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).
Many of us have experienced real loss over the last year and a half. And in that loss there is grief. But is it a grief we acknowledge to ourselves, to God?
I've talked and prayed for a good handful of people who have men in their life who, over the last year or so, have been overcome by anxiety, who are shut down and inaccessible. Their loved ones are afraid, and do not know what to do.
God knows all about the hidden, suppressed, overwhelming grief. Interestingly, during my "career" (really a call) of interceding for others, one of the most consistent messages that the Holy Spirit impresses upon me is that many of His people are grieving, and need to come into His presence for healing. This requires openness in His presence and being vulnerable with God.
But will you do that? (Pause and consider.) When is the last time you went to your Heavenly Father and shared your sorrow with him? Are you always trying to keep it together when you talk to Him?
He wants to comfort you.
Psalm 34:18- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Healing requires we do not stuff, hide or stop emotion that feels uncomfortable. Some attempt to talk things through with others, and find comfort. Some go to a counselor and find help. Some think a pill is the answer to manage the complexities of their soul. But these all come up short.
There is nothing like being held in the strong and safe arms of Jesus. He has a supply for you that no man knows anything about. He has the power and willingness to supernaturally reach in and heal you in ways no one else can. He puts people back in their right mind. He takes bad memories. He reframes hopelessness. He heals the darkest, most disturbing things that are stealing your peace.
We resist. We need to stop resisting. We need to let down our walls. We need to give Him the opportunity. We need to grieve in His presence. We can bring Him the deepest hurts and He will heal.
I'm not going to take time now to go in depth with my personal story, but know I have experienced deep healings in mind and heart (and body!) through letting God into my grief, I specifically looked to Him as my central resource for deep healing. He promised me He would heal me, and I believed Him. It was not a one and done moment, it took a good couple of years to do some really deep work, but as I tasted each new freedom, from that which held me captive, I was made new with purpose, peace, joy health, wisdom, strength, discernment, etc.. So I have I continued investing in His presence and ways! How can I not? He captured my heart in the process!
He wants to capture yours too!
I encourage you to listen to episode #290 of the Peace Be Still podcast for a similar message and interactive session. He is the God who collects our tears. He knows your pain. He suffered to levels we know nothing about in order to know our pain. Let Him minister to you. Believe! God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Our living God still heals!
Some scriptures on mothers:
Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
Matthew 12:48-50- He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Isaiah 40:11- He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Psalm 139:13-14- For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Proverbs 23:25- May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Titus 2:3-4- Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,
We celebrate mothers today Lord! We're thankful, reflective and wanting our mothers to know we honor them. Help us love them deeply; and wherever there may be strain, lead us to forgive our mothers and love them as directed by you.
We want our mothers to know you and ask that you bless them with a fresh revelation from the Spirit. May they receive holy promise, and be led with your life and power. God we praise you for your perfect design for them to carry new life, deliver, and nurture. May each mother know that you see them, love them, want to bless them.
May we freshly express to our human mothers and spiritual mothers that they are honored for their countless selfless sacrifices, their tender mercies, their protective love, their longing to do the best that they can with what they know. Bless them with your presence God. Reveal yourself to them in their deepest area of need. Let them know you see their tears, understand their worries, connect with their longings for their families, and celebrate their victories.
Lift her face to look at you and be transformed by your love and light.
Pause and agree. "Yes LORD, transform _______ (insert mother's name) by your love and light."
Direct her thoughts to reflect on what is good, holy, and pure.
Help each mother hold on to hope in the midst of storms. To believe nothing shall be impossible with you God. Encourage their hearts that you hear their cries for their families.
Help her cast her cares on you Jesus, to be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayers and persistence to submit her requests to you and then trust. Help her let go for the peace of God that transcends all understanding to guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Strengthen her with power that comes from the Spirit for every need.
By faith we bless mothers with gifts from on high, for every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Heavenly lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning. We acknowledge Jesus that you have designed mothers to be like a glue that holds the family together. Help them in the daily battle to keep things running smoothly, and to be sustained in the chaos! Encourage her to gather her family for family time, to represent your will and ways to her children and/or grandchildren, to have opportunity to renew herself in body, mind, and spirit. Let her be a beautiful expression of your mercies and power and love and truth to the children under her care. Let her greatest longing as a mom be one of a spiritual mother, intent to instill godly values and promise into the children under her wings.
Sustain and heal families with your power. Keep moms' hearts soft and pliable, open and receptive to your work, will, and Spirit. Let them not become weary in doing good, for they shall reap a harvest in due time. Teach them to cling to you in these days, reminding them that they are your child first and foremost, and they need to be held like a child by you, sustained and helped by you to be the mom they long to be.
Thank you Jesus; for the beauty and transformative work of motherhood. Bless this one as they rise in your graces. Let others notice the beauty that becomes evident after spending this time in your presence. Amen.
Do you know a mom that needs this blessing? Will you please forward this to them? Multiply this prayer to mothers! Today's podcast is a similar prayer exercise to listen in and follow along found here- https://www.spreaker.com/user/12247282/280-friend-fri-a-prayer-of-blessing-for-
Often I have conversations with people about upset and disappointment. And what is always evident is that we as humans skew naturally to the disappointment... to dwell upon it, and then carry it as our form of meditation. We rehearse and rehearse, too often without releasing it regularly on to the shoulders of our burden bearer.
To check that, what are you ruminating on right now? What have you spent much of your week rehearsing? Positive or negative things?
The things that burden us are typically not trivial things, but heart centric things. Maybe we are making mountains out of mole hills in certain circumstances; but more than likely, our upset can be traced to deeper issues related to betrayal of trust, unforgiveness, disappointment, pride, lies, hurt, etc.
Here are some examples of what people have recently confessed to me, that is consuming them:
- a teenager who told her mom that she is bi-sexual and a satanist
- a woman who is consumed with anxiety that her senior mother's life depends on her sustaining her mom
- an adult who is caught in the middle of lifelong friends who cannot resolve their philosophical differences, so now their friendship circle is broken
- an adult son who has so much conflict with his mother that he wants nothing to do with her, but is wrestling with that choice within and its causing great anxiety
- an adult who wonders why God allowed 3 different big disappointments within the last month
- an adult who is grieving a death of a loved one, while also discovering upsetting secrets of another loved one
We are carrying burdens, deep, heart centric burdens. Instead of rehearsing them constantly, we need to give ourselves a break and just enjoy Jesus! We rehearse too much! We need to process in His presence. But practice positioning in rest so He can speak peace to still the storm!
Do not draw away from Him in trial, let it lead to personal transformation through His supply of resurrection power! That is not a platitude, it is a promise. And it is discovered in His presence!
And BONUS... it can be done without words! You can do this by visualizing spiritual promises from the Bible. No words needed, just a willingness to "see" the pictures Jesus paints in His word.
Jesus tells us to cast our care upon Him, 1 Peter 5:7. What if you saw Him carrying what you are trying to carry right now?
He understands. See Jesus carrying it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you form images in your mind. In inexplicable ways, the Holy Spirit will do supernatural lifting of burdens within as you release them to Jesus. I hope you try the following exercise.
A VISUALIZATION EXERCISE:
Isaiah 61:1-3 has a handful of pictures for you to use in His presence without words. Pick one from below, and then place yourself in a humble position in His presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you begin. "God I need help visualizing Jesus' promises, bring them to life within my mind's eye."
The unbelief in you might be tempted to say, "That's ridiculous, how will it help me to picture any of these? As soon as I get up, my reality will be unchanged and the stress will remain."
Cast down that argument. Hold your thoughts captive to the promises of Christ. He says, "Look to me. Do not doubt, only believe. Set your eyes on things above, not on earthly things. Ascend."
Believe in the power of God! Believe in His spiritual promises! Be blessed in your time with God! If you want to experience more visualization of scripture, please listen in every Tuesday to Peace Be Still Daily prayer download! Listenership continues to grow! Praise God!
Here are a few direct links to our Monday - Friday podcast:
The program can also be found on Amazon Music, Podbean, iHeart, Google podcasts, Castbox, etc. Blessings!
Colossians 1:17 says that Jesus holds all things together. All things includes you. What needs to be held together in you today? Emotions, thoughts, the ability to cope?
Jesus will comfort, strengthen, and supernaturally assist you as you cry out for his help. Listen in to today's podcast episode and be prayed for, or read prayer below. The prayer in the podcast is similar but has some spontaneous expressions. Respond to the simple prompts as led for sweet and satisfying time with Jesus! 💞
Prayer exercise: Jesus will hold you. Let’s pray.
Jesus we come to you expecting. We come with a simple cry of “Lord I desperately need you to hold me together.”
Tell Jesus that right now.
Thank you for holding this one Jesus. May they sense you near.
You are our source of hope and life and new beginnings. Your mercies are new every morning. You forgive. Each prayer is an opportunity for a new start. Great is your faithfulness. Thank you for your tender mercies, thank you for letting this one know in their weakness that your grace is sufficient for them, your power is made perfect in their weakness.
Build a habit in them God to confess their weaknesses to you for your power to manifest. Your grace is sufficient, your power is made perfect in our weakness.
You are the God who sees us and gave all of yourself for us.
Let this one know that you see them. Lift their spiritual eyes to see you, to respond to you. Where are they weary God, where do they need a fresh revelation to turn sorrow into joy? Show them how the pressures that lead to breaking are part of the process of being made new. Soften their hearts towards the presence and work of the Holy Spirit right now.
Holy spirit come…. (repeat to yourself)
Breathe new life Jesus.
Hold them together in your strength, draw them near.
Agree. “Yes Jesus, draw near to me.”
Holy Spirit speak into their need, whatever it may be. (Give silence…)
Counsel them in their relationships, grant them wisdom in their decisions, sanctify them with your word. May they be responsive to your gentle correction and discern your still small voice.
Thank you Jesus for holding this one together in your power. May that be their continual confession, “Hold me together Jesus. I need you.” Amen.
Do you know someone who needs to know that Jesus will hold them together in love? Without shame and condemnation? Please share this blog post with them! Blessings!
Today being Good Friday, we’ll look upon Jesus’ suffering, because the punishment that was upon him brings us peace, and by his wounds we are healed, Isaiah 53:5.
One of the most beautiful promises Jesus brings us is a promise to renew our mind, to calm, soothe, and still our emotions. Jesus puts us back in our right mind. It is a continual renewal of thoughts that he promises. It is experienced through remaining with Him. But everything is not always up and to the right as Christians. We struggle. It’s a clue indicating our critical need to deepen in relationship with Jesus. In Western culture, anxiety was at epidemic proportions prior to the pandemic, so what now? Of course, it has increased. No need to quote statistics, we are living it out, we know anxiety has increased.
Does Jesus care? Does He understand the anxiety that overwhelms? Yes, he does and we find clues of his extreme mental and emotional distress when we read the accounts of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before he goes to the cross. The book of Mark and Matthew inform us that Jesus admits to his disciples that his soul is overwhelmed to the point of death. The book of Mark tells us that he fell to the ground and prayed. He didn’t kneel and pray, he fell to the ground. Both Mark and Matthew tell us he agonized for a long time in prayer, praying 3 different times, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The book of Luke reveals that he was sweating profusely in this agonizing time of prayer, and was so disturbed within, it triggered a rare physiological condition where he sweat blood. The condition is called hematidrosis and is extremely rare, with only a handful of documented cases. All who experienced it were victims of extreme mental and emotional trauma and terrifying violence.
Piece all those Gospel clues together. Jesus falls to the ground, a sign of physical weakness from overwhelming internal turmoil. He agonizes in prayer 3 different times through the night. He is not getting a good night’s sleep before going to the cross. He is running on no sleep. And though an angel comes to strengthen him, Luke records that after, he was still in anguish, Luke 22:44. Jesus kept praying, and doing so even more earnestly. In this state, he was sweating profusely, his sweat mixed with drops of blood, the drops falling to the ground.
When you piece the Gospel accounts together, can you see how clear it is that Jesus was experiencing mental and emotional distress at a level no one else ever will? Your worst panic attack? Your soul crushing depression? Jesus knows. He went there. He bore the burden. He experienced it all. He carried the weight of it all upon Himself and took all human brokenness, all sin, all shame, all sickness to the cross.
In the midst of this distress, Jesus gives his disciples a prayer challenge, “Could you not keep watch for one hour?" He was worried for them, urging his disciples to watch and pray so they would not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He knew the spiritual traps coming to test Peter. He had just told Simon Peter after the Passover meal, "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat", Luke 22:31.
Peter's saving grace was that Jesus prayed for Peter's faith not to fail, Luke 22:32. Praise God today that He is your continual intercessor...
Hebrews 7:25- "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
Are you sleeping? Tell God, confess your weaknesses. Wait in the mercy of His presence. Call on help from the Holy Spirit if you do not know what to pray, Romans 8:26-27.
Peter and the other disciples slept despite the warnings. And the consequences are immediately obvious. Peter responds in the flesh at the first temptation, acting violently, pulling his sword and cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant who come to seize Jesus, Mark 14:47. Jesus however responds in the Spirit, taking the man’s ear and putting it back on his head, fully restoring his ear, Luke 22:51.
Flesh versus Spirit! What a difference in terms of outcome, Romans 8:6!
Let the example of Jesus urging his disciples to watch and pray challenge you to take some quiet time. Assess. What is the state of your walk with Jesus today? Are you prayed up? Are you in the flesh or in the Spirit? Take all anxiety and internal upset to Jesus to be strengthened by Him. He understands your anxiety. He's endured on your behalf. He promises to comfort you. Practice staying longer in His presence, resting under the covering of His precious blood shed on the cross. Please visit our podcast page to find some inspiration to linger longer with God. Amen.
It is never comfortable to see a leader in a moment of fear. It is unnerving. We want our leaders to have it together, to show strength and speak words that inspire, calling us to face dangers with courage. So then, what about Jesus, the greatest leader that there ever was, or ever will be? What about his moments of soul crushing emotion he let show in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Mark 14:34-35- He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.
Operative words... "He told them..."
Jesus didn't hide; and most likely couldn't have hid, the extreme distress that had begun to consume him. The King of kings bared his soul to those closest to Him. His example and his experience in the Garden of Gethsemane is worth closer examination for our own mental and emotional health.
Does Jesus understand your roller coaster of emotions? Does He really feel the depths of soul darkness and depression you feel? Your belief can be found in how often you say, "God, do you see my distress? Do you care? Can't you see my suffering?"
About 13 years ago, I happened upon a book by a Chief Medical Examiner (CME) named Dr. Frederick Zugibe. Over the course of his lifetime as a forensic pathologist, he felt called to give Jesus an autopsy by reaching back through the centuries. He saw forensic detail in the Gospel accounts that gave him enough credible evidence to report what Jesus suffered at each point of his walk to the cross; and then conclude how He died. His forensic examination included all aspects of Jesus' physical suffering, including mental and emotional distress. As a CME who performed over 10K autopsies over his career, in one of the most violent counties in NY, he felt confident that his assessment of Jesus' suffering was credibly grounded in first hand experience and research.
I admit when I read the book, I had to put it down many times. It opened up for me a view into Christ's suffering that I never saw. Reading what Jesus would have felt in all of his bodily systems, especially his mental and emotional state, was shocking and moving. Where before I scanned over the 3 Gospel accounts that record Jesus saying his soul was overwhelmed to the point of death, now I stop and enter that moment with Him, understanding a little better, from a medical and human perspective, what was happening within Him. I love Him more.
If you want to know Jesus better, I invite you to join in this Thursday night April 1st at 8PM EST for a forensic look into Jesus' suffering in the garden. It will be about a 1 hour presentation with medical conclusions from Dr. Zugibe, as well as a few prayer prompts along the way. You'll have moments of silence to reflect, talk to Him, and do what He did, confess your distress. I greatly encourage you to look upon Jesus' mental and emotional suffering. The deeper you connect with His pain, the less you will say, "God, do you care?"
"Watch and pray" with Jesus in to the Garden of Gethsemane! Take a closer look at what he endured before anyone laid a hand on Him! This event will be held live on Youtube, as well as on our Into the Waters Facebook page, and within our private FB group Peace Be Still.
Here is the Youtube link or click on the picture below! Set a reminder for yourself!
When will you be complete? When you get that degree, get married, attain life goals? When you finally reach some random, soon to come moment and “feel” complete? Any Christian struggling with thoughts of “I am not enough. I am not yet complete” is off base and trapped in worldly thinking that will disturb your peace. The truth is that apart from him, everyone is incomplete, even the people who think they have it all together, whose secular lives we may envy. We are only complete through our oneness in Christ. And then, we are not our own; we’ve been made one with God, bought at a high price, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Now we are to identify completely with Christ, worshipping him through the expression of our lives in order to reveal Him. As we approach celebrating His death and Resurrection, meditate on your oneness with God. Christ’s shared life, shared power, shared promises make us complete, one with God, able to experience at deeper levels the peace and power of God...i.e. the living Christ. If you want to be led in an interactive and quiet exercise, to celebrate oneness with Him, please listen to today’s podcast! ✨🙏🏽Click on the image above to be linked to the episode on Apple podcasts!
The first time God mentions prayer is in Genesis 20:7.
He tells a king named Abimelek that he should not attempt to get a woman named Sarah as a wife because she is already married. God reveals that the woman’s husband (Abraham) lied to him telling him that Sarah was his sister. In fact as we know, Sarah was in fact Abraham’s wife. So God tells Abimelek to return Sarah to Abraham; and that Abraham would PRAY for him, Genesis 20:7. Abraham PRAYS for Abimelek; and God then heals Abimelek and his household so they could have children again, Genesis 20:17.
What is truly wild about this first account of prayer is that God abundantly blesses Abraham in the middle of his sin! And even more interesting is that it is a repeated sin! See Genesis Chapter 12:10-20 which details the first time he lied about Sarah being his sister!
In the middle of being caught in his sin, Abimelek gives Abraham flocks and servants and land and money, Genesis 20:`14-16!!! In Genesis 12:16, Pharaoh gives Abraham large amounts of flocks after he takes Sarah into his palace. He keeps the gifts! The gall! And then gets away with it even after being found out. No rebuke from God! Abraham is treated with a great amount of favor that is radically unreasonable, especially since he started all the trouble by lying!
Take a minute to wonder, why would God have a man who lied TWICE about the status of his wife (to save his own neck) pray for Abimelek? Early in chapter 20, you learn that Abraham told Abimelek that Sarah was his sister because he was afraid of being killed, thinking Abimelek would forcefully take Sarah from him by taking his life. In reasoning this way, he put Sarah in great danger, but God intervened and kept Abimelek from touching Sarah, Genesis 20:6.
You learn that Abraham’s fears and schemes for self-preservation drove him to do this. You could make a case for Abraham’s fears and justify the lie pretty easily. Abimelek was a Philistine king of a nation with war-like values. Clearly Genesis 12 gives precedence that the rulers of these lands took woman as they so pleased. They were cultures that loved self-pleasure, worshipped false gods, and could be violent to outsiders, . Therefore the fact that Abraham feared for his life was reasonable. But still, by lying, he put his wife’s life on the line to save his own neck. God could have punished Abraham for this, still saved Sarah and Abimelek, but that is not what he did. Instead God tells Abimelek that Abraham is a prophet who would pray and save his life. So here you see God calling Abraham out on his God given position as prophet whose prayers would save Abimelek’s life, Genesis 20:7. God also warns Abimelek that if he did not allow Abraham to pray for him, in his disobedience, he would die, Genesis 20:7.
By going through those details, you learn what prayer is… judging in a way that intervenes in order to save. This a key aspect of prayer... modeling God's character towards us, not treating us as our sins deserve. This is the biblical definition of the Hebrew word palal. This essentially means mercy, judging with mercy in order to save. Mercy must always be part of prayer.
God in his mercy saved us. Jesus is our ultimate intercessor continually interceding on our behalf.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.- Hebrews 7:25
God developed that lesson in Abraham by saving him from his own stupid mistake. He would have realized the hand of God intervening on his behalf because Abimelek came to him and told him that God appeared to him in his dream and told him about Abraham’s lie, Genesis 20:8-10. And then when Abraham would have probably expected to die on the spot, instead Abimelek makes Abraham exceptionally wealthy in a sudden outpouring of gifts!
God saved his neck and then blessed him in abundance! This is the heart of God!
What would your response be if you were caught in a lie by someone who was pre-disposed to violent ways? Wouldn’t you be afraid? But instead, God blesses Abraham through the man pre-disposed to violence… Abimelek! That is some incentive to pray! And this is a key to prayer. God’s mercy incentivizes you to pray! I imagine Abraham’s prayers being fervent and lively for Abimelek based upon God treating him with such unreasonable mercy!
So what is a prayer? It is a request asking God to intervene with acts of mercy in order to save.
Therefore, if you ever want someone to pray effectively for you, ask them if they have experienced God’s mercy in these ways? Was their life saved by Jesus? Have they experienced him intervening on their behalf saving them from stupid decisions, self-preserving ways? Has God supplied their needs and blessed them in unexpected and sudden ways? If you find that type of person, you have found a treasure. They will pray for you in a way that judges you with mercy, intervening in order to save. This is what true prayer is.
Peace in turbulent times.
First, thank you very much for the many notes of shared concerned in response to my last email to you about being in prayer for January 6th. The Holy Spirit is burdening his people to intercede for the state of our nation and world; and it is clear some of you are taking it very seriously. May more align their hearts with what the Spirit of the LORD is saying right now.
It is the character of Jesus to warn people to discern the times. And while the turn on a calendar page means a new year, the momentum of reality follows us into 2021. Turbulent is a word that comes to mind for this year. So critical to anchor ourselves in Christ.
He has a word of the Spirit against the word "turbulent". And it is "dunamis"... power. His excellence of power, his supernatural supply, His supernatural character is a hope to anchor our soul in turbulent times.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, - Hebrews 6:17-19
It is a critical time to enter the inner sanctuary, the place where intimacy with Jesus is nurtured, where we are strengthened, where we rise in His power. It is a critical time to live in the power of His Name and promises. We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing POWER is of God and NOT of ourselves, 2 Corinthians 4:7. Treasure within. All surpassing power made clear. It will be clear in these times who is living in His power versus their own.
You have opportunity to dig up the treasure through an upcoming session set for February 6th at 9am. Practice His presence, unburden and cleanse, tune to His whispers, rest, meditate on His promises, and rise in His power. The session is entitled "Dunamis", the power of God in you, the power of God through you. Click on the image ABOVE to sign up! The event is free, but donations greatly appreciated. I am in full time in ministry as of January 1st, and raising funds, as well as investing in greater reach which requires additional funding. God shall abundantly supply! God's favor upon whomever feels led to donate!
Note that... The Dunamis session was held for a private group a couple of weeks ago. There was lively and dynamic discussion after about what God spoke to participants, as I was privileged to be part of initial debrief.
Here is one participant's feedback to me for the Dunamis session-
"God did a wonderful work in me through it!!! I feel so free I wanna dance!!!! And that's not my nature!"
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE NEW PODCAST EPISODES IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED IN AWHILE! RELEASES MONDAY-FRIDAY! INTERACTIVE PRAYER EXERCISES WITH SCRIPTURAL CONTEXT TO INSPIRE YOUR TIME ALONE WITH GOD! BELOW IS DESCRIPTION FROM MONDAY AND TUESDAY OF THIS WEEK. ONE IS USING BREATH PRAYER AND SILENCE. THE OTHER USES VISUALIZATION BASED UPON SCRIPTURE.
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Search on Facebook and join our private Facebook group> Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download
Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"