 57:15

He loves me with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3              He rejoices over me with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

He speaks tenderly to me. Hosea 2:14                                  I have peace that passes understanding. Phil. 4:7

He dresses me in rich garments.  Zechariah 3:4                     He is for me.  Romans 8:31

He takes me to a quiet lace and gives me rest.  Mark 6:31     I am strong in His Power.  Ephesians 6:10

He gives me treasure in heaven.  Luke 12:33                        I can do all things through Christ.  Phil. 4:13

He does not judge me by appearances.  John 7:24                 He will never leave me. Deuteronomy 31:6

 


What Does It Mean To Be Family Members of the Family of God?

There's a Learning Curve to Belonging to the Family of God

There’s a Learning Curve to Belonging to the Family of God

Christians belong to a family.  We belong to the family of God.  We need to think and act like family members of the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

This past month, a woman was on a plane with her two year old.  The two year old was cranky from time changes, delayed flights and inconsistent eating schedules.  She got to the point where she slapped her mother in frustration.  Her mother grabbed her hand and calmly explained that “In our family, we don’t hit people we love.”  It was that simple.  It was a reminder of what it’s like to be in a family and learning how to adjust our behavior. A traditional two-year old temper tantrum followed until food was found and she cried herself to sleep.  All the while, lovingly letting the little girl know she was part of a family.

 

In the Kingdom of Heaven, there are some standards.  God patiently teaches us about our behavior patterns.  This might be a year to consider how we spend our money.  God has opinions about this.  It might be time to look at how we’re loving difficult people.  Some people require extra grace to be around.  God supplies the grace as we learn to ask for it.

 

As family members, we are expected to run our lives in Godly ways.  There is a call for integrity, honesty, authenticity.  It doesn’t allow for lies, taking things that aren’t ours.  Galatians says there should be no idolatry, no sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, drunkenness, wild parties or division.  Instead there is a steady process of bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit that produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Galatians 5: 19-23.

 

It could be time to look at how we’re using our sexuality, which is a gift from God.  And it could be time to consider our attitude toward respecting authority.  Respecting authority honors God.

 

Growing in faith is getting together with other siblings and learning together how to live as family members in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Lord, Teach me what it means to be a member of the Kingdom of Heaven.