God our refuge

The Lord drew me to Psalm 46 yesterday and so we read it aloud last night in our fellowship group over WhatsApp. We prayed through the words to declare and affirm our faith in God and call upon Him in our times of trouble because He truly is our ever present help. He does not abandon us at these times but is right there with us in the middle of times of pain, sorrow, suffering and grief.

I hope you also take comfort and strength from these words today:

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalm 46:1-11

Emmanuel, God with us. He is our ever present help. Call on Him today.

Blessings to you this day. ūüôŹ

Praising God on the High Hills

Some weeks ago just after my posting on Praise 24/7, the Lord encouraged me and a few friends to go and give Him praise on the High Hills. Observing of course social distancing ūüėÄ

We went to a local beauty spot -Waseley Hills and from the top of the hills there are the most incredible 360 views all around. You can see for miles.

Love this tree which is bending the opposite way to all the others

We had an incredible time praising and worshipping God. There was a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit as we sang about how awesome our God is and how worthy our God is to receive all honour and Glory. He alone is worthy of all the glory.

The Holy Spirit inspired us with bible readings and songs to sing. We sang, prayed and read aloud. It was so freeing and joyful especially after being cooped up for so long in isolation. There is something so special about being outside in creation, involved in the beauty of it and praising the Creator with fellow believers.

The Lord gave us 3 words to declare from those High Hills which we did. I also recorded them. I have transcribed them and will post on here shortly but having looked back at some earlier words this year I am struck by their similarity to previous posts. The key messages were for us as the people of God to Awaken & Rise up and be Christ’s light shining in the darkness. There is a clear sense that we are to be about Gods work and trust in Him. To be alert and watchful not sleeping. To be doers of the Word not just hearers.

If you have the opportunity then I encourage you to go do something similar. Go somewhere outside where there is lots of space and declare aloud how great our God is. We are lacking corporate praise whilst our fellowships are not able to meet and singing aloud is not possible with COVID 19. Let’s not be silent but let’s get creative. Satan hates our praises. Let’s not let him rob our praise. Praising God changes the spiritual atmosphere! It’s a catalyst for so much. It puts things into perspective and the focus on our great God. We look up and not down at our circumstances. It changes us.

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 ‚ÄúYadah‚ÄĚ meaning ‚Äúan open or extended hand‚ÄĚ ‚Äď 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:

‚ÄúIf 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 ‚Ä̬† 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‚Äô model prayer demonstrates humility in his final words ‚ÄúFOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN‚ÄĚ.

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 ‚Äú 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‚Äôs 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) ‚Äď See later notes on Solomon‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúBless the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name‚ÄĚ and in Psalm 99 ‚ÄúLet them praise Your great and awesome name ‚Äď He is holy‚ÄĚ

4.REPENTANCE ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄúCreate in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me‚ÄĚ.¬†¬† 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‚Äôt 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 ‚Äú FERVENT PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN WHICH ARE EFFECTIVE‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúall the people‚ÄĚ. He was the king but he wasn‚Äôt too proud or embarrassed in front of the people to adopt this humble posture before God.

Solomon starts by confessing who God is ‚Äúv 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‚ÄĚ.

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: ‚Äú 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‚ÄĚ 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¬†‚Äď 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 ‚ÄúHe shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire‚ÄĚ ‚Äď

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‚ÄĚ

Prayer ‚Äď What‚Äôs in a name? Part 1

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.

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.”