A Spiritual Gauntlet!

Sunday’s Supplications (4)

A command:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men

(1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV)

 

An inquiry:

Who did you pray for today?

Who did you pray for last week?

Who do you pray for regularly?

Do you enjoy a dynamic, effective and ongoing prayer life?

 

An invitation:

Sunday Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

 

A specific purpose:

The aim of this feature is to:

  • encourage you to pray regularly
  • increase your confidence in prayer and
  • develop a praying community.

 

In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus did not say “…if you pray” but “when you pray…”. To my mind, this means he expected his followers to pray.

 

I’m aware that there are all sorts of misunderstandings and misconceptions about prayer. I’m hoping this feature will help to dispel any myths you may entertain regarding this spiritual exercise. I’m hoping to motivate people to pray regularly and demonstrate how natural the act of prayer is, and how vital it is to our relationship with God and to fulfilling our responsibility to fellow members of His family.

 

A call to commitment:

Now commitment phobes, please don’t run scared. I am challenging myself and other Christian believers to step-up the quality of their prayer lives. As the saying goes: “two is better than one”. So think how much more effective, how much more supportive a prayer network (particularly a global prayer network) will be.

I can understand any reluctance to commit, or concern about letting anyone down. So here’s the deal. If you do decide to engage with this initiative, if you do decide to upgrade your prayer life, your decision can be between you and God alone—unless of course you choose to go public and share with the WoW community! But dear believer, I am asking you to make that commitment – a commitment to honour Christ’s expectation of his followers, a commitment to obey Paul’s direction in Ephesians 6:18, a commitment to pray.

You may sometimes fail to follow through. You may often find that you lack discipline, or the inclination. Your Father-God understands. In fact, the Word of God records Jesus as saying: “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. So whilst you are forming, or renewing, or increasing your prayer habit, commit to whatever you feel comfortable with— a week at a time, a month, 6 months, or a year. Renew your commitment as and when you like. It is entirely up to you. I will not be holding anyone to account.

 

A spiritual gauntlet

Are you new to praying regularly?

Does your prayer life lack consistency, or authority and fervour?

Then I’m throwing down a spiritual gauntlet. I’m challenging you to do something about it NOW!

Don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Tackle this prayer undertaking one step at a time. You don’t even have to find your own words, if that worries you. Simply pray the prepared prayer provided. I only ask that you pray it daily or weekly—not out of a sense of duty, not as an empty exercise, but with fervent sincerity.

By doing so, I believe your prayer life will change. By doing so, I believe your confidence in God will increase. By doing so, I believe your spiritual life and authority will move up a notch or two because obedience to God brings rich rewards.

Potential prayer warriors and interns, welcome aboard. Let’s build a vibrant praying community together.

One last thing, don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Can we forget our natural inclinations to care only about me, myself and mine?

Can we pay heed to Paul’s instruction to Timothy and begin to pray for all men? I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that this reference includes women and children also! The more people that participate, the wider the coverage and the greater the impact.

This week, let’s focus on the men, women and children of our neighbourhoods, of our church communities, of our nations.

May God motivate his people all over this world to offer heartfelt supplications on behalf of others around them, and may he use these petitions to effect miraculous changes within the hearts and lives of individuals, including ourselves.

 

Lord God Almighty,

Even though you are sovereign, even though you possess all power and might, even though you have revealed your will for all men to enjoy an abundant life, perpetual peace and spiritual well-being, you have given us a free-will.

Father God, we are sorry for the times we have exercised our will contrary to your ways. We are sorry that in doing so, we have made a mess of our lives and of our world. We are sorry and we admit that we cannot conduct our lives appropriately, or guide ourselves onto the paths of our pre-ordained destiny, without your help. We ask that you come and take control. We invite you to come and bring order to our homes, to our communities, to our nations. We ask that you heal this world.

Come and change the hearts of men, women and children that are ignorant of, or antagonistic towards your holy Word, your wholesome ways and your perfect will. Lord God, touch the lives of your people whom you have called into your kingdom. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and empower us to serve you and one another with unfeigned love and devotion.

Father God, we commit this appeal into your capable hands. We believe that there is nothing too difficult for you to do. We believe you have heard our prayers and therefore thank you for granting our requests. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, have a wonderful and peace-filled week.

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Now there’s absolutely no obligation to do so but if you are committing to upgrade your prayer life, if you have prayed the above prayer (or any of the Sunday Supplication prayers), please let me know in the comment box below. Thank you.

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Marcia bispo Bença at Pixabay.com

Rudeness, Respect and Reciprocation

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

Have you ever spoken to somebody and they didn’t answer you?

Have you ever made a request from someone but they did not respond?

How did it make you feel? Not blessed, I’m sure!

I know when I’ve been on the receiving end of such treatment, I don’t feel blessed. In fact such actions make me feel ignored, unimportant, even disrespected.

I recall a time when I submitted a piece of work to an editor, who wrote back expressing interest and indicating it would be published. I was over the moon. However, after this, I didn’t hear anything more. I waited. I wondered. I waited some more.

In the end, I contacted this editor to try and get an update. She didn’t respond. I waited a reasonable period and contacted her yet again. She still did not respond. I got the message but I felt upset and then angry.

In 1 Kings 18: 25-27 we read about the prophets of Baal, who called on their god from morning until noon but there was no answer.

As children of God, we enjoy the privilege of a loving relationship and can rest in the security of knowing that God hears us. We can be confident that he keeps his promises, yeah He honours his word.

Even should we feel that God has not granted our request, unlike the prophets of Baal, we can still be confident that he hasn’t abandoned us, that he is not unaware of our circumstances but has our best interests as a primary concern upon his heart.

In fact God’s word tells us that his thoughts towards us are innumerable.

 

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…

(Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV)

 

Whenever I read this, I am challenged. Do I feel similarly about my Father-God? Are most of my thoughts focused on Him?

What about you dear reader?

 

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My Passion Fatigue

 

I’ve not written in my writing journal since 1stJuly.

I’ve not worked on my project since 30th June.

I’ve not been actively writing on my two blogs.

I’ve been lackadaisical for 15 days – possibly longer!

Even today, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t feel like pursuing my passion. Didn’t feel like writing.

At the back of my mind, I’ve known I should push past this feeling and just get on and do. I know when I put my mind to it that inertia flees and the interest returns. Even now as I write, I sense the spark of enthusiasm igniting. And, strange though it may sound, even my fingers feel exhilarated, as they move across the keyboard. I’m back – just like that!

So what kept me away?

Self-sabotage!

At least that’s part of the story.

The other part is that the Enemy is at work. I know he is. I know he does not want me to succeed. He does not want me to fulfil my potential. He wants another of God’s protégés to go to their grave with their gifts and abilities, dreams and vision still sheathed, undeveloped, unexpressed and unused.

And yet, even though I’m aware of this, I give in to uncool feelings. I give in to my I-don’t-give-a-damn inertia of the moment and allow it to take me into extended periods of self-sanctioned slothfulness, or complacent inactivity. And whilst I’m doing this, I hear a little voice saying “I don’t care” and I listen to that voice and silently endorse its rebellious attitude.

But now, as I write, I realise that deep down I do care. I realise that voice was not me at all, or if it was me, then it was the voice of the old Carol, the non-productive Carol, the I-do-things-when-I-feel-like-Carol-and-right-now-I-don’t-feel-like!

I know when I behave this way that later I’ll be remorseful. Later I’ll beat myself up for all the time I’ve wantonly squandered, watching NCIS, or watching some other person who has fulfilled their dream, whether it’s purchasing a house in the country or abroad, or cooking their way to celebrity fame, or some writer whose script has been made into a film or TV programme. I know it but yet I give in to the voice and call of apathy.

And during this time, I surf. I stalk the sites of other writers and bloggers. Successful writers and bloggers. I read. I admire. And I feel jealous. I read. I admire. And I hope to one day experience similar success. One day!

But that day has not arrived yet.

I have no one to blame. No one to point the finger at, as the reason for my sudden stagnation. No one but me, myself and I!

I can’t even blame those who stir my anger, who orchestrate scenarios designed to humiliate, whose antics provoke me to sit and stew over the way I’m being treated, or grieve about my loss of self-esteem. I can’t blame those whose actions or words I’ve allowed to distract me from my goals and my determination and my vows of self-discipline; whose targeted tactics I’ve allowed to sap my motivation. I can’t even really say: “the devil made me do it!”

Because in reality I am more mature than that – aren’t I?

I know better than to give in to that listless, why-bother? mode – don’t I?

I know I should gird up the loins of my mind and let the negative thoughts go, let the offending persons go, whom the Enemy uses following key moments of achievement, sustained productivity, or exuberant success, to knock me off my man-made pedestal.

I know I should let them go from my thoughts, let them go from my desire for retribution, let them go from the un-Christ-like deliberations entertained within my heart. I know I should do so, and do so quickly, graciously, mercifully, the way God does for me, but to do so feels all wrong to my hurting heart, my wounded pride, my stomped-upon ego, my self-righteous sense of justice.

And that’s the issue.

The “me”. The “my”. The “myself”. The interminable preoccupation with “I”.

It’s an issue because God’s Word says:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

(Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

Christ decided that I was worth the cost of giving up his reputation, his equality and standing with God, so that he could fulfil his Father’s will and die for me, so I may experience Zoe life (the God-type of life), so I may experience reconciliation with God, so I may experience the stupendous, supernatural benefits of salvation.

Without Christ’s death, none of this would have been possible. And without Christ choosing to lay down his life and humbly submit to his Father’s will, there would have been no glorious resurrection.

Christ was mocked. He was rejected, he was falsely accused, even betrayed. But he found a way to rise above his circumstances, and fulfil his calling. Despite the misunderstandings. Despite the mud-slinging. Despite the malicious intent of people around him. Despite the Machiavellian manoeuvres of his arch-enemy.

This same Christ lives in me. This same resurrection power is available to me.

And so I have a choice. I can listen to the Enemy’s lies and suggestions and give in to the fleshly dictates of my heart, or I can do what I need to do—add works to my faith, add obedience to my knowledge, add self-discipline to my intentions and, having done so, emerge from the plots of pernicious folk, from the schemes and snares of Satan, from the inadequacies of Carol, as a purpose-driven believer, as a triumphant dream-achiever, as a victorious overcomer.

I can choose to be a victor.

By God’s grace I can, and by God’s grace I will!

Today, I choose to silence that rebellious voice. I choose to lay down my fleshly inclinations. I choose to rise up and resume my place as a victorious overcomer.

 

Prayer:

Lord, I choose to decrease and allow you to increase in my life. Father-God, let not my selfish will be done but your perfect will. Kingdom of God come, be manifested in my circumstances. Will of God be done, in and through my life, today, tomorrow and always!

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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Credit: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Today I pray for you…

Hello dear visiting friends,

Nowadays, I believe that the most precious thing someone could offer me is their prayer. So today when I came across this beautiful, heartfelt prayer, I not only wanted to share it with you but pray it over you.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be, know that this is God’s heart for you and your loved ones.

Please take the time to thank Jacqueline, who penned these words.

———————–💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 ———————–

a cooking pot and twisted tales

Praying woman

Today I pray for you..
I wish that you will find peace and healing as you hurt in any way.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find strength to hold on,
And abundant Grace to see you through.

Today I pray for you..
I pray for a consistent hedge of protection,
around you and yours, especially in these confusing times.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you experience mercy, where it is needed

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find succor,
Even from the most unexpected channels.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your heart and mind,
May be generous in your dealings with mankind.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your faith and hope remains undiminished,
Even when all seems lost,
Just a sliver of faith and hope will suffice.

Today I pray for you..

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​Developing A Lifestyle Of Prayer

Dear WoW readers,
When Jesus walked on this earth he said men ought always to pray. I know there are people who struggle with the concept of prayer, or find the practice of consistent prayer difficult.

The following is an excellent post I read recently, which I hope will encourage, inspire and motivate you.

Life On Purpose

Luke 18:1
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;


Pray Always

Prayer is a daily activity.

It is like breathing, it should always be “ON”.

When you stop breathing you die.

So it is in the spiritual, when you stop praying you die slowly.


2Sa 11:1 — 2Sa 11:3
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to…

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Prayer Gem 10

 

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

Have you sent Jesus your kneemail today?

 

Behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history was an unseen, unsung force known as ‘intercessors’. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open are first won by such people in the secret place of prayer.

(From: UCB Word For Today – 11 December 2016 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before going into battle! Here’s a prayer you can use.

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Heartfelt Praise

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Praise

PRAISE the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the Lord;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

(Psalm 146:1-2 NKJ)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;

And to him who orders his conduct aright

I will show the salvation of God.

(Psalm 50:23 NKJ)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Right now we come into your awesome presence to honour you – not just with our lips but with our hearts and souls, with our entire being.

We come to offer you the praise and worship that you deserve because you are so worthy. We love you Father God. We want to love you more. We want to know you more. We want to understand your ways better because we want to glorify you, both in and through our lives.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of honouring our Father whilst you walked on this earth. As your disciples we want to do likewise, so we thank you for your ongoing prayers and intercession on our behalf. We realise this will not happen by our own efforts or willpower but by your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as our Helper. Thank you for your anointing within us that teaches us. Teach us how to honour Father God, not only with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Thank you Father God for hearing our prayer and granting our request. Amen.

 

(References: Matthew 15:8; Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:16, 26; 1 John 5:14)

 

 Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I pray that the Lord will draw you into a deeper experience of Him.  I pray your hearts will overflow with inexpressible joy as you spend time in his presence and take time to express your love for him. Share those secret desires of your heart in prayer, knowing he listens and knowing he loves you and desires to fellowship with you.

Have a victorious week!

PS: If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with God but would like to, may I invite you to accept Jesus as your Saviour? To do so, you simply have to repeat the following prayer and God will do the rest (please don’t hesitate – your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you take this next step!).

 

A Prayer for Salvation and a Relationship with God

Father God,

I want to have a relationship with you. I come to you today in the name of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be reconciled with you. I realise I am in need of rescuing from the penalty of sin. I believe Jesus died for me and I accept He is the only way through which I can escape eternal punishment. I therefore repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.  Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

 

Dear reader, if you prayed the above prayer, congratulations and welcome to the Family of God!

The following links will help you take your next steps in your new life and provide the guidance you need. I’d also suggest that you talk to a Christian friend and find a church to attend and receive support. You may also find the following post at my other blog site enlightening (Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?), as this explains why the step you have just taken is vital for safeguarding your eternal destiny.

If you accepted this invitation to commit your life into God’s care and prayed the above prayer, please share the good news in the comment box below (don’t be shy!) 🙂

WoW! followers and visitors – no need to feel left out! If you’ve been encouraged, inspired or uplifted by this post, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 


 

 

Prayer Gem 9

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

 

In my Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible – NKJV), the above passage has the following explanatory footnote below:

Resist: The active imperative indicates an assertive stance against the Adversary’s operations. Because of the Devil’s aggressive hostility, Christians must be spiritually alert, not only to withstand his attacks (employing the armor described in Eph. 6:10-18), but in prayer and spiritual warfare opposing him.

 

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Question:

  • Are you asserting the authority Christ has given you?
  • Are you opposing the advances of the Enemy against you and your loved ones?

Spiritual warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before doing so!

 

 

“A Thousand Worries”

Dear friends, followers and visitors I hope you all had a good Easter break.

I know from my own experiences of life, from my conversations with loved ones and from reports of world events that peace is a sorely-needed requirement in our lives.

Yet the peace we need is not the ‘peace’ of this world but the heart-and-soul peace that comes only from God. It is a peace that surpasses our natural understanding. It is a peace that protects us from being overwhelmed by anxieties, fears and worries.

However, we need to abide in that place of peace in order for it to remain effective. Failure to do so is like making travel or home insurance payments then worrying about the consequences of events that may or may not happen, acting as if you have no confidence in the provisions of the policy, or worse, acting as if there is no policy in place.

The following re-blogged post depicts what often happens when we pray for peace but fail to leave the matter in God’s capable hands. May I encourage us all this morning to share our concerns and anxieties with our Father-God, to thank him for HIS answers and resolutions and whilst waiting, to rest in his peace.

 

TBD {To be determined}

For every drop of trust, I hold a thousand worries
I have a thousand wants, a thousand needs
I bring to You
while making my own plans to get them done.
Thinking the peace comes from the thing received, achieved,
rather than You,
my flimsy patience begs me hasten,
encouraging my DIY plans to control my own fate.
But fate proves a heavy load
for my fragile hands, which now,
I see, hold a thousand worries once more.

So I come again, Lord,
making known my request.
You’re not just my backup plan;
You’re my peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

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It’s A Love Relationship!

 

He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4 (NKJV)

 

…Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

 

Do you struggle to pray?

Let me ask you another question.

Do you struggle to love your significant other half, or someone close to you, whom you cherish?

Prayer is just that. It is a means of communicating with your Father God. The one who loved and continues to love you unconditionally. Every moment. Every day. Without exception! The one who has proved his love for you by sending his only Son, Jesus, to die for you.

Now, just as communication keeps your relationship going with your cherished loved ones, so communication keeps your relationship with God alive and meaningful. So treat prayer as a loving relationship between you and the Lord. And if you think of prayer along those lines then it should not seem quite so much of a struggle.

Brother Lawrence, author of The Practice of the Presence of God, aimed to make the love of God a priority in his life. He was known for maintaining a consistent level of communication with his Heavenly Father, throughout his day.

When you are in love with someone you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. You have a deep desire to know them and to know all about them. You are not shy or reluctant to express your feelings. You are thankful for their presence in your life, for the meaning they have brought to your life. And, if you are wise, if you cherish that relationship, you will express to them your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Not just once in a blue moon, but often.

Another feature of your love relationship is that you are not afraid to ask for what you desire, or feel you need. You ask. Whether you get it or not does not diminish your love for that person, or undermine your relationship with this individual.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. So apply the same principles to your relationship with God. Recognise that prayer is a two-way communication. A sharing of hearts. A revealing of hopes and dreams, of hurts and disappointments. A desire to please the other. A commitment. A shared intimacy.

Can you relate?

If so, then you can most certainly pray. You can pray faithfully and fervently, passionately and purposefully. Because prayer is a love relationship with the one who loves you more than you can ever fathom.

Prayer is love in action.

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CREDITS: All images are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Too Busy? That’s A Poor Excuse!

Let me ask you a question. Are you too busy to pray?

I read a post recently at JOYFull Inspirations, which brought to mind a book I’d read some time ago by Bill Hybels, TOO BUSY NOT to PRAY. Hybels is the senior pastor of a large church in Illinois, USA.

The following is an extract from this book:

Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, over-run, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that. Don’t be one of them. Nobody has to live like that. Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life.

Dear WoW follower or visitor, if you feel life’s too busy for you to regularly set time aside and pray, then I have a challenging question to put to you – Is God a priority in your life? Be honest and search your heart.

We make time for the things that matter to us. Relationships. Parenting. Work. Business. Blogging. Even serving in the church! So, all things considered, do you really have a bona fide excuse?

Let me remind you of Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children. You may recall that in one of my posts last year (We Salute You!), I shared how:

The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

And, to give you another modern-day example, the post at JOYFull inspirations which caught my attention, was written by Letticia, a busy mum with 6 children.

Dear readers, let me encourage you to draw closer to God, to spend time in His presence.

I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week.

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For those of you who might be interested in purchasing this book visit: https://www.amazon.com/Too-Busy-Pray-Bill-Hybels/dp/0830834753 OR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Bill+hybels+too+busy+not+to+pray

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image is courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Prayer Gem 8

 

 

Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer. Through prayer, you create an account balance in your favour in God’s spiritual bank. Through prayer, you will benefit spiritually, mentally and physically.

Paul Y. Cho

 

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalm 145:18

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of Prayerful Submission

 

The following is a beautiful post I came across today, which I’d like to share with you all.

If you (as Christ’s disciples did), feel your prayers lack oomph, or if you wish to increase your prayer prowess, do as this blogger did – ask!

God will certainly hear your prayer and grant your request. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you – that’s why he was sent – to come alongside believers and help. So ask! Ask today. Don’t delay!

💖 💖 💖

 

I have been asking Jesus to show me how to pray. I am often thinking that it’s in relation to how I pray for others, but there’s so much I need to learn. How to approach him, how to wait for him, what I need, what he needs to show me. This was where he […]

via empty vessel, living sacrifice  — Threads of a Remnant

The Scourge of Rejection

The following is a long-playing instrumental music (don’t be put off!). I am not expecting you to listen to the entire album but you may enjoy listening to it playing softly in the background, whilst you read this post. And then when you have finished reading, please don’t rush away. I’d certainly encourage you to sit and listen for just a little while longer. Allow the Lord to minister to your soul and spirit.

 

 

Dear fellow-bloggers, friends and visitors – forgive me!

A few mornings ago, as I was worshipping the Lord, the phrase Praise, Prayer & Worship Wednesday suddenly entered my head. I then realised that I’d missed last month’s feature post. I am not sure whether anyone noticed. If you did, please accept my apologies!

I cannot believe how fast the month has flown. So fast, in fact, I hadn’t even realised that the last Wednesday of February had come and gone.

Now, I obviously cannot roll back the time. So for the benefit of anyone who did notice and perhaps missed this feature and, because I truly want to honour God on this blog, I’d like to focus today’s post on doing just that. I want to praise and glorify my Father God.

 

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I have come across many in my life who for various reasons have rejected me and systematically seek to rob me of my dignity. They do not welcome me into their presence.

And there are those who, whenever I happen to be in their midst, never miss an opportunity to show me their contempt, to subject me to mockery, ridicule and scorn. Yet who are they? Are they not fellow human beings? Are they not fallible flesh and blood individuals, just as I am?

However, for some reason, these people have elevated themselves above me in their thinking, in their behaviour toward me. They have lifted up themselves in their own estimation and chosen to exclude me from their ‘acceptance’ club. They continually seek to hurt me. And they often succeed.

But I thank them. Sincerely!

Why?

Because the weight and constancy of their unkind treatment has opened my eyes to the expanse of God’s continual grace, lovingkindness and mercy.

Yes. My wonderful Father God, who is God indeed, who is exalted above the heavens (you can’t get higher than that!), finds it in his generous, loving heart to include me, to make room for me in his life, to even want to share that life (eternal life, abundant life) with me.

I know from personal experience that when I enter into that atmosphere of sincere praise and worship, when I enter into God’s awesome presence, when my spirit connects with my Father God’s—I sense the holiness, the loveliness, the majesty of his awesome being. And when I reflect on the privilege that this wonderful being has granted, in inviting unwanted and unworthy me into His throne-room, I am overcome and overwhelmed.

Charles Green, a contributing author to the Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV), says:

Man was created to live and breathe in an atmosphere of praise-filled worship to his Creator.

My first thought as I read this was of a fish taken out of water, taken out of the ideal environment in which it was created to survive and thrive. To fail to offer God the fruit of our lips, and our free-will sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, is to be like a fish out of water.  It is removing ourselves from the atmosphere and environment in which we were created to survive. And guess what? The Enemy of our souls, is always seeking to discourage us from praise, prayer and worship, because he knows that therein lies our spiritual strength.

Satan, my enemy, (and yours!) has sought to surround me with pack-bullies. He has worked hard at promoting an atmosphere of contempt around me. But I refuse to be hemmed in by thoughts of intimidation, fear and rejection. I refuse to be defined by the words and actions and attitudes of those whom the devil deploys to come against me, who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, choose to stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).

I refuse.

And so Father God, today I want to celebrate your goodness. I want to praise you:

 

I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145:1-2)

 

And I offer you my heartfelt prayer:

Father God,

Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for that wonderful sense of peace that your awesome presence exudes. Help me to bask in that holy presence, to allow your peace to soothe my soul.

I worship you today in spirit and in truth. Accept my humble sacrifice. May my offerings of praise, prayer and thanksgiving, rise like sweet incense to your throne. Amen.

 

Have you been hurt – by a colleague, church member, wife, husband, close relative or friend? Then use that hurt to propel you into the arms of Jesus. He is able to relate (remember Judas!). He is able (and willing) to comfort, strengthen and restore. Just ask him!

Why not accept today’s invitation to visit with your Father God?

Image from: M. Maggs - Pixabay.com
Image from: M. Maggs – Pixabay.com

It is an open invitation. Spend time saturating yourself in his presence. Spend time cultivating an atmosphere of praise, prayer and worship around you, so that your Father God can heal and restore you. So that he can lavish his love upon you – the way you deserve. So that you can become the person, the victorious overcomer, God created you to be.

Fellow Christian bloggers and visitors may I encourage you to make God’s presence in your life a priority?

Have a blessed weekend.

♥♥♥

Prayer Gem 7

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for the answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

 

Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.

(Priscilla Shirer)

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

For God’s Sake, Let’s Grow Up!

 

Do you remember as a child how anxious you were to grow up?

Perhaps one of your parents, or a school teacher, used to measure your height against a wall at regular intervals and you took delight in the fact that you had grown taller since last month or last year.

Perhaps you watched one of your parents perform a task and you wanted to help because it made you feel “grown up”. Or perhaps when family and friends asked you your age, you added a half-year, or a three-quarters-of-a-year to your actual age because it made you sound older (I’m 6 and ¾ years old).

May I ask whether that same eagerness to grow, to mature, has transferred over to your spiritual life?

Are you as keen to imitate your heavenly father and Jesus, your older brother?

Do you take stock of your habitual actions and attitudes in light of God’s Word, to see whether they reflect those of a mature man or woman of God?

And if you do, are you satisfied with your conclusion?

There are several instances in the Bible where we are encouraged to grow and mature in our walk with the Lord.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV).

 

 …till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [i.e. mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

So, as a child of God have you considered asking the Holy Spirit what area of your personality, or walk with the Lord you need to focus on this year, in order to mature as a believer, in order to walk as a victorious overcomer?

Do you have an accountability partner whom you can trust and with whom you can pray?

As a prayer warrior, or a prayer intern, have you set goals?

It could be as small as praying 5mins each day for a lost soul (whether family member, or friend), or as involved as engaging in diligent intercession for a nation notorious for persecuting Christians.

If having considered the above questions you feel there is a distinct lack in your life with regards to spiritual growth and maturity, between the time you were first born-again into God’s kingdom and where you are now, are you willing to do something about it?

tape-measurelynn-greyling-pixabay-348965_960_720Let me challenge you dear child of God to make 2017 a year of tangible personal growth, a year of perceptible spiritual maturity.

All God requires is a willing heart and obedience. So make him a proud parent! After all, given his amazingly generous sacrifice of love and, after all he has done for me and for you, he surely deserves to be – don’t you think?

Now remember, God doesn’t expect us to achieve all this through our own efforts.

‘Not by might nor by power, [i.e. personal ability] but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b NKJV)

So don’t hesitate to invite the Holy Spirit’s assistance—that’s why Jesus sent him to come alongside us in the first place!

And don’t forget to keep a record of your progress (perhaps through journaling), so you have some means of checking how much you’ve grown and so you have the evidence for which to give glory, thanks and praise to God.

Blogger friends and visitors, I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week and, I pray you will experience a discernible measure of growth in your spiritual life this year!

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What’s your response to this post? Please leave a comment in the box below and if you enjoyed reading, or felt challenged, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation by leaving a ‘like’. Thank you.

The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Prayer Gem 6

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The only currency God trades in is faith, and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV). As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob and Debbie Gass – 2016-17 UCB Word For Today).

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

 The following devotional is taken from UCB Word for today (May-July 2016), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

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The famous evangelist R. A. Torrey said two of the greatest secrets to effective prayer lay in:

  1. Studying the Word of God and finding His will as revealed in the promises.
  2. Taking these promises and spreading them out before God in prayer, with the unwavering expectation that He will do what He said.

Don’t tolerate prayerlessness in your life. Don’t allow the stress of so-called progress to dictate how much time you will sit at the feet of your Saviour. Crave those times. Schedule those times.

Grace L. Naessens puts it like this in her poem, The Difference.

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

If you are wise, you will stay ‘prayed up’ and prepared for the inevitable crises of life. It’s foolish to wait until trouble shows up at your doorstep to begin this essential spiritual discipline.

 

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT:  The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

PS: It’s my birthday today and I’ve just discovered that I shared a birthday with R. A. Torrey!

Prayer Gem 4

Morning by morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by morning,

I lay my requests before you

And wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

 

 

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Praying is communicating with God. Through prayer we come to know the all-powerful and loving God, and who He is. Through prayer we allow God to direct our lives. I believe that how we pray (or how we do not pray) changes our lives far more than you can ever imagine.

Prayer shapes our lives.

Canon J. John (www.canonjjohn.com)

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 image is by Waldryano at Pixabay.com

The Gift of Words

 

GIVE A GIFT OF PRAYER

I recently read a beautiful blog post that inspired me. I am reblogging it below. Although the post is Christmas-related, I feel its message is still pertinent and, what’s more I’d like to challenge followers and readers to take this concept in another direction and give a gift of prayer this year to your loved ones (or even to your enemies!).

My challenge is to all but particularly to those who do not pray regularly, who see prayer as a dry difficult exercise, or last-ditch resort when afflictions arise or catastrophe seems imminent.

The Bible is replete with examples of people, who motivated by love or concern for others, used their words to send our Father God precious parcels of prayers. People like Moses, Abraham and Paul the apostle. And those gifts of prayers averted judgment, saved lives, strengthened believers during their trials.

I love receiving gifts. I also enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts to others that are appreciated, particularly when that person least expects it. Most of all however, I love to know that someone is holding me up in prayer. To me, when someone sacrifices their time to send petitions to God on my behalf it is like a precious gift.

Is there a friend, a family member, a work colleague, neighbour, or fellow-believer whom you could bless with the gift of your words in prayer this week, this month, this year?

Have a blessed week!

 

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By; Michelle Gunnin

I am a natural encourager.  I am also a teacher.  It is not clear to me which came first.  Am I a teacher because I am an encourager, or is it the other way around? Either way, I have found great pleasure in building others up and helping them to feel valued.  I do this in several ways, but mainly I write notes.  They started off as handwritten expressions of appreciation.  Never underestimate the power of a good thank you note.  From there I started writing little memos just to brighten someone’s day.  When the internet was invented, my note writing grew to a whole new level. The speed with which my words traveled was amazing!  Notes turned into letters at the point when my typing speed surpassed my handwritten scrawl, and while I still love a handwritten note, the ability to communicate instantly has made inspiration…

View original post 1,098 more words

To All Fellow-Bloggers, Followers and Visitors

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – WOW FOLLOWERS AND VISITORS!

 

As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquillity and His wisdom!

Peggy Toney Horton, Does God Want Us to Be Happy

 

A New Year has tiptoed in. Let’s go forward to meet it. Let’s welcome the 365 days it brings. Let’s live well with love in our hearts towards God and all people. Let’s walk through its corridors with praise songs on our lips.

Anusha Atukorala

 

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

Brad Paisley

 

No, dear brothers [and sisters], I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:13-14

 

Lord, as the New Year dawns today,

Help me to put my faults away.

Let me be big in little things;

Grant me the joy which friendship brings;

Keep me from selfishness and spite,

Let me be wise to what is right.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I

May cause no tear to any eye.

When this new year in time shall end,

Let it be said: “I’ve played the friend,

Have lived and loved and laboured here

And made of it a happy year.”

Edgar Guest (1881–1959), “Prayer for the New Year”

 

Thank you dear followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It is truly appreciated.

May the Lord bless and keep you throughout 2017. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. And may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

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https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 4 of 4)

christmasbells-pixabay1150015_960_720DON’T FORGET THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

Yesterday, we looked at the matter of unbelief and how our limited understanding and experiences of life can get in the way of us exercising faith (which pleases God). I concluded Part 3 with the following question:

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

As we have seen in the case of Zachariah and in the case of Jesus’ proclaimed birth, although it may take years, decades, even centuries—that which God has spoken through his prophets, or declared in his Word, will surely come to pass.

Our Father God loves to upset the status quo. He does not conform to human expectations, or confine himself to the boundaries of natural laws. If your God-given purpose necessitates a miracle, then hey presto—your God will oblige!

 

Ditch Goliath-sized doubts – cultivate mustard seed faith!

Have you been praying and believing God for the impossible? Have you been waiting a long, long, time for God to honour a promise made to you years ago? If you have given up, or are assailed by constant doubts, I can relate. Why not try re-reading and meditating upon the truths of these two women’s stories. I trust they will not only encourage you but revitalise your flagging faith.

mustardseedsgokalp-iscan-pixabay-231302_960_720Women of Warfare, we need to watch that we don’t become complacent in our faith walk, plodding along with the God of miracles in our day-to-day life, yet not expecting the miraculous. Remember, we are not required to have Goliath-sized faith.

Jesus assures us that faith the size of a mustard seed will be sufficient. Unlike the seed of a mango or an avocado pear, the mustard seed is quite tiny. Now isn’t that encouraging?

Notwithstanding the above, if you do have problems with exercising your faith, with believing, take heart! God says he does all things according to the counsel of his own will. We have seen that even in the face of scepticism, God graciously answered Zachariah’s prayers and granted he and his wife a supernatural miracle.

Women of Warfare, please learn a lesson from Gabriel’s response to this priest’s unbelief. Don’t become sceptical and dismissive when it comes to God manifesting his power in your life. Like Mary, don’t hesitate to share your questions, concerns and misgivings with your Father God in prayer but then commit to allowing His Word, His will, his plan and his purpose for your life, to be fulfilled—within his timing!

Do you long to be a vehicle of God’s miraculous power? Do you want to be a victorious overcomer? Then be an incubator of God’s Word!

Both Elizabeth and Mary were ordinary women, in whom the power of God was released in a marvellous way. Our God is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared to be a vessel for his glory? Are you prepared to pray, to ask for your miracle then wait for and accept his timing? 

pfmh1-bible-1850905_960_720As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember and rejoice because God found someone who believed His Word and submitted to His will. Remember, the birth of Jesus took place because of one young girl’s acceptance of God’s inconvenient timing.

 

Have an exceedingly blessed and happy Christmas everyone!

 

 

CREDITS: All the above graphics are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 2 of 4)

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 REMEMBER THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

My previous post (Part 1) concluded with the following question:

Is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

The Bible tells us that it was Elizabeth who was barren, implying that the biological reason for the couple’s childlessness may have been her fault.

Let’s stop for a moment and apply both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s situation to ourselves.

We have been espoused to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:2 Pauls says:

…For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

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Dear reader, if your prayer life is barren, i.e. dry, fruitless, ineffective—please know that the fault is not with Christ, your spiritual husband. Please know and accept that the fault lies with you alone.

We’ll move on now to take a look at the other woman in Luke’s nativity account.

 

Mary – an espoused virgin

Mary is a virgin, engaged to a man called Joseph, a descendant of the house of David. She is God’s chosen vessel to bring Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. Even though Mary is told about God’s plan for her life, she still has to accept what God proposes and submit to his Word in order for the miracle of Christ’s birth to happen.

Luke 1:38 tells us that she agrees. She says:

Behold the maid-servant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

 

christmasmarydavidmark-pixabay-95559_960_720Now we’ve already learned that Mary is engaged. Her agreement to God’s will could potentially cost her relationship with her fiancé along with her plans for marriage. In fact, submission to God’s will was most likely going to cost Mary her reputation.

Again, let’s pause here, as I temporarily remove the spotlight from Mary, back to you dear reader. What price are you willing to pay for God’s plan and purpose to be fulfilled, for God’s will to be implemented in and through your life?

Are you willing to let go of personal dreams, to forgo your plans, to lose your reputation?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

 

CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 1 of 4)

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Remember the Christ of Christmas!

  

Jaded, or jubilant?

How are you feeling about this upcoming season? Excited? Expectant?

Or are you stressed out from all the running about here and there, anxious over the amount of money being spent, or sickened by the stench of commercialism which wafts from TV screens and shopping malls?

In all the hectic rush of making preparations, have we as believers become prey to the secular hype of the season, leaving us with little, or even no time to focus on the Christ of CHRISTmas?

 I trust we are not so familiar with the nativity story that the wonder of God’s marvellous gift to humankind no longer enthrals us.

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Stop! Step back, See

Sometimes it helps to stop, take a step back and examine the familiar from another perspective.

So let’s just do that now shall we? Let’s for a moment forget about the baby in the crib, the shepherds and wise men.

Let’s look instead at how two ordinary women’s lives were impacted by an extraordinary God. Let’s stop, step back and see what the Christmas narrative has to say to us personally about the miraculous experience of these two women.

Luke’s meticulous account of the Christmas story, brings Elizabeth and Mary centre stage. He showcases God’s awesome power in producing not just one, but two impossible pregnancies—one involving a virgin and the other, a woman who is described as “well advanced in years”, in other words well past the age of child-bearing!

 

Elizabeth – a blameless wife

Elizabeth is described as a “daughter of Aaron”. Now, as a woman directly connected with the Aaronic priesthood, Elizabeth would have been familiar with and subject to, the exacting demands of holiness required of the Levitical community. Indeed, Luke tells us that both she and her husband, Zachariah, were righteous and blameless (Luke 1:5-6). However, the couple are childless, a condition which in Jewish culture is seen as a curse, a condition about which Zachariah had apparently sought God.

Now, let me change your focus for a moment and shift it from Elizabeth to yourself. If you are a born-again believer, did you know that as far as God is concerned you are righteous, i.e. blameless?

Romans 5:1 tells us that we have been JUSTIFIED, which is a legal term declaring us as righteous, or signifying our acquittal. Derek Prince brings further enlightenment, when he explains that the terms means: just as if I had never sinned!

christmasglobepixabay-1883341_960_720Are you aware dear woman of God that you are a member of God’s holy priesthood?

And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more you are his holy priests; so come to him—[you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ]—and offer to God those things that please him (1 Peter 2:5 The Living Bible).

What is it that pleases God? We can find the answer in Hebrews 11:6—FAITH! We are told that without faith, it is impossible to please our Father God.

So, now we know (if we didn’t already) that we are priests, and as priests unto God, we are blameless. And as priests we are to offer prayers that please him, prayers that are inspired by faith.

Now, let me ask you another question – is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

 

 

(To be continued…)

 

PHOTO CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Gem – 2

 

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That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.

(Mark 11:24-26 The Message)

 

God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

 

 

Que Sera Sera?

What are you doing to help mend our broken world?
What are you doing to help mend our broken world?

 

Have you ever looked at this world in despair? I can relate!

It is a rare event when media reports on international issues raise a smile from me, or a sense of belief that all is well with the world. I think I can honestly say that most times after listening to a news channel, or reading a newspaper, I feel disgusted, disquieted or depressed. And sometimes I can even feel ashamed to admit that I belong to the human race – in fact, somebody stop the world – I wanna get off!

When I see reports of police brutality against the mentally ill, or against black men, young girls and women, I feel outrage. When I hear stories about a high-ranking official’s debauchery and betrayal of trust (having participated in child abuse, or corruption or paedophilia), I feel sickened.

But however indignant and self-righteous I may be, it cannot compare to how God must feel about these things. Consider His response to Sodom and Gomorrah. Consider his attitude to the antediluvian days.

Are you troubled about these things? Are you concerned that the world seems to be getting darker and people more depraved, less tolerant?

If so, are you doing anything about it?

Me? (you ask). What can poor, inconsequential me do about this humongous issue?

Well, for a start, you can pray! You can stand in the gap for those individuals that touch your heart. You can intercede for those situations that vex your soul.

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There was a time in biblical history, when God’s heart and compassion moved him to do something. He wanted to bring healing, peace and restoration to the offending circumstances that he saw. However, he could find NOBODY who cared enough to stand in the gap and mediate between Him and those people, whose lives were at odds to his standards, whose lives were being insidiously influenced by the Enemy.

Do you care? And if you do, do you care enough? Are you willing to take time out of your charmed lives to pray? Are you willing to set aside your own disappointments, discouragement or despair to send God fervent petitions on behalf of others?

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If you are a member of Western civilisation, are you able to acknowledge that you are better off than a great many others?

Consider refugees living in cramped muddy conditions in a country that does not really want them. Consider those fleeing torture, or risking their lives and the lives of their children in vessels that are not sail-worthy, in order to preserve their lives, in order that they may enjoy liberty, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Consider parents in the developing world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, who don’t have the means to feed and nurture their family properly.

 

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And moving closer to home, think of the homeless sleeping on a piece of cardboard in freezing weather, think of parents whose children have gone missing, think of those parents who’ve suffered the anguish and pain of children who have been murdered.

Perhaps you are thinking: Lady Cee, prayer is not my calling. I leave that sort of thing to my church prayer group, to those who feel called to the ministry of intercession.

Well, my response to you dear fellow saint is: poppycock! If that is your honest belief, then you are mistaken.

Listen to this:

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1)

…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 openly. (Matthew 6:6)

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2)

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Now to whom do you think the above writers were addressing these words? To whom do you think Jesus was speaking? Is it only to those who feel called to prayer and intercession? No my dear friend. If you are a born-again, blood-washed child of God, if you consider yourself to be a member of the body of Christ, then God’s Word is being spoken to you!

Only deception by Satan, or ignorance of the Word of God and of who you are in Christ, or utter selfishness, or slothfulness, stops us from obediently taking our place on the battlefield of prayer.

So now you know!

And now that you know, what will you do? Will you care? Will you allow compassion for people and outrage against the Enemy to propel you to your prayer closet?

I am praying and trusting God that it will.

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WoW! followers and visitors, to those of you for whom this message is pertinent, my prayer is that you will not just read this post and go on your merry little way. My prayer is that you and I will hear the cry of our Father God’s heart and respond to his desire for someone to stand in the gap.

Today, I am challenging you and I am challenging myself to make a choice. Choose to be a mediator! Choose to stand against the exploits of the Enemy! Choose to care and pray!

And for those of you who are diligently praying, be encouraged – your efforts will be rewarded. Just continue the good work.

 

QUESTION:

How do you respond to disturbing world events? Has this post inspired you to act differently? Please let me know your response in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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PHOTO CREDITS: all the above photographs are CC0 images – courtesy of Pixabay.com

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: the above biblical texts have all been taken from the New King James version

 

Prayer Gem – 1

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My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

(Psalm 5:3 NKJ)

 

 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141:2 NKJ)

 

Have you prayed today?

 

Whether you have or you haven’t may I encourage you to read the following poem written by yours truly, about the benefits of daily prayer?

God awaits you in His throne room!

 

All Types of Prayer – Part 2

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CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

 

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (2) – Extract from: 20 November 2015

Here are three more types of prayer:

1) The prayer of petition

You must learn to be confident in asking God to meet your needs. Jesus promised, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24 KJV).

If we’d stop trying to impress God, we’d be a lot better off. Length, loudness, or eloquence isn’t the issue; it’s the sincerity of our heart, the faith that’s in our heart, and the assurance that we’re praying according to God’s will that gets results.

 

2) The prayer of agreement

Jesus said, ‘If two of you … agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father’ Matthew 18:19 NIV 2011 Edition). When you’re up against something too big to handle alone, find a prayer partner and get into agreement with them. This isn’t for people who constantly live in strife, then decide to agree because they’re desperate. God honours the prayers of those who pay the price to live together in harmony (see Psalm 133:1).

 

3) The prayer of thanksgiving

When your prayers outnumber your praises, it says something about your character. Self-centred people ask, but rarely appreciate. God won’t release us into the fullness of all He has planned for us until we become thankful for what we’ve already received.

Petition avails much; praise avails much more! ‘In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ (Philippians 4:6 NIV 2011 Edition). Powerful living comes through thanksgiving. We can literally ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV) by being thankful all day long, praising God for His favour, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering, and goodness.

 

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed and victorious week.

All Types of Prayer – Part 1

Hello WoW! followers and visitors, I’d like to spend some time focusing on prayer for the next few posts. After all, as prayer warriors and victorious overcomers, prayer should be an important feature in our lives.

prayingangelmanfredantraniaszimmerpixabay-297916_960_720

CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (1) – Extract from: 19 November 2015

In scripture there are many different kinds of prayer. Let’s look at some of them and see what we can learn:

1) The prayer of surrender 

When Paul met Christ on the Damascus Road he prayed, ‘Lord, what wilt though have me do?’ (Acts 9:6 KJV). That’s like signing your name to a blank cheque and saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, do with me as you please. I hope I like what you choose, but even if I don’t I’ll do it anyway; Your will be done, not mine.’

You’re deciding to voluntarily follow God rather than trying to get Him to follow you. As a result He will do the work that needs to be done in you, so that He can do the work that He desires to do through you.

2) The prayer of commitment

The Bible says, ‘Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him’ (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). As long as you keep trying to control everything, your stress levels will keep mounting. But once you learn to hand things over to God, you’ll wonder why you spent even a single day worrying.

3) The prayer of intercession

The prophet Ezekiel writes, ‘I looked for someone… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land’ (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV 2011 Edition). ‘The gap’ is the distance between what is – and what can be. And when there’s a ‘gap’ in someone’s relationship with God due to a particular sin, as a believer you have the privilege (and responsibility) of placing yourself in that gap and praying for them.

(to be continued)

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

The Secret of Effective Prayer

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God's Spirit
Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

The following is an excerpt from an excellent devotional magazine, Word for Today*, which is written by Bob and Debby Gass and produced by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB).

The extract below is from Reinhard Bonnke, founder of Christ for all Nations (CfaN).

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PRAYER

Prayer is not just words. It is our spirit making contact with God’s Spirit. Life flows constantly from God like light from the sun. In prayer we expose ourselves to its rays and sunbathe in the warmth of divine love. We absorb His goodness.

We speak to God in prayer and He speaks to us any time He wants. God reveals His will to all of us – we don’t need to pry it out of Him. The aim of prayer is to bring us into line with His will, and then He hurries to answer. We can’t twist God’s arm by fasting, or impressive numbers of intercessors (James 4:2). He looks upon our hearts. If we want to pray prayers that prevail with God, we must first let God prevail in our own lives. Until we yield to Him, we shall never move the hand that moves the world. God wills only His own will. When our will is brought into line with His will, then His will can be done through our prayers, which become mighty indeed. His Word is His will.

When we pray, we pray on the same basis and with the same rights as Paul, John, James and Peter. We rank equal with the greatest saints. The promises to them are the promises to us. They prayed the same Lord’s Prayer as we pray. We have the same privileges as they had. God has no favourites except we are ALL His favourites. They had the same key to the door that we have – the name of Jesus. We do not need angels or saints to usher us into God’s presence. We are children and heirs – we have complete freedom of access into our Father’s house. That is a very good reason indeed for praying.

—————–

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

Tel: 0845 60 40 401

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Image: CCO – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

We Salute You!

 

CC0 image - Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)

 

Many of you, I am sure, will be aware that today is Remembrance Day. A day to commemorate the lives of men and women who’ve lost their lives defending our freedom. These men and women, whether willingly or from a sense of duty, or forcibly conscripted, found themselves on the battlefield engaging with the enemy.

Remembrance Day is a time not only to remember the fallen dead but also celebrate our war veterans and heroes and consider the members of our armed forces, who are currently away from their home and their loved ones, fighting for the cause of justice.

We salute these courageous men and women (both dead and alive, young and old).

But let us not stop there.

Let us turn our attention to a group of unsung heroes.

Allow me to highlight the contribution of certain Christian women (mothers and grandmothers), who  throughout the history of the Church assumed positions on the spiritual frontline, to pray for their loved ones.

These mighty prayer warriors, these sanctified soldiers, voluntarily enrolled within the ‘Intercessors’ Infantry’ and fought for the spiritual lives and freedom of their families. Many of these warriors have long since passed from this earth into God’s presence. However, their legacy of fervent, effective prayer and intercession should never be taken for granted and certainly never forgotten.

I refer to women such as Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Her fervent prayer for a son, whom she then dedicated to the Lord, for life, meant that this young boy who ministered to the Lord under Eli’s supervision, was described as one who “…grew in stature, and in favour both with the Lord and men” (1 Samuel 2:26). Coincidentally, we read a similar statement in Luke 2:52, made about none other than God’s only begotten son, Jesus!

I believe that because of Hannah’s prayers, this young servant of the Lord (mentored in an environment where other priests—Eli’s own sons—were corrupt, disobedient and disrespectful to God’s commands), was able to enjoy a close relationship with the Lord, in a context where the word and revelation of God, had become rare. Samuel continued to grow and flourish in the service of God and became an influential figure in the history of the Children of Israel.

Next, let us consider Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In his autobiography, Confessions, Saint Augustine recalls how his mother wept and wept for him, distressed over his wayward and unrepentant heart. In fact, Augustine reveals, that his mother wept more tears for him over the prospect of his spiritual death, than other mothers had wept over the physical demise of their children. I wonder, would we have been able to benefit from the writings of this early theologian and philosopher, had Monica not persisted in prayer for her son?

Again, we cannot forget Susanna Wesley, mother to John and Charles Wesley, two of our church history’s most notable evangelists. The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

Let me take this opportunity to issue a challenge. Speaking to those amongst us called to prayer and intercession (and that is everyone in the Body of Christ), let me suggest that if we are constantly making excuses about our prayerlessness, we need to be honest before God and with ourselves. Let us admit that it is not time we lack, but the inclination!

I now turn my attention to Eliza, mother of Charles Spurgeon. He confides:

I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words and prayers of my Christian mother. It was a custom while we were children to sit around the table and read the Scripture verse by verse while Mother explained it to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading with God.

His account evokes memories of my own childhood, when my recently deceased mother gathered her children for weekly Bible study and prayer. I can also testify to my mother’s diligence in interceding for the salvation of her offspring, which resulted in five of her seven children, turning their lives over to Christ. Alas, not all five continued their walk with the Lord but, over a period of 40 plus years, my mother’s intercession for her children never flagged—until she became incapacitated with dementia.

And how can we forget Catherine Booth, a spiritual general and trailblazer of her era? Along with her husband, William Booth, this spiritual heroine co-founded the Salvation Army. Catherine’s diligent prayers meant that every one of her eight children became active in the Salvation Army, two of which became generals.

All these women, whose voluntary enrolment in the army of God, whose selfless engagement on the frontline of a spiritual battlefield, produced men and women of valour and distinction, through their fervent prayers and intercessory warfare. Their prayers secured a rich legacy of theological writings, sermons and hymns. Without these ladies and other praying women throughout the history of the Church, our Christian heritage would not be the calibre that it is today.

Women of God and women of prayer throughout the ages, we salute you!

I turn now to the matter of ourselves in this time of fear, uncertainty and perplexity. I turn now to the need for modern-day saints, for committed men and women to take their place on the battlefield of prayer. If ever there was a time where intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare is needed, it is right now.

So let me ask, did you, or do you have a praying mother or grandmother? Why not take some time out today to thank God for them… to remember and celebrate their lives?

And, let me further ask—are you a mother, or a grandmother? If so, are you regularly praying for those children within your sphere of influence? Make no mistake, their spiritual future and welfare, and the spiritual freedom and heritage of generations to come, might well depend on you!

 

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Did You Pray Today?

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Image from Pixabay.com

  

Whilst on this earth, Jesus said: “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 NKJ)

And so I would ask you to examine yourself today and answer the following questions honestly:

  • Do you have a consistent prayer life?
  • Do you feel your prayers are effective?
  • Do you believe a diligent prayer life is important to your relationship with God?
  • How happy are you with your prayer life?

In Matthew 6:5-7 Jesus uses the words: “…when you pray…” 3 times. He does not say “if you pray”.

Jesus therefore expected his followers to pray and, as we have read above, he requires that we always pray.

PrayerQuote(commentskart.com)

Prayer is not a last resort. Nor is it merely a spiritual means of God getting me out of a fix, or granting my desires.

Prayer is often associated with intercession, petition, supplication and spiritual warfare. However, it is not just these things. It is also communion or fellowship with our Father God. It is spending quality time in his presence, simply for the pleasure of being with him and wanting to know him better.

Prayer is a privilege. Are you availing yourself of this glorious opportunity to draw closer to God?

Now, if having answered the questions above, you feel that your prayer life is lacking, make amends without delay. Take a leaf from the disciples’ book, who asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1) and whilst you’re at it, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray consistently.

Prayer-BibleQuote(quotesgram.com)

 

Make no mistake, as women of warfare who aim to walk victoriously in life, an active and diligent prayer life is indispensable.

WoW! followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

 

 

 

Help My Unbelief!

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Hello dear ones,

I came across this video today during my cyber travels and felt I just had to share it with you all. Please don’t let the title put you off! This is not just a message for unsaved people.

Okay (I hear you ask), just where does the issue of evil come in? Well, before I explain, let me first introduce the following text:

So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.

Hebrews 3:12 (The Message)

 

As you can see from the above quote, God tells us in no uncertain terms that unbelief is evil.

Now please understand that I am not accusing anyone of being evil.  However, because the Bible clearly tells us unbelief is evil, we have to accept that any belief system or predominant thought pattern contrary to God’s Word, is therefore evil.

Now, I’d be very surprised if there are any amongst us who will deny that they’ve had their struggles with unbelief. In fact, let me be the first to put my hand up and admit that I’ve struggled with this in the past and it has become even more an issue for me since witnessing the declining health of my dear mother.

Again and again, I’ve had to cry out to my Father God with the same desperate prayer uttered in Mark 9:24: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”.

Dear precious reader, if you are struggling with believing God’s promises because of a delay to your prayers, or if you feel confused and discouraged about perplexing world events or any other negative circumstance, don’t shrug your shoulders and remain passive in whatever situation seems to be at odds with God’s Word and don’t entertain the lies of the Enemy.

Carry your burdens and troublesome issues to God in prayer. Ask Him to work within your heart and bring you to the place where you can trust Him with all of your heart and not lean upon your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

And dear reader, if you are someone who has not yet made a commitment to Christ, I pray your heart will be open to the Spirit of God, as he woos you with his Word and soothes you with this beautiful music.

If this post, or the video speaks to you please let me know in the comment box below – even if it is to reiterate that prayer from Mark 9:24. Thank you.

WoW! followers and visitors have an exceedingly blessed weekend.

 

 

Celebrating the Father-heart of God

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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Praise

Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJ)

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. (James 1:17 TM)

 

Prayer

Father God,

I don’t want to merely read about, or sing of your goodness. I want to be wholly convinced of it. I ask you to settle this truth deep down in my heart. Help me to stand firm in that assurance, even when things do not go according to my plans or meet with my expectations.

Father God, draw me closer to you with your gentle cords of love. Continue to work within my heart so I may fulfil your perfect will according to your satisfaction and your delight.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Worship

Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett – You are a good good father

(Please don’t skip this – take a moment to sit before God and allow him to minister to your heart)

 

WoW! followers and visitors, may I encourage you to draw closer to your Heavenly Father this week and rest in His unchanging goodness, peace and security? Have a blessed and victorious week.

DID YOU…?

Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann - Pixabay.com)
Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann – Pixabay.com)

 

Did you…?

Have you spent time in the throne room today?

Have you spent quality time with Him, or did you rush away?

Did you linger at His feet?

Linger in His presence, so pure, so sweet?

 

Did you let Jesus soothe your soul’s pain?

Did you let him refresh you, once again?

Did you accept His Word’s healing balm

Whispered with love and authority

And with a voice so cool, so calm?

 

Did you give Jesus sufficient time?

To tell you about his love—

Unfathomable, unconditional,

Tried and true,

Ready at your bidding to be lavished upon you?

 

Or did you rush absentmindedly away?

Not give Jesus ample time today?

Ample time – for him to remind you

That he sees far beyond your limited view,

That his unfailing mercies

Are prepared and packaged just for you?

 

Did you pause in his holy presence?

So he could explain,

That you need not agonise,

Despair, or nurse that pain?

 

Dear wounded, weary, hurt or searching one

Relinquish your load,

Rejoice, and trust God anew

For the road to victory,

The key to your breakthrough,

Lies not in confusion, questions or tears

Lies not in rebellion, anger or fears.

 

Let me tell you dear daughter,

The solution you seek

Is available this hour, this day, this week!

Yes, the answer is found

In His presence profound,

In tarrying in His throne room,

Trusting His Word,

Waiting for his voice of wisdom,

Waiting patiently – not perturbed!

 

And should that answer come winging

From heaven’s miraculous sphere,

Remember to thank him,

Remember to praise,

Remember to worship the Ancient of Days.

 

© Carol Hind – July 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise Anthems

PRAISE PRAYER  & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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Image by Oliver & Hen Pritchard-Barrett (Unsplash.com)

 

Praise

What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks.

To sing an anthem to you, the High God!

To announce your love each daybreak,

Sing your faithful presence all through the night,

Accompanied by dulcimer and harp,

The full-bodied music of strings.

(Psalm 92:1-3 – The Message)

 

Prayer

Abba Father,

What an honour you have bestowed upon us, in bringing us into royal relationship with you… in deigning to bend your ear to listen to our prayers… in scattering our paths with your bountiful blessings.

Thank you Father God for your manifest presence in our lives. Thank you Heavenly Father for your daily mercies and unconditional love. Help us to glorify you with sincere hearts and joyful lips. May we magnify you in our minds, celebrate you with our songs and exalt you with our praises. I ask this in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week!

A Warrior’s Cry

specialbottle(SvetlanaKlaise)-1131237_960_720Image by Svetlana Klaise (Pixabay.com)

 

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Warrior:

  • a skilled fighting man, especially one belonging to earlier times
  • any distinguished soldier or veteran
  • someone notable for strength of spirit or indomitability

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

—————————————————————————————————————————

I wonder what image came to mind when you read the title of this post.

Was it the bloodcurdling scream of a fearless combatant charging into battle, brandishing a sword or club?

Well, that is not the warrior’s cry I am speaking of here. I am not referring to the war cry of a superhero. No! I am speaking about the whimper of a wounded one. I am describing the desolate tears of an injured soldier on the battlefield of life.

Dear wounded warrior, be assured. God sees your tears and recognises your fears.

Did you know that he preserves your tears in a bottle? Fancy that! We preserve vegetables or fruit but God preserves our tears. How loving and precious is that?

Don’t believe me? Listen!

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one [tear] in your book. (Psalms 56:8 Living Bible)

In fact, the Bible gives clear evidence of the lengths to which our Father God has gone, in order to show us how much he cares. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed upon the palms of his hands.

Have you ever felt as if your life has been ruined? Do you ever feel despondent about your future? If so, what is your response?

In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a woman whose distressing experience of childbirth prompted her to name her son Jabez. The literal interpretation of this name is: He will cause pain.

Can you imagine being saddled with a name like that? Particularly as in bible times, your name was a reflection of your person, a prophetic foretelling of your future. Every time someone called you, spoke to you or about you, they were affirming and confirming the meaning of your given name. They were re-affirming your destiny: “He will cause pain!

Fortunately, Jabez decided he was not going to accept the cards that life had dealt him. He was not going to allow his life, his future to be determined by his mother’s response to a painful experience. He decided that his mother would not have the last word. This unlikely warrior decided to take charge of his fate and change the course of his destiny.

So Jabez enlisted the help of the only person who possessed the power and resources to alter the course of his life. He turned to God in prayer. He appealed to his Father in Heaven and made a specific request regarding how he wanted his life to be—and God granted him his desire.

Jabez could have chosen to wallow in self-pity and remain a victim of his circumstances. He could have lived a life of misery and defeat and felt justified about blaming his misfortune upon his mother.

Instead, he chose to turn his predicament into a prayer project. He chose to refocus his eyes and thoughts and fix them upon God. He chose to cry out in faith and believe God for a future filled with blessing, increase, favour and protection. He decided to superimpose his words and his desired future over his mother’s negative declaration.

And note, Jabez was not only concerned about his future, his own well-being. He cared about the well-being of those around him and asked God to preserve him from evil and keep him from causing pain to others.

Wounded warrior, God loves you. He has seen your trials. He has noted your tears. He is willing to act on your behalf. Will you rise up in faith? Will you refocus your thoughts? Will you refuse to accept the words the Enemy whispers into your heart? Will you take those hurtful words that were flung at you by family, friend or foe and instead of absorbing, or mulling over them, allow them to provoke you into calling upon your Father God and believe Him for the wonderful destiny he’s ordained for your life?

Dear warrior, I know you have the strength to rise up and win. I know God has empowered you with his Word and with his weapons of warfare.

So will you take a leaf from out of Jabez’s book? Will you direct your petition to God—not just for yourself but also on behalf of others?

I know you can—I pray you will!

Five Minute Friday: Whole

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.


FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Whole(ThomasKelley-Unsplash)-1458938354258-3e66eb36eb7b

Image from Thomas Kelley – Unsplash

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: WHOLE

To be made whole. That is my heart’s desire. To be whole, to be complete – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. And what will that take? Faith!

Whilst reading several accounts in the Word of God about people who sought Jesus for healing, the overriding factor common to all of these people was their faith. It was faith (belief in Christ that he could do what he desired them to do), that enabled them to reach out and touch the hem of his garment, or plead for him to have mercy upon them and heal their blind eyes, cleanse their leprous bodies, even raise their dead. Faith. The substance of things hoped for… the evidence of things not seen.

Do you want to be whole? Then reach out to the Father and ask. Reach out to the Father in trust and faith. Reach out and believe that he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask, all that you can possibly imagine. Ask confident that he loves you, and has your welfare as a primary concern upon his heart. Ask!

 

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A Grateful Heart

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

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Praise

You are my God, and I will praise You;

You are my God, I will exalt You.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His Holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits

(Psalm 118:28; Psalm 103:1-2)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Forgive us when we murmur and complain. Open our eyes to see the wonderful blessings you have showered upon our lives. Open our hearts and enable us to appreciate your goodness and mercy toward us. May we acknowledge in humility that we have done nothing to deserve your unfailing love and kindness. Open our mouths that we may speak with tongues of gratitude and glorify you in the manner you deserve.

Amen.

 

Worship

 

Have you deposited into your “Thank God account” today?

Women of Warfare! (Wow!) followers and visitors, I wish you God’s joy, peace and favour throughout the coming week.

 

 

Awesome, August and All-powerful!

  PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

marble(KatrinSchulz)-393357_960_720Image: Katrin Schulz – Pixabay.com

 

Praise

GOD! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,

The choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!

Search high and low, scan skies and land,

You’ll find nothing and no one quite like GOD.

The holy angels are in awe before him;

He looms immense and august over everyone around him.

GOD of the Angel Armies, who is like you,

Powerful and faithful from every angle?

(Psalm 89:5-8: The Message)

 

 

Prayer

Father God,

Since creation shouts in triumphant testimony to your phenomenal power,

How can our lips refrain from praising you?

You are awesome Holy God.

Having fashioned us from dust into complex works of art,

How can we refuse to sacrifice our lives to you?

You are worthy Holy God.

Crowned with precious gifts for your service, dare we use them for self-glory?

You are gracious Holy God.

Hear the cry of our hearts and

Let the work of our hands glorify—not alienate you.

May our endeavours reinforce your divine order—not undermine it.

Combine our private faith and public pursuits into a pleasing and lingering fragrance,

Which rises like incense to your throne. Amen.

© Carol Hind 2005

 

Worship

(please don’t skip this video – you will be blessed! – I recommend that you open this to full screen)

 

 

 

Wishing all Women of Warfare! (Wow!) followers and visitors a Happy Easter!

 

 

Walls! Walls! Walls!

CityWalls(tpsdave-David Mark)-164825_960_720Photo image from David Mark – Pixabay.com

 

Whilst listening to a teaching by Joyce Meyer, she made an observation that went something like this:

“In order to wall others out, you are walling yourself in. Let God be your wall of protection.”

Her statement set me thinking, which then motivated me to find out what others had to say on the subject of walls. Here’s what I discovered.

For reflection

1)

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

(Isaac Newton)

2)

Before you were born,

And were still too tiny for

The human eye to see,

You won the race for life

From among 250 million competitors.

And yet,

How fast you have forgotten

Your strength,

When your very existence

Is proof of your greatness.

You were born a winner,

A warrior,

One who defied the odds

By surviving the most gruesome

Battle of them all.

And now that you are a giant,

Why do you even doubt victory

Against smaller numbers,

And wider margins?

The only walls that exist,

Are those you have placed in your mind.

And whatever obstacles you conceive,

Exist only because you have forgotten

What you have already Achieved.”

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

3)

“We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this—through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication—we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a height and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough, and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend off the inevitable inclination toward brackishness.”

Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

4)

With no consideration, no pity, no shame,

they have built walls around me, thick and high.

And now I sit here feeling hopeless.

I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind –

because I had so much to do outside.

When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!

But I never heard the builders, not a sound.

Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

(Constantine P. Cavafy)

5)

For by you I can run against a troop,

By my God, I can leap over a wall.

(Psalm 18:29)

6)

“But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over…”

Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

 

7)

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

(Maya Angelou)

 

For self-examination

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let me ask you this:

  • Are you building walls, or have you already built walls around yourself, which are not only shutting others out but also cutting you off from potential opportunities?
  • If (like Cavafy), you believe that others have built imprisoning walls around you, are you willing to call out to God and ask him to give you the desire, energy and wisdom to leap over those walls that are keeping you captive?
  • According to Romans 5:5, God’s agape love has been poured out in our hearts. Given Angelou’s statement, do you accept God’s love can penetrate or dismantle any barriers erected as a response to past offences? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to make this happen and allow Him to do so?
  • Consider Kassem’s depiction of us as warriors. Does it enable you to see yourself as a victor, or an overcomer, despite any undesirable circumstances you may currently face?

 

Prayer:

Father God, deliver us from unhealthy thoughts and attitudes and emotions that drive us to erect walls around ourselves. Enable us to extend the hand of love and motivate us to build relational bridges. Amen.

 

Further Reading:

Want to explore this topic further? The following short post (There is no safety behind emotional walls) may be of interest.

 

Did any of the above quotes speak to you? Please share your thoughts and responses in the comment box below.

 

We Exalt and Worship You O Lord

  PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

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Praise

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.

Both riches and honour come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hands are power and might; in your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank you and praise Your glorious name and those attributes which that name denotes.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (Amplified Bible)

 

Prayer

Awesome God, I come into your Holy Presence with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. Thank you for making me worthy through the precious blood of your Son, Jesus. Father God, I choose to magnify you today. I choose to magnify you above those circumstances which have distracted and broken my focus. I choose to hand those situations over to you, to trust you and not lean on my own understanding. I choose to recall that your mercies are new every morning and to remember you as a covenant-keeping God. I choose to exalt you above my fears, inadequacies and insecurities. I choose to worship you in the beauty of holiness. Be exalted O Lord God most High. Thank you for welcoming me into your throne room and thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe, may His grace and favour surround you and may His peace that surpasses all understanding be yours throughout this week.

 

Are You Reading The “Good Book”?

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An unread book

The other day I came across a book I’d bought. It was the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide – What To Read And What To Read Next. I’d bought it way back in 2003 because I had a desire to become more widely read. Now over a decade later, I’ve neither read it, consulted it, or used it in any way, shape or form.

Do you have books on your shelf that are unread, or only partially read? What about the greatest Book of all books – your Bible, the Word of God? How often do you read it?

 

A much-loved and much-read book

Once upon a time, when I first made a serious commitment to the Lord, I had a brown leather-bound King James’ Bible which was so well-used, its pages became dog-eared and fragile. To make matters worse, the binding began to disintegrate and quite a few pages subsequently become loose. I resorted to using sellotape to repair torn pages, causing some leaves to cleave obstinately together from the sticky residue of the sellotape applied.

I loved that Bible and whilst I may not have known the actual reference for a particular scripture verse when quoted, I knew whereabouts in my bible I could find it (i.e. whether Old or New Testament, which book and the general location on page). This old bible was annotated, arrowed, circled, cross-referenced, highlighted, underlined and every blank space (front and back) filled with notes— choruses, definitions, prayer reminders, any valuable nugget I could record. That old bible meant just as much to me as an old favourite toy or teddy bear can mean to a young child and it was a tug for me to finally let it go and move on to a new one.

 

A neglected book?

Now recently I’ve read various posts challenging and provoking Christians to read their Bibles regularly. As prayer warriors, the spoken Word of God is an essential part of our armour—it is the sword of the Spirit. However, we cannot declare, proclaim, or pray God’s Word with confidence, if we do not know what it says.

If we are going to be effective as prayer warriors, if we are going to reign victoriously over our circumstances, if we are wanting to appropriate this abundant life that Jesus Christ paid such a dear price for us to have and enjoy, then we need to be familiar with, and understand God’s Word. The onus is therefore upon us to read, meditate upon and study the Bible.

 

Benefits untapped

Going back to the Bloomsbury guide referred to at the beginning of this post, I’m sure there are dozens of books this guide could point me to, which would enrich my reading repertoire and thus assist my aims and ambitions as a writer. Whilst it remains on my bookshelf unread however, I cannot avail myself of its commentaries, editorial suggestions and literary expertise.

Likewise, as Christian believers, as prayer warriors, our ability to become intimately acquainted with God, our ability to know His will, plan and purpose for our lives, our ability to withstand the lies and wiles of the Enemy, to pray and intercede effectively, is dependent upon how much of God’s Word we know, understand, put into practice and stand upon in faith.

And so fellow believers, if you are guilty of habitually neglecting God’s Word, please be aware that you are walking around with a blunt sword. Please be aware that a vital element of your armour has become useless. Please be aware that without the complete armour (as described in Ephesians 6:11-17), you will not have the spiritual strength to resist Satan’s schemes and strategies unleashed against your life and against the lives of your loved ones.

 

The last word

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, if Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68), if God’s Word is to be effective as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105), then I would encourage you to take stock of your personal engagement with God’s Word and if deep down in your heart, you know it to be lacking, then make amends. Don’t delay, don’t ignore, don’t make excuses. It could be a matter of life and death—the health and vigour of your spiritual life and the putting to death of carnality!

 

 

An Awesome God!

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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Prayer

Awesome God, You are worthy to be praised. I bring to you today my sacrifice of joy and thanksgiving. Grant me O Lord an ever-increasing sense of your mighty power… an ever-increasing revelation of your glory and might. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

 

Praise

Who among the gods is like you, O Lord?

Who is like you—majestic in holiness,

Awesome in glory,

Working wonders?

(Exodus 15:11 NIV)

 

Worship

 

 

Women of Warfare, may the peace of God be with you – have a blessed week!

 

Victim or Victor – You can choose!

Image from: Pixabay.com
Image from: Pixabay.com

 

And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10)

 

Characteristics of a Victim/Victor

A victor is a conqueror, an overcomer—someone who enforces the victory Christ wrought over the Enemy, within their life… someone who uses their authority in Christ, their power of attorney, to bring victory to the lives of others.

Whereas, a victim is someone who is deceived, or continually defeated by their circumstances. A victim is someone who remains passive in the face of the Enemy’s attacks, whether that attack is directed at their own life, or the life of their loved ones.

Please don’t misunderstand me. A victorious life does not mean a problem-free life. However, as victors, we are to reign over our circumstances, rather than allowing those circumstances to overwhelm us. How do we do this? Romans 5:17 indicates we can reign in life through Jesus Christ. However, as humans, we are weak and finding that continuous strength to stand victoriously in situations that may have devastated us, sought to undermine us, is sometimes just not there, or can be the furthest thing from our mind. In times like these, we should emulate David, who finding himself feeling disheartened and overwhelmed, called out to His God in prayer.

Hear my cry, O God;

Attend to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,

When my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

(Psalm 61:1-2)

 

Self-sabotage or Kingdom Rule?

Have you abdicated your throne?

Yes, we are to submit our lives to God and allow him pre-eminence in our lives but the onus is upon us to rule, subdue and take dominion… the onus is upon us to enforce God’s Word and the principles of His Kingdom on this earth, in our circumstances, in our communities, even in our church. Jesus has already won the victory for us – that is why the Bible calls us “more than conquerors”!

It takes discipline and perseverance to be a victor (Hebrews 6:12)

I believe it takes the same amount of energy to wallow in despair and pessimism and remain a victim. So, why expend that negative energy? Is it not better to use our strength to fight for victory, fight for a change in our circumstances, fight to maintain a sound, well-balanced mind, fight for what God has freely given to us, fight for his will, plan and purpose to be effected in our lives? Do you agree? Then (as Paul encourages us to do), let us fight the good fight of faith, let us lay hold of the eternal life, the abundant life for which Jesus’ blood has so dearly paid (1 Timothy 6:12; John 10:10).

How does a victor persevere? Through hope, through faith.

Hope anchors the victor’s soul in peace, the peace that surpasses understanding (Hebrews 6:19, Philippians 4:7). Hope stabilizes the victor’s emotions. Hope protects the victor’s mind. Victors may feel cast down by adversity, by the afflictions of their life. They may sometimes succumb to the lies and taunts of our adversary the devil—but like David, victors choose to speak the Word of God to their souls (see Psalm 42:5-6, Psalm 43:5, Psalm 27:13) and, in doing so, victors choose to awake, choose to arise, choose to clad themselves with strength, put on their armour and stand against the wiles of the devil.  The victorious lifestyle does not just happen – it is a choice.

Now victims sabotage their own well-being. How? Through unbridled fear and unbelief, which in turn leads to pessimism.

And how does pessimism stamp its hallmark upon a victim? Through compliance! Through permission! Through heart and soul agreement about the ‘reality’ of their circumstances (whether that agreement, compliance or permission is done out of ignorance or not)!

Each time a victim chooses not to stand on the truth of God’s Word but focuses upon the undesirable circumstance, their heart despairs. Despair is loss of hope. And as we saw above, hope anchors our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). Therefore, where there is no hope, emotions become erratic, the thoughts of our mind negative and our will undisciplined and contrary.

 

Fear or Faith?

A victor is motivated by faith. However, a victim is immobilised by doubt and fear.

Victors heed the Apostle Paul’s direction that we: “…continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” Colossians 1:23.

On the other hand, victims give credence to and empower their circumstances by failing to look at Jesus who is the author (originator) and finisher (completion) of their faith; choosing instead to concentrate on that which is temporal and therefore, subject to change (Hebrews 12:2-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Am I saying that we should pretend our problems, trials and tribulations do not exist? No dear reader – I am most definitely not saying this! I am not advocating that we live in denial. I am saying acknowledge your difficulties yes, but deny them the ability to permanently distract, distress and disempower you.

Whose report will you believe?

You are a born-again believer. In whom, or in what do you believe?

Do you believe in an omnipotent and gracious God… a loving and compassionate Christ… a resourceful and helpful Holy Spirit? (That takes care of the “in whom do you believe?”).

OR

Do you believe in your fear-induced thoughts… the seeming impossibilities of your circumstances…the perpetual goading of the Enemy? (And that takes care of the “in what do you believe?”).

Women of Warfare! – Choose to exercise hope. Choose to live by faith. Choose to be a victor!

 

The Revelation Of Christ – 3 Keys To Experiencing His Presence And Power

CC0 Public Domain - Image from pixabay.com
CC0 Public Domain – Image from pixabay.com

 

For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counsellor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it! (Isaiah 9:6-7 – The Living Bible)

 

When God Speaks Are You Listening?

God’s prophetic word had been given. He was to send his Holy Son to the earth. And so the Messiah was expected by the Children of Israel. All were supposedly longing for and looking for his appearance.

But how were they looking?

Why did they miss his coming?

Why did they not recognise him when he finally came?

What distinguished those who “expected” Christ the Son of God and coming Messiah, from those who “experienced” him?

I’d like to suggest that those who heard about Jesus and were privileged to receive divine revelation regarding him and saw him manifested in the flesh, possessed three particular qualities. I’d like to suggest that if we in our day-to-day lives wish to be those who not only hear about Jesus but also “see him” (i.e. have a personal revelation of him) and experience his tangible presence, we also need to possess these attributes. I’d like to suggest that having an expectation of Christ’s miraculous intervention in our lives and having a desire to experience his rule, his counsel and his peace, is simply not enough. We must actively pursue and foster the following in our lives:

  1. Faith (Hebrews 11:6)
  2. Favour with God (Psalm 5:12)
  3. Fear of the Lord (Deuteronomy 10:12)

For years and years, Simeon waited patiently in faith for the manifestation of the Messiah (Luke 2:25-26). Mary, the mother of Jesus, found favour with God and was chosen to bring our Saviour into the world (Luke 1:26-28). The shepherds, as they went about their duties were favoured by the appearance of the angel of the Lord who told them about Jesus’ birth and these shepherds demonstrated faith by immediately acting upon what they’d been told (Luke 2:8-20). Anna showed utter devotion and reverence for God in that she opted to dwell daily in his presence, fasting and praying non-stop. Anna’s actions demonstrated her fear of the Lord (Luke 2:36-38).

When God Acts Are You Ready?

Bearing in mind the events surrounding Christ’s birth, let’s consider how we can apply these lessons to our own lives. Let us consider what can blind us to, or disqualify us from experiencing the presence of the Holy One?

  • Personal ambition, competitiveness and insecurity (Matthew 2:16)
  • Human perceptions, preconceived ideas and prejudices (Mark 6:1-3; John 7:40-43; Acts 1:6)
  • Lack of spiritual discernment (John 7:31, 45-52)
  • Religious dogma (Matthew 23:23-28)

You will note from the above examples that the religious leaders knew the prophecies and scriptures. However, their knowledge did not foster a genuine love-relationship with God. These religious leaders prioritised their limited sense-knowledge over the supernatural, over revelation knowledge, causing them to reject Jesus and even orchestrate his death.

You will also observe from the examples above that:

  • Herod felt so threatened by the news of this Child King, he sought to kill him.
  • The religious rulers were so caught up with observing their rules and rituals and presenting themselves as the spiritual authority, they resented Christ’s presence and power
  • The Jews were so blinkered by their personal knowledge of Jesus and their perception of him as “only one of us”, they were highly offended by and dismissed his Messianic claims.

These examples reveal how an inflexible, self-obsessed, or religious mindset can blind you to, or make you hostile towards the presence of Jesus, cutting you off from the very blessings for which you await (Mark 6:3-6).

When God Delays Are You Still Expectant?

Now, if you are looking and expecting God to manifest himself in and through your life this year, may I encourage you to:

  • Look at your circumstances with the eyes of faith
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Keep asking, praying, serving and worshipping whilst you wait upon him
  • Place yourself in, and maintain a position of “being in the know” (the secret of the Lord is with those who fear him – Psalm 25:14).

In Proverbs 1:7, the Amplified Bible describes the Fear of the Lord as reverent and worshipful, as the beginning, the principal and choice part of knowledge.

Do you reverence the Lord?

Herod did not – he was prepared to kill him!

The religious leaders did not – they revered their traditions and teachings above the one around whom those teachings/traditions were based, above the one for whom they waited. Serving God made them feel superior (Luke 18:9-12), so when the one whom they served finally arrived, they weren’t prepared to step aside for him – unlike John the Baptist who declared: I must decrease and He must increase (John 3:30).

Women of Warfare, let’s make sure we don’t fall into the same trap. Let’s make sure we are not so busy serving God and ministering to others that we don’t even recognise or welcome Jesus should he make a sudden visitation in our lives or communities. Let’s ensure we aren’t so concerned about the letter of the Law that we fail to allow God’s Word to dwell within us in a rich measure… that we miss the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Women of Warfare, let’s not be guilty of teaching, sharing, or praying God’s Word, yet shut the door of faith through which The Word himself longs to walk through, in order to manifest himself in supernatural ways and make a dynamic difference to our lives. Let’s develop and exercise our faith and court the favour of God in our lives. Let’s seek his face with diligence and walk humbly before Him in the Fear of the Lord.

 

All Hallows Eve – Celebrate!

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Halloween. It’s that time of the year again where witches and warlocks roam the earth – and I’m not referring to the ghoulish fancy-dressed men, women, boys and girls who indulge in Halloween parties and neighbourhood trick-or-treat visits.

I’m referring to the spiritual underworld, comprising evil spirit beings and their flesh-and-blood counterparts, who gather in covens and secret societies to worship Satan, practice their noxious arts and target Christian leaders.

Edmund Burke once said:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

So what can we do?

We can repossess this 2-day event, which Pope Gregory III had appropriated for the Church calendar. No need to stand helpless and watch the Enemy commandeer this historically hallowed occasion for his purpose.

As women of warfare we can resist Satan’s insidious ploys to spoil, sully and snuff out the lives of God’s creative masterpiece – us! Men, women and children put on this earth to reign, rule and usher in His Kingdom of righteousness. We can thwart our Enemy’s attempts to extend the reach of his foul kingdom.

How?

We can PARTY:

Hold a Hallelujah party. You can make it low key, or a full blown fiesta – the choice is yours. Make it a time of celebration, fun and thanksgiving. It can be adults only, include children, or it can be a private affair – just you and the Lord.

Can’t have a party on your own you say? Yes, you can! It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together with God, link up with Jesus and become better acquainted with the Holy Spirit. And anyway, who says you can’t party on your own? How many times have you held a pity party? Did you invite anyone else along? No? I rest my case!

We can PRAY:

Ask God to divinely protect you, your loved ones, colleagues, friends and neighbours. Stand in the gap for members of your local fellowship, prominent Christian leaders and their families.

Entreat your Heavenly Father to protect your nation, to avert or diffuse any hidden dangers within its borders. Plead the protection of the precious blood of Jesus over your district’s transport network, seas and skies, school grounds and university campuses.

Petition Abba Father to grant journeying mercies to your friends and loved ones. Request peace, divine protection and an assurance of his presence for overseas missionaries.

Solicit Almighty God to deliver you from the schemes, snares and strategies of Satan.

Thank Jehovah for his daily mercies, for preserving our lives to date, for granting us authority over all the power of the Enemy and for his promise that the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against the church that is established upon revelation truth.

We can PROCLAIM:

At Hallelujah parties or church gatherings, speak out with boldness. Shout your praise declarations. Pay tribute to the goodness of our great God. Encourage and make room for your children to do the same. After all, Psalm 8:2 (NKJ) says:

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants

You have ordained *strength (i.e. praise)

Because of Your enemies,

That you may silence the enemy and the avenger.

*According to the Greek Bible from which Jesus quoted, a better translation of the word “strength” is praise.

Dear reader, please understand, I am not denying the underlying darkness of this cultural tradition. I am simply saying enough is enough! Why should we continue to allow our voice to be silenced, the Christian heritage of our nations to be eroded? I’m saying let’s take a stand. Let’s frustrate the forces of darkness with our praise, our prayers and our proclamations.

Instead of shunning this day as a time of consummate evil, let’s seize this moment, this opportunity, as another occasion to celebrate our Lord, who triumphed over the devil and over his realm of death and destruction.

To the children/parents that come knocking at your door this year, why not add a spiritual element to any treats you offer? For UK residents, you can take advantage of a free resource, The Bag of hope, available from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB). There is no limit to the number you can order. However, post and packing charges will apply.

For those not residing in the UK, perhaps you can obtain some simple tracts, or other Christian resources for children and make little goody-bags. Whichever option you choose, pray over these bespoke bags, asking God to prepare the hearts of recipients, so they are open to His gospel message.

Finally, share this post and spread the word to your Christian friends, family, followers and social media connections. Help make the weekend of 30 October – 1 November 2015, the biggest celebration of our King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is surely worthy – don’t you think?

WARNING: please ensure that you seek God’s divine protection in accordance with Psalm 91 and apply the blood of Jesus to your life and the lives of your loved ones, before attempting to battle with the Enemy and his evil forces of darkness.

The Power of Perspective

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I used to see squirrels as cute creatures. Like other people, I enjoyed watching these tame animals scamper around park grounds, leap from bough to branch of a tree, or enjoy the adoration and hospitality of children. On occasion, I’d even feed them nuts or scraps from my picnic fare.

As far as I was concerned, squirrels were fully paid up members of an acceptable community of creatures (unlike flying ants, snakes or spiders). That was until I read that they came from the rodent family. All of a sudden, my perspective changed. I now saw these creatures as giant rats with bushy tails. In my heart and mind they were re-classified as vermin. And, when I became a gardening enthusiast, well that was it! I disliked them even more and promptly added them to my personal category of “mega-annoying animals”.

Just like that, my positive perspective of squirrels changed to a negative one. Knowledge contributed to that change.

Did you know that knowledge of God can alter your perception of any adverse situation you may be facing? Not head knowledge (mere mental assent) but heart knowledge, revelation knowledge.

God desires that we “know” Him (i.e. become intimately acquainted with him). John 17:3 reveals that eternal life is knowing the only true God and his Son, Jesus Christ, whilst Daniel 11:32b declares that those who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits for Him. I like to think of some of those exploits as something prayer warriors accomplish – either conducting bold combative resistance against the Enemy of our souls, or presenting passionate petitions to our Father in the court room of Heaven.

Whatever difficulty we may be facing in our lives, or whatever circumstance we may be enduring, we need the strength of God to be able to overcome and emerge a victor.

If you are in a good place right now (experiencing no distressing worries), then wonderful! Great! Why not use your spiritual strength to encourage, pray for and support others? Is there a colleague, a neighbour, a friend or family member who is ill? In debt? Experiencing an insurmountable problem? Can you come alongside them and help? Will you show them the compassion and love of Jesus by supporting them with your prayers and intercession?

If you are already doing this – excellent! Continue the great work.

I faced a situation a little while back, where someone sought to unjustly penalise and discredit me. It undermined my peace. I called upon my best friend and her husband to stand with me in prayer. They also enlisted the help of their prayer group.

Fear and negativity had skewed my perspective regarding my circumstances. However, these godly friends were able to share scriptures with me, which changed that perspective. They could not have done this without their own knowledge of God, gained through their personal relationship with him. They could not have done this without a knowledge of his Word. And I could not have accepted the rhema* word God gave to me through them, I could not have been comforted and strengthened, if I had not previously acquired personal knowledge of his attributes, loving nature and character.

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” Chris Pine

Just suppose you were drowning and someone dived in to help you, someone whom you knew could not swim and had a fear of water, would you be confident that person could save you? Now substitute that individual with someone whom you know to be a champion swimmer and your perspective of the predicament you are in changes. Your confidence in his/her ability to help you, perhaps even save your life, increases.

Similarly, in times of trouble, your experiential knowledge of God, gained through intimate acquaintance with him will make all the difference as to whether you sink below your problems, wade/swim fearlessly through them, or should the occasion demand, allow Father God to rescue you. Furthermore, what you triumphantly overcome today, equips and enables you to help others tomorrow.

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God promises: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you… (Isaiah 43:2a)

Dear reader, let me ask you something: how well do you know God? What steps are you taking to increase your knowledge of him?

 

* Rhema = a specific promise from the Word of God, brought to mind by the Holy Spirit

Love Letter from your Father

An Open letter from our Heavenly Father to his wounded daughters in the Body of Christ

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My dear precious child in Christ,

Do you know how much I love you?

Maybe you do on a superficial level but you do not appreciate just how much I love you, the extent, the depth, the height. How could you? It is really beyond human comprehension. As my Word declares, my thoughts and ways are higher than your thoughts, your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). But believe me beloved daughter – I truly, truly love you. Unconditionally. Absolutely. No strings attached. Nothing you say, do, or think will change how I feel about you.

How do I feel about you? I see you as precious. More precious than gold… than pearls… than diamonds… than all the things that this world deems as valuable. I have proved it – in that even when you were not aware of me, thought nothing of me, cared nothing about me, I sent my Son to die for you, so that we can be reconciled (Romans 5:8-10), so that I can make you my beneficiary, a joint heir with my Son Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). I want you to know there is nothing you can do, say, feel… nothing the Enemy can do, which can separate you from the deep genuine love I have for you (Romans 8:35-39). Nothing! Believe it and accept it and walk in the truth of it. Ask my Holy Spirit to reveal this fact to you in a way you can understand, absorb, accept and appropriate. I love you.  I. Love. You.

Dearest daughter, I see you. Your struggles, your hurts, your confusion, your loneliness. I see your indecision. Your disappointments and disillusionment with life, with me even, with those things you had imagined would bring you security and fulfilment. I see you. I know you. I hurt with you. Let me walk with you. Let me help you. Let me enfold you within my loving protection, within the safety of my arms and within the security of my Kingdom.

Don’t doubt my love for you. Unquestioning love eradicates fear (1 John 4:18). Fear robs you of all that I have planned for you since before you were even conceived. Yes, I planned for you to be here. I’ve planned your future (Jeremiah 29:11). So take my hand, trust me, walk with me and I will guide you, grant you the wisdom and the confidence and the tenacity to reach the end of your journey. But my daughter, I would not have you just focus on the end prize alone, on achieving that goal, on reaching your destiny. I would have you enjoy every step along the way.

And I would have you fight (because you will have to fight). Yeah, I would have you fight with confidence, with courage, with determination. For I have already given you the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). Do you believe it? Do you believe my Word? Will you trust me? Will you agree that I know best and have given you my best and that your welfare is a primary concern on my heart – even when there are days and seasons where it seems the very opposite? Will you come on this lifetime adventure with me and, like Abraham (your forefather of faith), trust me to keep my promises (Romans 4:16, 20-21) and lead you through the unknown? Will you?

My dear precious one, faith is your title deed (Hebrews 11:1 *Amp). A title deed cannot be denied. It cannot be refuted. It cannot be ignored. Check that title deed often. Review it. Be confident that you already own the promises written in my Word (2 Corinthians 1:20). Circumstances, or the Enemy, or unbelief will deny this… challenge this. But you have a choice. A choice to agree with me, or agree with whatever, or whomever would challenge my Word. Have I not set before you, life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19), blessing and cursing? Choose Life. Choose Blessing. Choose Me!

Never doubt it. I love you. I. Love. You.

*Amp = Amplified Bible