Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

A phase of the prayer cycle I follow is referred to as the "Readiness of the Church" for her groom, Christ. I've never really understood how to pray for said "readiness." Today I asked myself what a bride does to prepare for marriage.
She grows up.
Pray for members of the body to reach a spiritual maturity and to recognize God's calling for individual lives, so that we may grow into a mature body prepared to lead the thousands of lost in our communities.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Matthew 5:27-48: Control the sin while it's in your mind. By the time it becomes your actions, it's controlling you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

Sometimes it doesn't take a lot of words to make a point.
Listen more. Filling an hour with words directed toward God is not a living prayer, nor is it effective.

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

A prayer for myself - that I no longer fear the coming of Christ. Is anyone else just terrified at the thought of the earth crumbling away under our feet and having to rely on the unseen? I appreciate God, but I really appreciate the predictability that I rely on thanks to physics.
Heard back: How great is life today with God? He's keeping promises and answering prayers without being physically visible. Imagine when He's here, there is no enemy, no more prayer over conflict or darkness. He no longer has to prove Himself to us through works that defy our earthly logic, because our earthly logic has already been defeated. Physics is defeated. Everything in the world is in agreement with His logic and there are no more contradictions.

God never promised us health, wealth, a perfect earth or an easy life in this age. Devastation, boredom with God and frustration are all normal cycles in the age of darkness. All God has promised is that He is faithfully with us, we are not foresaken, and the earth will be His someday. He has never and will never break these promises. Although we often get "stuck" or in ruts, we owe it to Him to remain faithful as well. (Although this was originally written on 1/18/10, I'm typing it on 4/29/10, and it's just what I needed to hear today. Well planned, Big Guy.)

Prayed over: Our finances are mysteriously low this month. Paychecks are what they should be and bills haven't increased, but numbers are just lower than normal.
Heard: Satan is using his tool of money/greed to try to come between Zach & me. We are on a good trajectory for God for the first time (individually and as a team), and money is the top earthly thing couples fight over. We must trust that God will provide, be responsible with what we are given, and rid ourselves of the need to find security in savings.
Heard: Push ourselves to something radical with our savings account. Stop using it as a comfort. Find comfort in God alone.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010 - Answered Prayer

I was driving Friday night (1/15) from Ark City to El Dorado, taking a route I'm unfamiliar with. As I drove further away from town, I noticed that the fog in the air was becoming increasingly thick. Eventually, I could only see a car length or two in front of my face. Limited visibility + dark + 2-lane country highway + high speed limit + deer in area - experience with this highway = White knuckles on my steering wheel, and racing pulse. No end in sight. After about five minutes of near-cardiac arrest, I finally remembered that there is SOMEONE out there that has control over the fog. I prayed, terrified, that God would lift the fog and banish fear from the car. Before my prayer was even over, it was crystal-clear conditions that lasted the entire drive. This is the first experience I have with an answered prayer in this context - a direct, physical command being performed by God's authority. Praise God! I couldn't wait to tell Zach about this, and did so the next morning. That night (Saturday 1/16), he was driving home from work in El Dorado and also encountered fog so thick he couldn't drive the speed limit on the turnpike. Whaddya know - as soon as he prayed it, that fog was lifted. So metaphorical for living in a earth enveloped in "fog." We feel powerless against this fog, and can only clutch the steering wheel and hold on. Then God steps in and reminds us that fog has no authority when compared with Him. What an AWESOME weekend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

I am a member of what our church family refers to as a "Day and Night Intercession." Among about 100 believers, there is a non-stop 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week prayer being lifted until the return of Jesus. A pamphlet has been published to offer suggestion of how to develop an hour of prayer. Obviously, first and foremost develop on where the Lord is leading you, but anyone that's spent an hour a day in prayer knows that there are times you feel a little lost. Anyway, the seven suggested "phases" of prayer are as follows:

1) Praise and Prayer for the Glory of His Name
2) The Readiness of His Church
3) The Salvation of the Lost
4) The Nations
5) Money
6) Spiritual War
7) The Return of King Jesus

As I moved through the phases this morning, I started to appreciate the logical order of their arrangement - one flows into the next easily. The one that really sticks out most to me is that phase one has you begin your prayer with praise for His name. Although it is important to give thanks and praise where it is due, I don't think that God needs my personal "seal of approval" to know He is doing well. The more I delve into the subject, the more I think that praise to God is actually a process for me. By starting my prayers with an admission that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, I am submitting to His authority. It is a process of putting things in their proper order, and coming into agreement with the Lord. When I get myself on the same page as my Father, it is only natural that we would grow and make progress together. This applies easily to daily living - I need to let every morning start with an admission of God's authority and an agreement with His will.

Booklet available at http://projectone28.com/Day_and_Night_Prayer.pdf
More information on the Day & Night Intercession at http://www.newlifeequip.com/?p=369

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010 - Answered Prayer

In our marriage, I am the spender and Zach is the saver. Not that I am reckless or he is stingy, we just have slightly different comfort zones with finances. We've been discussing recently some upcoming financial opportunities we are anticipating and the directions to take these. We'd talked about saving up for the down payment on owning a home, and decided this was responsible. Then God came along and interjected His opinion into our perfectly reasonable earth plan. Conversation was as follows:
God: Give this money as an offering.
Me: I don't wanna.
God: You don't need a nicer house with better flooring. You need to offer your blessings to those in real need.
Me: Okay, deal. But how do I tell Zach this without guaranteeing an argument?
God: I'll convict him when he needs convicting.
Me: Ha, good luck.
Four days pass with me sending regular prayer for a breakthrough to Zach, but no actual word of it to him. Today Zach approached me to let me know that he felt convicted to greater financial offering, however that may be. Conversation was as follows:
Me: silence
God: Zing! I win.

I have the gift of gab, and spend a lot more time talking than is really necessary. God reminded me today that His words do a lot more good than my words.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010 - While Praying for Haiti

I cannot imagine the terror that ensues when the earth shakes. For many Haitians, the earth is the only truth they have, the only constant resource on which they can rely. Where do their spirits sink when their earth betrays them? Haitians need food, water, medicine, education. In their desperation for these resources, some are blind to seeing what they lack most desperately is the Lord. There is a God powerful enough to ease hunger pangs, quench thirst without water, heal the sick and teach without textbooks. There is a great enough God to know and heal every one. There is a God great enough to cover their sin and protect them in His love when the bitter earth wages war. There is a God great enough to be the real solid rock when even the earth shakes under our feet. Do not trust anything in your sight- even the earth will betray you. Hold on tight to the Lord, who does not betray. Haiti was not forsaken. God never left.
God is bigger than the earth. He brought it into creation under His rule and His power. Gravity may fail, floods may cover the earth, asteroids may collide. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the earth will fall away from under our feet. God is still alive. Hold on tight, He will not let you go.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010

I've been in regular attendance at my home church for a year now. I still don't know 85% of the congregation. I am introduced to the same people regularly, and the same people forget who I am by the next week. I'm frustrated with this, and my flesh feels like the members of the church are self-absorbed and not interested in growth. I spent time in prayer this morning for these members to be more welcoming of growth and to see outside of their comfort zones. Then came the part where God reminds me that my flesh response is not always in agreement with Him. He reminded me that one my flaws is a desperate need for social acceptance. When in social situations, I completely adapt to what is expected of me and often betray the Lord's interest. Had I become intertwined in the social operations of the church family in the year 2009, I would have lost focus of the Lord. I now understand that God has been keeping me away from the social circle of the church family as a means of ensuring my best growth in Him. He's smarter than me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

My theme this morning is difficult for me to put into words. The Lord is telling me that I don't need to fall more in love with Him to strengthen our relationship. I need to understand better how He loves me. When I see the way my mother/husband/son loves me, it doesn't take any effort to love in return. I pray today for clear vision that can better see His beauty. The more I know Him, the more I can reflect and radiate this beauty to those around me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It's dawned on me today that, as a man, Jesus also had human emotion. He experienced fear and apprehension, and gave us an example of how to overcome these flesh responses. As a human, it is not a sin for me to get angry, sad, confused. My duty is to take these emotions to God honestly and ask for guidance to handle them. Gospel of Matthew tells of Jesus's anger upon visiting a church that had become more of a trading post for business transactions than a place of worship. He referred to it as a "den of robbers" and overturned tables in his rage. This anger served the Lord's purpose, and was not sinful. Many prophecies were fulfilled on Matthew 2 and 3- in these, Joseph was warned in his dreams multiple times. He had fear and doubt about these visions, yet still followed God's will.
Edit: Psalm 2 confirms this as well.