My friends, Ann here.
I have a problem. Here I am writing a series on how to fight giants using the example of some fear I've been battling … But this week the fear has gone completely! So, that's inconvenient because I'm trying to write about it. Maybe the giant wasn't enjoying the fight and ran away. ((Haha!))
Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7, NIV)
It's true. As my fingers have typed words about how small giants are I’ve become increasingly fearless. To the point that I feel I've been injected with happy drugs!!
And, in that state, we've reached the part in our series where David picked up five stones to kill Goliath.
“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40, NIV)
This passage could be seen as an analogy for spiritual warfare in a Christian’s life. It’s easy to think ‘spiritual warfare’ has to be big and dramatic, but it’s mainly fought in the secret place, the place of intimacy with God.
It can even be a restful battle, if we can get there. The stones are smooth, after all, and manageable.
I keep a pouch of five stones in my prayer room (TV room) as a symbol, I suppose. And I have an idea of what my top five regular stones (i.e., spiritual warfare tools) are. One is fasting, another is rest. Another, taking communion in my home.
But there are probably 25 'stones' (i.e., tools) available to us, not just five. And in our community others will have a different 'top five' to me because, as an army, we have different skill-sets, gifts, and experiences.
I therefore posted a question on Facebook, asking our community what their top five are. Here’s what they said, including their quotes. I personally found these wonderful to read, and I hope you do too.
The five smooth stones of the SUM community:
Worship. Private time spent in worship invites in the Lord’s presence and power; but even playing worship music in the background changes the atmosphere (2 Chronicles 20:21-22).
Praise and gratitude. Speaking out or journaling such words (Psalm 100:4)
Asking for prayer and support from trusted prayer partners/friends. Sometimes we're too embattled to pray for ourselves except to eek out 'help'. A solid two or three, or a group (e.g., church home-group) who really care about your situation is like a strong, three-fold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12). As is their emotional support.
Prayer. This is a huge topic, but it can include specific routines like praying on the armor of Ephesians 6:10-17 routinely, binding the enemy's activity and releasing glory and blessing verbally into a situation (Matthew 18:18); blessing the house, the bed, and more.
Healing prayer from a trusted source. Our battle may have at its source underlying spiritual issues (e.g., generational stuff, freemasonry in the family) that can be revealed and healed through prayer with a trained person. We're blessed to have access to that here with Lynn's healing prayer ministry.
Reading the Bible, and quoting scripture out loud, confessing God's truths and promises. Here's a great quote: "Throw a scripture stone to combat whatever battle you are currently facing. If it is healing, throw all the scriptures verses as a stone."
Surrender to the Lord, exchanging our will for His. A couple of SUMites said here, "The fruits are like no other".
Journaling. I loved this quote: "I put it all down on paper or computer the situation, including my feelings, and the Lord walks me through it. Then I can throw away everything except the lesson learned."
Time and intimacy with God. "Long walks outside with the Lord / Getting up early to be with him." "Walk n pray along with sitting on the beach and asking Jesus to be with me." This overlaps with other things.
And more, but I'm out of space:
Delight in Him
Revisiting prophetic words we have received
Distraction from triggers
Praying in tongues
SUMites, we are equipped and we're up to the task. For the stones are manageable.
Next time I write I'll continue with this series. For now: Do any of the above tools intrigue you and make you want to know more? If so, which ones?
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!
Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!
My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!
Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)
As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:
Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25
The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.
Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!
So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?
We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.
I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.
However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy. I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.
There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/
There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)
We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!
Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!
I have worked for my employer for a little over three years now. I do the same thing all day everyday. Monday through Friday, eight hours a day. I see the same computer screen as I fingerprint the numerous people who come into my office. The other day Holy Spirit alerted me to listen and pay attention to people's reactions to seeing their fingerprints on the computer screen, many of them for the first time:
Wow, that is so cool!
I have never seen this before!
Sorry, I am just amazed by this!
Look at that!
Can you believe that we all have different finger prints? No two prints are the same!?
Was I looking at the same machine? It is cool to see the detail, I guess.....
There are some of us who have forgotten how to be in love with and romanced by our King. We have been on this journey for a long time. Our eyes have adjusted to the normalcy of life. We've braced for life's storms for too long that we've gone into self-preservation mode. We have forgotten what is like to have childlike faith. This isn't a rebuke but a call to see things from God's perspective. Be refreshed! Be renewed! Be invigorated again!
I felt a strong impression from our Daddy God to lavish you with love today. If anything today resonates with you, my challenge is for you to take it and meditate on it. Don't allow the familiar to blur your vision of God's great love relationship with you. Don't doubt that you aren't good enough to receive it. Don't think, "He must be talking to someone else..." This word is for you...yes YOU!
I have loved you, [insert your name here], with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I will make you, [insert your name here], my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord. (Hosea 2:19-20)
My thoughts of you are countless for you are very precious to Me. (Psalm 139:17)
You can give me all of your worries and cares. They are not meant to be carried by you. I love you so much! (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22)
I am for you. You are my beloved and I am yours. (Song of Solomon 6:3)
I will give you everything that you need. You mean that much to me. (Romans 8:31)
There is nothing that can separate you from My love. (Romans 8:38-39)
I will rescue you. I will protect you. You can trust me. When you call on Me I am there. (Psalm 91)
One of my favorite things to do is watch over you as you sleep. (Psalm 3:5)
I will show you my goodness in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
I will never forsake you. I will never cast you off. (Psalm 94:14)
You are my masterpiece. My workmanship. I am so proud of you! (Ephesians 2:10)
You are my special treasure. You are so valuable to me! (Exodus 19:5, 1 Peter 2:9)
There is so much more that I could share. Every word in the Bible is dripping with His sweet love for you.
Beloved, stop striving. Stop trying to meet unattainable expectations of yourself...they're not from Him. Daddy God is so pleased with you. He delights in you so much that He breaks out in song over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I want to wrap up with this song. This is one to sit and soak in the love of your Daddy.
Let's share in the comments - sometimes life gives us a hard beating! What are some things that you do in order to remember the love God has for you? What are some things we can share with one another to fan the flames of our heart and fill us with hope? What keeps you standing firm and grounded in your relationship with Daddy God, Jesus and Holy Spirit?
We’re a praying SUMite army, aren’t we, dear friends? Ian from freezing cold Sydney here. I trust those of you in the northern hemisphere are enjoying the warmer temperatures and having fun on summer vacations.
Prayer. It’s one of those little words that we’re all familiar with, it’s a practice we all do, some of us I expect more than others and for most, if not all of us, it can be hard work.
And it’s powerful. Really powerful. It changes hearts, saves people, heals people, restores people and most significantly it connects our hearts with God. The triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“Through relationship, we carry and release the Kingdom onto the earth. This is what joy-filled prayer looks like.” – Beni Johnson
Prayer is Relational
It’s completely relational and usually reflects the state of our connection with God. If you’re finding your prayer life has become transactional (‘Help me, God!’ Thanks, God! etc) it probably reflects one’s relationship isn’t very tight, that there’s some distance between you. But if you find you’re always dialoguing with God throughout your day it more than likely reflects a strong relationship that is growing deeper.
Prayer is simply that … communicating with God. Most often it’s just us and God, other times, it’s with two or three of us and God, and other times it’s in bigger groups, like a Church Prayer meeting.
It’s often hard because of its relational nature with someone invisible. But it becomes easier when our heart desires to be connected to God's heart. He wants to share His heart with us.
There are lots of great stories in the Bible that provide us with examples of how to posture ourselves in our communications with God. Here are three thoughts that I’ve gleaned through my readings.
“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10.
We all know this verse from The Lord’s Prayer. God invites us into His Kingdom, there’s stuff going on that He wants us to participate in, so the more we seek after knowing His will the greater the intimacy we’ll develop with Him. Often we’re guilty of asking for our plans and our desires to be approved by God rather than coming to God and dialoguing with Him about what’s on His heart about a certain matter. Jesus provides the great example of this: at the Garden of Gethsemane the night He is betrayed He pleads with His Father to be freed of His responsibility (“if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me?”). But moments later Jesus determined that His Father’s way was best for him (“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”)
Praying God's Word is a great way of praying His Will. I start many mornings praying Psalm 23 over myself and over others the Lord puts upon my heart.
“pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of Godin Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)
Did you catch those words I underlined: “for this is the will of God”. What is? To pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything. Start thanking God immediately, praising Him for the outcome of the prayer you’ve just prayed even though it hasn’t happened yet. Praise God before you receive the answer.
Remember when Paul and Silas were chained up in prison (Acts 16)? What did they do? They sang praises to God. What happened? An earthquake that shook the foundations, doors and chains keeping everyone captive, happened. Paul and Silas were freed.
Like any relationship, our connection with God can experience peaks and valleys. Hey, we get distracted. Sometimes very easily. I know I do.
Daniel trusted God even when he had to spend a night in a den full of lions. God rescued Daniel and he continued to follow God’s ways rather than the King’s and we’re told he “prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” (Daniel 6: 28)
The more time we spend with God, in reading His Word, and fellowshipping with other believers, we gain greater understanding of His heart, His mission and His ways. His desire is for us to join Him. But the world has it’s own ways and it’s natural for us to follow those ways. But we’re told in Isaiah 35 that there is a highway called the “Way of Holiness” (v8) and is available for all of us who follow God’s ways. There is neither lion nor ravenous beast to be found on this Way. And those who follow it will “enter Zion with singing and everlasting joy will crown our heads, gladness and joy will overtake us and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (v 10)
Follow His Way and we will pray prayers that reflect both God’s desires and ours.
May we encourage each other in our prayer walks by sharing a little in the comments about what works for us in staying connected with God throughout our busy day.
Blessings my friends.
Hello, dear friends. Ian from sunny Sydney here. It seems ages since I’ve written. I trust the New Year has started well for you and you’re excited for what 2019 holds for you and your family.
Recently, I was reading something written by Will Graham, the grandson of the late Billy Graham, where he sought some counsel from his famous granddad on navigating the challenges of a ministry that required a lot of travel around the globe.
He was expecting some advice on how to run meetings better or how better to emphasize a point but instead received this simple message, “Pray, pray, pray” and “study, study, study.” It made good sense as this was what Will had seen his granddad doing most times he visited, praying and studying.
Abiding and Bearing Fruit
“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.” John 15:5 (TPT)
We desire to make an impact, don’t we? Even in the smallest way. Often we apply ourselves to various efforts and activities in order to make an impact. But what’s clear from the impact Billy Graham had was that he knew what was required to produce it – ‘live in union’ with God.
What I find fascinating about this verse is that Jesus tells us the answer to doing life well. And the answer is very straightforward: ‘live in union’ with God.
Living in Union
You’d think we’d all be doing this, right? It sounds pretty straightforward. Okay I’ll have my time with the Lord in the morning and everything will be sweet. Right? Well, that lasted 30 minutes (add you own number here), now what do we do for the next 23.5 hours of the day? BTW, how long do we need to spend with God to be ‘living in union’ with Him?
I’m no expert at any of this and I’m also very conscious of becoming overly religious about it all but what I sense matters is it all starts with the state of our hearts. As I think I’ve mentioned before, we gotta want Him. In order to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, body and soul we gotta want to do it.
Listen to David’s heartbeat:
“Here’s the one thing I crave from God,
the one thing I seek above all else:
I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house,
finding the sweet loveliness of his face,
filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace.
I want to live my life so close to him
that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.” Psalm 27:4 (TPT)
When I read this verse last week I was challenged by David’s ‘one thing.’ What’s my ‘one thing’? This is a man after God’s own heart as David is described. It’s very clear what’s his ‘one thing’. But he stuffed up. He got fearful and anxious many times but he kept coming back to the North Star of his heart: his desire for God.
Now back to Granddad Graham. I expect the North Star of his heart was similar to David’s and he kept fuelling his desire by always praying and studying the Word. The reason we need to do both is that the Word is a key way in which the Lord speaks to us (not the only way). We can be continually reminded of God’s greatness and goodness, His immense love for us through studying the Word. In so doing it helps build up our faith and so prayer becomes easier.
(One thing a lot of us forget is the best way to enhance one’s prayer life is by building up one’s faith. The greater our passion for the Lord, the stronger the desire we have to spend time with Him.)
I struggle with being intentional about studying the Word. It’s very easy to quickly read a passage or a few verses and then move on. But I find the more time I set aside meditating and reflecting on some verses the greater my desire for prayer and reading even more of the Word becomes. As I mentioned before, one of the things I’ve done these past few years is to continuously read the Psalms (because I want what David has!) I love how they’re full of emotion: joy, anger, anxiety, fear, love and passion.
May I encourage you this year to set the North Star of your heart to more of God, not more from God, but more of Him. Dive into the Word. Try different methods, mix up which books of the Bible you read, do it with friends, journal some notes each day on what you discovered, use a commentary, listen to it in your car, etc etc.
Share in the comments something about how you study the Word as it's likely to give all of us some different ideas.
Would you mind if I finished with this blessing from the book of Numbers: (pray it over yourself :))
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” ’ (Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV)
Mid-week, and this is when fasting becomes difficult. What I want to tell you is that when you reach Friday and you remained in the fast, you will feel such a surge of accomplishment and pride in your perseverance. And the flip-side, you will be disappointed you didn’t make yourself finish strong because our next fast isn’t until September.
White-knuckle your determination. And gang, I’m saying this to me specifically. I’m staying focused on the juicy hamburger I’m going to eat on Friday at sunset. *grin*
I know that you will welcome me into your house,
for I am covered by your covenant of mercy and love.
So I come to your sanctuary with deepest awe
to bow in worship and adore you.
Yahweh, lead me in the pathways of your pleasure
just like you promised me you would,
or else my enemies will conquer me.
Smooth out your road in front of me,
straight and level so that I will know where to walk. —Psalms 5:7-8 (Passion)
Ask Jesus these questions today and share your response in the comments.
Jesus, what area in my life are you making straight? Jesus, can I trust you to show me where to walk?
Hope. In Lynn’s last couple of posts she has shared what the Lord has been saying to her about hope. As I meditated with the Lord on what to write about He gave me a similar instruction: HOPE.
I’ve previously shared on my three-strikes rule: if I read/hear a topic 3 times in a very short space of time I realise the Lord is wanting me to pay particular attention. This happened last week and the topic was, you guessed it, Hope.
These are crazy times indeed. Both at the global level: Nth Korea, Harvey, Trump, Charlottesville, Middle East, terrorism, etc and at the individual level: depression, suicide, divorce, job loss, and so on. Yes, these are crazy times.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV)
We have a God of hope.
This verse starts with urgency: Now. Yes, we can allow our circumstances to derail our hope and in no way do I want to sound like I’m underestimating the impact of anyone’s trying individual circumstances. Some of us are doing it really tough and I cry out to Jesus for His presence and supernatural peace to invade all of our lives in a new and vibrant way.
I was having breakfast this last Saturday and Fiona came in to say an ambulance was next door and things weren’t looking good. Fi had some errands to run and I was agitated by what was going on next door. I could see our friends hovering at their front door as the paramedics were doing their thing. I didn’t want to intrude as I might just be getting in the way.
But I knew there was one thing I could do and Now. Go to our God of hope and pray. He knew what was going on with our friend’s mum who’d collapsed. So I interceded for her for the next however long. After about an hour the ambulance left and I was filled with peace even though I was uncertain of the status of her life. He was in charge. He knew.
Turn to Him. Now.
Often in difficult times we try to resolve the issue ourselves, panic, run around trying to be helpful. You get the picture. But we have a God of hope who knows all things.
Pray over your situation using the promises of God. God loves hearing us repeat His Words.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed these verses in the last ten years or so. They really are my go to verses when anxiety grabs a hold and/or my circumstances have gone pear shaped.
Something miraculous happens when we pray His promises, we get filled with hope and our faith grows. That’s why the Bible is a supernatural book. Our words have power. Perhaps our circumstances may not change immediately but our perspective will.
Dearest Father, we love you, we worship you. Thank you that you are the God of hope. We come to you now as our God declaring that no weapon formed against us and our families will prosper. For you are our God. You will strengthen us, You will help us and you will uphold us with Your righteous right Hand. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Oh, our neighbour’s mom is okay. She is still in hospital for a few more days but is recuperating well. Hallelujah.
Blessings dear SUMite friends.
Hello, my dear friends. I’m taking today’s post as an opportunity to update you on my daughter, Leslie. Many of you have asked me to keep you updated, which touches my heart beyond belief. Thank you. Your love and prayers fill my heart with comfort, joy and peace.
If you’re new to the site, my daughter Leslie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 14 in 2008. She is 23 now and cancer free. (If you want the full story, you can do a search of her name to access the archives.) At the end of 2015 she began to exhibit side effects of her radiation treatments from 2009 and had to stop working due to pain and trembling throughout her limbs. Just as it seemed she was finally stepping into a full life, healthy.
Leslie has still not been able to go back to work. It’s been over a year now. Her pain level is still high and after a year of seeing the doctors at Stanford (not the same team who helped save her life) and not getting anywhere or any relief, she has begun to take control of her own health care.
That’s a big step. I confess that was difficult at first for this mama who can hover at times, but she has done a fabulous job pursuing her own health solutions and answers.
As a result, she’s managed to find out more with a rheumatologist nearby in just a short month. Right now the doctor’s report says she has arthritis in her tendons, her right ankle being the most damaged.
My friends, I am going to be honest with you here. I didn’t know what to pray for as this was unfolding. I, of course, wanted a good report and prayed for that, but I was torn. I wanted answers for her so she could figure out how to manage the pain in her body and live a fuller life.
So I am grateful for answers, but I am not coming into agreement with this diagnosis, nor will I speak it over her. I have learned in the healing rooms to pray and believe with each person at whatever level they are willing to believe God for their healing, but I have also witnessed God increase each person's faith in those moments to believe and ask God for more than they can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).
So, I will support my sweet girl and believe with her at whatever level she is at to believe she can be restored, even through treatments and medications, which I’m not against. God clearly worked in tandem with the doctors to save her life in 2008, and it is a story full of miracles.
I believe in God’s Word that says we WERE healed by the stripes of Jesus, and that His salvation (sozo) covers our physical restoration too. And I am standing on the promise God gave me for Leslie from Isaiah:
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. — Isaiah 58:11
My friends, I am not discouraged. Initially my heart ached, and I poured that out to my Papa God. He gave me comfort, peace and reassurance. He does not forget His promises. Quite the opposite. He constantly watches, plans and sets things in to motion to fulfill His Word out of His great compassion and in His perfect timing.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! — Isaiah 30:18
And for every promise God gives us, He gives us the provision too. So this is how I am “upgrading” how I am praying this over my daughter.
Father God, You have given me the promise for Leslie. I speak it back to You, in faith. That You, Lord, are guiding Leslie continually, not just now but throughout her life. That you are giving her water in the dry places of her body and restoring her strength. That every provision she needs to walk in health is already in place for her.
I declare in agreement with Your Word, Lord, that Leslie will be as a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. She will be restored in the places she has struggled and pour out great beauty, fruit and hope to others in dry places. She will be a garden that blooms and produces fruit that cries out and shouts of Your great power, love and glory, Lord. In the endless name of Jesus, amen!
SUMites, I believe now is the time for us to renew our prayers and declarations for the promises God has given us. He does not falter, nor does He step away from us. Our breakthroughs could be just a single prayer away. Let’s not give up the race now.
Our Great God will not fail us. I believe He will move and do things in ways we have never seen before and never could have imagined. I’m already seeing Him do this in small things, and it’s absolutely stunning. I can’t even imagine what this will look like as He increases in us, our lives and circumstances and through the prayers we pray over those we uplift to Him.
Share your hearts and thoughts in the comments, my friends. I am standing with you in prayer for every promise, every provision, every declaration.
Love you so very much,
Hello, my friends. On Sunday, my pastor started us out in Isaiah, which made me chuckle—seems many of us are planted in the book of Isaiah right now. Makes sense when we tune in to see what God is doing right now…and how He’s working.
Today I want to share another part of Isaiah as a prayer, but first I have a question for you today.
Are you battling fear?
I have a feeling there are a lot of you out there nodding your heads. In fact, I’m almost certain all of us have battled fear at some point in our lives. Fear became a very real and present challenge for me in early 2014, along with anxiety attacks that would last for hours. I’d never in my life experienced anything like it.
But God was and is faithful. He told me then He’d be my healer and He was. And when the enemy tries to rear it up again, I know the truth, that God’s love truly does cast out all fear.
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1John 4:17-18 (NIV)
LOVE > fear. Always.
One aspect that my pastor pointed it out is that the word ‘perfect’ in Greek means complete. So how is God’s love perfected in us? We all want to know and feel God’s love. I know I do. And we can ask for that, ask for Him to show us His love for us, reveal His presence, His heart for us. But it doesn’t stop there. When we express/show/share God’s love with another person (our spouse, friend, neighbor), God’s love is perfected in us.
Think about it this way. God’s love is actually always in us. His Spirit is in us, therefore so is His love. We can ask for it feel more present, more alive, to operate more in it and to share it. And that’s the deal here. His love isn’t just meant to flow between us and Him. It’s also intended to be shared with others. That’s the full circle, so to speak, and what 1 John 4 is all about.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. — 1 John 4:19-20
And our love is our greatest weapon, whether we are giving it to God in worship or pouring it our on another person. My friends, our faith reminds the enemy of his destruction, and our love sends him running in his own fear! Fear and love simply can’t coexist. Love literally drives fear away. That is powerful! God’s love is the most powerful force on earth, because HE. IS. LOVE.
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. — Phil. 1:27-28 (ESV)
So when the enemy tries to make me afraid, I refuse him and I dwell in God’s love. I speak it out. I declare the truth. And I am set free.
Love is the solution to fear. So next time you feel fear coming on, think about God and how much He loves you, adores you, lives as love in you and thinks on you with uncountable thoughts of love! (Psalm 139:17)
Think about your spouse and how much you love him or her, think about your children and how much you love them, or love on your pooch or kitty (I’m serious!). Ever notice how you much better you feel when you help someone in need? When we express love, fear flees!
Now about that prayer. This one is a promise from God about fear and it applies to our children too.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established;
you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
and from terror, for it shall not come near you. — Isaiah 54:13-14
Let’s pray it as a response and declaration like this:
Almighty Lord, thank You for teaching my children,
and for giving them great peace.
Thank You that You are establishing me, my spouse and my children in righteousness. (also part of our 1 Car 7:14 promise)
Oppression will be far removed and we will not fear.
Fear and terror can no longer come near us.
In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
SUMites, I leave you with these two powerful Scriptures as well.
Do everything in love. — 1 Cor. 16:14 (NIV)
Let love be your highest goal! — 1 Cor. 14:1 (NLT)
Those are my mottos, my friends! I love you, I love you, I love you. And thank you for loving me.
Hello, SUMites! Can you believe we’re already in March? Time seems to keep speeding up on me, so I’ve made the decision to look forward to Christmas all year long. If this most precious season is going to keep fleeting by on me, I’m going to make the most of it the rest of the year.
Are you laughing at me? LOL! That’s fine if you are. But on a deeper note, I believe this is actually part of the journey God has me walking to know more joy and delight, especially delight in Him.
Which brings me back to Isaiah. Who would have, at first glance, thought that the book of Isaiah is one we can delight in? But it is. It is the book that holds the most prophetic words about the Messiah coming and who He would be to the Israelites. And to us…
That’s the delightfully stunning part, my friends. As this book was inspired, our Papa God was even thinking of us—you and me…and our spouses. Isaiah is a book about God’s ardent love for His people and His desire and plan for our redemption and restoration to Him.
In fact, the name Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation.” That right there makes my heart go ka-thunk. To think our Heavenly Father’s plans and love for us span from the very beginning to the very end, well, that’s just a stunning picture of how great His love is. We truly are rooted and established in love—His love.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Eph. 3:16-19 (NIV)
Read those same verses in the Passion Translation:
And I pray that he would pour out over you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life, providing you with a secure foundation that grows and grows.
18-19Then, as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement, beyond academic knowledge—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! — Eph. 3:16-19 (TPT)
SUMites, this is what is blowing my mind this morning as I write this. And this is what I feel the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me right now. The entire book of Isaiah is a passionate declaration of God’s jealousy over His people and His great love for them. And it is a book that applied to the Israelites in their current times and spans all the way to us and beyond because of the promises it holds. It was the decree of the Messiah to come and a declaration of Who our Savior Jesus is today, for us.
This is the clarity the Holy Spirit has brought to my heart for two weeks now to understand how I can—we can—apply and pray these Scriptures over ourselves and especially over our spouses. This is the clarity He brought as He showed me Isaiah 12 and placed a knowledge and understanding in my spirit of how to pray it for my husband. And this is the clarity I feel He is telling me to share with you. I’m excited to share it with you, my SUM family.
In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” — Isaiah 12:1-6 (NIV)
This is how the Holy Spirit led me to pray/declare it:
On the day of your salvation, Michael, you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although your pleasure could not rest upon me,
You turned away your displeasure to pursue and love me.
I declare God is my salvation!
I will trust Him and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord Himself, is my strength and defense;
He has become my salvation.”
And on that day, Michael will say:
“I give praise to the Lord and proclaim His name;
I will make it known among the nations what He has done for me,
and proclaim that His name is exalted.
I sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things in me;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people!
For great is the Holy One of Israel, the Almighty God, among us!
In the saving name of Jesus, amen!
My friends, I encourage you to not only do this with Isaiah 12, but with any piece of Scripture that seems to grab you, because, I promise you, that is the Holy Spirit revealing something to you. Ask Him what it is, speak it out, mediated on it, journal it, declare it and rest in it until He tells you to move on.
And never forgot the promise of Jeremiah 1:12, that God watches over His Word to perform it. Speak it, then trust Him for the time and place for it’s fulfillment. He is faithful to His Word. SUMites, if you've prayed this for your spouse, put his or name in your comment with an amen. I want to pray in agreement with you.
I love you, my friends, and I pray that the revelation of God’s Word is astounding in your heart, your life, your marriage and to those around you. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
My friends, we are already on day three of our prayer and fasting. Please share what God is showing and/or telling you. Your testimony may be the very piece another SUMite needs to help her or him connect the dots of what God is revealing. I’m finding myself in that place again where God is connecting dots again and revealing answers to prayers. I’m so very encouraged especially for my children and hope to share more soon on what’s happening.
Plus, our first night of fasting from television turned out to be such a precious time for my hubby and I. We played games and didn’t miss watching it at all. I am amazed by that, my friends. I know the Holy Spirit gave me grace for that. Plus I had time to spend in His presence later in the evening too. So so good…
And I will say I’m finally seeing breakthrough in a place I’ve been praying over for more than two years now. This and answers to prayers I received on Sunday are like cool, fresh water to my thirsty spirit. Boy howdie, my spirit was thirstier than I realized. How about you?
My friends, let’s continue to press in and contend for what God is giving us this week. Even if you aren’t seeing anything shift yet, don’t despair and don’t compare. Every breakthrough and promise from God is unique and comes in His packaging, not our expectations. Remember chapters two and three…pray, believe…
Read chapters seven through nine in Winning Them With Prayer. Lynn’s prayer using 1 Cor. 7:14 is so powerful! Our power-passage! This is our place of authority and brings power to our prayers. Remember that your prayers for your spouse sanctify them, which according to the Greek translation of that word means that God has laid a claim upon them to be set apart for Him. That is what your prayers do for spouse and loved ones, SUMites!
And now I want to leave you with a verse that has become HUGE in my life. Several weeks ago one of our directors at the healing rooms I work at gave me this verse with the instructions, “God wants you to meditate on it.”
It’s a powerful verse, my friends. That same day God told me what He wanted me to know regarding it and just yesterday, He confirmed it in a very unexpected way. Now I would like you to meditate upon it, SUMites.
It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. — Isaiah 10:27
I love you, SUMites! I pray your week is filled with new revelations and promises from the Lord. I pray your fasting becomes joyful and a delight as you press closer to God. I pray that this week sets the stage for an entire year of breakthroughs for you, your family and this entire community.
And Lord, I pray that very SUMite would be freshly anointed in Your holy oil. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, amen!
Love and hugs!
SUMites, today’s the big day. As you read this, hubby and I are moving into our new home. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are. I can’t wait to pray over the Scriptures you sent as I sit in my “war room,” knowing those same words that are written on the interior beams of the house. Yes, I will have a small room that I can call my “war room,” my friends, where I can meet with God and pin my prayer concerns to a big bulletin board I can’t wait to design. Have any ideas on that? Send them to me or leave them in the comments.
I don’t fully understand what God is doing in this symbolic representation our home and our SUM family. I can only tell you that He has some crazy big kingdom purposes for this house. Already I can see people in our home for Bible study and ministry, and many coming to Christ in those times. I can see people being baptized in our swimming pool(a standard feature here in Florida) and people in our neighborhood being drawn to this home that holds the presence of the Holy Spirit, because deep in their soul they know something’s missing and they want—need—that hope.
But you know what absolutely brings me to tears of joy? I believe this is what God is doing in all of us and all our homes. I can’t tell you how I know that, I just do. I firmly believe God’s word to me about this latter house being greater than the former is symbolic of what God is doing in the “House of S.U.M. too.”
“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
And that is a word I want to release over each of you today.
Abba Father, thank You for the promise of Your Word. We pray in agreement that the latter glory of the House of S.U.M. and every SUMite’s home will be greater than the former. We dedicate this ministry and our homes to You for Your kingdom purposes and for Your glory alone. Lord, we ask that the heavens would open even wider over this church without walls and each of our homes to pour out more of Your presence, provision and blessings so that the world will take notice—our spouses, our children, our families and friends, and even our neighbors. And fill our homes with peace, Lord! Great peace! In the name of Jesus, amen!
SUMites, I have more hope to share with you next week. So much more! I’m praying already that it will knock your socks off. I believe it’s the next part of “moving day” and some pretty amazing things God is going to be doing.
Here are a few of the Scriptures written on the beams. :-)
My 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!
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:
I 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.
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!
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.
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:
Many things can actually block prayer. Block Our Own Prayers? That’s one way our prayers become blocked. And there are several others.
Deliberate, willful and habitual sin creates a disconnect in our prayer life. In the Word, rebellion is as bad as witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). There is a time in our faith walk we come to a place to ask the Lord, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalms 139:24
Our love for our God leads us to ask this question just as David asked. We don’t ask out of guilt or condemnation. We ask because we want to know if there is anything that is keeping us from experiencing “more” of the Kingdom.
When I’m walking in faith, the Lord will often point out issues that are stealing parts of my soul away from righteousness. The Holy Spirit will clinch my heart over things in the moment. Certain television shows that used to be okay to watch. Certain friendships or relationships. There are a multitude of things the Holy Spirit is always cautioning us to listen and turn away. These moments are often a split second of decision. We can say quickly to ourselves, “Naw, it’s not that big of a deal.” Or, “I can handle this. It’s not scary or too violent or over sexed or against Biblical values.”
These moments happen every, single day. We can either follow the Holy Spirit or our flesh. When we choose the Spirit over and over, God then releases you into a higher level of love, authority and power and your prayers are moved upon with angelic forces.
My intention is not to throw you into condemnation (Romans 8:1) with this post. God’s mercy and faithful forgiveness covers our every failure. We need only ask. I’m convinced the Lord is cheering for us. He looks upon our lives and speaks with the love of a Father, “Baby girl (My son), I know how very difficult it is. I knew before I sent you to earth that you would face enormous difficulties and pain. I knew you would screw up your life. I KNOW it’s very, very hard down there. I just want you to do the best you can and to learn to love me and others. It will all be okay. Just do your best.”
My friends, rest in His love. If He’s asking you to give something up, it’s because it’s to make room in your life for more of His love and goodness, His gifts and promises. Let Him reign!!!!!!!
I love you. Lynn
Essential components of effective prayer:
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!
Are 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*.)
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:
If you don’t read any other post on prayer in this series, PLEASE READ THIS ONE.
My 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:
(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.)
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.
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…
Okay, 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.
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.
Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn
Of 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?
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.
Let me leave today’s post by reiterating three essential components of effective prayer.
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
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.
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!
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:
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.
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
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!