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She Planted, She Watered - Goodbye Old Friend 



God laid an old friend on my heart from 26 years ago in February. We worked together and she encouraged me in the Lord. I tried to locate her through Facebook. She did not have a page, but I remembered her husband's name and found his. I attempted to make contact through him in February, but his page had a lot of private settings. I saw from his desperate public plea for prayer that she had been readmitted to the hospital. I prayed for her from a distance.

My connection did not go through until yesterday. I learned that she passed away just this Saturday. I'm sad that I didn't get to let her know that her words to me did not return void. She wasn't perfect and had a few colorful sayings in life, but she gave what she had in Godly encouragement. She took me under her wing in the workplace and she was a friend. Just about every day we would leave work and I would say, "See you tomorrow!" She would respond with one of her little sayings,  "Lord willing that the crick don't rise." It's been years since we've seen each other, but God laid her on my heart in a time of her deepest need. I hope my prayers brought her some relief. Janice, the "crick" has risen and the Lord has allowed it to be. I will see you again in Heaven! I will pray for the brokenhearted man you left behind. 

You never know who you are depositing God into. You may never know the impact your planted seeds may have, no matter how little. You may instead hold the watering can. Shower those that come across your path with God's love . The seeds may not have begun to sprout, but they are waiting for you to water them. No matter what people look or sound like, keep planting those seeds and watering those souls, leaving the harvest to God. It's truly all for His glory. 

Thank you Janice for your friendship and your encouragement. You held a watering can and you didn't hold back.

Bulk up the Church? 



Bulk up the Church?

I woke up this morning in the middle of a dream and I was prompted to get up and blog it.
 
In my dream I was invited to attend a church committee meeting. I was seated at a large circle of tables and there were approximately 40-50 people in attendance. The group appeared to be comprised of men and women over the age of 50. This was an African American church and I was the only Caucasian person in the room. I do not believe that color has anything to do with the message in this dream, however I think the age of the group may. We were eating a dinner that had been served to us and the conversation was a round table discussion entitled “Bulk up (or fill up) the Church.” They were tossing around various ideas for bringing people into their Sunday services.  Their ideas included family fun days, fliers, door-to-door invitations, mailers, a weekly dinner night, etc….. They were all good ideas to invite people to come to their church.
 
As I listened to the discussion escalate into a flurry of ideas with an increase in volume from time to time, my mind began to ponder the title of the meeting: “Bulk up the Church.” A momentary pause took place at which time I asked, “By show of hands, how many ministry leaders are in this room?” One lady across the room raised her hand. The Pastor was also in the room, so he counted as a 2nd ministry leader. So then I asked, “By show of hands, how many of you are actively and consistently serving a ministry in your church?” Two other hands were raised. This quickly told me that out of 40-50 concerned members of the church, only 8% of them were actually “serving” or “functioning” in the church. This percentage was mostly likely going to be lower if the entire church was polled.
 
I then told them that it occurred to me that the meeting had been mislabeled. In reality what they were attempting to do was to “fatten up” the church, which apparently had already been accomplished. I asked, “What about making disciples? What about iron sharpening iron? What about the older teaching the younger. Who is teaching your Sunday School classes? Are kids teaching kids because there are no adults willing to step into a place of leadership? Who will serve in men’s or women’s ministries? What about your teenagers?”
 
Then I explained that when you have only 8% of a congregation serving or in leadership (which should also be a place of service not delegation) you have a “fat” church. They are not exercising their faith and flexing their spiritual muscles, they are simply a house full of sucklings. They come in like puppies and kittens at feeding time and leave when they are filled only to return again next week, if all is right with the world, the weather is good and they make it out of bed on time. They are all different ages and levels of spiritual maturity, but none the less they come to be served. A congregation without active, serving people cannot handle an influx of more people. If you want to bulk up your church, then get your people off their pew and get them to function as God intended. There are no age limits on service. The young are not too young, and the older generations are not supposed to retire from doing the work of God. When the church is flexing its muscles, then it is strong enough to help the world around it and invite more into their house.
 
I woke up.
 
Maybe this is for you, the reader. If you are a fat puppy or kitten, maybe it’s time to get up and function. Maybe this is for your church leadership to consider. I don’t know who it’s for, but I know God wouldn’t let me just roll over and go back to sleep. (yep, there’s a whole new message in that statement about the church needing to wake up, but we won’t go there today) So what does serving look like? Do you need to go start a new ministry to run? No, not unless you are called by God to do so. But look around at the ministries currently in place. How can you plug in?
 
Here are some practical ideas:
Offer to help in the church office copying and stuffing envelopes, etc
Bless your pastors with cards, gifts (they NEED encouragement)
Greeter Ministries always need volunteers
Parking lot attendants
Set up tables and chairs for a weekly meetings
Bake cookies for a hospitality part of a ministry
Arrive early and make coffee and set up hospitality tables
Nursery
Sunday school teachers & assistants
Kids church
Youth group meeting mentors, chaperones
Choir
Mentors for men or women younger in the faith
Big brother or sister programs
Clothing closet
Food Pantry
 
If you cannot find a place to plug in, seek counsel from your church leadership. Don’t assume everything is covered just because you don’t see a need. Your current church leadership is probably more overwhelmed than you know.
 
Be blessed to be a blessing!
Sandy Harless

Praying for Lionel 

Praying for Lionel

This is a testimony of how God works.
I have a friend who is undergoing chemo. She called the day before and asked if I could take her if the weather became unmanageable for her father to drive from across town. Monday is usually my music studio day and I had just received a text from my producer that he needed the day to work on stuff. Instant free time - I was supposed to go. It would be good to catch up with my friend during the long boring infusion and I could pray for her while I was with her!

My friend went in for step one. While I waited for her, a woman came in and sat beside me. We began a bit of small talk and she mentioned church, weather, etc. I asked if she liked contemporary Christian music. She replied that she did, and I happened to have a copy in my purse which I gave to her. She said something about having been down lately and maybe this is just what she needed. Moments later a couple walked in she was waiting for and she exclaimed, "here's my children." I assumed it was her son and daughter coming to support her. She was thanking me when my friend came out. We were headed to another office to see the doctor for step two. I told the lady that I might see her again when we returned. 

We made our way back to the infusion clinic and settled into a curtained cubicle. The nurse explained that the hospital pharmacy was backed up quite a bit because every patient there was receiving chemo. This was going to be a long visit, which was fine because I had the time that God set aside! As my friend and I chit chatted with the nurse and with each other, I realized that the woman I met in the waiting room and the couple were in the cubicle next to us. They talked some, and then got quiet. I hadn't built enough of a rapport with her to stick my head around the curtain and say, "hey, how's it going?." or so I thought......

The time came for me to leave to pick up my kids from school. My friend's husband would come from work in 30 minute to pick her up and she was doing very well. I gathered my things and turned to leave when I noticed that the cubicle next to me contained the man from the couple earlier. He was reclined, covered up and sleeping. Hmmm, I thought.... I guess I was wrong. When I entered the waiting room, I saw the two women sitting together talking. I waved from across the room to which the woman I gave a CD to said, "Oh no, honey, you are not getting out of here without a hug!" She hugged me tight and thanked me again and said, "God bless ya!" I said "God bless you too!" The woman sitting with her immediately stood up for a hug as well with swollen red eyes full of tears that streamed down her face. I hugged her too.

I then asked, "is that your brother in there?" She replied, "No, that's my husband." I said "Oh, well what is his name, I will be praying for him." She said "Lionel." as she hung on desperate for comfort. I felt the urge to pray there, so I began to pray over Lionel with her and the other woman joined in. I was in a hurry, and didn't want to be late picking up my children, but God allowed just enough time for a waiting room prayer. 

Not getting their names (that's a rush for ya) I bid them goodbye promising to pray for Lionel. As I walked down the hall, I felt instantly sick to my stomach like I was going to lose my cookies. I wondered.... is this a glimpse of what Lionel is feeling? Is this absorbed emotion from his wife? Is this how she feels watching her man go through chemo? I tend to be a sponge. I told myself, "shake it off.... shake it off.... you are not sick." Then I asked God to help me remember Lionel's name and to bring him to mind when he needed prayer.

The following day I decided to tackle the kids bedrooms and get them cleaned out and cleaned up. I went through every toy piece by piece and decided which was staying and which was going somewhere else. This is tedious when the toys include legos, matchbox cars, tiny plastic animals, dolls, and their accessories. As I sorted the box of small toys and matchbox cars in my son's room, I picked up a car ready to toss it into the "going away" pile. I happen to glance at it a 2nd time and saw that the Nascar replica had the name LIONEL on it's hood and side! Are you kidding me?? I instantly began to pray for Lionel from the day before. I wondered how his body was handling the effects of chemo. I thanked God for the reminder.... and marveled at how He used a task I did not want to do to remind me that He is still there, still listening, still answering. If God is reminding me to pray for Lionel, there is purpose in it! I hope I hear from them. But if I don't I know I was in the right place at the right time even if just for a small rushed prayer with two ladies.

You just never know what God will bring your way, or how it will come. Be ready! And say a prayer for Lionel and for my friend!

EXCLUDE-sive Christianity 


And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least
of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 
Matt 25:40 (KJV)
 
EXCLUDE-sive Christianity
 
I recently found myself in a conversation that caused my inner spirit to RISE UP. I have a propensity to be drawn to the underdog, and nothing can incite me more than when I sense a lack of mercy & compassion. Dare I judge too harshly? Because the bible clearly says that I will be judged according to how I judge others. (check out these scriptures: Matthew 7:1-2 and Luke 6:37) I am not perfect, and I know I make mistakes, but I feel I must say something. Here goes:
 
As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ
and a representative of our Lord and Savior
you do not have the right to be
EXCLUDE-sive
(yes I made up a word)
to WHO you will minister to
 
  • Who do you consider to be “the least of these?”
  • Better yet, who do you consider to be lower than the least of these? 
  • Who do you consider to be beneath you? 
  • Who do you feel is unworthy of hearing the gospel? 
  • Who have you deemed beyond hope? 
  • Who is steeped too deeply in sin for you to reach out and touch them for fear of getting your hands dirty? (personal safety is another matter)
 
We all have different cultural exposures and our personal guidelines will vary from person to person. But, I would be saddened to believe that, at my lowest point in my life, the individual who fell below your personal scale of acceptance could have been me.
 
Jesus himself did not despise anyone. In Mark 2:17, when asked why he would dine with sinners he responded, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
 
Jesus did not condemn those he came in contact with who were sick in body or living in sin. In His mercy Jesus forgave sin. He healed the sick without taking inventory of a person’s life. He didn’t pre-qualify someone for His time, His love, or His ministry. He was in constant communion with the Father and did what God told him to do. (Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
 
Here in the book of Matthew in Chapter 25, Jesus tells us that we will be held accountable to how we treat each other.
 
Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
 
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
 
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
 
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
 
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
 
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
 
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
 
Stepping off my soapbox, my point is this: We cannot disqualify any person for the opportunity of salvation, healing, wholeness, hope, forgiveness, restoration, another chance, or God’s mercy. We do not know the beginning and the end. We do not know the calling God has on an individual’s life, and what He will allow them to walk through before they walk into their destiny in Christ. We have not been given the task to be judge, jury and executioner, but instead we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are to walk into the places He would walk and we are to reach out to the people He would reach out to, without exception. We are not the people changers. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. We are the light bearers, and the light is needed most in the dark.
 
Consider this:  The person needing God’s grace to find them could be your very own child during a difficult time in their life that you may be completely unaware of. Would you want your child to be disqualified or would you want someone to see them with God’s eyes?
 
Peace to you all on this journey of ministry and “trying not to miss the mark.” I pray that you will examine your heart and take it to God in prayer. Be in communion with the Father and do what He tells you to do.
 
Blessings,
Sandy
 
 

Backyard Revival 

Backyard Revival 
“Bringing the Church to Denny & Irene”
It began when Irene posted pictures of the new ramp installed for Denny’s wheelchair on the back of her home. Her husband Denny had fought and won a long battle with cancer only to then be stricken with a virus. The treatment for the virus left him blind in both eyes and caused dangerous brain bleeds. It was determined that to treat the virus would be more damaging than to not treat. Denny had become very weak and was not able to come to church. When I saw the pictures of her ramp against the canvass of her backyard God gave me a vision of her yard filled with people in worship.
 
How it rolled out
On Monday June 30th I emailed Irene and asked if she and Denny would be up for a worship concert in her backyard. She could invite family and friends and we would in essence “bring the church” to them. I wasn’t sure this would fit in with their lives and I didn’t want to intrude. She was elated! I was leaving for vacation on July 11th and felt an urgency to do this soon. I asked about Saturday, July 5th. She was concerned that attendance would be low being a holiday weekend. I assured her that even if that was the case, this was for her and Denny first and foremost. She agreed to Saturday and the planning began.  On such short notice I was able to pull together a small band (Steve on keys, Rick on percussion, and myself on acoustic guitar) and a fellow worshipper, Joanna, to join me and people were responding to the invitation to attend complete with plans for a covered dish dinner!
 
WOW, What a worship practice! Is God preparing us for something big? Revival?
On Wednesday July 2nd we had band practice for Sunday’s service. Steve, Joanna and I were all on the team for this week. We occasionally have times of “worship” on Wednesday nights, but for the most part we are usually working out technical details of a 6 song set with 7-8 musicians and 4 vocalists in harmony in an hour and a half. Something happened….. we were practicing the song Holy Spirit (You are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere, Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by Your presence Lord). Our worship leader, Matt, stepped down off the platform and kept playing. The band seemed to swell in the Spirit, our singing transitioned from singing the lyrics to a love song to God, one of our guitarists in a loud voice called out the name of Jesus several times, and the vocalists love song transitioned to a heart cry. I dropped the microphone from my lips to my side for this had become between me and God. I began to cry out for mercy; on my family, on my community, on my country. I sang, I wept, I prayed…. I asked loudly for revival of my own heart and spirit and for my family, my city, my country.
 
God speaks
God asked me a question. “What are you doing to bring this revival? Perhaps it doesn’t look like what you think it does. Revival is not an event, it’s a heart change and it begins inside of individuals. Revival doesn’t need a platform or a stage. It can happen in someone’s backyard. Some people might come to a backyard that won’t enter a church. Others may not come the backyard, but will hear My message through the worship in the atmosphere. So what are you going to do?” I put my microphone back in its clip and I lay face down on the altar and submitted myself to God’s will. I told him I wanted to do what He asked and I was laying down my pre-conceived ideas and expectations. I asked for His strength and leading and for Him to open the doors of opportunity. Thirty minutes over schedule, when worship wound down we all shared what God was speaking to us. Revival was the main theme. We believe God is calling out to us even louder than we are calling out to Him.
 
Saturday, July 5th with Denny and Irene
The weather was absolutely perfect! The sun was shining and the temperature was unseasonably mild (God knows how sensitive I am to heat). A good number of people began to show up and set up and love on each other in fellowship. There was more than enough food for everyone to enjoy. The worship time was amazing and afterward we circled Denny and Irene, laid hands on them both and had an inspiring time of prayer. It never ceases to amaze me to see the body of Christ come together, even if it is to simply bless two people. I am humbled whenever I can be a part of that.
 
God moves us in church on Sunday!
Sunday’s service sky-rocketed in worship! People were coming to the altar in large numbers to pray. Others were singing and weeping in the pews. Any schedule or lunch plans were laid down as Heaven touched earth for a while.
 
Denny went home to be with God
Two weeks later, we returned from a week at the beach with family on the afternoon of July 19th. When the dust settled from unpacking I sat down to check out Facebook and learned that Denny has passed away that morning. He had left his earthly vessel to receive his healing in the glorious presence of His Father God and His King Jesus! We were hoping for a miracle on this side of eternity, but what Denny received is better than we can ever imagine. One of the songs I sang for Denny by his request was I Can Only Imagine. I immediately thought about that song and wondered what it was like for Denny to step into Heaven. I am saddened for Irene’s loss and I can’t imagine her pain. But for Denny, his suffering is over and he is made more whole than he has ever been!
 
God doesn’t always use a flaming bush to get your attention.
So why write this post? To give you an example of how God communicates. It’s not always a voice in a flaming bush. What has God deposited in your heart? What questions has he asked you? Don’t take too long, or it may be too late. It may seem like a small thing, or it may seem too big. It may feel awkward or even uncomfortable, but I know if God is asking you to do it, He will equip you and give you what you need.
 
I’m ready for backyard revival….will you partner with me?
Maybe you are called to host a night of worship in your backyard. After all, it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. Maybe you are a gifted musician and you want to join me. Let me be clear. This is not about fame or fundraising. This is not a “paid gig” and it is not a time of raising money for any organization. There will be no love offering collected or expected. There will be nothing for sale. This is about worship. This is about making a time and a place for God to revive hearts.
 
Maybe God is calling you to several things, or something different entirely. That’s between you and God. But I would urge you to be open to listen and be submitted and willing to move when He asks you to.
 
Let’s open a discussion here.
Maybe someone will read this that you can partner with. Maybe this post is a bridge or a conduit for God to accomplish his will and move mightily through His people. Leave a comment in the comments section below and start the conversation!

Let us pray.... while there is still time 


Let Us Pray... while there is still time.
Prayer is something that we as believers should be doing on a daily basis and yet can so easily be pushed down the list of "things to do." We live our lives in a flurry of hustle and bustle and fall into bed exhausted each night. We jump up at the sound of the alarm only to begin the flurry once more. We are reminded to pray when we are caught off guard by a crisis or a personal need, but daily prayer can either become numb through ritualistic formula prayer or simply pushed aside. Has it occurred to you that we could be running out of time for prayer?

No one knows when, but a time is coming when God will bring judgment on the earth. For some, it will be too late for prayer. 

Psalm 32:6-11 NLT 
Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
 
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
 
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!


God promises to save his people, but he also commands us to act right. We should not have to be controlled or manipulated into good character, we should just do it. We, as believers, live in a glass house. Living justly releases us from guilt and we can therefore rejoice, be glad and shout for joy! But what about the world around us? What about the ones who don't know God and are living in the flurry? We have a responsibility to pray on behalf of them, that they may come to know God. We have to turn from our own "stuff that hinders" and pray for our family, our country, our world so that others will have the chance to find freedom in Christ. I could veer off here on so many side notes, but I feel God wants me to stick to the one idea: "We are running out of time."

He said in His word that He would restore our land. 

2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 
 
The Lord is not far away, He is right here. He lives among us and He waits for your prayers (heart-to-heart conversations). He is not shocked at your confessions, He is not overwhelmed at your frequency, and He has not put a cap on the magnitude of our requests. He is not a giant dictator waiting for you to make a mess so He can punish you for it. He is warm and loving and wants to bring you peace and comfort. He is not just a 'mighty' Savior, He is the ONLY Savior. He takes great pleasure in you and sings and dances over you!

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
 

You may truly "get this." But will you pray for the rest while there is still time?

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Love letter from God 

Love letter from God
My Child... 
You may not know me, but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1 
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2 
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3 
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31 
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27 
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28 
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28 
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12 
You were not a mistake,for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16 
I determined the exact time of your birthand where you would live.
Acts 17:26 
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14 
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13 
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6 
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me.
John 8:41-44 
I am not distant and angry,but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16 
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1 
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1 
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11 
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48 
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17 
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33 
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3 
My thoughts toward you are countlessas the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18 
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40 
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5 
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41 
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3 
If you seek me with all your heart.


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"A Fight to the Finish with the Armor of God" 

A Fight to the Finish with the Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV, The Message)
God is strong, and He wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Our struggle is not against the people you can see, but against the rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is a mighty weapon not to be taken lightly. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your friends and family. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
 
The Armor of God 

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes, so that when evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.

Picture yourself putting on:

1. The Helmet of Salvation
My acceptance of Jesus as Lord Savior Son of God saves me. John 3:16 tell me so. Have you accepted Jesus?...Really? Re-claim and celebrate your salvation. Let Christ give you his mind and thoughts

2. The Breastplate of Righteousness
Get right with God by confessing any sin. Ask Jesus to make you more like Himself.

3. The Belt of Truth
Ask Jesus to show you the truth about yourself and about God. Ask Jesus to help you know if you are hearing His voice or the voice of another.

4. The Sandals of Peace
Exhale fully and breathe in the Peace of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you anyone you need to forgive and get right with. Forgive them and seek your forgiveness.

5. The Shield of Faith
Picture yourself with a mighty shield that stops doubt and temptation right in their tracks. Remember, your faith can begin really small, God will grow it for you.

6. The Sword of the Spirit
The Word of God found right inside your bible. Read it, and remember as much as you can. Take the sword to cut yourself free from anything that restricts you from living in faith and health. Praise God for His Word, in the Bible and in life.

7. Pray in the Spirit
Let the Holy Spirit lead you in worshipping God Pray for your friends and family and for others God brings to mind.

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Why Should I Pray? 

Why Should I Pray?
"We got to pray if we gonna make it today!" (M.C. Hammer) Beginning your day with prayer invites God into the details. Ending your day with prayer gives you an opportunity to be thankful for His presence. But there is all that space in between. That space could be filled with busyness, celebration, trials, pain, etc....and all of these are an opportunity to talk to God. The bible tells us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) That simply means that the line between you and God should remain open at all times.

There are many ways to pray, one not super-ceding the next. There are no special formulas or fancy words that evoke the response of God. Remember, God is looking into your heart, He is not judging your diction. Take the time to just be with God, for He knows you intimately, and His desire is for YOU to know Him. It is in the knowing that we find a love that is truthful and honest. You cannot kindle a friendship if you never talk to your friend. It is the same in your relationship with your Creator. Talk to Him, give Him a chance to answer you in such minute details that you cannot mistake His active presence in your life.
  • 1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
  • Deuteronomy 6:25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.
So maybe you think you aren't righteous enough (or good enough) for YOUR prayers to be heard. In the old testament, man's righteousness was based on how well he followed every detail of the laws God put in place to keep us from stumbling all over ourselves in sin. This was impossible for man, so God made a way through His Son that we could become righteous through faith.
 
  • Romans 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
  • Romans 3:21,22 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe

Be careful not to seek only the righteousness, but to seek the One who provided it for us.
  • Matthew 6:33 But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness,and all these things will be given to you as well.
The question now would be, Do you believe in God? Do you believe He sent his Son here to save you from a forever without Him? Give God the opportunity to commit Himself to you for eternity and begin your journey of prayer with:

The Prayer That Changes Everything

Dear God, I want to admit to You that I haven't always done things the way You would like to see me do them. At times I have done things that I knew to be very wrong. I understand this is sin to You and I want to say I'm sorry for every time I have chosen my way, or my own will opposed to Yours. I know now that those choices have only put more space between You and me, and that is not my desire. I do believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me.

Jesus, I would like to ask You to fill my heart and come into my life as my Lord and my Salvation. I am committing and entrusting my life to You. Please give me the desire to be what You want me to be, and the desire to do what You want me to do. Thank You for choosing to die for my sins, for Your free pardon and forgiveness, for Your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank you for choosing to be my personal Savior. Amen.


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; all things become new.2 Corinthians 5:17

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Pray The Lord's Prayer over your loved ones 


Pray The Lord's Prayer over your loved ones
One of the most beautiful prayers - the Lord's Prayer - may sound simple or traditional, but His prayer has profound and lasting impact, which is fresh and new every day. For a fresh insight into the depth of this prayer and God's goodness you can pray the words of the Lord's Prayer, inserting your name or that of your spouse, friend, child, or parent. You are a mighty spiritual warrior in God's kingdom. The enemy would like nothing more than to keep you prayerless. Instead, pray this prayer for those you care about:

* Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored in ______'s life. (Desire for your loved ones to be honored, made holy, and cherished through the power of honoring and fearing God. When they hallow God's name in their life that attitude will spill over into their relations with Others.)

* May Your kingdom come soon in ______'s life. (When a person seeks first the kingdom of God, then all else in life is placed in the right order. When God is in control of lives, children, careers, churches, then there will be direction in prayers, thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and attitudes.)

* May Your will be done in ______'s life on earth, just as it is in Heaven. (God's perfect will for your loved one is their salvation in Christ Jesus. In saving us, God changes us, making us new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). Then He transforms us to live in His will on earth.)

* Give ______ the food he/she needs for today. (Daily bread for both spiritual and physical beings cannot be old, stale stuff from yesterday or a half-baked loaf from tomorrow that isn't ready yet. God's grace is sufficient to meet all our needs - one day at a time. When we come to Him in prayer He meets our needs daily. He feeds us the bread of His Word and He provides for all our physical needs as well.)

* And forgive ______, just as he/she has forgiven those who have sinned against him/her. (Forgiving one another opens you up to receive forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an option. Jesus states it plainly, If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matt. 6:14-15)).

* And don't let ______ yield to temptation, but deliver him/her from the evil one. (Apply the blood of Jesus in prayer for protection over your loved ones. The blood protects us from the sin of building walls that hinder and even destroy relationships.)

* For in ______'s life You will build Your kingdom and manifest Your glory forever and ever. Amen. (The battle has already been won on the cross where Christ destroyed the works of the devil. Satan, sin, and death have been defeated. Your battle is prayer that claims, establishes, and overcomes the enemy as he seeks to rob, kill, and destroy the Abundant life in Christ (John 10:10). Pray for that abundant life of God's kingdom in the lives of your loved ones.

Prayer minus explanation:

* Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored in ______'s life.
* May Your kingdom come soon in ______'s life. 
* May Your will be done in ______'s life on earth, just as it is in Heaven.
* Give ______ the food he/she needs for today.
* And forgive ______, just as he/she has forgiven those who have sinned against him/her.
* And don't let ______ yield to temptation, but deliver him/her from the evil one.
* For in ______'s life You will build Your kingdom and manifest Your glory forever and ever. Amen. 

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