HOW DO YOU PRAY?

DO YOU BELIEVE ?

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12

God is able “to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or thinkEphesians 3:20

Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8

You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” Hebrews 4:16

But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” Matthew. 17:21

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:7

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What are you petitioning God for in this new year? Are you desiring to go into the land promised to you by the Lord? Whatever you are taking to the Lord in prayer, refuse to advance without His presence and intimate fellowship with Him. Refuse to view other people as a structure to build your own platform. Value the relationships God has cultivated in your life. Give honour to them without idolising them, all the while maintaining that deep personal relationship with God, giving thanks to Him in everything.

Moses understood that unless the Lord went with them there was no point going anywhere. Same goes with us, unless we know we are hearing rightly from God, then spend more time in prayer, prayer and fasting if necessary until breakthrough comes. It will, if you are serious and have a humble and contrite heart.

If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how will it be known that I have found favour in Your sight, I and your People? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and Your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?Exodus 33:15-16

Remember also, vague prayers are inferior to specific ones.

TRUST AND OBEY FOR THERE’S NO OTHER WAY

Deuteronomy should make us conscious of our responsibility for obedience.

Deuteronomy is a record of the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel just prior to their entering the Promised Land. In fact, the first line of the books states, “These are the words,” giving Deuteronomy its Hebrew title Devarim – “Words.” The original adults who fled Egypt have all passed away, and a new generation has risen up. God is going to give them great victory against their enemies in Canaan, but many temptations are also going to face them. Moses gives the Israelite’s one last sermon to reiterate God’s instructions for them.

The children were not held responsible for the cowardice of their parents. They were assured possession of the land while the parents were sent back to the desert. The author of Hebrews later points to the wilderness strewn with the corpses of that faithless generation as a grim reminder.

There are consequences for lacking confidence in God’s power.

God provided for the Israelites. He did huge miracles on their behalf. He wanted to bring them into the Land, but He had to let the faithless parents die in the desert. He could not pollute the land with unbelievers right from the beginning.

When we fail to appreciate the power and love of God, it’s like we’re poking a finger in His eye.

That’s disturbing stuff. We get enamoured with grace, but we fail to realise some of these implications. God loves us completely, and He has tremendous patience with us. That’s why it is such an incredible insult to suggest He doesn’t love us. He gave us everything. He gave us His Son. All eternity is ours because of God’s self-sacrifice. How can we be so cruel and foolish to think for a moment He doesn’t love us or that He can’t be trusted?

Trusting God is loving God. If we trust Him, though, that also means we trust Him enough to obey Him. Real trust says, “I know Your way is best.” 

We are saved through the blood of Jesus, not by our works. However, in His seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Jesus repeatedly offers rewards to the “overcomer.” Overcoming is incredibly important. The fruit of our lives is at stake. The lives of other people are at stake. Our rewards in Heaven are at stake. Moses was saved, but he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land he’d worked so hard to reach.

Let’s get to the end of our lives and be able to say, “I fought the good fight. I finished the race.”

LIKE PAUL & HARRY, WE NEED TO ASK, WHAT SHALL I DO, LORD?

So I said, “What shall I do, Lord?” And the Lord said to me, “Arise and go….”  Acts 22:10

In his autobiography, Our Incredible Journey, Word of Life co-founder Harry Bollback and his wife, Millie, wrote about their years of missionary service in Brazil, where they lived in very primitive circumstances. “Living under these conditions was truly difficult,” Harry wrote. “But neither of us thought of it as being hard at the time. We had made a decision to serve the Lord, and we were just doing what we thought the Lord would have us do. We were enjoying the good hand of God’s blessings.”

In Acts 22, the apostle Paul recounted his conversion for the Jewish Ruling Counsel. He told them of the light that blinded him on the Damascus Road, and he recounted the two questions he asked God: “Who are You, Lord?” (verse 8) and “What shall I do, Lord?” (verse 10)

When we come to Christ for salvation, we need to ask, “What do You want me to do?” Then, we just need to have a submissive spirit to His guidance, and He’ll use us in ways beyond our expectation.

I’m convinced that when you are serving the Lord, there is never a question of sacrifice. It’s just doing what we are supposed to be doing for His glory. You don’t think of the sacrifice—you think of your mission.
Harry Bollback

ARE WE BLOCKING THE FLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30

This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.

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A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.

My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.

Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.

I began a conversation with the Lord.

“What are You showing me?” I asked.

“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.

It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.

Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.

I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”

His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”

The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.

I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.

After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.

Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.

Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.

Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.

We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.

Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.

Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.