Tag : prayer
Tag : prayer
That’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling right now in the midst of the Texas snow event and the rolling blackouts. Power on. Power off. Power on. Power off. POWER ON! Hurry up, get that load of laundry done. Run the dishwasher. Better yet. Send emails! How should I spend this window of connection? Those of you who live in Texas can probably relate.
My Hebrew class was cancelled yesterday, as was a radio interview I was supposed to do. An event scheduled for Thursday—delayed for two months.
However, I am realizing this “pause” on top of the pause we are already experiencing, because of the Pandemic, has created some additional time to catch up on studies and take care of projects that had been lying dormant. Projects like cleaning out email on my computer (thanking God there’s a light on my computer), removing moldy food from the fridge, and giving the floors a once over. It feels good to have more order in the house. After all, we are created in the image of God and He is a God of order.
What is interesting is that last week I fasted from my usual eating regimen for a couple of days because I was feeling overwhelmed with my schedule and needed guidance. Between leading Pearls of Promise and other ministry commitments, there are a lot of moving parts. I specifically prayed about one organization that I love but that requires a lot of my time. Am I supposed to remain involved? So that was the focus of my fast. G-d is faithful. He made it very clear through repeat messages that I was supposed to stick with this commitment. I then said to the LORD, Well okay. Then could you expand my time so I don’t feel like I’m always behind?
That’s when everything came to a standstill because of the snow storm. I am not saying this happened because of my fast, but the timing is interesting. He used the snow to open up a window of time to play catch up—a quick answer to my prayer. Mummified in a couple of throws because of the lower than usual indoor temperature, I spent extra time studying yesterday afternoon and feel more confident about my classes. Today, I plan to actually get ahead in Hebrew, and last night I cleaned out about 7000 emails from my inbox.
I also realized that fasting is a certain way to hear from God and to perhaps move a mountain that seems immovable.
When the disciples were unable to heal a boy with an evil spirit, possibly embarrassed by their power outage, they asked Jesus why they weren’t successful. Jesus said, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).
So we are no different than the disciples. When we’re facing a roadblock, uncertain about direction or have a big decision in our lives, then setting aside a day or two to fast from food—I ate only fruit—could save us from additional days of uncertainty.
When we need an answer fast, it’s time to “fast.”
While we are just experiencing “rolling blackouts” at our home, today I want to pray for the millions of people in Texas who are without any power or water. LORD, keep them safe. Provide your warmth. Stretch supplies of bottled water and food and I pray that this situation turns around quickly. We trust you, LORD, to take care of your children. In the name of Jesus I pray, AMEN.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39)
I was reading a devotional this week where the author said that every morning she lifts up her hands to God, surrendering her day to Him.
I thought, I need to start doing this each day—physically opening up empty hands to my heavenly Father. Whatever you want to give me, LORD. While I spend a lot of time in prayer each morning, I don’t always give Him daily carte blanche.
When I think about the Christmas story, isn’t that what Mary did when the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Savior of the world, Jesus? Mary, in a sense, raised empty hands when she said, “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
Didn’t Joseph surrender? When he learned about Mary’s pregnancy, he planned to divorce her quietly. However, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to explain it all, he accepted the plan, and took Mary as his wife after all.
Jesus raised up his empty hands, giving up a comfortable seat at the right hand of His heavenly Father to be born in a cattle feeding trough, and later sacrifice His life so that we might have life.
It’s the ultimate surrender.
I think about what a difference surrendering would have made—even today—when there were some last-minute changes with our radio show. Would I have relaxed more and not have allowed anxiety to rule?
What about the mountain of presents I wrapped this afternoon? Would it have been as tedious?
There’s an event I am involved in today that will require a lot of energy. Will I lift up empty hands and allow God to fill me, and not try to do this in my own power?
Then there are family and friends I worry about, causing a wringing of hands. I now know many people who have been stricken with COVID. All of our immediate family members are traveling this week. A friend was in an automobile accident. Will I make the exchange of worry from my hands to God’s hands?
What do you need to surrender to your all-powerful heavenly Father today?
Even now, will you lift up your empty hands to not only turn over your day, but to receive whatever God has to offer you? Trusting that our Omnipotent God has every aspect of our lives in His hands is one way to experience peace.
“Sister, we are doing a program for a remote village in Pakistan tomorrow. Could you speak for ten minutes?”
This call from Pastor John, a great Pakistani leader of the faith, came just minutes after three other ministry leaders and I had taught on Pakistan-based King Television Network for an hour. I didn’t have a moment to take a breath—and the next day was Thanksgiving. I told him I didn’t want this to interfere with family time. That’s when he shared I would be speaking to a village that had never heard the gospel message before. He would give me an early slot to present, 7:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. Pakistani time), so it would be before my family was up and around. I agreed because the evangelist in me could not turn away an opportunity to give people eternal hope.
The next morning I got ready early. I would present via “Skype” and would have an interpreter. What I did not know, however, was that I would be able to view the Pakistanis I was speaking to. The woman coordinating the event says, “Sister, do you see the people?” And there in front of me were hundreds of Pakistanis, young and old, sitting on the ground waiting to hear truth. I tried not to get emotional, but the sight of these people was overwhelming.
And while the interpreter translated my words into Urdu, I found myself pleading with God for their souls. Please use my story to reach them LORD! I realized that on Thanksgiving Day, Jesus had tagged me as his representative to this village in Pakistan and I was thankful. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!”
I don’t know how many came to know Jesus on Thursday but God knows. My pastoral contact only told me it was a great day at that village.
The Pakistanis are not the only souls I plead for. I also daily pray for several friends and family members to have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And as I lift them up, I know that Jesus is interceding as well because He wants this as much as I do. Romans 8:31–34 says, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus dies for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Who are you pleading for today?
Be confident that Jesus hears your prayers and is pleading alongside you. Why? Because He cares.
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:26)
The whole world has been in pain. Unfortunately, that statement isn’t an exaggeration. The losses we have all experienced can’t be understated. Whether the loss has been personal, communal, economic, or physical this season, it feels like there isn’t an end. Yet, all is not lost, because so much can be gleaned from this season of hardship.
What is most important is to keep our foundation vitalized and Dr. Michelle Bengtson reminds us of six ways to do just that.
Each of use are dealing with something but we must remember that “pain is pain, and God promises to be close to the broken-hearted,” says Dr. Bengston.
So what can we do now as the holiday season begins? There is one more thing you can do—GIVE. ‘Tis the season of gratitude and giving. There are so many people who need you. Family members could use a word of encouragement, friends need prayer, and there are communities who can benefit from your generous heart. Call loved ones and ask how you can bless them. Reach out to friends and ask how you can bless them. Find a local food bank, shelter, or church and ask what needs they have so you can determine how to bless them. We are called to love one another and now is the time. Our beloved country, communities, friends, and family need your love.
Intercessors from all over the country are in Washington, D.C. today as a part of a national and global day of prayer and repentance called “The Return.” While I wanted to be there in person, because of schedule, I was unable to, and will have to watch and pray online like many others. https://thereturn.org/
However, last night I was invited to a prayer group that was lifting this day up in advance. I saw it as a “divine appointment.” I had to be in the right place at the right time to run into one of the members of this group who invited me. I was excited about going because, in light of the strife in our country right now, I saw the importance of praying a shield of protection around these prayer warriors who are gathering in our nation’s capital. I also know there is power in numbers. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
So I attended, and although it’s often awkward when you’re the new kid on the block, I enjoyed joining these women in prayer, and made some “God” connections. Afterwards, I handed my card to the leader to be included in future meetings. That’s when I was told the group was already at capacity and there was no room for new members. I wondered, Why was I invited in the first place?
Then the old wounds of childhood crept in, the days when I was the poor girl in school and was left out of some of the fun group events because of it.
I was down even though I knew I really did not have time in my schedule for one more thing. I was already a part of several other prayer groups. A Friday night group took away from time with my husband. Hadn’t I prayed for God to close the doors that I was not supposed to walk through? Closing doors don’t always feel good as they hit you on your way out.
This morning I was reading in Matthew 2. The wise men had just visited Jesus, worshipped him, and had showered him with gifts. It was a beautiful scene. But it was right after this moment of glory that the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to pack up the family and flee to Egypt. The king, Herod, was on a rampage and wanted to kill Jesus. The door of Bethlehem was closing quickly and Jesus and his family needed to get out—fast—to protect Jesus’ life. As hard as it was, God knew what was best, and aren’t we glad Joseph listened?
When God closes a door, we have to trust that He knows what’s ahead. Instead of letting pride get in the way, we need to thank Him for closing the door even though we don’t understand. This morning, even though my feelings are still a little hurt, I am thanking Him and not despising this closed door. He’s showing me that this was a one-time event and was not about me. Instead, it was about praying with a body of believers for a hedge of protection around a major prayer event today, as many members of this nation attempt to return to a place of right standing with the Lord.
Sometimes doors are only open for a short time. What door is closing in your life? Even if it’s difficult, be willing to follow God’s lead.
Join us this Wednesday, September 30th at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom for our next POP Chat where our guest speaker will be KCBI Radio Morning Show Host, Author, and Popular Speaker, Rebecca Carrell who will be speaking about “We Become What We Behold.” Our Worship will be led by Author and Radio Show Host, Donna Renay Patrick. It will be a great time of Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Click on the link to sign up!