10 Days of Prayer…And More

10days_FINAL (Web)This year’s spring 10 Days of Prayer are upon us. On the North Shore of Boston we will be meeting May 5-15. I will be flying to Denver to finish the 10 Days with others from Wisdom Way as well as joining pastors and other leaders to learn about another prayer strategy called The Once Church Initiative.

In conjunction with the 10DaysTogether in Denver, there is a gathering of city prayer leaders from around the nation, called The Denver Summit, May 12-15.  Hosted by the Denver Team, Jonathan Friz of www.10day.net and Jason Hubbard of the One Church Initiative will lead the time.  Our goal for the days is to have pastors in Denver hear the vision of these ministries for Uniting Uniters to establish a clear vision and strategy for prayer on a 24/7 basis among the congregations of the Church of Denver.

We also will be asking God how and where else He wants to use these prayer initiatives. I am sure I will have more to report after the trip.

Please go to gatherings at 10days.net and scroll down to your state to see if there is a Spring 10 Days of Prayer in your area. If not, there may well be one in September.  The following is the local schedule north of Boston. Please join in if you are in the area!

10 DAYS of Worship, Prayer, and Communion: May 5 – May 14, 7:00- 9:00 P.M.  (*Note Exceptions May 5&6)

Evening Locations for Worship and Prayer

Thursday, 5/5 – Christ the Redeemer, 188 Elliot St. Danvers, 6-8 P.M.*

Friday 5/6 – Garden City Church, 48 Putnam Street North Beverly Elementary School, 7:30-9:30 P.M.*

Saturday 5/7 – The Bridge, 26 Newbury Turnpike, Rowley,

Sunday, 5/8 – Day off

Monday 5/9 – Christ the King Church, 4 Railroad Ave., Suite 309, Wakefield, MA.

Tuesday 5/10 – Immanuel & The Harbor, 140 Bridge St. Beverly,

Wednesday 5/11 – Pilgrim Church & Gateway, 300 Cabot St. Beverly

Thursday 5/12 – United Methodist, 8 North St. Salem

Friday 5/13 – Northshore Messianic Fellowship, Dane Street Church 10 Dane St. Beverly

Saturday 5/14 – Eagle & Dove Ministries–Judah’s Roar Church, Gloucester United Methodist Church, 436 Washington St

Sense of Being – A Blessing

Thanks to Judy Douglass I learned about Sylvia Gunter about a decade ago. Her prayer resources and weekly devotionals have ministered to me deeply. Today I encourage you to read this blessing, out loud, slowly. Let it sink in. Declare the truth of it to yourself and to the atmosphere around you. (Hint: once may not be enough.)

The following is from You Are Blessed In The Names of God page 34. © 2000 Sylvia Gunter. Available at www.thefathersbusiness.com An archive of past devotionals is available on the website.

Sense Of Being – 1 John 3:1

Spirit, listen to the heart of your Father speaking to your heart in His Word in 1 John 3:1. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

"You bear the imprint of your Creator's fingerprints on your entire being."                 -Sylvia Gunter

“You bear the imprint of your Creator’s fingerprints on your entire being.” -Sylvia Gunter

You bear the imprint of your Creator’s fingerprints on your entire being. You are a special evidence of His continuing handiwork and creativity in the earth today. He chose generational treasures for you and your soul and body. He made you His child on whom He lavishes His love. Be blessed to feel with almost aching sharpness and clarity the truth that you are greatly loved. He calls you beloved. He likes you. In fact, He adores you. You are the apple of His eye. You are His special treasure. You are legitimate and worthy because He loves you, not because of anything you have done. Be blessed with a deep and abiding joy as a favored child of Most High God.

God gave you your competence, your talents, and your personality. Beyond that is your identity of belonging and worth and your legitimacy in Him as a covenant son/daughter. Be blessed with a healthy sense of being from a solid core of identity and legitimacy in Him. Be blessed with physical, emotional, relational, mental, and spiritual sense of being in Christ Jesus. Be blessed to realize that you stand in His favor based on relationship, not performance. Be blessed with His approval and pleasure. Be blessed with awareness of all your spiritual blessings He has deposited in you. Be blessed with knowing you are set in a large place in the spirit realm, a place of authority in Him.

Be blessed to know that you are loved, wanted, and needed in the world. Your Father placed you right where you are. Be blessed with relaxing in His perfect care in every detail, knowing He is lovingly watching over you. Be blessed with freedom from fear. You are immovable and unstoppable as you remain in that place of abiding in Him and Jesus in you. Be blessed as God encourages and empowers you in His truth and purposes for your life.

Be blessed in the name of your Father who loves you as He loves his own Son
(John 17:23).

 

In Heaven, So On Earth

20160322_185204

I believe that our Creator wants us to pull heaven into earth. To do that, we need to know what heaven is like and how He expects us to pull it down.

In the beginning, life on earth was like Heaven. They had unhindered fellowship with our Creator. Then people came along choosing disobedience, choosing to know good and evil. That choice set in motion the growing messes we live today.

Things that do not exist in Heaven include but are not limited to: unforgiveness; cancers; sickness of any kind; lack of physical needs like food, water and shelter; bullying; rejection; and the list goes on.

We turn to prayer hoping it will fix whats wrong. So much of what we call prayer has become asking for what we think we need. Then we become discouraged when we don’t get what we want. Or we get what we want and it does not work or satisfy.

As we live in this place of ‘already not yet,’ between the Garden of Eden and the New Jerusalem we are in training to reign as priests and kings.

What if we ask first, “Abba, What do you want in this circumstance?” Then listen….

How do we know we are hearing answers from the heavenly source? That is a process of growth and trust. God is more interested in us hearing and asking for His will to be done on earth than we are.

He uses our personalities, life experiences, circumstances and His still small voice to lead us into praying His will into existence…if we will take that time to be still and listen.

His will always lines up with what the Bible has to say. No, the Bible does not talk about technology as we know it, but it talks about money, relationships and gives us the principles to ‘walk rightly’ in our crazy, fast paced world.

Our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are what makes the word of God come alive. As we become more intimate with our God, the word fills us with wisdom, grace and love. Love for God, love for ourselves and love for others.

As we develop a Biblical, Heavenly perspective, we gain compassion and wisdom to pray ‘as is it in Heaven, so on Earth.’

What is occupying your attentions today? Ask Abba what he wants it to look like in Heaven then listen. Pay attention to the ‘holy hunches’ that come to mind. When it lines up with Biblical principles… pray, out loud is best.=} And Act on it. 

 

The following are only two books that have informed my thinking about Praying God’s will into existence.

When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson

The Kneeling Christian by Anonymous

Finding The Way Back

Our Creator is always for us

20160201_070947 - Version 2

Clouds of doubt and confusion when we are not looking for our Loving Creator

Finding the way back to fellowship with our Creator is something we all face at times in our lives. We all stray.

That’s part of being created in the image of the Creator, part of our DNA. We all entertain illusions of grandeur at some point. Maybe our dreams of greatness were trampled on when where were young so we gave up hope to one degree or another. A sad place to be in for sure.

Even with buried dreams it is human nature, part of our divine DNA, to think we are in control, or try to be when we are not. In our attempts to fill the voids in our lives when we are reaching for our dreams, even God-given dreams, we sometimes make questionable choices that create separation between us and the living God who loves us perfectly.

The amazing thing about God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is that He loves us so much we are carved in the palms of His hands. He is Creator, who knows our personal DNA and each of our ends from our beginnings. Abba’s promises to never leave or give up on us, regardless of our past or present choices, are many… and they are all true!

God can not lie, His character never changes. Our Creator is always for us.

The enemy of our souls lies to us in hopes of convincing us it is not true. He heaps guilt and shame on us in hopes of preventing us from returning to the friendship of our living God – but the doors of grace, hope and love are always open. We only need to surrender our pride, turn to those doors and walk through.

We may enter those doors with the consequences of our questionable choices still clinging to us. But as we persevere in the direction of the love of Abba, those things begin to fall off while our hope and courage grow. No matter how many times we go and return we are welcomed.

Since the love of our Creator never gives up on us – why do we give up?

When we are aimed away from that perfect love, even a glance over our shoulder to the Almighty begins the process of returning us to the perfect love that casts out fear. That glance can give us the courage to turn fully to walk the path into the heart of our Creator who is full of faith, hope and love, just waiting for us to receive His unending supply.

Clarity of looking to our Almighty Loving Creator

Clarity of looking to our Almighty Loving Creator

Will you look His way?

Pleasant Lines

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6a

20160313_165140

This beach is only a short walk from where I am staying.

 

As I was on my daily walk today I was struck by the beauty all around me.

My last few months, well years actually, have been full of stresses, but at every turn Abba has placed me in physical places that make it hard to miss His handiwork and His attention to detail.

When my mom was dying and I closed out her house, I lived with a version of this view every morning:DSC_0363

When I traveled overseas for ‘work’ recently. (Quotes because I really love what I do.) I had a view like this everyday on my walk!20160204_003155_HDR

Abba knows how much it means to me to be outside, or at least be able to see outside. It is one of the easiest ways I connect with my Creator. I can proclaim with King David of old when he wrote Psalm 16:

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
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.

What speaks to your heart? How do you know you are secure in the Lord in spite of your circumstances? I would genuinely enjoy learning how Abba makes Himself know to you!