Obeying and Precious Stones

Precious Stones of Intercession

Coming this Summer. . .

It was September of 2008 when Father impressed on me that He wanted me to write Precious Stones of Intercession: Specific and Persistent Prayer on Behalf of Others.

I reacted much like Gideon, “Who am I?”

I made excuses much like Moses, “But I’ve never written a book.”

I had thoughts much like Jonah, “I don’t want to.”

I had misgivings much like Jeremiah, “There’s already a lot of great books on prayer. Why would the world need another one?”

I felt like David, standing with fives stones, amongst the well-armored, well-known, well-respected, & widely read soldiers of faith of our day.

In the end, I knelt and surrendered my insecurities and fears and prayed like Mary,
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” – Luke 1:38

The last four years have been ones of seeing Father carrying out His promise in Isaiah 46:11:

What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.

In that time, Father has connected me with the people, resources, strength and inspiration to carry out a task that was difficult, hard, and not really something I wanted to do.

What about you?

It may not be writing a book, but what is it that God has been laying on your heart and calling you to obey Him in?

  • Speaking to someone about your faith
  • Seeking to build a bridge with someone at work who you really don’t get along with
  • Taking a step of faith that will affect your time, resources, and even your future
  • Trusting God for the impossible, the improbable, the difficult and hard-to-reach challenges He loves to ask us to trust Him with and walk by faith in
  • Stepping outside of your comfort zone in a way that will impact the eternity of others

In speaking with a book marketing consultant, she pointed out the fact that, “thousands of books get published every year.”

It is tempting with almost any step of obedience to lean on our own understanding and fix our eyes on what we see and understand, instead of submitting our insecurities, fears, and unknowns to the One who rules all eternity:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9

The success of Precious Stones does not lie in how many copies are sold, its success lies in the fact that God called me to do something and I obeyed.

And that’s what matters with the choices of obedience we are faced with every day.

Father isn’t looking for perfection, He is looking for our availability, willingness, and humble faith that submits to His plan whether or not we understand it or feel qualified to carry it out.

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. – 2 Corinthians 8:12

What gift of obedience is Father asking you to give the world around you today?

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Precious Stones of Intercession – My Book is Done (Almost)

I’m thrilled to be in the last phases of getting my book project into the hands of its readers.

For the past several years, I’ve has been collecting, recollecting and writing this book Precious Stones of Intercession: The Practice of of Purposeful and Partnering Prayer. This project was a God-given, Holy Spirit-driven mission with specific deadlines.

The last phase is in the design, marketing, and distribution areas. And I’m asking for your help and partnership.

I’ve set up an escrow account with GoFundMe to get the book through it’s final stages. There is a video and a synopsis of the project there. Any level of support (prayer and/or financial) is considered a blessing.

If you see the link on Facebook or if you have a blog or Twitter account, please consider sharing it. Prayer support is the most important type of support (especially for this work).

Blessings in Abundance.

Travailing Prayer Equals Prevailing Prayer


Life has few more poignantly significant moments than those found in the face of death.

It may be of a family member or a dear friend, but you stand changed by their passing.  Again and again, Jesus showed his power over death through raising Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus, and then Himself back to life.

In the case of Jairus’ daughter, the onlookers laughed.  With Lazarus, Martha reasoned with Jesus that the stench of death and decay would be too strong after  four days of being in the grave.  And then as Jesus lay in the grave, his own disciples despaired of ever seeing Him again.

There are many amazing accounts of near death experiences.  We hear them and are momentarily awed and inspired by the miracle of life in the face of death.

Yet, how many of us live our days with the firm belief that He is

“…the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were?” (Romans 4:17, NIV)

Boundless and countless are the circumstances and situations in our lives in which Father waits on “the edge of His seat” for us to pray with unwavering and longsuffering faith and to not be afraid; just believe (Mark 5:36).

Longsuffering is defined as “long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation” (def: dictionary.com).

The King James translation uses the word “travail” in speaking of a woman in childbirth.  Travail means, “pain, anguish or suffering resulting from mental or physical hardship” (dictionary.com).

We think nothing of a woman “travailing” in childbirth; and yet how often are we willing to travail in prayer — to persevere, to endure, to continue calling out to our God who hears, and to embrace the belief that He is the God who gives life to the dead.

James 5:16 (KJV), “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Effectual means, “producing or capable of producing an intended effect; adequate” (dictionary.com).  Fervent means, “having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.; ardent” (dictionary.com).

Can any of these words be used to describe our prayers:

  • Effectual
  • Fervent
  • Faith-filled
  • Longsuffering
  • Travailing
  • Unwavering

Travailing prayer equals prevailing prayer.

In Luke 18:1 (NIV) we read, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

After telling the parable Jesus gives His audience this challenge, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8, NIV)

Will Jesus find faith when He returns?  Will He find His children praying effectual, fervent, faith-filled, longsuffering, travailing, unwavering prayers?

He is the God . . .

  • who brings life to the dead.
  • who gives sight to the blind.
  • who heals the sick.
  • who makes the broken . . . whole.
  • who gives the hopeless . . . hope.
  • who makes the lame . . . leap.
  • who makes the mute sing and the deaf ear hear symphonies.
  • who sets the captives free and leads the prisoners forth with singing.

Dear brothers and sisters, “Will Jesus find faith when He returns?”

Travailing prayer equals prevailing prayer.

 

Between Two Stances: Shaky Legs or Firm Footing?

Kneeling Prayer

Time and again in the New Testament Jesus speaks of Father’s passion, “’It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be a house of prayer . . . .’” Luke 19:46.

In their book, Experiencing God , Blackaby and King write, “The greatest untapped resource that I know of is the united prayer of God’s people.”

How much are we putting into practice and how deep is our belief in the promise of James 5:16?

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Powerful and effective . . . guaranteed.  Are our churches houses of prayer?

In Jeremiah 33:3 Father gives an astounding promise, “‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

In my ministry as a prophetic intercessor,  I have seen time and again the contrast between two stances and beliefs found in Isaiah 7:9 and 9:7.

  • Shaky legs . . . Isaiah 7:9, “‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’”
  • Firm footing . . . Isaiah 9:7, “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

In Luke 18:8, Jesus asks, “‘However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’”

Will Jesus find his people praying in faith and believing when he returns or will he find his people with shaky legs?

 

Photo on Flickr by josephpetepickle

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Kids: They’re Already Ready

Are we empowering our kids as mighty servants and ministers of the King now or is that a future thing?

I grew up as a missionary kid in Indonesia.  As a young child, my parents taught me to serve, to minister to those around me, and I was thrust into the crosshairs of intense spiritual warfare.

I have worked in KidMin in various capacities throughout the U.S. and the world (volunteer, Christian school teacher, and vocation) for the past twenty years.  Through these experiences, I have become thoroughly convinced that “they’re already ready” – to serve, to minister, to engage in spiritual warfare, and to set an example for the believers (1 Tim. 4:12).

Ready to Serve

Serving in our church children’s ministry for 4 1/2 years, I provided the staff support for our 5th and 6th Grade ministry – a service-based pre-youth group experience based on Acts 1:8.  Our students had opportunities to serve in our children’s ministry, our church, our city, and through Operation Christmas Child and Kids Against Hunger.

Again and again, these 5th and 6th Graders rose to the challenge – serving with joy, purpose, and maturity.  Over and over I saw their hunger to make a real difference in their world, so much so that they inspired the adults who served as their small group leaders.

Our kids are Already Ready to serve.

Ready to Minister

I taught 3rd Grade at a Christian school this year.  One of my student’s father was diagnosed with a fast-acting cancer.  Over the year as she would share updates with us, I saw my class of eight and nine year olds effectively minister to her and to each other.

As we discussed the realities of life, death, suffering, and God’s answers to our prayers; I saw my students process, understand, and apply the concepts we conversed about.  I saw them minister with compassionate honesty, genuine comfort, and biblical wisdom & maturity. Time and again during our Bible time, they would gather around, placing their hands on her, ready to comfort and intercede for her.

Our kids are Already Ready to minister.

Ready to Engage in Spiritual Warfare

For two years, I led a week long children’s ministry outreach in conjunction with a ministry my church partners with in Asia.  Having grown up in Indonesia, I know firsthand the level of spiritual warfare these children are already dealing with in their youth.

During one outreach, I shared the testimony of my experience with spirtual warfare and oppression with this group of children whose ages spanned from two to fifteen years old.  I will always remember the look of understanding and connection I saw in their eyes.

Children worldwide are dealing with spiritual warfare and are in dire need of knowing the principles of how to effectively deal with spiritual warfare.

Our kids are Already Ready to engage in spiritual warfare.

Ready to Set an Example

In every setting I have engaged in KidMin – camps, Christian schools, churches, mission trips – I have seen kids who are ready to set an example for the believers (1 Tim. 4:12).  They only need to be esteemed, empowered, and equipped to do so.

They’re Already Ready . . .

What are we doing to enable them to soar?

A Death, a New Kid, and $3.50

Angela3rdGradePoem I’ve been blessed to teach a class of 3rd grade students this year at a wonderful private school. They are as much my teachers as they are my students. They have been part of my strength.

These three short stories show how special they are, and how special our school is to all who are connected to the school family.

I was honored to be able to read it during a recent school benefit.

A Death, a New Kid, and $3.50

Rebecca arrived in the classroom tearful yet resolved to share
how a dear family friend had lost her father
in the cancer fight that previous night
(Her own father has been battling cancer for several months)

That morning’s Bible lesson was a fictional story of a young boy whose Grandpa had died
As I read the story, I saw the student’s tears and heard her cries as she confessed,
“I don’t want my dad to die like Mrs. B’s dad died.”
After prompting them to do so, my class of eight and nine-year-olds
almost instinctively surrounded their classmate,
placing their hands on her, ready to comfort and intercede for her
And yet their prayers weren’t all for the her dad’s healing but for the will of God
and for God to give her strength no matter what He chose to do

That very same day, after experiencing the joys and thrills of Snack Shack
David burst into the class with angry tears at the realization
that his $3.50 of food and drink had been a waste
He left early that day and in his absence I explained his angry tears to my class

One student immediately pulled a remaining quarter from his bag of Snack Shack change
and quietly said, “I want David to have this.”
And like a train of willing hearts, student after student
took some change from their own bag
In the end, they had collected $7.00 of change to give to David,
their teammate, friend, and brother-in-Christ

A week later, we had a prospective student shadow in our class
Jeremy arrived that morning almost feeling sick with the unknowns of the situation
and yet after his visit, his mom emailed that he hadn’t wanted to leave
Before he left that day, I asked my class to pray for Jeremy
as he finished the year at his public school
The next day Jeremy’s mom dropped off a one-page letter
that Jeremy had voluntarily written thanking us for his experience visiting our class

Although some may wonder why parents invest a large financial sum
into sending their child to our school
After teaching 3rd Grade for one year
I know why . . .

A moment of uncertainty in the face of death
handled with honesty, comfort, and deep wisdom

A moment for grasping one’s small sum of financial riches
Became a moment for compassion and great generosity

And a new kid who felt sick at his arrival to visit our school
Was a moment for surrounding him with our love, acceptance, and friendship

I saw it in a death, a new kid, and $3.50

The blessings of embracing vibrant faith at an early age
is worth every penny invested in a student’s education at our school

(Names have been changed)

(Originally posted on SansoneSPOT)

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