Posts Tagged: prayer

When the World Tilts Pray

Please  pray for my husband. He is struggling with severe vertigo and numbness in his leg. If you are one who believes in prayer and fasting for breakthrough, I ask that you join me in praying for my entire family’s health, as well as others who are struggling with illness.

 

James 5:14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

 

 

Delivered from the Dead Life

Romans 8: 9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesusd from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (ESV)

9-11But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (The Message)
Clearly, I sit close to death. My tent pegs are set in the valley of the shadow of death. My campfire struggles against the icy blasts of the grave . . . but it does not go out! For the past few days I have been looking at my surroundings and asking, “Why have you placed me here Lord?” I question, not out of complaint, but out of a genuine desire to understand God’s purpose. I want to fully participate in his plan of salvation.
God is delivering me from the dead life by causing me to die completely to self. I know, weird right. But, think about this, when a surgeon is doing a heart surgery they most often stop your heart in order to repair or replace what isn’t working. God operates on our bodies in much the same way.
In this valley of the shadow of death, God is removing all fear. I have some hardcore fleshly reflexes that hinder my spirit from living life to the fullest. God is using my near death experiences to open my eyes to the power that heaven has here on earth, right now.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . . (Lord’s prayer)
I’ve said that phrase almost 2,000 times since my birth and I only have a cursory understanding of its meaning. I’ve met men and women who bridge the divide of heaven and earth. I’ve witnessed their discipline and drive towards obedience to the Lord’s will. This is not just a “because he is Jesus” prayer! He invited his disciples into heaven’s activities, which means that it is possible for the rest of us. There is no elite Christian team! We are all ragamuffins, capable of bringing down giants when we die to self and live for Christ.
Lord, reveal heaven to me and may I have the eyes to see your glory on earth. Amen!

 

Too Much!

Psalm 34:…17The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.…

Some days you wake up and your world is already crumbling. Daniel woke up crying in pain, and it went down from there until everyone was being unpleasant to one another. The explosions inside me were oozing out in sharp words and I’m not sure I want to keep them at bay any more.

Now I sit here in the silence, the train whistling in the distance and I feel as if I am stuck on the tracks. Lord, they do not owe me a thing! Help me to glorify you. I don’t have to keep up appearances, I don’t have to hold it all together. Life on this earth sucks sometimes and I’ve had enough. I want my son to be well, or at the very least, to know what is wrong. Please father, give me the strength to keep pressing forward and not to be mean to my family because I can’t fix what is wrong. Open my heart and mind to your will, not mine! Only in the garden of trusting you completely can I be fully present and pleasant to my family. Amen.

In the War Room: Spiritual Warfare Momma Style

Psalm102:28The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

For the first time in over two years I returned to the chapel to pray for our church youth group as they met. Coming to church has been difficult this year, and being around teenagers even harder. Not because I don’t love them, but because I miss Jonathan. From the first moment I said yes to Jesus, I have not battled a desire to escape church, until now. I began to withdraw from fellowship as soon as the casket closed. But in contrast to this struggle, God kept stirring me to pray for young men and women, some struggling very much like my son. I entered the chapel and felt the same blank, numb, weariness that I have become accustomed to these days in being in the building. I didn’t feel like being there, but God’s call was clear.

As I began to pray for guidance, as I began to pray for each of the students by name I became aware of a shift. It was as if the blinders were removed from my eyes and I began to see what I was actually praying for and against. Scripture declares that there is a spiritual battle not always seen by the naked eye. Discernment is needed and prayer opens the door for the spirit to guide us in our prayers.

13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God. (James 5 MSG)

There came a moment when my hands were raised, but I don’t remember raising them. I felt like Moses standing above the battle field and when his arms were raised, the Israelites were winning, but when his arms dropped they began to lose. I could see the battle playing out, and the enemy losing ground as I declared God’s truth over each child. Prayer is a powerful tool, scripture is able to slice open and reveal the enemy’s schemes. So why do I so often use it as a last resort?

Don’t grow weary in your prayers. Jesus didn’t pray to his heavenly father day in and day out because he was God, he prayed because he had limited himself to being a man! To fight the enemy’s schemes just like we can do, to stand firm while others fell away, Jesus had to pray. It was not a last resort, it was his weapon of choice. He taught us how to pray! Prayer puts a stake in the ground and says, “No further Satan!” Today I put a stake in the ground Lord, I state before God and man, I will be a watchman. I will declare your faithfulness to me, and trust that you will be faithful to our children. Will you be a watchman with me?!

Psalm 78:

1My people, hear my teaching;

listen to the words of my mouth.

2I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

3things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.

4We will not hide them from their descendants;

we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done.

5He decreed statutes for Jacob

and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach their children,

6so the next generation would know them,

even the children yet to be born,

and they in turn would tell their children.

7Then they would put their trust in God

and would not forget his deeds

but would keep his commands.

Not My Will But Yours Be Done: Learning to accept God’s Sovereignty

John 19:26When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

As I was going to sleep last night, a thought popped into my head. Mary lost a child to a brutal death. In fact she lost at least two! James, her biological son with Joseph it is believed was stoned to death for preaching the gospel. This is no mother’s plan! Mary had to be numb and collapsing as she saw Jesus, the son of God, being crucified on the cross. God did not tell her that this was the road to salvation. It is safe to say that she was not in agreement with the dangerous path Jesus was walking. In her wisdom, she wanted to keep him safe, just as she had always done. She remembered fleeing from Cesar when Jesus was a baby. She remember how this precious life changed her very existence as he grew in her belly. She had done everything she could to sustain him, to keep him alive, to be a good steward of God’s amazing gift. Surely him hanging on the cross was not God’s will. Jesus did nothing as she expected. And yet, even from the cross Jesus was concerned for his mother and providing for her.

No matter how great the plan we make as a mother, God’s plan is better. He has the end goal end in mind, when I cannot even see the finish line. His love is for all of humanity. My love is for a few. His judgment is not clouded and mine is darkened by my own selfish desires. His path is consistent, he neither wavers nor stumbles. God’s plan for Jesus was perfect. God’s plan for Jonathan was perfect. Oh, how weighty those words are for me! They are bitter in my soul. Please hear me, while God did not cause my son’s death, he didn’t stop it either–AND HE IS COMPLETELY ABLE TO! To accept God’s sovereignty in my son’s death is one of the hardest hurdles in my faith. Yet I have believed that he is sovereign in the good things in my life. Why not in death as well?

He has a purpose in allowing Jonathan to die, and as I learn to open myself to the possibilities in his purposes may the friction between my will and God’s will be removed. What is happening in your life right now that you find yourself saying, “Surely this is not the will of God.” Are you battling cancer, is a loved one ill, have you lost your job, is your marriage in shambles. Can we pray as Jesus prayed?:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes. (Matthew 6:9-13, The Message)

My Spiritual Tool Box: What do I Use When Grief Overwhelms Me?

As I awoke this morning I was immediately hit with going over ever last minute detail leading up to Jonathan’s death. It is in these moments that I pull out every tool in my tool box.

Prayer: Lord, you know that my heart’s longing is for Jonathan to be here–to live. Please Lord, fill me with your love. Direct my mind to what is doable for me today. May you be enough for me. Amen.

Scripture: Lamentations 3:31For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.

Romans 8:31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

John 16:22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Fellowship: Headed into the office to work. . . bringing Daniel’s joke book. 😉

Witnessing: I share with you my grief, my hope, and my God with you today. May you find comfort in your afflictions, hope in your grief, and love and compassion for those around you.

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