Prayer: Are You neglecting your most powerful weapon?

Prayer: Are You neglecting your most powerful weapon?

When I first felt the nudge to get up before daybreak to spend some quiet time to pray and read from my bible I determined to make it happen. But 5:30 a.m. came. And 5:30 a.m. went and I was still cozy in bed, covers pulled up to chin thinking, tomorrow I will. But tomorrow I didn’t. And then I got sick—really sick and everything I said I believed was tried. I’d missed that first opportunity for exclusive prayer time and to hear the heart of God. But God is so merciful and loving. Again He nudged —well more like a soft push. And this time I was up and ready.  That time, in a matter of months changed my life on every level. But more about that in a later post.

 

Prayer is our most powerful weapon

I hear people say often “Well I guess all we can do now is pray”. Prayer is mentioned as though it were on the bottom of the list of choices, one final effort when everything else has failed. But prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have as Christians (Jas. 5:16). When used regularly and strategically and in faith it will cause you to have victory in every area of your life.

Prayer allows us communication with another Kingdom

The heavenly kingdom or the kingdom of God represents our home base. It is our place of safety, our unbending, strong foundation (Prov. 18:10).  It is where we turn to for direction and instruction and solid wisdom far beyond our own understanding. When looking at things in the natural realm our sight is limited, we can’t see what is working or taking place in the spiritual world. We only know what we see. We are missing what is taking place in the Kingdom that makes all the difference.

When communication breaks down between us and our home base we can be left groping around and defenseless against a very real devil. As we grow tired on the battlefield of this life that connection with our home base gives us rest and peace.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Is. 26:3)

It is a place higher (the heavenly) than this place (earth). When we connect with our heavenly Father suddenly what is going on around us pales and becomes insignificant in the sight of a God bigger than it all. Our connection shifts us back into perspective and reminds us of the power we have access to as well as the insight. One encouraging word from Him in a world and time of mayhem can put us at ease. Sometimes the voices in our head can become so loud and desperate with discouraging thoughts and fears and doubts we forget that there is a God bigger than it all. He wants you to win! He is on our side when it feels as if no one else is. He remains unchangeable when everything around us seems turned upside down.

 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalms 61:2 KJV)

 

Next Week: Prayer–are you waiting on God or is God waiting on you?

What Happens in the Quiet Time with God?

What Happens in the Quiet Time with God?

First published December 31, 2015:

 

If you are like me you are on a constant move from the moment your feet hit the floor. From the kids, to the hubby (or wife), work and so on your ‘to dos’ are heaped upon a plate that is overflowing. Perhaps as you are dressing or in the car on the way to work or school you breathe a quick ‘thank you’ to God, call it your morning prayer time and keep it moving. I know the feeling as I’ve done it more times than I care to admit.

Now prayer doesn’t have to be a 90-minute knee-bending event or a drawn out session where we dump on God our every woe. But it is important that we crave out some quiet time with God–have a conversation before the day begins to wear away.

Prep Time

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I know others that are and from my understanding before the coach send his players out there to face the opponent he takes time to encourage, uplift and direct and yes, pray. He prepares them for the challenge, to mentally fortify them with what is necessary to win. This isn’t the time to scrimmage or lift weights, no. You see the coach understands that the game is both mental and physical and if either is lacking, the opponent can easily undercut. For us this life is more spiritual than natural. Anything that has or will materialize exists spiritually first. We must prepare. Moving in our day unprepared leaves us open to the enemy and his tactics.

Coach Prepping Team

The bible says the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Pet. 5:8) He is seeking—a slow calculating search for those that are open, inattentive, unaware. Prayer is our preparation—our scrimmage, pep talk, rally, conditioning period. It is the time we equip ourselves to deal with those spiritual influences that will surely challenge us throughout the day. It helps us to divert stress, escape danger and receive direction. We cannot blame anyone when we make a wrong decision if we did not first seek the Master. (Prvb. 3:6)

God walks to talk with you

A friend of mine has a daughter with whom he was estranged from for some years. When they finally reconnected she was on a perpetual quest to get everything she could from him. She only appeared when she wanted money, gifts or a place to stay. Once she had what she was after, she was gone. When he couldn’t provide what she asked for, she pouted like a two-year-old ranting that if he was a real father he would make it happen.

God is a real father and he will do for us. But God is about relationship. He wants to talk with you, hear your voice and hear your praises. Our prayer is not all about a list of wants( although he is a God of provision). It’s about communing with our Lord, finding out his heart so that ours may align with it. It is a time we check with him on today’s agenda. How many tragedies would be averted it we’d only checked with God?

God sometimes will give the preverbal tap on the shoulder sometime during the day, to tell us to take a different turn, but how much more so if our hearts are already open to hear him. If the world’s voice is louder than his, we’ve missed something.

Talk to him. Share your heart and then let him share his. Sing a sweet love song, He, like us loves to hear the sound of His name.

But there isn’t any time

There is always time, but it is our priorities that we must adjust. Twenty-four hours is twenty-four hours no matter who you are. Time spent with God may make the difference in wrong decisions, tragedies and bad moods. Time with God is never wasted, no matter how we may waste away the rest of the time.

Take the time. You will be glad you did and so will He.

Become Blinded by the Truth

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith II

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith II

Last week we focused on several ways we can combat the enemies to our faith. We all experience doubts sometime, but God has provided us with the answers we need so that we always come out on the winning side. Be blessed!

 

Know the Will of God Regarding Your Situation

So you’re not sure whether God wants you healed. Maybe this is the way you’re supposed to…go? Or maybe He is punishing you for something you did?(remember in college when…) Or maybe God has favorites (avid church goers or those that give tons of money to various causes). Yeah? Really? Find the Word to back that up. His Word is his will and it never changes. (By the way, you won’t find anything in His Word about wanting to keep us sick or to punish us. Trust me sin is its own punishment). Find the word and believe it. Take it to heart. It may seem ineffective at first–like empty words on a page. Go back to it again and again. Now read it again.  Meditate on it. I can remember reading passages as tears dripped on to the pages. I was broken and hoping that this Word would free me. And I read it again until His truth begin to stir within and bring life to those dry places. The fears and doubts begin to dissolved. It didn’t happen over night or even over the course of a week (Although it may happen quickly for you). But when we have strongholds on our thinking, or in other words we’ve been thinking wrong for so long, we have to make a determined and deliberate effort to change our way of thinking. Our thinking must become parallel to God’s way of thinking, otherwise God’s provisions will be there waiting for us and we won’t have a heart to receive them because we will be blinded from the truth.

“We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” (II Cor. 10:5, NIV)

Watch Your Mouth!

What are you saying about that problem? Are you agreeing with the doctor and getting your affairs in order? Are you quoting God’s Word one day and then recounting how bad and hopeless this thing is the next? Like with integers the negative and the positive cancel each other out. If you can’t say anything positive then wait to say anything until you can.

What is God saying to you?

You can quote verses all day if we’d like, but if God has spoken to you specific instructions about your situation, your words will have little effect. I knew a woman whose husband was a heavy drinker. She would quote Bible verses and pray over and for him daily. But one day God simply spoke to her and told her not to say another word to him about his drinking–just show him love. But she wouldn’t stop. She would nag, threaten and use manipulative tactics to try to get him to stop. You’re killing yourself and your family. She would say. I’m only telling you to stop because I love you! She’d try to sit quietly or ignore it for a while, but she just wouldn’t let it go. Simple instructions—don’t say another word to him about his drinking. But the smell of liquor and the language and drunkenness drove her to a fit. And because she had put herself in God’s way, she limited his ability to do anything about it. Not only that, it played a part on her health and sense of well-being and she literally grew sick with worry and frustration over time.

Jesus said He only did what my father told him to do. You notice that Jesus didn’t heal the same way every time. Sometimes he simply laid his hands on the person. Other times he spoke the word or commanded the condition to leave. I was always hearing from His father. I mean, the very act of submitting to the cross represented his obedience to His father. Obedience is key. Jesus’s ear was open to that voice. Is your ear open? Are you listening and obeying?

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be

done.” (Matt. 26:42, NIV)

 

 

Read the Word of God

Get into the greatest book ever written. It’s really as simple as that. God often speaks to us. But he’s got this book that contains his truth, his will, his way. He wants us to read it; it is a love letter of His redemptive plan. You want something fresh and new? Read it. It’s alive and relevant to your situation. You need something of old, tried and true? Read it. It has not changed.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:11, KJV)

Don’t Give Up

Whelp. I’m done. Maybe it’s God’s will for me to go this way. Momma had it and went peacefully in her sleep. Auntie had it. She didn’t put up a fight, but checked out gracefully.

Is it God’s will or are you simply giving in because you’re too tired for the fight.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Gal. 6:9, NLT)

Listen, this battle, this situation is not just about you. It’s about all those that will come after you. It’s about those that are watching you and are really hoping that this Jesus thing really works because they haven’t seen the power of God played out.

Jesus came with signs and wonders because he wanted people to see and know the power of the living God. Well, now he works in and through us. We show the world that his power is still awesome to save and heal and get you through stuff that seems impossible. The world is watching us. Are we giving them something good and true to watch? Are we displaying an accurate representation of the power of God? If we’re falling out and giving up are we strong ambassadors for Christ?
Get up with sweat on your brow and tears in your eyes. Get up when everything in you is telling you to stay down. Get up and believe. Believe when everything in you doubts. Believe because someone else needs to believe.

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith Pt. I

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith Pt. I

It’s easy to say you believe God will come through when you have other options. When the operation is routine and the success rate is 95% our faith isn’t tested so much. When our disease can easily be treated with a pill three times a day there’s not a lot of pressure on our faith. But what do you do when the cancer has spread and is resistant to treatment? How do you trust God when the specialist says it’s gonna take a miracle and he apparently doesn’t believe in miracles? Or when he or she leaves and says I don’t want to be married to you anymore? And there you are with kids and bills and fear of the future. What do you do when all you have left is God?

Trust the Love of God

It was probably the first lesson that you ever learned about God. He loves you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)

God loves us. We hear it but do we believe it? To say God loves you is easy. It would almost be ridiculous to say that he doesn’t because it is the premise or the very foundation of our faith. But to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of his love is a life time of learning. But it begins with simply believing by faith. Sometimes we don’t feel that God loves us because naturally we have come to equate love with some type of feeling. But if you haven’t already discovered—feelings are fleeting and not always reliable. They change with the slightest breeze or shift in circumstances. God’s love doesn’t change. He loves you as much now as he ever will. He loves you perfectly. He loved you when you were messing it up royally, and just as much now as you are trying so desperately to get it right. And this is something you must know in your heart right in the middle of your greatest fight. If you can hold on to this you won’t lose. The enemy will challenge you on it because if can get you to doubt God’s love for you it will change everything. If God is not really for you…well…you may be on your own with this one. Not true! So remind yourself of his love every day.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.(I John 3:16, NLT)

For those of us who have father issues, sometimes it’s hard to believe in a God that has our back at all time. But it is necessary to begin to comprehend the love of a good father who wants nothing but the best for you. He doesn’t want you sick, broke, sad or confused. These things are not of our father. He does not put bad stuff on you for sport.

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands  so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. “(Psalms 91: 9-12)

Walk in Love

Now you know that God loves you, are you loving others? I don’t mean your best friend who’s seen you through everything since middle school. I’m not talking about your Momma. I mean the woman who sits across from you at work and never speaks to you and undermines all of your work effort. I’m referring to the neighbor that seems to have a problem with your kind in general. When we refuse to walk in love (even with the unlovable) it can halt our progress or success in every area of our life.

“For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:5-6, NIV)

When we are not walking in love we are often walking in judgment or condemnation of another. This glitches our relationship with the One who can bring us out because as we judge we will also be judge.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.(Matt. 7:1-2)

Just as we receive the love of Christ by faith we love others by faith.