Does the sound of my voice gives you butterflies

You just know when the Lord answers prayer.  As I cried out to him yesterday on my walk there was no immediate answer.  I was listening to the song “Spirit Break Out” and I was praying for heaven to touch earth, for Jesus himself to come down to be in a situation with me (the words in the song say, “no more separation”) I was asking God for protection and support as I face some tricky situations in my life.

As I prayed God prompted me to look at Zechariah 2:8 (this was very specific although I did read on) –

Zechariah 2:8-9 –  For this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you – for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.  Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.

It goes on in verse 10 to say:

Zechariah 2:10 – Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord

There was God’s answer to me in black and white. It backed up a promise he gave me right at the start of this year that although things were going to be difficult he was going to be with me through it all and prayer was the answer.  As I had asked him into the situation he had reassured me, I am coming and I will live among you.

What an awesome God we serve.

Deuteronomy 32:10-11 – In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,  like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.

Psalm 17:8-10 – Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings  from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Isaiah 60:15 – ‘Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one travelling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations

APPLE OF YOUR EYE

Does the sound of my voice gives you butterflies, does my smile make your heart skip a beat, do you glow when you think of me, do I make your world complete, do you have a special place for me, can I hide in the shadow of your wings, are you the wall of fire around me, will you come and dwell beside me, am I your everlasting pride, say you will never leave my side, do you incline your ear so you can hear me as I call, do you love it when I sing for joy, in a sea of people do your eyes search for me, would you part the sea for me, would you send your Son for me, sacrifice his life for mine?  Yes, then surely I am as you say, the apple of your eye.

Blessed be my praise as it pours from my heart

At my ladies group last night we were looking at adopting a Kingdom Lifestyle and what we could do differently over the next 30 days to meet with God.  One of the options I chose (which was probably not the most challenging as I write regularly) was to write a praise prayer and use it daily to springboard my prayer time.  I will be doing some different challenges that stretch me more but this one was one I really felt was right for me.

  • Psalm 34:2 – “With all my heart, I will praise the LORD. Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad.”
  • 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
  • Psalm 69:30 – “I will praise the LORD God with a song and a thankful heart.”
  • Psalm 71:23 – You have rescued me! I will celebrate and shout, singing praises to you with all my heart.”
  • Psalm 148:1-4 – “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.”
  • Psalm 149:6 – “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand”
  • Hebrews 13:15 – “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
  • Psalm 103:1-2 – “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
  • Psalm 113:1-4 – “Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.”

PRAYER OF PRAISE

Praise you God, praise your name, blessed be your name, blessed be my praise as it pours from my heart, chosen, royal, holy, a special possession, let my expression of praise be acceptable, may nothing be conventional about my praise and worship to you God who purchased my sins and rescued me, I celebrate, I shout aloud, singing praises through the storm clouds and through the sunshine, cos I am yours and you are mine, may you be praised in the heavens, praised in the heights, everlasting light, may my praise be right and good, let your praise be continually in my mouth, a double edged sword in my hand, may I stand before your throne and make known my thanks and praise all of my days, may I never forget your mercy, all the things you’ve done for me for it is right to give my thanks and praise, blessed be your name from this time forth and for evermore, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same your name oh Lord is to be praised, high above all nations, your glory shines above the heavens, praise him you sun and moon, praise him stars of light, praise him all creatures great and small, praise him with all my heart, may others listen and be glad, may their hearts soar to hear the praise and hear my roar of approval as I bring my grateful heart to my loving God, remembering all that you have done for me, celebrating all your love for me, rejoicing in your presence continually.

Talk to God, let him refine you

There’s a song lyric that says, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  I’m adapting that this morning to when the going gets tough, the tough get praying.  I regularly talk to and hear from people who are struggling for one reason or another and yet they often struggle or forget to spend time in prayer to address those struggles.  However, once we spend time in God’s presence we have an opportunity to find peace, to feel his love and those troubles appear so much smaller and insignificant once we hand them to our loving Father.

1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT – Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation

 A BATTLE

This is a battle to be fought on your knees, the enemy sees every opportunity to strike, he likes it when we moan and groan to our friends because that means we’re not on our knees talking to Jesus, he’s prowling, waiting to pounce, waiting for us to announce our struggles, our fears, wanting to draw near and cause stress, he delights in our mess, the best thing we can do is give it to God, give it to the one who really cares, stay alert and you won’t get hurt over and over again, God is compassionate, loving and kind, he doesn’t mind what you tell him, it won’t make him love you any less, in his kindness he called you to share in his eternal glory, your struggles, your fears all part of your story, don’t let this battle define you, talk to God, let him refine you.

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.

It’s time I turned up the volume

Expect the unexpected.  That’s my covenant with God today.  When I pray I’m going all out to expect the unexpected, to return to a childlike state when it comes to my faith, to pray in thankfulness and trust, to request and expect miracles, to rise up, rise above and claim breakthrough after breakthrough.

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,

2 Peter 1:3- His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

EXPECTATIONS

Expect the unexpected, the expected well that’s just the beginning it’s the unexpected that changes our lives, remain focused on God in prayer remembering that he has layer upon layer of gifts to lavish on us,  the first gift, well that was Jesus and look what he did, he died on a Cross, unexpected, Son of God who could have overpowered his guards and fled the scene, would you ever dream that he would allow himself to die for you, unexpected, and doesn’t that just illustrate the point, we are anointed to do God’s work, anointed to proclaim freedom and I am going to start dreaming big, believing in God’s covenant that he will do even more than we ask or imagine, so it’s time I turned up the volume and declared my faith in God, nothing too hard for him, nothing too demanding and I am demanding this of myself that I never ask for less than the best, I never rest in lukewarm prayer but that I am always there asking big, believing in God’s power and might, getting right to the point, claiming God’s promises for every situation, rocking the foundations, serving my Father in praise and adoration.

Where I put up walls, God smashes them down

I was listening to Bill Johnson today and he was talking about living a Kingdom Lifestyle.  One of the comments that stood out to me was “don’t reduce God to your size”.

That is so true, how often do I forget or fail to recognise how great God is and how much he can do.  He knows no boundaries, nothing is too hard for him to handle, nothing is beyond his ability to resolve, yet sometimes I pray like it is.  My prayers need to measure up to my expectations and God himself tells us he can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  Just think of that, immeasurably more!  So if I start to pray with that in mind I start to live from a Kingdom perspective.  Sure I will still experience difficulties, there will still be problems in my life but my faith denies those problems a place of influence and my God will resolve those problems without fail if I just trust in him.

REFLECTION

Let my prayers reflect my faith, let my prayers recognise the greatness of my God, let me understand that where I put up walls, God smashes them down, when I come to the shore and see no way through the sea, God parts the water for me, where I see mountains before me, God moves them, when I’m lost in the desert, God finds a way for me, nothing is too hard for God to handle, nothing beyond his scope to resolve, he is so involved in my life, so absorbed by me that he’s just waiting to hear from me, to see that I do conceive that he is more than able to solve my dilemmas, he has an agenda, a plan for my life, he loves my sacrifice, that I picked up my cross and followed him, he loves that I give my problems to him, denying them a place of influence instead trusting in his omnipotence.

Let me find my inner David as I fight my Goliath

I picked up a book this morning at church – Praying for one Another by Gene A Getz.  I was flicking through the first chapter and read of a group of Chinese Christians who had all been imprisoned for years during the communist years.  Upon their release at their first church meeting the prayer time was so powerful, tears flowed and it really reminded me of the words of the hymn, what a friend we have in Jesus, you know the part that says “what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer”.  In our western, safe culture we may not appreciate fully how privileged we are to be able to bring everything to our God in prayer yet it truly is a privilege to follow the example of Jesus and pray without ceasing.  I then saw that a specific prayer request had come through on our prayer group page and felt drawn towards the following verse:

2 Kings 20:5 – Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.

SPIRITUALLY STRONG

Make me spiritually strong as I formulate my song of praise to you Father, let me find my inner David as I fight my Goliath, give me the strength to release this load that you never meant me to carry, let me hear the words you tell me, help me carry everything to God in prayer, let me know you’re there. feel your heartbeat, feel your love surround me, feel the power of the Spirit washing over me, free me from depression and oppression, God who came to set the prisoner free, I gladly claim that freedom, I proclaim that I am a citizen of your heavenly Kingdom, redeemed and forgiven, my sins forgotten, left at the foot of the Cross with all the other sin and dross, no longer at a loss, I am a warrior, prayer my weapon of choice, sword of the Spirit in my hand I stand triumphant, God who started a good work in me will see it through to completion, my daily decision, to serve the risen Lord, to claim his healing and to constantly receive this feeling of joy everlasting.