You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘prayer’ tag.

At the start of this y ear I kept on being drawn back to a curious passage, and by curious I mean weird, in 2 kings 13:14-19.   This is possibly an account that you will not find in the E100 bible plan – the essential 100 passages – or a kids Bible.  It’s one of those stories you read and you know there is God stuff in there but its hidden because it’s weird, so you flick the page.  Or is that just me?

But I know that on every page and in every passage God wants to speak to us.  He wants to show us who He is and what He can do in our lives.  He wants to teach us how to live right and live holy.   Every passage can renew our mind to become more like Jesus, and that’s the big goal.

Let me give you some backstory on who the main players are.

Jehoash is the king of Israel – which to make a long story short – means he’s probably a bad dude.   Back in 2 kings 13:11 it says that He too sinned against the LORD and followed the evil example of other kings, who had led Israel into sin.  No a great character reference.

Then we have Elijah who was a prophet of God and did lots of amazing things for God, calling down fire, praying for rain after a 3 year drought etc.  We have Elijah with a J and Elisha with an S and my goal this morning is to not mix them up!  As prophets Elijah and Elisha gave divine insight to the leaders and the people of Israel not just about spiritual things but about politics and real like strategies that led to them winning real life wars and battles.   Elijah was Elisha’s mentor and Elisha served him for about 8 years before Elijah had a dramatic exit from this world to the next without dying and passed the mantle onto Elisha.  

Before he was caught up into the air in chariots of fire Elisha asked Elijah for a double blessing, a double portion of the power of God on his life and in 2 Kings 2:12 as he watches Elijah fly up to the sky he says “My father! My father!” “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

So here we are in 2 kings 13:14-19

Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.

17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”

18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

Being the start of the year my inbox was flooded with 10 ways to kickstart your life and set goals and crush 2021 type emails.  Most of them I ignored but one caught my eye and I signed up for a 7 day goal getter challenge.  It came with 7 days of journal prompts.

They should have named it 7 days of excruciating personal questions designed to make you want to throw your phone at the wall and run and hide under the covers pretending that these questions don’t make my skin crawl challenge.

Example.

The Lie: I Have to Have It All Together

How does this lie keep you from living up to your potential?

Hello, that’s not the light and fluffy challenge that I thought I wanted…. Questions like that are uncomfortable! 

Because in reality there are no quick 10 steps to success or magic formulas to transforming your life.

Which is why I find it really interesting that king Jehoash says the exact same thing that Elisha said to Elijah before he was taken up to heaven as if they are the magic words to unlock unlimited success. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

THERE ARE NO MAGIC FORMULAS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD

When I first became a Christian prayer was a weird thing.  The only prayers I knew of were written down in catholic prayer books. I didn’t know if there were spiritual words that I was meant to be using.   I didn’t know if normal people could pray and if we were allowed to make up our own prayers using our own words.   Honestly my youth group leader was so patient with me.  Yes Claire, you can make up your own prayers.  You can pray about anything, anytime and anywhere.

When I was a bible in schools teacher I used to say that to my kids and there was always one… miss, can ya pray in the toilet?  You sure can I would say. 

When I started it felt like I was talking to the air, was someone really listening?

Then I began to see God answer my prayers.  I began to see changes.  I began to change.  

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

Prayer isn’t just an empty box to fill in on your morning checklist. Every day you get to speak to the One who created and is sustaining a universe that makes you look like less than a grain of sand in comparison.

The same God who knows the names of every star knows your name.

The same God who is holding the universe in the expanse of His hands is holding you in His hands.

Prayer is so much more than the puny, ordinary thing we make it out to be. That’s because the One we’re praying to is not only so much bigger than we’ll ever be able to comprehend. and so much more willing to respond to us than we’ll ever be able to comprehend as well.

There are spiritual prayer principals such as

Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

2 Chronicles 7:14 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

But they’re not magic formulas.  God is not santa claus or a fairy Godmother.  He is inviting us into a relationship and prayer is the communication and connection.

I’m not sure what Jehoash expected would happen when he said My father! My father!” “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

But I don’t think he expected Elisha to tell him to get his bows and arrows.

See Part 2 tomorrow 🙂

fight 12 (1)

This is how we fight our battles is a popular christian worship song right now.  But its more than just music and lyrics – its a declaration that we are in a war but that we’re going to see the victory!

 

The world and the enemy are trying to write your story.  We are constantly bombarded with messages that say be like this, look like this, do this, believe this, try this, buy this.

 

What I want to tell us is that God is writing your story.

Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:31 says What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Luke 1:37 says For with God nothing will be impossible.

Jeremiah 1:5 says Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;

Proverbs 3:5-6 says Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.

Psalm 16:5-9 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,

 

Before you were born God knew you.  He formed you, designed you, wired you.  He called you.  He has good plans for you.  As we follow Him we can be secure and confident that God is writing our story and that He is for us and actively intentionally on purpose at work in our lives to see those  good things happen.

 

But who knows that sometimes life is a fight?

Who knows that sometimes hard stuff happens, right?

 

As we are growing up we can often think that being a Christian means that everything is going to turn out super awesome, that we’re never going to have a bad hair day and that we get a “get out of hard times” card like the get out of jail card in monopoly.

Read the rest of this entry »

How many of you have seen a video where someone has a plate of water and pepper and they then wash their hands and hey presto the pepper moves this in the past few weeks?

NINTCHDBPICT000570116785

 

I want us to think about that science experiment but instead of it being germs and soap let’s think of it all the fears, anxieties, temptations, sins and all the things that want to pull us down and affect us negatively.

It’s often all around us – peer pressure, negative thinking, bullying – and now with the added pressure of all the stuff going on around the world and all the mixed messages about it – it’s hard to know what is true and right.

 

This is where the soap comes in. The soap is like the Word of God in our lives.  It’s like it coats our life with peace and truth which protects us from the attack of the enemy, the lies around us and the lies we tell ourselves.  It counters the negative thoughts and the anxiety and instead gives us hope and a sense of purpose.  This is why spending time with God is so vital and important.  It’s not an optional extra.  It’s not something we take lightly because we know the benefit it will make to your lives.

 

Philippians 4:6-8 says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

When my kids were way younger Tony my hubby got made redundant.  He rung me and said that the whole company was closing and that everyone was being sent home.  Those phone calls are not fun.

For you it might be stuff going on with your parents, or health problems, or stuff at school.  It might be how people treat you or mental health stuff going on.  You might be feeling anxious about what are you going to do when you grow up and leave school, or about relationship pressure or things that you’re seeing on social media.

After I finished talking to Tony I just sat on the couch a bit stunned.

All the negative thoughts flooded at me and surrounded me.   Where would our money come from?  What about our mortgate?  All the crazy adulting thoughts!

 

I had been listening to some worship and having a prayer time so began praying again.  I turned the worship up loud and just let the words of the songs wash over me.

 

In a way – it was like putting soap over my heart and mind.   It was like reminding me of God’s truth and God’s promises.    It changed the way I thought.  It changed how I felt.

 

After a short while I was feeling peaceful, I was feeling hopeful, I was feeling confident.

 

Worship and prayer and the Word of God gets us on the same page as God.  It reminds us that He is good and great.  That nothing is impossible for God.  That nothing will separate us from God.  That in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.  That Jesus has overcome the world.   All of that is straight from the bible and it’s not just cute sayings or clichés or nice words but powerful truth that you can bet your life on.

 

It’s all good and well to have the bible on your phone or your bookcase if you don’t read it.  It’s like that soap sitting on the table by that kid doing the experiment.   Until the kid puts the soap on his finger nothing changes, nothing happens.  Until you read the word and absorb it nothing changes, nothing happens.

 

Until you pray, nothing happens.   Until you worship nothing happens.

 

But when you pray, when you worship, when you read your bible there are mighty supernatural forces at work – God is at work!  The Holy Spirit is at work on you on the inside!

 

 

adult alone blur close up

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

God’s invitation has always been for us to draw close to Him.  We see right from creation, in the garden of Eden that in the cool of the evening that God would walk in the garden with Adam and Eve

Time and time again through the OT we see the invitation to draw near to God.

Enoch walked with God right into heaven in genesis 5

Abraham was called to follow God in Genesis 10 to a new land that God would show Him, and on the way he built altars as physical representations that God was there.

Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven in Genesis 28.

Moses encountered God in a burning bush and was invited up onto mt Sinai into the visible presence of God.  He also built a tent of meeting – a place he regularly went to pray where a physical cloud of God’s presence would come down in Exodus 33.

God called Samuel in 1 Samuel 3 in a time when hearing from God was incredibly rare, so rare that Samuel, a young child at the time, didn’t know who it was.  He was the first in a line of prophets who God sent to call His people home.

In Jeremiah it says several times Time and time again I have sent you all My servants the prophets, proclaiming: ‘Turn now, each of you from his evil way of life, and correct your actions. Do not go after other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I have given to you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. Jeremiah 35:15

David – the greatest king of Israel, a man after God’s heart, shepherd, giant slayer, song writer communicates through the psalms the invitation of God and that we are created to worshp and draw near.   In Psalm 27:8 he writes When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”

So how do we do it?  How do we seek God?

Read the rest of this entry »

lightstock_154981_full_user_4906570

Prayer isn’t crucial because it changes God but because it changes me!

Simple, heart felt prayers where I ask God to be with me, have an amazing way of filling in some really big gaps in my life.

When I pray, I see things more clearly. I realize perspectives otherwise beyond me. And, I gain wisdom that can override my frail humanity. Sometimes when I pray I feel confident that I’m right, or am convicted that I’m wrong.

It’s interesting that in order for God’s peace to rule in my heart as mentioned in the Bible… I have to spend time with God!

Praying helps me do just that. And the really beautiful thing about praying for God to be a part of our day is that it can start at any time. Even right now.

by Lysa Terkerust

11699056_1031883906842066_2079953631370966570_o

God’s invitation has always been for us to draw close to Him.  We see right from creation, in the garden of Eden that in the cool of the evening that God would walk in the garden with Adam and Eve

Time and time again through the OT we see the invitation to draw near to God.

Enoch walked with God right into heaven in genesis 5

Abraham was called to follow God in Genesis 10 to a new land that God would show Him, and on the way he built altars as physical representations that God was there.

Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven in Genesis 28.

Moses encountered God in a burning bush and was invited up onto mt Sinai into the visible presence of God.  He also built a tent of meeting – a place he regularly went to pray where a physical cloud of God’s presence would come down in Exodus 33.

God called Samuel in 1 Samuel 3 in a time when hearing from God was incredibly rare, so rare that Samuel, a young child at the time, didn’t know who it was.  He was the first in a line of prophets who God sent to call His people home.

In Jeremiah it says several times Time and time again I have sent you all My servants the prophets, proclaiming: ‘Turn now, each of you from his evil way of life, and correct your actions. Do not go after other gods to serve them. Live in the land that I have given to you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. Jeremiah 35:15

David – the greatest king of Israel, a man after God’s heart, shepherd, giant slayer, song writer communicates through the psalms the invitation of God and that we are created to worshp and draw near.   In Psalm 27:8 he writes When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”

 

I grew up going to the catholic church, where it was more of a Sunday thing and a set of rules.  God seemed far far away on a cloud somewhere and wasn’t relevant to real life.  I didn’t think much about God between Sundays and if I did it was more about if I had been good enough or how many hail marys would that cost me at confession at easter time.   I never thought of God in the context of relationship or friendship.

It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I began to wonder if there was more to life, more to me and more to God.    The very first time I went to youth group my whole grid on God was shaken as I heard someone pray and I just knew he knew God and that God was real and that I could know Him too, in fact I knew I MUST know Him.  I had no idea what that looked like but that sense of I MUST KNOW GOD was so strong and real.  I went to their easter camp and on the Saturday afternoon the speaker said go find a space by yourself and talk to God.  I found a space by myself under a big tree and cried and cried because I knew I wasn’t good enough to talk to God, or go to heaven.  That night the speaker told us about jesus and how He made the way for us to come close to God and I went forward and gave my life to Jesus.   God had been drawing me and it wasn’t about how good I could be, He had made the way through the death of Jesus and my part to play was to say yes to His invitation.

It’s almost a chicken and the egg scenario… what came first… God invites us to draw near, we draw near, He draws near, He invites us to draw near, we respond and draw near, He draws near, He invites, we respond, He draws near.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter who we are or what we’ve done – God invites us to come close, to be His friend, to be His child.

Romans 5:8 says But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

So how do we do it?  How do we draw near to God?

We see in Matthew 6 that Jesus gave His disciples guidelines on how to make this real in their lives.  He says

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you [c]openly.

 

We can see keys in this verse that will help us develop a lifestyle of prayer and seeking God.

 

On Purpose – one of the key words in this passage is when.  We need to have a when.  We need to schedule our times with God and make it an on purpose regular commitment to carve out time with Him.   Our lives get so busy and filled up with work, extra curricular activities, people, families and I know that unless I have made it a regular rhythm to spend time with God it gets to the end of the day and its like ooops, hey God thanks for a great day you’re awesome snore snore snore….

The key is to find what time works for you.  Some people are morning people and delight in spending time with God in the morning.  Some people are NOT morning people but find that giving God that time as a sacrifice sets them up for the day.  Others do lunch with God and find time in their breaks to read the bible.  Some listen to the audio bible or a podcast on their commute to and from work, making their car a holy place.  Though once I have been having a worship time with God in the car and literally had to pull over because I burst into tears and was overcome by His presence!!!   I am a in the night hours person and have my reading time at night because that works for me and is a way of ending my day with God’s words filling my heart and mind.  Find what works for you and then in the immortal words of nike, just do it.  Do it on purpose and be intentional about it.

 

Place – Jesus instructed his disciples to go into their room, shut the door and spend time with God.   The idea is to have a meeting place, just like Moses did with his tent of meeting where he would go and meet with God face to face as friends.  There is something about having a room, or a chair or a place where you go and meet with God.   In the movie War Room the women turned their walk in wardrobes into prayer closets and created an intentional space to spend time with God.  It gives it the sense of this is my God meeting space, when I come here, when I sit in this chair or this room, I meet with God.

Susanna Wesley was a mother of nineteen children who recognized her need for quiet being with God. (No small feat when you have nineteen children and no netflix, movies, iphones or ipads ) To ensure she had quiet time, she would put her big hoop skirt over her head to create a private sanctuary. She trained her children not to interrupt her if they saw her with her skirt over her head!

 

Personal – each of us are wired in unique ways – to live and to connect with God.  How you pray and worship will look different from the person next to you.  There are so many creative ways to spend time with God and there is no one right way.  Prayer doesn’t have to be kneeling beside your bed with your hands clasped – unless that works for you!

In our high school girls connect group we’ve been doing Youth Alpha and one of the sessions was on prayer, followed the week later by a session on the bible.  Over those two nights we talked about the different ways that we pray and read the bible.  Some of them journal, write out prayers, draw prayers, do word studies, follow youversion bible plans, dance, lie on the floor, sing out loud, meditate, memorize… you get the picture.  Paul Saunders shared how he likes to go for walks and over the course of his walking God would show him some random object or thing outside and speak to him, like object lessons.

 

Persevere – I remember the first time I felt God in my bedroom – it was a completely unexpected moment – I knew that God was at church and at camp but that God in such a tangible way would be in my bedroom blew my mind.  I was just sitting in my bean bag, so you know, not on my knees with my hands clasped – I seriously really knew nothing when I became a Christian! – listening to some worship music a friend had given me.  All of a sudden it was like I felt an incredible peace and joy and love and all the things I had felt when I gave my life to Jesus.  I jumped up and jumped around and danced because I was just so happy.  My parents actually asked what was going on – I think because the music sounded um, joyful instead of um, more metal which had been my genre of choice.

But its not always like that.  Sometimes I’ll pray and worship and have that awareness of God’s presence, that peace and sense of Him that I’ve grown to recognise as God, but other times its like me talking to you right now in conversation.   Sometimes words jump off the pages, okay, I confess, the screen of my bible, like it was written just for me and other times  its more like just reading.  But I know that Jesus said that when I draw near to God, He draws near to me and rewards me for seeking Him.   I think that is why God uses the word SEEK.

Firstly as children of God and in fact as human beings God is always with us, in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. He holds everything in being. His power is ever-present in sustaining and governing all things.

But there is that shift when we consciously fix or focus our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God, when we turn aside from everything around us and the distractions of the world and life to focus on God and God alone.

(1 Chronicles 22:19)  “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.”

Jeremiah 29:13 says You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

The passion translation says: Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.

We have to preserve in spending time with God.  Though we may not feel it every time we read the bible, pray and worship it is having a positive effect on our spirit and our life.  Time with God is never wasted.  Often what we store up in the silence comes back to us in the storm and we find that the things we have read in the past comes back to us at the exact right time we need it.

Every time we draw near to God, He draws near to us.

 

 

praying_in_the_spirit1

I love how the old testament has so many things that happen in real life that picture something supernatural and spiritual.

Take for example when the Israelites were in the wilderness, fleeing from exile, heading towards the promised land and they were hungry.  Their reaction always amuses me – they were slaves in Egypt, treated terribly, forced to work in extreme conditions, oppressed and persecuted, yet here they complaining and wishing they were back in Egypt where I quote “here we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”  Now from reading previous chapters of the conditions they faced I’m not sure their filter was accurate.  They’re painting their past like it was satisfactory and forgetting that they belong to the God of miracles who split the sea to set them free.   And I confess I have read it and gone silly Israelites, you are so stupid, how could you forget your God, oh ye of little faith.

Until God reminded me, that I too am like a silly Israelite, forgetting my God, oh me of little faith.

We have moments in our life when the journey when hardship comes from left field, or things aren’t working out like we expected and we forget that the God who does miracles is with us and for us and at work doing a zillion things behind the scenes but we might see only 3 of them.

Gods solution to their complaining met their needs on a practical level but also on a spiritual level.  God provided manna that would fall every morning – like a supernatural bread that would appear around them – that they were to gather every day.  They were to gather just enough for that day for themselves or their families.  There were of course some that tried to hoard but when they went to open their manna pantry the next day their manna had rotted and was filled with worms!

Everyday they had to gather the manna for that day.

Everyday they had to find their satisfaction in God.

Everyday they got a tangible reminder that God is with them and for them.

Everyday they got a reminder that they are special to God.

Something in real life that reveals something supernatural and spiritual.

Everyday we have to gather the manna for our day.

Everyday we have to find satisfaction in God.

Everyday we need that tangible reminder that God is with us and for us and that we are His children and that He loves us with a never ending love.

Now we’re not heading out the backdoor to the lawn to pick up the days kai, our manna is time spent with God, in His word, in prayer, in worship and its not filling our bellies but filling our spirits and souls with peace, hope, grace and wisdom that being in God’s presence gives.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.

The passion bible puts it like this: Bread alone will not satisfy,[d]
but true life is found in every word,
which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.”

 

Read the rest of this entry »

squad disc

I often wonder if I was Jesus how would I choose my squad, my tribe of disciples.

I think I like the X Factor/Britian’s Got Talent/American Idol way.  The contestants would have to audition.  Hi whats your name?  Im Peter.  Whats your day job?  Im a fisherman.  What are you doing for us tonight?

Of course I’d have to have a judges panel.  Maybe with some of the angels or Moses or Jonah. Jonah would be the grumpy Simon Cowell dude.

I found some of the horrible things that Simon says when he X factor judge….

Simon: ‘You look a little odd, your dancing is terrible, the singing was horrendous, and you look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle with the massive eyes. What do they called? Bush baby.’

Simon: ‘Your facial expressions were ugly,’ he said. After the judges protested, he added: ‘You are a beautiful girl, but you’re ugly when you perform. Play it back and you’ll see what I mean.”

Simon compares him to an athlete an the Olympics: ‘Well, the two people who came on before you ran the 100 meters in 10 seconds. You ran it in five minutes. That’s the difference.”

Simon: ‘You sounded like Dolly Parton on helium.’ ‘Seriously.’ That song ‘belongs in some ghastly country fair.’

Simon: ”It was boring, your voice sounded a bit whiny, you looked terrified. And it looks as if you’ve been shut up in your bedroom for about a month, you know, you look verging on haunted, pale, you know? You need some fresh air and you need to make yourself young.
Or perhaps it would be like the Bachelor…. A series of group dates, cocktail parties, one on ones and the rose ceremony.   Judas, will you accept this rose?

Or Survivor, who loves survivor here!  Legendary!  Contestants have to compete in a series of physical challenges and outlast, outwit and outplay their fellow tribe mates in order to be chosen as a disciple.

 

Jesus didn’t use any of those methods.  He just rocked up to them and said follow me.  Now being Jesus he knew all about them but still don’t you often wonder if perhaps his disciple-radar was malfunctioning….  These are the guys that are going to be with Jesus 3 years, witness the greatest miracles, hear God’s heart, learn His teaching, be part of His inner circle and Jesus chooses THESE GUYS!

There is James and John who were known as the sons of thunder, not because they ate too many beans, but because they often threw wild temper tantrums and threatened to call down fire on a village, a whole village because the people didn’t want to follow Jesus.

Simon was a Zealot which pretty much meant he was planning to overthrow the government and commit acts of domestic terrorism.

Matthew who was a tax collector… I mean did Jesus not know that was basically just a job where they got to rip people off.

There is Peter, who never thinks before he speaks.  Who after declaring I’ll do anything for you denies even knowing him 3 times.

And Judas, bless his heart.  He betrayed Jesus.

 

These are the guys that Jesus chose and called and invested 3 years of His life into.  These were the guys that Jesus called to spread the gospel and build the church.

Read the rest of this entry »

27683-battle-war-spiritual-fists.1200w.tn

“We have been deluded into believing that there are two kinds of war, physical and spiritual, but there is only war . . . . Lucifer has bewitched Christians into accepting a subtle lie that has huge consequences. We say the Christian life is “like” a war. It sounds innocent, but it casts a disastrous symbolism to something that is desperately real. If we are in something like a war, then the bible becomes something like the word of God, and we face something like an attack, and we put on something like the armor of God. . . . Our methods and traditions have helped the devil create an entire generation that is informed but not transformed.” Mario Murrillo

 

tattly_tina_roth_eisenberg_yes_no_web_applied_02_grandeI just stumbled upon this article on Jesus Culture’s website. It kicks butt.

Many leaders long to see the people they serve walk in power, healing and the prophetic, especially outside the church. No longer satisfied to build a traditional ministry; they are stirred to impact their city. A passion is growing to see their regions and their campuses saturated in the glory of God, people surrendering their lives to Jesus, and the culture reflecting the Kingdom of God. But this shift in thinking requires a different set of tools, and we are compelled to seek revelation on how to make this become a reality. One of the most frequent questions I am asked by leaders is, “How can I release the supernatural in my ministry.”

In Matthew 5:16, Jesus makes it clear that one of the main keys to seeing the glory of God invade a city is a people shining their light—so those around them encounter their works. That word “works” is not referring to “random acts of kindness”, but rather, what Jesus demonstrated throughout His ministry as the sick were healed, the dead raised, the lame walked, and the blind received sight. In other words, as we manifest God’s power by laying hands on the diseased, prophesy over the broken, and radically love the lonely; our light will blaze through the darkness.

If we are going to empower people to transform their cities and campuses for Jesus, our methods must move beyond holding events to equipping lifestyles. As grateful as I am for the testimonies of the supernatural at our Jesus Culture conferences, I am only truly satisfied when I see these encounters multiply in and through the lives of the attendees when they return home. We are still learning everyday but here are a few keys.

1) Demonstrate God’s extravagant love

Healing, prophetic ministry, and signs and wonders are all extremely exhilarating. When one lays hands on someone who had scoliosis and physically feels their back straightening out, it is an amazing experience. Most importantly though, as healings and prophecy begin to flow, it is crucial we contend for love to remain the core reason and motivation for ministering in power. Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works through love. Faith to demonstrate the power of God flows through love. The Kingdom we represent is founded in love and we are called to display it not only in word—but also in power (1 Corinthians 4:20). Signs and wonders are to point people toward a greater reality—the extravagant love of God. If we don’t equip our people to ground their walk in love, healing becomes just another fad that’s fun temporarily, but with no lasting affect.

2) Teach That The Anointing Is For Everyone

The level of anointing that many of the fathers and mothers of the faith operated in like John G. Lake, Oral Roberts, and Kathryn Kuhlman is available to all who are hungry for it. My senior pastor, Bill Johnson describes it this way: “God gives certain individuals a ‘spike’ in human experience, not so they can merely gather people around themselves to minister to them, but that they would be positioned with favor to equip the saints, so that their ‘high point’ becomes the new norm.” The anointing is available for everyone… young and old, extrovert and introvert, new and mature Christian. Our people must be given the opportunity to step out in the anointing. Whether it is having them pray for each other during a meeting, on their campuses, in their homes, or in their workplaces people need frequent opportunities to experience this reality.

3) Make room

At our church we make room for the supernatural. Every service we pray for the sick. Whether it is trained ministry team or the congregation praying for one another. It might be in the middle or at the end during the ministry time, but there will always be an occasion for those in need of a supernatural encounter to receive prayer. We have this same focus with the youth ministry and my leaders and I model it and do it with the youth. We regularly give part of every meeting for words of knowledge, healing prayer, prophetic opportunities and the like.

I would encourage you to reassess your agenda and rearrange your schedule to give them as many occasions as possible to lay hands on those in need of a physical healing. The more you make room for it in their lives, the more it will happen naturally elsewhere and become a lifestyle.

4) Develop a culture of risk

Among university students, I noticed a pattern inhibiting them from experiencing the breakthroughs in healing they desired. These students passionately believed in healing but were not seeing it regularly. “Pressing in” to see healing, they were not actually “stepping out” to pray for people. They were crying out for God to move—but they themselves were not moving! There was a sense that if they persevered long enough in prayer, an anointing would fall from Heaven and they would obtain results. While I absolutely believe we need to reach for a greater anointing, we all have an anointing to minister supernaturally that is available right now. But it requires us to position ourselves to take risks. When you are faithful with what you currently have, the Lord entrusts you with more.

As leaders we are responsible to nurture an environment within our ministry that both encourages and necessitates risk. In the midst of their insecurities our people thrive when leaders come alongside and call out the greatness in them as they take risks in the supernatural.

If we as leaders are going to expect the people we serve to take risks outside the walls of the church we must give them opportunities inside the church and inside community to develop. As they learn to take risks in a safe environment their confidence grows in public. For example, train your people in healing and the prophetic and then push them to give words of knowledge or prophesy over their peers. When someone needs healing, ask people to pray for him or her. They might be scared and nervous but stand with them, and champion their courage.

You will likely find that many are afraid to fail. This is one of the main reasons why many people never see the power of God demonstrated in their life. They are frozen by the thought, “What if I step out and nothing happens?” This fear must be overcome. Strengthen them to conquer this fear. Many times the results we are seeking are on the other side of persistence. I heard one time that John Wimber prayed for a 1,000 people before he saw his first breakthrough in healing. The more we take risks and God shows up in answer to our prayers, the more we will mature into expressing a supernatural lifestyle.

5) Use Testimonies of Power To Unlock Their Potential

This is a simple but profound principle. If your people are not living in the realm of the supernatural, continually bring before them stories of the miraculous being outworked. This communicates what is possible, and if God will use one person in that way He will use them as well. Christians instinctively know they are designed to demonstrate the Kingdom; therefore testimonies reach deep inside to awaken those areas in their life. If you don’t have any testimonies within your community, then borrow someone else’s. God is no respecter of persons!

Follow One Passion One Devotion on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

January 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
%d bloggers like this: