Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Praying the Perfect Will of God

Jesus promises us that anything we ask in his name, we will receive, if we ask in faith.

John, by the Holy Spirit, in Chapter 1, verse 15, says likewise, "And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him."

But how can we know we are praying according to the will of God?

Here are several verses straight from the Word of God that you can pray over yourself, your family, your people, your church, the Church, the nations, etc. They are his words, praying his will.


That from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. ‭‭(Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

That Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. ‭‭(Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

That your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

That you may have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

That you may experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

That you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬)

Holy Spirit will pray for us when we don’t know what to say (Romans 8:26)

Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. ‭‭(2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:1‬)

Father, may your name be kept holy. (Luke‬ ‭11:2‬)

May your Kingdom come soon. (Luke‬ ‭11:2‬)

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. (Luke‬ ‭11:3)

Don’t let us yield to temptation. (Luke‬ ‭11:4‬)‬‬

My spirit is praying. (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:14‬) 

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. (James‬ ‭5:13‬)‬‬

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬)‬‬

So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. (Matthew‬ ‭9:38‬)

We pray that you will become mature. (2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:9‬)

Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go. (Jeremiah‬ ‭42:3‬)

May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you. (2 Timothy‬ ‭4:22‬)

May the Lord bless you and protect you.
‭‭(Numbers‬ ‭6:24‬)

‭‭May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. (Numbers‬ ‭6:25)

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. (Numbers‬ ‭6:26‬)

Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, “May God’s peace be on this house.” (Luke‬ ‭10:5‬)

May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. (Jude‬ ‭1:2‬)

May the God of peace make you holy in every way. May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23‬)

Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. (Hebrews 13:20-21a)

May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. (Hebrews‬ ‭13:21‬b)‬‬

Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus. (Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭4:30‬)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Five Years Fallow (Six Years Since)

I looked at the clock about a hundred times yesterday. Suffering from PTSD means that "flashbacks" aren't so much that, as they are "affect-your-present-realities". Yesterday I went to my grandparents' house to help out the family as we see my grandpa through some pretty scary health situations, dealing with another family crisis and trying to be strong and helpful; it was also the six year anniversary of Holly's death. I watched the clock, remembering the day like I was back in the cold halls of that hospital. 

10:25am: I sat in a rocking chair at my grandparents' house; my "watch" just having begun while my sick granddad laid sleeping, breathing heavily and the DVD menu music of Fiddler on the Roof playing on repeat. I wasn't connected enough to the present to change it. We were getting the final report from the neurologist saying there was complete brain death.

11ish: I was sent to Walmart to pick up prescriptions for the sickling and groceries for the caretakers. While I was out, I texted my people asking for prayer. There was pain medication all over the place at their house, and I was so scared of being tempted. (I feel vulnerable sharing that text below with the interwebs, but it's true. It's confession. And it's what enabled the incredible prayers and community support I got back.) We were meeting with the ICU attending physician discussing whether to terminate life support and call in palliative care. One of the most surreal conversations of my life, apart from the one we'd had the night before about funeral homes and burial places.

12onthedot: We ate my recipe for Taco soup for lunch, aware of the pain Granddad was in and eating quietly for the most part. Finally after finishing up hand-washing all the dishes from lunch, I was sent to Walmart again to buy some hilarious shorts for an 87-year-old man to be wearing but went on that mission like I was sent to buy a tank of oxygen. The men stayed at the hospital while my grandma, mom, and I went to buy clothes for Holly to wear at her own funeral and frame for a nice photo of her. We talked fabrics, colors, undergarments, make-up, and hair products. We went to Church's chicken to peckishly eat some lunch. The surreal had morphed into the practical, and then to the physical. 

2:something: The home health nurse came over and after a review of his vitals, and a call to his primary doctor, instructions were handed out: back to the hospital with him. It was his third time in as many days. We brought flowers for the ICU nurses who had all been so great, and then we all made our calls. Palliative care was coming soon and would explain to us that once life support was terminated, there was more than one possible outcome. This is where they specialized and wanted us to know our options for facilities and financial options, should Holly remain in a vegetative state for any length of time.

3:15: Having finally notified all the right uncles and getting everyone dressed and ready to go, we loaded up to go to the hospital. The timing was uncanny. They herded us like despondent cattle into a different ICU room while they removed wires and tubes and "cleaned her up just a bit". We waited one hundred years in those ten minutes. 

3:30: Prayed up, unloaded, and walker-ed in to the ER, we had checked in and were waaaaaiiiitttting. I noticed my mom's face drain of its color as she looked at something on the wall behind me. She mouthed "3:33" at me. They let us back in her room, and we sat staring at her for all of eternity -- the room finally silent after we had been listening to respirators and monitors and IV machines for days on end. Her chest rose and fell a few times ... I think. At 3:33pm, the doctor checked her feet reflexes, her pupils, and her pulse and then whispered, "3:33" toward the nurse documenting in the doorway.  

That was a stressful and traumatic day six years ago, and I've written about it many times on this blog. (In fact, it's why I started this blog - as a release valve for the pressurized PTSD and grief expanding within me.) But yesterday's trauma and stress were only matched by the hope and joy that Jesus wove throughout the day in so many forms. That's particularly what I wanted to share this year... on this, the annual post about the day.

Around five o'clock yesterday afternoon, my mom and I went to the cemetery to visit Holly's grave site, to visit Holly - however you see that. This pulled us both into the present, the very real reality of death. She is buried in the plot directly behind my Grandparents Wolfe, so my mom and I sat on their headstone, facing Holly's. I turned on Vertical Church Band's "Not For a Moment" and we worshiped a constant, only good, sovereign, faithful God who never once left us, even when we couldn't (can't) see him or hear him.

We both cried. I sang and lifted my arms into the wind which felt so intensely like the Spirit was among us, and Mom prayed over us. I went and sat on top of the place where Holly's actually buried right beneath and noticed grass had finally covered it. I laughed at the enemy. Despite watering, tending, planting, and praying... the spot was barren and fallow for over five years. And now new life has sprung up there in that grass. Death doesn't get the last word. Not ever.

Life does. Grace does. God does.

So precious reader, if you are in the space of death reigning or fallow ground winning, I pray these words over you today: In Jesus' name, life wins. Grace wins. God holds all the victory. By the power of the Spirit, may he bring us to a place of worship, even among the dead things, and may we notice new life when it finally comes by his gracious hand. Amen.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Weapons of our Warfare

The weapons of our warfare are: the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, the word of God, the Holy Spirit, and worship. - Bill Johnson

2 Corinthians 10 says that the weapons of our warfare have divine power to destroy every stronghold raised up against a knowledge of God.  Everything that would encamp between a true affectionate knowledge of who your God is can be destroyed with the weapons of warfare provided by Him.

He wants us to know him. How precious is that? He wants us to know who he truly is - his name, his character, his love - so much that he provides weapons against any offensive who would try to raise up anything in his way.

I. The Name of Jesus

There is life in the name of Jesus.
"but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." {John 20:31}

There is covering in - a baptism into - the name of Jesus.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. {Acts 2:38}

There is healing in Jesus' name.
[Peter preaches]... And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. {Acts 3:12}

II. The Blood of Jesus 

There is full cleansing of sin and iniquity in the blood of Jesus.
 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. {1 John 1:7}

There is full reconciliation to God in the blood of Jesus.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. {Ephesians 2:13}

There is ratified covenant with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because of Jesus' blood.
...and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. {Hebrews 12:24}

III. The Holy Spirit 

There is power in the Holy Spirit.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. {Acts 1:8}

The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. 
...and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. {Romans 5:5}

By the Holy Spirit, we prophesy truth and it is carried forward. 
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. {2 Peter 1:21}

IV. The Word of God 

The Word of God is alive and relevant and discerning.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. {Hebrews 4:12}

The Word of God and prayer in the Spirit are our two offensive weapons, sanctified by God.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. {Ephesians 6:16-18a}

It is by the Word of God that we live. 
But he [Jesus] answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” {Matthew 4:4, in battle with Satan against temptation}

V. Worship 

God is our worship, and the source of all power. 
He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. {Deuteronomy 10:21}

Worship changes spiritual realities that become physical realities. 
And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. {2 Chronicles 20:20-22}

Calling on the name of the LORD in worship defeats our enemies.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. {Psalm 18:3}

This list is by no means exhaustive, but let that encourage you. Your God is calling out to you, to come home: to knowing who he truly is, to walking in light, to being reconciled, to defeating the enemy of your soul. And as he always does, he has made a way.