Prayer – Let’s be inspired

We are in a season where God is calling His people to pray and intercede being inspired and empowered by His Holy Spirit.    I am going to post a series of notes which I used some years ago when leading some prayer workshops.  The aim was to encourage believers to pray and help them develop prayer as a lifestyle.  It was also to provide some practical help to people who struggled to pray so that they would be encouraged to start to develop their own prayer life.  You can use the notes on your own or in a group.    I hope they will inspire you to pray for others and yourself.   It’s not about praying by rote or praying long, complicated prayers but about relationship with your Heavenly Father and bringing all things to Him through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Encouragement to Pray:

MEN OUGHT ALWAYS TO PRAY, AND NOT TO FAINT – LUKE 18:1

AND WHEN HE HAD TAKEN THE BOOK, THE FOUR BEASTS AND FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB, HAVING EVERY ONE OF THEM HARPS, GOLDEN VIALS FULL OF ODOURS WHICH ARE THE PRAYERS OF SAINTS…..AND ANOTHER ANGEL CAME AND STOOD AT THE ALTAR, HAVING A GOLDEN CENSER; AND THERE WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM MUCH INCENSE, THAT HE SHOULD OFFER IT WITH THE PRAYERS OF ALL SAINTS UPON THE GOLDEN ALTAR WHICH WAS BEFORE THE THRONE. AND THE SMOKE OF THE INCENSE, WHICH CAME WITH THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS, ASCENDED UP BEFORE GOD OUT OF THE ANGEL’S HAND –REVELATION 5:8 8:3-4

“TRUE PRAYER MUST BE AFLAME. CHRISTIAN LIFE AND CHARACTER NEED TO BE ON FIRE. LACK OF SPIRITUAL HEAT CREATES MORE INFIDELITY THAN LACK OF FAITH – E M BOUNDS”

“THIS IS THE SECRET LIFE OF PRAYER. TAKE TIME IN THE INNER CHAMBER TO BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP; AND WAIT ON HIM TILL HE UNVEILS HIMSELF AND TAKES POSSESSION OF YOU, AND GOES OUT WITH YOU TO SHOW HOW A MAN MAY LIVE AND WALK IN ABIDING FELLOWSHIP WITH AN UNSEEN LORD” –ANDREW MURRAY

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT TO GOD THAN PRAYER IN DEALING WITH MANKIND. BUT IS IT LIKEWISE ALL IMPORTANT TO MAN TO PRAY. FAILURE TO PRAY IS FAILURE ALONG THE WHOLE LINE OF LIFE. IT IS FAILURE OF DUTY, SERVICE AND SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. GOD MUST HELP MAN BY PRAYER. HE WHO DOES NOT PRAY, THEREFORE ROBS HIMSELF OF GOD’S HELP AND PLACES GOD WHERE HE CANNOT HELP MAN.” E M BOUNDS

Praying and declaring from a high place

If you feel the call of God and prompting of the Holy Spirit to go up to a high place in your area, city, region or town, wherever it may be,  then I encourage you to do it.  Seek the Lord before going and ask Him to reveal the strategy for your prayers and why He is calling you to this specific place.     We were led by God to pray to Him and declare the Word of God and prophetic words from a high point overlooking our area,  the Clent Hills.    We believe that this was a very strategic place.  A place that had been and was being used by others for purposes which were not of God and were corrupting and influencing our area.   It was a place that we needed to speak out with authority God’s Word and promises over our area for change to happen.

We spent a number of evenings in prayer seeking God before going out on this prayer walk as we believed that God had a specific strategy for how we should pray.   The Holy Spirit led us to a number of scriptures – Isaiah 59 – “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a Standard against Him” and “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining upon you”.  Isaiah 60.      Isaiah 59 says “So shall they fear; The Name of the Lord from the west; And His glory from the rising of the sun,  When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a Standard against him; The Redeemed will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob says the Lord.   As for Me says the Lord – this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My Word which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your descendants.”      God gave us instruction to carry a standard with us when we climbed the hill – a red flag with a picture of the Lion of Judah on it.     By carrying the flag we were making a declaration of the truth of this scripture to the enemy.   We had a picture of God’s Holy Angels being released into the area for God’s purposes – a vast army – to battle with the enemy.     Amos 4 v 13 says “For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is , And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth – The Lord of hosts is His Name.   God was releasing His angels to help us – We declared He is the Lord of hosts.  We also believed that we were “lifting up a banner for the peoples” – Isaiah 60 v 10.

Psalm 24 was a key in preparing us for this time of prayer walk.   “Who may ascend the Hill of the Lord?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully”.      The Lord searches our hearts and any unconfessed sin has to be dealt with.     It was really important for us to take time to ensure that our hearts were right before God before going into prayer warfare such as this for the area.   The heart is deceitful above all things so we allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to us and confess it before each other.

The Lord also gave us a word to declare from Amos 4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring us wine, let us drink!”  The Lord God has sworn by His holiness:   “Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.  You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon” says the Lord.

A word also about wicked Rulers Micah v 1-4  – “Hear now, O head of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel:  Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil.  Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones, And chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the cauldron”.   Then they will cry to the Lord but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.”      Leaders cannot do ill, oppress those underneath them who they should be protecting and expect God to hear them.

In our prayer time there was a tongue and the interpretation.  This was to be an invitation to abundant life and call to repentance.  – Isaiah 55 1-13.  “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money Come buy and eat.  v6  “Seek the Lord while He may be found.  Call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.”  v12  “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”.

Also, Hosea 6: 1  “Come let us return to the Lord.  For He has torn us but He will heal us.  He has stricken but He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us.  On the third day He will raise us up that we may live in His Sight.  Let us know.  Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.    His going forth is established like the morning.  He will come to us like the rain.  Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”.

We fasted on the day that we were to do the prayer walk.   We felt called to do the prayer walk on a particular date.   On the evening of the prayer walk, we took communion together at the bottom of the hill.   We prayed and spoke from Psalm 121. – God the help of those who seek him.    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”.   We then walked up the hill, praying and singing as we went.   We played the song by Robin Marks – “Shout to the North” – “Men of faith rise up and sing, of the great and glorious King.  You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete.  Shout to the North and the South, Sing to the East and the West, Jesus is Saviour to all, Lord of heaven and earth”.   We felt led to walk in a certain order – I walked first as in a spearhead and then we came two by two with a rear guard as well.    We also brought a Shofar with us to blow from the top of the hill and a compass so that we would know which direction we were facing when declaring the Word.

We waved the flag at the top of the hill as we prayed to the north, south, east & the west and declared all the scriptures which God had previously given us.    We poured water and oil onto the ground as led by the Holy Spirit.   We then asked for the angelic host to be released to do God’s will in our area,  to carry out His orders, to help people and to battle the enemy.   We blew the Shofar and called to the wind to blow, for the wind of God to blow across our area and in that moment the wind completely changed direction.    If we had not been flying the flag, we would probably not have noticed the change in direction and we believe this was a sign from God.  We believe that God had heard our prayer and something had shifted in the spiritual realm.  Praise God.

Before we went to pray, one of our group had wanted to start a fire on the hill but we did not have peace about this particularly as open fires were forbidden.   It did not sit right in our spirits to break the law and so we gave that to God and refused permission for that to be done.    When you go to pray as a group you need unity and to be in agreement.   Sometimes,  the leader will have to exercise Godly wisdom and discernment to avoid anything being done which is not right and take authority in those circumstances.  On the evening, as we stood on the top of the hill and looked in the distance we saw a bonfire burning brightly.   There were no other fires in the area and we believe this was the sign of fire which the person had seen in the spirit.   We didn’t need to start a fire the Lord God would do that.   The Lord is an all-consuming fire – He can burn up the dross and purify.    As Elijah called down fire from heaven we called down the spiritual fire of God on our area.   Let us be on fire for God, burning brightly for Him.  Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of God is shining upon you.

Pioneers

I felt that God spoke to me recently about the fellowship that I am attending currently, that it has a pioneering spirit.   I believe that they have been gifted in God to be pioneers in their community and to bless the local community in this way.   I have been encouraged to hear how God has already used them in this way and I believe will continue to use them in this way in the future.    I have heard about their work in pioneering street pastors, the food bank, the life centre, the bereavement group, prayer on the streets etc.. and I am sure that there is more that they have pioneered which I don’t know about.   As we were in worship a few weeks ago, I saw a picture of their fellowship on fire for the Lord – it was as if I saw a picture of a map of the local area and the church was on fire.  It was burning brightly.    As I looked the fire also started to take hold in other fellowships in the area and they started to be on fire too.    Perhaps this fellowship will be a catalyst for something God is going to do in this area and which will then spread.

God’s banqueting table

We were taking communion on Sunday and I was reminded of God’s banqueting table and that His banner over us there is love.    The words are from the Song of Solomon but we also sing a worship song about God bringing us to His banqueting table.    It is only through that act of selfless love when Christ died on the cross that we have the ability to come to that banqueting table and to the place prepared for us there.    Christ issued the invitation and I accepted.    Christ’s banner of love is over me and all around me when I am there.    I have a place at the banqueting table and so I have access to the full provision of God.   I am dressed appropriately for the banquet with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness because I have accepted Christ as my saviour, so there is no chance that I will be refused entry,  but how often I can neglect to go there and take hold of and enjoy all that Christ has obtained for me at the Cross.    Thankfully, the invitation from God is always open to come at any time – 24/7.   There is always a welcome and my place will never be filled by anyone else so there is always a guarantee that I will have a place at the banqueting table.    God can do exceedingly above all that I ask or imagine there because he is a God of abundance.    The banquet is a picture of abundance and plenty for everyone.   The best food and drink are laid on at the banquet for the guests.  Let’s not neglect to ask God for the things that we need and to trust Him to provide for us and sustain us.     It might be physical or spiritual sustenance that we need and we can be sure that whatever it is,  He will be faithful to meet our needs.    Allow Him to fill us there with His love there so that we can be changed and overflow that love to others.      There was a time a few years ago when we were away on retreat and the leader encouraged us all to take up the invitation to come to God’s banqueting table.   He pulled up a physical chair and invited us to take our seat at the table.   We did so and as we did that physical act we saw and imagined ourselves seated at the table feasting on all the provision of God that Christ had obtained for us.   It had a profound effect on me.   I encourage you to take up your place at God’s banqueting table today.  Don’t leave it empty.

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor
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God’s Word-The Plumbline

There have been many words recently about deception and being guarded against deception. Jesus himself warns us against being deceived particularly in the time before He returns. We can easily get carried away as “charismatic” believers particularly when we belong to a Spirit filled church and it is so important that the Spirit and the Word are in harmony with the right emphasis on both. The Word of God is our plumb line and any tongue and interpretation, prophecy or teaching that does not line up with the word of God is false.

The apostle Paul teaches us that the enemy has strategies against us and one of his key ones is deception. He loves to lead us astray and cause confusion. Any moves of the Spirit need to be discerned to make sure it is the Holy Spirit and not the wrong spirit at work. It is so important in these times to be rooted in God’s Word and filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.  God’s Word as the belt of truth and our sword is such an essential part of our armour for defence and attack. Every other piece would not fit together or be effective without the belt or sword but how we can rush or just neglect that part of our preparation. It takes discipline to study the bible but I encourage you to do it and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth particularly at this time.

I had a picture once of the plumb line. It only takes a tiny bit of deception to lead you away from truth but the more you follow that wrong idea or false teaching the further and further you eventually end up away from the truth. If you draw a line on a piece of paper you will see what I mean. Draw the plumb-line and then draw another line from the bottom at a slight initial angle away from the line and see how far it is away from the plumb line at the end.

The thing with deception is how subtle it is. Be on your guard against it. Deception is so close to the truth that we can readily accept it as the truth because it sounds right but when you hold it up to the Word of God you will see the error.  Satan knows the Word of God too.  He quoted it to Jesus but Jesus knew that he had twisted it’s true purpose and quoted it correctly back.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us to help us and He as the Spirit of Truth will lead and guide us into all truth. That is why the Word and the Spirit are so essential to the believer and our walk of faith. Be filled and baptised with the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment. When you operate in the gift of discernment you get that sense in your spirit that something is just not right. People refer to gut feelings and it can be like that. I have heard false tongues and just knew in my spirit that it was false and not the Holy Spirit. You hear an interpretation and again it just doesn’t sit right. That is the Holy Spirit helping you to discern the truth. When you talk to other believers they will often have discerned the same. Read and study the bible so that you will have the tools to recognise false teaching or false words.

bible blur christ christianity
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God’s Voice

There are lots of voices clamouring to be heard & lots of voices telling us untruths at the moment particularly in the media & about our nation but the Bible tells us that God’s voice is powerful, full of majesty and can shake the wilderness and strip the forest bare -Psalm 29.    The voice of the Lord is “over the waters” and when the “floods have lifted up their voice” then we need to remember that “the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” -Psalm 93.    Whatever voice or voices are raised or rising up against you or trying to come against you and in whatever circumstances – whether it is the voices of doubt, unbelief, confusion, accusation, lies, manipulation, intimidation, threats, bullying etc.. then declare the truth from the word and speak with the voice of God into that situation.   When the wind & waves rose up against Christ and the disciples and the disciples thought they would perish, Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the Sea “Peace, be still”.   Immediately the wind & waves were still.   His voice was more powerful than the wind & the waves and was truly “over the waters”.     The body of Christ has a voice and can be heard.     We need to speak up.    Speak out the words and bible truths which the Lord gives you to declare into situations and into this nation so that change can take place.    The Lord will bless us with His peace.

God’s love

In church today we were singing a song about God’s love for us, how overwhelming and awesome it is. I felt God say that some people need a fresh understanding of His love. We expect it to be a feel good, warm feeling all the time but God’s love also disciplines us and corrects us when we need it.

The bible says that we know we are his children because he disciplines us. God’s love expressed itself in the purest way when Christ died on the Cross and it requires us to bring death to our flesh. It can even require some things in our lives to be cut off, wither and die. God’s love will discipline and corrects us when we need it. Hebrews 12 v 3-11 tells us this.

When this happens and we are going through a time of discipline it is painful, uncomfortable, frustrating and doesn’t feel good. We can be confused, discouraged and start to think all sorts of wrong things and can lose our way. Don’t be discouraged and don’t try to short cut the process otherwise Paul tells us we will miss the fruit of righteousness that this process will produce in us.

God wants to encourage you today. If you are in a difficult season then you may be experiencing God’s love being expressed in this way. Ask God to reveal to you what is happening in your life. If you are going through a period of discipline or pruning then hold on firm to the truth. Reject any lie that says if God loved you then you wouldn’t be feeling like this or going through this. God is love and He loves you. Submit to Him and let Him bring His good work in you to fruition so that you can grow and mature in your faith. Hold on fast to the truth which is the Word of God and don’t be swayed by feelings or what is happening around you. Ask other christians to support you in prayer during this time. Strengthen yourself in God and in His Word.