The Rock Is Higher

The House of Prayer Everywhere

October 6th, 2021 / Evening Devotion

Bishop Sean Teal, Visionary © Reserved 2021

God will deliver and defend through the power of prayer. Our deliverance began with a prayer. Every deliverance begins with a prayer. Jesus hangs on The Cross and with blistered and quivering lips blotted by His own blood prays, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

The Psalmist, a man of genuine prayer, feels overwhelmed.  You can be a person of prayer and still feel overtaken by a season. Overwhelmed is the feeling of fainting. It is the picture of being weakened by warfare. It is a word picture that comes from the life of a sailor and the ship on a sea. Anytime strong and angry waves crashed upon the ship and then began to go over the helm of the ship, the ship, the captain and crew would now be considered “over helmed”. “Over helmed” is what you sense when it seems that your circumstances are breaking through into your safe place. Overwhelmed is how you feel when you feel under the pressure of something you can’t control. It is that gnawing feeling that something has the potential to wipe you out. It is having a clear and present danger that is relentless and unyielding. It is to feel that your best is not good enough for the moment or the threat. 

How will we he defended? The Psalmist knows of only one refuge. He has but one true option for his situation. He needs to be led out. He needs an exodus. He needs to be taken to a place of ultimate safety and security. He needs to be preserved. He needs a covering. He needs well-being.

He prays to be led “to the rock that is higher than I”. The “I” is the ego. It is our self identity. It is how we see ourselves. It is purely self-perception. This is what the Psalmist wants to overcome. He wants to have a trust in God that is higher than the trust he would ever have in himself, his gifts, good works, talents or abilities.

The “Rock that is higher” is a place that can only be obtained by the purpose and power of God. The ‘Higher Rock” is such an elevated palace that it takes God to put you there. “Lead me to the rock too high for me to climb by myself, and place me there” is one of the translations I studied.

This is how we fight our battles. We pray. We ascend. We strive for a higher consciousness, awareness and boldness in prayer and The Word.

Your Weapons Will Win!

The House of Prayer Everywhere

October 5th, 2021 / Evening Devotion

Bishop Sean Teal, Visionary © Reserved 2021

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (vss. 4-5). 

While growing up in California (USA) I used to watch a weekly television series called, “Batman”. Batman was a “superhero”. He and his sidekick, “Robin” were the “dynamic duo”. Batman and Robin were crusaders conquering criminals and crime in the imaginary metropolis of “Gotham”. Each week they had a different “criminal mastermind” or “evil genius” to face and fight. What made them “super” was their knowledge,  precision and the wise use of their weapons, tools and technologies. They were mere humans. They had the edge on all their enemies because they had constant access to their “utility belts.” In these belts everything they needed to break them through and give them a victory over the enemy was with them, on them. 

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments (NLT). We are reminded that we have all the weapons we need to win against the next attack of the enemy. We can knock down thoughts that destroy our faith. We can destroy ideas and opinions that are not from the Word of God. Whatever will assail us we have what it takes to overcome it. Whatever harasses and hinders us will lose the battle because our weapons are ever effective. We can’t lose with the weapons we use! Our spiritual arsenal is “mighty through God”. God’s power is always available for the believer’s victory. ###

The House of Prayer Everywhere

October 4th, 2021 / Evening Devotion

Bishop Sean Teal, Visionary © Reserved 2021

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 54 is a prophecy about fertility. The enemy of God’s people wants to burden them with barrenness. He wants to cut them off from their source and supply. He wants them to live in lack, desperate and afraid. One of the ancient tactics of warfare was to besiege a city. They would surround the city and wait it out. 

During the wait they would design artillery and other mechanics of warfare in order to penetrate the city’s fortifications. The people in the city could literally watch the enemy form weapons against them. This is the prophetic picture Isaiah inscribes. 

Weapons are being formed, but they would never find success against God’s people, God’s protected. The LORD has established a covenant of victory with His people. His people can sing even in a season of drought because of their covenant (vs.1). His people can plan for expansion and growth because of their covenant (vs. 2). His people would never be ashamed of their God because of their covenant (vs, 4). His people would be returned and restored because of their covenant (vss. 5-12). His people would have children and descendants that would know and serve their God because of their covenant (vs. 13). His people would experience hardship but they would always prevail because of their covenant (vss. 14-16). We always win! 

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The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur, Hebrew Yom Ha-Kippurim is the most solemn of Jewish religious holidays when orthodox Jews focus on the expiation of sins and a desire to have reconciliation and relationship with God. Yom Kippur concludes the “10 Days of Repentance” (Awe) that begin with Rosh Hashana (New Year’s Day). It is observed on the 10th day of the lunar month of Tishri (September and October)

The Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets

So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet (II Samuel 6:15).

Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Teruah—”The Day of the Sounding of the Shofar.”

A shofar is an instrument made primarily and ordinarily from the horn of a ram. The shofar of Rosh Hashanah could not be constructed of an artificial instrument. It had to be an instrument in its natural form and naturally hollow – the ram’s horn.

The sound of the shofar was used in ancient  Israel to announce the Rosh Chodesh, “the head of the month”. Each month started with acts of worship and offerings of sacrifice.  They put Yahweh at “the head of the month”.

The blowing of the shofar called upon God, gathered His people together and announced a change in seasons and strategies.

The shofar was always blown on Rosh Hashanah, declaring the end  at the beginning of the New Year. It sounded upcoming blessings and breakthroughs.. 

It signifies the need to wake up to the call of God upon your life. God called Abraham to sacrifice. The portion read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah is always,The Binding of Isaac” (Genesis 22). Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son, Isaac. The horn of the ram represents how God provided revelation, substitution and salvation through the sacrifice of His own choosing.

When Bad Things Happen To God’s People

Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

It is the proposition of God’s goodness that gives perspective to the prose and poetry of this psalmist. In proximity to the text the psalmist pronounces a profound philosophy of life. In verse 68 of Psalm 119 the psalmist gives shape, structure and syntax to a spiritual syllogism. He says to God about God, “Thou art good, and doest good..”.

The psalmist offers two truisms for the building of his syllogism. 1) God is good. 2) God does good. The syllogism is now set. If God is good and If God does good, then God always has something good that He wants to do. The psalmist provides for all of us a prism through which we can peruse our own personal pain. He sees his afflictions through the goodness of God. “Thou art good, and doest good”.

God is good and whatever He does is good. Whatever happens to this psalmist he has steadied himself in the grandeur of God’s goodness. And if our lives are connected to God then we must see all of life through the goodness of God. If God is good and does good, then we must find God  and the good that He is doing in every “bad” situation. We have to have the courage to look out beyond our present pain and to gaze upon the glory of  God’s goodness

The psalmist sets his theology within the tapestry of this poetry. He prays the hope of every human heart; he cites the great guarantee we all so desperately need; he gives voice to what every one of us wants to believe, and has to believe – even though things are bad, God is still good!  

From the ancient Saxons we get the original meaning for the English word ‘God’. God is translated as  “The Good”.  God is “The Good”. You can’t have good until you first have God. God is goodness. There is no goodness without God. If you have some goodness without the goodness of God , your goodness is good for nothing!

God is all good. When He created the heavens and the earth he closed everyday  with this assessment, “And God saw it was good”. Six times God stood at the end of a day and said, “That was good”. The day was not over until God said, Good!”  Whatever you’re going through, God is going to bring you out of it with some good. When you come out of this you’ll be stronger, wiser and better!

Everyday in the week of the Creation started in the evening and ended in the morning. Six times in Genesis chapter 1 we read, “And the evening and the morning were the (….) day.” So God started every day in the evening and closed everyday with the morning. That means – God has never seen a day that ended in the dark. 

The reason the psalmist can say, “This is the day that the Lord has made ; let us rejoice and be glad in it” is because the psalmist knew that the Lord won’t let your days close out in the dark. Every day God makes is going to end in the morning. God won’t let you stay in pain.“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.

Whatever God is doing in the dark is designed to develop you. Prior to the digital age photographers had to develop their pictures in a “dark room”. It was called a “dark room” because it was a dark room. It was designed to keep the light out so the pictures could properly develop. Now the dark room is not where they displayed  their pictures; the dark room is where they developed their pictures.

God will take you to some dark places and put you in some dark rooms so He can develop you. A.W. Tozer says, “It is doubtful that God will use anybody greatly who He has not first hurt deeply.” Kahlil Gibran says, “Sorrow is the spade that digs the well of joy and the deeper sorrow carves into you the more joy you can contain”. The great cellist Gaspar Cassado was often heard reminding his orchestra students, “You can’t play great music unless your heart has been broken”.

The goodness of God does not prevent our pain, it processes our pain. The goodness of God doesn’t restrict our pain, it redeems our pain. The goodness of God turns your pain into power.

God’s goodness has the power to transforms us. His goodness  is designed to deliver us from the places our minds can take us.  Your mind can take you some places and keep you so long you can lose your mind on the trip.  Pain and betrayal, loss and hurt, anguish and grief, abandonment and abuse can all take your mind to places where your mind can’t survive. Your mind wasn’t made to carry the weight of worry. Your mind is not supposed to be full of fear. Your mind is not supposed to be stressed-out and anxious. Your mind was not made to be a deposit for dope and depression.

So, if you don’t want to lose your mind, the goodness of God has to change your mind. The Apostle Paul says, “It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4). The  goodness of God is not only a game changer, it is a mind-changer. The word “repent” means to change your mind. It literally means “to think again”. It is the idea of returning your mind to where your mind should have never left. When you repent you are placing your thoughts on the goodness of God. I know what it looks like, but God is still good!  I know what people are saying, but God is still good!

Repentance is the power to get your mind back! Don’t leave your mind behind. I’m coming out of this with my mind! I’m not leaving this affliction without my mind. I’m going to need my mind for the next great thought God is going to give me.

* Once your mind comes back to God you can just think yourself happy. When your mind is back with God you are always one thought away from a praise. God never intended for things to determine your praise and worship. God is not giving away cars and houses, raises and promotions, money and salaries so you can have something to shout about. God never wants your praise coming from a thing because if you lose your things you will lose your praise. But if you can get a thought.

God wants your praise coming from a thought. You are one thought away from a thought. When you think of where you could be; when you think about how low you have been; when you think about how the Lord has raised you up. When I think about the goodness of Jesus…

The reason the goodness of God can change your mind is because the goodness of God can blow your mind. Psalm 145 says that “The Lord is good to all”. That should blow your mind! If the Lord is good to all it means that there is only one thing I have to do to qualify for the goodness of God, – I have to be one of the “all”. The Lord is good to all.

The Lord is good to people who aren’t good to themselves. The Lord is good to people who aren’t good to you. The Lord is good to people who aren’t good to anybody. The Lord is good to people who are good  for a while. The Lord is good to people who are no good. The Lord is good to people who are good for nothing. The Lord is good to all. The goodness of God will give you your mind back.

The psalmist awakens us from the comforts of our suburban blessings and forces upon us a forgotten perspective on the goodness of God. The goodness of God can be painful. The psalmist gives voice and pathos to those of us struggling in our minds with the goodness of God and the pain of our own lives. We wonder if God is so good, then why do I have to hurt like this? If God is so good, why is it that my life seems so bad? If God is so good, then why do bad things happen to God’s people.

The psalmist does not toss out an answer, rather he offers us this clarion claim –  God is always good for your good. Whatever God has to take you through to get you to your good He will take you through it. “It was good that I was afflicted”. The afflictions that you have are good. Your good is so great that every thing you called “bad” God was calling it good. ” And we know all things work together for the good..”

* You call it affliction. God calls it preparation. You call it wounded. God calls it anointed. You call it weakness. God calls it power. You call it a battle. God calls it a victory. You call it pain. God calls it purpose. You call it misery. God calls it ministry. You call it a set back. God calls it a set up. You call it a rap sheet and a record. God calls it a testimony. You call it a break down. God calls it a break through. You call it a mess. God calls it a message. You call it your past. God calls it His grace. They call it lucky. God calls it favor! God has inspected your pain and He calls it “Good!”.

Let the psalmist show us how to be thankful even when life is painful. The psalmist won’t complain because his affliction gave him a new attention. When pain hits our bodies we give attention to the pain. The pain demands our attention. Pain tells us when we need to give attention to a certain part of the body. Pain can also tell us when to give attention to certain parts of our lives.

In verse 67 the psalmist says, Before I was afflicted, I went astray”. “Astray” tells us that he was being distracted by life and was being moved away from God. He didn’t escape from God; he strayed. He didn’t abandon God; he strayed. He didn’t run away from God; he strayed.  When any soul leaves God it’s never a blow out, it’s always a slow leak.

The psalmist admits that he needed a new attention. “ I went astray”.  His pain brought him back into focus. And if God lets your pain refocus your faith, thank God for the pain. God is so good He will let your pain push you back to prayer. He will use your pain to bring you back to where you belong. God is so good, He will let your pain drive you back to church. God is so good He will let your pain get you away from people that don’t mean you any good. God is so good He will let your pain bring you back to your mind!

The story is told about a little boy who built himself a boat and took it down to a stream of water to test it. While it was in the water a current took the boat away from the boy while he stood on the banks of the stream. The little boy quickly started picking up rocks and throwing rocks over the boat. He started tossing rocks on the other side of the boat. Every time he tossed a rock it created a ripple. Every ripple brought that boat a little closer to the boy until he just reached out and picked the boat up out of the water. God is not throwing rocks at you. God  maybe throwing rocks over your life to get you a little closer to Him.

He won’t complain about the pain because his affliction gave him a (new affirmation) We are so quick to judge what is good or bad based on how it makes us feel. The psalmist does not make a conclusion of his situation based on emotions. He comes to this faith affirmation, “It was good for me”.

It doesn’t have to be good to you in order for it to be good for you. God personalizes our pains to fit our purposes. What you go through would not have been good for me. What I went through was good for me because it was a tailored-made just for me.

* If you want to take power away from the pains of your past I dare you to say, “It was good for me!”  I didn’t want it; I didn’t like it; I didn’t ask for it; I didn’t think it was fair; I didn’t see how; I didn’t know when; I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I can say, “It was good for me!” Write your enemies a “Thank You” card and tell them, “It was good for me”. Joseph told his low down brothers, “You thought it for evil, but God meant it for good!”

The psalmist won’t complain about the pain because it gave him a (new appreciation) . In verse 70 the psalmist says, “I delight in thy law”. In verse 72 he says, The law of thy mouth is better than thousands of gold and silver”. He thanks God for the affliction that gave him a new appreciation for the Word of God. “It was good that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes”. “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept thy Word”.

The psalmist discovered the power of God’s Word in the middle of his pain. What you need to get through this affliction is a word from God.  For every pain God has a promise. For every wound God has a word.

If you have an affliction, God has a word: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers out of them all”.

If you feel lost, God has a word: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

If your heart is heavy, God has a word: “Let not your heart be troubled, Believe in God, believe also in Me”.

If your mind is worried, God has a word: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your mind and heart in Christ Jesus.”

If your body is in pain, God has a word: “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.”

If you feel afraid, God has word: “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid.”

If you feel alone and lonely, God has a word: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me”.

If you don’t know what to do next, God has a word: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths”.

If you’re broke or bankrupt, God has a word: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

If you have some haters hanging around: God has a word: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”

If you don’t have enough, God has a word: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think”.

If you feel down and out, God has word: “Lift up your heads and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors and the King of glory shall come in”.

If you feel like the devil robbed you: God has a word: “The thief cometh to kill, steal and destroy, but I came that you might have life and that more abundantly.”

If you feel like you’ve been waiting for a long time, God has a word: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint.”

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired: God has a word:
“ Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

The goodness of God is where our faith begins. The gospel is “God’s good news”. God transcribed His Goodness in the language of human events. In Jesus the gospel is the good news about the goodness of God. The gospel announces that God is exceedingly, extravagantly and existentially good. God ‘s goodness is more goodness than you’ll ever need. God. Jesus is God’s goodness guarantee.

Under the purple canopy of a cool Palestinian night, while shepherds slept in sweet repose, angels in antiphonal song announced Him saying, “Peace on earth and goodwill toward all men”. When men heard Him teach they called Him, “Good Master”. The report of His ministry was “He went about doing good”.

The life of Jesus is a gospel of goodness! Goodness was crucified. Goodness was sacrificed for sin. Goodness endured pain and betrayal. Goodness was buried in a cold grave but goodness could not be conquered. God raised Goodness from the grave! This is the gospel. This is goodness!

God is a good God, Yes, He is

The House of Prayer Everywhere

“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people”

(Isaiah 56:7).

Our Milestones

The House is God’s house.

The House is a spiritual family.

The House is a joyful house of prayer for all people.

Our Mission

The Love of Jesus and the Power of Prayer for all people.

Our Ministry

Post-Denominational – We are a collage and connection of many different denominational histories.

Multi- Generational – We are committed to reaching and offering relevant ministry to every generation in every family.

Cross-Cultural – We are a house of prayer for all nations. We do not place significance on one culture over another.
Urban -Missional – We are based in Oakland, CA, USA and are therefore doing ministry that positively impacts this city.

How To Avoid Ministry Burnout

“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately” (Mark 6:30-32).

There are some principles in this passage that full-time ministries can apply that can protect from ministry burn out:

1. Remain Christ-Centered. The key to ministry vitality is spiritual intimacy. When are close to Christ we stay close to His Passion.

2. Rehearse Spiritual Successes – We often burnout because we don’t take the time to testify of the triumphs. Good things are happening through you. Verbalize the victories of the ministry.

3. Relax Regular Routines – Whatever you normally and daily do take a break from it. It’s okay. Jesus said you could.

4. Recognize People Pressure – People are always coming and going in ministry. Don’t take it personal. People are for a season and a reason.

5. Replenish Natural Needs – Sleep well, eat your favorite foods and enjoy some private time doing whatever makes you feel full and fulfilled.

Bishop Sean Teal /

The Strategy of a Sabbatical

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light “ (Matthew 11:28-30).

On the seventh day of the seventh month I am officially beginning my first full thirty (30) day sabbatical. This is a time for me to rest my body, relax my soul and renew my spirit. My time will be spent quietly in The Word and prayer joyfully with our family and thoughtfully with a few real good books. 

My greatest appreciation goes to the members of The House of Prayer Everywhere who make these moments possible and enjoyable. As your senior pastor and visionary I take this sabbatical with the intention of returning as a better servant and shepherd. Thank you for investing in my recharge and reboot!

The “sabbatical” is a state of imposed rest. It is when one schedules and disciplines themselves to take a time of rest from normal and vocational responsibilities. For most highly imperative personalities it is hard work to find rest. Listen to Jesus! He will put your resistance to rest to bed.  

I too am one of those imperative personalities. I think in terms of what I “must” do versus what I can do, I live a high intensity lifestyle. I am impassioned and committed to impact. The anointing of the ministry attracts movers and shakers, entrepreneurs, engineers  and educators. 

We all need a sabbath for the “soul”. We All need to take some time off to renew our minds, wills and emotions. Let The House rest.  The seventh (7th) is the sabbatical number. 

On the seventh day God rested (Genesis 2:1-2). Each year The House sets aside July as a month of intentional rest and relaxation from the rigorous responsibilities of full time ministry.

The wisdom of a sabbatical is encouraged in the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30.  Jesus spoke these words to people who were exhausted by the routines and rituals of Temple religion. They were spent. They were at their liturgical and levitical ends. They needed rest from trying to gain God’s approval through works and The Law. He seems to outline for them and now Us how to take a spiritual sabbatical that changes your life.

Sabbaticals should be times of:

  1. Unloading “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take the time to rest from whatever is the “labour” and whatever is the “heavy burden”. Acknowledge your limitations and don’t be lulled or bullied into being everyone’s hero and everyone’s resource. Rest from having to be the answer for all. Consider yourself and care for yourself and don’t apologize for it.
  1. Uploading –Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. This is the time to focus on Jesus, who He is, what He wants and what wills for your life. Rest in knowing that “the yoke” (that is easy and the burden that is light) always carries you forward into your faith and further into His favour. Take this time to learn of Him. Get in His lap and listen to His heartbeat. Learn the rhythm of your Father’s heart. Draw closer to God and watch God draw closer to you. It is an unbreakable spiritual law (James 4:7-9). 

“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately (Mark 6:30-32).