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Pray About Everything; Worry About Nothing

Philippians 4:1-23 Most of us are familiar with the phrase that is "batted about" so casually today: "Don't worry, be happy." There is a way you can not worry and be happy no matter what you are facing in this life—pray. The phrase should be revised to say, "Don't worry, Pray!" If we followed this admonition, our lives would be filled with joy (not just a happy "ha-ha" joy, but an inner joy that will strengthen us in all circumstances).

Worry is a sin. Worry is negative meditation. When we meditate, we roll over and over again in our minds the same thing. When we worry, we keep thinking over and over again the same negative thought. Both my mother and mother-in-law were worriers. I think since they both went through the Great Depression a little worry bug was implanted deep within them, and it was hard to shake it off. Most of the things they worried about never came to pass. read more

The Forgiveness Habit


Our relationships become healthier when we remember the message of the cross.

In our relationships, it is important for us to remember that mutual love and respect are to be accomplished out of reverence to Christ. To the degree that each of us is subject to Jesus Christ, the Lord enables us to relate to each other lovingly and respectfully.

The reverse corollary is also true. To the degree that we are not subject to Jesus Christ, He will not rule our hearts, and forgiveness will not be built into us as a moment-by-moment daily practice. When we do not submit our wills to Him, we will be subject to one another, but to one another's selfish control rather than to blessing.

Good, bad or indifferent, each of us does relate to every person with whom we come in contact. We affect others in some way. In that sense, we cannot avoid being subject to on another.

Without the presence of Jesus in our lives, we will relate to others only according to the flesh and not by the Spirit. Only when the cross is present is the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ able to transform our relationships to produce blessing rather than harm.

Our distance from the cross of Christ, practically, in daily living, is the reason we have so many broken relationships and divorces today. People are paying lip service to Jesus, but they don't know how to walk with Him moment by moment. They can't maintain long-term relationships because the fire of unforgiveness burns within them.

When a man and woman enter the marriage relationship, the husband and wife often tend to counterbalance each other. For example, if one tends to talk too much, the other is likely to remain silent. If one is a strong disciplinarian, the other probably will be more lax.

When this tendency to counterbalance one another occurs, tensions develop between partners because one or the other is pressed to lean uncomfortably toward behavior contrary to his or her normal temperament or beliefs. This counterbalancing dynamic is also active among siblings, friends and business associates.

The key to overcoming this dynamic is in sensitive applications of the cross and forgiveness. We must evaluate what is happening in all our relationships and put our own ego in proper perspective.

Jesus said, " 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me'" (Matt.16:24, NKJV). We can take the practices of our relationships to the cross through forgiveness so that through the power of Jesus Christ our selfishness can be put to death and our wounded feelings healed. read more

Unlocking the Gift of Tongues

Find out a few things speaking in tongues empowers a believer to do.

Our spirit language enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. Speaking in tongues helps us fulfill the Scriptures that instruct us to be filled with the Spirit, led of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, and worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.

Our spirit language builds up our spirit man. Praying in tongues charges our spirits like a battery charger powers a battery. Jude 1:20 declares that we build ourselves up in the faith by praying in the Spirit. The apostle Paul also declared in Romans 5:5 that the love of God is poured into our hearts by praying in our spirit language.

Our spirit language is a catalyst that produces all the manifestations of the Spirit of God. Speaking in tongues empowers us to become more Christ-like, produce the fruit of the Spirit and manifest the supernatural gifts of God (see Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). First Corinthians 14:4 says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Edify means “to build up, enable, empower and charge.”

The gift of the Holy Spirit places a power-producing plant within us that generates the power of God like the Hoover Dam pumps electricity. The dam’s water gate is like our mouths, while the turbine inside the gate is like our tongues. The dynamo in the heart of the dam is like the Holy Spirit within our spirits. 

The fast twirling of the turbine’s blades is what causes the rotation of the great dynamo in the heart of the dam. The dynamo is what generates the power, but it’s the turning of the turbine that starts and keeps the dynamo going.

This is what happens when we are filled with the Spirit, open the water gate of our mouths and allow those rivers of living water to flow. As the turbine of our tongues begins to churn out the language of the Spirit, it starts a dynamo activity in our spirits that generates the power of God within us.

From this illustration we understand more what Jesus had in mind when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit enables you to generate the power of God by praying in tongues. The reservoir is filled with good evangelical water for cleansing, baptizing and fishing for new converts, but it does not produce any power until it flows through the water gate and turns the turbine.

The spirit language is the activator of the gifts of the Spirit. In short, speaking in tongues grows the fruit of faith, which is the procurer of all God’s promises. read more

I Burn For You

I Burn For You

How God—that all-consuming, living flame of love—shows His unrelenting desire for people.

God’s love is an intimidating topic to grasp because it is the very subject of God Himself. He is love, and everything He is and does is love. He is a vast, shoreless ocean of love, and we have only heard the mere whisper of His passion. As a student of His love I feel too small to even begin to try and describe Him. But on one aspect, I’ll try. 

As I began to study God’s love I found one of the characteristics that motivates me the most is His unrelenting love. His pursuit of my heart and His burning desire for me has changed my life entirely. I remember when I first began to see the God of burning desire—it was revolutionary. I was in a Bible school class in Kansas City in which Mike Bickle taught on the Song of Solomon. I’d never heard God described as one who had burning desire or a ravished heart for people. I had never heard love defined like that.  read more

The Secret Blessing of Generosity

In Genesis 13 (Read Genesis 13), Lot chose selfishly and moved his family to the choicest land—near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose inhabitants sinned greatly. Abram, Lot’s uncle, generously let him go; and for his generosity, God blessed Abram and allowed him to settle his family in a safe area. 

Later, God used Abram to rescue Lot from the evil cities before He destroyed them. Abram learned the blessings of being generous and following God’s plan. read more

Take Up Your Cross

Jesus called us to live as if we are already dead. Have you discovered the freedom of the crucified life?

 
One of the primary marks of Christ's life was His continual declaration that He was born to die. He taught His disciples that the avenue to greatness was always found in the willingness to forfeit one's own desires and serve those who are the nearest and often the least in the world's eyes.

The call to partnership in His kingdom was initiated by an invitation to "deny [yourself], and take up [your] cross [an instrument of death], and follow Me" (Mark 8:34-35, NKJV). Such an offer is quite a bit different from the man-centered, need-oriented invitations that permeate the landscape of modern church culture today. read more

Learning How To Heal

Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word.·

The most fundamental skill required for healing is openness to the Holy Spirit, emptying oneself and receiving His leading and power. Frequently I encounter people who want a method for healing, a formula they can follow that guarantees them automatic healings. But divine healing is neither automatic nor dependent on our right actions; it is rooted in a relationship with God and the power of His Spirit. Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word. When I speak of listening to God's voice, I mean developing a practice of communion with the Father in which we are constantly asking, "Lord, what do You want me to do now? How do You want to use me? How should I pray? Whom do You want me to evangelize? Is there someone You want to heal?"


Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me specific insights about people for whom I am praying. These come as impressions—specific words, pictures in my mind's eye, or physical sensations in my body that correspond to problems in their bodies. These impressions help me know who and what to pray for as well as how to pray. I do not imply that I have an infallible "hotline" to God, and that I always hear His voice and follow His leading. But I am open to God, listening to Him, confident that He wants to lead us to minister to others. read more

Why Fast?


During the years that Jesus walked this earth, He devoted time to teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of God, principles that conflict with those of this world. In the Beatitudes, specifically in Matthew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying and fasting.

Jesus said, "When you give" and "When you pray" and "When you fast." He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life. As much attention should be given to fasting as is devoted to giving and to praying. read more

What Are Your Kingdom Priorities?

When your priorities are out of order your life is filled with confusion.

My first word of counsel to every leader is drawn from biblical wisdom—"seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). When a person's priorities are out of order, his life will be filled with confusion and God's given purpose will not be fulfilled.

Confirm your status as a citizen of the kingdom of God by acknowledging His authority over your time, talents, opportunities and treasures. When seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is top priority, you will be able to experience faithfulness as a steward of God's blessings.

Second, "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6). It is essential for servant leaders in the kingdom to maintain an ongoing, intimate relationship of trust and obedience to God. Challenging situations tempt us to lean upon our own understanding. Always remember that God has promised to be with us at all times and that He delights in our acknowledging and trusting in Him. The kingdom is His kingdom, and we belong to Him; we are God's responsibility.

God's call to ministry is a call to preparation. It is not a call to success, but a call to faithfulness.

Bishop George McKinney is pastor of St. Stephen's Cathedral Church of God in Christ in San Diego and a member of the denomination's 12-member General Board.

 

 

Read other tips for effective spiritual leadership here. read more

Baptism 2.0 Basics

Baptism 2.0 Basics

Answering the most frequently asked questions about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

My life is filled with amazing people. Recently, a widow I know pointed to a midnight intruder and boldly commanded him to leave her house. He did! Another friend refused to panic when her teenage daughter ran away. As she was calling the police, the Holy Spirit revealed the girl’s exact location to her. Another woman—a shy single mom—overcame a 12-year battle with bulimia. Today she teaches a weekly Bible study to women with addictions. Are these people superheroes? No, they’re just ordinary Christians who have received the extraordinary baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are filled with God’s ability. Natural people do supernatural things. Lives of chaos find serenity and purpose. Shy people become bold, and selfish people experience radical changes in their priorities. Sadly, many Christians today don’t seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they don’t understand it. They don’t know what they’re missing! Here are some of the questions I hear most frequently. read more

Help! I Think I’m Possessed!

Help! I Think I’m Possessed!

Demons are real—and Christians aren’t immune from their influence. But thanks to Christ’s work on the cross, we are guaranteed victory over Satan and his minions.

 

One of the most popular television series in recent years is Survivor. A group of people are left in a desolate location and must survive on what is at hand. As part of the intrigue, only one can win the large cash prize when the contest ends. As the show progresses, the contestants never know their friends from their enemies.

We live in a beautiful world, yet to survive we, too, must know our enemies. Our worst adversaries are not people but invisible forces of darkness. These forces carry out the orders of a former ally who turned against God. Satan and his evil minions are very near and ready to take out God’s soldiers. Yet God has given us the resources to survive and thrive.

To defeat our enemy, we must know him and be fully aware of the weapons at our disposal. Revelation 12:9 reaches back before time: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (NKJV). These fallen angels are given several different names in Scripture—demons, principalities, powers, ruler(s) of darkness, wicked spirits, unclean spirits, among other descriptions—and there are many of them. According to Revelation 12:4, one-third of the innumerable hosts of angels fell. The “stars of heaven” refer symbolically to the angels.

Jesus Christ regularly confronted demons as an integral part of His ministry. Luke 4:18 records how He launched His public ministry by quoting Isaiah 61:1-2: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor ... to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” Obviously Jesus knew His purpose was to rescue humanity from the bondage and oppression of the enemy.

Jesus confronts demons at least nine times in the New Testament, notably in Luke 8:26-39 when He cast a legion of demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. The demons had the power to torment and create mental disorders. Yet the glorious truth is that they had to obey the commands of Jesus Christ.

Can people still be demon-possessed? The short answer is yes. The Greek word describing the condition of a person affected by a demon is “daimonizomai,” which was translated as “demon-possessed” in the King James Version. According to Bible scholars, the word is in present tense with an active voice and a passive ending. A person in this condition can be described as in “a demon-controlled passivity.” He or she is being controlled to the a point of passivity by a demon.

Because Christians have the Holy Spirit living in them, the degree of demonization is limited in believers. A Christian can be controlled by the enemy, but not owned. This is important to remember because one of Satan’s great strategies is to get Christians to believe that they are immune to demonic influence. A Spirit-filled believer walking in obedience to Christ is absolutely protected from the enemy. However, while a disobedient Christian’s spirit is protected from the enemy, his mind and body can be subject to attack.

A Christian can “give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). When a Christian lives with unconfessed, habitual sin the enemy moves in to that place in the believer’s life. The enemy constructs a thought pattern around that sin or attitude. Second Corinthians 10:4-5 describes that house of thoughts as a stronghold. Demons can take up residence in that stronghold in the believer’s life. These demons don’t possess the Christian anymore than a cockroach can possess a house. Cockroaches are dirty and troublesome, but they don’t own the house. In the same way, demons can harass, oppress and depress the believer, but they can’t damn him or her.

Symptoms of a Bound Life

After spending a decade doing hand-to-hand combat with satanic forces, I have discovered several symptoms of demonic operation. Some of these indicators can be signs of mental illness, which isn’t always the result of demonic attack. But when good psychological care from Christian professionals doesn’t result in a cure, it is often possible that the person’s symptoms could point to demonic operation.

Drawn from the account of the demoniac of Gadara in Mark 5, the first six symptoms are extreme. The man in that passage was controlled by a legion of demons and had been chained in a cemetery because of his erratic and violent behavior. Other signs of demonic activity may be subtler, but they are no less dangerous and shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Incapacity for normal living (see Mark 5:1-5). The actions of legion made him unsuitable for normal social interaction with friends and family. An unusual desire for solitude, accompanied by a deep loneliness, will often set in. The person will often become very passive with no desire to change.

2. Extreme behavior (see Mark 5:4). An explosive temper and extreme uncontrollable anger could be signs of demonic activity. These are dangerous behaviors that control the individual and affect surrounding loved ones.

3. Personality changes (see Mark 5:9,12). Changes in personality, extreme or mild, may be evidence of demonic activity. And though all cases of multiple personality may not be demonic, in most cases demon activity is involved.

4. Restlessness and insomnia (see Mark 5:5). The demoniac cried in the tombs “night and day.” He couldn’t sleep. Insomnia can be a sign of a physical or spiritual problem. God has gifted His children with sleep (see Ps. 127:2). So when you can’t sleep night after night and there is no medical reason, the devil may be tormenting you.

5. A terrible inner anguish (see Mark 5:5). Grief and anguish are normal emotions. Yet persistent unresolved anguish that won’t leave after normal therapies of counseling, encouragement and prayer could well be demonic.

6. Self-inflicted injury and suicide. In Mark 5:5, the demonized man was cutting himself. And in Mark 9:14-29, a man’s son was both deaf and mute because of a demon, and the evil spirit would often throw the boy into fire and water to destroy him. Demons can cause people to injure themselves and even incite suicide.

7. Unexplained illness. When medical testing produces no physical cause for an illness, then we should look to the mind and spirit for answers. Sometimes illnesses are psychological, and good counseling can result in a cure. Other times the battle is with demons. Luke 13:11-16 tells the story of a “daughter of Abraham” who was afflicted by a “spirit of infirmity.” Although she was a child of God, she was tormented by illnesses caused by this class of demons.

8. Addictive behavior. Addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling and other things opens the door to demonic influence and control. I’m not saying demons cause all of these problems. But anything that causes one to be out of control opens that person to infernal control.

9. Abnormal sexual behavior. The spirit of harlotry is mentioned several times in Ezekiel 16:20-51. This spirit infected the nation of Israel with the sins of Sodom and even motivated the people to sacrifice their own children. Homosexuality, adultery, fornication and even infanticide were all inspired by the spirit of harlotry (see Hos. 4:12). And nations and families are sold into spiritual bondage by the witchcraft of this spirit (see Nah. 3:4). When we play around with sexual sin, we open ourselves to this demonic spirit. We must battle this principality that dominates our nation.

10. Defeat, failure and depression in the Christian life. It is Satan’s purpose to rob us of the victorious life that is ours in Christ (see 2 Cor. 2:10-14). This symptom is often manifested by an inability to praise and worship, which is a weapon of warfare. In Psalm 106:47, David asks God for salvation so he could “triumph in [God’s] praise.”

11. Occult involvement and behavior. Occult involvement is clearly a symptom of demonic control. Deuteronomy 18:9-12 catalogs the works of the occult, including child sacrifice, fortune-telling, sorcery and calling up the dead.

12. Speech difficulties. In Matthew 9:32-33, Jesus rebuked a demon, and the mute man was able to speak. Speech difficulties may be physical, emotional or mental, but in some cases they are demonic. Extreme language and cursing also may be prompted by the enemy.

13. Doctrinal error. First Timothy 4:1 warns that in the last days deceiving spirits will teach the doctrines of demons. Today religious cults and charlatans abound. The reason these deceivers draw many people is the power of the demonic that teaches them.

14. Religious legalism. In Galatians 3, the church at Galatia had forsaken a faith ministry that resulted in the miraculous for a law ministry of rules and regulations. Paul classified this error as witchcraft. Some deeply religious people are under the bondage of tradition, man-made rules and outward appearances. Demons thrive in this kind of environment, especially demons of control. Whenever something is substituted for faith in the finished work of Christ, it is a doctrine of demons.

The Liberating Truth

Ignoring the truth about demonic forces is frivolous and perilous, but at the heart of spiritual warfare is this truth: The battle has already been won! Satan and the forces of hell are on a short leash because of what Christ did at Calvary. We are not fighting for victory, but rather from victory. The powers of darkness were conquered at the cross. Colossians 2:15 says, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, [Christ] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

The blood of Jesus wiped out our sin and left Satan powerless. Every blow that drove the nails into His holy hands was also a nail in the coffin of Satan. The glorious truth is that you and I can enforce that victory. We can see Satan in rapid retreat, and the steps to victory are simple.

Submit to the authority of Christ. Before a believer can effectively put Satan to flight, he must be under authority himself. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The word proud in that verse describes a self-sufficient person who runs his own life. The word resist means “to arrange an army against.” God has placed an army against the self-sufficient.

A rebellious, sinning Christian cannot put Satan to flight. The Christian who lives in obedience under God-given authority can send the enemy fleeing. The secret to Jesus’ power was that He lived under the will of the Father. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death (see Phil. 2:8). After His submission came His exaltation. Philippians 2:10 declares that every realm is now under Christ’s authority—the spiritual realm, the natural realm and the demonic realm. Before we can stand in authority, we must submit ourselves to God completely.

Resist Satan. James 4:7 says: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” We must learn that we can’t hide from Satan. We can’t outrun him, and we can’t get away from him on this planet. How, then, do we resist the enemy?

 

  •  
    • Live, under authority, an obedient and clean life.
    • Stand against Satan in the authority of Christ.
    • Remain steadfast in faith, believing God for the victory.
    • Verbally attack Satan with the Word of God and the work of Christ.
    • Give no place to Satan; give up no ground whatever.
    • Demand in the authority of Christ that he leave.
    • Give thanks and praise to God and watch the devil run.

 

When believers are set free from bondage, it releases the flow of God’s life into the church. The dry places are where demons live, according to Luke 11:24. When believers experience the liberating power of the truth of the good news of Christ, then the power of God is released through them. God promises revival and a harvest to those who come home from bondage.

Satan and his minions are defeated foes. The victory has been won at the cross. The battle rages on earth, but we don’t have to live in bondage and defeat. We can know the joy of victory and release. 


Ron Phillips is pastor of Abba’s House in Hixson, Tenn., and author of Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare, which releases in September.


Find out how to recognize and defeat the seven demons that attack the church at warfare.charismamag.com  read more



The Cycle of Love

Sometimes my ministry has good cycles in which it goes well, and sometimes it has bad cycles when I cannot sense the anointing of God's presence and the people seem bored. Sometimes my circumstances have cycles of blessing, and sometimes I have life cycles where I can hardly see any blessing at all. Sometimes my health is very good, and sometimes it has been assaulted. Sometimes my most important relationships are healthy; sometimes they are being undermined. But none of these circumstances ever change the fact, the bedrock of truth, that I am loved and that I am a lover. When pressures come in all areas of life, the confession that brings me comfort, the confession that brings me out of despair, is this: I am loved. I am a lover. Therefore, I am successful.

 

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. —Psalm 36:5-6

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, nothing compares in life to the fact that You utterly and unconditionally love me! As long as I remember Your love, I know that I will be successful before You. read more

Why You're Not Satisfied

People who are born again do not automatically have a sense of the nearness of God.

Intimacy with Jesus is the context in which the deep longing in our hearts for more of Him is progressively satisfied. People who are born again do not automatically have a sense of the nearness of God. Effective ministry produces a satisfaction that comes through helping others and being useful in God's kingdom, but it is not the same as the satisfaction that comes from encountering God in our inner man. The Holy Spirit may give spiritual gifts to believers and release His power through us, but these things do not ultimately satisfy the desire in our hearts for more of God. When our spiritual hunger is not being satisfied, we will experience frustrating spiritual boredom and restlessness.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

You alone can satisfy the longing of my heart, Jesus. All I want is more of You. Let me live my life in intimacy with You.

Nothing but an intimate relationship with Jesus
will satisfy this inner cry birthed
by the Holy Spirit. read more

The Source of Pure Delight

Several years ago I was introduced to the poignant Irish hymn "Be Thou My Vision" for the first time. It quickly became a favorite, especially the stanza that reads: "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise / Thou mine inheritance, now and always / Thou and Thou only, first in my heart / High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art."

Whenever I hear this verse-and I sing it often-I imagine the glorious, eternal riches of our inheritance in Christ. It is true that on Earth and in heaven, God has by His grace provided for us "one blessing after another" (John 1:16, NIV). Yet without eyes to see Christ as our inheritance and our chief aim, we don't recognize His blessings for what they are. read more

How to Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit

Find out the simple steps you can take to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we meet Christ and put our trust in Him, we are "born again" (John 3:3) and we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is the most important decision we will ever make. This happened to the disciples of Jesus in John 20:22, which says: "[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

But before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the "promise of the Father" had come (Luke 24:49). He told them that if they would wait there they would be "clothed with power from on high." In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers that they would receive "power" to be His witnesses. read more

Today's Servant of Christ

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. —Hebrews 6:10

  read more

Grace Is Not Cheap

Grace Is Not Cheap

It is true that grace is free.But beware of any message about grace that does not lead you to true discipleship.

I have learned by hard experience to be thankful for consumer reports about products offered on the Internet. Reading the customer reviews can save a potential buyer a lot of grief and money. Nowadays, because of the usefulness and availability of these reports few people would consider making a purchase of even something as small as a cell phone or an MP3 player without doing some due diligence in the form of research. read more

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Being Uncomfortably Content

Meditating on the Bible is one way to find God's peace and contentment. Here are helpful verses taken from the New King James Version.

"When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." -Deuteronomy 24:19

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. -Psalm 56:3 read more

Prayer That Works

Read this if you don't want your prayer life to become mundane.

Everyone has a different preference when it comes to prayer and how he or she feels is the best way to connect with God. The important thing is that you don’t want your prayer life to become mundane and never grow or change. You want it to be fresh, exciting and even explosive in the Spirit. We all want our prayers to be effective, and anyone who is full of the Spirit has the anointing to pray powerful prayers that produce miracles.

We can pray in such a way that our prayers just flow. We don’t have to force them. They can even become prophetic—the heart of the Holy Spirit pouring out of our words and expressions.

Several years ago, we were praying at a prayer meeting in our church, asking the Lord to use the ministry more effectively to touch lives in our city. The Lord directed us to pray in such a way that our prayers would have “bull’s-eye” accuracy.

We knew the Holy Spirit wanted to develop specific prayers that were going to be like instruments of warfare targeted toward building certain key parts of the church’s vision. After that time of prayer, we were amazed at the number of breakthroughs we experienced in our ministry.

As believers, we sometimes pray randomly, repeating things—not really thinking about what we are saying. To pray effectively, we must pray calculated prayers, with biblical, Spirit-led accuracy. 

These kinds of prayers are like swords in the Spirit (see Is. 49:2-3). They shoot out, and something just “clicks” when you pray them. You know you hit the target and don’t walk away wondering if you received the answer.

James 5:16 tells us it is “effectual” prayer that avails much. The Amplified Bible says that is prayer that “makes tremendous power available.” 

Effectual prayer is accurate, targeted prayer that is done with action. In the Greek, it is the word energeo, which means to be “efficient, full of energy, and to display working activity.”

In other words, when you hear someone pray with effectual prayer, you don’t have to wonder whether it’s working because there is energy behind it. You can sense and feel power on it.

One way to ensure you are praying prayers that work is to pray according to the Bible. Rather than just praying whatever you think, find out what God’s will is for the situation and bring your prayers in line with it. God has a certain way of thinking when it comes to things in our lives, and we need to align with that. 

Case in point: When you need prayer for physical healing, you may feel terrible in your body and want to cry to the Lord about how bad things are for you. However, a more effectual way to pray is to find the Lord’s promises about healing from Scripture and pray in agreement with God.

This doesn’t mean you cannot cry out to the Lord in your time of adversity. What you need in order to stay accurate in prayer, however, is then to refocus on trusting in God and His promises.

When you make a habit of praying this way, you will learn to pray from the river of your spirit. You plug into the Holy Spirit’s way, the source of power in you, because you are agreeing with the Lord’s opinion. 

Instead of trying to swim upstream, you are flowing with the current. Remember that when the power of the Holy Spirit flows out of you like a river, it contains miracles, blessings and answers to prayer. Accurate prayer will help you flow in all those things.

Suddenly, instead of praying random, disconnected prayers, you are grabbing hold of the blessing that God has already placed in the river of your spirit. A new energy and confidence will come to your prayer life, and you will have conclusive results because you are targeting what you need with what God has already promised.


Brenda Kunneman is co-founder, with her husband, Hank, of One Voice Ministries and co-pastor with him of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska. She ministers worldwide in conferences and churches and is the author of several books, including The Supernatural You (Charisma House). read more


Shut Your Mouth

Our mouths were created to praise and worship the Lord. Every part of our being was created to glorify God here on earth.

Our hands are to lift in praise to Him daily. Even the trees of the fields rejoice and clap their hands. So often, however, we use these God-given, fearfully and wonderfully made bodies to do things that Satan wants us to do. Remember, Satan has no power to make you do anything, even sin. Sin happens in our lives because we are led astray by our own lusts. We learned earlier the way to keep us from giving into our own lusts and fulfilling them is to stay filled with the Spirit. One of the ways to stay constantly filled with the Spirit is to use our mouths to praise, sing spiritual songs and hymns, to give thanks and to make melody in our hearts. If we are busy praising and worshiping the Lord, we will not have time to give into our own lusts.

 

One of the ways I like to keep myself filled with the Spirit is to have good praise music and hymns playing throughout the day when I am home doing my chores. I sing along with the hymns, and I also love to play classical music that lifts soul and spirit. I mostly concentrate on Handel and Bach. The world tries to drag us down, and can easily do it if we set ourselves in front of the boob tube all day long or even have it playing while we are doing other things. Remember, Satan is the prince and power of the air. He loves to use TV and radio to gain an advantage over us.

Another way we can stay filled with Spirit is to refuse to allow anything to come out of our mouths that would wound or hurt others. Our mouths were created to praise God and also to praise and edify others. David knew his own weakness in the matter of the tongue, and he calls upon the help of God to set a watch over his mouth. This morning let's pray a prayer that David prayed. "Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Set a watch over my mouth, and may my mouth, be used today only to praise You and to edify and praise others."

READ: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20 read more

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