We're approaching Thanksgiving! Seems time has flown! Lots to be thankful for as this year winds down, despite this crazy, chaotic world and all of its bad news!
In such turbulent times, our center and stronghold in Christ and his promises guides us and stabilizes us. The world's news is not our news. He is our victory and supply and future. He is our right now promise. His peace is to rule in our hearts! With Him as our Good Shepherd, we lack nothing! He alone is our reason to be thankful, even if all we would have on our table this Thanksgiving were a dry crust.
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.- Proverbs 17:1
His Peace is a precious gift, such a gift that it is to be chosen over a house of feasting with strife. It's time to be a peacemaker when so many are quick to offense and argument. I speak this to myself as much as to you. Should we engage in that political discussion? How should we reply to that relative who is bitter and miserable? Are we bringing peace to the discussion, to table of fellowship?
Meditate on Proverbs 17:1 and Colossians 3:15 as you approach a season of gathering with family. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts in these gatherings. Be prayed up before you go! Let others know why Christ's peace satisfies your deepest needs, and fills you in a way nothing and no one else can!
ON to some updates! It's been about a month since you last got an email or blog from me. Things have been busy; and ministry fruitful! Podcast listenership continues to grow! I traveled to Iowa and held my first in-person group session in over 2 years! What a blessing it was! Witnessed on flights going out and coming back! That's a whole blog on it's own! But know that the meditation event that I put together (Prayer Rhythms) was wonderful! God spoke and ministered deeply and sweetly to participants! I'll be holding that session for another private group first week of December! Oh how I have missed in-person ministry! (If you have interest in in-person private group sessions, please reply to this email.)
And look for an email on some online sessions upcoming for PRAYER RHYTHMS!
In addition, social media reach is still a wilderness to navigate, but since it is where so many people are "gathering", I'm believing God for breakthrough! I keep hearing whispers and promptings from the Spirit to not give up, but boy is there so much to learn! Pray for reach and breakthrough! It takes a lot of time and energy! But I believe the whispers and victory is coming!
My "every day" includes writing, recording, editing audio, creating social media images and posts, praying for and connecting with people online, learning social media, etc. The days fly by! Also every Friday, I'm still doing a live prayer broadcast with Cheryl Wells (sweet friend, ministry partner, and our Board Chair).
Have you listened to the podcast of late? Over the last many weeks, I've been recording a series on the Holy Spirit (starting with episode 399). It is still going! There is so many scriptures about His role in our faith life! Many of us need to connect with the Holy Spirit on deeper levels, acknowledging His role. He is One of the Trinity, not an it. I pray you listen to one or all of the 19 sessions so far! Here is some detail from the first handful of episodes, but know today was episode 418, so this is just a sampling! Access the podcast on any podcast app or listen from the podcast tab.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving as you rejoice in the goodness of God and the peace of Christ!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.- Galatians 5:1
Every Friday morning we broadcast LIVE in our private FB group, Peace Be Still Daily Prayer download (ask to join via FB!). We discuss a prayer topic in parallel with a scripture, and then take time to pray for people in the group. Normally I have a fairly easy time settling on the topic, but this morning I wrestled.
I woke at 4am; and didn't feel settled until about 6:45am on what to share.
Part of my wrestling was thinking about a peaceful protest I attended on Monday, wanting to learn more about the healthcare workers standing for their right to make their own choices. I wanted to hear some first-hand accounts and experiences. I only conversed with 3 medical professionals. They gave detailed information about their upset, clearly burdened not only for what they were feeling coerced to do, but for what their patients suffered after making personal choice to trust the process. They've come away disheartened, and weary; but strong in conviction that they've learned too much at this point to trust the process themselves, at least at this point. They have questions. They want to give more time to see how things look further down the road. They've faced it, worked the front lines of it. They've exposed their families and endured tremendous pressure already. Their experience should tell us something, and we should honor their choice. But instead, they are being punished.
(Did you know that Uttar Pradesh (240m people) is only 5% inoculated, yet just hit 0% death rate? Read that again. And then consider, how is that possible? I've been to India and it's not a social distance kind of place. It's also not a culture that practices regular handwashing Over 334,000 children die per year, attributable to diarrheal diseases! Think about that. That is quite the test population with a lot of odds against them for controlling virus. So why 0% death rate now? Check me on it. See how they handled it, and simply ponder why we aren't being given those options. It's what many in the medical field see and are challenging. A massive lawsuit has been filed by 10K doctors claiming "crimes against humanity" by fraud. Strong words. They've felt they have been hamstrung; unable to care for their patients and prevented from following their Hippocratic oath. It's the largest group lawsuit ever. Think about that.)
How are you responding to this so far? Do you have love and compassion; or are you feeling upset and embittered? For some of you it is helping because its based upon rational thought and you are fine with being challenged to question and explore more. But if you have upset, have you talked to a medical person who doesn't want to be coerced? Have you heard their perspective? Are you willing to honor their choice as they have honored yours?
God wants us to be at peace with one another. He does not want us consumed by fear and having harsh judgments within. We need to bring that to Him and confess our fears and upset asking for freedom He promises. If fear drives us we'll probably be upset and harsh with others. But if faith has settled us and the Spirit has transformed us, we'll be compassionate and anger won't fuel us.
Remember--------- Jesus says that the love of many will grow cold in last days. There will be a spirit of lawlessness behind this work. It's sad, but it seems like we are in building up to ice cold hearts pretty rapidly.
So just check and see. Are you judging those on the "other side" or are you compassionate and giving people freedom to explore and make decisions? Do you make decisions from always believing what you are told? Are you asking God to show you what is true? He is Wonderful Counselor. He promises to give us wisdom by faith, James 1:2-8.
Rejoice! We Christians are very special people endowed with supernatural promises! God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Live as children of the free woman!
Galatians 4: 28Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Over the last many months I have started doing some prayer coaching. These are prayer appointments I set with people I know or who are personally referred to me.
During these sessions, the Spirit of God impresses things upon me, and often times they are words of affirmation and words of knowledge. The Spirit speaks and reveals things for the purpose of setting people free and deeper levels of healing. He does it in a way that honors privacy and deepens their trust in His perfect knowledge of them. So during a recent session, He revealed the person receiving prayer had misperceptions about God as Father.
The first 15 to 20 minutes of a session includes talking about what is burdening, so I have an idea of how to begin in prayer and what to cover in prayer. What's interesting is the LORD often takes the time in a direction that reveals a root issue that was either not mentioned in the beginning or something the person was not aware of. During the time of intercession, the LORD brought a word to my mind, which I didn’t understand, so I shared it, and it led to this confession coming out, “Nothing’s happening because I’m being punished.” It shocked her that she said it, realizing right after that she didn’t know she believed her life frustrations were because she thought God was punishing her. It was truly a moment of revelation for her!
But you see, God saw that in her, and reached in during our session, and drew it out through giving a Spirit led word for us to talk about. This then it steered her heart to make an honest confession that was a unspoken belief causing her lots of distress. It was the answer to her prayer request, to understand why she just recently started struggling with feeling lost, anxious, and carrying a gnawing and continual undercurrent of anxiety. After God spoke what He spoke, it all made sense to her!
This is a critical example of why we are not to search ourselves. When we do it, leads to burden and lies. This is why we come into God’s presence and ask for his insight.
Proverbs 20:5- The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.
The things brewing within us are indeed deep and dark waters. We aren't to plumb the depths. It overwhelms us. Instead, we are to turn to the One who has insight, the One who knows our thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9). The Spirit of Christ has insight because the Father knows the mind of the Spirit and intercedes for us according to His will. He reveals and is Wonderful Counselor, Isaiah 9:6.
When he does the searching, it leads to breakthrough and peace. In the prayer appointments God often goes further with people, to reveal root issues. In the session I'm referencing today, God went further to show his little one that her self-talk was a form of self-torture, taking herself through endless questions. “What am I doing wrong?” “What have I missed?” “What do I need to do?” “I must not be getting something.” “I must be missing what God is saying.”
This type of continual self-talk is creating confusion, fueling a feeling of being lost, creating a continual undercurrent of anxiety, and exhausting her. But God was present to call it out and speak tenderly to her in terms to validate her as his child, invite her closer, remind her to enjoy his presence, deepen in trust, and use the season of waiting to prepare for His timing of promotion!
Jesus too had to wait on God’s perfect timing. He had a season of waiting. The Son of God was not released into ministry until 30 years old. Think about the fact that He was not BAPTIZED with the Spirit until he was baptized by John, Mark 1:9-11.
Certainly prior to this, He carried the Spirit (Luke 1:35), but there was a BAPTISM of the Spirit to drive Him forward in greater power from then on. We are told in the moment of his baptism, the Heavens opened; the Spirit descended upon him; and the Father affirmed him, “You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased.” Immediately after this, the Spirit drove him into the wilderness to face and overcome temptation, Mark 1:12.
The Spirit is also to drive you. He is your power to overcome all forces against you and reveal the life of Christ through you.
John's baptism was unto repentance, but Jesus came to baptize you with the Holy Spirit, Mark 1:8.
Romans 8:16 tells us the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Through the Spirit of God in you, HE TESTIFIES TO YOU. He leads you to life and peace, not confusion and disorder and death. The Spirit is the voice who speaks the words of the Father to your spirit to affirm you. Do you hear God in this way, or are you torturing yourself with endless questions and thinking God is punishing you? If you have never had affirmation within that you are a child of God, that is a red flag for an area of healing desperately needed.
Have you been baptized? At the end of the Gospel of Mark Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Remember, Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This is not a religious requirement of water baptism. It is a spirit requirement poured out upon those who profess the name of Jesus, Acts 1:8. Today, I invite you to meditate upon Jesus’ baptism and let it uncover longing. Do you want more? Do you want greater revelation, encounter, a closer walk with God?
Be bold! By faith, ask for more of the Spirit! By faith, ask for baptism! Don't reason it through!
I was already filled with the Spirit, but a time came where God challenged me to ask for more! Read that blog HERE- ARE BELIEVERS FILLED MORE THAN ONCE?
"God, with help from the Holy Spirit, help this one envision the moment of Jesus' baptism. Give them eyes to see the Heavens open, give them sight to see the Spirit descend on Jesus. Give them ears to hear the Father’s words of affirmation speaking from Heaven, "You are my Son, with you I am well-pleased" Stir them within to long for Spirit-filled encounter. What are they longing for? What thoughts and unspoken beliefs block the work of the Spirit in them? Lord, you have perfect insight to what is happening within them. God show them what is blocking their freedom, preventing deeper healing, and standing in the way of joy filled time with you. Baptize them afresh with power from on high. Move in them to ask for more of the Spirit! ASK FOR MORE OF THE SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen!
Click above for episode in pic. And read below for another meditation of "Is Jesus first?"
We are creatures of habit. We tend to do things as we always have when it comes to managing our emotions and thoughts, time and energies.
When it comes to our emotions and thoughts, we over-process. We stew. We worry. We fret. We say "nothing's wrong". We push it down. We pursue distraction so we don't have to feel or think. We over-extend ourselves to placate, please, and attempt to influence others for the reactions we hope for.
It's all so exhausting.
We argue. We defend ourselves. We take the bait and respond to the offense.
We believe the lies of others who are manipulating us to get what they want.
We stay in strongholds because it is known territory. We feel comfortable there. Doing something new, radically changing our behavior, having godly boundaries, speaking the truth in love, letting others be upset with us, prioritizing God over all others would be a radical move for many.
And so we stay bound.
When it comes to our time and energies, we say "yes" when we should say "no". We give priority to others over time with God. We enmesh ourselves into the ways of the world, preferring entertainment and physical activity and catering to our families over God.
Ask yourself. Am I willing to forsake all others for the cost of following Christ? Are we willing to face the cost?
Luke 14:26- “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.
Are you willing to take on the disappoint of others who are pressuring you to comply with their demands and expectations? Are you willing to say,
"You know what? I have not spent a day with Jesus in a while; and I really think that I need to take that time today."
"I'm sorry I can't take you to that game, I need to spend time reading God's word this weekend."
"I'm sorry I can't rush over and do that thing you are asking me to do, I'm giving that time to Jesus today."
"I need you to figure out dinner for the next couple of nights because I'm fasting and taking that time to draw near to God."
"I can't watch this because it does not honor God."
"I want to go back to church even though I've gotten used to worshipping at home. I need to not forsake gathering with the other believers.”
"Even though I don’t see how it will work, I will give God the first fruits of my finances. He shall provide."
"I'm not going to go for that run Saturday, I'm going to spend time with Jesus."
"I'm not going to call my friend and process this relationship to death one more time. I'm going to take it to Jesus."
"I'm not going to burn hours fretting and worrying. I'm going to believe in God's promises and persist in prayer."
"I'm not going to allow you to talk this way to me any more and guilt me into submission. When you are ready to stop blaming and shaming, we can be in relationship again. Until then, I will pray for you."
"I can't listen anymore to the bitterness you feel towards "x". When you are ready to pray about it and bring all that upset to God in prayer, let me know. I will be there for you."
Are these statement, part of your regular language? Let it give you pause.
If not, God has freedom and power for you who want to start speaking in these ways! He will defend you. He wants to empower you and set you free, to not be dominated by your flesh or by the ways of others. Get out of the rut, ask for Him to redeem your ways! To break strongholds! To fill you with His life and power! Mourn over your ways that put God last, that gives Him little.
Really consider... What steps do you need to take to put Christ first? The questions aren't meant to guilt you into anything. Jesus wants you to make Him priority as an expression of love you feel towards Him, in response to how good and merciful He has been to you! Love and obedience are not mutually exclusive. One requires the other.
John 14:15-18 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
He will come to you. Pray something along these lines, for whatever applies...
"I miss you Jesus. I want more time with you. I want to know You better. I see how good you have been to me. I realize I am too self-consumed and I don't like that. I want you to change me. I need help with resolving relational conflict. I have bitter responses towards others and I need to confess that. I allow others to control me; and I don't know how to give a godly response. I believe your promises are true. Impress upon my heart a promise you want me to memorize. I believe in you, help me deepen in belief and trust. I don't know your Word well enough. Forgive me for pursuing lesser things. I want to know you better so I can hear your voice more clearly. I can't remember the last time I really experienced your presence and I want to pursue you. Help me intercede for my loved ones and be watchful in prayer because you have asked me to do that."
(Note: To intercede for a loved one(s), click pic above for an interactive exercise of breath prayer intercession.)
In closing, I encourage you to read Revelation chapters 2 and 3 for what the Spirit of the LORD says to the churches. What church are you in? Let it move you to an urgency to cry out for awakening, revival, and purifying work of the Spirit in you, your family, your church, and community. We need to be the virgins filled with oil in these times.
Matthew 16:2-3- 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Simple moments. Around a table. Texting with a friend. As you put your child to bed. While meeting up for coffee. While on a date. At a check out. While waiting for a meeting to start...
"Let me tell you about what God did for me today.."
Psalm 66:16 says- Come and hear, all you who fear God, let me tell you what He has done for me.
We are to invite others to HEAR what God has done for us. Notice the psalmist calls those who fear God to listen. Often those who don’t fear Him won’t listen. But as we share amongst those willing to "come and hear", we encourage each other. We strengthen ourselves in the wait. We realize we are not alone. We influence our little ones and the next generation to love and honor God. And this is a worshipful act. We can do it around others not willing to listen, but are within earshot. It will perhaps invite questions and curiosity, releasing the power of God through our confession. It encourages other people to consider the promises of God. He helps us to love one another and Him in deeper ways. He wants us to celebrate Him together, to gather and give thanks and praise!
When is the last time you said to someone, “Listen to what God has done, or just did for me…”? It can be as simple as saying, “I really have to share that God got me through this day. I woke up fearful, but I admitted that to Him first thing, and then had a strength not my own for the rest of the day.. He heard my prayer and helped me.” As we make these simple confessions to each other on how we rely on Him in the finite moments and troubles of our lives, we worship Him. We spread good news, encourage the saints, and glorify His name.
Today, who is someone who fears God that you can tell them what God has done for you?
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, let me tell you what He has done for me.”- Psalm 66:16
If you want to go further in this form of worship, listen in to Wednesday 8/11/21's podcast for this exercise of worship of "Come and hear". You will take the instrumental time to tell Him...
And then take the simple action before you lay your head down tonight, to tell someone else what God has done for you. Let’s practice it. Let’s make it a habit of encouraging each other in these ways and so worship Him to the glory of His Name! "Come and hear all God has done for me!"
All week we’ve been finding prayer inspiration using Jesus’ teaching on prayer found in Matthew 6:5-15!
Within these verses we find the "Our Father" prayer, along with instruction from Jesus to find a private place and talk to our Father who is unseen, assuring us that He sees us praying in secret, and will openly rewards us, Matthew 6:6.
A few verses after that instruction, He tells us, "This, then is how you should pray..." And then gives us Spirit filled words that an untold number of saints, throughout the centuries, have known and treasured as the "Our Father" (or the Lord's) prayer.
In yesterday's podcast episode about the Our Father prayer, you are led to listen and repeat the prayer, after pondering its beauty and its power for intercession. You are called to notice its unique ability to unify God's people in a common language of prayer.
The "Our Father" prayer crosses denominational lines, borders, and even languages. In a room of strangers, whether believer or unbeliever, many would know the prayer and be able to join in its holy expression in a moment's notice.
We should treasure these ancient words, breathed by our Holy King. "This then is how you should pray... Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name..."
But Jesus encourages that prayer should not be the same words repeated over and over, Matthew 6:7. Right before He gives the "Our Father" prayer he tells us not to babble on like pagans, using many word repetitiously, thinking that somehow our many words could influence whether or not the Father hears us.
So in the exercise you'll find below, and in today's podcast episode, you pray "into" the Our Father prayer, honoring Jesus, our holy Friend and Savior, obeying His model for prayer-
He begins by teaching us to speak to and acknowledge the Father with honor and respect- "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name."
He encourages us to lift our eyes and pray for the Father's Kingdom and will to descend- "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
He tells us to ask for supply for both body and soul, as he teaches us in John that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So we are to pray- "Give us today our daily bread."
He instructs us to ask for mercy daily, under the condition of also releasing others from owing us anything- "Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors" (i.e. those who sin against us).
We are to ask for protection against temptations of flesh- "Lead us not to temptation."
We are to ask to be delivered from the enemy of our soul- "Deliver us from evil."
(Notice the plural pronoun "us" that Jesus repeatedly uses. It's intercessory style prayer, taking us beyond the small world of our own lives and perspective, connecting us with each other's needs, praying in agreement. "Give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us..." Listen in to episode #342 to hear more on the power for intercession within the Lord's prayer.)
If you count what Jesus tells us we are to pray for, you find 7 areas of prayer:
Regarding those 7 areas, its inspiration to pray "into" the Our Father language, instead of using the prayer as a repetitive exercise.
Next is an exercise to do just that. It's also the exercise in today's podcast. Agree with the deeper sentiment that Jesus wants us to express to the Father. After, experiment with expressing your own heart as you pray "into" the Our Father prayer.
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. You are not just my father, but OUR Father, you set the lonely in families, you sought us and adopted us, we are now yours through Christ. Hallowed be your name. May you be honored and revered through US, through your children today.
May your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Part the heavens in a fresh way Lord and come down. May your fame be made known throughout the whole earth. Be glorified, be known, release the Kingdom message into hearts, bring the world under subjection of your reign and rule. Your kingdom come, your will be done.
Give us today our daily bread. Thank you for giving daily supply, thank you for releasing our hands from striving. Thank you for fresh provision. Speak a word to us Father that sustains and satisfies the deepest places within us. We confess that we do not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Forgive us our trespasses, our debts. Lord we’ve fallen short this week. Impatience, quick judgments, disdain, offense, worry, doubt, apathy towards Kingdom things. Have mercy on us God, you know we are merely dust, you know the weakness of our frame.
As we forgive our debtors. Find us today holding no accounts; releasing any demands of anyone owing us anything. For you have forgiven us debt we could never pay, for the imperfections of our soul. Do a deep work in your people to let go, so that we may also be forgiven.
Lead us not into temptation. Get ahold of our flesh nature God. Stand in the way of any wayward leaning in us. Lead us by your Holy Spirit. Turn our eyes from worthless things. Cleanse and purge our souls from lusts of the flesh.
Deliver us from evil. The enemy is always prowling about as a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour. Rescue us from his wicked schemes, deliver us from his lies and perversions. Hide us under your wings. Shelter us from the storms of his design.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. You alone deserve the glory Father. King of kings, Lord of lords, maker of heaven and earth. Amen.
There is so much inspiration for fresh prayer language through the "Lord's prayer"! Use its structure to linger longer with Him! Pray into the language. Go deeper into His holy expression!
Listen to all the episodes this week for more reflections on the "Our Father" prayer! And listen in to the weeks prior, for a series of 9 episodes praying through Psalm 23!
Please consider supporting our mission of prayer! We want to reach more with the podcast and inspire others to linger longer with God!
Wanting some inspiration in your prayer closet? Been doing a series on Psalm 23 in our podcast! Today is episode 3 of 9! The picture below represents yesterday's interactive session where you are led to pray through 11 names/titles of God in Psalm 23! I hope you give a listen to this series, there is so much depth of love, wisdom, and promise from our Good Shepherd... all SUPERNATURAL!
It's summer, press in! Take moments for spiritual retreat with God for peace and transformation!
Here is how this series has started!
Tranquil Tues- Psalm 23 #1 - 4 minutes by a stream with Jesus
Worship Wed- Psalm 23 #2- Praying through 11 titles of God
Thoughtful Thurs (today) #3- Psalm 23- Gentle listening and repeating of Psalm 23
Friend Fri- Psalm 23 #4- Prayer over you "My Shepherd, my friend"
Find all episodes and links to Peace Be Still on your podcast app via our host link- https://www.spreaker.com/show/peace-be-still-daily-prayer-download
"Think of the last thing you prayed about, were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself."
Every Friday is Friend Friday on the podcast. That is also the case in our private Facebook group (Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download). Every Friday morning at 7am EST we broadcast live, to briefly discuss a spiritual topic and then pray over people in the group! (Also, you can find Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download on most podcast providers!)
This morning myself and our board chair Cheryl (John Maxwell Coach & Ministry/Business owner and AWESOME PRAYER WARRIOR!) were talking about denying flesh for the Spirit to give us life. Romans 8:13 says that if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live. There is a critical surrender referred to there for victory over strongholds that plague our heart, mind, and soul. That scripture is about release, overcoming by the power of the Spirit. In the power of God (not our own) we put the misdeeds of the body to death.
But are we doing that? In that moment of weakness are you stopping and saying, "God help me, I'm about to lose my temper, or I feel like I'm about to binge, or I want to be vulnerable with my spouse right now, but I am scared of rejection."
A lot of us aren't dying to our flesh and handing those moments to God. Instead, we keep doing what we normally do, and then after remain burdened, feeling as though we shall never live in the power God promises and cast blame on others, settling into the enemy stronghold destroying us.
It's very disheartening that we as Christians (a chosen people give precious promises for victory) settle to live in enemy strongholds.
Went on to share in the live broadcast that very often when I ask someone, "Have you shared 'this" (the burden or struggle) with God? Or "have you told this person you are feeling or thinking this?" So VERY often I hear something along the lines of "not really". I hear reticence and half-hearted conviction about really giving something to God. And very often I hear "no" they have not shared their feelings and thoughts with someone about something that is a real block in their closest relationships, or shared a block that really requires intercession for breakthrough.
I wondered out loud why people hold on to their burdens without giving them to God or sharing them with someone else who will pray for them. It felt uncomfortable to confess out loud that I often see that people (in terms of general population) are comfortable in their misery, despite how they complain. It's disheartening to see people really don't want to get well. It puts context and a powerful punch behind the question Jesus asked the paralytic in John 5:6, "Do you want to get well?" They aren't willing to move in the direction of healing. It's very troubling. Do you know someone like this? Is this your real struggle?
God had something to say about what I was wondering aloud in our Friend Friday Live prayer time. After we wrapped up scripture reflections, we went into intercession to pray for people. And as the prayer portion came to a close, Cheryl stopped me and wanted to share that God was putting something on her heart. She said "As you were praying, I felt like the Lord really showed me that a big piece of what happens in these situations is, regardless of what particular situation we are carrying, one of the deep roots of it (lack of breakthrough) is that we want to be in control." She went on to share God was burdening her to say, "Just begin your time of prayer by saying, "Jesus, forgive me for wanting to control things. I want to let you control me and trust you in that process." (Listen to clip in video above.)
Such a simple baby step that leads to leaps in the Spirit!
I've recently been challenging people to take that step, praying with a good handful of people who are in fact willing to let go and open up with God and others. They are returning with praises of healed relationships, seeing moves of the Spirit in very difficult circumstances, giving testimony of bold and courageous steps of faith, and praising God for real breakthrough... expressing they are experiencing His presence and love in wonderful ways!
As we close, where are you today in breakthrough? Are you willing to let go of control? Are you willing to admit weakness and ask God to forgive you for wanting to control things? Do you need someone to walk beside you in whatever area you are losing ground spiritually? Are you willing to admit your need to have someone intercede with you, for you, for breakthrough?
WHO IS PRAYING FOR YOU?
Has your Christianity become far too independent and earthly grounded? When is the last time you asked someone, "Will you pray for me?" If you haven't asked for prayer or received prayer in the last 2 weeks, it's not a stretch to say, your faith is too earthly grounded.
Believers are to make up a house of prayer, Matthew 21:13. We are to be interdependent upon each other and to pray for each other, Romans 15:30 & Colossians 1:9 & Ephesians 6:18. Our agreement in prayer breaks strongholds, Matthew 18:19. We are blessed when we pray for our friends, Job 42:10. We receive what we ask for, 1 John 5:14. There is promise of healing as we open up to each other and pray for each other, James 5:16.
Are you positioning to receive these promises? Do you believe in the power of praying together?
If we are honest, this is a very challenging question, and is answered in the frequency in which we do it. Just like if I were to ask, "Do you believe in working out to maintain physical health?" Your conviction is answered in the frequency in which you do it. Same with prayer.
Give yourself a challenge to ask another Christian to pray for you over the next several days. And for another prayer covering over you, please listen in to today's podcast, episode #313. You can also scan through other Friend Friday's to find even more episodes of prayer covering over you. This is not a substitute for others praying over you in person, but it is an additional resource of supernatural protection and power that is so important to your walk of faith! Take 6 minutes today and receive prayer covering through Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download!
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THIS BLOG IS A COPY/PASTE OF THE LAST EMAIL BLOG SENT OUT...
Your "opens" have spoken!...The last blog on grieving was our most read EMAIL (by FAR!) in the past 5 years of sending them out. Average open rates for emails typically range from 15-25%. Normally open rates for our blogs is around 30%. But the last one on grieving was 50%! That number practically shouted from the screen. What is it saying to you, if you are grieving?
Well, the first thing it might tell you is that you are not alone in your grief. Many, many are grieving because of this last season that has thrown us major emotional curve balls.
It hasn't helped that we've been groomed to isolate during this pandemic. For many it has become a habit and preferred way of life. And unfortunately, a trend to isolate was already developing. Loneliness and social isolation has been consuming culture due to people turning "inward". Communicating behind a screen and through a screen is now very normal. Add shrinking social circles and the break down of family being a "trend" for the last several decades and loneliness is a normal outcome. This of course leads to depression, anxiety, grief, anger, etc.
There are lots of studies on the effects of loneliness and social isolation revealing a wide range of physical, cognitive, and mental health outcomes negatively impacting quality of life. One such study from 2020 can be found here.
.That 2020 report from the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine corroborated what other studies have shown... loneliness is a strong factor for detrimental health outcome including early death. One data point being that there is 29 percent increase in risk of incident for coronary heart disease and a 32 percent increase in the risk of stroke caused by loneliness, and that this was consistent across genders. There are many more conclusions given on detrimental effects of loneliness. Please access the study from the link in previous paragraph if you want to read more.
So even though society is opening back up, many more that maybe previously have not been "isolators" have now been groomed long enough to make it a "lifestyle" choice. Fears looms large for many so they are weighing the cost in their minds of connecting versus not. Unfortunately, they are calculating advantages versus disadvantages wrong, because loneliness can kill.
What would be the statistics now, more than one year after initial lock-downs? I suppose those type of grave reports will be coming out this year. If any of you have any to share, please send me the detail, I'd like to read them. It's not rocket science to conclude that the data would be even more alarming than pre-pandemic levels for loneliness, depression, and anxiety, morbidities, etc.
Fantastic, now what? Well since the readers of this blog are Christian, you know where I would take you, to Jesus of course. But before doing so I want to acknowledge that perhaps the pressures of coming out of grieving and loneliness and loss are more guilt ridden for the Christian versus the non-Christian. Maybe I'm off base on it, but since we as Christians have Christ, I think its easy to feel guilty that we have unresolved sorrow. Unspoken or not, don't we wonder or conclude that the promises of God failed us? Why would the sorrow linger if we really believed? If God's promises were really true?
If we admit that, aren't we making God out to be a sham, a self-help tool that fails?
NO!!! Those thoughts and feelings are lies straight from the pits of hell. "Did God really say...?"
Here is the truth... no promise of God ever fails, Joshua 21:44-45 !!! All of the promises of Jesus are "yes" and in Him, "Amen."
Let's stop on that promise, because did you know that that is an incomplete summary of what the verse really says in 2 Corinthians 1:20? What the verse actually says is "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. That is not a passive promise or just a statement to quote. It requires us SPEAKING a hearty agreement, with our actions from belief lining up with our confession. This brings glory to God by proving all of His promises are true!
If you read 2 Corinthians 1:20 in context, the power of all of Christ's promises being true happens in COMMUNITY, i.e. not in isolation. The chapter starts out with the verses of comforting others because God himself has comforted us. And then right after verse 20, Paul says that God has made "both us and you stand firm", that "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come".
You will not realize God's promises isolating your sorrow from everyone around you. You realize them by opening up, mourning, connecting, comforting others and receiving God's comfort through others.
Loneliness is not a promise of God. Life to the full is His promise, John 10:10. Suffering is part of our walk with Christ. It's pathway is to lead us to comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:5.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed with grief, what bold steps can you take to admit the sorrow? I have prayed God sends intervention and lights a path in front of you, showing you godly people that will comfort you. If you are reading this, please stop and pray in agreement for God's intervention for those overwhelmed by sorrow.
As I sum things up, of course the main message from this ministry to you is always, "talk to Jesus". Open up. Ask Him to help you access your feelings, especially if you don't feel anything at all. Challenge yourself to come into His presence to admit the anger, upset, sorrow, confusion. I urge you to use the podcast episodes to practice developing intimacy with Him on these levels. Find the link to your podcast provider on our host page (scroll down to the "Listen on" column).
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!