Monthly Archives: September 2012

Two Dreams

I have recently had two dreams where God was speaking to me.  This is extremely significant, as God does not normally speak to me through dreams.  The first one I had on 24th August and the second on the 20th September.

The First Dream.

I was somewhere in Africa on a crusade with an evangelist.

The first thing that happened was that I went back to the room where I was sleeping and there were two robbers there one of whom was carrying a knife, all I could do was to pray out loud and take authority in Jesus’ name which I did.  I told them that they had to put the knife down which they did, and then that they had to repent and follow Jesus, I barely shared the basics about becoming a Christian but they repented of their sins and gave their lives to Jesus.

Later, at a crusade meeting I prayed for someone to be baptised in the Holy Spirit (they were already a Christian), as I was finishing praying something like, ‘Be filled with the Holy Spirit’, I was going to keep on praying but God said that it was done, which it was! A few other things happened, but I can’t remember them as clearly.

When I woke up I asked God what he was saying from the dream.  I felt that he was saying the following things:

  • Presence of God: In all situations we carry God’s presence with us, where his presence is we see things change.  It may be God’s time for a person come to know him, even if they didn’t know it themselves, nobody is beyond God’s reach.  Look to God, not the circumstances.
  • Expectancy: We need to expect God to answer us, when we pray for others, he will answer while we are praying.
  • Simple Prayer: We need to keep our prayers simple, there is no need to complicate them.
  • Power of God:We have authority in Jesus’ name, so he will listen to us when we ask.  All these things happen not because of who we are, but because of who God is.

The Second Dream.

I cannot remember the whole dream but there were a few things that stood out to me, and I believe that they are of spiritual significance.

The first thing was that everywhere was flat I mean completely flat, as it the mountains and valleys had been levelled out, like the flattest parts of the country, like East Anglia or Hull.  This makes me think of the Scripture,

As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ” Luke 3:4-6 NRSV.

The second thing was that there was clear water flowing throughout all of the streets, and it was touching all the houses and other buildings, nothing was untouched by the water.  It was not dirty water like you get when there is a flood, but crystal clear water like you see in a stream that has just welled up from a spring.  This water was touching everywhere, and everything.

The third thing was as a result of this water flowing everywhere.  It was causing things to change, it was changing things and people you thought impossible to change.  There was spiritual change, lives were being spiritually transformed as they put their trust in Jesus, but it did not end there. Other things were happening, like things happening to improve people’s lives like getting back into work after a long period of being jobless, and into housing after being homeless.  This was not happening as a result of political change, but because God was on the move and people’s real needs were being met, whatever those needs were, and the people were being really changed in ways we would not have thought possible.

 God is on the move!  Are you going to pray and work with him to see this nation transformed?  If you do then you shall see God moving in mighty ways and be part of what he is doing.  If your expectancy is still low then ask God to raise it.  Seek God’s face in prayer, and see him move in power! 

I am excited about what God is doing in this land!  Are you?

Exodus 3:4-5 – Holy Ground

When the LORD saw that he [Moses] had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’  And he said, ‘Here I am.’  Then he said, ‘Come no closer!  Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’  (Exodus 3:4-5 NRSV)

If you have ever been in a worship or prayer meeting with me then you will have noticed that I always take off my shoes and put on ballet shoes.

It is not because I like to dance, although I do on occasions.  It is not because it is a superstition that I have to do it, as if I am out praying while I walk or prayer-walking I will wear shoes.  In fact at times I forget that I have my shoes on until I start praying so have to take them off, because it is too uncomfortable to leave them on!

To be honest if I can keep my shoes on during a prayer meeting in particular, it says to me that there is very little of God’s presence there.  That is why I wear ballet shoes (it is a bit safer than going completely barefoot), if God is there then I go barefoot as a recognition that I am on holy ground, wherever that may be!

From this Scripture I am in good company!  Moses was commanded by God to take of his sandals, as was Joshua on a similar occasion (see Joshua 5:13-15).  This was not because the ground in that place was intrinsically holy, it was just ground, but it was because God’s presence was there, and wherever God is, it is a holy place.

‘Remove the sandals from your feet, …’

In those days you did not walk on lovely well made paths or roads, at best it would be a well-worn track!  One consequence of this, and the fact that there were animals all around, your sandals which would protect your feet would get dirty when you were walking around.  This is why people would take off their sandals and wash their feet when they entered a tent or a building, so the dirt from the outside world would not be carried around inside.

In everyday life we all get dirty, we still sin even though we don’t generally want to.  As a result of this we need our feet washing regularly by God.  Jesus understood this, even though Peter did not (see John 13:1-20), and we are to wash each other’s feet as well.  When we come to God we need to ditch all that could get in the way of our relationship with him.  We need to try to keep short accounts with God and with each other, sometimes we will succeed in this, other times we will fail, but even then we can bring to him.

‘… for the place where you are standing is holy ground’

After ditching the dirt we need to recognise God’s majesty, power and holiness.  The fact is that God is God, and we are just human beings.

God is holy whether we respond to it or not, God asked Moses to respond by taking off his sandals, and that is how I respond to God’s presence.  How do you respond to God’s presence?  Are you quiet or noisy?  Do you respond in a physical way, or only in your spirit?

How you respond is not important.  What is important is that you do respond in the way God asks you to.  We all need to ask God to help us to be more sensitive to him, and to his leading.

Father God, help us be more like Moses, who turned aside when he heard you, and responded to your leading.  Help us to ditch the dirt in our lives, so that we might live more aware of you in all we do, and especially in times of worship and communion with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer is … #2 Conversation

Prayer is a conversation, it is a two-way dialogue, not a one-way monologue.

You’re overstating it, you may say from looking at the previous sentence, but it is a point that cannot be overstated!  I could refer to places in the New Testament for this, but you may be surprised to know that this was well understood in the Old Testament.  Here are a few examples.

The example of Abraham.

Well there is Abraham for starters, ‘he was called a friend of God’ (James 2:23 NRSV), and what do friend do but talk with each other!  When he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah he was involved in a literal, physical conversation with God see Genesis 18:16-33, he was also bold enough to negotiate with God, but was wise enough to know where the limits were.

This is quite a challenge!  How much are we prepared to argue someone’s case before God?  Not for a Christian, but for a non-Christian to be saved!  After all, ‘The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3:9 NRSV).  We should not think that Jesus is slow in returning which is the context of this verse, but as with Sodom and Gomorrah, when he does there will be judgement, and by then all choices about eternal salvation will have been made.  Until then, let us be like Abraham praying for mercy and salvation, and wrestling in prayer for those who don’t know Jesus.

The example of Moses.

Moses is another great example of how prayer is a conversation, and again the best example we have of this from his story are when he was interceding on someone else’s behalf.  We see this in the time when Israel sinned by worshipping the golden calf (see Exodus 33).

God was angry, the people he had brought out of Egypt had spiritually returned to Egypt by making and then worshipping an idol.  God was more than angry, he was going to destroy all of Israel except Moses and his family, and make a nation out from him alone.  But Moses stood up for the Israelites, not because they had not sinned, but for the sake of the patriarchs and because if God destroyed them all the Egyptians would have a cause to celebrate and say that God could not complete what he started!

The result of this pleading.  God ‘changed his mind’ (Exodus 32:14 NRSV) because Moses had asked him to, ‘Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people’ (Exodus 32:12 NRSV).  We may deserve God’s judgement, but if we humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face he can, and will, send revival (see 2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Like Moses we can cause God to change his mind, or we can stand by, be fatalistic about it and see others perish.  Prayer is so powerful if we only grasp it, it is not just for the weak, and for old ladies (though it is for them also), in fact to pray like Moses did takes both strength and humility, and comes first of all out of a close relationship with God.

Are we, like Moses, prepared to lay down something that could be to our advantage, to see God’s kingdom advance?  What a challenge!

Prophets, priests and kings.

I could give other examples, when the nation of Israel came to together to pray, it was the prophets, priests and kings who would pray.  Why?  Because these were the people who would not just speak to God, but who could listen to God’s reply!

Under the New Covenant we are all prophets, priests and kings so this responsiblity of prayer and intercession now falls on us, and we can fulfil that task because we can have a conversations with God!

Lord Jesus, help us to learn to listen as well as talk when we pray, because only then can we pray and intercede effectively for those who don’t know you.  Help us to take up the challenge, and to lay down our agendas for the sake of others to build your Kingdom.  In your name we pray, Amen!

Revelation 8:3-4 – Incense, Prayer & Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

In Revelation 8 we have a lovely picture of incense and prayers rising before God,

‘Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne.  And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.’ (Revelation 8:3-4 NRSV)

This is such an amazing picture of prayer, and more than that, of our prayers coming before God.

There are two other verses which refer to incense and prayer, one more from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament:

‘When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.’ (Revelation 5:8 NRSV)
 
‘Let my prayer be counted as incense before you’ (Psalms 141:2 NRSV)

Prayer is incense, is like incense and is offered with incense!

This says a great deal about how important prayer is to God.  The incense that was used in Tabernacle and later Temple worship was not cheap!  It was made from costly ingredients, some of which came from long distances away.  It was also to be made to a specific recipe that was to be used only for worshipping God (see Exodus 30:34-38).

Prayer that God listens to costs!  Now there are times when we pray and it costs us nothing, God still hears those prayers, but they do not really grab his attention.  Jesus’ prayers were answered by his Heavenly Father because he put all of himself into them.  This is also something we see in great hero’s of faith, they know that they have to put themselves on the line when it comes to prayer.  It can be very hard to say, ‘yet, not my will but yours be done.’ (Luke 22:42 NRSV) as Jesus does in the garden of Gethsemane, but this is what the hero’s of the faith have done, and it is also what we can do too!  This is where we get our depth in prayer.

Prayer is made up of different ingredients!  This may surprise you, but this is one reason why breadth of prayer is so important.  In the incense recipe different things were to be mixed together in equal quantities, this would have balanced the scent, and made the incense more beautiful to smell!  It is no wonder that the incense was to be burnt before God alone.  What do you mix in your prayer?  There should be worship, petition, intercession, listening, praise and thanksgiving to name but a few things.  We should also pray in different ways, both individually and especially corporately.  This is why we need breadth of prayer.

In this association  between incense and prayer we also see something else.  They seem to be especially closely linked when prayer is being answered by God.

As I said in my post 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 – The Fragrance of Jesus that last week I smelled incense in the service at Maswell last week.  This was during the worship and God’s presence was really there.  One thing that I did not share though was that during the service we had prayed for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to be released, and I did feel that God was really happy with that.

Today, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani had been released and acquitted, that is God!  He is now back with his family, and with the other members of his church.  I praise God for his faithfulness, a reflection of God’s faithfulness to him!

Now I know that incense had two meanings, although I only at first recognised one fo them.  That Jesus was there among his people, and that all the prayers of all the church (including Maswell) for Pastor Youcef had come before God, and that the answer would soon be revealed!

WOW!!! WHAT A GOD!!! HE IS SO AMAZING!!!

Heavenly Father, help us to realise how highly you value prayer, and how it should be made up of different ingredients.  Help us to be prepared to give all we have in prayer as Jesus did, and help us to have balanced prayer lives.  And thank you that you do answer prayer, help us to be expectant to see your answers, praying in faith to see you act.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer Outlines with Added Value!

This is from my other blog, Kingdom Revival Prayer, how I am going to restart the prayer meeting outlines with added value from next Friday. I hope you will find them useful and I would love to hear your thoughts. God Bless, Theresa

Kingdom Revival Prayer

I have now had the Sabbatical from doing prayer meeting outlines.

I am going to restart writing outlines next Friday, 14th September 2012 putting on one outline for each week at present on each Friday.

I shall be adding a few extra features to the blog to add extra value, and to help you grow in prayer, both personally and corporately.  The basic outlines will still be tweeted each Friday with links to the blog page.

  • I shall write some prayer focused teaching based on the Word and Worship Foci, to give you more information and prayer-food.
  • I shall suggest different ways you can pray, this will broaden the breadth of your prayer.  There is a warning, when you try to pray in a new way you will find that things may seem artificial at first, but keep practicing, you will be able to pray that way naturally after developing your prayer…

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My Vision for Prayer #1 – Supporting Others in Prayer

This is the start of yet another occasional series of posts on my website.  In this series I shall be outlining the vision that God has given me for prayer in the UK.

In the near future I shall be setting up two ministries, Kingdom Prayer Ministries (KPM), and the Kingdom Prayer Leaders Network (KPLN).  In these posts I shall be sharing different aspects of those visions which will aim to grow and promote both personal (KPM) and corporate church based prayer (KPLN).  The ministries will provide teaching and consultancy, but one most important function, will be to connect churches, individuals and ministries to grow each other in prayer and to provide and encourage prayer support for other ministries, in whatever way I can.

A few weeks ago I got a request from Steve Mullins of Dry Bones Trust and Now Is The Time … to write a prayer partners page for his website.  If you do not know him, and have not heard of him then I recommend you to go and have a look at both websites.  He is an evangelist with a heart for the lost both in the UK and abroad, and in this country he knows that this is God’s prophetic time for the Christians in this land to rise up and to take hold of the promises that God has given for revival.

This request really encouraged me, so I said ‘Yes!’.  At first I thought it wouldn’t take too long, but when I started praying about it that I knew it was going to take longer than I thought.  Why?

  • Because I was writing the prayer outline for someone elses site, so I needed to be sure the outline would work and would fit in with the focus and style of the rest of the site.
  • Because unlike the prayer meeting outlines I write for Kingdom Revival Prayer that prayer outline was not going to be transitory aimed to be prayed through for one meeting, but to be used more than once and part of the site for a longer period.
  • Because I needed to be certain that the outline would work and flow naturally so anyone could use it for personal prayer, or for leading corporate prayer easily even if they have little experience.

So I sought God about the Scriptures to base the outline upon, as I find using Scriptures as a basis for prayer is very powerful, which I then applied to Steve and to the vision of the ‘Now Is The Time…’.  My next step was to pray through the whole outline to see how well it worked as a basis for prayer.  As the outline worked I then sent my first draft to Steve, and after a few changes it was ready!  If you want to see the final version here is the link, Prayer Partners.  Please use it for praying for Steve, and for other evangelists that you know, as the beauty of a prayer outline is that they are infinitely adaptable, and you are also praying in unity with other Christians even if the details are different, as you are asking about the same things.

This is just one way of supporting other ministries in prayer.  Other ways I shall seek to do this will be backstage prayer teams, other ways such as offering training tailored to supporting their work, raising up people to pray, or helping them to improve their own prayer network.  Basically, I will try to help in whatever way I can to support their ministry through prayer, by praying myself, and by raising up others to pray.

How has God called you to pray for, encourage and serve others that serve the Lord?  We are all called to full-time ministry for God and to be people of prayer, some get paid for it, some have no salary at all, and others have another employer.  How can we use our own gifts and callings to promote the gifts and callings of others?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this, or about anything else I have shared on this page. God Bless You All, Amen!

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 – The Fragrance of Jesus

‘But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.  For we are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.  Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not peddlers of God’s word life so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.’ (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NRSV)

All our senses are very informative, but also very subjective.  But more than that at times what we perceive is related to what God is revealing to us.  We see it in this Scripture, and I have seen this in action in the lives of two other people, and also this Sunday at church.  I shall explain.

On two occasions when I was working in Canaan Bookshop in Staines.  I was there with Andy Gilmour the manager when we had two alcoholics come into the shop, both had had some drink, but neither were too drunk that what they said would come from their imagination.  The first was an old gentleman and the second was a middle-aged lady, they came in at different times, and the incidents were separated by quite a months.

The old gentleman came in and said something like this, ‘Wow, its amazing! Can you smell it?’, ‘Smell what?’ me.  ‘Incense, beautiful incense!’ gentleman, and so the conversation went on for a few minutes, and he walked out if anything slightly happier than when he came in as God had touched him in some way, which was nothing to do with us!

On the second occasion, the lady came in, her manner and comments were the complete opposite to his.  ‘It smells horrible in here!’ lady.  Blank looks on our faces,  ‘Can you smell it?’ lady. ‘Smell what?’ one of us. ‘Its horrible, like death …’ lady.  Again this is not exactly what was said, but it gets over the gist of the conversation.

In both cases neither Andy nor I smelled a thing, but both the people smelled something and reacted to that smell.  The Scripture quoted above explains it, the man smelled life and he will give his life to Jesus at some point.  But the lady will not, she smelled death which mirrors the fact she is perishing, even to this day this saddens me, but I know that God is just and only he can see the end from the beginning.

On Sunday during the worship time at Maswell Park Church I smelled incense, for a while it was a very strong scent, then I kept getting whiffs of it.  It was like the finest incense I have ever had the pleasure to smell, but without the smoke!  I did not share it during the service, but afterwards I shared it with Daniel, the very gifted young man who had been leading worship, which I think encouraged him!

I shared it on Facebook on Sunday evening and an old friend of mine Mike, who also used to go to Maswell, shared that he had also experienced it once, and that was at Maswell too!  This encouraged me, as when I had mentioned it to my husband on the way home about it he said that he could not smell anything!  He did however comment on how good the worship was, and how he could happily have spent a longer in worship.

Lord Jesus, help us to be people of your presence.  To be so close to you that we both sense your fragrance and carry it with us wherever we go.  That your glory may be revealed, in your name we pray, Amen.