You Can Pray!

The Lord's Prayer in a Cemetery in Henderson, ...

Image by Lori SR via Flickr

How much time do you spend in prayer in an average week? Does how long you pray even matter to God?  Should we schedule and time our encounters with God?  Is the quality of our prayer life connected to the quantity of prayer time?

We read in the Bible how long Moses spent in the presence of the Lord-forty days. We read of the discipline of Daniel’s prayer life – three times a day.  We are told of  the disciplined prayer life of Jesus – “He rose early before day”. We read of how long Jesus spent in prayer before He chose the first apostles-all night. We are told of how Jesus prayed the same prayer three times in the span of an hour – “Nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done”.  All the greats, and of course, the greatest, lived with a structured and scheduled prayer discipline. They spent time with God.

Most of us were taught early in our Christian experience that “prayer is talking to God”. It is that and much more.  Prayer is spending time in the presence of the Eternal. It is more than a conversation, it is a communion.  Prayer requires more than words; it requires the devotion of time more than anything else. You will not pray if you don’t make time for God.

Most Christians don’t spend 30 minutes a week in private prayer. Think of that. How much is lost each week because too many believers are not prayer- developed?  Why should we develop a prayer discipline?  What is the urgency in training our souls to spend more time in the presence of the Lord?

The more time we spend in the presence of the Lord the more of eternity we experience. The eternal kingdom of God enters into time and our own experience when we are in prayer. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…”  always happens first in prayer. Whenever we leave our times of prayer we should leave with a greater submission to the ways of God and more filled with His will. This is the true genius of prayer. Prayer can bring all of your life and times in sync with the eternal plans of God.

I want to encourage you to be an extraordinary believer. Pray thirty minutes a day instead of thirty minutes a week. The thirty minutes doesn’t have to be at the same time or in the same setting. The “Kingdom Prayer” that Jesus gives us in Matthew 6:9-13  provides the perfect pattern for a thirty minute daily encounter with God.

I will remind you that it is a pattern, a model, not a repetition or tradition. The goal is to have  a time with God that is powerful and meaningful. The goal is never to fill the time. The goal is to have the time fill us. This means that we must not let our disciplines create pride or prejudice in us or against others. Our amount of time in prayer must not be used as a barometer or measurement of our spirituality, Our time in prayer is simply our manifest confession that  we want and need more of God.

If you want to train your soul to pray thirty minutes a day begin with five (5) minutes of  your focused prayer energy on one of the six principles of prayer Jesus teaches in the Kingdom Prayer.

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”.  Spend five minutes thanking and honoring God for being your Heavenly Father.  Think of all the things that a good father wants for his child. Praise God  for being your Great Provider and Protector.  Study, meditate and declare the names of God and what they mean to your life.

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”. Spend five minutes confessing your need to know and live the will of God. Pray for kingdom wisdom. Ask for the good, acceptable and perfect will of God to be done in your family. Pray for lost souls. Study and declare scriptures that specifically teach the wil of God.

“Give us this day our daily bread”. Spend five minutes seeking from God the equipment you need for your divine assignment. Your daily bread is different everyday. Ask the Father to give you what you need today to do His will. Praise the Father for the fresh bread He is baking just for you.

“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”.  Spend five minutes appreciating the Father for His forgiveness and grace. Release the people whom have wounded you, offended you or wronged you. Ask the Father to help you forgive. Confess your known sins and claim the faithfulness and fairness of God to forgive you based on the finished work of the Cross.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”.  Spend five minutes in spiritual warfare. Ask the Father to keep you from being distracted from your primary purpose in life. Acknowledge the evil that wishes to destroy you and those you love. Ask the Father to preserve your interests from the affects of evil. Declare your victory over all demonic devices and satanic strategies.

“For Thine is the kingdom, power and glory, forever. Amen.”.  Spend five minutes acknowledging and honoring the greatness, grandeur and grace of the Father. Thank Him for your place in the kingdom of God. Praise Him for His sovereign spiritual authority over all heaven and earth. Praise Him for the outcome of His grace in your life. Always open and close each prayer in praise and adoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forty-Something

If you are forty-something I need to talk to you. Over the last week I have had the unusual privilege to speak very candidly with several of my childhood peers about the season of life that faces us when we are living in our forties. There are some unique challenges that it takes being forty-something before you have to confront.  The forties can force all of us to rethink, reevaluate or renew the commitments we have made to ourselves and most importantly to others.

One of the clearest themes and most pertinent points in my conversations and  considerations with the forty-somethings is this whole idea of excitement versus commitment. What I am hearing and sometimes feeling is the strain to return to excitement when your forties only call for commitments. When you get in your forties you realize that you don’t have to like it, you just have to live it. Fun is optional and focus is essential.

Commitment is the mark of  maturity. Tenure is the gold standard. Longevity is now how we measure and mark our progress. Listen to how we talk. We discuss our success in terms of how long we have been married or been on the same job. We legitimize our efforts by pointing to what we have collected during our forty-plus years. When you are forty-something you better have something! This is the pressure of the culture. The upper-middle class is filled with forty-somethings who are buying what they can’t afford, with credit cards they shouldn’t have to impress people they don’t know.

What has happened to our optimism ?  When we were in our twenties we had future-focused optimism. Things could and would  always get better. No matter the situation, we believed that our God-given youth and its strength was enough to fix it.  That idea soon leaves us when we  are facing and forging through our forties. We are reasonably half way through our lifetimes. We don’t have the youth and strength that we once had. We now have to fight pessimism and past experiences just to “keep hope alive”.  If we are not careful our forties can become the cemetery for our hopes, dreams and visions.

We start off with a life built on great expectations and then wind up living a life built on little more than gnawing obligations. We begin with an imagination for an exciting marriage and we wind up in a marriage between roommates or cell mates. We start off with dreams for Spirit-filled, college-educated children and wind up happy if they go to church every now and then and finish their GED. We start off expecting to make lots of money but end up just struggling with the overloading responsibility of debt and bills.

Is “happy” still an opportunity  available to the forties? Is it possible to live excited and enthusiastic again in the middle of a life that has taught us so many disappointments?  Can we forge ahead in our forties with a new faith?

The answer is , “YES!”  The forties can be the most exciting season of your life if you are willing to have a “mid-life crisis”.  A mid-life crisis is not about buying sports cars, chasing younger companions or committing drastic changes. A mid-life crisis should be an awakening that God has bigger plans waiting for you beyond your forties. Your age is not a destination it is a marker on the highway of your life. You have a lot more life to live.

Abraham was 75 years old when he began to serve God. Moses was 80 years old when he lead Israel out of Egypt. Caleb was 85 years ago when he took possession of his promised land. David was 70 years old when he started the building of the Temple.  John the Apostle was in his 90’s when he wrote the Book of Revelation. They all survived through and thrived beyond their forties and wound up doing great things for God.  You can too!

The Prayer Call

Holy Spirit dove window

In recent days I have found myself wondering, How can saints and spiritual leaders be so disinterested in prayer?  Where is the passion for prayer?  What kind of leaders is the church preparing for the next generation if they’re not prayer leaders?  What is the mission of the church if it’s not a “house of prayer”?

The Holy Spirit woke me with these words, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray..” (II Chronicles 7:14) and “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). The word “called” was quickened in my spirit. You must be called to the kind of  prayer that affects the destinies of nations and generations. We claim calls to preach, teach, prophesy, pastor, lead praise and worship and every other specialty of ministry that will fit on a business card.  Where are the ones called to prayer?

All prayer is a work of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is of no interest to the fallen human nature. Our flesh has no desire to pray. Anytime you have a notion to pray it is an unction. The duty and discipline of prayer is a drudgery when it is not inspired and imparted by the Holy Spirit. Only a relationship with the Holy Spirit can keep prayer fresh and inviting. Prayer and any spiritual discipline that is done out of ritual and religion is an abomination before God (Isaiah 1:11-15).

There are no programs or initiatives that will motivate the passion of prayer. We deceive ourselves if we think we can simply recruit intercessors and train prayer leaders. There is only one thing that will urge weak flesh into prayer -unction!The Spirit helps our weaknesses, for we do not know how to pray as we should but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us…” (Romans 8:26).  A prayer-unction born of the Holy Spirit removes burdens and destroy yokes.

The “old man” that the Apostle Paul describes is desperately detached from the highest form of  spiritual ministry. Like Adam, we are running and hiding from God. That’s all prayerlessness is. When we fail to give ourselves wholly to prayer we have taken a journey into the “far country”. We are raising saints and  spiritual sons as prodigals from prayer. When we reject or ignore prayer we are in rebellion, wasting our inheritance and committing high treason against the kingdom of God.

You can have a passion to pray.  It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of grace and supplication” (Zechariah 12:10).  The Holy Spirit is a praying Spirit! The gift of intercession is a spiritual endowment. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you a “praying spirit”. Ask the Father to fill you with an intensity for intercession. Pray! Pray now!

Wisdom For Workers

In this economy we need more than more money; we need more wisdom. Wisdom is the principal asset of true wealth. The journey to your next job should be lead by wisdom. Wisdom can put you in the best job. Your employment should fit your season and build your skill.

The following is based on biblical principles as presented in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 13:

1) Be teachable and open to correction from experienced people.

2) Keep your conversations positive.

3) Learn the power of silence.

4) Be an excellent and extraordinary employee.

5) Be committed to living and telling the truth.

6) Do the right thing when nobody’s looking.

7) Enable and empower others to achieve.

8) Build value into your life.

9) Be loyal to God and enjoy your life.

10) Don’t get into arguments with co-workers.

11) Use your work as a way to build your wealth.

12) Expect good things to happen for you.

13) Live according to the highest standards.

14) Find a wise mentor and learn all you can.

15) Study and serve your employer.

16) Be a life learner.

17) Build a reputation of honesty and consistency.

18) Never ignore good information.

19) Have a righteous ambition and a godly passion.

20) Choose your friends wisely.

21) Do good and trust God for a reward.

22) Pay yourself and save for the future.

23) Discover your own potential.

24) Give your family love and attention.

25) Expect to have all your needs met.

A Prayer For Jobs

August Jobs Report

Image by Leader Nancy Pelosi via Flickr

“Heavenly Father, thank you for being a great and gracious Provider. I worship and adore your name, Jehovah- Jireh.  I bless You for the covenant and promise of Your name. According to your name You will  provide what I need in every season of my life. The Word has promised me that you will supply all my need according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I thank You, Heavenly Father for being faithful to Your word.

For our nation I ask, seek and knock for an economic breakthrough. According to Your divine will for this nation I pray that the financial famine be broken. Father, I confess the sin of this nation in Your Presence. Forgive our sin and restore our economy.  Let there be supernatural increase for my brothers and sisters, in Christ!

I praise You for the power to get wealth. I know wealth is in Your will for me. I receive the wealth and the responsibility. I ask You to give me the wisdom I need to create and conduct wealth.  Grant me discernment, strategies and insights for money management and financial advisors. Show me how to turn money into ministry.

Bring and manifest Your favor upon me as I job hunt and interview. Favor my resume’ and applications. Remember me. Direct me to where I can prosper while being a blessing to someone’s business. Close those doors where I could be brought into bondage and abuse. Place me on the job that will give me the most opportunities to be a witness and win souls.

I thank You for a job that will provide for my family and give me a sense of dignity. Help me with the money I make on the job to give You  the glory. By the help of the Holy Spirit, I will honor You with the tithes and offerings. I will give to those who have need. I will wisely manage my money and grow rich according to the Word. I thank you for the Holy Spirit for teaching me about money. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Prayer America

I took photo with Canon camera.

Image via Wikipedia

This nation’s destiny will not be shaped by ballot boxes. The course of our culture will not rise or fall in Hollywood or on Broadway. The financial insecurities of the American economy will not be fixed on Wall Street on in the Oval Office. The morality of marriage and its meaning will not be decided in supreme courts or in statehouses.

America’s future will be determined in the house of prayer. Prayer sets the compass for a country. This is the wisdom applied by Solomon early in his reign as king over the Golden Dynasty of David. King Solomon built the world’s first “house of prayer”.

The Tabernacle of Moses was focused on propitiation. Atonement was the order of worship. It was all about the slain lamb. The Tabernacle of David was focused on praise. David had praise teams and psalmists for every hour of the day, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It was all about the praise. The Temple of Solomon is built for prayer.  The Temple of Solomon is the place where God will give His attention to praying people. “Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place” (II Chronicles 7:15).

Every nation is being impacted and determined by prayer or prayerlessness. What happens in the house of prayer affects the outcome of nations and generations. The trite manner in which we approach prayer would never give clue that we realize the power we have in nation-intercession. The people of God who are given to the practice of prayer are the real world-changers and nation-builders.

On the day of Dedication King Solomon arrived to celebrate the goodness of God to a nation and generations.When the day ended the chronicler tells us. (Solomon) “…he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people”  (II Chronicles 7:10). The day was a day of incredibly expressive and bombastic celebration. There had been no achievement by Israel as great as this. The newly finished “Temple of Solomon” was considered by many as one of the eight wonders of the world. The modern budget for the project would have exceeded 8 billion dollars. The wealth and wisdom that built the Temple was more than the human imagination had ever conceived and achieved.

The only thing more prominent in the festivities of the day is the covenant God cut with Solomon that same night. During the night, in a dream, God cut a covenant. Solomon prayed for a covenant with God and the LORD answered His prayer.
Solomon,with the world’s greatest wisdom, set in motion a supernatural, transformational, trans-generational model for national health and healing.

Solomon’s prayer provoked God to make Solomon and those he lead some promises. The promises God gave have the power to fix what is broken among us. All national crises, calamities and collapses can be transcended and transformed by praying people assigned and activated to cover a nation with intercession.

“If my people , which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14). This is the word the Lord gave a king and preacher as an answer to prayer. This is wisdom for national health and healing!

Those who are planted in the house of prayer are the only ones that can change the conditions of our country. We have the strategy for a better and brighter America. We will not pay our way out. We will not play our way out. We must pray our way out!

Happy Birthday America!  God blessed America!

God is Wealthy!

10-ounce-Gold-Bar

The wealth of God is another aspect of our theology that goes unnoticed or little understood. God’s wealth however is one of His power attributes.  It is just as an important attribute as omnipotence. How could God claim to have all power and did not possess all wealth?  God’s will would  be handicapped if He was not wealthy.

God wants you to know about His wealth. The word of God continually confirms the wealth of God. The wealth of God is an assurance to every believer that there will never be a need in your life that God does not have the power to handle. Your need is no match for the wealth of God.

Study the following scriptures and discover the wealth of God:

Genesis 1:1 – The first verse in all the Bible reveals the wealth of God. “God created” means that God has the power to supply Himself with anything material, spatial or eternal. The power to create is the power to resist any need.

Genesis 14:17-23 – Melchizedek confirms the wealth of God.  God is described as “Possessor of  all heaven and earth”. The covenant relationship we have with God reveals God as the “Possessor”. If God is the “Possessor” He retains power to repossess. No devil or man can claim original ownership of anything. God is still in control of what He creates.

Deuteronomy 10:14 – Moses confirms the ultimate ownership of God over all things. God is said to own “all that  therein” (Psalm 24:1). “All that therein” would include every atom, every molecule and every infinitesimal cell.

I Chronicles 29:10-14 –  David confirms the wealth of God. God is worshipped for His “greatness”, “power”, “glory”, “victory”, “majesty”. These are attributes associated to His wealth. “All things come of Thee” is a worship that acknowledges the wealth of God.

Psalm 50:10-12 – Asaph confirms the wealth of God. We can never add to the riches of God. God’s wealth is not enhanced by tithes or offerings. God owns the source of all tithes and offerings.

Haggai 2:7-9 – Haggai confirms the wealth of God. “Silver” and “gold” are trading commodities. The basis of currency is in these two metals. Silver and gold have material value. God has investments in silver and gold.  They belong to Him and we are expected to use what we have been given to establish God’s will.

Matthew 6:33 – Jesus confirms the wealth of God. God can add to your life, “all these things”. In order to add all these things He must own “all these things”. There is not a thing existing or non-existent that God can’t get to you.  If it doesn’t exist He can create it just for you and then add it to your life.  WOW!

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