Prayer-mental, Not Judgmental

A religion without love is an abomination to God. The church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice. Thus, Jesus said His Father’s house would be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

All nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, intercessors cry to God for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

The church is created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy. Remember, we are called to be a “house of prayer for all…nations.” Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matt.5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends, God fully restored him (Job 42:10). We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, he urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (vv. 1-2).

“But,” you argue, “my country (or city) is a modern manifestation of ancient Babylon.”fr

I don’t think so. But even if it were, when the Lord exiled Israel to Babylon, He didn’t order His people to judge and criticize their new cities. Rather, He commanded, “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you…and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare” (Jer. 29:7). Time after time the scriptural command is to pray for, not against; to pray mercifully, not vindictively. God’s call is for prayer moved by compassion, not condemnation. Indeed, at its very essence, the nature of intercession is to appeal to God for forgiveness, and then redemption, to come to sinful people.

We have studied what is wrong with our society and can prove, with charts and surveys, the trends of iniquity, yet we have failed to appreciate the influence of the intercessions of Christ. We consider ourselves experts on the nature and cause of sin, but deny the nature and cause of Christ, which is redemption. My friends, being informed by the news media is in no way the same thing as being transformed into the nature of the Savior.

The media sees what is wrong with the world and exposes it; Christ saw what was wrong and died for it. Study Isaiah 53. It reveals in wondrous detail the Savior’s nature: Christ numbered Himself with the sinners (v. 12). He interceded for the transgressors (v. 12). He is “with us” and “for us” (Matt. 1:23; Rom. 8:31), even when He is speaking to us of our iniquity.

God does not want us to be judgmental; He wants us prayer-mental. As instinctively as we have judged people, we should pray for them instead.

Article written by: Francis Frangipane

www.frangipane.org

God showing himself strong

Self-reliance is a deadly trap as a Christian, we often think that by exerting our independence we are conquering the world, but in actual fact we are alienating ourselves from God.

Yes that sounds pretty harsh but it is the truth, you see God wants us to come to him with everything, and for everything, he wants to be a part of the decisions that we make, he wants to help guide us so that our lives will bring forth much fruit.

Jesus taught us in John 15, that if we were to be a friend of God we would need to walk in obedience, and one of the most important things that he has been teaching humanity from the time of Adam, is for us to trust him, to rely on him, to let him show us the way so that it will bring life to us.

Often the case is that we run ahead, and then think of asking him later for help. This happened just recently to me as a matter of fact. My husband and I would love to buy an RV, we love to explore, and we love to camp, but tenting is quickly becoming stale. So we have been looking around for an RV that we can afford.

About a month ago, we found an RV that we could afford, and made an appointment to go and see it. I had to rearrange an appointment I had made, in order to see this RV. Off we went, in the rain, with much excitement and dreaming of how we would camp every weekend, we ran ahead to see the RV. As we were nearing the sellers house we get a phone call, I thought it was one of my children, but it was the seller, informing us that she had sold the RV about 5 minutes before. We were 5 minutes from her house!

Needless to say we were most disappointed, I then asked my husband if he had prayed about this RV before we had left and he said no, and I realized that I had not prayed either. It was a lesson to us, I believe that when we run ahead of God and his plans for our lives, things don’t always turn out for the best. The lord might have given us a feeling of unrest and we might not have sped up there to look at the RV, or he might have shown us in another way that it was not going to work out for us, if we had inquired of him first.

I would love to say that I have completely learnt my lesson, and I will never do that again, but I probably will, but I have learnt that God, is trying to train me and my husband to bring all of our choices and decisions to him, to seek his council on things so that he can show us what is best for us. I believe too that he is trying to show us that we are to trust him, he can see the bigger picture and we cannot.

This morning as I was reading my bible, 2 Chronicles 16:9 really spoke to my heart, and it says:

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose Heart is loyal to Him.”

God promises that he will show himself strong on behalf of those who are loyal to him, to those who seek him out and have a heart that whole-heartedly honor and love him.

This was spoken to King Asa of Judah, he had served the Lord whole heartedly for 35 years while being the ruler and had led the people to do the same, because of that, the Lord gave them peace with the surrounding nations, and prospered the people.

Then King Asa, had Baasha King of Israel come and fight against Judah. Instead of going to the Lord, and asking Him what they should do, he went to a neighboring king and asked to make an alliance with him, so that they would be able to fight against the king of Israel, the king agreed and they started to fight against him.

This made the Lord God angry, as King Asa, had not come to him for direction and help. It was then that the lord sent a prophet to speak to the king and he told him,

2Chronicles 16:7-8

 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. “

As you can see, the lord takes his responsibility towards us very seriously, when he says that he is our rock, fortress, defender, salvation, hope, peace, provider, he is those things to us, but when we start to trust in our own abilities, or we run to others around us for help, then the lord cannot do in and through us what he desires to do.

2Chronicles 16:9-10

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”   Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people. 

As you can see, the prophet said to King Asa, the Lord will strengthen those people whose hearts are fully committed to him, no exceptions, but because the King had already started to rely on himself, his pride rose up within him and he became angry at the prophet and put him in Jail.

I have found myself in that place of anger, when I have not sought the Lord and then things have not turned out the way I thought that they should and when confronted with my folly, my pride rose up from within me and pushed back.

I would love to tell you that this has happened only once to me, but I would be a liar, the truth of the matter is, that I will have a more fulfilling life when I submit myself to the lord, and ask him to help me in the directions that I need to go.

My life will not always be perfect, but I know that if I trust the Lord to show me his path for my life, it will be way better than the path I tried to forge, with sweat and tears, turmoil and strife.

So I think the things that we can learn from this passage of scripture is this,

  • When you walk with the lord and seek him with your whole heart, the lord will strengthen you and guide you
  • When you start to rely on yourself and others to give you advice, direction and clarity in anything, you will find that God will withdraw and you will not get the desired results that you were after.
  • Trusting in the Lord is the only way to lead a successful Christian life.

 What was sad for me about the story of King Asa, is that he never repented of his arrogance and a few years later he contracted a disease in his foot, and instead of asking the lord for healing and relief, he relied totally on doctors for his healing, this eventually led to his death.

 As you can see that when you start to harden your heart toward God, and never repent, it is not long before you are so hard hearted that you close yourself off from God completely.

 If you can relate to any part of this article today, I want to encourage you to take a moment and ask the lord to Forgive you for trusting in everything but him, for allowing your heart to become hardened towards him, and ask him to soften your heart towards him once again, and let him be the one to lead you and direct your life.

 My husband and I have yet to find the RV that will meet our budget and fit our family needs, but I do know that as I walk with the lord and trust him to show us where it is, we will find something that is suitable for all of our needs and will be beyond our expectations. 

 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, ask the Lord today, to lead you in all of the ways that he has for you, I know that you will find great joy and deeper satisfaction than you ever have before.

 

My heart belongs with God

Have you ever been left with a feeling of emptiness, when what you expected out of something or someone didn’t quite “fit the bill”?

I know that I sure have, when I was younger, I had all of these ideas about what love looked like and how I should feel when I was in love, who the love of my life should be, and how that person would fulfill all of my hopes and dreams.

Then I got married

I came in with those girlhood fantasies and discovered that they were completely unrealistic. I expected my husband, to be my everything, my provider, my best friend (we would stay up late at night and talk about our feelings), the filler of my love tank, and everything else that I needed.

The poor man could never live up to those expectations and soon it created untold problems for us, as well as it created a gaping big hole in my heart. I felt rejected, lonely and lost, my husband was not filling up my love tank and it was almost unbearable at times.

Then I read in a book that women needed to put their hearts into the capable hands of our loving heavenly father, as he was the only one that could truly fill that role in our lives.

My husband’s love for me was flawed, full of brokenness and there was no way that he could love me perfectly, like God could.

The author of that book also said that as women, we needed to forgive our husbands for not being God!

Ouch, that was a hard one to realize, that I had put my husband in the spot where God belonged in my life, and that is why I was feeling so unfulfilled. I was asking my husband to fill a spot in my heart that only God could.

After I realized my mistake, (thankfully early on in our marriage) I was able to let my husband love me the way he knew how, and then allow God to truly fill up my heart with his great love, joy and peace.

This created in me a great sense of satisfaction, as I learnt that God was the one that knew me intimately, he knew my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and desires, and even my hurts, frustrations and fears. There was not an area in my life that he did not have access to. So it would stand to reason that he would know then how to love me fully.

This took great pressure off of my husband, to perform in our marriage, and it freed me to learn to accept his love. I no longer got my feelings of self-worth, satisfaction and joy from him, those came from the lord.

I was now free to pursue the lord whole heartedly, while learning to love my husband, the way the lord intended for me to love him.

The lord revealed to me, during this time of change, that I would never feel filled up with love, from another person or thing, I would only get that from him.

Romans 5:5

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 

You see, God pours his love into our hearts, he is the only one that can ever satisfy the deepest longings of our heart, and he is the only one who will never leave, nor disappoint us. Our hearts are safe with him.

A while back the lord revealed a great truth to me, and as I share it with you, I pray that it will bless you as much as it has me.

He said to me, “Wherever your heart is, you will be at home,” then he went on to explain to me, “If you will give me your heart, no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, you will always feel at home, because I am there!”

In other words, when our hearts belong to the lord, we will always have a place of comfort, warmth, a sense of belonging and home, and we will never have to feel like we are alone. He will be the home for our hearts.

Oh, what a comfort that brought to my heart, and once again, it reminded me that I can never rely on other people and things to fill up my heart with love, on Jesus can!

If you are feeling lonely and lost and have tried everything and everybody to fill that deep hole that you have in your heart, why not stop and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to hold your heart, to give you a home with him.

He says in his word,

Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” 

If you want a permanent home for your heart today, say this prayer with me, and watch and see how God will fill your heart with his great love, and you will always feel safe and comfortable with him.

Dear Lord Jesus

I come to you today, because my heart is empty, all that I have tried to fill it with, has proved worthless and destructive, Father, today I ask that you fill my heart with your love, help me to have a home for my heart that is always with you. I am tired of feeling lonely and unloved, and never measuring up to other people’s standards. Thank you for filling me up today with your great love and giving my heart a permanent home.

In Jesus name I pray

Amen

If you prayed that prayer today, you can be rest assured that God who has loved you with an everlasting love and has drawn you to him with loving Kindness will fill your deepest longings with him.

I will leave you with this great verse, that encourages me always,

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

                                                        

 

A Word to the Women of God

Before I begin this message, let me provide a short disclaimer: although I do encourage women to move freely within the order provided by God in their local churches, my goal is to exalt and celebrate a primary grace that God has placed specifically within women, which the Lord Himself has used in past times to release revival.

The Genesis Distinctions When the Lord created humankind, He placed unique graces in man and separate but equally unique graces in woman. He told Adam to name the species of life on earth “and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name” (Gen. 2:19). This “naming” was much more than calling the dog “Spot.” Adam was created with an organizational, administrative capacity that enabled him to identify and define the world around him. By naming the living things, Adam not only brought them into his consciousness, but he introduced order and structure to the human experience. Adam did not create the world, of course, but by defining the things God brought to him, he helped establish reality.

Within the genetics of this original man, there also existed the powerful, but dormant, qualities of the woman. While Adam slept the Spirit took from the man a rib. Fashioning it into a woman, the Lord created for Adam a companion. Not only was she suitable for him, but she powerfully expanded man’s creative capacities. Indeed, the woman brought many new graces into Adam’s world that did not formerly exist—the foremost of which was the power to conceive and give birth.

It is important to remember: God created male and female in His image, according to His likeness (Gen 1:26). Of course, in certain ways, both Adam and Eve as individuals possessed reflections of the divine nature. They each could think, speak, dream and create. However, it was in the union of Adam and Eve, in their mutual respect of one another’s strengths and graces, that mankind would possess a more perfect expression of the fuller nature of God.

As Adam beheld this first female, he said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen 2:23). The term woman was a delineation used by Adam, identifying her as a unique variation in the species of man. My wife says, “Think of her as the upgrade.” In some ways, she is right, for the nature of the woman was twice refined. Adam was created of earth; the woman emerged not from the earth but from the man. She is both more complex and emotionally sophisticated.

Soon Adam began to understand the greatest power of his counterpart: her ability to conceive and bring life into the world. Recognizing this quality, Adam named her Eve, which meant “life.” Eve would play an integral part in the unfolding of life’s new beginnings. “She was the mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20).

The Power of a Woman’s Prayer The Lord gave Adam a primary ability to name and establish reality; He gave to woman the unique capacity to conceive and then birth reality. The primary strength of each gender is that man establishes, woman births. Remember, these qualities are not merely “human”: they are reflections of the divine. Man’s ability to bring order to one’s world, to take what was random and give it definition and structure, is a divine facility. Woman’s ability to conceive and incubate life, and then deliver life through birth, is also an aspect of the divine nature.

Note also that Adam named the woman Eve (or “Life”) before they had children. God gave the woman an ability not just to have babies but to release life in a variety of its expressions. In fact, one translation says that Eve means to “enliven.” Alone, Adam had been downcast; it was not good that Adam was alone. Eve enlivened Adam in ways no other creature on earth could. Adam could build a house; Eve made it a home. When Adam named Eve “Life,” he was not only speaking prophetically of the first mother, but he was speaking out of his own experience: Eve brought life into the structure of Adam’s world.

We are speaking in generalities here, but when we observe the spiritual realm, we see this same divine encoding replicated in the ministries of men and women. Jesus laid the foundation of the church with twelve men whom He called to be apostles. This didn’t mean there would never be women in leadership, but that one of the better skills given man from God was the ability to bring order and structure. By the same token, prior to Christ’s birth we find Anna, a prophetess, engaged in much prayer and fasting. In my opinion, it is quite possible that this woman was not alone in her intercession, but the leader of a prophetic prayer ministry that lived in anticipation of her times. Women excel in intercession, in spiritual sensitivity and the release of new beginnings. Note: this does not excuse men from prayer! Actually, some of the Bible’s best examples of intercessors are men! We are speaking in generalities in reference to the spiritual tendencies of both genders. Neither distinction is more important than the other. Both are absolutely vital for the unfolding of God’s will upon the earth.

Today, we are fighting the advance of Satan in many arenas. Whether the topic is wars and terrorist attacks or the ever-increasing expansion of iniquity in our world, we need revival. To possess a national awakening, the “birthing” power God has placed in women must be released. All the efforts of man to establish laws and govern righteously will not truly transform our culture. We need something greater; we need the presence of God poured out. I believe the Holy Spirit is raising up a prayer army of women who are rising in power on behalf of their families and nations.

My Mother’s Prayers I personally know the power of a woman’s prayer—my mother. In the late sixties, I was a very lost young man living in sin and rebellion. Judging from my appearance, I looked hopeless. Yet in spite of my outward condition, my dear Catholic mother stood before God for me. Resist as I did, divine power, uniquely born of her prayers, began to hunt me down. Her cries were relentless and unceasing; often she would pray through the night for me. She was pregnant with prayer for her son. In 1970 God finally answered, and during the Jesus Movement revival, I came to Christ.

Years later I asked the Lord about this revival. As you may know, it has been part of my assignment to help engender citywide unity and establish prayer, things that precede revival. Yet, to my knowledge, no citywide unity or organized prayer fueled the Jesus Movement. So I asked the Lord how revival could occur without a prayer movement at its source. The Lord quickly corrected me, saying that there was a great prayer movement: He had heard the prayers of a million praying mothers, each crying to Him for their children.

From all denominations, in a “unity of desperation,” God heard the cries of believing mothers. His heart was touched, and as a result, multitudes of sinful kids found repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ. This is the army God desires to release again today, but now with more vision, more power from the Holy Spirit, and with the support of men as well!

Women of God, the fact is, Heaven needs you! You have been created by the Almighty to birth breakthroughs on planet Earth! God has uniquely designed you with a latent ability to release life through your intercession. Together with you, we men can build and establish, and we are learning to pray, but you have a special grace to release new spiritual beginnings. Whether your prayer focus is for your husband or church leadership, whether you are interceding for your children, city or nation, you possess in your spirit the seed-realities that, through prayer, can release God’s life into the world.

Yes, indeed, there is a battle; there still exists “enmity between [the serpent] and the woman” (Gen. 3:15). Satan especially hates you because it was your seed that bruised the serpent’s head. It is amazing to me that God chose to bring His Son into the world, not through the heavens nor even through a woman impregnated by man, but through a woman made pregnant by God! God Himself came to earth through the woman’s power to give birth!

Today the Lord is giving women a new grace, a new confidence against the powers of hell. Out of their oneness with Christ, these godly women will prayer-birth powerful ministries on earth, both male and female. They will release new beginnings to the body of Christ.

I also want to commend and personally thank the many women’s ministries and prayer groups that have stood with me, interceding for my life, my family and my ministry. Many, many times I have suddenly experienced divinely protection or unexpected spiritual breakthroughs. When I questioned the Lord, He’s said, I’m answering the prayers of [such-and-such] ministry. To each of you, I say a special thank-you. In a unique way, you have been a mother to me. May the Lord multiply His grace toward you and give you the desires of your hearts!

Finally, Revelations 12 speaks of a “woman clothed with the sun.” This word is not only talking about Israel or the church. It also reveals how the Most High sees spiritual women: They are honored and crowned with distinction; pure and clothed with the glory of God. With confidence, they tread upon the powers of night. Dear army of praying women, it is your inherent destiny to birth that which shall rule the nations.

 

A service of Frangipane Ministries, Inc. Copyright (c) 2012 All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations were taken from the NASB.

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