Tag Archives: prayer

Why Pray? ~ National Day of Prayer

Moi, War Room

Since I saw the movie War Room with my good friend, author Jenna Victoria, I’ve been praying a lot more. That film prompted e to stick my formal, written prayers up on the side of my refrigerator [my war room]. That led to me talking to God in my head a lot more. I used to converse in my haed with a an absent, respected friend in order to work something out. Increasingly, I find myself having those types of convos with God.

What I found from these talks with God was an intimacy was taking shape. Without realizing it, I was building a relationship with my Lord and Savior.

As prayer became more of a normal part of my life, I internalized that I was indeed a child of God with certain rights and priveleges (and responsibilities) in the kingdom. I was able to make a few difficult decisions with greater peace, without obsessing about the opinions of people. Did I ponder what others might think of me? Yes, I did, and then I moved on with what I had determined was the right thing to do. The result was, I had peace with it.

Do I forget to pray? Yes. Am I always in peace? No, oh, heavens no. Am I still a whiner? Sometimes, yes. But my prayer life has improved and my life is richer for it.

Moi, Ponte Vedra Beach Lib


My Church Is Having a ‘Onward’ ~ 2017 New Year 21-Day Fast

21-day-fast

This is a corporate fast with prayer. New Life Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville does this every year 21-days before Superbowl. We break the fast at sundown Superbowl Sunday. And I’m sure everyone has a great time feasting (translate = pigging out) on that Sunday evening.

The focus of this corporate fast isn’t only on cutting out things we could be overindulging in. The emphasis is on fasting and prayer. The pastor gave us a small fasting study guide along biblical lines. For example there is the Daniel Fast which is designed to eliminate meat, sweets, and bread. Water, juice, fruits and veggies are consumed. [Daniel 1: 11-13]

My best friend at church told me she was going to eliminate beef and pork for the 21-days. Anyone who is struggling with something such as quitting smoking might find this a supportive time to stop.

Ushers not only passed out a printed guide with the biblical types of fasts, we were also given a printed “Week One Devotional” with a memory verse, a prayer, suggested scripture for further study, and a place for us to write notes. Of course, week two and week three devotionals will be handed out as we progress through this fast.

We were also given a list of topics to pray and/or meditate upon during the fast.

1. Revival in America

2. Complete Personal Freedom

3. Blessing Over Troubles

4. Wisdom From Above

5. Victory Over Our Enemy

During this 21-day period the church will be open at different specified times, so people can gather and pray together while fasting. There is great spiritual benefit for a church body to enter into this type of fasting and prayer. This is a tremendous opportunity for individual church members to spiritually grow and for the church to spiritually grow as a whole.

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My 2016 Blessing Jar ~ quite a work this year

 

IMG_1850In the middle of last year I went blessing jar minimalist. I wanted to get the all mighty me out of the way. I took a pickle jar that struck my fancy and simplified the entire blessing jar phenomena. Slapped a label on it and took my list out of the old jar and rehoused it.

2016 is the third year I’m involved with a blessing jar. I say ‘involved with’ because to me a blessing jar is so much more than creating a jar reflecting one’s essence, or mood, or with ribbon in one’s favorite color.

A blessing jar is a spiritual adventure. The past two years, they have been my spiritual vision for the year in lieu of new years resolutions.

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This year it went further than that. I knew something was taking hold of me but didn’t quite know what. So, I went to Michael’s and bought some glass painting pens and painted a few flowers on my jar while I ruminated. I’m no artist but I think it’s kinda cute.

 

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Then the real deal took hold of me and I began writing out what would be inside my blessing jar. This year it was far more than a list of spiritual goals for the new year. It became a prayer of petition as I’d never done one before. You see, I had just come across Jerry Savelle’s teaching on The Prayer of Petition as a formal, written out spiritual document according to God’s will. So, I prayed about God’s will for me and sited Scripture for each point in the petition. This took the better part of January. Then I sewed a financial seed toward it, signed it, and took communion over it.

IMG_1866Like in past years, I folded it up and put it in my blessing jar. In past years it had been one sheet of paper with a list on it. This year it became a letter to God with a petition attached… three sheets, on both sides, because I sited Scripture for the points listed in my prayer…as to how my petition was according to God’s Word.

I’ve always kept my blessing jar near my computer and referred to it throughout the year. The document I write at the beginning of the year deals with my life for the upcoming year and my hopes and dreams for my loved ones. However, during the year, as I pray for others, I often write their names and the prayer down on a piece of paper, date it, and stick it in the blessing jar. Then from time-to-time I’ll open my blessing jar, refer to what I’ve written inside, and thank the Lord for everything He’s doing in my life and for the people I’m praying for.

Habakkuk 2: 2-4 [NASB] ~ Then the Lord answered me and said,“Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

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Awesome Time at the Kenneth Copeland NYC September 11th and 12th Victory Encounter

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I’ve just spent two days in a packed room with a few thousand believers at The Living Victory Faith Encounter in the Times Square Marriott Marquis Hotel. What a wonderful time I had.

On Friday night, September 11th, I was ushered up to the check-in counter with others who were pre-registered. The session opened with Lindsey Rae (daughter of Kellie Copeland Swisher and granddaughter of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland) leading the pre-service prayer. Lindsey is young, energetic, sweet, and has a heart for prayer. At the Saturday morning prayer, Lindsey chose from the crowd a person from law enforcement, a teacher, a member of the military, a pastor, a youth leader, and several others to lead us all in prayer, each of these praying for the group they represented. This became such a powerful time of prayer.

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The worship music was awesome and energizing. The lyrics of the worship songs were totally aligned with Scripture. I was delighted to get to hear Kellie sing.IMG_1801

 

 

The theme of the two sessions was: Living A Life of Great Faith. At the Friday evening session Brother Kenneth declared, “The body of Christ has no business with fear.”

Saturday morning opened with coffee, followed by prayer, then Brother Copeland spoke. He pointed out, “Grace is the overwhelming desire of God to treat believers as if sin had never happened.”IMG_1802

 

 

 

 


WAR ROOM, the movie – a review ~ What is a prayer warrior anyway?

War Room

 

First, I need to say the movie is an accurate portrayal of committed, sold out evangelical Christian life. So, for believers who have simply been waiting for that, go see the movie. For nonbelievers who don’t have a clue and would like to know what that is, go see the movie.

I’ve read and/or skimmed some of the professional reviews, the respectful ones and the snide, and I’m thrilled this wonderful, powerful, and joyous movie is now number one in the box office. Many of these reviewers must now be scratching their heads. As to a rating, this movie is for every audience, ages 13 1/2 to 113 1/2. I give it Five Stars.

The movie opens with Miss Clara narrating. She is the age old believing matriarch and she’s counseling, “We fight for power. We fight for riches. We fight for rights. We fight for freedom. There always seems to be something to fight about. Very few of us know how to fight the right way.” She’s talking about fighting the real enemy, the spiritual  enemy, the one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy…Satan. Karen Abercrombie, who by-the-way is at least two decades younger than the Miss Clara character she plays, is marvelous.

Elizabeth Jordan, played by African American author and speaker Priscilla Shirer, is an attractive  upper-middle class wife, mom, real estate agent married to a power-house, often cold traveling pharmaceutical sales rep. She’s exasperated and exhausted by constantly quarreling with her husband Tony, played with a vengeance by T. C. Stallings. Elizabeth is upset overhearing her pre-teen  daughter (Alena Pitts) tell her DoubleDutch girlfriend she wished she lived at her house. So, Elizabeth’s not quite, but almost ripe for the pickin’ when she arrives at Miss Clara’s door to help the older woman sell her home.  You see, prayer warrior Miss Clara had been praying for someone she could share with what she’s learned about the strategy of prayer. And the way Miss Clara does it, it is indeed strategy. It’s war. Hence the movie’s title, WAR ROOM.

One of the professional reviewers called Elizabeth practically falling into Miss Clara’s lap contrivance, or the miraculous. The second of those is closer to the truth. Actually, believers know it’s quite normal and usual for this type of prayer to be answered in just this way.This reviewer also wrote, “All the major characters in “War Room” are black, which may be another reason why some underestimated the movie’s ability to draw flocks to megaplexes.” I had to laugh at that one. The true Christian church is much more color blind than they know. Another reviewer wrote, “The movie equivalent of repeatedly being punched by a Bible, War Room is so brazen with its Evangelical agenda and curbed by its lackluster cinematic approach that nonbelievers will find it laughable.” It’s a given, both of these men have never been to a senior citizen church lady’s home for coffee.

This movie doesn’t utilize contrivance as a vehicle. Those who think that misunderstand the power of prayer. The movie tells a compelling story, but it’s also a study in how to pray…or one method of prayer. What director Alex and producer Stephen Kendricks have given us is an authentic portrayal of the impact a prayer warrior can have on another individual in desperate need. Do prayer warriors always have this type of success? No. Is it atypical? Also, no. It’s not unusual for this type of blessing to emanate from sold-out prayer.

The “war room” is an actual place in Miss Clara’s house. It’s her favorite room…well, actually a large closet with a chair, a Bible, and sheets of paper with prayers written on them tacked to the walls. Miss Clara waits until just the right time to show Elizabeth her war room. Eventually, Elizabeth clears out her closet and adopts this method of prayer for herself. It’s a viable method of prayer, and certainly not one created by this movie making brother team. This method of strategic prayer is used by many real life prayer warriors. Do all Christians spend an hour or more praying? No, but prayer warriors do, and most churches have a few of those. This is a movie about a prayer warrior mentoring another fledgling prayer warrior.

I went to see the movie with Christian writer Jenna Victoria who had already seen it once, wanted to go again, and contacted me. About halfway through, she pulled out a package of tissues took one for herself and passed me one. I had been wiping tears from the corners of my eyes, and so had she.

 

 


The Assault of the Present Day World

Mummy, cartoon

 

 

You don’t have to be a Christian to feel the assault of evil in this present day and age. You don’t have to be a believer to know evil is real and tangible.

We live in a world that sucks us into it’s mire. It wraps us in bonds of ugliness, and this wrapping has layers like a mummy. Of course, as a symbol, mummies represent death.

This commonplace crassness and filth assaults our eyes and ears every day. It’s in the workplace where the most foul language is often  usual practice. By the time we get home, we feel as if we need a bath. It’s in the news, on billboards, on daytime TV programs airing in the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Things pop up on our computer screen we did not expect or want. Trash rushes toward us on all sides. We can’t escape it.

The beauty of the life of the believer is that although we live in the world, we are not of it. As long as we walk in the spirit, these things fall off us and away from us. They are there, but cannot touch us. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.

If our flesh is engaged in the mire and is screaming, we can’t hear the Spirit.  Believers must have “alone” quiet time with the Lord each and every day just to be cleansed and refreshed. It is vital to get with God and shut the door, even if it’s for fifteen minutes. Fifteen or more minutes twice or three times a day, even better. There is where our liberty will be.

Matthew 6:  5-6 [NASB]

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.


Victory Over Despair In A Krazy World ~ the ultimate kind

Don't jump off the end of a pier. Sit down on it and pray.

Don’t jump off the end of a pier. Sit down on it and pray.

 

The Lord spoke to my heart reminding me there are many people who read this blog who feel beset on all sides. They have health issues, or they’re home or car is about to be taken away from them by the bank, they’ve just lost their job, their children are flunking in school, and the like. Most of those who read this blog are Christians, but not all. And when the Lord gave me this inner witness, He wasn’t only talking about believers. Many are hurting right now.

Now is the time for each of us to understand on a deep level that God wants the best for all people. That He loves all people.

Now is the time to understand God has the answer for each of us. It’s time to stop looking to the media for answers, even our favorite media outlets. The media lies, twists the truth, or at the very least presents a mostly negative view of life because they think that garners viewers. So, you have to not take that as your reality, knowing at the very least that picture of life is skewed. Lift your eyes to a higher place. Know the situation is better than what you’re getting from the secular world’s point of view. Know, no matter how horrible it is, you can go through and come out.

Isaiah 61:3a [NASB] ~ To grant those who mourn in Zion (put here wherever you live) , Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

The NIV translations says, “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

God has given you praise as a weapon to defeat despair. So, first and foremost give praise to the Giver. Make sure you’re speaking well of God. Watch your words. They have power and they shape your life. Speak well of your life situation, your talents, your home life, your family, your job. Even if you don’t much like your employer, as long as you accept a paycheck, do not denigrate the company with your words. Pray for your life situation, expecting it to get better, for your talents, home life, your family, your job. Go to God in prayer with complaints, not to your best friend, neighbor, or to those at the water cooler.

Now, in the spirit of transparency, I have to tell you that I’m a great complainer. Boy can I murmur up a storm. So, I know God is giving me this “Word” for me first and foremost, but also for those who read this blog who are burdened about to the breaking point. I’ve gotten better about complaining and when I do catch myself complaining, I pray for those I’ve been murmuring about. I know this has helped me get through and is still helping me get through some difficult situations.

I know I’ve grown spiritually in this regard because I used to murmur about situations that weren’t even that important or threatening…just not to my liking. I don’t do that any more. I’ve improved. At least if I’m going to whine and complain now, it’s going to be about something significant. That’s just a stab at humor. My goal is to quit complaining and to be proactive in prayer and outlook, to develop some spiritual muscles.


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