This is the way walk in it..

Isaiah 30: 21 says “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way walk in it”. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left”.

road nature trees branches

If you are looking for direction in your life and seeking the path that God wants you to take or a new door is opening up to you then take encouragement from the promise in these verses.   God will direct your way.

This is a season for stepping into the new things of God.  It may be paths that you or no-one else has travelled before, areas which you have never ventured into, things you or nobody else has ever done but take comfort that God will make it clear that you are on the right path.    God will direct you to move forward into new things.    Don’t look back at the old or try to do things in the same way but with boldness step into the new.    This is a season for God to show you how to do things in a different way.    Don’t worry or be anxious that you don’t know what’s up ahead – trust God.    If you are walking where God wants you to walk then you are going in the right direction.

You may face discouragement – people may think you are crazy even to attempt something new but God will give you the vision and you will hear His still small voice saying “This is the way walk in it”.    You will know it is God speaking to you.    I encourage you to be bold in faith today as you hear Him speak to you.   Take hold of the opportunity which God is bringing your way.

I sense this may be a season for some that God will completely turn things on their head.  God will flip things upside down but you will emerge unscathed.    Allow God to be in the driving seat.

I pray God will increase your vision in these days.  To stir in you a new vision, a bigger vision and to break new ground for Him.   To see new things and create new opportunities for the gospel to be preached and people to be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

Prepare, (Re-)Position, Let Go

As we have been praying recently there has been a great sense of God speaking again about His Fire and Oil being poured out on believers in an incredible way.   A mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to come suddenly and deluge us just as the rain came in the day of Elijah following years of drought.   The fire first and then rain with a river of His Presence, Power & Glory.    This will see many people being brought into the Kingdom as the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached with power.

I sense in my spirit that the Lord is saying Prepare and Position yourself ready to give and receive.     The Lord gave me this word “Hitch up your garments and take up your position ready”.       I believe preparation and positioning are keys for this season.    In each of our lives we can prepare and position ourselves ready to give and receive and birth as the Lord shows each one of us by His Holy Spirit.     Each of us has different gifts, callings and ministries and resources to use in the body of Christ and for the work of the gospel.     If we have put these down or let them get a bit rusty then perhaps now is the time to pick them up again and start practicing and get ready.

I pray God will show each and every one of us what we need to do to prepare.  I sense that for some people God is saying that you have to let go of the old in order to receive the new.   If you are holding on to something from the past then perhaps it is time to let it go in order that you can receive the new thing God wants to do.

I am reminded of people of faith in the bible who prepared – Joseph prepared provisions for a severe famine,  Esther prepared a whole year for a night with the King, the Jews prepared themselves with weapons to defend themselves against Haman’s plot to destroy them,   the widow in the time of Elisha prepared jars ready to receive the miraculous provision of oil which only stopped when all the jars were used.   At the wedding feast the jars were filled with water ready for Jesus’ miracle.    Jesus gives us the example of the virgins who were prepared for the bride groom’s return with sufficient oil in their lamps.   In times of difficulty God will use his people to be His voice and to help those who are in need.

In Isaiah 54 v 2 the word is “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”.     This was a word on preparation.   The barren woman in this verse did not need room in her tent as she had no children but God was promising that the desolate would have children and to get ready to receive them.     You may feel barren at the moment and your ministry may look barren  but believe in faith that God is going to bring in a harvest and birth something new.  There are green shoots breaking through.      Let us make room to receive the harvest and put in place the necessary support systems so that the stakes are well and truly strengthened.      Let us mend the nets ready to receive the fish.

Some of us may need to re-position ourselves in this season.    Are we in the right place to receive or prepare for what God wants to do through us?   If you are in doubt then ask God to show you.   It may take boldness and a step of faith to move out of a place of comfort – out of the comfort zone and into the new place or ministry that God has for you.    Where does God want to position you for His glory to work through you.     It might be time to move out.

The instruction to “Hitch up my garments” reminded me of Elijah.     In the time of drought Elijah first heard the rain in the Spirit.   Before the rain even came he said to the King to go up and eat and drink “for there is the sound of an abundance of rain”.     Elijah sent his servant to keep looking for the cloud and eventually on the 7th time of looking there was a small cloud.     Elijah saw the sign and knew that the rain he had heard in the Spirit was on its way.    He prepared himself by hitching up his garments in order that he was prepared to run ahead of the rain and presumably the dangerous floods due to the dry and hard ground.   Elijah managed to outrun the chariot of the King over a great distance of about 25 miles.    The people of God will do great and mighty things in these times.  Elijah did something which was not possible in the natural.  He outran a chariot and over such a distance – God enabled it miraculously.

As the people of God, I believe this is a season to prepare ourselves and position ourselves ready to give and receive.     God use us for His glory.  Lord show us how to prepare and how to position ourselves so that we are ready for you.  Ready to go, Ready to run.

Declaring the Gates of the Nation Open

As I was praying today, I felt the Lord say to declare that the gates of this nation are to be opened and not closed.   In Jesus’ name, I declare that the gates of this nation are and will be open and not closed.   The ports will be opened.  The trade routes will be opened.   The gates of this nation will not be closed but open.   This nation is not a nation of shop keepers but door keepers.  The doors of the nation are to be opened.  Let the appointed and anointed door keepers take up their positions in the North, the South, the East and the West of this nation and open the gates for the King of Glory to come in.   Swing wide the gates of this nation and let the King come in.  We declare that this nation is open.   Let our walls be salvation and our gates Praise to the King.

Isaiah 60 v 10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, And their Kings shall minister to you.  For in my wrath I struck you, But in my Favour I have had mercy on you.   Therefore your gates shall be open continually,  they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring you the wealth of the Gentiles and their kings in procession.”

Open the gate for the King

Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in.  The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle.   Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds.  Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil.  Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.    I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be.  Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.

I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town.    At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town.   As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord.   As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge.    We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time.    The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God.  He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened.   We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation.    I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.

The Prayer of Agreement

two person in long sleeved shirt shakehand

Matthew 18:19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Jesus explained in Matthew 18 18-20 what happens when two or more believers agree together for God’s will to be achieved and it is very powerful.   Jesus promises to be with us at such times.  This is why we are encouraged to pray together and also why corporate prayer often comes under attack.    Thankfully, you only need a minimum of two people for the prayer of agreement to be effective,  so even if your fellowship does not have a time of corporate prayer, hopefully you can find someone that you can share some prayer time with.

We need to know God’s Will in order to agree.   If we are in agreement with God’s will and His Word, then we can confidently agree together for it to happen.     We should not agree with someone in prayer for something which we know is contrary to God’s will.

1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him”.

We need true Agreement between us–The word used for “agree” is “sumphoneo” – our word “symphony” comes from this  “sum” = “together” “phoneo”=”to sound.   i.e. to sound together, be in harmony, be in accord

Imagine that each one of us is a different musical instrument – if we are merrily playing our own tune we will sound awful – just one loud noise – however, when each instrument comes together and plays in harmony then beautiful music is heard.  When we truly are in harmony together then our prayers will powerfully reflect that unity.   God’s blessing will be there.    When we are in unity God bestows a blessing.  The Bible encourages us not to think too highly of ourselves because true unity comes through humility.   The good new is that we are also stronger together in Christ – “One can chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight”  just as Jonathan and his armour bearer did.

Jesus talks about believers taking authority in binding and loosing.   What we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven.    In the preceding verses Jesus is talking about sinful behaviour.   As believers when we bind the enemy’s works, we need to be careful about the behaviour which we “loose” i.e. allow in the Church and the consequences of that in the spiritual realm.   We will only ever “bind” and “loose” effectively if we understand the principles in these verses. As a body of believers in Christ we will not bind Satan’s work effectively if we are sinning ourselves and also blatantly allowing sin in our Church and turning a blind eye to it.    We bind with one hand but loose with the other – That is not effective.   Sin should be dealt with through grace and love.

My friend shares a testimony of someone who was trying to help deliver a person who was afflicted by an evil spirit.  Although the person was taking authority and binding the spirit in Jesus’ name -it refused to budge.  Eventually, the person realised that they had no authority over the evil spirit because they were also afflicted in the same way.  There was unconfessed sin in their lives from that same pattern of sinful behaviour.   Until they repented over their own sin they had no authority over the enemy.

 

 

 

 

 

Prevailing Prayer – Don’t give up

Sometimes we have to just keep going.   If our prayers have not been answered then we can persist in praying until either the answer comes or we have a peace and assurance that God has heard & will provide the answer in His perfect timing:

Jesus said:  LK 11:5 “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, `Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

LK 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

LK 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?

Prevailing Prayer:

It requires discipline – It will often be the last thing that you will want to do.  If you know that you need to prevail in prayer about a certain situation then try to set aside a time when you can devote yourself to it and will not be distracted.

Expect Opposition – In the first example Jesus gave of the friend who kept knocking. Everything seemed against him – The door had been bolted, the friend did not want to be bothered, he made excuses to put him off.  You will face opposition so don’t be disappointed if things seem against you – don’t be put off. There are times when we have to keep pressing through in prayer until the breakthrough is achieved.

 It is hard work – It can be physically and emotionally draining to prevail in prayer.   In the example Jesus gave the need had arisen at Midnight – The darkest & loneliest hour.   Don’t forget to rest at such times and allow the Holy Spirit to refresh you.

 It requires boldness – In both examples Jesus gave the friend & the widow were bold and this was part of the reason they received their answers. Be bold. Scripture tells us that we can “boldly” approach God’s throne in time of need.

 and KEEP GOING because:

 Prevailing Prayer can mobilise angels – Daniel Ch 10:12

Then he (the angel) continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

The angel came on the first day that Daniel’s prayer was heard in response but he was then detained by an evil power until Michael came to help him. The enemy was trying to stop the angel getting through to bring revelation to Daniel.  As Daniel prayed he was unaware of the struggle going on in the heavenly realm but I believe his continued prayers were helping the angel in the fight and a reason why Michael was sent to help.

Perseverance  – the continual knocking can be one of the pre-conditions to our answer arriving.   Daniel prayed for 21 days before he got the breakthrough and the angel arrived with the answer – What would have happened if he stopped praying on day 15 or day 20? Your answer may be on the way – Don’t stop until you know in your spirit and have peace that your prayer has been heard and answered.  Delay does not necessarily mean No.

Does this mean that we receive the answers to all our prayers if we pray long enough? – I don’t think so no – because some of the things we ask for are wrongly motivated.  James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Or it could be that it is just not God’s Will for us that the prayer is answered.    We have to trust God in such situations.   He sees the bigger picture.    We may not know until He reveals it in the fullness of time.

The difficulty for us is discerning when God is saying NO to our prayer request or when we have to persist in prayer for the answer.     Thankfully,  we have the Holy Spirit to help and guide us at such times.

 

All kinds of prayers

Ephesians 6: 13 says ”And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints”. NIV

Paul is encouraging his readers to pray with all kinds of prayer and to keep on praying.      After all,  we are all kinds of people – all different and each one unique, who make up the body of Christ.   You are unique – you have a personality that is you.  Some types of prayer will come easier to you than others because they are a natural expression of you.   God doesn’t want you to pretend to be someone you’re not when you pray.

If you are currently struggling in your prayer life then one reason may be because you are trying to be like someone else and model their prayer life.   Whilst it is vital to have good spiritual role models and understand the biblical principles of prayer, you might find yourself struggling because what suits others just may be doesn’t suit you.    It can mean you end up feeling guilty when you don’t pray and a failure when you can’t pray like you feel you ought to.     You feel you don’t measure up when you compare yourself to other believers so why even bother – you question what difference your prayers actually make.    Eventually, you can end up feeling discouraged and worn out and your prayer life suffers and fizzles out.    The body of Christ loses out.

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your prayer life.    When you find your natural prayer rhythm it will inspire you, show results and lead you deeper into the things of God.   You will start to thrive.   Scripture says Jesus rose early in the morning whilst it was still dark to go off to a private place to pray  (Mark 1:35)- if you are an early riser with time in the morning then great, but if not you’ll exhaust yourself trying to do this every day,  feel stressed, guilty if you miss a day,  rush it, get distracted by the million and one other things vying for your attention, get frustrated and then eventually you may give up all together.  Instead of trying to force it, find another time of the day to spend that quiet quality time with God.