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God has placed Israel on the center stage of the world today. As we watch world events unfolding in the earth we are, at the same time, aware that Israel is God’s prophetic time clock. Because of this, we will see mounting pressure and conflict surround Israel in the days to come. It has been spoken that 2015 will bring even greater challenges for the nation and the people whom we love.
1. Pray for revelation and aligning in the hearts of all Christians with God’s prophetic time clock regarding Israel.
2. Psalm 121 . . . Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. . . . The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
3. Zechariah 12:2 . . . I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations . . .
(Source: Aglow International)
GUEST POST FROM THE RESPONSE LOUISIANA
It is our belief that the posture from which we pray is more important to God then the words we pray. This is why we are Focusing week one on a call to consecration. The pursuit of a consecrated life is only possible from the revelation of God’s love for us.
We must recognize that today, in this moment, there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less! The full measure of God’s pure love is available to you and I right now.
Nothing will ever change that.
The motivation to pursue and sustain a consecrated life comes from this revelation. King David understood this when he invited the Lord to search his heart in Psalm 139. Realizing that any sin, known or unknown will hinder his relationship with God, David invites the Lord to search his heart and examine his ways (v. 23-24).
David’s desire for God’s presence far outweighs any desire for sin or pride of self. From this place of clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 15, 24) David then has access to enter the Holy of Holies before the mercy seat of God and bring Him, his heart.
This is the key to the posture from which we want to bring our intercession. This is our motivation to pursue a consecrated lifestyle. Remember it is not about being perfect in our actions; it is about being perfected in love.
Take a few minutes and read through Psalm 139. Join David in remembering your history with God. He has searched and knows everything about you. Give Him thanks for your testimony and His faithfulness. As you read allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Meditate on a verse and allow Gods love to encounter you.
From this place of encounter ask the Lord to search your heart and to examine your hands. Ask him to reveal anything in your life that is hindering His love and your ability to hear His voice. Don’t rush this process, as He reveals things to you biblically deal with each one. Ask for and give forgiveness quickly. Allow your passion for God to outweigh your flesh’s desire for sin. This is the foundation to a consecrated life and a posture that draws God to come.
Be jealous for your relationship with God. Repentance is a response to love from the place of worship and His presence. It is personal before it is corporate. As the Holy Spirit reveals any sin in your life quickly repent and receive God’s forgiveness.
If the lord puts anyone on your heart that you have un-forgiveness toward deal with it quickly. Psalm 139:23-24
• Declare a day of repentance… Joel 2:15
• Turn from sin… 2 Chronicles 7:14
Rejoice and lift up prayers of thanksgiving to God! Thank Him that His mercy is new every day and that His love for you is secure and unconditional. Declare His authority and perfect leadership over your life. “For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever, Amen!” (Matthew 6:13).
All prayer is an act of worship. End each prayer time by giving thanks in advance and declaring God’s authority and power
• For Thine is the Kingdom and the Glory and the Power Forever… Matthew 6:13
• Obedience is our highest form of worship and demonstration of love… Genesis 22, Luke 11:28
Want to spend your mornings with the Holy Spirit? Check out Jennifer LeClaire’s new devotional, Mornings With the Holy Spirit (http://amzn.to/1wDamY2) and receive inspiring daily devotionals—prophetic words from the Holy Spirit—to strengthen, comfort and counsel you.
You know the story of revivalist Charles Finney. He was an attorney-turned-preacher in the early 1800s, declaring he received “a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead His cause.”
During his preaching days in New York, several revivals broke out and spread like wildfire. Finney was one of the first to allow women to pray in public. He was passionate about evangelism, had a mind for social reform and goes down in history as a catalyst for the Second Great Awakening.
You know Finney, but do you know Finney’s intercessors? Fr. Daniel Nash and Abel Clary were old-school intercessors—intercessors who rose up long before the Pentecostal church was born—whom many credit with laying the foundation of the Finney-inspired revivals.
Although Finney’s name is recorded in Christian history, fewer know anything about the dedication of Nash and Clary. Thankfully, we can still learn plenty from these mighty men of God if we dig deep enough into their prayer lives. We can learn what it means to be a true intercessor—and we can learn to value the gift of intercession and the people who walk in an anointing to pray without ceasing and bring heaven to earth.
Daring Daniel Nash
Christ for All Nations evangelist Daniel Kolenda penned an article about Nash, explaining how Nash would precede Finney’s arrival in a city for revival meetings. He was known to stay in his room for days at a time, interceding. Weeping and groaning could be heard coming from his room. Kolenda reports that Nash would not quit until he felt that the spiritual atmosphere had been prepared for Finney’s arrival.
“The greatest moves of God in American history occurred during this season of time,” Kolenda writes. “Entire regions were changed as a result of Finney’s ministry. Historians point to those meetings as having such a profound impact upon people and societies that the effects could still be seen a century or more later! The powerful preaching of Charles Finney that saw hundreds of thousands of people saved would have never had the impact it did had it not been for the spiritual partnership with the intercessory ministry of Daniel Nash. It is interesting to note that only four months after Daniel Nash’s death, Charles Finney left the itinerate revival ministry to pastor a church. The powerful revivals that characterized his ministry and changed a nation began to wane.”
Able Abel Clary
Abel Clary was just as able with intercession. Clary traveled with Finney everywhere Finney went. Finney himself wrote of Clary, “Mr. Clary continued as long as I did, and he did not leave until after I had left. He never appeared in public, but he gave himself wholly to prayer.”
“[Clary] had been licensed to preach; but his spirit of prayer was such, he was so burdened with the souls of men, that he was not able to preach much, his whole time and strength being given to prayer,” Finney wrote. “The burden of his soul would frequently be so great that he was unable to stand, and he would writhe in agony. I was well acquainted with him, and knew something of the wonderful spirit of prayer that rested upon him. He was a very silent man, as almost all are who have that powerful spirit of prayer.”
As history tells it, Finney found Clary’s prayer journal after Clary went on to glory. Recorded within its pages were the chronicles of the prayer burdens the Lord put on his heart. It’s no accident or coincidence that those prayer burdens aligned, one by one, with the order of the blessings poured out on Finney’s ministry and the people who came to his meetings.
Calling All Intercessors
It’s rare that I meet these types of intercessors today—ones who lay down their lives for another. I know they exist, but based on the state of the church, the nation and the world, I discern a dearth of old-school intercessors like Nash and Clary in the modern age. For if there were more like Nash and Clary, I am convinced there would be more revivals, more salvations—even another Great Awakening.
I recently met two old-school intercessors who have blessed my life tremendously in the short time I’ve known them. Michelle Smith and Linda Willoughby—and Linda’s crew at Keepers of the Flame International—have connected their hearts to mine and have prayed, prayed and prayed some more. I’ve never had consistentintercession over my life and ministry, and I can tell you that it makes all the difference.
The Lord has enlarged my territory by an order of magnitude in just the few months since they started praying. IHOP Fort Lauderdale has grown from four hours ofprayer a week to 24 hours of prayer seven days a week literally overnight. Sure, the Lord was laying the groundwork for years before they started praying, but I believe their prayers brought us to a tipping point that will change the spiritual climate of the city of Fort Lauderdale.
So, where are all the old-school intercessors? Are you one of them? Is God tugging on your heart to intercede for revival, to stand in the gap for your nation, to pray for your pastor? Intercession is a labor of love—God’s love. I am calling for Spirit-empowered intercessors to rise up in this hour and take their posts. Churches, ministries, people and nations need your prayers. Amen.
I pray for many things every day. I pray for my family, my friends, my ministry, my nation—and, of course, myself. I pray for protection. I pray for a deeper revelation of God’s love and over my life. I pray for grace.
But there’s one thing I’ve been praying for more and more lately—and I am convinced that if we would pray more for this one thing we would make better use of our time, live happier lives, and ultimately see more answers to our prayers.
What is this one thing I’ve been praying for more and more lately? Wisdom. I believe if we pray more for spiritual wisdom—even if it means praying less for natural needs—we’ll receive more wisdom and our natural needs will be more than met.
Take a Hint From Solomon
We could all take a hint from Solomon. You know the story. The Lord appealed to Solomon in a dream and made this invitation: “Ask! What shall I give you?” Can you imagine the Lord coming to you in a dream and making such an invitation? What would you ask God for if you could ask and assuredly receive anything?
It seems Solomon had enough wisdom to ask for the principal thing: wisdom. Solomon replied to God’s invitation with these words: “Give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).
That made God happy. Let’s see how He responded:
“Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:10-14).
All I can say to that is, “wow” and “amen.”
What Wisdom Will Do for You
God is no respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34). You can receive the wisdom you need to walk according to God’s plan for you. James clearly stated that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The only catch is you have to ask in faith, without doubting. That’s not much of a catch and it shouldn’t be too hard to do. God wants to give you wisdom so you can walk wise, making the best use of your time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-17).
Let’s check out what Solomon had to say in the wake of receiving such great wisdom: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her” (Prov. 3:3-18).
My Prayer for You
Wisdom begets wisdom. The ear of the wise seeks knowledge (see Prov. 18:15). The wise man listens to advice (see Prov. 12:15). A man’s wisdom makes his face shine (see Eccl. 8:1). By wisdom your house is built (see Prov. 24:3). Wise ones are cautious and turn away from evil (see Prov. 14:16). The words of the wise win him favor (see Eccl. 10:12). The wise will inherit honor (see Prov. 3:35). Wisdom will keep and guard you if you love it (see Prov. 4:6-7). I could go on and on and encourage you to do a study of the benefits of walking in God’s wisdom.
When we receive wisdom, it’s important that we acknowledge its source. The Lord gives wisdom (see Prov. 2:6). We should never be wise in our own eyes (see Prov. 3:7). But we should humbly pray for wisdom more and more. So these are my prayers. I pray like Solomon, who said, “Give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9).
And I pray like Paul, who asked, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:17-21).
And I pray the Lord would give you wisdom, too. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
“I have no right to gossip or slander you all in any way. And I refute and deny any claims that I have. I have purposely kept silent and will not curse you in any way with my words.”
Jane got an email from Gary with those claims the day after a mutual friend called her with a mouthful of gossip, slander and curses Gary spewed about her. In other words, Gary sent the out-of-the-blue email to “refute and deny” gossiping and slandering Jane less than 24 hours after the corrupt communication came out of his mouth. Gary was trying to cover his sin. But it was too late. And Jane’s associate wasn’t the only one who came back to her with a mouthful of Gary’s persecuting words.
See, when someone is gossiping about you, slandering you or otherwise cursing you behind your back, the devil will do everything he can to make sure those words get back to your ears. Much of the time, the gossip, slander and curses just make your accuser look like a fool. Mature, discerning Christians recognize evil speech for what it is, refuse to give an ear to it—and wouldn’t think of spreading it. But the enemy often finds less mature messengers through which to deliver his fiery darts.
When you find out someone is speaking gossip, slander or Christian curses over you or your family, you have two choices: You can react in the same wicked spirit as your persecutor, or you can resist the temptation to act like the accuser of the brethren and respond like your Father in heaven instead. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:44-45).
So, what does this look like in action? How do we love our enemies and bless those who curse us and do good to those who hate us, practically speaking? How do we pray for those who purposefully, knowingly use and abuse us? How do we act like sons and daughters of our Father in heaven? Here are five ways:
1. Pray that God would forgive them. Although it’s vital that you forgive your persecutors, we walk the way Jesus walked when we pray for God to forgive our enemies. Both Jesus and Stephen, while they were being persecuted by enemies of the gospel, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60). If you want to be more Christlike, pray like Christ prayed when He was persecuted.
2. Pray for God to give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. Obviously, your persecutors need a greater revelation of Jesus, because the more we truly know Christ, the less we’ll allow the devil to influence our thoughts, words and deeds. Pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to [them] the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of [their] understanding being enlightened; that [they] may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 1:17-19).
3. Pray for God to root them and ground them in love. We know that love is kind (1 Cor. 13:4) but whoever slanders is a fool (Prov. 10:18). The Bible doesn’t have anything good to say about fools, but God still loves them—and if they were rooted and grounded in the love of God, they would not gossip, slander or persecute people. Pray that they, “being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that [they] may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).
4. Pray for God’s love to abound in them. You can’t walk out the Beatitudes without abounding in love. Pray that your persecutor’s love “may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that [they] may approve the things that are excellent, that [they] may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9-11).
5. Pray for God to show them His will. Once your persecutor is rooted and grounded in love and understands God’s will, they will be more likely to repent. Pray that they “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that [they] may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10).
Beyond that, intercede as the Holy Spirit leads you until you feel a release in your spirit. And remember, Paul admonishes us to “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Rom. 12:14). At its root, to bless means to speak well of, and to curse means to speak ill of. So don’t respond to your persecutors by running all over town telling people what they did to you. If you do, you’ll be guilty of gossip, slander and cursing your enemy. Move in the opposite spirit. If you respond God’s way, you’ll be blessed.
As for your enemy, well, he’s likely to be blessed with some conviction from the Holy Spirit, and your prayers pave the way for you both to grow in the character of Christ as you guard your heart from bitterness. Amen.