458 posts categorized "Prayer"

The Times They are a Changin'

My friends, I pray this video encourages you. As I suggested, read Ezra and this amazing story of how God used King Cyrus, the leaders of the Trans Eurphrates, King Artaxerxes and King Darius to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The very people and plans to stop this wound up revealing the original edict by Cyrus to rebuild the Temple. God loves to turn things on end and surprise us, SUMites. Remember, things won't look the way you expect. This is not a time of either or. It's a time of yes and both and AMEN!

So let's be in prayer together for our loved ones.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:15-17

Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our spouses and loved ones that they me see YOU! In the name  of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen

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Expecting and Dreaming!

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My daughter Leslie's blessing prayer on our entry. :-)


My friends, Mike and I are getting settled into our home. There are still boxes to be unpacked and things to be put away, but I am loving the process. And the promise. There is so much promise coming…

I shared on our Facebook page recently a verse that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my attention over and over again. I honestly have never had a verse “dog” me this much. 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:20

I didn’t fully understand the full “breath” of this word at first until I was in a moment of worship and God overwhelmed me with not just His love but a hope so great it brought me to tears of joy. It’s huge! And then I understood that our Papa God is about to release a greater hope into this world than we have seen before. His promises are true and just—our enemy is destined to be crushed under our feet. That’s where we stand, my friends, for Jesus, and the enemy is crushed. 

And this great hope will accompany His love as never before. It’s absolutely huge. We will be stunned, awestruck and swept over by intense gratitude as it appears and transforms us in ways I can’t even imagine at the moment. I am so full (pregnant?) with expectation.

My friends, will you dream with me? I believe God is about to do some amazing things right in this SUM community. I’m asking Him personally for something I never could have thought of without His loving inspiration and this budding hope working in me. It’s just not something I would have thought of asking on my own. And when the words first left my lips I was shocked to hear them.

I’m asking that Abba move in my daughter Leslie to want to be baptized. I’m asking Him to put this on her heart and that she’ll ask me to baptize her in our pool in our new home while she is here for Christmas. I believe God will move in this, and it may not happen as soon as I’m asking, but I believe it will happen. 

Why? Because I believe this dream is from Him. And why would He give me a dream He didn’t plan to fulfill?

So, SUM family, it’s dreaming day. What are you dreaming of? Here’s one I want to ask God for now, with your agreement, dear friends. 

Lord, we are dreaming of homes that are spiritually matched! We ask that our House of SUM become a House of SEM—Spiritually Equal Marriages! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, my friends! I can’t wait to read about your dreams, to bless them and pray with you.
Dineen

A few more of the Scriptures written on the beams...XOXO!

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Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning Sumite brothers and sisters!

Image James 5

It is hard to believe that we're two months into these newly formed prayer partnerships! I would love to hear stories about how the Spirit is working and growing these into authentic friendships. Feel free to email me with stories or prayer requests at any time. Also, if this is the first time you've heard of prayer partnerships, then please click this link to learn more: Sumite Prayer Partnerships. If you would like to receive a prayer partner, then please click this link to email me: Email Sumite Prayer Partners

Now, please pray with me:

Heavenly Father, thank you for this loving community. This place to come, to hear your words and rest among other like minded followers of Jesus Christ. Today we lift up our ministry leaders, Lynn and Dineen. We ask you to provide an angel army that would fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Place a hedge of protection around these women, their husbands and their children. In the name of Jesus Christ, we bless them with a blanket of love and encouragement. Please remind them to seek your will and rest in your loving embrace. Provide them with the time and energy to continue on with the tasks that you place before them. We ask these things in the name of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen! 

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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The Tale of Two Houses

NewHouseMy friends, I pray you are still discovering sweet revelations and blessings from last week's fasting and praying for Rosh Hashanah. Dawn did an amazing job leading us. Thank you, my friend! We love you so much! 

And my friends, your comments were moving and inspiring. If you didn't read Ann's comment about her revelation dream for us that she posted on Thursday, please go read it in the comments. It's very encouraging and confirmed many things for me. In fact, God used her comment and Dawn's story about her house to show me what I was to share with you next. 

Can I just say, I love our Father's heart for us and our spouses? He is so passionate about us, my friends! I'm overwhelmed by His love and heart for us.

Now about our house...we are just 16 days away from closing. We have watched our house transform from a cement slab and framed walls to a nearly completed home full of details—cabinets, counters, painted walls and landscaping. My husband and I are so excited that we go by our house about twice a day just to see what new things have been done that day.

Now something happened early on in this process that came full circle just a week ago and God has show me it's a word for us. But first, I need to tell you a story of how this all began.

Back in 2004...

My husband and I decided it was time to buy a house. We'd moved back to the U.S. (to California) from Switzerland two years prior and had rented a house so we could get acquainted with the area and figure out where we wanted to settle. However, as you may or may not know, the housing prices in California were/are quite high. And the houses that were in our budget sold fast, usually through bidding wars.

One Sunday I went to church full of despair. We'd not found a house and had decided we would continue renting. I asked my Sunday school group to pray for us. We planned to check one more area that afternoon, but if that didn't pan out, we'd call our landlord and negotiate another lease.

That afternoon we drove to the area a friend had suggested but didn't find it. We had a fairly small area to work in because of our oldest daughter's high school district. When we reached that outer street, we resigned ourselves to just go home.

Just a few blocks down, we saw an open house sign on a house that was just renovated and hadn't even been officially listed yet. We debated stopping and finally did. 

My friends, I kid you not, as I walked into that house and barely saw more than just the front living area, I said to my husband, "This is our house."

We contacted our realtor, who was (is) a believer and told her to make an offer. And then we went to war. Several offers came in for that house. We'd offered the full asking price but knew the chances were slim to get it. Mike and discussed offering more and decided we'd take the risk. Our budget would be stretched, and we weren't sure how we'd do it, but my ever-optimist husband said we'd figure out a way. 

I called our realtor and asked if we should offer more. She asked for a little time to pray about it. A half hour later she called and agreed it was a good plan. Then we waited. 

The next day my husband came home with a story of his own. He'd received an unexpected raise that day, and it was exactly what we would need to afford the higher price mortgage. 

We got the house. SUMites, every time I looked at our house after that, all I saw in my mind was this big red bow around it, because it was a gift from God. We walked through a lot in that house (including the miracles of my daughter’s cancer recovery) and God us blessed us richly, even in the sale of the home to a sweet family with a little boy.

Now, fast forward to our house we are building now. As I shared in my post in July, God showed me this new house is a also a gift from His hand and that I was to rejoice in it. 

On September 8th, God led me to the book of Haggai. 

"'The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” — Haggai 2:9 ESV

As I read this, I began to tremble, my friends. That may sound crazy, but I knew that God had spoken something very deep to my spirit. And He reminded me of two other times this Word was spoken over me in the last year and half. Now He was affirming that the house He was giving us  ow and all that He has planned and purposed for it (which He's given me just a glimpse of His kingdom plans there and let me just say, "WOW!") will be greater than our former house.

SUMites, as I have shared in this past, this new house has become a monument of God's presence, provision and plans for this community. Our SUM family.

This word, that our latter "home" will be greater than our former one is for all of us. Ann's comment last week confirmed this for me. And showed me now was the time to share it as we near the completion of this home.

But God has given me another specific word, my friends. One that starts with an event that would require me to forgive someone connected to the completion of this home for lying and breaking our trust. It's a crazy story of God's unexpected justice and protection of His provision and plans. You will be utterly amazed.

Please be sure to come back for the rest of this story on Friday and to hear God's heart for us right now. This is a message you don’t want to miss, straight from the Father’s heart.

We are on the precipice, my friends. I know it's challenging to be on the mountain top with an assuredness and determination to pray into what God reveals to us, then to wait and pray, wait and pray, wait and pray and not see any visible change. But let me be the voice of truth to you and reassure you that our God is working diligently to bring forth His promise in reply to our prayers. 

Today I'm asking you to make a new declaration in the comments that you trust the Lord for all that He has promised you because He is your God.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” — Psalms 31:14

Declare what you are trusting Him for too, my friends. Let's speak out into the natural what God is setting into place in the heavens! (Heb. 11:3)

I love you, SUM family. Please know that I am faithfully praying Jer. 24:7 and the Scriptures you sent me over you and your spouse. God is faithful to His Word!
~ Dineen

 

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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A Testimony of Fasting - Day 1 of SUM Community Fast

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If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

Lyrics from “My Story” Big Daddy Weave

The words to that song are the words to my song – my story.  And to tell you my story is to tell of Him.  My story of the last year is one filled with hope, love, victory and abundance.  It has been a jubilee year indeed and it all started with the Rosh Hashanah community fast here in our Sum Community. 

It was Monday, September 14th.  I had not fasted in a quite a while and I was actually at a very stagnant, even stale, place in my prayer life.  I was disappointed with God for not moving in my timeline, I was stressed out from the contentious relationship with my ex-husband and I was doing this fast because I just needed to feel that closeness with the Lord that I had not felt in a very long time.  And the thought of a Jubilee year on the heels of one of the hardest 3 years of my life sounded very appealing too.  While it was not my driving force, a breakthrough would definitely have been welcome.

It would be very hard to fit an entire year of blessings into a blog post, so I will start with that day.  On that day, everything with my ex-husband (for whom I have been standing for over 4 years with no hope in sight) turned on a dime.  It started with him calling me about his sick grandfather (shocking in itself) and since that conversation we have become friends, gone on family outings, helped each other out and even attended church together on Easter Sunday– ALL a result of that one day of fasting when everything turned around. And I believe that every day since then has brought us closer to restoration – no minor miracle, my friends!

For our first day of fasting, I will tell you of one other amazing story to bookend this past Jubilee year.  It ended as grand (grand as only God can do) as it started.  As you are reading this, I am moving into a house I purchased for me and my girls.  I had been renting a house for the last 4 years, but my daughter was starting high school and wanted to attend a particular school in a different area.  I decided I needed to go ahead and buy a house in that district.  So we started praying back in March for a ranch style house (just a personal preference), within our budget and with a school bus for both girls. 

The housing market in Denver is just crazy, so after getting outbid on every house we liked, I decided a new build was the only way to go.  Upon inquiring about new builds, I found out ranch style houses are VERY popular and there were none of those models available.  Apparently they were the first to sell.  So I settled on a 2 story house, significantly out of my comfortable price point and decided this was just the way it was meant to be.  At least both girls would have a bus to and from school. 

Fast forward to Sunday June 19th… I got a call from the sales office saying that our house completion had been pushed back to next year instead of the original Oct/Nov date I had been told.  Oh – and did I mention my lease was up in July and we had moved into my sister’s basement for what we assumed would be a short amount of time?  This news was devastating, BUT GOD!  As I am in tears with the poor sales lady, she says “We do have a ranch that is available and finished.  The family who originally intended to buy it was transferred out of state. If you’d like to come see it, we’d be willing to work with you on the price and transfer your earnest money.”

The girls and I went to see it that day.  It was everything we wanted and we fell in love with it immediately. It even had the same finishes (white cabinets, gray quartz countertops) that we had picked out for the other house.  We closed on September 30 and best of all; the price they gave us was well within the budget I had prayed for.  Wow – don’t you just LOVE how God rolls!?!

The kind of fast I am choosing to do this week is solid food from sun up to sun down Monday – Friday.  The breakthrough(s) I am particularly praying for are the usual ones I’ve been praying for years – that J will come to know the love of Christ first hand and know true unconditional love for the first time in his life and that my marriage and our family would be restored.  I would love to hear the breakthroughs you are all fasting for so we can pray for each other during this special time.  What mountains do you want to see moved as a result of your fast this week?

I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be leading this fast and doing it with all of you. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about obstacles to fasting and how we can stand strong against them.  “See” you then!

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Rosh Hashanah and SUM Community Fasting

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Hello, SUMites! I’m excited to tell you about what will be happening next week and who will be leading it. 

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd and ends at nightfall on October 4th and means “head of the year” in Hebrew. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which in Hebrew means day of shouting and blasting and is sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. Thus why the Shofar is a symbol of the holiday (as well as the eating of symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year”) and is blown as part of the celebration.

The significance of this horn is very symbolic as well. Remember the story of Jericho and how the seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord? They were to blow the horns as they marched around the city. Have you heard the sound of a Shofar?

Rosh Hashanah is then followed by Yom Kippur, which is a time reflection, repentance and fasting. So, my friends, next week our very own, Dawn Billesbach, will be leading us each day in community fasting and praying with stories and encouragement of how God has moved in her life through the observance of this Jewish holiday and its traditions.

Lynn and I are so very grateful to have her leadership for this. We’ve already read the first installment, and we both wound up in tears. It is a stunning and ongoing story of God’s goodness and faithfulness to a woman’s prayers and intercession for her for her marriage, her family and even herself. 

So, dear SUMites, be prepared to be blessed and encouraged greatly by this wonderful woman of God who’s heart for Jesus is steadfast and faithful. Lynn and I have had the honor and pleasure of standing with her for years in prayer and have witnessed her grow in her faith walk in ways we never imagined. God is so good!

Here’s a little about Dawn:

Bio_picI live in Broomfield, Co with my 2 girls.  I have a teen and a tween and needless to say, lots of gray hair. We enjoy camping and all things outdoors. If I can’t be outside, my 2nd favorite place is in the kitchen. I love feeding people. Food is definitely my love language. I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of, but one my greatest (besides raising 2 amazing kiddos) is learning to back up my pop-up camper. Funny, but true!

I am divorced, but standing in faith for a restoration of my marriage and family. I am in AWE every single day of the faithfulness of God and His promises to work ALL things for our good.   As I watch His plans unfold, I can’t help but be absolutely blown away. In recent years, I have learned the difference in knowing God and knowing God. HE has met me on every step of this journey whether I was face down on the floor, immobile from grief or learning to back up a camper so I could take my kids camping. For this, I wouldn’t trade a single tear or heartache.  

I joined the SUM community about 4 years ago when my husband and I were first separated. The encouragement has been a lifeline to me since.  

Dear friends, here are some links to help you determine how and what kind of fast is best for you. Please consider this next week prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

Why Should You Fast

How to Fast Safely

How Long and What Type of Fast is Right for You

SUMites, I’m excited about and expectant of what God is going to do next week. A verse I have prayed for years showed up yesterday, and I knew in my spirit right away this is for us right now.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. — Jeremiah 33:3

Lord, we call out to You and wait expectantly for You to answer. Tell us great and hidden things about this next year, Lord, as we ask to know Your heart for ourselves, our spouses and our family. We commit this next week to You and rejoice in knowing that You are always working for our good (Rom. 8:28) and have a future and a hope set in place for us all (Jer. 29:11). We rejoice, Lord! We rejoice in You! For You are our inheritance and we are Yours. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Our Expectations And Answers To Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

As we conclude this study, I have an astonishing story to share with you about how our prayers can remain unanswered or answers are delayed and how what we expect is usually not what the Lord has in mind. Let me take you to a very old passage.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Don’t let the familiarity of this story steal the outrageousness of what happens here. God tells the Israelites to do something seemingly ridiculous. I’m mean absolutely absurd. Can you imagine coming against a city and instead of piling up dirt and stones to scale the walls, instead of practicing warfare and battle tactics, God instructs them to march.

And get this. On day seven march in silence.

Say what?????

In the reality of it all, it is stupid! At least in the eyes of men. Ahhhhh, but that is what is so cool with God. When God moves, you KNOW it’s Him.

And that is exactly the same when it comes to our prayers. We have certain expectations that God should answer our prayer in such and such a way. In all my years of praying and receiving answers from the Lord, RARELY does God answer my prayers in the ways I expect. Typically, His answers are always slow. He rarely answers the way I expect or hope or in my timeline. But, when He does move, it’s always spectacular and in ways that are so much better and bigger than I could even dream up. And I can dream up some pretty big stuff.

God may ask of us to believe and follow up on the belief with actions and faith that feels absurd at times. And in response to our faith, He is likely to answer in absolutely unexpected and miraculous provision. The story of the Walls of Jericho is a historic reference for us living today. 

My friends, prayer is at the core, a conversation between two “in love” hearts. Prayer is devotion and time together. It’s a relationship of consideration, respect, honor, and peace. It’s love and friendship. It’s worship and teaching. It’s a Father and His child whom He gave so much to bring into His life forever.

I pray today that your prayer life is enriched with all the prayer strategies we have covered. I pray you see astonishing answers and that lives are changed because you prayed. I hope you bear witness to supernatural healing and that your spouse falls to his or her knees in surrender. I pray with conviction and belief that you will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that your life is forever changed because you pray. In Jesus name.

I love you, my friends. Now go and pray…. And change the world for the cause of Christ! Hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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A Stunning Revelation of My Authority

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My friends, today I want to share a something God is showing me in my own life. And as God is so perfect in His ways, this ties into the series I’ve been writing about regarding words, the power of God’s Word, and the authority we walk in as His children. And I’ve no doubt this is something many in our community here (and this country) need to know as it’s something that affects the majority of women today in all ranges of ages.

First, let me set the stage. Last week I was listening to a podcast by a pastor and teacher I very much respect and he said something that I knew was true but didn’t fully understand in the moment how very deeply this truth can run.

His words were, “We can’t take authority over what we don’t love.”

When I heard it, my heart, soul, mind and spirit nodded in agreement. I believe God has planted the truth of 1 Corinthians 14:1 deep inside me since I was a child.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. — 1 Corinthians 14:1

Love must always be our motivator, sustainer and final goal. I firmly believe that. And hearing these words from this pastor brought this truth to a whole new level for me. It’s also made me examine the places where I have have taken authority in my prayers, yet haven’t seen a shift or change. 

As Lynn shared Friday, there can be things that block our prayers, and perhaps this could be one of them. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If our heart isn’t filled with love for what we’re praying for, how can our prayers be? And I do believe this kind of love has to come from our Lord Jesus and our intimacy with Him. He pours His love into and through us.

So, what did I discover? I can best explain by sharing how this translated into a revelation for me the very next day.

I have had a love hate relationship with food, my weight and my appearance for as long as I can remember. God has brought me a long way over the years, but I still long for complete freedom. I know there are many of you reading this right now, SUMites, that get this. You’ve most likely struggled with it in some way, shape or form too.

And I am determined. I know my prayers are powerful, so I have blessed my body with divine health, perfect function as God designed my body to work and blessed areas that I know I need healing physically. But I’m not seeing the results I so desire. 

As I said, the application of this pastor’s words that the Holy Spirit wanted me to grasp came the next day. He showed me that yes, I have attempted to take authority over my body, but how can I stand in that authority when I don’t love my body and the way God created me?

I have whined and complained about my appearance, my health issues and weight for a long time. I have spoken and thought negatively about myself in more ways than I probably know. And please forgive me if I’m being a little too real and honest here, but I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to share this, because I do believe it is the answer I have sought for a long time to understand what the core issue is.

So now I am changing this. I am seeking God daily to help me love myself in all ways. I’m not talking about anything bordering on vanity or pride here. Just simple appreciation and acceptance of who God created me to be and look like. (Psalm 139:13-18, Luke 12:7, Ephesians 2:10—share more verses in the comments!)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Because I firmly believe that this issue begins in the heart and mind. And I believe as I partner with the Holy Spirit to transform my mind in this area and break old thought patterns too, I will begin too see the results of a healthy mind and body manifest more and more. 

As a person thinks, they are and do, right? (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)

My friends, can you relate to this? Is this a truth you’ve wanted or needed and didn’t even realize it, like me? What area can you see applying to your life right now? Please share if you’re able. I truly sense this will be a revelation day for many of us and the beginning of new healing and freedom in places we have prayed and longed for.

I love you, SUMites. So very much. I want all God has for you, every single thing He has written down in the pages of His book about you—I pray He pours out every word, blessings, gift and provision He has written down for you today and that His presence is the greatest gift He reveals to you. I pray for more revelation of who you are to Him and who He created you to be, so that you walk in complete confidence in your identity and relationship with your Papa God. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

He loves us, my friends. Oh how He loves us…
Dineen

(P.S. Later the same day I noticed the toenail on my left foot—I have unsuccessfully treated it for three years so I began blessing it weeks ago—is now clearing up and growing normal again. Thank You, Lord, for Your sweet confirmations! You are so holy and wonderful!)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning prayer family! Christy Edney here!

It has been one month since we invited you to embark upon this journey of Prayer Partnerships! I expected to receive a handful of requests but God has far exceeded my wildest expectations. Today, we have over sixty women in prayer relationships! Now, I'm calling on the male members of our community. I know you're out there and this invitation is also open to you. If any of you (male or female) would like to receive a partner then please click here: Sumite Prayer Partners

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Now, please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for these hearts that have called out for a deeper fellowship with you and each other. In the name of Jesus Christ, I bless them with authentic friendships that will achieve your purpose in each of their lives. Lord, I focus our attention on the leaders of this community, Lynn and Dineen. I ask you to assign a host of angels to fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Cover them with love and encouragement from the most unexpected places. Please provide an abundance of time, material and motivation as they continue to work on this new book that you have placed upon their hearts. Holy Spirit, fill this community with your presence and reinvent us in your image. Thank you for being more than my human words can express. I pray these things in the name of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, amen!
 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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The Power of God’s Words

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"Jesus is your sword."

One of the things I love about living in Florida is the cloud formations. They are tall and fluffy, filling the sky with a terrain of fluffy like cotton. Then other times they are imposing and dark, flashing with lighting and pouring down rain. Rarely is the sky completely devoid of these puffy wonders.

One bright and humid Florida morning, I went for a walk to worship and pray. My conversation with God that day was about prayer and words. I wanted to understand more about what He seemed to be impressing upon my heart to understand.

I looked up in the sky and noticed a could that looked just like a sword, which I thought was so interesting. But what made it relevant was what the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I looked at this simple formation.

“Jesus is your sword.”

My friends, this truth clicked into place in my heart and then my mind and the Scriptures I’d ready many times seemed to take on even deeper meaning. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:1-5

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14

This truth already blew my mind, SUMites, but then to think of it in terms of our spiritual armor, brings a whole new level of awe. 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, — Ephesians 6:17

Jesus is the Word and the sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, so Jesus truly is our sword! So what does that mean?

The Ezekiel Model

In the book of Ezekiel, God tells Ezekiel to prophesy over dry bones to hear the word of the Lord. First of all, prophesy simply means to speak by inspiration. We are all call to do this and since we have the Holy Spirit living in us, it makes sense that we can do this. (That’s a whole other series best saved for another time.)

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! — Ezekiel 37:4

So Ezekiel is told by the Spirit of God to speak God’s words of life over these bones. The word ‘hear’ in Hebrew is šâma’ and holds such meanings as to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.), declare, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness. And that’s the edited down version. 

In similar intensity, ‘word’ means ḏâḇâr in Hebrew and translates to such meanings as a word; by implication, a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially, a cause: act, advice, affair, answer, commandment, commune(-ication), concern(-ing), confer, counsel, decree, deed, duty, effect, eloquent, errand, glory, manner, matter, message, portion, power, promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request. Again, the edited down version.

These are two hefty words that hold a lot of meaning and impact. Which then led me to Jeremiah 1:12 where God asks Aaron what he sees. 

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” — Jeremiah 1:12

Did you know that word ‘watching’ means to be alert i.e. sleepless? Now look at Isaiah 55:11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:10-11

My friends, this is like a double promise. God decrees (shall) His Word will not only be life giving but also powerful and effective to accomplish His purposes. So, think about this in context of praying Scriptures, which are God’s Word and are thus in alignment with His heart and purposes, and what could happen as a result of doing so. And I mean literally praying Scriptures out loud, word for word. 

For example, our salvation word this year is Jeremiah 24:7. Almost every day I am praying this:

Lord, thank you for giving every one of our SUMite spouses a heart that knows You are God. Thank You that You have declared they will be your sons and daughters and You will be their God. Thank You that they are returning to You wholeheartedly and will follow You all the days of their lives.

We can do this with any Scripture in the Bible, SUMites. Speak God’s Word out as truth. 

Lord, Your Word says that by the stripes of Jesus Christ I am healed, therefore I declare that I am healed of (name specific illnesses, diseases and conditions). (Isaiah 53:5). And I declare the blood of Jesus over my entire body and declare I walk in divine health. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Lord, you are not willing that any should be lost so I rejoice and thank You that You are pursuing my spouse, my children, my family members with your relentless love and I stand in agreement with You that me and and my entire household will be saved. In the name of Jesus, amen! (Matthew 18:14, Acts 16.31).

My friends, whenever you read your Bible and find yourself stopped or stuck on a piece of God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit what it means, what you need to know about it, and how you are to pray into it, believe it and then decree it. 

One last story…

In my post last Friday I talked about Isaiah six and how the praises of the seraphim shook the place. Did you know this happened in the New Testament too, with the disciples? The disciples were faced with great opposition, so they joined together and prayed.

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. — Acts 4:29-31

What did they pray for, my friends? Boldness to share His Word. They asked for healing power, miracles and wonders (what Jesus had taught and sent them out to do), all done in the name of Jesus. And what did God do? He shook the place with His presence! They prayed according to His Word (Jesus) and God answered.

So, my friends, I’m not saying that every time we pray, our houses are supposed to shake, but what if they did? What if we asked God for that kind of boldness and courage to pray and share Him with others and walked in miracles and wonders as the evidence of it? What if we already are?

I believe our prayers “shake” the heavens more than we realize. And the more boldness and courage we have, the more we shake the rafters!

O Lord, give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching Your word. Stretch out You hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. Amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Why Isn't My Spouse Saved Already? Unanswered Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAre you new to walking this unequally yoked journey? Did you search the Internet and stumble upon our website? Every week new readers arrive here looking for help. They are seeking suggestions, wisdom and practical instruction on how to deal with tithing, raising kids in faith, standing strong in their marriage when they feel fragmented because of differing faith beliefs.

You may be puzzled as to why Dineen and I write and share instruction about growing in our faith. You may wonder why I’ve spent a month talking about prayer when you need to know if you should ask your husband about giving to church. Well, my friends, Dineen and I have walked this unequally yoked road for 25+ years. And out of our year in and year out experience we have learned a foundational truth about thriving in an unequally yoked marriage.

Are you ready? This is it: When we grow in our faith life our earthly life becomes easier. Life with our spouse becomes more peaceful. Living on planet earth in powerful faith makes the difference in every positive and hopeful way in all aspects of relationships and living.

That is why I’m spending so much time in developing our prayer lives. When we pray with the prayer strategies I’ve covered, you bring heaven into your home, marriage and life. (You can search the archives for practical advice on all issues related to being unequally yoked. I’m pretty sure we have written about all of them multiple times. *grin*.)

UNANSWERED PRAYER

We have covered many aspects of creating a powerful prayer life. But today I want to chat about what we do with our confusion and disappointment when our prayers remain unanswered. And specifically, why isn’t my spouse saved?

Gang, as I mentioned my husband and I have been together for more than 25 years. I have prayed, pleaded, bargained, begged and everything and anything else to convince God to save my husband. And save him yesterday, already.

Anyone else in this place with me???? Anyone????

Well, there are a few things to bring before the Lord when you are praying and not receiving an answer. We first must ask, “Am I praying within the will of God?”

This is an easy question and one that is also difficult. When it comes to God’s will to save our spouse, the Word is clear. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

So, you gotta wonder, if I’m praying with sincerity with a heart full of love and hope, and within the Will of my Father, WHY IN THE WORLD ISN’T THIS MAN SAVED?

Yep, I know I’m not alone in asking this question.

Here are my thoughts. I believe the Word and that I AM praying in faith and conviction using my will. Thus God sends me to this statement in His Word:

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” -Acts 16:29-31 (NIV)

My friends, I believe that my husband will be saved. My husband has already been sanctified (made holy) because of my faith in Jesus. If you read our book, Winning Him Without Words, you will remember my story of my husband praying the prayer of salvation with Joe on our driveway.

So…… It has been accomplished. I will live believing that God will honor His Word and that my husband will find his way to heaven. However, right now my reality is that my husband is not living for Jesus.

I’m bummed out about it all. My husband is missing so much that God has for his life. So much blessing, wonder, adventure and peace. Our marriage has missed out on many things that I truly have wanted to share but didn’t because of our faith differences. These are sacrifices I have laid down on the altar of love for my Savior.

I know that like me, you are also laying down many of your hopes about your marriage on the altar. But, I will be the voice to tell you that all we have laid down, God will pour back into our lives in other ways. Now and into eternity.

What is difficult for us is that God’s timing is not our timing. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). And we have such great difficulty surrendering our expectations and timelines. Sometimes I think the best prayer we can pray for our spouse’s salvation is this:

Lord, have your way with me. I surrender all my expectations and limitations. Fill me with your wisdom and revelation. Place contentment within my spirit and supernatural love in my heart. Let me turn my eyes fully to you and believe without doubt, you have my utmost best and greatest plans and intentions for my life, family and marriage. I trust you and will live intentionally to draw near to Thee. In Jesus name. AMEN

Today, let’s become “lay-down lovers of Jesus.” Let’s turn our face fully toward Him and allow His love to fill our hearts and trust Him to fulfill His Word toward our spouse and children.

In the comments, write your spouse’s name, children’s name and follow it by 1 Corinthians 7:14 & Acts 16:29 as a statement of faith. I’ll start us out.

Mike, Caitie, Brad and granddaughters – 1 Corinthians 7:14 & Acts 16:29. They are sanctified and saved. It is written. I believe. It is done. In Jesus name. AMEN

I love you my friends. I’m praying for your family in the comments. In His Grace, Lynn

Next posts: The blocks of prayer.

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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This Prayer Strategy Can Change Your Heart

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI am excited about sharing a few thoughts about what to do when prayer remains unanswered but I think we also must focus on a key prayer strategy that is very powerful and leads to breakthrough.

Worship and Thanksgiving.

My friends, sometimes our prayers can turn into a laundry list. We pray on and on with names and needs that are truly important but we can become restlessly caught up in our pain, need and daily life that it's possible to slip into a place of prayer where we lose our perspective. SUMites, it’s imperative that our primary focus in prayer is to remain fully aware that we are having a love conversation with our Father, with our Bridegroom-Prince, Jesus.

The Lord truly knows our needs and yes, I believe we must pray and speak our concerns to His heart. But can you just take a minute here and imagine our Papa God, waiting, hoping even longing for us to approach the Throne of Grace and just hang out?  To listen to Him? To ask Him what He's doing on earth? What thrills His heart? What makes Him smile?

My friends, let’s turn our affection toward our Lord and our Father. Let’s take time to be intentional about worship and thanksgiving. In my prayer time, I try to begin with what I call my “Three thankfuls”. I write down in my prayer journal: 3 thankfuls: Followed by three things that come to my mind and simply acknowledge that everything good in my life is from my Papa.

I once heard a pastor teaching on this aspect of intimacy in prayer. He said that he rarely brings a list before the Lord but brings his affection. He said something like this, “God already knows my heart and my needs. So I am intentional to bring my affection to Him. And He usually moves on my heart requests.”

Interesting.

I believe there is a time to petition and there is also time to just be (Psalm 46:10)! It’s wisdom and discernment fueled by relationship that takes us perfectly into each.

So this week I have a challenge for you, when you lay down to go to sleep, rest quietly and turn your affection toward the Lord. In your imagination or quiet prayers, give Him your heart and then let Him love on you.

Today in the comments, share with me your three thankfuls for today:

I love you my friends. You LOVE well. You love God and you love people. Well done good and faithful servant!!!!!!!!!!!!!  See you in the comments. Hugs. Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Our Place of Authority and Power

IStock_000007310932XSmallDear friends, two weeks ago I wrote a post about seeing the gold in our spouses and calling it out. Since then the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about the power of our words, which seems to dovetail perfectly with what Lynn has been teaching us, specifically about praying with confidence. And that is what I feel like the Holy Spirit has been teaching me recently.

But not in the way one would expect. (There's that word again that things won't look the way we expect them to.) As I've shared before, God seems to want to take my perceptions of the truth and turn them on end to see them in a different way. An empowering way.

I'm going to share with you what the Holy Spirit told me as I was out for a walk to worship and pray. 

"You have nothing to lose, and the enemy has lost everything."

I asked for my clarity and understanding and this is what the Holy Spirit impressed upon me, my friends. We, as God's children, have gained everything through Jesus. Thus we can't lose. No matter what the enemy wants us to think or the lies he tries to throw at us, we win. We are called the victors in this life and whatever comes our way. We are even declared to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). 

And the enemy has everything to lose. In fact, according to Scripture, he's already lost everything.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. — Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)

So let me say this as the complete thought the Holy Spirit impressed upon me. 

We have everything and nothing to lose. The enemy has nothing and everything to lose.

Plays with your mind a bit, doesn't it? But think about it, truly wrap your brain around this. Then think about the place of confidence and power this positions you in with your prayer life. Think about the impact your words can have when spoken out loud in prayers and in alignment with God's heart. That's empowered confidence in who we are as children of God and what He given us. As Christ said we would do the things He did and more.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. — John 14:12-14 (NIV)

SUMites, ponder this powerful truth and begin to apply it to the places in your life that you are waging war. This is what I've been doing this last week and I believe breakthroughs are coming as a result. 

But there's more to this journey I'm on that I'm looking forward to sharing with you and it has to do with our words. The power of our words and prayers. But not the way you think...not the way you expect...yes, God's turning this one upside down a bit for me too. Helping me see things in a whole new way. His way.

And in case your confused as to why I'm on the blog today instead of Lynn, we're changing things up a bit to give us more time to write and create new resources. We'll be sharing more about that in the days and weeks ahead so stay tuned. 

So tell me, SUMites, what do you think about your place of authority now? You have everything and nothing to lose.

I love you, my friends, so very much. Know that my prayers are with you for our pre-believers as we stand for God's salvation for them—Jeremiah 24:7! Amen!

Hugs!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Praying Our Power Passage - A MUST Read

If you don’t read any other post on prayer in this series, PLEASE READ THIS ONE.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends, there are many more aspects of prayer that we could cover. We won’t get to them all in this series but I have covered what I sense the Holy Spirit is wanting to impart to the church in this season about powerful prayer.

Today, I want to speak to one more area that is very specific to those of us who are unequally yoked. And next week we will cover the “blocks” to prayer and what to do with unanswered prayers.

About a year ago I was doing some study about defeating the demonic. Because I’m married to a pre-believer and so are you, the spiritual warfare in which we engage is right in our own homes and it can be relentless. So, I began studying as many things as possible about how to have victory in my prayers and in spiritual warfare just so I could maintain peace in my home and so my home would be a place where the Holy Spirit lives and not the demons. Anyone want that as well?

Okay, so I learned a lot. But one of the most powerful things I learned was specific to those of us married to unbelievers. First let me state that the spiritual realm is governed by laws. These are spiritual principals and regulations that were instituted by God. Just as in the natural, there is the law of gravity, there are laws the angelic and demonic must abide by and these laws are meticulously followed. The demonic relentlessly search for ways to gain access into our lives through laws that have been violated. A violation occurs when we believe a lie about God or about who we are in Christ. The devils can gain access.

So, why am I giving you a lesson in spiritual laws today. Because we must understand how authority works. There is a structure to authority in the spiritual realm. God has ultimate authority, in the Bible teaches us that God has given all authority to Christ. We, as joint heirs with Christ, receive authority in some manner or degree. We access that authority through our prayers. All this to say: The structure of the family is a system of authority. It says in the Word that the husband has authority over his wife (Ephesians 5:23). And thus, parents have authority over their children.

Why does this matter. Because men who are Christians can pray for protections over their wife and children and the demonic realm MUST listen. But in our mismatched marriages, our spouse is not under the authority of Christ so we could be left vulnerable. But….. we are not.

This is the secret the demonic does not want you to know. We are empowered in a special way to pray protection, favor, blessing and much more over our unbelieving spouse through, 1 Corinthians 7:14.

THIS IS OUR VERSE OF POWER AND AUTHORITY.

And let me tell you I use this passage often. And I see results.

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV)

My friends, this is our authority to pray away things that are not of God in our spouse’s life and over our children. The rules of familial authority in this passage apply to the spiritual realm. I don’t know how to explain this well other than to just pray and show you how I use this passage in my prayers for my home and family.

Often, almost daily, I will pray something like this:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority over my home through the power of the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 7:14. I stand in faith over my home and it is now holy as stated in this verse. My husband is now covered with the holiness of Christ and covered by His blood. My children are holy and they will walk in glorious plans and purposes designed for them since before time began and declared by God. They, my children and husband and myself, will experience the abundance of the Lord today in our schools, ministry, workplace and anywhere else we go.

I say that any unclean spirit that is in my house MUST go right now into the pit. (I will name any here as the Holy Spirit leads me. The demonic gains access to my home at times through the television my husband watches at night.) Lord, in Jesus name and by the authority as the believing spouse, I command all demonic spirits, fear, pride, unbelief, political spirit, religious spirit, etc to leave right now. I state clearly that they cannot come back nor can replacement spirits come in. I bless my husband to receive the love of God through me and all darkness is forbidden to be in my home. In Jesus name.

Father, I take authority over my children through 1 Corinthians 7:14 as their mother. I say they are blessed and will receive today, every spiritual gift you have prepared for them. They will experience Your joy, peace and goodness (Romans 14:17) as this is Your loving and lavish provision for them. And Lord as I speak this blessing over them, I claim it for myself and my husband. In Jesus name.

Thank you Lord for the angels that you have stationed around and in my house. I stand with them - in your power and authority through Jesus as the protector and guard against evil. I declare today my family and home is a safe zone and nothing unclean can enter in. I declare today that blessings and peace and grace rest here in the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. I stand with my armor fully on and in faith under the truth of 1 Corinthians 7:14. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ my Lord. AMEN… Hallelujah!!!

Okay, do you all need some authority in your home? Well now you have it. Say this prayer out loud and give me an amen in the comments. Let’s release the Kingdom of God into your family line and sanctify hour home, spouse and children. AMEN…

We love you Jesus. Thank you.

BIG hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Fasting
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:14

(You know what is so weird. Every time I try to re-post this list, something doesn't come through when I paste it into the composer. Today is was number four -confidence. And half way through my prayer as I was typing it out, half of it disappeared.---DEVIL YOU DO NOT WIN. JESUS WINS ALWAYS. So there.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Breaking The Principalities

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUMers, can you believe its September?

Say What?

It’s back to school. Back to church. Does your church start a whole ton of stuff this month? There are tremendous opportunities in the fall in which to participate. Just remember to find balance and not over commit yourself and leave your husband/wife feeling left out. Choose wisely!

In the last few weeks I’ve shared six prayer strategies. I absolutely believe that our prayers are magnified and moved upon by the Lord. And as I was considering wrapping up this series, the Lord reminded me about a tactic of prayer that I’ve yet to discuss: Fasting

There are times when we have prayed and prayed. Employed our will, the Word, etc., etc. And…. Nothing.

This brings me to the wild story in the book of Daniel. Chapter 10, let’s listen in to this conversation:

Daniel speaking: Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.

Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, (Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision): “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.”

There are so many things about this exchange that blow my mind but I want to point out something that most of us miss when reading this passage. Notice that it says since the first day you began to pray. What is amazing, beautiful and loving is that God heard Daniel on the very first day… And even better, God sent an answer immediately.

My friends, I’m fully convinced that this is true today for us. God listens and wants to give us our answers. But here is where it gets really interesting.

Answers are delayed, thwarted by our own words remember, and can be amended if we change our prayer or God has another plan in motion. But in my heart I’m convinced that His love and goodness moves Him to reply with immediate answers to our heart-felt prayers.

Let’s listen into the rest of this astonishing conversation with Daniel and the angel Gabriel.

Gabriel: I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”

WHOA!

God replied to Daniel immediately but there was an epic battle in the spiritual realm for 21 days! SUMites, this passage is in the Word so we can understand that this is how prayer and answers to prayer unfolds. We must know that contending in relentless prayer is often needed. Prayer when combined with fasting is needed to break a block in the spiritual realm.

We could spend months on the study of prayer with fasting. But we won’t as we cover fasting every January during our powerful community fast. We will be fasting again as a community, next month and it’s going to be amazing, stay tuned. More to come on that.

When you fast to gain access to the Father’s heart and to hear His voice, can facilitate an answer so commanding that it can breakthrough powerful principalities of the dark realm.

Wow and Wow!!!

I wonder if any of you have sensed that you were battling in prayer on the spiritual plane, against a strong darkness, right before a breakthrough? Things that make you go, hmmmmm.

I would love to hear any fasting stories from you, SUMites. I know this can be a confusing area for those who have never fasted. So, if you have a testimony about prayer and fasting and how you saw God move, please, PLEASE share it in the comments. Someone may need to read it. And that someone could be me.

I love you deeply my friends. I’m praying for our community and I’m expecting breakthrough!!!  BIG HUGS, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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What Does It Look Like To Pray With Courage?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDo you believe God wants courageous kids?

I convinced He does. Just take a look in the Word. The Lord commands us to be courageous and to “Fear Not.”

Yep, easy to say. But what does a life of courage look like in 2016? What does it mean to pray without fear?

I’m convinced that the attributes we have studied over the past several weeks, praying the Word, belief, confidence, engaging your will, all lead up to courageous praying. Prayers that ROCK the heavens and defeat the demonic realms.

All of these attributes lead us into the supernatural realm of powerful prayers, fueled by unwavering faith.

There comes a day when you have settled your doubt and truly believe. There is a moment in time when the Word of God comes alive and is truly a sharp, two-edged sword that you wield. There is a season after walking in step with Jesus that you become a courageous, sold-out, Jesus-freak. That is the moment where love over takes fear of defeat, fear of man, fear of failure, fear of condemnation, guilt, shame and comparison. You step into the reality that you are a Child of The Most High God and are empowered and enthroned as royalty. When you speak you have the power of life and death upon your tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)

(Wow, when I grow up, I want to become this person.) I hope I’m mostly there! *grin*

Those who arrive at this place in their faith walk are intercessors clothed in humility and also of, …… great power! They are the Believers who have spent time in the Presence, in the secret place, alone with God. Believers who know the Word and how to pray it and when the Word is aptly spoken, it’s as beautiful as baskets of fruit of silver and gold (Proverbs 25:11)

You may think that these intercessors are the “Big Names” in our Christian communities such as Beth Moore and Tony Evans. And they likely are but I’m more impressed with the ordinary mom who rises early to pray for her little ones by name. I’m moved by the Dad and husband who prays every day on his way to work for his family and for the Kingdom of God to advance in his workplace. I’m undone to consider the ordinary widow who is alone at home, but not truly alone because at the utterance of her small voice, literally thousands of angels are sent on assignment to save this world and shape culture.

Oh how I want to be one of THESE believers. I want to pray and see people healed emotionally and physically. I want to pray and see America return to her Christian roots. I want to pray and see those who are tormented by fear and illness set free. I’m moved to pray and see this:

The name of Jesus, glorified!!!

If you are a SUMite, you are already headed toward this purpose. God chose you to know how to pray with power and to bear witness to the salvation of your family. You were chosen to bring love, forgiveness, healing and hope to many people through your prayers.

So, right now all you need to do is say this: I BELIEVE.

I believe in God our Father.
I believe in Christ the Son.
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I believe I can pray with power.
I believe I can utter words and angels move.
I believe that I was born for such a time as this to bring the Kingdom of God into its rightful place in our world.
I believe God listens and loves to answer my prayers, even the outlandish stuff.
I believe I am commissioned to be an intercessory, a prayer warrior and a powerful servant of the Most High.
Today, I will pray with purpose, power, belief, using the Word, with conviction and confidence and finally with unfailing courage. I will not relent or give up or give in. I will stand for goodness, honesty, integrity and truth. I will love lavishly and forgive easily. I will offer hope and a hand to those who I can and I will always forever remain loyally in love with my Jesus.

This is my high and holy calling and I will believe nothing less. In the name of Jesus. Amen and Hallelujah!!!

Stand tall SUMite because your prayers are bringing His Kingdom to earth. Now can I get an amen in the comments? And share a courageous, outlandish prayer, dream, hope, request in the comments. And let’s pray with courage for ourselves, our families and for one another.

Woo Hoo!!!

My Prayer: I pray for every nation to come to the truth that Jesus is the son of God and through Him they have the abundant life now and for all eternity. I approach the Throne of Grace with boldness to contend for the full salvation of my husband and family members. I pray that the fire of the Holy Spirit falls on me with such intensity that I can pray for others and they are healed, delivered and receive a powerful encounter with the love of our Father. I pray for everyone here that this day, they see the goodness of the Lord in that land of the living. In Jesus name. AMEN

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating six essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence.
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Pray with Courage!

Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn

Okay, your turn! Hugs.

*****

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My Husband Entered My World, part 2

Mike&NeenHello, SUMites! I have to say I’m so excited to share the rest of this story for you. God did some pretty awesome things during the week of the ACFW conference. I was so blessed to hug old friends I hadn’t seen since last year and to make some new friends as well. Since I serve there as head of registration, I come in contact with so many of the attendees, and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit always has a plan for each year. And He never tells me until He puts me in action! 

This year, He randomly told me to pray for people, usually as they shared a simple concern or health issue. The Holy Spirit would nudge me to pray with them, so I would ask if I could pray for them, right there. Do you know, that not one person declined? And every time, we both wound up so blessed and encouraged. God is so amazing!

Now back to my story…

As I shared on Tuesday, my sweet hubby seemed to connect with my friend, Jim. Seeing Mike so warmly congratulate Jim just about burst my heart with pure joy. I still get teary eye to think of my husband that night. He was warm, caring and full of humor. I watched him intentionally engage with those at our table, and he even made one of my shy friends sitting next to him feel more comfortable. I’m so proud of this guy.

The next day, Mike left early to drive home. I would fly out later in the day once we had the conference office packed and shipped out for next year. Later that morning, I saw Jim in the lobby and headed his direction, curious to hear what he thought of Mike’s intentionality to congratulate Jim on his awards.

What Jim shared confirmed all the prayers I’ve been praying over the years according to God’s leading and also confirmed what God has spoken to my heart about Mike and what’s coming.

Jim said something like this, “Your husband wasn’t at all what I expected. When I looked at him, I saw Jesus. He is right there, shining out of your husband already. And what’s so amazing is, he doesn’t even realize it yet.”

My friends, we’ve prayed for years for our spouses. We’ve stood in the gap for them with our prayers and love. We’ve called out the gold iGod has placed in them. And your comments from Tuesday are part of the confirmation God so lovingly has given me through all this that He is moving in our spouses more than we realize. And sometimes it takes someone outside of the day-in and day-out to help us see it.

SUMites, ask God to show you what He wants you to know about your spouse right now and then pray it in truth, out loud whenever you can. At night when they are sleeping. In the house while they are at work. From your car as you drive to work or in the carpool. I’ve even prayed the Scriptures God has given me and declared them over my husband as I looked at him through a window in the house while he was outside on the porch.

And here’s another one I’ve started to do. Scripture is full of examples of angels delivering God’s Word. When my husband is away, I command the angels assigned to him to speak those same truths that I have over him. So God’s Word and truth are constantly being spoken to my sweet hubby. And I am watching his spirit awakening (Eph 5:14).

And when you see that gold in them, point it out and confirm it to your spouse. Then watch them grow and become more and more like the amazing man or woman of God they’ve been created to be. This is what our prayers do, my friends. God’s truth spoken by the righteous is powerful (James 5:16).

Lord Jesus, give every SUMite a Word and promise for their spouse and give them boldness, faith and opportunities to pray and speak it out loud. And we command the angels assigned to our pre-believers to speak these very same truths over them, to call their spirits to arise and wake up for Christ is giving them light! In the powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites! We are going to be amazed by what God doing.
Dineen

*****

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My Husband Entered My World

Mike&NeenI shared the week before last that I would be in Nashville for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. What I didn't tell you is that my sweet hubby agreed to come for part of the week. Yes, my friends, he entered my world of fiction and met some amazing people on fire for Jesus, who, like Him, share hope and redemption through story (parables).

One of those people he met was our very own Ian Acheson. And forgive me for not having photos. I’ve been kicking myself since the airport yesterday for not taking any pictures of us. I even had the pleasure and blessing of meeting Ian’s lovely wife, Fiona. She is beautiful, gentle in heart and I sense a strength in her that is enduring and precious. God is laying a precious foundation in her. 

And Ian is everything you glean from his writing and more—humble, honest and authentic. We both received some amazing confirmations from God about our writing, and I am so excited about the path God is revealing to Ian. I will let him share that as he feels led to. Amazing!

Another friend my husband met was Jim Rubart. I share his name in case you want to check out his amazing books and see his heart for Jesus. Jim is an easy going guy, much like my husband. I’d shared with Jim earlier in the week some of the things God has been doing in and around Mike. Jim has been a great friend for years and has prayed for my hubby over those  years too.

Now I hadn’t planned a meeting between them, but God obviously did.

We’d just returned to the hotel Friday evening after having dinner with some friends who live near Nashville. As we walked in I spotted Jim and told Mike I wanted to introduce him. 

We approached Jim, who was talking to a group of ACFWers, and I tapped his shoulder. “Jim, I’d like you to meet my husband, Mike.”

Jim spun around with a big smile and welcomed my husband, saying he’d heard so much about him. Then Jim stepped back, said something like he wasn’t sure how Mike would feel about this, then proceeded to wrap my husband in a bear hug.

It gets even better. My husband hugged him back with equal enthusiasm and laughter. A few minutes later we said our goodbyes. Mike laughed and said, “I don’t know why he thought I’d be uncomfortable with that.”

I just smiled. Glowed inside. My friends, this was a precious exchange of God’s love. Little did I know there was more to come.

The next evening we attended the Gala—a dinner and awards ceremony—my book The Soul Saver won the Carol Award at this event in 2013. It’s kind of like the Oscars for Christian writers and authors (unpublished and published).

We sat down at our table with the rest of the ACFW staff—dear friends of mine who I’ve known for years, who have prayed with me and who I knew would just be themselves with my dear hubby. I noticed Mike looking around and asked him what he was searching for. 

“Just looking for Jim,” he answered. I could only smile. Joy!

Our meal was filled with good food and conversation. I have to say I am so proud of the man  my husband has become. His compassion and humor easily and readily came across. Then dinner ended and the awards began. Later in the ceremony, Jim’s book (The Five Times I Met Myself) won his category. At the end of the evening, Mike said he wanted to go over and congratulate Jim. Inside I was doing a jig! Wow!

We managed to find Jim in the bustle of congratulations and pictures being taken of the winners. Mike shook Jim’s hand and expressed his happiness for Jim. I made eye contact with Jim and mouthed, “his idea” as I pointed to my hubby. Again, I was so touched and proud of this man and how he showed his heart. 

A heart I have prayed over for years, to be the man of God he was created to be, for the the eternity in his heart to be released (Ecc 3:11) and for him to love me as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25)—all this I was seeing this very night.

There’s more to the story, my friends. I will share that on Thursday. Please do come back because it’s the culmination of a beautiful confirmation from God that He is very much at work in my husband’s heart. He is so faithfully answering all those prayers in ways I never imagined (Eph 3:20).

And God is working in your spouse’s heart too, SUMites, in answer to all your prayers. Our prayers. So much more than we realize and can see…but sometimes others can…

Can’t wait to share the rest with you. Love you!
Dineen

*****

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Our Free Will Is Powerful In Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWell, I wonder how many of you had an “opportunity” to exercise your confidence and take a step of faith in love and out of fear this past few days?

I will tell you one thing, when you pray in confidence, the devils are afraid and you bear witness to some pretty astonishing things in the Kingdom of God!

Hallelujah and AMEN!

So here is the next component of powerful prayer.

WILL

Our will. Our free will.

Christians like to debate, free will. And we, who are married to pre-believers, live daily praying that our spouse will engage their free will and turn to Jesus. But what many believers don’t realize is that our will, when engaged in prayer is powerful.

I’m struggling with how to explain this. Because it is similar to engaging confidence and belief. But there is something more.

What I believe is that as God’s kids, we are to pray heaven to earth, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What makes powerful intercession is when His will and our will are aligned and then we stand in conviction.

We are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the Lord’s purposes to bring about the fulfilment of your prayers. It is God’s will and thus your will to pray and see people freed and healed.

The only way I can think to explain is to provide two examples.

One: O Lord, I humbly ask that you would be kind to me. I have had a headache and it won’t go away. Lord, if it is your will, please heal me. Amen

Two: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I state clearly right now that Jesus died for my complete healing. I come before the Throne of Grace to be healed completely and permanently by the blood of Jesus. Holy Spirit right now, in Jesus name, I command this pain in my head to leave and never return. And in the place of pain I speak peace, joy and healing. I praise you Lord that you love me so much to provide my healing. I will walk in your love and healing right now. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

I wonder, can you discern the difference?

Do I believe God can and does respond to both prayers? Absolutely. Yet, I KNOW that when we pray within our authority, exerting our full conviction (our will) in belief with confidence. The heavenly realm responds. First, angels move under this kind of direction and second, demons flee as they are afraid of what you might say next and it scars the crap out of them.

When I pray and demand that the demonic leave someone for whom I’m praying or for myself, I go on to set the demons on fire and chain them in the pit, never to return. They don’t want to mess with me, my friends. *grin* (Could it be that I am a small-but giant badass in the Kingdom? Can I say that on a Christian blog? *sheepish grin*)

So, I have a question for you. Have you prayed in this manner, in full belief, with confidence and exerting your full will? Have you had someone pray over you who prays with these convictions?

Share your stories in the comments. I can’t wait to read them. And please take a minute to share because the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me that your testimonies are going to help another reader to find healing, hope and transformation.

Let’s be a community of badasses for the Kingdom of God and start kicking butts and taking names and chaining the demonic in the pit!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

You are amazing prayer warriors, SUMites…

*****

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Here's The Rub With Prayer Strategies

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOkay, how is this prayer series feeling for you? Are you walking in belief today? I know so many of you are on this amazing journey to become prayer warriors that scare the crap out of the demonic. Wahooooo! So, let’s work on another component of effective prayer.

Confidence.

Yep, this is a public and private thing. Confidence is crucial for effective prayer.

Confidence follows right on the heels of belief. But it’s a BIG jump off the cliff to believe and then follow through in confidence. But our Father greatly desires that we develop into people of Godly confidence.

Let me give you an example of what I think this looks like in real life.

My local church offers a once a month “Overflow Worship” night. We come together on a Sunday night and the service is all worship. I LOVE these. My most intimate moments with the Lord occur in worship. About a year ago during one of these sessions, the worship leader got up and said this, “Anyone who wants an extra touch tonight from the Lord, come on down to the front.”

At first no one moved. No one wanted to be the first. No one wanted all eyes on them. The people in the audience were more fearful of the opinions of people than to receive a touch from God. I can tell you there were people in the audience that REALLY wanted to go forward. They ached to go up front on the chance God would see them and help them, but fear kept them pinned to their seat.

NOT this girl. I decided in a moment I didn’t care what people thought, I wanted God more. I moved out of the seats and walked straight up to the very front. Finally, a few more people also went up front. But many remained seated.

This is what I believe God is looking at. He is waiting on the edge of His seat, hoping, cheering and urging our spirit to respond to Him. And it’s often in the public square that God does this. He wants you to take a step of faith to receive His blessing, healing and more. He’s speaking over you, “Come on baby girl. You can do this. Take one confident step out of the shadows, out of the fear. Show me you are willing to take a step for me and I will throw the floodgates of heaven open over you.”

Love is a choice. Much of our life is decided as we choose between love and fear. Choose love. God is calling His children to choose love. Choose to believe. Choose to be confident in what we know is true.

Confidence is a compelling attribute in a believer.

BTW, do you know what I received because I stepped out of the shadows and went down front? I’m convinced I saw an angle that night. It’s an astonishing story but alas I’m way over word count. I will have to share it another time.

Okay, now here is the rub. Because you just read this post, God is going to place before you a moment to step out in faith with confidence and choose Him, choose love. It’s gonna happen and likely in the next few days and probably it will require a public display of faith. So pray now to be ready and respond when He does. Then come back here and tell all of us about it.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating four essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence

Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn

*****

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Prayer Strategies

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOf late, the Holy Spirit is shouting to my soul, two words: Prayer Strategies. Truly, just ask Dineen. Every time I’m on the phone with her, this comes up. And wow wee, am I ever receiving some powerful prayer strategies for this season.

My friends, so many of us aren’t experiencing the answers to our prayers and I’m grieved by this fact. Well, NO LONGER… We the SUMites are going to learn how to pray and pray with fierceness that sets captives free and releases the prisoners. What say you? Ready to learn more?

Belief!

Simple really. But utterly so complicated.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. —Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

A key component to effective prayer is belief. Really, this is at the core of most issues of faith. We simply MUST believe. What does that mean and what does that really look like? Good questions.

In the early years of our mismatched marriage, I struggled for a long time in my faith because I had a relationship with church and not with Jesus. What I mean by that is, the primary focus of my time, learning, and prayer life was centered in church. I didn’t study the Word on my own, I only believed what I heard from the pulpit. I didn’t pray much. I only remember uttering crisis prayers from that time in my life. You know, the kind of prayers you beg God to intervene when you have totally screwed up your life? Yep, I was a crisis praying kinda girl. Good grief, so embarrassing to admit. But I’m not alone, am I?

Because my faith was built on sand, I lacked the depth of relationship and Bible wisdom I needed to cease doubting and truly believe what God said in His word. Praise be to God because for those people, like me, who are truly hungry for more of God, the Lord will go to great lengths to bring you into full faith…

We MUST believe in God, His Word, His plan and His purposes for us, our family, our community, nation and the world. When you take that step over that line in the sand and vow to never look back in doubt, a whole new realm of answered prayer begins to unfold.

Example: Recently, I have come to fully believe what the Word teaches about healing. I have experienced supernatural healing. Read my story here: Does Jesus Heal Today?  

But I have also prayed for others for their healing and have watched Jesus, Holy Spirit and the angels move and bring emotional healing and healing of physical ailments. I have prayed healing over myself many times and it happens. Say what? I’m still mystified about how this all works but I have belief that God heals, thus He does.

So here is a recent story: A few weeks ago, two weird, red and ugly and swollen sores showed up on my face and they were something other than acne. They were mean looking and had been on my face for a couple of weeks and showed no sign of healing or leaving. I pointed them out to a friend whom I was praying and said to her, “I believe God will remove these sores from my face. They are illegal and the demonic is not going to mar my face because I am a Child of God.”

Two days later these weird sores were gone. I texted my friend and gave witness that I had been blessing my face and praying over these sores and commanding them to go. They had to go and I believed. I prayed in faith and they were banished. By the way, she had a breakthrough as well! Hallelujah our God, our amazing Father, is soooo good and kind. Thank you Lord!

My friends, we need to step into belief. Did you read the last half of the verse I shared earlier?

He rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Let’s choose to believe. Really believe. How do we do this. Start to pray for supernatural faith. Declare you believe the Word of God. And when a moment in time arrives to choose fear or faith.

CHOOSE FAITH.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating three essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6

Okay, who needs to state clearly and publicly that they want to step into a new level of faith? In the comments pray that you want supernatural faith and belief. Declare it in the comments for all SUMites to read. We ALL will come into agreement with you, you with all of us.

This is your time to activate your faith and begin to walk in your destiny.

I LOVE you all so much. I will be echoing your declarations in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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What Does God Want From Me?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUMite Nation,

The Holy Spirit is speaking the Word – PRAYER! (Don’t tune out. This is good.)

“Oh man, did she just write – PRAYER.”

Did you just whisper this under your breath?

Let me explain what I feel the Lord is impressing upon me as well as upon most of His church right now.

Prayer.

Some of you may remember that I served on staff in Women’s Ministry at my local church for years. I led Bible study groups, choose studies for our women and directed a lot of the Bible study efforts. I left that position four or five years ago as our online and book ministry began to grow.

What I always found fascinating and utterly disappointing in the years of choosing Bible studies was the fact that if we chose a Bible study about prayer, no one signed up. Yep.

Bummer! But true.

However, what I’m discovering in 2016 is that God’s people are hungry to learn about prayer and learn to pray effectively. It was evident by the online class on prayer this past Tuesday. And it seems that every time I post a prayer on Facebook, it gets shared around. I’m so truly excited about this change in the heart of the Church. Hallelujah.

So over the next few posts I want to pour more into prayer. I want to encourage all of you who attended the class with more information. And for those of you who missed it, now is your time to also gain wisdom, knowledge and anointing to pray with power for REAL results!

Sound good?

A word before we continue: Prayer is NOT a way to arm twist the Lord into doing our will. Prayer is a conversation between a Father and His child. It's learning to listen to God and then obeying His will. 

I want to look at a few keys to vibrant prayer as well as “blocks” that keep us from breakthroughs. Such as:

  • The Word of God
  • Belief
  • Confidence
  • Will
  • Courage

And finally we will discuss the “why.” When prayer remains unanswered, why?

I might throw a few extras in somewhere along the line. Also, I won’t spend too much time on discussion about praying the Word of God because that was covered in the class on Tuesday. (I hope to offer that class again in the future, for those of you who wanted to attend and couldn’t.)

You know maybe we actually need to start at the beginning. How do we create a prayer life? What do we do when we just can’t pray? How do we respond when we feel so beaten that our prayers are full of defeat and tears? Anyone?

I’ve shared many times that all I have in the Kingdom, is the result of my intentional efforts to create time and space to be with God. I know this is often THE most challenging part of prayer but even a few minutes a day will change your life. You can read about that here: Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living. (Skip down to where you see the Bible and start reading there.)

Today, I pray significantly different than I did in 2008 when that post was written. I often pray about the same things but the way I pray, the words I speak and my convictions are what has changed and is also what moves heaven in response.

So, today, I challenge you that if you to create and stick to a time to read the Word and pray everyday.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating two essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.

Okay, what might be helpful is for all of you to share how you created time and space in your life for prayer. Share in the comments. Someone reading this need to emulate what you did. Especially help mothers of young children with suggestions.

Also, share in the comments if you learned news tips from the class, Praying the Word, and how you will now pray the Word in your prayer life. Someone reading this also needs to read how you pray the Word.

SUMites, God intends to set His praying people upon a broken, dark and evil world. He expects His kids to pray and bring His Kingdom to earth. Are you ready? It’s gonna be fantastic.

I’m traveling the next couple of weeks. I will be checking in here as I am able and pop in to be part of our astounding community.

Okay, PLEASE take a minute to write what you have learned to help a SUMite on the road behind you. Love you a ton, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Seeing the “Gold” in Our Spouse

NowenQuoteI went through my old files today and found a post I’d written about my husband’s positive qualities. The list made me think about a verse in Ecclesiastes that I absolutely love. Why? Because it’s a picture of God’s heart and how He sees us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. — Ecc. 3:11

There are three little words in this verse—made, put and heart. But the Hebrew translation of these words holds a list of meanings that would fill a page. I’m just listing a few of them to give you a taste:

Made—to do or make in the broadest sense, become, bear, bestow, fashion

Put — give with greatest latitude, restore

Heart — feelings, will, even intellect, inner man, soul

And to think He did this with everything—everything—kind of blows my mind. He’s fashioned us with beauty and bestowed beauty upon us to grow in beauty as we resemble Jesus more and more. He’s given us eternity with the greatest latitude and restored us to Him, to His kingdom through Jesus. And He put all of this promise in our hearts, wills and souls—the very essence of who we are. 

Now take a look at this truth:

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. — Romans 4:17

How amazing to think that the same way God called into being this “gold” He placed in us, He’d doing the very same thing with our spouses, our family members, our friends—every single person He places on our heart to pray for. In fact, that nudge should tell us He’s already in action and He’s asking us to partner with Him with our prayers.

So as we look at our spouses, think about the eternity that God has already placed into them. Ask God to show you what it looks like, to see your spouse through the eyes of God. 

Deep friendship is a calling forth of each other’s chosenness and a natural affirmation of being precious in God’s eyes. — Henri Nowen

Then as we see and treat them according to that chosenness (and pray), they begin to walk in that truth. I’m witnessing this right now with my husband.

That old post I found? Here’s part of what I wrote about him in 2007:

He’s the kindest, most loving man I have ever met. I’ve always felt cherished in our marriage. He’s a great dad, provider, and all around great guy. He’s affectionate, loves his girls to pieces, enjoys hanging out with his family, and actually saved a binky (a pacifier) from each of our girls as a memento.

He’s generous, quick to give of his resources, and wants only the best for not only us but for his extended family as well. Part of the reason I fell in love with this guy was because of his big and wonderful family. 

He’s patient, even-keeled, passionate about his interests, loves his work, and is constantly stretching his mind.

Shortly after I read this, he brought me a yellowed piece of paper with big child-like letters, written by our oldest daughter when she was about five years old. He’s still a big softy...and more. I love watching what God is doing all around my husband and how he responds without even realizing it. I see the calling on his life now and the love of God already flows through him in ways that surprise me.

My friends, I want to challenge you today to make a list about your spouse. Write down all the positive qualities you see in him or her. Then hold this before God and praise Him for creating your spouse to be that person. And ask God to show you more of what He’s placed in him or her to add to your list. Don’t be surprised if this becomes new inspiration in how to pray for him or her. 

And feel free to share in the comments. We can have a little “brag-fest” and inspire one another with our hopes and prayers for our loved ones.

SUMites, we hold great hope for ourselves in our growing intimacy with God. We can hold that same hope for our spouses as well and trust God to bring them into that hope of Jesus in His perfect timing.

Lord Jesus, thank You for creating us and holding us together with Your amazing and complete love. Thank You that You do this for our spouses too. I pray for fresh eyes for every SUMite to see his or her spouse through Your lens of love and grace. Reveal the “gold” you’ve placed in them so that we can be part of calling it forth. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, my friends! My prayers are joining with yours.
Dineen

(P.S. I will be in Nashville next week for the annual American Christian Fiction Writes conference. Woohoo! I get to spend the week hanging out with fun people who have characters talking in their heads (just kidding...well mostly...). See you on the 30th!)

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Sumite Prayer Partners

James 5 16Good morning Sumite family! We have some very exciting news for you today! First, let me begin with a little background information. Recently, I have noticed more and more people requesting prayer in all areas of my life, even from pre-believers. I've noticed an increase, especially here, within the virtual walls of our church. It's as if people are crying out to God in a more desperate way. After noticing this increase, I asked God to show me how to best meet this need within our community in spite of our geographic limitations. He answered me with John 17, specifically verse 20-23. Let's read Jesus' prayer:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who would ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me."

This passage convicted me of how often believers miss out on this unity with the Holy Spirit and with other believers. It may be due to denominational differences, differences of opinion, varying life experience, the hectic pace of life or the enemy whispering in our ear. But, here in our community, we have been given the chance to experience this perfect unity. The opportunity to come together purely as Followers of Christ, to stand on His word and live obedient lives. That led me to my next question, how can we move toward this perfect unity? For that answer let's consider these verses:

1 Timothy 2:1 "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them."

1 Thessalonians 5:11 "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."

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

After laying my questions before God and digging into His word, I began to see His answer was Prayer Partners. Specifically, one to one dedicated and confidential prayer partnerships. Those who are interested would contact us and then be partnered up with another person through email. You would commit to contacting your partner at least once a week (but hopefully  more often) to share prayer requests, praises and then pray daily. The method of contact is up to you and your partner, you have a world of unlimited technology at your finger tips.

Can you see how God has broken down our geographic limitations? God-willing, these partnerships will bloom into authentic friendships deepening your walk with Christ and becoming the living example of John 17:23. We will also post monthly prayer topics to focus our prayer efforts and intercede as the body of Christ. These monthly topics will give us the opportunity to cover our faithful leaders, Lynn and Dineen, and other issues as the Spirit directs us. 

If you're ready to receive a prayer partner and embark on this new adventure then click on my name below this post! 

Christy Edney

Dineen and I, Lynn, are psyched that Christy has stepped into this new role here in our community. Christy has been an active part of our community since 2011. She has a heart full of love for God and for people.

Watch for a post from her about prayer and prayer partners once a month. Thank you Christy for your love and dedication to this family on the web. 

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Lord of the Harvest

15753952_sHe said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

My friends, I don’t know if you remember me sharing in June of 2013 a dream God gave me, which I believe was a precursor to our salvation word this year and what’s to come. There are several pieces to this that the Holy Spirit is showing me, and I am excited to share with you. So let’s start with a refresher of that dream and then pray in this harvest!

May 2013 (date of dream)

I was half awake, half asleep, but the dream was very vivid. I stood before a tall cornfield—taller than me. Jesus stood next to me.

He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest.”

I said, "Lord, I can't see past this, can you show me more?”

Suddenly I was up higher and could see tall mountains in the far distance. The crop spanned all the way to the mountains!

At the time I found it very curious that I saw corn in this dream as opposed to wheat. With some investigation and research, I discovered that the Bible references to grain can mean either corn or wheat and are often connected with oil and wine.

“From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. — Genesis 27:28

Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” — Genesis 27:37

“If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat. — Deut. 11:13-15

Look at this Scripture from Joel, which is part of God’s promise of restoration:

The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. — Joel 2:24

Grain and wine were such integral parts of the Israelites lives and culture that it makes complete sense that Jesus would use bread and wine to bring such powerful symbolism, connection and power to what we practice today as communion.

And harvest time is always about prosperity, provisions and promise—of abundant life. The Old Testament displayed this in the physical sense first through manna and then provision from the promised land. Jesus took this provision of physical sustenance and connected it to our spiritual need as well. 

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. — John 6:35

Now recently several SUMites have shared stories of how their spouses have walked away from their faith either on this blog or on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. My friends, I can’t tell you how deeply this grieved me. These are the stories that break my heart and bring me to tears before God. 

And that is what I did one day last week. It made no sense to me in light of the promises God has been sharing with me—with all of us. I went to Him in tears and asked, “Lord, what is going on? You’ve promised us salvation and even shown me this is coming. Have I missed something, not prayed enough? Is the enemy winning this battle?”

I saw only two possibilities, but our God of the impossible replied with His, “I’m revealing the greater glory.”

Dear friends, my tears turned to laughter as the Holy Spirit whispered this to my heart, “The prodigals are being called back and the unbelievers are being drawn in.”

Our Papa God is so good! He’s bringing our loved ones to His Son just as Jesus said He would. 

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” — John 6:44

SUMites, I believe this with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit! Will you pray with me?

We praise You, Mighty Lord Jesus, for You are the bread and wine to our lives, our souls and our spirits. Thank You for giving this provision to our spouses too! Lord, send the workers needed for this Great Harvest. Send people into our midst to reveal Your presence and love to our pre-believers. Reveal and show that love to them through us, for we are Your workers too, Lord! 

Lord Jesus, there is Resurrection Life in all You do. We ask for this resurrection life to be released over our pre-believers, our lives, our marriages, our children and every place in our lives where dry bones need to be called back to life. Breathe Your breath of life over all of us. We call these dry places to life, in the Saving and Life-Resurrecting Name of Jesus. 

Lord Jesus, we ask for vengeance against the enemy and the demonic for all they have stolen from us, the SUMites, from our pre-believers, from our children and even from our ancestors. We ask for full recompense and restoration of what has been lost and stolen (Isa. 35).

Lord, call in the harvest of our pre-believers and prodigals. Bring them to You, Lord, every single one of them. Lord Jesus, when You walked this earth, every person who came to You was healed. We present our prodigals and pre-believers to You like the man lowered through the roof and ask that every single one be saved and healed. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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