Has He Answered?

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I have a card in my Bible with a list of prayers from 2011.  I came across it today.  Many prayers were answered and checked off. One of the prayers not checked off was a prayer for my church.

Some of the prayers were…

That we would buy a house (check)

That Nic’s adoption would go through (check)

My prayer for my church was that it would be “healed, delivered, become a place of Kingdom and GROW!”

Something in me at that time knew that our church wasn’t healthy…that think inside me would be the Holy Spirit.  I was praying for Spiritual health, I was praying for Kingdom, I was praying for growth (good prayers).

That church pretty much dissolved.  We are in a different church now.  We are in a healthy church, that is place of Kingdom and that is GROWING!

Sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is to move us!  

I count our current church as an answer to a prayer I prayed five years ago.

Think about some of the prayers you have prayed.  Has God answered and you just haven’t realized it yet?

I would love to hear from y’all about different ways God has answered your prayers.

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Pray Big

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Growing up, the denomination we were members of frowned on tattoos…it wasn’t as common back in the day. A while back, I met a believer who has some tattoos…several…alot (as we southerners would say) and was ashamed of some; deeply ashamed of some of them. This past week, God brought to mind Brother Bobby (I cannot remember his last name but everyone was “brother” or “sister”) who had a tattoo from his younger, wild military days (I think he was in Vietnam). He was ashamed of it after his incredible conversion…he was a hippy and when he got saved it was on. One day he gave a testimony. If I remember correctly the tattoo was on his forearm. He took off his jacket (men still wore suits to church back then), rolled up his sleeve and showed our church. He prayed, giving his shame and the tattoo over to God and asked God to remove it…it faded away. When he showed it to us, it was no longer readable and barely discernible. No doctors or chemicals, God gave him new skin. In my mind, God was doing something He wants to do for everyone, He removed shame in a very physical way. Pray something unimaginable today! for our God can do exceedingly, abundantly greater than anything you can ask or even imagine! Imagine the biggest prayer…God can and will “one up you”. Pray BiG!

Who Surrounds You?

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I am trying something “high tech” here. Lance Wallnau posted this picture along with a good word.

Lance Wallnua post

Lance Wallnua post

Click the link at the top of the page to read his post.  It is a Word.

Even without Lance Wallnua’s words, the picture itself stirred me.  If a lion runs around with common house cats for long enough, she might forget that she’s a lion.  When you lose sight of your identity all kinds of crazy begins to happen…mostly, depression.  How do you overcome…go hang out with some lions.  Lions are a rowdy bunch.

I’m not roaring because I’m a woman…I’m roaring because I’m a lion.  I’m going to find some lions who are tired of hanging with alleycats and we are going to get our roar on.  And from where I’m standing that means I’m getting back to the heart of prayer.  If you want to pray, call me or text me or email me.

Praying Hard Prayers

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Are you willing to pray for those who have hurt you?  Are you willing to pray for those who have spitefully used you?

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:27-29

Most people will pray for their enemies…those prayers may sound something like, “God, You see what they did to me and You should do something.” Those aren’t really difficult prayers to pray.  “God, please help me to forgive them” might be a little more difficult.

In my experience the hardest prayers to prayers to pray aren’t for “enemies” at all.  The hardest prayers to pray are the honest prayers for the people we love.  Or the truly honest prayer for someone who you loved who spitefully used you.

The Hubs and I had a conversation about a couple that we really loved but who have been to hell and back all in the name of serving Jesus.  It is so apparent that they are wounded.  It is sad.  It is effecting every relationship in their lives.  They have become very isolated because they keep everyone at a distance. Anyone who has approached them about their woundedness or the fruit that they have been producing (fruit that comes out of woundedness is…well, it’s bitter fruit that breeds bitterness and woundedness.  Wounded people wound people.) is immediately cut off.  No one is allowed to speak into their lives.  These are wonderfully talented, gifted people who have a deep calling on their lives.  Hear me here…these are NOT people who hate God.  They are not out there selling drugs or molesting children….these are people who are trying their hardest to build the Kingdom of God in their own way and their knowledge. They love Jesus but they have been hurt and they have hurt others.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

This passage in the Message version says it like this:

 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

Here’s the thing…the most fervent prayers come from a place of deep love.   The people who are praying for them; the people who deeply love them will not acknowledge that they are wounded or “not perfect”.  With good reason, because anyone that suggest they are wounded are immediately rejected and cut out of their lives.  A cycle has been established.  Those people who have recognize that there is a problem are cut off, rejected, gossiped about and end up wounded thus spinning them into a place of seeking their own healing.  The people who love them and are praying for them are blind to the need for healing.  No one is praying “hard prayers” for them.

Sometimes a hard prayer is as simple as, “God, please bring them into alignment with You and Your Kingdom.”  A healthy leader; a whole leader welcomes a prayer like that because they want to be aligned with God.  All a wounded person hears is, “You are saying I am not aligned with God.”.  The truth is, it is very easy to veer off from God…if you get off track by even a millimeter or a fraction of a millimeter, you are off.  Off is off.

As I thought about it, I am willing to pray “hard prayers” for them but I am not sure how fervent my prayers are for them.  One thing I know for sure is, if I submit (give) myself to God, He will put the words in my mouth to pray for them.  Have I been willing to pray for people who considered me a “throw away” person…when the Holy Spirit is involved, “Yes”; a resounding “Yes”.   Holy Spirit inspired prayers are the most powerful prayers because those are the prayer that God is prepared to answer quickly.

When I consider this situation, I believe that these dear people shouldn’t be where they are today.  I am not talking about geography.   They have become isolated.  When God created the whole world the only thing He said wasn’t “good” was man being alone.  From the passage in James we find that our healing comes through confession; shining a light on the sin in our lives, not to shame us but rather so He can come in and heal us and make us whole.  When sin (darkness) is illuminated is has no where to hide and then it can be dealt with.

I love that God doesn’t write people off!  Even when people hurt you or reject you…don’t write them off.  Pray some hard prayers for them.  Pray for their healing.  Pray for their wholeness.  Because healing and wholeness are God’s will for all of His people.

What if we all prayed a hard prayer for someone who has hurt us?  Imagine if healing began to flow through our churches and even our nation?  Imagine a church of people who are whole and flowing in their gifts and callings….I want to be a part of that church…I want my church to be that whole! (Our church is a very healthy church but there is always room for more healing.)

Pray a hard prayer this week. Pray for someone who wrote you off.  Pray for someone who has hurt you.  Ask God what His heart is for them and pray His heart, even if it is a hard prayer to pray.  And pray for someone you love this week.  Ask God to help you pray the hard prayer for them too…ask Him to show you what hard prayer you can pray for them even if it means you have to take them off of the pedestal you have put them on.  Honoring people is good; worshiping people is never okay.

God Bless you all.  Have a great week.

C.

One Good Prayer

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Over a week ago, I wrote a rather profound (I thought) blog and the system ate it.  After entering it all in, I lost it some how.  At the time, I thought maybe I would use it for a an upcoming message this month but I have felt God leading me in another direction with that.  So I am going to try again today because today in my quiet time, I found myself once again meditating upon and praying this particular prayer.

About six weeks ago, the Boy turned four.  Has anyone had a four year old boy?  Did he break you?  I’m pretty sure these kids might break me one day.  I actually, thought it might happen a few weeks ago but I made it home in time for everyone to take a nap.  It was a combination of poop, talking back,  general loudness (everywhere we go) and the sound of my own voice saying the same thing over and over (usually but not limited to “please, use your inside voice”).   I think at times they decide they are going to be disobedient and they repeatedly do the exact opposite of what they have been told or taught.  It’s frustrating.

I began teaching the boy this prayer…I feel strongly that this was Divinely given to me.

Lord, please give me ears to hear, a mind to understand and a heart to obey, my mom and dad and you, Jesus.

Simple but powerful.  Although things may have been improving, we were still having issues.  Some people might be offended by this thought and I will keep this clean…sometime little boys and maybe little girls too (but I think girls are more outright defiant than boys) act like dumb donkeys (see cleaned up version).  They stand their with their little mouths open as if you are speaking Japanese to them.  Or they start doing something that they know they are not allowed to do just because someone new walked into your house or they walked into someone else’s house.

Did I tell y’all about the time I was at Chic-fil-a and he started climbing over the booths and tables?  I asked him, “Do we climb on furniture at home?” He said, “No, ma’am” and then I asked him, “Do we climb on the furniture at Chic-fil-a?” and He said, “Yes, ma’am”.  Then I was all like, “No, no, no, no,  we don’t.  We don’t climb on furniture anywhere”….yet still, I have to remind him every time we go somewhere new not to climb on the furniture.  Bill Cosby was right, it’s like they have some kind of brain damage (See Bill Cosby; Himself).

In any case while attending the Living Proof (Beth Moore) conference, I was praying about training this child up in the right way; the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6).  God is faithful to equip us, especially when we ask Him.  He began to speak to me about getting the Word into the Boy.  We have had major issues with lying.  The way He showed it to me was not teaching him, “You should not lie” (which of course he will learn the 10 commandments eventually) but rather teach him “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).   In other words, teach him what he should  do…and don’t focus on what not to do.  Our first scripture is “Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Fear the Lord and flee from evil”. (Proverbs 3:7)  The idea here is to get in his little heart to run away from evil.

At the conference, I felt God speaking to me about this and some other things in my life.   I have issues.  Who doesn’t?  You are lying…please repeat after me, “I shall know the Truth and the truth shall make me free”.  At some point,  I had to go to the bathroom.  Any of y’all ever headed to the bathroom at a women’s conference?  They had even turned the men’s rooms into ladies’ rooms for the event, yet still there was a line.  I did eventually make in to a stall.  As I was getting ready to exit, I felt what I can describe only as a wave of the Holy Spirit….yes, right there in the bathroom.  It was so strong that I almost fell to my knees (but even clean looking bathrooms aren’t clean enough to kneel in…I suppose if an angel of the Lord had appeared it would have been clean enough.  And I felt God say to me, “You need to pray that prayer for yourself.”

Yes, I do.  I need ears to hear Him, a mind to understand Him and a heart to obey Him.  As Graham Cook said once,  Pray to be willing.  Ask God, “God, help me to be willing to be willing”.  Sometimes we are spiritually four years old.  We are walking around thinking we know so much and making decisions based on what we “know”  (being wise in our own eyes) and then we wonder why things turn out how they do.  One of our next verses to learn will be, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and shall direct your paths” (ironically, right before the scripture about being “wise in your own eyes” Proverbs 3:6).

If you have one prayer today, ask God to “give you ears to hear, a mind to understand and a heart to obey Him”.  It will serve you well.   And as the Hubs says, “And read your Bible and Witness” (It’s a good day if you pray, read your Bible and witness).

Don’t Hold Your Peace

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This was originally posted on one of my other blogs www.ezekielregiment.wordpress.com 

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
      They shall never hold their peace day or night.
      You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, 
And give Him no rest till He establishes
      And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.   – Isaiah 62:6-7

Today as I read in Isaiah, I began to pray, “God, help me not to hold my peace, day or night until You do all you have promised”.  

This passage applies to Jerusalem but there is a deeper principle at work.  We have the option to believe God’s promises for our lives and continually remind Him of them. 

Bishop Kenneth Phillips (www.promiselandchurch.net), preached (he is one of those rare ”preachers” out there…there is no doubt you have been to church) a message about Cornelius out of Acts chapter 10.  An angel appeared to Cornelius and said, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God…”  It was a beautiful message about how our prayers stack one on top on of another until they reach the heavens and no matter where God looks, He is reminded of you and your prayers. 

As I read this morning, I thought of the many promises God has for my life.  Paul told Timothy in I Timothy 1:18 to ”wage a good warfare” with the prophecies that had been spoken over him.  God has promised us some very big things.  His word says that I shall be called a tree of righteousness and a repairer of the breach.  Personally, God has promised me some beautiful things.  I shall not hold my peace day or night until He has accomplished them.

Don’t hold your peace.  You weren’t created to be passive.  You are called to be a watchman on some wall.   You may be called to be a watchman for your family or for your church.  There is a wall somewhere waiting for you.   Get on that wall.  Cry hard; cry loud.  Do NOT hold your peace!  Not even in the night…

You were created for something big.  It’s worth the sacrifice.  Do not be satisfied with status quo.  Do not be satisfied with everyone saying you are doing great.  Do not be satisfied with ordinary.  

Someone out there needs to hear this (this is for YOU):   GET BACK ON THAT WALL!    CRY HARD!  CRY  LOUD!  DO NOT HOLD YOUR PEACE!  You are close; so close.  Dig in.  No Retreat, No surrender, No regret.