Need to know love?

I was praying  this morning, and it turned into praying for someone to  know more of God’s love. Paul prayed a prayer in Ephesians 3, and it became the core of my prayer this morning. I’m putting a blank, instead of a specific pronoun, so that it can be an example of how to pray scripture. In this context, it isn’t about the person for whom I prayed, but rather, hopefully, a help to others as to how to pray.

Father, I lift _____ to you, and ask that you would give him/her the heart of a child toward you – a heart that trusts – eloquent in its simplicity. Lovingly trusting.

Help_______to see that their problems are not due to a lack of love and kindness on Your part, but rather due to the evil that men have invited into the world, and to which those around them have yielded their hearts.

And open ______ eyes to see their own children for what they really are – for as they do, it will help _____ understand their own need for You as Father.  Those little ones are just children in search of love and tenderness – someone they can trust with their own child heart and faith. Help______ to see, and to teach their children, that life is not about sex or sexuality or even gender, and neither is love. Help ______ to see that their own search for worldly love has left him/her feeling empty, and grant that _____ would know Your love in all its fullness:

Lord, grant, according to [in proportion to] the riches of Your glory, _______ to be strengthened with power through Your Spirit in their innermost being, and grant Christ to indwell [literally be comfortably at home in] _____ heart through faith. This I know will have the following results – so that, _______ being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,

that _______ may be filled up to ALL the fullness of God.

Strengthened with power – verb and noun form in Greek of the word dunamis – ability! Through His Spirit – God’s ability turned loose in us. Christ indwelling us – being at home in us – so comfortably at home that He could kick back with His feet on the coffee table and just know He belongs there.

When those to things happen, the result is we come to know the love of Christ in its fullest dimensions – a knowledge greater than any the world offers, and we experience the fullness of what it means to be God’s house.

A Jewel from My Journal


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A Jewel from My Journal

Back in ancient times, when personal computers were little more than a gleam in the eyes of men like Steve Jobs & Bill Gates, people didn’t blog. There was no web to log your thoughts on. You actually had to use paper and pen.

surprise

I know! Right? I can almost hear your collective audible gasps!

I was reading back through one of the volumes of my spiritual journal, mainly to verify exactly what year I originally wrote the manuscript for my book, and I found a number of entries of lessons learned and prayers answered that I had forgotten about. (Hmm. Must be why I kept a journal.) Here’s an example. The church we were attending, AnchorChurch in Ft. Worth, had a prayer ministry. Because I traveled during the week, and did not want to take time from my family when I was home on weekends, I took a turn praying from 3:00-6:00 on Sunday mornings. I spent the first 2 hours praying in the prayer room over the prayer requests, and the third hour walking and praying in the auditorium for the church and the services later that day.

On Sunday, 12/2, as I was praying in the AnchorChurch meeting place, I found myself praying in the center of the platform, that from that very spot, healing would go forth.  That something would happen, and from right there, life and healing would go out to the whole body of AnchorChurch.

That morning, the pastor, Tim Taylor, stood before the church and in brokenness confessed his need of us.  He then sat down right where I had stood earlier, in order for people to gather around him and pray over him.  As he was prayed over, the father of one of our worship leaders, who was visiting that Sunday, said that during the praise time he had sensed in Anchor a “spirit of rejection,” and invited all who were dealing with that to come forward.  Almost all who were there did.  And the healing began.

It was not because I had prayed, per se, but because it was His will!  Because it was His will, He put it in my heart to pray for it.  If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know we have what we request of Him (1 John 4:14-15).  Because it was His will, He chose to do it, and put it in my heart to pray it and open the door for Him to work it.  He is at work, both to will and to work for His good pleasure! (Philippians 2:13).

Share a time when God put something on your heart to pray about, and then proved it by answering. Feel free to share any answered prayers.

Sometimes God inspires us to pray for something, then provides it. He wills, and He works. Click To Tweet

Prayer Map – Interceding with Psalm 107

“Father, she is dwelling in darkness and in the shadow of death – so surrounded by this temporal, dying world and the lies of the enemy that she cannot see. As a result, she’s a prisoner in misery and chains – bound by lies, confusion, hurt, sadness, and a lot of anger. It’s mostly the result of rebelling against Your words and having spurned Your counsel. From there, You have allowed her heart to be humble with labor – struggle, strife, and wearisome effort. And all her best efforts don’t bring her the peace and comfort for which she longs. She stumbled under the load, and there was none to help. Her friends are all pretty much in the same condition. They can “feel your pain,” offer some companionship, but no real help.

So, Lord, grant her the desperation and the grace, the insight and the courage, to cry out to You in her trouble, for You have declared that You are a rewarder of those who seek You – so I know that when she calls out to You and seeks You as her answer, You will be found – You will reward her search.  Abba, she will find that You have saved her out of her distress. Bring her out of darkness and the shadow of death. Break her bands apart.

Give her vision to see Your lovingkindness, and let her give thanks to You for it, and for all Your wonders to the sons of men! Let her see that You have shattered gates of bronze and cut asunder bars of iron, not only freeing her from her prison, but also destroying the defenses of the enemy so that she might run through the territory that the enemy has sought to claim and in victory reclaim it in You, in Your power and strength, and to the praise of the glory of Your grace.” – based on Psalm 107:10-16

Psalm 107 is an incredible road map for intercession. In about 5 paragraphs dealing with a variety of crises, David shows how those situations ensnare us, bring us to the point of seeing our need and spiritual emptiness, and crying out to God for help. He declares the faithfulness of God to deliver those who cry out to Him and urges them to give thanks for God’s faithful deliverance.

Paul understood the concept and the extreme value of giving thanks, pointing out in Romans 1 that it was a lack of thankfulness that contributed to men become foolish in their speculations, harden their hearts and become wise fools embracing their own explanations of the nature of the world and worshiping creation instead of the creator.

I have been through enough in my lifetime to know with certainty that God uses our life situations to help us learn to let go of the temporal and embrace the Eternal. And I have found that giving thanks is perhaps the ultimate expression of trusting that God is faithfully working in my life, using each situation.

Giving thanks is perhaps the ultimate expression of trusting that God is faithfully working in every… Click To Tweet

Is there someone for whom you are interceding? Maybe there is someone for whom you want to pray, but are not sure how? Take a look at Psalm 107. Maybe you’ll find the words to pray, right in God’s own written word.

What Is Your Battle?


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What Is Your Battle?

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. People from all over the earth have found that God cares. From the east and the west; from the north and the south – from the four “corners,” or hemispheres of the earth – those who have found healing and deliverance are urged to proclaim their redemption with thanksgiving.

Where does it hurt? What is your struggle? What is your battle? Even more:  What is the solution? Does anyone care?

Psalm 107 addresses those questions. It is a great place to go to find out how much God cares for you. It is likely as you read it you will see yourself or someone you love in one or more of the sections of the chapter. What follows is sort of a paraphrase of Psalm 107.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

I’ve always wondered why spell check doesn’t like the compound word “lovingkindness.” Maybe it is because it is archaic; appearing mostly just in the Old Testament. Maybe it is because few people really believe that God is loving and kind. The word it translates is the Hebrew word chesed (חסד). It means mercy or compassion. However, it is not just feeling sorry for. It is love that acts with kindness to relieve the suffering it sees.

Give thanks to Him. He satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry soul with what is good. When you feel like you are in a wilderness, with no place of comfort, no place to call home; when you feel you are fainting spiritually or emotionally from an inner starvation – cry out to Him, and you will find His deliverance. It is wonderful to see His lovingkindness at work.

Give thanks to Him. He slices through iron bars of bondage and shatters the gates that keep you imprisoned. When all around is the doom and gloom of death row; when sin has you bound in chains because you have rejected Him; when life is a struggle and you feel weighed down and weary – cry out to Him, and you will find His deliverance. He forgives and liberates. It is wonderful to see His lovingkindness at work.

Give thanks to Him. Thank Him as though you are offering your thanks on an altar. Sing for joy because of His mercy. He sends His word and heals, and delivers from the destruction we have made of our lives. When your own foolishness and sin have resulted in turmoil; when even food loses its appeal; when death seems like your only possible release from the mess you have made – cry out to Him, and you will find His deliverance. It is wonderful to see His lovingkindness at work.

Calm

Give thanks to Him. Do not be afraid to do it in public. Lift Him up before others. He calms the storms of life and brings us into a safe harbor. When you are miserable, and tossed around by life to the point of staggering ; when you are at your wits’ end; when the roller coaster waves of life have you sea-sick, nauseous and you feel your soul is melting away – cry out to Him, and you will find His deliverance. It is wonderful to see His lovingkindness at work.

Think about His lovingkindness like this:
Sin can take us from a place of plenty and  turn life into a wilderness. God takes a wilderness and turns it into fertile land, providing food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty and a place to belong – an “inhabited city.” He takes it a huge step further. Not only does He provide for us, but He gives an abundance – fields, vineyards, a fruitful harvest.

He does not say there will not be times when the enemy comes to oppress. I love the passage in Daniel 10, where Daniel had been praying for three weeks. An angel appeared and said he was sent out when Daniel began praying, but was detained by the “prince of Persia.” Has Satan assigned demons to specific countries (perhaps even cities, maybe even businesses) to serve as “princes” in his efforts to rule over men? God pours contempt on princes and makes them wander a pathless waste! He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction.

Thank you, Lord, for taking me out of my wilderness and bringing me to a place of plenty, for satisfying my soul. O the bliss of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied. Thank you that when the enemy would come against me and try to send me back to the barren past, he is the one who winds up in the wilderness. It truly is wonderful to see Your lovingkindness at work.

What are you thankful for today?