Going deeper for the treasure

grayscale photography of man jumping on body of waterOnce a month our fellowship has started an evening service dedicated to worship and seeking God’s presence.    I had a picture during the worship time recently of a large lake.  A leisure lake and there were lots of people enjoying and having fun in the water.  Some people were running and jumping into the lake, doing back flips, dive bombs etc.  Some people were stood on the shore just dipping a toe into the water – testing it out.   Some went up to their knees for a paddle – some ventured a bit further and started swimming.    I felt God saying that the lake represented His presence.    People entered and experienced it differently.  Some people were taking things slowly (especially if this was new to them) whereas some would dive straight in,  but the most important thing was taking that first step.    If you want to start by dipping your toe or if you are the sort of person to jump straight in then that is fine.   That is your starting point and from there we gain the confidence and enjoyment to stay longer and go deeper with God.    God wants to encourage you not to stay in the shallows all the time though and also not just to play around on the surface but to go deeper with Him.

 

 

gold beaded necklaces on gold jewelry box

In the picture, I saw people diving down below the surface of the lake going deeper and deeper down.    As they did so they discovered beautiful pearls on the bottom of the lake- some of the pearls were hidden in the weeds, some were hidden in the muddy depths, some were in the dark places – these pearls were God’s treasure that was hidden waiting to be discovered.     As we go deeper into God’s presence we will discover this treasure that He has for each one of us.   We have to search it out and press in even when we feel uncomfortable.  I encourage you today not to stay at your starting point but to press into God and see what He has for you and what you will discover about Him.

 

 

 

In whose name are we praying?

I believe that we can only approach God’s throne through the blood and in the name of JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

In Christ alone we can confidently come before God’s throne.

Hebrews 4:14 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus also said: “but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father, in My name, he may give you” John 15:16

What does the name of Jesus Christ mean in terms of authority and power:

a) The name JESUS CHRIST means literally JESUS “THE ANOINTED ONE”.

The word Christ comes from “Christos” and “Christos” translates the Hebrew “Mashiyach” i.e. “Messiah”.  Jesus was the anointed one of God – The Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.

We have lost a little in translation and can think Jesus Christ was his full name – a surname. The name Jesus Christ the anointed one denotes a TITLE and POSITION. In the Old Testament when someone was anointed it meant “to consecrate by applying Holy Oil to an individual”.   Jesus was the one anointed by God. The Old Testament pictures the Messiah as one who will put an end to sin and war and usher in universal righteousness and through his death will make vicarious atonement for the salvation of sinful people. Jesus is the Messiah; he claimed to be the Messiah (Matthew 23:63-64; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:67-70; Jn 4:25-26) and the claim was acknowledged by his disciples (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; Acts 4:27; 10:38).

b) There is authority in His Name.

We need to understand the authority in Jesus’ Name when we pray – particularly in the spiritual realm when dealing with demonic influences.  We can bring all situations under the name of Jesus because He is superior.

The Bible says:  “Therefore God has highly exalted him (i.e. lifted him up, an exaltation to the highest position, a super exalted position of honour and glory) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2: 9

Jesus said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth –” Matt 28 v 18

“when He (God) raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places FAR ABOVE all principality (rule) and power (authority) and might (power) and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He (God) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”. Ephesians Ch 1 20-23

There is authority and power in the name of Jesus Christ.   If we recognise this when we pray then we will pray with more authority, understanding,  faith and boldness.   Satan has tried to demote the name of Jesus and it is now used by many people in a blasphemous way. We need to use His name in the correct way when we pray.    We will see results and situations change as prayers are answered.

 In Revelation 19 v11-16 we get a further revelation of Christ and the authority and power which is his:

“Now I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called FAITHFUL and TRUE and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like flames of fire and on His Head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD

v 16 And He had on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

c) There is power in His name:

Smith Wigglesworth used to say that all things were possible through the name of Jesus Christ.   He had a testimony of the power in Jesus’ name when it came to raising a sick man called Lazarus.   Lazarus was an old miner in Wales.   Smith Wigglesworth had been told by God to go and raise Lazarus up.  He sent a postcard to him telling him he was coming to do it.   What faith.  However, when Smith arrived he was told by people not to bother and that the moment he saw Lazarus he would be ready to give up and go home because Lazarus was just a mass of bones with skin stretched over them with no life hardly left in him.   Instead of giving up and going home (like most of us would have done I’m sure) that night Smith went and found seven more men and women of faith to fast with him and pray for Lazarus and then they all went to the house the next day. This is what Smith says in his book happened when they circled the bed and kept repeating the name of Jesus:

“We all knelt down and whispered that one word, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” The power of God fell and then it lifted. Five times the power of God fell and then it remained. But Lazarus on the bed was unmoved. Two years previously someone had tried to raise him up and the devil had used his lack of success as a means of discouraging Lazarus.  I said “I don’t care what the devil says; if God says he will raise you up it must be so. Forget everything else except what God says about Jesus.

The sixth time the power fell and the sick man’s lips began moving and the tears began to fall.  I said to him “The power of God is here, it is yours to accept it”. He said “I have been bitter in my heart and I know I have grieved the Spirit of God. Here I am helpless. I cannot lift my hands, nor even a spoon to my mouth”. I said “Repent, and God will hear you”. He repented and cried out “Oh God, let this be to Thy glory”. As he said this the virtue of the Lord went right through him. I have asked the Lord to never let me tell this story except at it was for I realise that God can never bless exaggerations. As we again said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the bed shook, and the man shook…. I sat and watched that man get up and dress himself. The news soon went abroad that Lazarus had been raised up and many came to hear his testimony. God brought salvation to many. All this came through the name of Jesus, through faith in His name, the faith that is by Him gave this sick man perfect soundness in the presence of them all”

Peter said to the crippled man “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.     Acts 3 1-16

When we pray let us ask the Holy Spirit for more revelation of the authority and power that there is in the name of Jesus Christ and teach us how to use His name in prayer effectively. The name of Jesus is a weapon of spiritual warfare and evil/unclean spirits recognise and have to submit to the authority of the name of Jesus.

Let us read portions of scripture which uplift the name of Jesus and meditate/memorise them.  Revelation ch 19, Ephesians ch1 or Colossians 1 & 2 which are on the pre-eminence of Christ.

Let us lift up the name of Jesus as we pray and in our worship – Singing songs which exalt the name of Jesus.

Let us not be afraid to speak out the name of Jesus and bring the problem or whatever it is you are praying about under and in subjection to Jesus and His name.  Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?

Prayer – Prayerful Confession part 2

In part 1 we focussed on how meditating and confessing the names of God and discovering the character of God (which is revealed through His names) can help us in our times of prayer.    Other things to help us in prayer are:

1. ATTITUDE; – The word “confess” comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah” meaning “an open or extended hand” – In prayerful confession we are reaching out to take hold of God and Him alone and declaring that we are putting our trust in Him alone.   We are acting humbly by putting God in His rightful position and focusing on Him.

This humble attitude is a KEY to God hearing and answering our prayers:

“If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land ”  2 Chronicles 7 v14

A HUMBLE ATTITUDE in our hearts can be demonstrated physically in prayer by KNEELING, LYING ON OUR FACES BEFORE GOD, RAISING OUR HANDS etc.

Jesus’ model prayer demonstrates humility in his final words “FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN”.

Let us not forget (particularly when prayers are answered or when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation) that the glory always belongs to God and Jesus.

2.THE WORD OF GOD;   If we are going to give voice to our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory and confess our belief in God, His promises and His Word then we need to have our bibles or other access to the Word of God to hand whilst we pray so that we can confess scripture out loud or meditate on the Word.

Try and get into the habit in your prayer times or meetings of praying with your bible to hand or other access to the Word of God through your phone, tablets etc.

Isaiah Ch 55 v 11 “ So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it”.

When you proclaim the Word it will build you up spiritually and encourage you in your faith. You are also proclaiming God’s word to spirits, principalities & powers and you will learn to use it as a sword. e.g. if you were in a situation where you needed to be assured of God’s victory/might in battle you could read out the song of Moses in Exodus 15 1-18 when God rescued the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians. If you needed to declare Christ’s sovereign position and authority then read out Revelation 19 11- 16.

It will take some effort initially to look up relevant portions of scripture but the Word of God is the sword of the spirit (Ephesians Ch 6 ) and one of the weapons of warfare so we need to know how to use THE WORD effectively in prayer.  This doesn’t mean picking out scriptures without any thought to throw at situations but by prayerful meditation on the Word allow the Holy Spirit to direct you to passages of scripture.    When you meditate on the Word in prayer it also gives God the opportunity to speak to you through HIS WORD and His still small voice in your spirit.

3. WORSHIP –   Prayerful confession of God’s name is also part of WORSHIP which literally means – giving worth to HIS NAME . Our response to the name of the Lord is to worship (Psalm 66:2) and to give thanks, praise and bless (Psalm 100:4) and to lift up our hands (Psalm 63:4) – See later notes on Solomon’s attitude in prayer.

It changes the atmosphere when you speak out and give voice to the praises of God and Jesus in your prayer times. Praise and worship should always be part of our times of prayer as it is the pathway of praise & worship which leads us into His presence.   If you find it difficult to praise and worship on your own or in a small group then perhaps start by reading a Psalm of praise out loud/ putting on worship music/reading out loud the lyrics of a worship song.   I have found that repeating the name of Jesus over and over and meditating on His name and telling him how much I love him is helpful at such times.

ln Psalm 103 we are encouraged to “Bless the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name” and in Psalm 99 “Let them praise Your great and awesome name – He is holy”

4.REPENTANCE – Confession/revelation of God and His character will lead us into repentance. Ask God by His Holy Spirit to reveal areas of our lives where we are not living right. Take time in prayer to allow God to search our hearts. Pray and meditate on Psalm  51 v 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me”.   Repent of anything revealed and receive and thank God for his forgiveness and cleansing by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.   Remember this is conviction not condemnation. We should repent of sin (including sins of omission, bad attitudes etc) then receive forgiveness through Christ and move forward. We can’t be effective in prayer if there is sin between us and God. We need to be right with God before we can pray effectively.   It is the “ FERVENT PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN WHICH ARE EFFECTIVE” James 5:16

PRAYERFUL CONFESSION in SCRIPTURE;

An example of prayerful confession and the importance of declaring God’s name is found in many of David’s Psalms but also Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple to God in 2 Chronicles Ch 6 v 12-42.

In these verses first of all we see Solomon demonstrate a humble attitude before God by kneeling down before all the people and lifting his hands up towards heaven.     Kneeling before God in prayer/lifting up our hands to heaven demonstrates submission to God as mentioned earlier.     Solomon did this before “all the people”. He was the king but he wasn’t too proud or embarrassed in front of the people to adopt this humble posture before God.

Solomon starts by confessing who God is “v 14 LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with your servants who walk before you with all their hearts”.

Then Solomon goes on to ask God to hear and answer the prayers which the people will make in the temple. He points to the responsibility of the people to seek God for mercy and the importance of repentance and confession of God’s name (v24 & 26) as part of this.

RESULT: “ When Solomon had finished praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple” Ch 7 v1

If we want the fire of God to fall on us and spiritually ignite us in prayer so that we experience God’s glory then I believe we need to give God a sacrifice of prayer, praise and worship. This means spending time in prayer and making prayer our lifestyle.

THE BIG QUESTION WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES IS AND I COUNT MYSELF IN THIS TOO – AM I WILLING TO SACRIFICE TIME IN PRAYER TO SEE REVIVAL IN MYSELF, MY FAMILY, MY CHURCH, MY COMMUNITY & MY NATION?

If the answer is yes, particularly in these troublesome times, then let us all spend time each day seeking God in prayer and asking Him to increase our desire for him, actively seeking Him, for Him to give us an urgency in our spirits to pray and to pour out the Holy Spirit upon us in power and the fire.

John the Baptist said of Jesus “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”

Let’s agree to pray for some of that fire.

“I pray that you will know God and the Lord Jesus Christ in a new and deeper understanding. That you will have a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and the power which is His.

I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened.   That your spiritual eyes will be opened.   That you will have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ from this day forward.

I pray that fire from heaven will fall upon you and the power of the Holy Spirit. That you will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and will go out and do great works by the power of His holy name, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Let the fire fall and let your heart be aflame with love and revelation of Jesus and the power that is in Him. Never tire of doing His good works and walk in His footsteps forever and ever. Amen”

Prayer – What’s in a name? Part 1

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Rediscovering the fear of the Lord

The early church prospered and walked in the fear of the Lord.   In Acts 9:31 it says “and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied”.    We long to see new people coming to know Christ and finding salvation.  The Lord spoke to us earlier this year about the need for the fear of the Lord to be restored within the body of Christ at this time.     I have never heard a word preached on the fear of the Lord and didn’t understand truly what it meant.  I knew that fear in this context is not about being afraid of the Lord but didn’t understand that it is an attitude of complete reverence in response to the revelation of God and then responding by living in submissiveness towards Him.  Being obedient to Him.  Being holy for he is Holy.    Job 28:28 says that “Behold the fear of the Lord that is wisdom”.   We are constantly asking God for wisdom and this is one of the keys to discovering Godly wisdom.

The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord when you look in to scripture.   Psalm 25:12 “Who is the man that fears the Lord?  Him shall He teach in the way He chooses”.  v 14 “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him: and He will show them His covenant”.  Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”  Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.”  Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life; And He who has it will abide in satisfaction, He will not be visited with evil”  Malachi 3:16 “fear of the Lord and who meditate on His name”.

Proverbs tells us how to discover the fear of the Lord Proverbs 2  1-5  “My son if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God”.

Jesus understood the fear of the Lord.   In Isaiah 11 2-3 it said about Jesus “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, Spirit of wisdom and understanding, Spirit of Counsel and Power, the Spirit of Knowledge and the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”    If Jesus walked in the fear of the Lord and we are called to be like him then we too should walk in the fear of the Lord.

We prayed a simple prayer that we discovered had been written when researching this topic and I encourage you to pray this prayer.    “Oh God my Father, I come to you through Jesus Christ my saviour.  You have put in my heart a desire for the fear of the Lord.  I am asking you from now on to lead me, to teach me and to impart to me this wonderful treasure of yours – the fear of the Lord.  In Jesus name. Amen”.