Live beyond what if and find the Joy in what is

Sunday morning, a joyous day of praise and worship of our awesome God.  Sometimes I like to praise God iNs worship and song, other times in quiet prayer, but whatever I do and however I do it he never fails to fill me with a sense of immense Joy.

  1. Nehemiah 8:10 –  Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  3. Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
  4. 1 Peter 1:6 – In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials
  5. James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance
  6. Psalm 4:7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound

JOY

Joy, the embrace of life in all its turmoil, consider it joy when you face the trials of live, live beyond what if and find the Joy in what is, for to me the joy of knowing the Lord is my strength, thankful in all circumstances, truly glad, I sing and dance, because of the wonderful joy ahead, drenched in the grace and mercies of God, filled with joy in his presence, joy is the serious business of heaven, keep seeking God in all you do, on earth as in heaven joy will come to you, for God has filled our hearts with greater joy, a Spiritual fruit that cannot be extinguished, relinquish your worries and your fears, embrace the joy as God wipes your tears.

Wake me in the night so I can seek your light

Prayer has been on my mind, praying to God, what’s it all about?  It’s not about intellectual words, a list of requests, a religious requirement, a string of words, a labour, something we have to do. To me it’s about seeking God, it’s about spending time with the God we love, it’s about expressing our love, wanting to spend time with God simply because we love him.

Jesus spent hours in prayer whilst on earth, Jesus would often “slip away” to speak to his Father.  If prayer was so important to the Son of God how much more important should it be to us?  If you are walking with God you will appreciate that you can slip away to Jesus for a moment, any time, any place, you can be immediately with him and immediately receiving his love, wisdom and power.

And that’s great but we also know that prayer must be consistent, we are called to pray without ceasing.  As we spend more time with God you will grow in your relationship and when you pray you will pray as someone who knows God.

  • Mark 1:35 – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
  • Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
  • Matthew 14:23 – After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
  • Luke 6:12 – One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
  • Matthew 26:36 – Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’
  • Hebrews 5:7 – During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

 

LIKE JESUS

Make me like Jesus setting time apart to seek your voice, spending time alone to pray and rejoice in your presence, help me set my alarm that little bit earlier so I can pray in peace and quiet, make me confident to seek your presence, wake me in the night so I can seek your light and as I offer up prayers and petitions, help me avoid repetition, may I speak with passion, pouring out my heart with cries and tears as I share my hopes and my fears, as I intercede for those who are unable to speak for themselves, for those who don’t yet know you, whose circumstances are overwhelming, for the prisoner, the sick, the bereaved, for those who have not yet believed in your redeeming love, set me apart, set me above worldly things, fill me oh God for when you’re in it, it flows,  dwell in me, fill me with greater manifestations of your power, shower me with boldness and confidence as I come before you to pray, every hour, every day, may I be dedicated to continuous, passionate prayer.

Stop rushing, recognise the work that’s going in to perfection

It is so important to me to yield to God’s will.  Even now I have 101 plans spinning round in my head, but I know that they are not all of God and I want to make sure that I follow his plans, not mine.  Sometimes it’s too easy to rush headfirst into something thinking we’ve got it right and then praying afterwards, when it should always be the other way around.  Pray first, then act!

Luke 22:42 – Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

NOT ME BUT YOU

You know where I’m going, you know where I’ve been, you’ve seen all my planning and all my dreams, you have a great purpose, a plan for my life, not my will but yours God, I pray for direction to follow, I pray for patience as I wait, I ask for knowledge to recognise your plans cos I know they’ll be great, chosen for greatness, selected for service, trusting in your Grace, I need to stop rushing, recognise the work that’s going in to perfection, how many elements need to be in place before I can step into this part of the race, movement of people, resources and mindsets, in order to gain the best from your plan I need to stop thinking like a man and lift my mind to heavenly places, anointed to bring good news to the nations, the Kingdom of God established, your perfect plans for the rest of my life the blueprint, never underestimate the power of God, he’s in it, all over it, I’m not settling for less than the best that God has in store, he knows where he’s taking me and I want some more.

Our imaginations are too small

I was reading about prayer last night and how we should have the confidence to ask big.  Some of the examples in the prayers were so big I realised perhaps I have been a bit limited in my prayers and ask of God.  It also illustrated how we can always pray into other aspects of a situation so we can enlarge our prayer life in any given situation by looking not just at physical needs but emotional and spiritual needs as well as ways to spread God’s great news and grow his Kingdom.

Genesis 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord? 

Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

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

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

PRAY AS JESUS PRAYED

Pray as Jesus prayed, pray as if your life depended on it, pray with your eyes on Jesus, establish your thoughts in a higher realm, on earth as in heaven, God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, think as God thinks, God’s ways are higher than our ways, act as Jesus did, ask and it shall be given, ask big, ask for salvation for every nation, is anything too hard for the Lord?  Our imaginations are too small, our big asks are minor tasks for the Lord who can and will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, close your eyes and imagine a perfect world, no terrorism, no suicide bombings, no illness or disease, people living together in ease, unreachable tribes subscribing to God’s love, think with a perspective far above that of our earthly minds, don’t be blinded by the powers of darkness for we live in the light, our God is the light of the world and all that is right and noble and pure is there waiting behind his door, ask God today, pray outside of your realm of experience, pray big, pray to see a difference, pray powerful prayers, prayers that scare you, pray God centred prayers to the God who has saved you.

Live as if your prayers are already answered

Prayer is such an important part of my life and it’s becoming for me much more of a two way thing.  I know I have blogged on prayer before but today I just felt so blessed that prayer is God’s way of spending time with us as well as us spending time with him.

WHEN I PRAY

When I pray you hear me, you incline your ear to me, when I pray I am not talking to the universe but to its creator, I live as if my prayers are already answered because I have faith and confidence in the one I pray to, I know that before I even get to my knees he is working on the answer, I know that if I spent more time praying and less time talking about my problems, my problems would diminish, my heart would be replenished and my soul nourished, for you are the God who works wonders, you are the God who is waiting for me whenever I remember to fall to my knees, you know my heart before the words part from my lips, you get it, you get me, you see what I need, you feel what I feel and you are real, I pray to you because you love me, you delight in me and I see what that really means, you want to be with me and I love that, I love that you want me to talk to you, you want us to be close and as I grow closer to you, you reveal great and wondrous things, you pour out blessings and best of all you’re happy to let me rest in you, silence sitting perfectly between us as I immerse myself in your love.

In reality God’s already fixing the issues

Even before I open my mouth in prayer God has heard me.  Even before I ask he is answering my prayers.

Isaiah 65:24: – Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

I think for me this verse is the reason why I should pray.  Yes God has already set the ball rolling in answering our prayers because he knows we are going to pray, he has put the desire and the will in us to want to get involved, to intercede and he sees how we are changing as we grow in our walk with him.  God sees that we long to reflect him more, we long for change, long for God’s will to be done and that’s why we should pray even more.  I feel like when I pray I really connect with God and that’s how I will become more like him, more “holy” if you like, and when my prayers are fervent am I not reflecting God’s love for each and every situation and walking hand in hand with him?

A REMINDER

God’s reminder for us, before you even call out his name he will answer and while you are still engaging in prayer he has heard your words, he knows, and shows compassion in listening when in reality he’s already fixing the issues, resolving the problems, providing solutions, we call, he answers, our transformation begins in his presence, in essence we need to spend time on our knees to become connected to our resurrected Saviour, changing habits and behaviours so prayer becomes multi-layered, fervent cries of a loyal servant connecting with their Lord and Master, so pray in confidence knowing that God hears every word and is already in action, reacting to our interaction with love and compassion.

God’s listening now, he knows your voice, do you know his?

Faith and Trust, easy at some times, more difficult at others.  Why is it that when things start to go a bit astray we lose a little bit of faith and a little bit of trust?  We love God, God loves us, when things get tough he doesn’t run away he draws close, but maybe we start to run away or pull back?  The Bible tells us to bless the Lord at all times, pray without ceasing, extol his name at all times

  • Matthew 18:21-22 – I will bless the Lord at all times his praise shall continually be in my mouth
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 -18 – Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances
  • Psalm 34:1 – I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips

AT ALL TIMES

Faith and trust, not enough to just praise on Sunday, to pray on your knees where others see. Faith and trust, a must for those who walk with God, a necessity when things are getting hard, when questions cannot be answered, when Christians are being slandered for their beliefs, when you are feeling weak, like nothing’s going right, that’s when you need the might and power of our Mighty Saviour so try a new behaviour, a new habit if you like, pray to God in all circumstances, through your tears, through your pain, continue to worship his Holy name, pray without ceasing, releasing the power within you to connect with God, your prayers do get through, God’s listening now, he knows your voice, do you know his?

Rejoice, you are a sheep in his fold, he holds you close, he wants the most for you the best of everything, he wants to sing over you, comfort you, uplift you to heavenly places, invade your dark spaces, live in your heart, never be apart from the apple of his eye, you, well you are his favourite, his best mate, so keep on talking, keep right on walking with your Lord and Master, sometimes slower, sometimes faster but trust in his power, trust in his plans for you, trust him with all that you want to do or need to say, God is there to show you the way, a light to your feet and a lamp to your path, he is eternal our unchanging God.