Monday, May 30, 2011

Thinking about sheep and goats

I was at Micky D’s this morning and saw a license plate that read EPH2 89. Since Ephesians 2 does not have a verse 89 I looked up 8 and 9. It reads:

“God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

There are several things to look at here. First it is a message to believers because to an unseeing eye the license plate just had letters and numbers. To a reader of scripture EPH is instantly recognized as Ephesians. The chapter 2 and verses 8 and 9 were easy to figure out. What a wonderful way to send encouragement to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pastor Judi wrote in her blog that we need to usher into the work of the Lord wherever we and whatever we are doing. I am attesting to the truth in that, because it does not matter which church we attend or how many ministries we are involved in if we do not do so in the name of Jesus we waste our time. If we are in a ministry and we are not actually touching the people we are ministering to then we do not do it in His name, we do it in the name of the church or the name of the ministry itself. If I feed and clothe the poor as Jesus instructed me to and then I do not minister to them at the same time then I do no better than the government programs that do the same.

In the parable of the sheep and the goats, the last one Christ talked about in the Bible, the goats never saw Jesus hungry, thirsty, naked, or in prison. This is because they never saw Jesus in the ministry they were doing. They saw people not Jesus. Unfortunately these people did not touch their hearts. Jesus said when you do unto the least of these you do unto me. Jesus never took care of a person in need without addressing their Spiritual needs. Jesus touched, held, listened to, and asked questions of everyone He met. If you are doing things because you think it is what a Christian does and your heart does not ache for those you are working with then go away and get your heart right. We are vessels of God, showing Christ through the love we pour out on others. You have to get over yourself and show Jesus. More of Him and less of me is how Paul puts it. In striving to be more like Christ we have to let go of more of the world. It is not about numbers or how many things we are involved in it is about spending more and more time showing others the unconditional love of Christ. If we do not show the world Jesus then we have nothing to offer because without him we are no different than anyone else in this wretched world ruled by Satan.

Remember you were bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. You have two choices Jesus or Satan you cannot serve both. If you try you become a plastic Christian no good to anyone. Stand up Daughters of The King and be counted. He is raising up a mighty army of women and I plan to stay in the ranks. Together we will enlarge, encourage, and nurture the Kingdom of God.

Be Blessed in His Holy and precious name, and ever in pursuit of Zoe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Travail in prayer

I have been back in my book Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets. I think that I am learning about how we are supposed to pray for others. I know we are supposed to pray over them. I know we are supposed to pray earnestly and with expectancy. Pastor Dutch talks about praying that the Holy Spirit will hover over someone. The prayers we pray are to release the power of the Holy Spirit in some one's life.

When we pray we ask God to release the dunamis (the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit). When I pray I tend to slip into praying in the Spirit. One of my teachers told me that if you have no details to labor over when praying for someone you pray in the Spirit. Sometimes I feel as though no amount of my words will do so I just pray in the Spirit. My concern is for those who have not received their prayer language. I have been told that it is a gift; I have been told you can receive it simply by opening up, and I have been told you must earnestly seek it.

So how do you receive a prayer language? Well there is no clear answer to that. I know this because I sought after this gift for so long and did not receive it. I have learned that some of my personal difficulties have been that I simply did not have a clear understanding of what it is I was seeking. I was not raised Pentecostal and I had no clarity on what it was or how to use it if I had it. My understanding was from other religions. I envisioned a mysterious force taking hold of one's body and completely taking over. Since I have received my prayer language I know differently. As you begin to pray your mind is conscious of who or what you are focusing your prayer on but as you release you control of the spoken language to the Spirit inside you the words flow forth. Having an interpretation is not necessary as this is you, the Spirit of God, and God the Father.

I know some very strong Christians who do not have this gift. I wonder of it is a maturity level or if one simply reaches a place in their heart where they are earnestly seeking and it is given. I have been a Christian for over 40 years and only received my prayer language two years ago. It is a hard call as to how or why and my only explanation is that God knows when you are ready.

When truly praying to intercede for someone one must speak the words out not mumble or pray inside your mind. Pray out with authority that is how we release the power of the Spirit to work. Satan is already defeated, Christ received the keys, He ascended into heaven and before He left He imparted the authority and connection to the power of Almighty God to every Christian that will. I say that will because many do not. Intercessory prayer is a powerful weapon against the unseen realm of the spirit world. People and especially Christians have no power because they do not seek it. They do not want to put forth the effort to achieve because it takes time! Time that many are not willing to give.

I am seeking to increase my interceding for those too precious to lose. Some are not aware of the precarious place in which they are walking. Many a Christian will adamantly tell you they are good. Unfortunately they are usually not so good. If they are not bearing fruit then they are not good. In Revelation we are warned about being lukewarm Christians. I admonish you that if you are not an evangelist, a preacher, a teacher or others in ministry you can be a prayer warrior. A prayer warrior has no age restrictions, no status, no requirements but the sincere desire to help other to know God, be saved, and accomplish God's purpose for their lives.

One thing I do know is that this is not an easy task. Many hours of prayer are needed in most situations. Sometimes praying for the lost or the rebellious seems futile. But the answer to our prayers may come even after we are long gone. That is why it is called faith. You believe in that which you cannot see. Pastor Dutch says that if we liken our prayer to the thought of overshadowing the one we are praying for with the Spirit of God the Spirit will then hover over that person. Remember when Peter would walk by and when his shadow fell on people they were healed? It was not because Peter’s shadow could heal it was because the Spirit of God was hovering over Peter. As Peter prayed for those needing a touch the power of God through the Spirit of God was released.

I know what you are thinking; wouldn’t it be fantastic if we were also in possession of that power? Peter must have been so spiritual. Well news flash… you are! Christ said if you believe in me I will send another to be with you, the Spirit of Truth, John 15: 26. The Spirit when it enters a new Christian is not a watered down version that you have to build up by being a Christian and going to church. No, the Spirit is as powerful as it will ever be we only have to have the uninhibited faith to release the power. It is released through your words, your prayers you speak and God releases power. But you have to believe and…and it has to be in God’s will. Also in His time, something which we have difficulty with. So keep praying over the ones you know are not saved, not serving, need healing or just need to know God is there. In His time.