Where are we going today, Lord

Crowded people on a bus

Life is a challenge.  I think everyone would agree.  The times we live in are ever-changing.  There are things happening in the world that sometimes shock and amaze me.  I read the news via electronic means (no more newspapers) and find something new or outrageous every time I log in.  I don’t necessarily think that is weird.  It’s just the time of the season. The one thing that fascinates me the most is how we get from point A to point B.

Movement and travel from place to place has gotten pretty easy nowadays.  And it seems everyone is in a hurry.  Got to go, now!  I don’t have time to talk to you.  I got to go!  I’ll meet with you later and we can talk.  Ask my assistant to make an appointment for you.  I’m sorry, but that time won’t work.  Can you make it tomorrow?  I’ll have more time.  I have a meeting to attend and I can’t reschedule.  Life goes on and on and on and on.  Where is there time to stop and take a breath?  Should there be times of rest?  Maybe there isn’t time to rest.  Is that normal?  Is that the standard?  I hope not.

I find choosing not to sleep at night.  Why?  It’s not because I have insomnia or a sleep disorder.  I do wear a C-PAP mask.  It’s very attractive.  Just ask my wife.  Seriously, my time to take a breath at the end of the day is when everyone else is sleeping.  Now you might say that this sounds ridiculous.  If it’s the only time I have to desensitize myself from the world, why not just put on the mask, settle down, close my eyes, and go to  sleep.  It’s because this is my time to spend talking to  God.  Don’t read into this.  I talk to God all day.  He is on my mind all day.  I talk to Him while I’m walking, driving, sitting at a table.  I talk to Him while watching television.  We just talk.  I even at one point had an old chair on my front porch and that’s where I would go to chat with God.  The chair finally broke and had to be sent to  the trash, but I think you get my point.

So why do I say that at the end of the day I spend time with God and not sleep.  Because as a prayer intercessor, I feel His presence over me.  In the darkness of the room, I see His light.  I feel His touch.  I hear His voice.  That’s my life as an intercessor.  It may not be something that you would do, but this is my life.  I do this every night.  Without fail, I lay in bed and begin to get with God.  It’s funny.  Just ask some of my friends who get a text message from me after midnight asking them if they are ok.  That’s because I felt the Lord tell me to pray for them.  It’s  amazing how God works and my friends tell me that they were really struggling with something and wanted someone to just listen to them.  That time is the most precious to me.

Recently, I have been feeling God leading me into a deeper understanding of intercession and the deep levels of praying and travailing before God.  I even sense a feeling that God is leading me into a greater understanding of His Throne Room where I can boldly come to Him in my times of need. (Hebrews 14:6)

So you may ask, “What is intercession?”  Well, briefly it’s a relational time spent in prayer with God seeking His response to prayer for another person.  Yes, it’s relational.  Prayer is worship and is completely relational.  Jesus demonstrated this clearly in John Chapter 17.  This is where Jesus prays at Gethsemane.  Jesus prays for Himself, but also prays for His disciples and for all believers.  He intercedes.  He fully knew what was ahead of Him.  He knew of the torment and torture He would face.  He knew that the Cross awaited Him.  He knew, yet He set aside His needs to intercede for others.  That my friend, is intercession at its deepest level.

So that’s what I’m hearing from the Lord.  God gave me a dream the other night of me on a bus.  The bus would stop and go and stop and go.  Over and over again.  The bus was filled with people of the world from all different backgrounds.  They were waiting to get off the bus at their stop.  Finally, God told me to get off the bus.  Look for the sign with your name on it.  When you find the sign, you’ll find me.  So I got off the bus and the Lord said to me, “Follow me.”

Friends, my life calling is to pray.  Do I get tired of carrying loads and circumstances of others so that I can effectually pray?  Sure I do.  But God says this.  “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)  I’ve decided to take the narrow road into deeper levels of prayer with God.  I don’t know what I will encounter.  I don’t know what the enemy will do to try to  stop me.  I only know I must go.  I must go into the deep, deep, realm of prayer.  Isaiah said this,  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)  I am crying out to God the same answer.  Send me.  

If you have a calling for the ministry of prayer, I beseech you friend to go deeper.  Go to where it’s only you and God.  Hear His voice and move in obedience.  I love and appreciate all of  you who have taken the time to read this.  God bless you!

Don’t believe me. Believe God.

It’s not your time

warehouse

He lay on the cold, concrete floor on what was simply a small mat.  He was brutally and savagely beaten.  He bled and his body ached and he knew his time alive would be short.  Others there simply walked by as if they could not even see him.  He remembers the pain and the blood that was running from him.  He looked at the light and closed his eyes. He knew it was the end.

He remembers hearing their voices and feeling their touches.  They were patting him on the back and embracing his neck.  He heard them say, “He’s here!  Welcome!”  Their voices he remembered and recognized.  They sounded so happy.  He turned around to see who they were.  He saw no one.

A great light and cloud shown around him yet in the cloud there was no form.  Within the cloud there appeared a great hand, reaching towards him.  He tried to grasp the hand but could not.  It was then he heard the voice.  The voice of the One who was in the cloud.  He said, “It is not yet your time.”  The statement shocked him.  The others he heard were now gone.  There were no longer any touches, embraces, or the welcoming sounds of their voices.

He turned and found himself again in the cold warehouse, on the cold floor, lying on the small mat.  There was no one around.  This time he could move.  There was no pain and no  blood.  He was alive.  He stood up and walked away.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42 NKJV)

Don’t believe me. Believe  God!

 

 

Your Prayer Room

Thank you Diann for allowing me to share this.

There’s a hush in Your presence
There’s an answer to be found
In the stillness of my prayer room
I don’t hear a single sound

Though the winds blow all around me
And the seas crash to the shore
All the noise from the outside
Doesn’t phase me anymore

Cause I’m locked inside my prayer room
Where the chaos can’t come in
And there my Jesus gives my faith a lift
To trust Him once again

For I know that He is listening
To every prayer that I have prayed
Although I cannot hear His voice
In my heart, He has His way

So I’ll rise up from my prayer room
Let Him lead and be my guide
And we’ll face whatever this day brings
Hand in hand and side by side!

Experiencing the Presence of God

God Hears Our Prayers

O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come – Psalm 65:2 NKJV

Oh what a promise from God. That God is a hearer of our prayers. But many of us struggle within our own insecurities that God couldn’t possibly hear and answer “my” prayer. So instead of bringing our prayers to God with confidence, we’re covered in fear and doubt and unbelief. “How could God even care to answer my prayers? He knows me and sees what I am struggling with.” God does not see our prayers as the world sees the things we struggle with. God is ready to grant our petitions and God is ready to pour out His encouragement as we see the result of His answering our prayers.

Prayer embraces praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has already done, and looking forward with joy to what He has promised to do in the future. Jim Cymbala, in his book, “Breakthrough Prayer” says this, “If we really believed God’s guarantee to both hear and answer our prayer, we would pray far more than we do.”

If we can believe that prayer is an active response to the grace of God and it’s worship, than we can embrace prayer and thank God for accomplishing what we’ve prayed for in advance. That’s the question, “If we can believe?”

Belief is a hard thing to do. Just think of all of those “As Seen On TV” advertisements. How many of us have looked at the infomercial and thought it told the truth, only to find out when the products were delivered to our door, we got ripped off.

The belief we need regarding God answering prayers comes from the heart and the Holy Spirit that lives in us. The Lord wants us to be absolutely sure that “…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NKJV) Another incredible promise from God because God cannot fail to keep His word. He must answer every petition He hears.

If we let Him, the Holy Spirit will be our prayer partner. The Holy Spirit helps us in our times of weakness and insecurity because sometimes we do not know what to pray. (Romans 8:26 NKJV) We need to believe this and be open to the Holy Spirit.

God is a hearer and the One who answers prayers. His Word to us is a promise. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8-9 NKJV)

Dear Lord, thank You that You hear and answer each of our prayers. Lord, we believe, but help us with our unbelief. The things of the world are not worth believing in, but You are worthy of our belief. Forgive us Lord when we place more of our belief in the temporal things of the world. Your Word is truth and its promises are eternal. Thank You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

He saw the greater need

So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14: 10-14 NKJV)

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, though He knew of what would happen to John, in His humanness, He grieved. His friend had died. He wanted to be alone. But then something happened that changed everything. It says He saw a great multitude, and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. In the midst of the times in the land, Jesus’ grief and the sorrow of the death of a dear friend, He saw the greater need. He saw the multitude. He saw that the sheep were before Him. They, too, had great needs. Jesus, God in the flesh, set aside His personal grief, and what He was facing and ministered to those in need.

There are times in our life where we, too, face incredible stress, heart ache, and grief. It happens to all of us. We come to a place where we might think no one else has to deal with what I am facing. I’ve said that myself. But I’ve learned that when I can set aside just a little bit of the struggles I face and look to what others are facing and pray for them, I feel a release. I feel comforted in knowing that God knows what I struggle with and He is on it. And when my prayer for others opens up into an opportunity to talk with them, the release is even greater. I want to be able to see, and hear, and feel as Jesus did. With a heart of compassion that always recognizes the greater need.

Heavenly Lord, You poured out Your love to those in need because You desired for them to see their Savior in the flesh. You came to seek and to save that which was lost. As You walked this earth You always ministered with a heart filled with compassion. Help me Lord to walk with Your heart, to see with Your eyes, to hear with Your ears. To set aside our own needs to minister to those in need. May those we minister to see Your light in us. Help us Lord we pray. In Your precious Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Pray over and over and over again

And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily… (Luke 18:7-8a NKJV)

When we pray, God listens. He hears and fundamentally that means He answers our prayers. In the Scripture preceding this passage we see the widow who persistently brings her petition to the judge. So many times that the judge finally says to himself, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” (Luke 18:4-5) Praise the Lord that we do not make God weary with our prayers. God loves to hear our prayers. Yes, over and over and over again. We are persistent just like we were persistent as a child to our parents. We asked our parents until we got their attention and then asked again.  It’s the same when we are persistent with God.  We come to our Father knowing He delights in our expectant prayers. He delights that we come to Him, to have conversation with Him.  Does He hear our first prayer? Well, yes He does. And all those that follow. Even if they are the same prayer. Mark Batterson in his book, “The Circle Maker” said, “Praying hard looks like: knocking until your knuckles are raw, crying out until your voice is lost, pleading until your tears run dry. Praying hard is praying through. And if you pray through, God will come through.”

Dear Lord, help us to know that it is Your desire to answer our prayers. To come to You day and night and lay our burdens before You. We rejoice in knowing that our prayers never make You weary. Just the opposite. Our prayers reside in Your heart to answer. Help us to pray through until You come through. Hallelujah! In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

And He prayed

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:20-26 NKJV)

Jesus knew what was before Him. Every detail from His arrest to the Cross. He knew what He would suffer; all of the pain and agony. But He stopped and prayed. He prayed for “those who will believe in Me through their word”. The word of His disciples. Jesus was praying for His Church. The Church He knew would be established by His shed blood and the power of the Holy Spirit and through the words that would be given to His disciples. Jesus was praying for you and for me. Jesus prayed that “they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me”. He was praying for His Church, to be one in Christ, so the world would know the Name of Jesus. He saw the greater need.

I’m reminded that my life at one time was headed to eternal suffering and death. I’m reminded of the man whose name was Mark, who set aside what he was facing; his suffering, his cancer, his daily challenges and how he took me by the hands in his office, in the middle of a busy day and prayed for me. And two days later, I’m reminded of when I knelt before Jesus and asked Him to forgive me. The single most important day of my life when I called upon the Name of Jesus and was saved. This man lived out every day demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus and took time for me because he, too, saw the greater need.

Who will we encounter? What will we need to set aside? Will we demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus as Mark did for me? Will we see the greater need? Will we pray?

Oh dear Jesus, thank You for praying for us. You knew what You would be facing, but yet again, You set that aside and saw the greater need. You saw those whose lives would be trapped under the burden of sin and You prayed. You prayed that we too, would believe. That we would be one with You. Oh thank You Lord. May others see Jesus in me and know that You love them with an everlasting love and desire for them to call You Savior and spend eternity with You. In Your Holy Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!