Watch and Pray (2)

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 

36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 

37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 

38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 

39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 

40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Luke 12:35-40 NIV

Friends – here I am with the watch and pray again. The urgency to understand and reach this point of understanding is upon us.  Throughout the Bible we are told to watch – watch and pray.

Sometimes watch is a term more like water, in Aramaic, “`iyr” and it means “wakeful one, watcher,” or “angel”. So when reading the words of the Bible be aware and watch for the words: watch, awaken, wake-up, and the such.  When God wakes us to pray, we are watchers.

What is it we are watching for? In the Old Testament it was to encourage God’s children to stay obedient and on course watching for the fulfillment of the prophecies – watching for the Messiah. Can you imagine if Peter (Simon) was not watchful? If he did not believe in the coming Christ? Who would be the cornerstone of the Church? The Old Testament watched their ways so that through obedience they could see the Messiah.  Who was awake and saw?

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV

These lessons apply today – keep obedient in the ways of the Lord and watch.

“and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’” 1 Kings 2:4 NIV

One way to watch is to watch your ways, watch that you seek first the kingdom of God and God himself, then the promises flow and the promise of all promises which is the kingdom of Heaven.  Yes! We should be more glad and full of joy that our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life and stay focused on that promise #LookingUp our redemption draws near!

“I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” Psalm 39:1 NIV
Watching our ways! Amen!!! Watch our tongues that the Lord God can use them!!  And on a silly side note – I have been calling these blessed masks (the Governor is requiring we wear) “Obedience Muzzles”.  Wearing in obedience and praying the Lord muzzling my tongue for MY words and opens my mouth with his.

Watching out for sin and temptation

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40 NIV

Watching out for deception and the enemy who will steal, kill and destroy

“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4 NIV

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” Acts 20:28-29 NIV

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Alert and Sober mind is how we shall watch.

Watch for the return of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13 NIV

“If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Mark 13:36-37 NIV

“Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Proverbs 8:34 NIV

This command to watch and pray is still applicable and urgent today. 
As Jesus prepared for the work of the cross, he intentionally used the same words as he used the day before when telling his disciples about his return which are “watch and pray”.  So when his soul is overwhelmed we know it was not just the pain and suffering of the passion, but the completed work and the goal: His Return For His Sheep.

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV

Will you watch and pray?

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 NIV

Every day, every moment, we are nearer and nearer to this Blessed Hope of Christ’s Return for us!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! Thank you for reading.

Go ye therefore wearing a mask

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts — 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Matthew 10:7-20 NIV

I watched an evening mid-week service, streamed on my computer and was so blessed!  The Pastor reviewed so many things that have been heavy on my heart and I have shared here.  We ARE here for such a time as this!  We battle a Spirit of Fear – but God has given us Power, Love, and a Sound Mind. So many things! 

While I watched I was making fabric masks – well, cutting out the patterns for 6 or so of them for my family.  Newest law in the land, so to speak, is that no one can leave their house without a mask on.

I knew it was coming. It’s just that having worked in Hospitals, Nursing Homes and ARC’s, my background in infection control, IT IS JUST THAT…. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. As Daniel submitted to the laws of the land, so must I. So my disobedience to God’s suggestion that I make these sooner means little time for this.  I am so sorry.   

Read the above passage – Jesus said Go!  The law of the land says stay home.  But your computer and phone can reach the ends of the earth! So, go therefore! Go! (Don’t forget to wear those masks when you do Go!)

~Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91 ~

You’re uncomfortable? So am I!

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17 KJV

Once upon a time, long-long ago in a world that feels like a memory, I went to Sunday school.  We would play a game called ‘sword drills’ and we would compete to see who could find a verse fastest in our Bible.  I quickly learned that tabs and place markers slowed people down and because I was highly competitive I memorized the books of the Bible in order.  Today, I click a button on a screen and the verse comes up – those sword drills were for naught.
I wish I had lessons in sword fights.
When the enemy comes up against me – how do I recognize him? Do I fight? What should we do?

A month ago I posted ‘Gracious Armor’ a post devoted to verses to use when swinging your sword! Just keep in mind that you need the full armor of God (have you read the Word and prayed?)  And remember we battle NOT against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. I refer back to that post to grab some of those scriptures quickly.

any way….

Where ever the Coronavirus goes, fear goes. Fear isn’t a small demonic force as we have seen in my posts about overcoming it – and if you go outside; maybe it’s even in your house?  The spirit of fear is a big bad principality and power.  This is the kind that takes over territories. This is the kind that gets pushed back ONLY by united prayer and fasting.
Everyone keeps saying it just feels different – I have said since day one: “I know this spirit – it is fear”.  No one listens to the Aspbie (one who has Asperger’s syndrome) who doesn’t process fear like the rest of the world.  WE NEED TO PRAY UNITED AGAINST IT – it needs to be pressed back.  I hear prayers for the virus to be pushed back, but that isn’t the right prayer. The right prayer is to push back the fear.

OK – so I am stepping out a little further than normal on this post.  Please forgive me and stick with me here. It isn’t easy to step out of one’s comfort zone.  If I am crazy, then it is Christ in me who is crazy.

Also I need to speak to Covid-19 – it is a blood issue. We need to pray for the blood to be cleansed and iron to be protected and for the oxygen to get to the organs. Covid-19 comes like a thief to kill and steal the iron, and destroy the body by suffocating the organs.  It does attack everyone but it is most successful with a specific blood type and people who have anemia.  The Black and Latino numbers are going up and people are saying they have failed to socially distance, however they also have a population with sickle cell anemia.  This isn’t a science blog – I will not be siting scientific research.  Just asking you pray for The Blood to clean the blood – total healing.

I am stepping out in faith and sharing because I believe the time is short – and because I know God showed me these things.  Let him get the Glory! 

Let’s take up our Swords and fight this.   Lets get on our knees, quote healing and power and fight the good fight.   

First against the spirit in the people who think I have gone too far with my daily reading and praying and testifying: Get behind me Satan!
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  Matthew 16:23 KJV
Side note – ooooo savor the Word of God. MmmmMmmmMmmm so Good (the God given kind of Good!)

Please, please, please love the sheep and do not engage in a fight with a person.  We are to LOVE one another – love your enemy – love the person. Otherwise you have done evilly.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 NIV

We must balance all things – like our fight in the spirit with the love in the world towards others.  And as Jesus points out – balance the actions with focus on the prize – don’t rejoice because we have authority over the devils – but because our names are written in The Lamb’s Book of Life.

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 KJV

But how many times has Jesus said watch and pray for his return? Are we looking up? Are we waiting for his second coming – rejoicing – are we ready? Here again in the verses above Jesus is reminding us – that heaven is the goal. Keep your eyes on the prize. Fighting off demonic things can also be a distraction from the enemy.

Romans 13:11 KJV “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Admittedly – this post is outside my comfort zone. I am comfortable speaking with God about such things.  But I am sure I sound crazy to you. This is for the Glory of God, through Christ Jesus who has not told me I am crazy. But my reputation is in his hands.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV

 He is greater!

He makes me study about truly submitting to him (yesterday’s post) then he tells me to spout off like a radical loon.  I cannot even say I am sorry. 

“And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 KJV

If I am not speaking the Bible or taking it out of context, if I am not serving the Lord and living according to his principals, if I am not being obedient to God – Then please do not read my blog. Test the spirits, friends, make sure they are of God.

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Romans 16:17-20 KJV

Get behind me Satan or get beneath my feet.  I don’t have time right now for your hindrances. There is much work to be done and the time is short.

“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV

Oh Lord, please terry one more night that my friends and family might be saved before your return! (btw, if you are wondering why he isn’t here yet – it’s me – I am praying this while praying for the unsaved).

~Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91 ~

Thy Will be Done

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 KJV

As Christians we want to be Christ-like and obedient to the will of our Father.  We have the choice to obey or not.  I posted about obedience being an act of faith, and this is not a post about that (feel free to go back and read it ‘Grace and Obedience to Faith’).  Although this is about obedience, it is about the will of God.

Jesus was “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42 KJV

Jesus understood the will of God and understood the magnitude of what it was.  None the less Jesus submitted to God’s will. 

I am a scrapper, a fighter, and a strong willed survivor.  I am prone to arguing with God when he tells me his will. And I am not as graceful as Jesus was.  I tend to be more of a Jonah – running the other way and after a bit of lesson learning, I show up and do God’s will, while standing there dripping of whale vomit – just like Jonah. Don’t be a Jonah – whale vomit is gross.
I am surprised I do not walk with a limp from wrestling with the angels – I am surprised God still loves me and wants to use me.  He gives me tasks and I argue. I start the task and beg for it taken away. I get back on course and then throw a temper tantrum and stop. Ya know what I am saying?
God has saved us by grace – given us gifts and blessings – promised us protection. I could make a list miles long of all the goodness of God!  He even says it is not by our works, but a free gift to us, free to us because someone else paid for it – Jesus did – on the cross.
But the whole work of the cross was so GOD could reconcile his relationship with mankind (and womankind).  When we say we accept Jesus as our savior and want to be made new – we sign up for a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. Are you following this?  Jesus shows us how to be – we are Christians and therefore striving to be Christ-like.  Are you seeing an action here – ownership – and obedience, moreover submission to God’s will?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”  James 4:13-15 KJV

It is good for us to plan, but only if God wills it. Like Jesus said “Not my will, but thy will be done”. 

So what is the will of God? How do we submit to it?  The best way to know the will of God is to pray like Matthew 6:10 says: “Thy will be done” then read our Bibles.  The bible is full of promises which show what we must do to receive them.  The bible is full of directions on how to live Christ-like.  We should be opening it daily to learn and hear from God.

Let me share some of the verses that are very literal in what God wills:

3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Well, this seems like the very basics of Sunday school lessons – try to be good – be obedient to the commands of the apostles and manage through by grace, practice and resisting the devil, and through the help of the Holy Spirit.
We could elaborate on these – the first three verses are about the lusts of the flesh and the way they are worded ensures it covers everything from an obvious sin of adultery and fornication to the ones that are more subtle and have snuck into our society as a common practice, like internet affairs and/or lude pictures sent. These three verses say a lot and the next speaks to tempting, offending, and defrauding others, but this isn’t a post about sexual morality. This is about being willing to submit to God when in a situation when the flesh wants to do its thing. Not my will, but thy will oh Lord!!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
During this pandemic, are you thanking God for it? When you agree or disagree with our government leaders are you thanking God for it? Here is a hard one for me: when the CBC making changes to infection control laws that you know put people at risk – am I thanking God for it? Oof – yea, thank you God; not my will but your will as you have not put me in a position to effect change on it.
When we sit down at a large family gathering with abundant food it is so easy to say grace before that meal – when you have a can of beans in the cupboard and nothing else, can you say the same grace of thanksgiving for the provisions provided? Beans would not be my will, but maybe that is God’s will.
Practicing this, obediently, will transform your thinking and you will see God’s wisdom and His love for you through it. Which, by the way is also his will.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 KJV

As we work out our salvation with fear and trembling – submitting to God is essential to power, love and peace.  Wait – haven’t I been speaking about these three often lately??? Oh yea, we overcome fear with power, love and a sound mind (peace).

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

As you can see here – God also wills that we overcome fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of financial insecurity, fear of a virus, and all fear. He does say 365 times in the Bible: “Fear not”

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].” Ephesians 5:17 KJV

And once you get direction and know his will – be more than obedient, submit to it. He has your best intentions in mind.  He is working all things out for the good. The power of God in your life, and in my life, comes from submitting to his will. God is calling us to submit more – and when you think you have submitted enough or even all – he still wants more. As humans I am not sure we can reach full submission, yet we must try. He is moving right now – we need to be ready for what he has next!

~Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91 ~

To be Spared from Evil

“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest”

Isaiah 57: 1-2 NIV

How are you doing?  Me and my house, we are doing well (we were doing great until a sudden non-viral death in the family brought mourning. We mourn as we must, but we are doing well overall.) This pandemic has not robbed the joy of our salvation or our peace. 
During this pandemic I am speaking with (telephone, texts, DMs, PMs, etc) so many who are not followers of Christ who do not have peace. I understand that, they do not know hope and do not have the revelation of grace.  I speak my testimony and pray for them. It’s such a blessing to participate with. I am blessed to be a blessing and I am blessed by being a blessing. You see, I am able to because I have peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

This peace is a gift from God – but we have to work for it. We much discipline our minds to be “stayed on Him”.  (Go back and read my post – Grace for the battle over your mind – if you need more help with this)
So I have conversations with my fellow Christians and find two things:
1. They want a magic pill – God to do the work and they want to just receive it without any growth, work or disciple. But with somethings the Bible is very clear we must participate in achieving. Like peace – we keep our minds on Christ – he gives us peace. 
2. Lack of understanding God’s gracious plan through this pandemic. God’s wisdom isn’t like conventional human wisdom. It takes us asking God to open our understanding to it. I pray this over this post – so you may understand and have peace.

Let me give you an example of God’s wisdom.  This is a testimony of my life – a small thing God has done to provide. I pray you understand.  I have feet that are two different sizes.  So I usually buy cheap shoes because I have to buy 2 different pair (sometimes I can find one pair that will stay on both feet comfortably but that is usually boots and sandals).  With my Asperger’s syndrome I also have sensory issues and MANY of them are on my feet. Add to this that I am poor – literally and do not have the money for this nonsense.  So, my winter boots – I wore them until the sole fell off. I said: God, please provide. And I found superglue in my desk drawer and glued them back together.  This was a blessing and gift from God. And people tell me wasn’t because he did not give me new boots – But, he did! My boots that are comfortable and do not bother me are temporarily made new and I can finish the season.  However I did notice that the season for boots was ending and it isn’t yet sandal season, so I said: God, please provide. He said “Stay home until sandal season and enjoy wearing your socks!”
And again I heard “but God did not get you new shoes”.  And I say: He did exceeding abundantly above all I could ask or think! You see, God’s wisdom and his plan is NOT the conventional wisdom of man.

In Isaiah 57 – Isaiah is trying to explain God’s wisdom and that God has a plan for each of us. And each of us he plans to protect and provide for differently, but to all of His follows he wants peace. Let’s read it again:
“The righteous perish,” I am sorry, but some will – He has brought them home to His glory because it is his plan. Knowing that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) we must submit out minds and wills to His will.
“and no one takes it to heart” Let the understanding of your heart (Esp. 1:18) be opened!
“the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” During this pandemic the majority of the world must stay home – be taken away.  It is you that I am speaking to right now – You are safe in your home covered by God’s protection and spared from evil. Are you waking up saying this is easy and a blessing! What if the answer was to sleep naked in a tree top?!?! That would be hard.  God has spared you with the easiest task possible. Stay home.
As for essential employees running out into this to keep the minimal vital processes and healthcare functioning – You are separated by your faith – you are in this world, but not of it (John 17:14-16) and God has also spared you from the evil – this takes more faith and I am sure it would take another post to fully explain. But He has you.
And finally “Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest”. Keep your eyes on Jesus not on what is happening around us.  We should be aware of what is going on – but focused on the prize!  The whole point of being a Christian is having a relationship with Him, telling others about Him, and watching and praying for His return.  Just focus on that.

This post is very wordy – but Isaiah (as we continue studying this chapter) has a lot to say. It is important to realize the blessing of ‘being taken out of this’ and ‘peace’ found in verse 1 and 2 comes with the rest of this chapter.  It should be digested and thought about together.

“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes! Who are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags. The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent? You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies. You went to Molek with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead! 10 You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.
11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me? 12 I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.”

Isaiah 57:3-13 NIV

Oof! In quick summary (which cannot do this justice) Isaiah is pointing out that the people are acting righteous and doing ‘good works’ but have hardened their hearts and compromised in sin. The focus of the people is on things (provisions if you will) and not focused on The Provider – and he relates it to idolatry.  Isaiah covers all sorts of sins throughout this passage – be careful not to find yourself in there – and if you do, then repent! Because God will NOT save you – he will let your collection of idols save you.
Do not say, but this is Old Testament and does not apply to me – the Old Testament is the prophesy of grace the same grace that is the redemption story we celebrated yesterday. This salvation is salvation from the enemies in our lives (sickness, disease, trials, tribulations, etc.) and is also salvation from the wrath to come and the judgment of God, and eternal damnation.

Take heart. This chapter is a positiveity sandwich! A blessing, a reprimand, and promise!

14 And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” 15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 I will not accuse them forever, nor will I always be angry, for then they would faint away because of me— the very people I have created. 17 I was enraged by their sinful greed; I punished them, and hid my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways. 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, 19creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”

Isaiah 57: 14-19 NIV

Praise the Lord! He points out our sins, and how we are NOT focused on him – and reminds us that doing that has grave consequences!  AND then he reminds us that if we repent he is faithful and just to forgive us (John 1:9)!!!!  And we shall have peace – we shall survive and even thrive through this. It will be for the glory of God and others will ask (and have asked me): how are you so peaceful and positive? And it opens the door to give God the glory and share my testimony.

Isaiah isn’t done there. And neither am I.  I found myself in a situation where I shared with a Christian how I am doing great – and she said I cannot be implying I am lying. I shared what God is doing and a prayer request – which she filtered through her fear and stress and projected it onto me. She prayed for me and it was SO FAR AWAY from what I had asked. She prayed that I had peace and wisdom – ah well, I guess I can use some more. But my heart breaks for her and others like her.  Lord, she needs the peace!

If you are a Christian and you think your mind is stayed on him but you are still without peace – I challenge you to do some soul searching to see if there is any wicked way in you. And we finish the chapter:

20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. 21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Isaiah 57:20-21 NIV

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:
I also have a different perspective on this pandemic – it is not a trial for me.  I have lived a difficult life and have survived so much more than staying home (with a job to go back to), a loss of value in my 401k (403b, stocks, bonds, money market, etc.), and an order to wash my hand and not touch my face.  This is easy (even being an essential healthcare worker, who is blessed with the ability to work from home most of the time).  I also understand that other than 9-11, which shook our nation, and the recession of 2008 – many of you have been blessed and lived a peaceable life without the struggles I have survived.  I understand that this can shake a person, but let me encourage you to just stay on the path God has you on and keep moving forward and it will pass. God has promised he is responsible for fixing it – not you. He said he will, but in His will, and through His wisdom, which is not or own.  Just keep your eyes on Jesus!
And brothers and sister – I have read the end of the Book, and I know the signs of the times and I know we are here for such a time as this – so remember this is nothing compared to all that is on its way. Learn now to fight for your peace and keep your eyes on God. If Jesus doesn’t return for his sheep soon – we will only see things getting harder and God separating us more from the world.  Be of good cheer – this is all part of the plan.  Read the Bible and be encouraged.  God is Good.

~Peace~
~Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91 ~

The Significant Sheep

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23: 1-6 ESV

When I first returned to the Lord, this passage kept being unintentionally recited in my head. The benefit of having so much of the Bible memorized is recall when you need it (and that is usually when I can’t think of it)! The flip side is passages will run in my mind, even when it isn’t something I am thinking about. And this one played like a catching jingle, over and over.  It seemed trite.  I struggled to find any comfort, peace or message that directly applied to me.

I went to my cousin’s church and a lady spoke a word in the spirit – she said something down the lines of: You are My sheep which I have prepared a table for – you are worthy of eating the whole thing, yet refuse and feel unworthy of even my table scraps. But this table is set for you and it overflows. Come to the table and eat. I have restored you by the work of the cross.

I spent much time searching the Bible for verses on sheep and tables looking for a meaning that was right in front of my face – I just hadn’t pulled my chair up to the table at first. And in case you are also as slow and literal as I am – it’s me – I am the sheep – the table is set for me. (Also it’s you – you are also sheep with your own table prepared.)

With Passover, Good Friday and tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday – I have been reminded of these sheep passages again – as Christ is our Passover lamb.  There have been lots of images on the internet with sheep, sermons with verses with sheep, etc.  So I recall my own reconciliation story and how the sheep were so integrated in it and then I think about my ever growing list of people I am praying for who are in that place of knowing/yet not knowing – they need reconciliation – they are like sheep who have gone astray.  

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6 ESV

I had turned my own way and was lost.  Jesus sought me, long before I sought him. He loved me and wanted me back and when I came back he prepared the table like in the story of the prodigal son.  But unlike the earthly father in the prodigal story who stays home waiting – Jesus says in the parable before that, that a good shepherd leaves the other sheep and goes searching for the one lost one.  Jesus’s love was that much more – great!

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 15:3-7 ESV

Heaven rejoices when anyone turns to Jesus – and many times it seems to us that we reached out to him and turned to him (and even use that terminology). However, Jesus made us, and then chased us down until we finally turn.  Did you notice that when we turned he was right there? Because Jesus followed us, calling us back.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:1-21 NIV

I have watched the enemy sneak into our pens, climbing over the fences and not using the gate – and steal, kill and destroy. Especially lately. Many are without peace, overwhelmed, afraid and worried. But Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly!

Wow, sheep. Usually not the smartest of animals – but they have been raise up by God to be a significant creature throughout the Bible. Granted a large portion on the Bible was written for sheep farmers, but God raised this lowly animal up and it is now identified with Christ himself. Christ in this study is the shepherd – 2 days ago in that study he was the Passover lamb. But he became flesh, became man (and if man = sheep, then Jesus became sheep) and rose again as the shepherd!

I am always in awe at the artistry of the Bible.  When a theme carries throughout from Old Testament to New. I could write an entire book on sheep through the bible and it seems to always relate back to the reconciliation story of the cross. So, today – the day in between the death and the resurrection. I sit here grateful for the grace God has given to the sheep, my good shepherd, my own restoration story, and the table we shall all sit down at together when we finally get to heaven and feast. I am a significant sheep. You are a significant sheep.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Reconciliation; a Good Friday Story

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Roman 5:10 NIV

According to the dictionary (googled the meaning of reconciliation):
Reconciliation –
1. the restoration of friendly relations.
            restoration [reclamation, re-creation, recovery, mending, repairing, rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, resuscitation, revitalization, revival]
2. the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.
3. the action of making financial accounts consistent.

I don’t think I have ever seen such an anointed dictionary definition!

God is the God of Reconciliation. Jesus is the work of Reconciliation. The Holy Spirit is Reconciliation. Today is Good Friday – and all good things come from the Lord God (James 1:17).  As a child I never understood why we call it good.  (In case you do not know, Good Friday is the day we as Christians remember the death of Jesus on the cross. Three days later is Easter Sunday; the day he rose from the dead.) 
Have you read about the death of Jesus? It’s horrible. It’s terrifying that humans can be so cruel.  He was blameless and did not deserve death, let alone the beatings, abuse, mocking – physical and emotional trauma.
He suffered it all so that we all could have the opportunity for reconciliation with God. This grace is why we call it Good Friday – and all good things come from the Lord God (James 1:17).

And we should not forget the Holy Spirit’s work I this – God planned it, Jesus did it, and Jesus said he leaves us a comforter, one Spirit through which we can access the father:
“15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:15-18 NIV

So the first part of that dictionary definition is fairly easy to understand; God wants a relationship with you, through Christ Jesus and in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

Now on to the second meaning in that definition: “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another”.  Making my view and belief compatible with God.  This sounds impossible as we all have sinned, our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak, and we do as we ought not to do and not as we ought to do. If we could make our views and belief’s compatible with God – then Jesus would not have had to die that horrible death! Not by our works, but by grace that Christ can be glorified!

“20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” Colossians 1:20-22 NIV
Enemies in our minds because of our evil nature. The blood of Jesus and the act of taking on our sins and accepting the judgment of sin, death, has created a means to reconcile our views and beliefs. AMEN!

Finally, “the action of making financial accounts consistent”. Another old hymn comes to mind: “I had a debt I could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe, I needed someone to wash my sins away.”
Sin put me at a deficit, a term we use for finance. But if morals were money I found myself with a debt larger than New York State’s debt.  I don’t have the resources to pay it back.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding” Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV
Not only has he paid the debt but with the riches of God’s GRACE (Oh blessed grace!!!) He LAVISHED on us. LAVISHED, because he came to give us life and life more abundantly! (John 10:10) Only my glorious heavenly Father would sacrifice his son to pay my debt – and after it was paid he’d lavish more abundance upon me! Grace!

What do I do with all this glorious reconciliation?  Well, if you do not have a relationship with God and have not asked for forgiveness and asked for this new redeemed life, then you most certainly should. (A simple conversation with Him will work, a prayer)
And if you are walking a redeemed life – I challenge myself and you to really walk it.  Far too often lately I find that daily prayer is missing from people’s lives.  Did you read the Word (Bible) – it is the inspired word of God, His revelation to us of Himself and His plan of salvation. So if you haven’t read it what are your directions for the day? If you haven’t read it, did you even try to listen to God today? Have we as Christian prayed for the reconciliation of others to God? Have you prayed for the reconciliation of yourself with others?  Now that we are reconciled we, are in the ministry of reconciliation with God.

“18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NIV

Even from your home during social distancing, you can be spreading your testimony and the word of God.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Power in the Blood

There is an old hymn called, “Would you be free from your burden of sin” written somewhere between 1865 and 1936, they say.  It has been playing in my head, over and over.

Would you be free from your burden of sin?
  There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
  There’s wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder-working power,
  In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder-working power,
    In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
  There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide,
  There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
  There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow,
  There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
  There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
  There’s wonderful power in the blood.

This song – it’s powerful, even today.

So, what is this power in the blood of Christ – what did his death, spilled blood and resurrection accomplish that there is now, still, power in His blood that was spilled about 2000 years ago.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:7
It forgives and forgets sins – takes us in our dirty earthy skin of sin and washes us white as snow. It rips the veil of the old temple that kept everyone except priests from entering the Holy place and having any interaction with God. Now we can fellowship with Christ. I have a relationship with Christ, and with Abba Father through the blood of Christ (because I have been made clean).
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13
Being cleansed means we are saved from the wrath to come and God’s judgment.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:9
I have been saved!

Not only did he take upon himself our judgement, but the ‘stripes’ from his beatings (the long bloody lacerations caused by the whip) have healing power…
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Healing our health, minds, hearts, souls, and spirits. And then this verse was referred to in the New Testament…
…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” I Peter 2:24
I have been healed, and in some areas I am still healing.

The blood of Christ conquered death, overcame sin, and won victory over principalities, powers, demons, and satan himself.
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15
And Christ invites us to share in the victory through His blood and our testimony; here read the rest:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11
My battles are won through the blood! I share in the victory!

Of course, finally, one of my favorites – Grace…. Grace all tangled up in with the Blood and Redemption.  The redemptive powers of the blood are an act of grace. And if not for grace, I would not be here right now.   

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…” Romans 3:24-25

“in His forbearance God had passed over the sins” – passed over like the blood of the Passover lamb.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed
Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Happy Passover

“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7

Passover, the death/resurrection and redemption work of Christ, and the coronavirus

I think everyone can easily see the correlations here. In case you cannot, I will try to share the thoughts on it today, before Passover starts (at dusk, tonight).

Here is what the Bible says regarding the Passover:

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. 24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. 
29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

Exodus 12:21-30

The Israelites were told to “Stay Home” – this sounds like the same thing we are being told.  They went through 9 plagues and the 10th one was the Angel of Death who came and took all of the first borns throughout the land.  The Israelites marked their door with the blood of the sacrificial lamb and were safe – they were covered with the blood. The blood was the way to salvation from both Death and the Egyptians.
The Coronavirus is moving like a plague and Christian are staying home praying the power of the shed blood of Christ over their families and selves. And we are praying Psalm 91.
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling— my refuge, the Most High—no evil will befall you, no plague will approach your tent.” Psalm 91:9-10
And today is Passover.  Friday is Good Friday – the day we remember that Christ died and the work he accomplished through death. Then Sunday is the day we remember his resurrection and victory over death and sin; the ripped veil in the temple and the separation from God restored; and the new covenant, not under law, but through grace! (ah, yes, that blessed Grace that saved a wretch like me!)

It was on Passover approximately 2000 years ago, that Jesus had his ‘last supper’ with his disciples.  Knowing full well Judas was a traitor, he none the less ate with him and all of the 12 and…
“26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

This powerful salvation blood! Sin leads to death and the blood redeems!

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

The parallels between Passover lamb and Jesus have been made since Paul wrote to the first century church – but how much more it seems alive and applicable while we all ‘stay home’.  There are never coincidences with God – this is obviously a sign of something, but I can only speculate what it could be.

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 NIV

Yes – the hour has come to wake up.

Chag Pesach sameach! ~ Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Let’s pray…

16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 1:16-23 NIV

I pray for anyone who reads my blog, I pray for my friends and coworkers, and I pray for my family and loved ones.  I pray for me. I pray for my churches and pastors along with the workers, I pray for the government and our land. I pray.

So, let’s talk about prayer. There are a million ways to pray – through songs, worship, playing instruments, talking, crying, making noise, asking for things, giving thanks, etc.  Maybe there is not enough room in this unlimited blog to thoroughly review prayer.  So, let me focus on how I pray for others.

Intercession.  I spent a lot of time last year learning about intercession (reading the Bible and other books on the subject). My goal was to be so good at intercession that my sweet friend would have a change in his life like Saul had on the road to Damascus – transformed into Paul.  Whoever was praying for him, I wish they had wrote a book.

My intercession for my sweet friend has not yet worked out so well. Today he messaged that he redecorated his island on Animal Crossing game. – This is not a Paul like report.
This is the news that my eyes see.  But my spirit sees God busy working. Sees the Angel with my answered prayer delayed due to spiritual battle like in the book of Daniel. Sees that God is setting the stage so that when he does this great miracle – no one will doubt it was an act of God and many will be saved.  (Cause I couldn’t just pray that he got his act together – oh no, I had to pray for the miracle!)   

Verse 16, above – “not stopped” and ‘remembering” and verse 17, above “I keep asking”.  Some days it is the same exact prayer. Like my pastor gets on social media prays psalm 91 every day during this pandemic.  There is something comforting to people to pray the same – Although, I wonder if God tires of hearing the same prayers.  (If he does, then he better hurry up and answer them – as some times I am tired of praying them – lol) Most days I mix it up a bit, the way I word my prayers and the verses I use to affirm my prayers.  But the essence of my prayer is the same – Save, revive, and do a mighty work in anyone who reads my blog, my friends and coworkers, my family and loved ones, me, my churches and pastors along with the workers, the government and our land and everyone.  (Praying for revival before Jesus returns for us!)

And then, continuing verse 17:  “may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
Wouldn’t it be great to have more wisdom right now, during this pandemic? Maybe some revelation about the big picture and God’s plan? How about all of that and knowing “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father” better? Well, according to these verses we can pray this for ourselves and others! Amen! And since We are told to, we know he will hear us and it will be answered with a great big YES!

Let us also “pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (verses 17-19)
No matter how much I study, my eyes are opened in different ways to different things each and every time. I pray that for you, and over everyone I pray for. That God lets the eyes of your understanding be open, that you can hear him speak to you through the reading. That it’s always timely and applicable to your life. That you fall in love with the word of God!

And “that you may know the hope to which he has called you”. We are here, because we are called for such a time as this.  I pray that you understand that and lend your hand to the good work you are called to do.

And Paul finishes up this passage with explaining who it is that we are called by. Who has called us?  I keep saying this generation needs a mighty God and Paul says here that he prays for people to understand God’s might and power! Here it is again: verses 19 -23
“and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

I know, since the Bible tells me to pray this way – that my prayers are effective and I will soon see the mighty hand of God transform anyone who reads my blog, my friends and coworkers, my family and loved ones, me, my churches and pastors along with the workers, the government and our land – and everyone I pray for.
And I have heard – what about those who use “free will” and those who ‘refuse’? Someday I will tell you about Jonah who not only refused, but ran away! And as for the “free will”?
Yes – we have free will and God will not force us to love him. And I have one dear friend who always, stubbornly says because of his free will he will not obey God.  Will not obey the same Holy God who raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come? Does he really think he is more powerful than God? (I say he isn’t even more powerful than my prayers!) Maybe I need to pray that first part for him more – because Jesus is still in control, and when your understanding is opened you will freely choose the great Might and Love (and grace) of God.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” Eph 3:20 KJV
And so I use this verse to end most of my prayers. I say, Lord please do what I have asked or do exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think! In Jesus Name!

We are called for such a time as this – as here we are and it is this time. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Some of us will be preacher and some teachers, some will be servers and some will be prophets, but all of us are to pray. And pray effective prayers that shall not fail!

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91