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!
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!
(We are a faith based ministry and want to increase our reach by advertising the podcast more often. Would you consider a one time donation of $25 or more to help us pay for those ads? Thank you for considering it!)
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.
(Into the Waters Ministry, Inc resources the earnest, helping them linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. Now more than ever, we need to know Christ and practice settling our souls in His presence, anchoring in His promises. Will you help us expand reach and impact? Listenership for our Peace Be Still prayer podcast is steadily growing! So many more can benefit! Please consider a donation! Help us match the $1K per month challenge pledge! Every donation is a blessing! Thank you for considering it. Now on to today's interactive Advent exercise...)
This is the 10th exercise released over the last 10 days for the Advent season! Find the interactive prayer exercises on the podcast tab or click above to find the podcast on Apple podcasts! Below is the content of today's Peace Be Still episode if you prefer to read it to engage. Blessings!
Hello Gina from Into the Waters, welcome to Peace Be Still and this Advent season! It’s Friend Friday, a time to experience the presence and person of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, with us is God. Isaiah 7:14 says the LORD himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Let’s call upon His Name today.
Yesterday’s episode shared in the prayer portion that Isaiah wrote those prophetic words 700 years before Jesus was born. We see those words reappear in Matthew 1. An angel of the LORD appears to Joseph telling him not to be afraid, but to take Mary as his wife, because the child within her is from the Holy Spirit; he should be named Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. And then it says that "all of these supernatural events took place to fulfill what the LORD has said through the prophet Isaiah: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Jesus, God with us, fulfilled that prophecy as he ministered on the earth, and continues to fulfill that prophecy for you today. God is with you. Deuteronomy 31:6 is a promise from Jesus in the Old Testament- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Remember Jesus is timeless, eternal, that Old Testament prophecy is from Jesus himself. We get a glimpse of His eternity and coming from the prophecy in Micah 5:2-
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Jesus, a leader coming from ancient times,? Yes. NKJV says "Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” The Amplified version clarifies his goings forth saying- His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, From ancient days.”
The prophet declared God himself was coming! And yet Jesus has always been with His people, from the creation of physical time and space, Jesus has been with us!
So today, let’s proclaim His presence with us. Just position to repeat, affirm, and invite His presence with an open and receptive spirit.
Jesus, you are with me.
I carry your Spirit within me.
Nothing can separate me from your love.
Immanuel, you are with me.
You will never leave me or forsake me.
No one can snatch me out of your hand.
You are with me in the storm.
You speak to the wind and the waves within.
“Peace Be Still.”
You are with me in my fear.
I am not to be terrified or afraid.
You go with me.
You promise to guide me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Save me from guiding myself.
I need your wisdom.
By your Spirit, whisper wisdom.
Now wait quietly in His presence.
Help me obey your counsel.
Help me surrender to your whispers.
You go before me.
I am not alone.
Jesus, you are with me.
Immanuel... with me is God.
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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!"