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we don’t pray

Hello blog readers.. I didn’t intend to write what I’m about to write.. Honestly, I never thought about it in this way before today…

This evening I prayed for things regarding our nation, and world. For the past few months, I’ve committed to praying more – -for others, for myself, for strangers, for whoever/whatever God places on my heart. As I prayed tonight, the Holy Spirit interceded, and totally grieved my spirit.

In the middle of my prayer, my heart became grieved — as if it were broken. I sobbed and wept and asked God to forgive us. We have turned away from Him- and it hurts His heart. I wrote down some things that the Holy Spirit interceded on behalf of:

We don’t pray. We only pray when we want something. We only pray for people we know, and not for people we don’t know. We only pray for government leaders when we fear how it might affect us. We don’t consult God, and ask Him for His wisdom. We consult ourselves. We rely on ourselves, and not God. We rely on our own counsel. We rely on our money. We rely on our relationships. We rely on our image to sustain us. We have forgotten about the covenant God made with us. A covenant is an agreement. He promised to make a people for Himself, and He has kept His word. You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure. He is faithful to His covenant. We are unfaithful. We have given our hearts to things of the world. We cry out to Him only when we need Him. We blame Him for our problems. We mistreat Him. We don’t invest in relationship with Him. He deserves better than we offer Him. We don’t know Him like we could.

He’s the same God who sent His only Son to die for us.  He’s the same God who called Abraham His friend. He’s the same God who brought life from the dead womb of Sarah. He’s the same God who Moses relied on for miracles. He’s the same miracle-working God who David served. He’s the same God who defeats giants. He’s the same God who fights our battles – and gives us victory. He is the same now as He was before He laid the foundation of the earth.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

We are Gomer – the wife of Hosea, to Him. We prostitute our hearts before Him. We turn away from Him every chance we get. We cheat on Him with other gods, with things of the world.. We idolize people! We idolize money, and possessions. We covet the things that others possess. We put many things before Him. And then, we ask Him to help us. We don’t live for Him, but we look for His blessing. We ignore Him — until we need Him for something.

Imagine how we hurt the heart of God. Jesus endured the cross for us, and we still pain Him. We still pierce Him. We don’t even acknowledge God. We live our lives for us, not Him.  Father forgive us. Please Father, forgive us.

Holy Spirit, give us no more than we can bear – but burden our hearts so that we become a prayerful people. Do whatever needs to be done Father, to make us pray. We need revival Father. We need this. I want this for us, and for YOU. I want you to be loved by your people. I want Your heart to be filled with love from your people. ALL of your people — not one be left out. You are Love. All I have is my heart, and I give it to you. We are sinners who have fallen short. Take our hearts, and clean them up. Turn us into a people who pray.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 chronicles 7:14

If you said it, I believe it. I believe 2 chronicles 7:14. Turn us into a people who prays with our families, and in private, and in public. You cannot lie, and if you could, you wouldn’t — because you are good and righteous.

Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

My Goodness!

Hello blog readers. I’d like to take some time to praise God for His goodness, and share what I’ve learned.

I spoke my heart to God, and He heard me. I thank Him for his ear, and His heart for me. He heard a sinner’s prayer. He heard me before I asked, and worked on my behalf. Who can do that, but God? What an awesome Father.

Isaiah 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

I am experiencing the answered prayers today that were petitioned years ago…some were even forgotten. I spoke my heart to God, and He remembered.

Psalm 105:8-9 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.

What I’ve learned is this: The answer to every prayer you or I could ever make is Jesus.

 

Pray for a relationship with Him. He will hear, and remember. He will answer you because He loves you.

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

I thank my Savior for the salvation of my soul. He is my superhero. I thank the Lord for our growing relationship. I thank Him for choosing not to remember my sins. I thank Him for filling voids in my heart. I thank Him for transforming me, and giving me a new identity in Him. He changed my attitude. He gave me a new spirit, and a heart that loves to worship Him.

Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

He gave me His name, and gave me permission to use it to fight spiritual battles. Hallelujah. His name is above all names — everything on earth and heaven must bow to His name — and He loved me enough to give me permission to use it. Who else can give us that kind of authority in their name? My Goodness! There is nothing He hasn’t provided for us!

Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

What I’ve learned is this: Anything I set to accomplish in my own ability and strength will fail.

I can’t forgive apart from Him. My spirit can’t be strengthened apart from Him.  I can’t be set free from the sins that had me bound apart from Him. He is an awesome wonder-working God.

I can’t pray for my enemies apart from Him. I can’t be humble apart from Him. I can’t access my rightful heavenly inheritance while I’m on earth apart from Him. I can’t be anointed apart from Him. I can’t be holy apart from Him. I can’t make wise decisions apart from Him.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Pray for a relationship with Him. He will hear, and remember. He will answer you because He loves you.

Time doesn’t heal all things. Jesus heals all things in time. A broken heart would never mend if there wasn’t a God who loves you. The enemy would never allow it to heal because his mission is to destroy you. It’s God alone who mends broken hearts.

Psalm 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

psalm 34-17-18

 

You want effective change?

Hello blog readers. I had a conversation tonight after prayer service at my church that I want to share. I believe it will bless someone.

One of my sister’s in Christ asked me for advice in how to effectively share the gospel to a particular person. The person she wants to share with is a co-worker, and a Jehovah’s Witness. The reason she asked me for advice is because I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness until my teenage years. Although I stopped going to the Kingdom Hall, I carried many of the beliefs that I was taught with me for the majority of my life. Ultimately, the only One who can undo and correct a lifetime of teaching is the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

In my earlier years, I wouldn’t have believed that I had a heart of stone. Because of what I was taught, I rejected the gospel of Christ dying, and rising up to purchase a place in heaven for me. My heart was stone, and I was unaware. I’m in awe of what God did to my heart. He kept His word.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

You want effective change? Never underestimate the power of prayer. It’s the most powerful tool we have as believers.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Pray for others to come to know Christ in an intimate way. Pray for them to experience the goodness of having a relationship with God. Prayer isn’t just about yourself. God wants us to pray for others.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

If you don’t know how to have an intimate relationship with God, I strongly encourage you to cultivate a prayer life. The more you pray, the more He will become real to you. God loves when we come to Him in prayer just to talk. He loves when we come to Him in prayer to give Him honor and praise. God expects us to come to Him in prayer when we need things, because He is a Provider and a loving Father.  And, He loves when we pray for others to come to know Him. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.

If there are family members or friends in your life that you want to know Christ, and they aren’t seemingly interested — your job is to pray for them.  Love them, and trust God to open hearts in His timing.

Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

TIMING

You aren’t without power

Hello blog readers! Today, I’d like to share a few things in reference to the growing number of terror attacks happening around the world. I won’t go into detail about the attacks, because there are many. But, I do want to encourage you. You aren’t without power.

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

Notice the scripture speaks directly to Christians…not terrorists. “If my people, who are called by my name…” That’s us.

This week in Sunday school, we had an open discussion on Acts chapter 9. It tells the story of Saul — one of the most feared persecutors of Christians of his time– on his way to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-2 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Saul had every intention of hurting followers of Christ that day. He was literally hunting them…breathing murderous threats! Right in the middle of his wicked intentions, something very powerful happens. He has an encounter with Jesus.

Acts 3:3-5  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

Jesus did not ask “Why do you persecute my followers?”… He asked, “why do you persecute me?” 

It’s important to know that the church is the body of Christ — and Christ is the head of the body. Anyone who attacks the body of Christ, is also attacking Christ.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Saul was very passionate about persecuting Christians . He believed he was doing the right thing. He was no different than ISIS. He was a terrorist. After his encounter with Jesus, Saul’s entire life changed. He was struck blind for days, and immediately after the scales fell from his eyes, he began preaching the gospel. He became Paul. It was such a dramatic, sudden change that Christians were unsure if they could trust him.

In time, Paul grew and was filled with Holy Spirit.  It’s important that I reference those verses to remind you of the power of the Holy Spirit. Although Saul had a wicked heart, God took his heart back. Paul eventually wrote most of the New Testament! He’s one of my personal favorite writers of the bible. God used him to demonstrate the power in changing ONE terrorist! Imagine what he can do by changing two, or three, dozens, or hundreds..

I encourage you to pray for God to take back the hearts of those who persecute Christ. We have the power to intercede!

The heart is a very powerful thing. The bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

(NLV) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

(ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Most of the terrorists who persecute Christians believe in their heart — like Saul — that they are doing the right thing, according to what they’ve been taught. If we, as believers give the Holy Spirit an invitation to take back the hearts of terrorists, we open the door for Him to do a mighty work. Pray for the scales to fall from their eyes, and that Jesus reveals himself to them. Remember how he changed a cold-hearted killer named Saul..and used Him for God’s glory. God was able to change Saul, and use him in a very powerful way after he had a real encounter with the very one he was persecuting. How great is our God!

The world is in need of prayer. We have the power to intercede on its behalf. God’s word stands forever, and He made a promise:

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

James 5.16

 

Your Prayer Isn’t Forgotten

Hello blog readers! Have you ever prayed a prayer, and felt like God never answered it?

If the answer is yes, I believe this article will help you understand why you haven’t seen your prayer come to pass.

If you follow this blog, you know that I recently started a garden. I never thought twice about gardening. I woke up one day, and had a strong desire to have a garden. I knew God placed the desire in me, and I’m so thankful. I get so much joy from it. I’m growing herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees at the moment. (lots of fruit trees from seed)

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook from Victoria Osteen about prayer.

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After I read her post, I was reminded again why God wants me to have a garden. By giving me a garden, He’s given me a visual that can strengthen my faith spiritually.

I can physically see the progress of a seed growing roots, to sprouting a stem, to growing leaves. It takes time! My trees are only a month old, and are nowhere near bearing fruit. But because I can physically see them growing, I know fruit is on the way!

God wants me to have that kind of assurance about the spiritual seeds I’ve planted!

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

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Watching trees grow from seed helps me understand that just because I haven’t seen a certain prayer answered, that doesn’t mean it will be unanswered or forgotten. Fruit trees take years before they bear fruit! That doesn’t mean it will take God years to answer every prayer. But I have to be willing to wait on Him… no matter how long it takes.

Water your spiritual seeds (prayers) with faith..and God will make them grow in His perfect timing.

If there’s something you’ve been waiting on God for, never lose faith in Him.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

I encouraged someone recently to plant a lemon seed. You can do the same thing. Water it, nurture it, and watch it grow over time. It will help you understand that although you may want lemons now, it takes time for a fruit-bearing tree to mature. It doesn’t go from seed to fruit overnight. And, when you think of the prayers you’ve prayed, look at the physical tree that you planted and remind yourself that a harvest takes time.  As Victoria posted, be patient and you will inherit God’s promise!

Hebrews 6:11-12 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

 

lemon tree

(I suggest growing lemon trees because they grow easily in the part of the U.S. where I live. You can plant whatever tree grows well in your area)

psalm 116 2

 

PS –  I learned a few things from Victoria Osteen’s post, including the importance of not being ashamed or afraid to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit reminded me of things, and revealed things to me about my own spiritual journey through her post!

As Christians, we are the body of Christ, which means we need one another to be fully functioning. And, we need each other for encouragement. I’m thankful for those who openly share the word of God. It’s refreshing to see light in a world full of darkness.  We have to do our part. How can we expect God to convict the hearts of the lost if they never hear His Word? Ministry is something every child of God has been instructed to do.

I pray this blog blesses you, and encourages you to share the good news with someone…anyone!

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

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