Good Morning Joy Bringing Stewards of God's Blessings! As you connect to God today and prepare your heart for worship tomorrow, remember how blessed you are and God's call to steward well all of His blessings and that includes bringing His love, joy, peace and hope alive. That begins on your knees and flows through your day as you join God in His purposes for you throughout the day. He has some great plans and joys for you to discover as you put flesh on Jesus and go live and love like Him today. Amen! May it be so in and through each of us and Your Church O Lord! Come and use us well! Amen.
I have several thoughts of what God wants to share with you today. If I wrote all He revealed, I'd be here half the day. He is so kind and loving and speaks to our hearts as we still ourselves at His feet, listen, receive and release in prayer. I just love the extended time He gives me each day to dwell in His presence! I'm praying you come to enjoy that too and pray for those who don't yet, to want to. It is such a sweet time and so profitable stewarding of our time before the day begins. I'm not sure why God awakens me so early but when I wake, I make my coffee and head to my prayer closet with the joy of getting to hang with God, hear Him and release informed prayers and praise. I feel like I get to experience, in some way, what it was like for Jesus to get up early and get alone with the Father and I love it! Typically my quiet time lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I know most of you can't do that, but I've found over my 22 years of doing this that I want to spend more time with Him and He speaks, encourages, corrects in love and just prepares me for the day in growing measure. And somehow, He redeems the time as I am more alert to doing what He is doing and what really matters and am able to choose peace and joy as He leads me through the day prepared. These blogs are just part of my journal notes as I share what I believe God has informed me to share with you and as prayer starters for our valued intercessors. I think I have been doing these for 2 and a half to three years now and God hasn't released me from them yet. I know sometimes it feels like I say the same things all the time and I wonder why God wants to keep sharing those, but I know we have to hear, process and practice things many times before they become part of our DNA. Plus, I am just sharing what I keep hearing: Keep working at living and loving like Jesus and growing into your created purposes. Love God and others. Dying to self, not leaning on your own understanding and following Jesus well comes to life the more you spend time with God. Thanks Lord!
I have a sheet of prayer starters for each day as I begin my quiet time. One day is missionaries, one day family, etc. Saturdays are focused on praying for Sundays worship services and for me as your shepherd to teach and lead like Jesus. At the top of the page are these two prayers, join me in them. I pray that we would grow as joy bringers and as followers of the Way. Isn't that our mission and it is a joy to follow Jesus and bring Him to life to those around us. I pray for our hearts to be ready to enter His courts with thanksgiving, to worship in Spirit and in Truth, and I pray that many more of you would be bold enough to speak up and share praises, God sightings, Kingdom stories, and needed requests. You can join me in praying for these things and for boldness to share among your friends. On brunch Sundays, like tomorrow, I pray that we would connect to newcomers well, invite them to join us and share God's love and our hope well. We are expecting some new guests tomorrow. Pray for all hindrances to their coming to be blocked and for open hearts to Jesus and our love. Harvest Prayer's revival blog below speaks more about being an intercessor. Check it out and pray through it.
What else did God say to me and wants me to remind you of and share? Well, how about you check out the attached devotionals below and talk to God about what He's wanting you to hear, understand and put into practice. Then ask for the "want to" to want to do what He reveals. Ask Him about who He wants you to process with too and do it. Charles Stanley starts us off with the reminder of God's promises that are always true and a reminder that God not only cares, but that He will do what He promises and we can always cling to and release those promises in prayer. He has great plans for you and is with you always. Be still and know! Be informed and go! The Upper Room reminds us that not matter how dark or misty life may seem, we know the Light of the world and He is always there, even when we can't sense it. PTL! Refocus on Him as you recount your blessings! And then add to that gratitude list. And The Word for You Today, reminds of stewarding all our blessings well and using the mind of Christ and wisdom God's given us to live this life well as we prepare for the next. Where's your treasure being invested? As a tither of time, talent and treasure, it can become difficult sometimes and we may question God about where are all these promised blessings. We may enviously compare with the Joneses who don't believe nor tithe and are not investing in eternity and want materialistic blessings when God wants what is best for us and gives those blessings to us. Seek first the Kingdom of God and someday you will look back and see God's hand of blessings were always upon you and leading you to His best. He always provides for our needs. That's a promise. He wants us to enjoy life and sometimes provides for our dreams and the desires of our hearts. But that peace and blessing of knowing joy comes alive as we invest time, talent and treasure in things that are most important. Life is a journey and God is with us always! May we choose well and be blessed beyond measure eternally! Choose joy today as you grow in trust and faithfulness and earnestly live this life for Christ. That is the best life we will be helped to live and come to really enjoy. Shalom! (seek it and know it!) Amen! This is the day the Lord has made and He made this day just for you and you for this day. Yes rejoice and follow well! God loves you! So do I! He's cheering you on and I'm praying for you (have been for 4 hours!) Shalom Shalom!
Harvest prayer Revival Blog:
January 27, 2024 - Praying for Revival (Day 27): Discerning the Times
Discernment is indispensable for prayer. Effective intercessors, in tune with God’s understanding, don’t waste their prayers. They get in the loop of Spirit-initiated intercession in such ways that their prayers help God’s “kingdom come and will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Do you know what is happening in our nation right now? Are you praying rightly? God has given you what you need in His Word to be like the men of Issachar who “understood the times” and “knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron. 12:32). God’s Word is not given merely to help you devotionally, but to equip you for insightful, discerning intercession that moves heaven and earth!
This type of prayer starts in the heavens, passes through the discerning intercessor, and returns to the Throne. Such prayer is effective because it is initiated by God Himself. God loves to answer His own desires.
We are entering days that we have never seen in our lifetime. Evil days. Critical days. This calls for a new level of intercession. We need men and women who see ahead and pray fervently, faithfully, and effectively.
God is not unaware of these days. He has been navigating His Church, with all our weaknesses, through the darkness of this world for decades. The gates of hell will never prevail against His agenda. He can make you an intercessor who sees ahead and helps heaven and earth move for His glory.
Lord, thank You for Your Word that equips Your people with discernment and an understanding of the times. May the spiritual leaders in my church grow deeper in their lives of prayer and their understanding of God’s purposes. Inspire me with Spirit-led intercession that will bring Your Kingdom here on earth. Show me, and my church, how to engage in higher levels of intercession that will engage Your heart for this lost and dark world.
Pr a y e r Po i n t s:
• Praise God for His Word that equips us with discernment and an understanding of the times.
• Pray for spiritual leadership in your church to grow deeper in their prayer and understanding of God’s purposes.
• Pray that God will inspire you with Spirit-led intercession that brings His Kingdom here on earth.
• Pray that you and your church will engage in a new level of intercession that rightly reflects God’s heart for a lost and dark world.
• Pray for the discernment you need to pray faith-filled prayers that move heaven and earth for God’s glory.
--Adapted from Day 27 by Bill Elliff: Do It Again, Lord (30 Days of Hope-Filled Prayer for Revival) compiled and edited by Carol Madison. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Charles Stanley: Guarantees
Upper Room: Always Present
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. - Revelation 22:16 (NIV)
It had been raining steadily for five days, and the local forecast was predicting another two days of equally bleak conditions. I found myself increasingly unmotivated to do much of anything, especially when it involved going outside. Taking out the trash, driving to work, letting the dog out — everything was a wet, depressing chore that sapped my energy and dampened my disposition.
Having not seen the sun in nearly a week, I decided to head to the gym in hopes that some physical activity might change my outlook. While driving through a particularly strong downpour, the rain suddenly stopped, the clouds broke, and the brilliant sun shone through long enough to change my perspective.
In that moment, I was able to recognize that though the storm had been shrouding the sun, it was never gone. So it is with God who, as the Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 31, will always be with us, never leaving or forsaking us.
Too often, we are so focused on worldly cares that we forget that even in the midst of our storms, Jesus is still “the bright morning star” promised in scripture. It is good to remember that clouds cannot stop the light of the sun; they can only obscure it for a time. In a similar way,
Christ never leaves us. He is with us through it all, ordering our days and preparing straight paths for when the clouds lift.
Thank you, God, for your faithfulness every day, no matter the storm surrounding us. Amen.TWFYT: