Browsing "1-50"

Praying in the Spirit

Although praying in the Spirit or tongues can be a controversial subject, I share my own experience as encouragement to study it out and experiment.

I was raised in a church where “tongues” were considered from the devil.  I even wrote papers in college against it.  However, a number of years later I was invited to attend a Pentecostal church with a friend.  Not wanting to be rude, I accepted her invitation and went with much fear and trepidation.  During a pause in worship, the congregation began singing in the Spirit.  I was amazed at the beauty of it and it touched my heart.

A couple of years later, in a prayer group with some Spirit-filled Christians, we encountered “tongues” again.  We were deeply moved and saw the impact that it had.

When we eventually left our traditional church and joined a Spirit-filled church, I desired to speak in tongues, but didn’t know how it worked.  Somehow I thought Read more »

Oct 2, 2012 - 1-50, Corporate Prayer    No Comments

Beach Ball Prayers

I love the book/movie “Horton Hears a Who” as it demonstrates that everyone’s voice is not only important, but absolutely vital.  Sometimes we can think our weak prayer is nothing compared to a confident intercessor next to us.  Yet God values all prayers, short or long, eloquent or simple.  In fact, Jesus honored the short prayer of the tax collector who recognized his need and cried, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” more than the righteous Pharisee who waxed long on his great qualities (Luke 18:9-14).

Several years ago while attending a small church, I did a series of short teachings on prayer and then we “experimented” or “practiced” it.  While teaching on corporate prayer, I asked the Lord how we could “do” it in a unique way that would include everyone.  I must admit to being a bit nervous about what I felt He was suggesting, but wanted to be obedient.

After the teaching, we gathered in a circle.  I explained that we would do short sentence prayers on the theme of thankfulness.  I took a beach ball and said my sentence prayer as I threw it to someone in the circle.  They caught the ball and then tossed it to another person as they said their prayer.  It kept the prayers Read more »

Sep 24, 2012 - 1-50, Corporate Prayer    2 Comments

Prayer Hogs and Conversational Prayer

I must admit one of my pet peeves is a prayer hog.  You know when you pray in a group and one person prays FOREVER and when they are done there’s almost nothing left to pray.  Okay, so that is a bit overstated.  But the truth is that in most situations, short conversational type prayers are much more enjoyable and easier to follow.  After a couple of minutes of the same voice, it can be easy to drift off, “Did I answer that last email?” “I wonder how ____ is doing?” etc.

In a group setting, being sensitive to those around you and praying with the flow can significantly increase unity and joy in intercession.  It’s meant to be a team sport, not where one person Read more »

Prayer and Fasting

While fasting isn’t on the top of everyone’s list of favorite things to do, the rewards and fuel that it adds to our prayer life is invaluable.  Our church is getting ready to start a 40 day fast beginning September 28 through the elections and so the topic seemed appropriate for this week.  Other groups are also doing this, to join in, check out: www.40daystosaveamerica.com.

There are many types of fast: Water only, Daniel fast (no meat/no sweets), liquid fast (soups/shakes) and even things such as media, etc. (for more information go to: www.revivalstories.org/how-to-fast)   If you are new to fasting, start small and work up as God leads you.  Having said that, my daughter just completed a water only fast as her first experience fasting and did quite well.

Fasting often exposes what holds us captive.  Raynald III, a 14th century duke in Belgium had quite the appetite.  Recorded in Thomas Costain’s history “The Three Edwards”, terribly overweight Raynald was captured during a revolt by his younger brother, Edward.   Knowing his brother’s weakness, Edward constructed a special room around his brother with windows and a near normal size door.  Daily he fed his brother delicious food he knew Read more »

Sacred Assembly

Prayer isn’t just an individual’s communion with God.  The corporate expression of prayer can take many forms which we’ll explore in future blogs, but today we will delve into the Sacred Assembly.

During times of national crisis, Israel gathered to cry out to the Lord for repentance and for help in times of need.  My favorite account is when Jehoshaphat faced a huge army.  Instead of consulting his generals, he turned to the Lord, proclaimed a fast, and gathered the people.  In his prayer he said, “…we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chron 20:12).  The short version of the story is that Read more »

Breastplate of St. Patrick

While in Ireland a number of years ago, I visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral and picked up a card containing a portion of this prayer attributed to him called “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”.  While on the ferry back to England, I spent some time meditating and memorizing the lines below.  As I repeated the prayer over and over, the sense of how very real and present Christ is took deeper root in my heart. 

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Read more »

Enter His Rest – The Blessing of the Sabbath

Sabbath Blessing

In the beginning God created daily, weekly and seasonal cycles of rest and blessing for us.  The daily cycle begins at sunset when according to Scripture we start our day by resting (Genesis 1:5 “…the evening and the morning were the first day.”)  Although it is counter to our western lifestyle, we can begin our “day” by entering God’s rest as we trust Him to work on our behalf through the night as we sleep.  Upon arising in the morning, we ask God how we can partner with Him in what He has already been doing on our behalf all night long.  Most of us rush into our day preoccupied with what we have to accomplish, however, viewing it from this perspective can help us reorder our day.

God created the weekly cycle (resting on the seventh day) as a blessing for man.  While not meant to be a legalistic burden, we can learn much from the Jewish observance of Sabbath.  The Jews believed the Sabbath was like receiving an Read more »

Aug 21, 2012 - 1-50, Breakthrough Prayers    No Comments

Blessing our Home

Blessing your Home

Praying blessing over our homes seemed an appropriate topic as we just moved into a new house!  It was great to walk around the property and then through the rooms of our home thanking God for our new abode and inviting His presence to fill every room.  Our kids are old enough now to pray over their own rooms, asking God for them to be peaceful places where they can focus and grow in Him.

Why is blessing our homes important?  Isn’t it just dirt and wood that are “neutral”?    We don’t have to go any further than Genesis to see that land can Read more »

Blessing Our Children

Blessing our children

For the Hebrew people, the blessing of children was a high priority.  Built into their daily lives were regular times to bless their children.  The first was every Shabbat  (Sabbath beginning Friday night), typically the father would lay his hands on them and pray blessings over them.  Each of the three yearly feasts (Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles) included activities for children to enter in and understand their value as part of the family of God.  Later on rites of passage such as Bar Mitzah (when a boy turns 13 – means “Son of Commandments”) and Bat Mitzah (when a girl turns 12 – means “Daughter of Commandments”) were added to signify their moving from childhood into the responsibilities of adulthood.  A final significant blessing was given at the end of the parent’s life and was associated with inheritance.

The typical weekly blessing included the “Aaronic” or “priestly” blessing found in Read more »

Prayers of Blessing – Part One

Blessing the Lord

God began creation by blessing first the fish and birds to multiple and fill the skies and seas (Gen 1:22).  Then He blessed man (Gen 1:28).  At the end of creation, God blessed the seventh day Sabbath (Gen 2:3).  In coming blogs we will look at prayers of blessing in several arenas – how we bless the Lord (Psalm 103:1,2), how we bless our children (Gen 48:20), how to bless our homes (1 Chr 16:43 ) and how to enter Sabbath blessing (Gen 2:3).

What does it mean to bless the Lord?  We start by recognizing He is the source of all blessing and as we receive all He has given, our part is to return it in blessing back to Him.  The first mention of “bless the Lord” is found in Deuteronomy 8:10 “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for “bless” is comprised of three letters whose meaning denotes a Read more »

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