The Jungle Whack Blessing

 

The Jennifer and Mark Morris family with Silas and Liana from the jungles of Pucallpa Peru

The Jennifer and Mark Morris family with Silas and Liana from the jungles of Pucallpa Peru

             My friend Jennifer Harris Morris was in town this summer from her mission station in Pucallpa Peru. She has started over 35 churches in 16 years. It’s an amazing story of what one woman can do devoted to God’s purposes. Their Jungle Ministry funds Micro Enterprises, conducts Animal Husbandry projects, provides social services, educates satellite churches, organizes a Bible Institute, operates Emmanuel Farm, and supports Youth Scholarship Programs for 40 students to get a vocational training. For more information, check out Mark and Jen’s Jungle Ministry

                At the end of the time where our two families spent time with one another in California, we took time to pray before leaving. Jen prayed for me a blessing she had had prayed over her in her first few years of missionary work.

                “I bless you with the Jungle Whack Blessing. You feel like you’re in a jungle and you can’t see where you’re going. But each day you move forward using the machete to cut a few more feet forward. As you look back, you can see you are leaving a path. You keep whacking away at the jungle until you reach the clearing or the water. Each day is progress, even if you can’t see it. You are moving forward and creating a path through the jungle. I bless the work of your hands each day you work.”

                This captured exactly how I was feeling about working on five projects at once and not feeling that any of them were progressing toward completion. Jen had listened, and lended her outsiders’ perspective to my world, and shared a blessing that had brought her victory.

This blessing sustained me. It was exactly what I needed to keep whacking away each day! Thank you Lord for friends who can hear and understand and know exactly how to pray.

 

For More Information on Mark and Jen’s Jungle Ministry, click here to visit their web site, Mary and Jen’s Jungle Ministry.  


Opening the Gates of Divine Marriage for 2018

Opening the Gate of Kingdom Marriages. Photo: Manfast.blogspot.com

Opening the Gate of Kingdom Marriages. Photo: Manfast.blogspot.com

During a prayer meeting on the first weekend of the New Year 2018, a friend of mine requested prayer for a marriage partner.  She has prayed this prayer before.  She said one prayer partner had seen gates that were locked and guarded by angels.  She could tell there were kingdom marriages on the other side, lots of them.  And many other marriages as well. We asked God what it would take to unlock the gates.

 

What came to me was the need for Christians to repent for what they once had.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says God cares about what His people are doing, and He listens. He knows what the others are doing.  But what do His people want and ask God to do for them and their society? God had been giving His children to one another in marriage for centuries.  But over the last generation or so, there has been some things that Christians have done in marriage that need to be repented for, in order for God to open the gates again.

 

I felt qualified to pray since I came from a divorced home of Christian leaders.  There was great delay in getting my prayers for a husband answered. Consequently I have wrestled with the question, “Why?” I started with forgiveness of my parents and took it up the family lines from there.  Then I changed the reasons I was asking God for a spouse to be more what He had in mind for my marriage.  This made a huge difference for me and meeting my (now) husband.  As I started to pray for my friend and “this gate,” I started to pray on behalf of where things are statistically with Christian marriages.

 

Here’s what came to mind:

 

1.         I repent for the broken promises of Christians made before God in marriage vows.

2.         I repent for not appreciating the gift that marriage is, and opting for what seemed like easier options than the tough work of making marriage work.

3.         I repent for the impact Christian divorce left for our children and our children’s children.  The decisions to break up marriage leave a legacy to future generations. It sets a pattern in place that only God can heal.

4.         I repent for those who compromised on God’s laws after they were married and tainted marriage before God.

5.         I repent for those who make marriage an idol in society right now.

6.         I repent for those who took an “Easy Out.”  I repent for commitment weakness.

7.         I repent for those who didn’t seek God’s purposes for their marriage and saw their marriage as something that was merely there to meet their needs.

8.         I repent for those who never saw themselves as their spouse’s “helpmate” to carry out God’s purposes for their marriage.

9.         I repent for those who didn’t seek God’s help in making their marriages work.

 

As we repent for these things on behalf of many, it may be a needed step in opening the gates for Kingdom marriages to flourish. May the Lord bless these marriages to be all that God designed them to be.  Let the divine connections flow in 2018.


Criticism Breeds Accusations

Accusations Breed Criticism. Repent, and Move Forward with Blessing

Accusations Breed Criticism. Repent, and Move Forward with Blessing

Does it feel like people have a lot of negative things to say about you? Accusations can stem from criticism. One way to make the accusations stop is to repent over any criticism that we have said.  Then move forward without any further criticism. Forgive and bless as we go.

I grew up in a critical home.  My parents believed they observed good or bad behavior.  Every action defined me a good girl or a bad girl.  In college, I learned psychologists basically believe people are good, with “bad” behavior points that could be corrected.

Spiritually, churches teach that people can be “saved” and then “redeemed.” This is good news. Salvation happens with a decision.  However, the redeeming process, known as sanctification, occurs over many years.  Our willingness to be taught determines the progress.

Some accusations miss the mark.  I may know what they’re trying to accuse me of, but it simply isn’t true.  A family member repeatedly may accuse me of being sarcastic. And I have had a lot of sarcastic comments to repent over.  However, the Lord has really worked on this with me and there has been drastic improvement.  This family member hasn’t been around to notice the change in the last 20 years.  So the accusation comes from him solely, and no  longer rings true.  Other accusations carry truth.  I bring them all to God for sorting.  I want to address them all.  With God, there is order and pace and progress.  The Holy Spirit leads the way and offers supernatural help.  He is gentle and patient as I learn to walk in new ways.

Repenting for my criticism is the start point for change.  In addition to criticism, all grumbling, complaining, bragging and flattering needs to go.  The Bible outlines how to speak.  From Jude 16-21, “There are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts…But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

As we cease criticizing, we pivot forward to build our faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, and operate in the love and mercy of Jesus.  From here, the accusations have no place to land.


Prayers for the Parched: God Never Fails

God Never Fails Us Hebrews 13:5.  Photo credit www.toluakinyemi.com

God Never Fails Us Hebrews 13:5. Photo credit www.toluakinyemi.com

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged. And confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me. Hebrews 13:5-6 AMP

This prayer is particularly helpful on those days that seem overwhelming.  That’s when it’s time to bring to mind the sustaining verses. It’s time to refresh our minds with what the Bible says in the face of what our business associates say, our family members say, our media says, or what our friends say.  It’s time to focus on what the Bible says about us. It’s time to remember his commitment to us and his perspective on our lives.

My Bible says…

God will not fail me

God will not give me up

God will not leave me without support

God will not leave me helpless

God will not forsake me

God will not let me down

God will not relax his hold on me

Because…

He is my helper

I will not be seized with alarm

I will not fear

I will not dread

I will not be terrified

So therefore…

I take comfort

I am encouraged

I am confident

I am bold in Jesus

 


Releasing Blessing 4.30.2016

Steps to Releasing God's Blessings

Steps to Releasing God’s Blessings

EXERCISE:  Releasing Blessing

For                                           ,

1.    God sees you as His                                

Precious Child             Valued Saint

Victorious Warrior      Beloved

Faithful Servant          Friend

Overcomer

 

2.  God Wants You to Know He is Your                  

Protector                    King

Burden Carrier            Healer

Provider                      Father

Leader                         Strength

 

3.  God has for you abundant                                                

Grace               Resources                    Love

Forgiveness     Redemption                Peace

Wisdom           Comfort                      Delight

Acceptance     Confidence                 Strength

Joy                   Relationships               Hope

 


Praying with Confident Expectation for Our Children

Never Stop Praying for our  Children.  Photo courtesy of www.tblfaithnews.com

Never Stop Praying for our Children. Photo courtesy of www.tblfaithnews.com

Deuteronomy 4:40 reads, “You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Like many of promises in the Bible, God attaches a condition.  Deuteronomy 4 describes how to makes things go well for us and our children.  On one side of the coin, it can seem like an onerous condition to have to keep God’s statutes and God’s commandments.  On the other side of the coin, if you are keeping God’s statues and God’s commandments, then the authority in your prayer request begins to carry confidence that this promise will come about. Our prayers are said with confident expectation based in scripture.

If you want a example prayer, T.D. Jakes, in his book He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle, suggests the following prayer: “Father, I’m concerned about the direction of my children are taking.  Right now they seem beyond the reach of my voice and influence.  But You can reach them. You can remind them of what they’ve been taught—and initiate the circumstances that will bring them back to You. Your Word says if I obey You, things will go well for me and my children. So I stand on Your promise, believing they’ll choose to serve You and walk in Your blessings for the rest of their lives. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.”

Start today.  Make the time to pray for God’s blessing on your children.  No matter how far they may seem from God’s plan, nothing is impossible for God.  Refuse to give up and believe that God is partnering with you to answer your prayers.  If it’s taking a long time to see the answer, choose to believe that He’s answering the devoted prayers of many other parents in bringing about change to many people’s lives.  The longer it takes, the more layers God’s answers extend.

 

 


Going for “All” God Has

Seek Gid with ALL Your Heart and He Will be Found

Seek Gid with ALL Your Heart and He Will be Found

As I attended a new prayer meeting last week, I opted to listen before speaking. I could tell their hearts were quite sincere. These people had taken valuable time out of their lives to intercede for other people.  Praying in their midst proved to be a blessing.

One term kept coming up in their prayers repeatedly.  It was the word, “just” in their requests to God.  “Lord could you just heal the person and let them get through their chemotherapy appointments.”  I listened at a literal level and found myself wanting to interject, “No Lord, don’t ‘just’ get them through chemotherapy; I ask that you heal them completely.”  I figure the Lord will do what He wants with the request. I believe in asking for big things since we serve a big God.  He can answer as He pleases.

I notice that I add the “just” word to my sentences when I’m asking for something I’m not sure is possible.  It’s often a limitation of my faith level.  When I catch myself interjecting this word to a prayer request, I stop and restate the sentence taking out the word “just.”  When I think about it, I want “all” that God wants to do.  I may need to stretch my faith to believe for bigger things.  I may not really think it all too possible that someone will get healed.  Nonetheless, I focus on the goodness and the bigness of my God, and make my request.

Toastmasters has a tradition of adding a quarter to a small pot in the middle of the table every time the speaker has an “a” or “um” in their speeches.  One may start with 11-15 “um’s” in their speech (owing $2.75 to $3.75 to the pot), but they quickly get it down to zero.  What if we had a pot in the middle of the table at the next prayer meeting for every time the word “just” was used?  It might make all of us stop using it subconsciously and consciously choose to ask God for all that He wants to do with our requests.


The New Year 2015 Comes with a Call to Prayer

Prayer and Fasting has powerful results

Prayer and Fasting has powerful results

Everywhere I turn, churches and ministries and pastors are pleading with their congregations to pray as this New Year commences.  Some are praying for their personal welfare and families.  Some are praying for their states and the nation.  It is a time to acknowledge the ways of the world that don’t line up with God’s ways.  Many people point to the moral decay in the land.  We have movies and television shows promoting lies, revenge, sexual promiscuity, cheating on one’s marital partner, murder and greed.  Coming from many angles, the entertainment industry offers a diet of human desires and lusts suggesting that these things are normal under certain conditions.  Truly, that is not what God teaches in the Bible.

God wants his people to pray and humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways. The mere suggestion seems so out of day and un-fun. If we do these things, God promises to hear our prayers and forgive the sins of the land and heal the land.  This promise is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  Without the diligent prayer of His people, society is headed toward bleak consequences of destruction.  God takes note of the condition of the hearts of man, of people’s choice for violence and the collective sins of the people. He is a God of love and justice.  Love and justice are two sides of the same coin.  Jeremiah tells us that it is out of His lovingkindness that he brings justice to a people so they can seek righteousness once again.    Jeremiah 9:23-24.

This New Year rings in with a somber note.  Coming from so many echoes, the call to prayer carries urgency with it.  Join the ones that love God with your own prayers for what you would like God to do in this nation.

Many people add fasting to this call for prayer.  It becomes a prayer and fasting time.  Whether we give something up or take something on for 7 or 21 or 40 days, fasting gets noticed in the heavenlies.  Read more about fasting here.


Prayer for a Child’s Eye

Remember that God has commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

Remember that God has commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

I pay attention to verses that talk about physical conditions because they can have some very real and literal interpretations. I came across this verse recently as part of reading all of Psalm 6.Verse 7 says,  ”My eye wastes away because of grief;  It grows old because of all my enemies.”

I remembered that a woman had brought in her young son to have his eye prayed for during the one of our Healing Rooms sessions. He had come in with a diagnosis in one of his eyes for “Lazy Eye.”  The team was happy to pray for him.

In the discussion, the mom shared that she and her husband were in the process of a divorce.  This causes grief in any young child.  She had also mentioned that her son had been prophesied over as having some special discernment giftings.  A mother hears these things often before observing them in the natural.  If the prophet was accurate, it stands to reason that the gift itself comes with certain spiritual enemies.  Both these things were referenced in this scripture verse.

During the actual appointment, the team saw other pictures and referenced other verses, which seemed to be a comfort.  The boy said his eye was seeing more clearly after receiving prayer. The mother was surprised at how comfortable he felt in the Healing Rooms.  He had stayed to finish up a drawing he had started.

Meanwhile, I made a note to pray for the health of the kids of people I know going through a divorce.  Asking God to bless children with health and energy is good thing.

 


Recognizing the Answer to Big Prayer Request After Waiting

Man Praying Asking God and expectantly waiting for the results

Man praying and asking God and expectantly waiting for the results

This year my church selected the theme of waiting for Advent.  It wasn’t what I normally associate with Christmas.  But there is a lot of waiting that goes on at Christmas – waiting for all the greetings from friends, waiting to see family, waiting to see what’s wrapped under the tree. Luke 2:25 says, “Simeon was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Sprit was upon him.”  Simeon was praying a heartbeat prayer.  His prayer was for Israel to be consoled.  He recognized the need, articulated it in prayer, and was waiting for the answer.  Asking God to console all of Israel is a big ask.  And after the ask, Simeon didn’t write off the lack of any change or difference.  He was actively looking for and expecting an answer.  He didn’t know that it would come in the form of a little boy visiting the temple.  But Simeon’s spirit saw the boy and felt the shift in his spirit.  He somehow knew this was not an ordinary boy.  He recognized the nudge of the Holy Spirit which was upon him. Seeing the answer in a person brought him peace, long before the world had any idea of who Jesus was or His significance.  Simeon still didn’t know how this boy would be the answer.  His spirit was attuned in active waiting, such that he knew Jesus was the answer to his prayer for Israel.  His peace was so deep that he was ready to depart life in peace.

How many big prayer requests have I asked of God?  One request I have is that revival would come to America.  I’d like to see people know God as a loving and just God.  I’d like to see America honor His statutes.  I’d like to see people have a healthy fear of God. And so, I wait and pray.

It takes time to see the results of big prayer requests.  We ask and leave many things in God’s hands, believing that He is at work.  We ask knowing that He hears our prayers.  We ask, trusting that He is at work on it. I now add to the request that I would recognize the beginning signs of change and shift.  “Show me a sign for good…because You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”  Psalm 86:17.  I believe this is a time to ask for big things of God. Nothing is too difficult for God.