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 invitation- pass it on.

The words of Isaiah 55 remind us of God’s invitation to abundant life.  Jesus issues this invitation to all – regardless of race, gender, creed or colour – everyone is welcome.  Jesus calls people to come to Him – everyone who is weary, thirsty or hungry – only He can satisfy and give us true life in all its fullness and the promise of eternal life.    I attended Encounter at my friend’s church last night.   Their mission statement is simple -to help people find Jesus and follow Him.     An invitation to church or a special service can be one way to help someone you know discover Jesus as Saviour for themselves.    It is providing an opportunity for someone to meet and see Jesus – perhaps for the first ever time.    Christmas is just around the corner and we have the opportunity to invite people to a variety of events.   Jesus told a parable about people who were invited to a wedding feast but refused to come – they made lots of different excuses.  People will always have the choice whether to accept the invitation or not – that is up to them, but we should not give up or be discouraged from issuing the invite because it gets refused – Jesus isn’t.    He told the disciples to shake the dust from their feet and move on when their message was not welcomed at places.   Perhaps we need to shake off some past disappointments and defeatist mind sets and start sending out those invitations.  I know I do.    There will come a time when it will be too late to issue the invites but we can encourage others to “seek Him while He can be found”.  Isaiah 55 v 6.   Who can you invite today to find Jesus?

Prayer – What’s in a name? Part 1

KNOW YOUR GOD – To be effective in prayer we need to know:

WHO we are praying to;

in WHOSE name we pray;

and the AUTHORITY and POSITION we have in CHRIST :

One of the main purposes of prayer is to develop our relationship with God by actively seeking/pursuing HIS FACE through the person of his son, JESUS CHRIST, with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT who will lead us into further revelation of CHRIST and GOD.

Through our fellowship with God and Christ in prayer and meditation on scripture we start to change (REVIVAL) and become more like JESUS. We then reveal Him to others as our characters change (through the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives) and by our witness lead them to salvation in CHRIST.

As we get to know God more intimately we become more conscious of His “still small voice” and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers will be shaped by our revelation of GOD and we will pray with more effectively with understanding, faith, authority & power.

A             THE START OF DEVELOPING OUR PRAYER LIFE WE NEED TO KNOW WHO WE ARE PRAYING TO:   BEING GOD FOCUSED

“In the beginning GOD”     Genesis 1:1

Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13 starts “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Hallowed means – to revere, sanctify, consecrate, set apart, worship, lift up, exalt HIS HOLY NAME

One way to achieve this is by CONFESSION – This is not to be confused with repentance here but means actively:

1              PROCLAIMING WHO GOD IS;

2              ACKNOWLEDGING WHO GOD IS; and

3              CONTEMPLATING WHO GOD IS:

It is a statement of our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory –as are revealed in scripture and through the Jesus his son and the Holy Spirit working in us to draw us into deeper relationship and intimacy with God

It involves confessing (speaking out) belief in God and His promises and His Word.

Studying the names of God is one way to help us to do this more effectively in prayer as each one of God’s names reveal a part of His Character. Names have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm.   A name denotes not only character and identity but authority and power as well.   The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify rank or authority, character and reputation.

These are some of the things which the Bible says about the Name of the Lord:

The Name of the Lord is a defence (Psalm 20:1)

A help in time of trouble (Psalm 9:10)

A comfort (Daniel 11:32)

A strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)

A weapon (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 14:11)

An ointment poured forth (Song of Solomon 1:3)

“In the name of our God We will set up our banners: The Lord fulfil all your petitions “ Psalm 20:5

In Exodus 34 when God descended and revealed himself to Moses v5 “The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there AND PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD; And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation

Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God but God doesn’t just want us to know His names.  In and through prayer, He wants us to experience true fellowship and communion with Him and find out that He is all the things He says He is:

NAMES OF GOD REVEALED IN SCRIPTURE;

1.“ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1 – GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe. Elohim is the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

In prayerful confession we can acknowledge and thank God that He alone is the creator and sustainer of all things and that He is sovereign God. We can acknowledge His glory and power demonstrated in creation.

2. ”EL – SHADDAI” – GOD ALMIGHTY – Genesis 17:4 & Exodus 6:3 – GOD is revealed as the God who is all-powerful, the God of impossibilities. He is mighty, unconquerable, all-sufficient. Able to do anything and supply all needs.     He is able to keep all His promises to us.

Declare in prayer that God is all-powerful and that you can trust Him and rely on Him in all situations (even when we don’t know what is happening and it’s a painful place!). Confess that nothing is impossible for God and He can fulfil all his promises in His Word.

3. “EL ELYON” – THE MOST HIGH GOD – Genesis 14:18 God is revealed as the Most High – There is no-one above Him. He occupies the highest position and throne.

Declare that God is the only one who is worthy of praise and to be highly exalted. Take a humble attitude towards Him by kneeling in His presence.

4.“JEHOVAH” – Exodus 3 v 13 “ I AM THE I AM.” – God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush as the I AM. i.e. God is everything and in everything. He reveals himself as a HOLY GOD and tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.

Acknowledge that God is everything you need. That God is a Holy God and that He desires a Holy people. When meditating on God’s holiness take time to let God search your heart and reveal any sin which needs to be repented over. Receive God’s forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.

5.JEHOVAH JIREH – Genesis 22:8-14. God revealed himself to Abraham on Mount Moriah that he is the GOD of PROVISION. God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham saw the provision of God.   God later provided Jesus as the sacrifice in our place (on the same mountain) so that we could be redeemed.   Jesus tells us to take our needs to the Father and ask for what we need so that God can provide.

Acknowledge God’s provision to us.  Ask God to help us rely on His provision rather than trusting in ourselves. Acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which provided the ransom for us so that we are now redeemed and righteous in God’s sight.

6.JEHOVAH ROPHE – Exodus 15:26 – God reveals himself as the GOD WHO HEALS. God is a healer and a restorer– It is His nature.

Acknowledge that God alone brings healing and restoration. Thank God that He is the God who heals physical illness & diseases, emotional hurts, spiritual brokenness. Ask Him to move in specific areas where healing or restoration needs to take place. Read and meditate on Isaiah 53 4/5 & Isaiah 61

7.JEHOVAH NISSI – Exodus 17:15 – God is revealed as “The LORD is my BANNER”. He revealed his protection of Israel by defeating their enemies the Amalekites.  He is also EL GIBBOR –Mighty God (Champion/hero) Isaiah 9: 6,7

Acknowledge and thank God for His protection and the He is victorious in battle. He is undefeated. Acknowledge that the battle belongs to Him and we wage war against our enemy Satan under His banner. Acknowledge Christ’s victory over Satan at the Cross over sin and death when He took the keys of death and hell from Satan and that we are victorious in Him. Christ is our champion. We fight a defeated enemy and final victory will happen.

8.JEHOVAH SHALOM – Judges 6:24 – the Lord is PEACE.

Acknowledge that in God alone perfect peace is found. Thank him for His peace that passes all understanding. Shalom Peace means rest, harmony, wholeness, completeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, and prosperity i.e. total wellbeing.

9.JEHOVAH TSIDKENU – Jeremiah 23:6 – the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS

Acknowledge that God is righteousness and that it is only through the blood of Christ that we are righteousness. Ask for righteousness to be maintained in our lives and that we reject sin in our lives.

10.JEHOVAH SHAMMAH – Ezekiel 48:35 – the LORD is THERE.   God reveals himself as always being there. He is in the past, present and future. He is omnipresent and eternal in nature.

Acknowledge and thank God that he is always there with us. A very present help in time of trouble. We cannot go anywhere as the Psalmist said and not find Him. He is everywhere. He is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end). He is there when we get up and when we go to bed. He is not surprised by anything!! Even when we are.

11.JEHOVAH SABAOTH – 1 Samuel 17:45 – “The LORD of HOSTS”. God is the captain of all the hosts (angelic) of Heaven.

Acknowledge & thank God that angels are sent forth by Him to be ministers to those who will inherit salvation. Ask God to release and send angels into specific situations to help others and us.

12.JEHOVAH – ROI (Ra-ah)– God is revealed as our SHEPHERD – Psalm 23: 1

13.ABBA FATHER – Matthew 6 9-13 – Jesus reveals God as our Father for the first time in scripture. It reveals a new more intimate level of relationship.

14.The whole Bible reveals that God is LOVE (AGAPE)– His Character is LOVE – 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

AGAPE means “undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person”. It describes the unconditional love which God has for the world.

Practical Focus:

Practice some prayerful confession and pray through a portion of Psalm 23 which reveals God as our shepherd – JEHOVAH ROI (Ra-ah)

Read PSALM 23: verses 1-4

 Example PRAYER; –

“ Lord, your word says that you are my shepherd. I choose to believe your word and declare in faith that you are my shepherd . Thank you God that you are Jehovah Roi – My Shepherd. I declare that I belong to you and you alone and you are Lord of my life. Thank you God that you are the one true shepherd who tends, cares and provides for me.   Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest and be refreshed in you.   Thank you Lord that you lead me every day. Help me to follow in your footsteps and to be obedient to your voice. Thank you God that you are JEHOVAH JIREH – the God who provides for me and that I shall not want. Lord, your word declares that you will provide all my needs according to your riches in glory. Help me to see Lord that these are not my wants but my needs.

Thank you Lord that you are JEHOVAH TSIDKENU the God of righteousness who leads me in paths of righteousness.   Lord keep me from temptation and sin and keep my feet on the rights paths of your presence. Thank you God for Jesus who your word declares is the good shepherd who by his death on the cross has opened up the way for me to come before your throne. I thank you for the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the robes of righteousness which cover me.

God, help me to share the love of Christ with those who don’t know you so that they can see and know Christ as their Shepherd.   Lord give me compassion for those who don’t know you.

Thank you God for [name people] in this church who you have put in positions to be shepherds of this flock. God bless them and help them to be good shepherds filled with your wisdom as they love us, lead us and care for us.

Lord, help me to feed on good food – building up myself and strengthening myself in you and your Word. Lord, renew my appetite and thirst for you because I know that you are the only one who can satisfy.   You alone are the bread of life.

God finally, I acknowledge that your word says that “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His People and the Sheep of His pasture”. Lord, let me have a true revelation of who you are so that I will not boast in me but in you alone. That I will walk humbly before you.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I encourage you to continue to practice some prayerful confession using the names of God.  Choose one of God’s revealed names and in your own words pray making confessions of that name – it may be that you need more revelation of that aspect of God’s name/ or there is someone you know in a particular situation who needs a revelation of that name. Let the Lord lead you as you pray and be open to what He will reveal to you.

Amen.Prayer – Let’s be inspired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling Back

Last week we felt led by the Holy Spirit to cry out and call back from the north, south, east & west in this nation, those who had once walked with the Lord.    Those people who had previously given their lives to the Lord but were no longer serving him.    We prayed for healing, forgiveness and restoration particularly for those who may have been hurt in church life, become ensnared by sin,  who were discouraged, frustrated or had lost their first love.    Those who had lost their way and given up.   Those whose places had been taken by others – that they would be restored.      Jesus wants them back and this is the time for them to take up their place again.    We felt the trumpet was being sounded up and down the nation to draw them back to the battle field and to take up their place in Christ’s army of believers.

There is an old song which says “Sound the battle cry!  See! the foe is nigh; Raise the standard high; for the Lord; Gird your armour on, Stand firm every one; Rest your cause upon His Holy word.   Rouse, then soldiers, rally round the banner!  Ready, Steady, pass the word along; onward, forward, shout aloud Hosanna!  Christ is captain of the mighty throng.”     The cry has gone out for the prodigals to return and we believe the Holy Spirit is drawing them back.  The Word says that great strength will be given to those who turn back the enemy from the gate.   Our enemy Satan wants this nation and at this moment he wants to cause fear and disruption.  We must take up our place, pray and stand against him in faith.    To stand for righteousness and truth.     The battle belongs to the Lord – praise God.

The bible reading which God gave us as we prayed was from Isaiah 49 v 8-12 “Thus says the Lord.  “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.  I will preserve you and give you as a covenant to the people.  To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages, That you may say to the prisoners, “Go forth” – To those you are in darkness “Show yourselves”.  They shall feed along the roads and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights,  They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them, for He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them, I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highway shall be elevated.  Surely these shall come from afar, Look! Those from the north and the west and these from the land of Sinim”.     Isaiah  55 6 & 7 “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.”

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.

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The Power in God’s Word for Change

In February this year as I was praying I felt God say the following to me.  There is power in my Word.  Whatever I declare from heaven concerning a matter or nation will be performed.  My angels act on my commands.  My Word is powerful.  My Word is creative but also destructive.  It can build up or it can tear down and root out.   Whenever I speak My Word will perform whatever it is sent forth to achieve.  I have declared a new time and season.   A new day for the church in this nation.   Too long she has been weak, ineffective and struggling like a new-born babe.  Now she will rise up with renewed energy & vigour.  She will have learned how to use the tools with which I have equipped her so that My kingdom can advance.  It is time to take the kingdom of God and push forward.  To take the light into the darkness.   I do not need a vast army to achieve my purposes – only those who are willing to fight against evil (in prayer, in truth & doing good) willing to persevere, willing not to count the cost, those who are bold, those who have courage and who take their strength from me.   Those will be part of my army.   Those who are skilled in the Word, those who know their position, those who listen and obey – they will receive the words to speak and declare in My name.   They will see My wonder-working power at work.    They will be my vessels to bring Christ’s healing, holiness and salvation to nations.   I am on the move and my body the church needs to discern where I am leading in this season.  It is not time for the faint hearted, the men pleasers, the timid – this is the season for those who fear the Lord and show that reverence and fear.   Who love righteousness and hate wickedness, injustice and wrong and will stand up and be counted.   To be the carriers of my presence into all situations where I have placed them – whether in the home, work, family, government, schools, everywhere they find themselves.   They can have an impact for good.  –   I sense that this is like the day of Gideon’s army.  In the last few months, God has been calling us out to pray on the streets and at strategic locations and has given us scriptures to pray each time.   It has been amazing the things God has shown us and inspired us to pray about in each location.   He truly opens our eyes to see.    I believe in faith that prayer changes things.   Trust in the Lord and do Good – Psalm 37:4