Friday, February 27, 2015

Hearing the Voice

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
John 10:27

In order to hear the voice of the Shepherd, we need to listen for it. Jesus is the Great Shepherd and He knows those who are His sheep--those who listen for, and hear, His voice. Once we hear His voice and do what He says--following Him--then we are outwardly identifying our inward belonging to Him. If we skip the step of listening and hearing, and just try and follow Him as an obedient sheep, we miss the whole experience of knowing Him. The greatest joy as a Christian comes from intimately knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Lord, I pray that all those who consider themselves a Christian, take time to get quiet before You on a regular basis and listen to hear Your voice. I pray that we get away from the busy, hectic times of life and find that peaceful pasture with You. May we never try to look like Your sheep, without actually being Your sheep. I pray that we lay aside all of our dead, religious works, so that all we do is birthed from a joyful, intimate relationship with You. As we long for You, we belong to You.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Basket of Figs

"I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord;
and they will be My people, and I will be their God,
for they will return to Me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:7

The Lord showed the prophet Jeremiah two baskets of figs before the temple of the Lord. One had very good figs in it and the other had very bad, rotten figs which could not be eaten. The Lord said the good figs were like the captives that had been sent out away from Jerusalem that He would one day bring again into the land. He will give them a heart to know Him, they will be His people, He will be their God and they will return to Him with their whole heart. But the bad figs were to be scattered and destroyed.

Lord I pray that we, and those in this township, be as those who return to You with their whole heart. That we do not rebel against You or shrink back when we go through difficult times, even times of correction from You. Lord we want to have a heart that knows You. We want to be Your people, and You to be our God. We turn and return to You, embrace Your will for our lives, and ask for Your protection, mercy, grace and provision.

Jeremiah 24:1-10

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hushing the Storm and the Fear

I woke up with a song on my heart today, based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 66:2. The words are:

I will set my love on You.
I set my love upon You,
You are my dwelling place
I set my love upon You,
and I know Your Name.
I do set my love on You,
'cuz You have set Your eyes on me.
You're my deliverer, and You are with me.
You will answer and rescue me.

I sing this as a prayer over the township, the state and our country today. The post from February 11, 2012, also speaks of Psalm 91, as well as praying for peace and safety while remaining alert and prayerful. I pray for an equipping of power and authority to rise up in God's people to dispel the terror that would try and grip the hearts of people. I pray that God's people have peace--but not a naive peace that comes from being unaware of what is going on.

When Jesus was asleep in the boat and the storm arose, His disciples woke Him up as they were afraid. He told the storm to "Hush, be still." Jesus was not asleep with a naivety that caused the storm to overtake Him with fear or physical harm. He arose in power and authority and took care of it. I pray God's people rest in His peace, while waking up into the power and authority He's given us, rebuking not only the physical harm, but the fear and terror as well. (For a related article on hushing the storm click here.)

Lord I also pray that You take us to a deeper level of forgiveness and holiness. Protect our children and equip them with all they need to fulfill Your will in their lives. Show all of Your people their gifts and call and how to bring that to fruition in their lives. Give all of our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and implement it in all of their decisions.

Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41

Monday, February 9, 2015

Intercessory Breaths For Your City

The other day I cleaned one of the rooms in my home which hadn't been used much lately. A lot of stuff had accumulated there and it had gotten dusty. I cleaned, organized and dusted. As I stood in the room, I saw how a room stays cleaner just by being used. Even if we just stand in a room and breathe, we filter some of the dust out of a room. In the same way, when we breathe out words of praise, it's like a filter to the spiritual atmosphere around us. When we live in a city, day in and day out, we are breathing in and out, speaking words of either life or death, affecting the atmosphere the whole time. God said He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah for just ten righteous. Just ten righteous people living, breathing, and speaking in a city will affect the city in such a way that can keep it from destruction. 

The key is consistency. James said that from the same mouth should not come both blessing and cursing. A fountain doesn't send out both fresh and bitter water, so we should not flip back and forth between good words and bad. Of course the only way to consistently speak good is for our heart to be filled with good. This only comes through being born again, becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus, and pressing in to Him daily with a heart that is wholly committed and surrendered to Him. As intercessors and prayer warriors for the Lord, let's be sure we do this first, and then stand in the gap for our cities!

Lord God, help us to do this, and may all of us in this township who believe in You, present ourselves to You whole-heartedly.

Genesis 18:32; James 3:10-12; Matthew 12:33-37; 2 Chronicles 16:9
re-prayer February 4, 2012