Just pray before you overthink

Before I went to my prayer group last night I was praying about it and felt God put Ephesians 4 on my mind.  As we talked it became clear that this chapter was really talking to the situations we wanted to pray about.  It’s a great chapter with so many messages in it, I’ve used it as the basis for my writing today.

YOUR WALK

I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of your calling, walking with God can never be boring, walking in holiness means ditching your brokenness, shedding your old self like a snake sheds it’s skin, no longer letting Satan in to corrupt and deceive, not leaving him a foothold but giving God total control, everything you want is on the other side of fear and it’s so, so near, don’t be influenced when people try to trick you with lies, myths and distortions so clever they sound like the truth, you need to move on from the times of your youth, no longer like a child tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching, but reaching out to the only true God, there’s only one way to heaven, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, one Father of all,  just change your attitude, renew your mind, I think you’ll find that only dead fish go with the flow, so now’s your chance to put on your new self, don’t get left on the shelf, be humble, be gentle, be loving, be kind, one thing’s for sure you will never regret being kind, forgive them even if they’re not sorry, why worry, don’t be in such a hurry to condemn, in your anger do not sin, get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, don’t use harsh words or resort to old behaviours, let everything you say be good and helpful, be respectful, be instrumental in encouraging others, don’t let anyone steal your joy or destroy your dreams, remember you may have limitations but we serve the ruler of all nations who has none, he understands when we’re on the brink, just pray before you overthink, hand it to the Lord in prayer, let’s face it he knows how many hairs are on your head, of course he knows our fears and dreads, without a doubt he understands so put it all into God’s hands.

I redefine my quiet time

This morning as I was walking the dog and talking to God the words of a hymn came into my head – “what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer”.  Yes, it really is a privilege and something I would never have believed could be so gratifying before I became a Christian.

I have just been reading an interesting article* on prayer which tells the story of a lady who regularly prayed for the church in China, here is an excerpt from the article –

‘This is how I talk to God,’ my friend told me, ‘when I’m praying for China. I firstly thank Him and praise Him as the great God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. I then ask Him to do certain things in China; bring people to faith, ensure that Christians get copies of the Bible, raise up evangelists, preachers, teachers, pastors and Sunday school teachers, strengthen those who are imprisoned or being persecuted, cause the government to act with justice, ensure that Bible colleges and training colleges are built and so on.’

‘Then I imagine what God might do in answer to my prayers’, she continued. ‘I imagine children hearing about Jesus in Sunday schools and professing faith. I imagine government ministers being humbled before God and enacting laws to protect Christians. I imagine Christian prisoners sharing the gospel with their fellow prisoners and the prison guards, and those same prisoners and prison guards then putting their trust in Jesus. I imagine the Chinese church sending out missionaries to other countries…’ and so she continued with a very specific list of what she imagined God doing in answer to her prayers.

‘Now, after I’ve exhausted my list of requests and emptied my imagination before the Lord’, she said, ‘I finish my prayer by saying “Now Lord, it says in your word that I’m praying to the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, so that Lord is exactly what I’m expecting you to do!” ’

Ephesians 3: 20-21 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

*excerpt of article taken from http://truefreedomtrust.co.uk/ which is an amazing resource for helping support Gay Christians who have taken a biblical stance about their sexuality

MY PRIVILEGE

I never thought I’d see the day when I would say it’s a privilege to pray, a privilege to speak to God about people I may never meet, not knowing the outcome of my chats with God but not finding that hard because I trust him, I know that he can do immeasurably more than I can imagine we are his sons and daughters living in freedom, liberated for this very reason to lend our voices to the fight against evil so I pray without ceasing, thanking and praising my God for his unfailing love and above all else the knowledge that he will do even more than I ask, so I grow in confidence in this task as I draw near to his grace, I redefine my quiet time, God open the skies may my voice rise to your throne, I ask and imagine, let my mind run wild, I step aside and let your voice resonate above all else, trusting in your redemptive grace, your compassionate heart, your covenant of love, knowing that when I pray my Father up above hears every word and stores them up, hears every word and there’s nothing the enemy can do to stop my messages coming through, God thank you for every breakthrough, every answered prayer, thanks for always being there and ready to hear my voice and for giving me freedom of choice.

This may sound crazy but you were chosen before the world was created

I am loving reading Ephesians this week, what a powerful letter this is.  Just felt the desire to write a summary of this letter:

EPHESIANS MY WAY!

Let’s face it this may sound crazy but you were chosen before the world was created to be holy and blameless. God himself chose you to be above reproach, unblemished, in the clear, you see you were so dear to God he predestined you for adoption into his family, he really wanted you, he chose to offer you redemption and forgiveness and the thing is that’s kind of special, you have the credentials, fully accredited child of a Saviour, God’s possession and when you heard the message of truth you were marked with a seal, authentic, confirmed like a sticker on your lapel, labelled for God, his obsession for you revealed, sealed with a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance and it’s essential you understand the relevance of the Trinity, Holy Spirit living in you with the same amazing power that saw Jesus rise from the dead, yes, that same power living in you, just think of all the things you can do, harnessing the power of the living Christ moving from darkness into the light for you were dead, a follower of the world, gratifying your cravings for sinful living, by your very nature you deserved God’s anger but because of God’s very nature rich in mercy and in love, he made you alive with Christ even though you were dead, enough said?

By grace you have been saved, raised up with Christ and seated with him in heavenly realms, yes seated with him in heaven, he opened up the gates and beckoned you in and by grace you are saved, yes through your faith but never forget that this is a gift, you don’t earn it through good works, you can’t boast of all you’ve done, saved only because of the death of God’s son, you are God’s handiwork created to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do.  Once separated from God at birth, without hope, but now brought close by the blood of Jesus who destroyed all the barriers, Jew or Gentile, what does it matter, Jesus bought us access to one God through the Spirit and we are no longer strangers or foreigners to each other but fellow citizens in God’s household, built on foundations of apostles and prophets, and to top it all Jesus himself is the cornerstone,  through him you too are being built to become a dwelling in which God lives actively through his Spirit.

The manifold wisdom of God will be made known, approach him with confidence, with freedom, do not be discouraged cos God strengthens you out of his glorious riches with power through his Spirit, you are rooted and established in love and it’s sort of hard to grasp how wide, how long, how high and deep is the love of Jesus, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that works within us, so live a life worthy of your calling, be humble, gentle, patient and kind, bear with each other in love for united we stand and divided we fall, one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all and he has called us to his service to build up the body until we reach a place of unity and we need no longer be like children tossed back and forth like the waves, blown here and there by every teaching, deceived by cunning craftiness and scheming, for we are maturing.

Get rid of your old self, change your attitude, don’t lie, have no rage, no bitterness, don’t slander and never let the sun go down on your anger, do not give the enemy a foothold don’t let him get under your skin, speak only good, be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other, be pure without even a hint of sexual immorality, no obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, but rather fill your hearts with thanksgiving, and in this world of hypocrisy and trickery let no one deceive you with empty words think only about what pleases the Lord, live wisely and give thanks to God for everything, obey your parents for that is right and believe in the Lord and his mighty power, put on the armour which God has provided as he has guided us to do for we have a battle to fight, we are bearers of the light for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The full armour of God protects us from harm and equips us to deal with all the enemy throws at us, might sound like something out of a medieval film set, but this is what we need to protect us.  So the first is truth and as you know from the saying the truth will set you free, then righteousness, like respectability, being fair, good and showing decency to all, the gospel of peace well that’s like remembering the words that Jesus teaches us that nothing can snatch us from his hands we stand in the knowledge that we are truly children of God so it’s important to hold fast to his words of love and above all hold on to our faith, shielding us from the enemy’s attack, confidence in what we hope for and an assurance of that not yet seen, when Satan accuses, faith chooses to believe that we are redeemed, no condemnation, no damnation and then there’s the helmet of salvation, an impenetrable defence against the lies of the enemy and now I am ready to pick up the sword of the spirit, offensive and defensive weapon of power, God’s word will never let you down, a double edged sword penetrating the heart, now you are prepared for God’s work be alert, pray in the Spirit on all occasions and that my friends is a summary of Ephesians.

God became the signatory of our salvation

Was reading Ephesians 1 this morning and it just struck me again how amazing it is that we were chosen before time began, chosen (hand picked) by God and then all the blessings that God gives us his children..just reinterpreted this chapter in my own style

ANSWERS

Searching for answers, far and wide, yet In Christ I found out who I am and what I am living for, chosen, picked out of the crowd, God chose me for himself before he made the world, I am marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit, I am in this world but not of it, created to excel to be holy and blameless, God adopted me into his family, he provides and knows just what I need and he has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in Christ, that’s right, my heart has been flooded with light, united with God I am accepted, redeemed, predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, his grace lavished freely upon me, his will revealed to me and through me, redemption through the spilling of his blood, forgiveness of sins because of his love, we who have faithfully put our hope in Christ might bring him praise and glory, as true believers God became the signatory of our salvation, marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit remaining within us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those in God’s possession, thanksgiving and praise, prayers of adoration, God give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation so I may know you better, open the eyes of my heart Lord to truly appreciate the hope of my calling, the inheritance of Glory, the power that now lives within me, this incomparable power of those who believe, the same power exerted by God when he raised Jesus to his right hand, let me stand empowered with all the power and authority of your heavenly realm, let your name be venerated here on earth as it is in heaven.

God let my prayers be scary

Was watching a clip of Lisa Bevere this morning – pray scary prayers.  How right she is, we have so much power in us through the Holy Spirit we can move mountains, break strongholds and be an amazing force for God in this world.  But how often do we really speak out and pray the type of prayers that will scare the enemy.  Also got me to thinking how often do we pray and really put it on the line – like “change me God”.  I mean really change me – are we prepared to see what that looks like?  Show me your what you want me to do Lord….are we really prepared for the answer and to obey God?

So pray scary prayers, be bold, ask God to move mountains cos you know what – he can!

Zechariah 4:6 – So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.

Ephesians 3:20  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Praying Scary Prayers

God let my prayers be scary cos I know you can do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, you can move mountains and I am blessed with an ability to pray purposefully and you tell me “not by might nor by power, but by your spirit”, you tell me that I have a spirit of power not timidity so lead me Lord where trust is without borders, break down all the barriers and empower me to stand firmly before you, align my thoughts with yours, may I burn with passion, compassion for the world I live in, belief in the God of light, with you there is no darkness and as I boldly approach your throne may I learn to confidently pray in strength and power, driven by your purpose, may I hide your word in my heart, bring your word to life through my petitions, strengthen my faith regardless of conditions, change me for it is for freedom you set me free, you tell us to “pick up your cross and follow me” so Lord help me pray powerfully, overcoming the lies of the enemy and let me be a channel for grace and mercy, I see that I can receive your strength, I can speak to the mountains and move forward in the victory you have for me, I choose to pray scary prayers to overthrow the enemy, to spoil the plans he has for me, to protect my friends and family, to become all Jesus planned for me, to shake up this world and see revival, to be a strong and faithful disciple.

God’s word was given to change the sinner

When you cry out to God he answers, like really answers and I find that so comforting and awesome rolled into one!  I was talking intently to God yesterday, all to do about my past, my choices and how difficult I found it sometimes to walk this path.  For those who read my Blog regularly my battle with Homosexuality is well documented, every so often the devil pokes his nose in and just taunts me, is this what God really wants for you, are you sure he needs you to take this path etc.  He may do this in my head or use others (Christians included) to plant the seed of doubt (so some say “do you really need to give it up, surely God still loves you”) and I was earnestly seeking God’s help and guidance on whether I had made the right choice – so here is the reference he gave me:

Matthew 7:13-14 – ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

OK God, I get it, so the choice I made is right and from you, but you never said it would be easy so I’ve got to kind of stop allowing others to get at me, got to get my head straight, trust you, have faith that this is your path for me and move forward head held high.

Ephesians 5: 8-10 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 6:10 10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

THE GATE TO LIFE

This is the way, find the gate to life and stay on that path, it’s the road less travelled, the narrow path, not easy to negotiate but always right, moving from darkness to light, and I may not understand now but I will, I will learn God’s purpose, he loves us and as we follow his commands he commands our lives, I believe, I receive, so I figure out what pleases God and then just do it, not always easy but worth it, keeping the momentum going, showing others the love of God, the changes in my heart as I walk his path remembering that his great power is behind me, my strength comes from him who saved me, Holy Spirit guide me to the truth for God’s word was given to change the sinner, not the sinner to change God’s word to suit their sin, God I let you in and I gave you my heart, set me apart from those who choose the highway to hell, let all rest well with me as I pursue your way, as I earnestly seek you day by day, calm my thoughts, protect my mind, hedge me in both from the front and behind, remind me of your great sacrifice, no matter how hard the road ahead I pledge my life, no longer dead to your amazing grace but trusting, believing and running your race.

I sit in your throne room praying from a place of victory

Wow powerful meeting last night with some massive insights into prayer and how much power we can build into prayer and how close we can come to God in prayer and it’s not about how anyone else prays it’s about you and God.  Prayer is where heaven meets earth – WOW that is powerful.  So really helped me see how I can change my prayer life and claim God’s power and promises over stuff in a much more effective, strategic and victorious way.

Matthew 28:18-19 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore….” 

John 20:21 – So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 

Ephesians 2: 5-6 – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus         

 WHERE HEAVEN MEETS EARTH

Prayer, where heaven meets earth, I sit in your throne room praying from a place of victory, it is finished, it was finished when you bowed your head on that Cross and took the punishment for us, it is finished and now I pray in security and joy, direct line to God above the enemy, I trample on his head he is defeated your Kingdom authority given to me, your will be done on earth, we are the enforcers of your victory, the watchmen taking on this divine assignment, never silent, never ceasing to pray day and night, what a privilege and our right to carry everything to God in prayer, releasing his glory on the earth, Heaven on earth, your Kingdom come, your will be done, praise to our Mighty Father prayer and praise, praise the place of God’s residence, Holy Spirit within us paving the way to his presence, I wield my sword in spiritual warfare knowing that God is there to show me great and mighty things that I have not yet seen, ready to lead us into battle for the battle is his and the victory secured, I look for the big picture, praying to a God who will do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, a prayer warrior, powerful soldier of God, I go to the Sanctuary of God, I take his word, interceding and praying his will be done on earth, no longer mine to pray from earth to heaven but in victory my prayers from heaven to earth, I am risen with my Lord, seated with him in victory over the enemy, I am blessed with Kingdom authority.