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Getting Help Key Article Learning Prayer Spiritual Warfare Worship

It is Your Response that Matters

Your response protects you from Satan’s attacks. (jon-tyson-mr9qc7VLnek-unsplash)

You can be a First Responder!

Our Lord cares about how you respond. While what happens to you is not always within your power to control, your response is always within your power. Why does Father care so much about your response?

It’s an opportunity for faith, which pleases God.

I hope I can learn this well and deeply, it will change my life and I believe it can change yours. And this lesson is being brought to me these days in multiple ways, and I would be foolish not to learn.

Worship is our key response. Which opens doors to so much else.

I got sick: this is a call to worship my Healer.

I had financial pressures: this is a call to worship my Provider.

I have a family member who is under tremendous pressures: this is a call to worship my Creator.

(My special thanks to Amanda Rankin who teaches such things as this and who provides timely, needed and loving reminders. May everyone be blessed to have a good friend like she is.)

See the pattern? Problems are literally a call to worship the One who provides help and everything that we need.

You could simply ask for help. Worship as a first response is better; not only is such worship an implied request, it has side effects on you: greater faith. Puts our Lord highest, instead of making idols in your heart out of what you desire.

Putting righteousness and the Kingdom first, all of these other things are added to you.

And…asking for help after you have worshipped connects you better to the One who Helps. Puts the King first instead of your need. Allows and assists you to receive help better from your Helper.

Worship God — what a wonderful first response!

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Prayer

A Blessing can be Prophetic Prayer

men touching each other's foreheads
Jack Sharp, on Unsplash.com

I have some friends, Tamara and Todd Engwall, who pastor an electronic church that I get to attend, and who I have long thought are especially superb at giving blessings. So much so, I wanted to learn from them how to do what they so often do so well.

Today I got new clues that give me what I expect may be an impressive start in that direction.

What I noticed today was that yes, they give a blessing, do it wonderfully well, and differently than I do. This I already knew.

So I knew that a blessing was being given.

What I had not noticed, yet, was that there were more elements to what they were doing to be noticed; it was not just a simple blessing.

Here’s what I noticed that was new for me, that thanks to a question Todd, a highly prophetic person, asked; and I was able to express with words. (This was like some prophecy, I had no idea what would be said until it was said.)

  • They give a blessing, a good one,
  • Which is prophetic, and
  • It is also a prayer. A prayer that is for someone.

Said differently, they pray; they pray for someone. They prophetically say what God says. Their prayer is full of Holy Spirit and the dynamic power of Holy Spirit.

And…their prayer is given in the form of a blessing.

When you want to do this, it’s probably a good idea to ask God how to pray for an inspiring and helpful prophetic blessing.

Notice what you experience next, it’s usually quick! Assume that’s God’s answer unless it’s out of character for God. Then minister like Jesus: do as you are told, do as you are shown.

Pray as you or shown, told, or as you feel; or as an idea that suddenly appears to be in your own head – as if it were your thought.

And keep on praying until God’s answer about how to pray is enforced!

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Holy Spirit Jesus Prayer

Is This Prayer?

Where Two or Three are Gathered in my Name

Decide for yourself. Is this a kind of prayer? Really?

Because if so, we may need to be much more alert.

One day I shared a dream with a friend, telling him of something I deeply wanted. I had told nobody before. I had not thought to pray about this.

Two days later I was given an offer that included what I told my friend I was asking for. I not only accepted, but this put me on a path of growth that lasted for years.

Later, I wondered about what had happened. My friend has Holy Spirit in him. I thought – realized – I was not only talking to my friend; I was talking also to Holy Spirit. I was talking to God.

And it was a holy conversation. Jesus promised to be with us at such times, to be among us. So I was talking to Jesus, who was among us.

I believe I was not only talking with a friend. I was praying.

Since I learned about this pattern, I have seen it repeatedly not only in my life but in the lives of others I know.

Is this really a kind of prayer? What does Holy Spirit say to you about this? What should you be doing about this?

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Holy Spirit Joy Love Ministry Prayer

Holy Spirit Contagion?

You can have an amazing influence for the Kingdom of God, just by being more full of Holy Spirit. I encourage you to ask to be being more full of Holy Spirit, now. Ask often!

One day, I was shown some possibilities when I was in a conversation with a gracious lady who had family problems that she was telling me about.

Suddenly, these questions came to mind, opening to me many possibilities. You might want to wonder, too. What might you see as possible in your life?

So…here are the questions that just…came to mind….

What do you think would happen if you were so full of Holy Spirit you were contagious with Holy Spirit?

What do you think would happen if you were so full of Holy Spirit your daughter caught it?

What about when your husband catches it?

Could you and your daughter be healed?

Could your husband be reformed and made new in Jesus Christ?

What would happen to your joy? Health? Well being? Confidence, faith, love…?

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Discipleship Getting Help Jesus's Communication Joy Kingdom of God Prayer

Weary? A Slightly Surprising Answer

Rest in Christ

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30; https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11&version=NRSV

When you are weary, rest and relief is available. It may be a little different than expected, though; Jesus is often surprising.

I’ll get right to it, no fooling around and being careful and slow. Here it is: he will give us rest. Especially as we add to ourselves some of his qualities. Such as being gentle and humble of heart.

When we are learning from Jesus and allowing him to take our (heavy) yoke, not only is he stronger than we, he is also being gentle and humble of heart.

Which means we are not being proud, when we ask him like this. Not being proud, when we are being gentle and humble of heart.

I don’t know about you, but when I am weary and find rest, by hindsight is is easy for me to be clear: while I was weary I had been being proud. Carrying a heavy burden and being proud about it.

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Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Journal Ministry Prayer

Trouble Praying?

Photo by Sam Rios, through Unsplash

Does your mind wander? Do you have trouble keeping your attention on your prayer session? Do you get bored or not know what to say and do?

Is what you do or learned to do feel like an obligation that you are not keeping as well as you like?

When you have an honest and sincere two way conversation with God, prayer is empowering and exciting. Jesus surprises and delights; does not condemn. Accepts you and loves you as you are. Jesus equips you with whatever he calls you to do. It is never boring. Your mind will not wander. There is no sense of obligation. It’s natural. It’s supernatural. It’s as easy as a two way conversational prayer with our loving Lord.

How? First, by giving up any obligation or ideas about how you should pray. A good way to do this is to simply ask for – and receive by faith – more of Holy Spirit. Or simply deeply intend, right now, to put righteousness and the Kingdom of God first. Second, by conversing with God, having a two way conversation with our Lord.

Whether wondering how to minister, how to engage in spiritual warfare, or to experience more of the Presence of God, how to lead, even how to follow leadership, how to intercede for others…whatever you seek to pray for, there is a solution that is powerful, effective, simple and easy. If it’s new to you, the initial learning curve is not that long.

Here are valuable resources for knowing about how to hear God better, and how to have an effective two-way conversation with our Lord. Crucial key – alternating rhythms of talking, then listening. Write both down – short term memory, no matter how vivid and strong, can evaporate rapidly.

These approaches are so good that you will do well to learn them.

When you have an honest and sincere two way conversation with God, prayer is empowering and exciting. Jesus surprises and delights; does not condemn. Accepts you and loves you as you are. Jesus equips you with whatever he calls you to do. It is never boring. Your mind will not wander. There is no sense of obligation. It’s natural. It’s supernatural. It’s as easy as a two way conversational prayer with our loving Lord.

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P.S. From Mark Virkler, above, he gives us these Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice:

Very simply stated, the four keys to hearing God’s voice are:

Stillness: Quiet yourself so you can hear God’s voice.

Vision: Look for vision as you pray.

Spontaneity: Recognize God’s voice as spontaneous thoughts that light upon your mind.

Journaling: Write down the flow of thoughts and pictures that light upon your mind.

Virkler, Mark. 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice (Kindle Locations 172-175). Destiny Image. Kindle Edition.

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P.P.S. From the Immanuel Approach above, we have these notes:

Immanuel Approach Pointers – from video notes, he repeats these in each video at the beginning.

-1.  Immanuel truth: God is always with us, god is always glad to be with us, and God always wants to connect with us.

-2. Relational circuits: We have circuits in our brains that serve as the neurological hardware for running relationships.  And we can connect with each other and with God much more easily when these relational circuits are online and strongly active. 

-3.  Positive memories and appreciation: We can predictably, reliably, and consistently get these relational circuits online and strongly active by recalling and connecting with positive memories and then deliberately generating, or stirring up, strong appreciation. 

-4.  Interactive connection with God: We can establish a living, interactive connection with God by inviting God’s presence into the positive memory, asking God to help us perceive His presence, and then noticing whatever comes into our awareness.

-5.  The special value of God-connection positive memories: 

-Our relationships are memory-mapped – our relationships are carried in our memories.

-Reconnecting with memory recreates, at least to some extent, the same mind-brain conditions that were present at the original experience.

-Using positive memories that include an experience of God’s presence takes advantage of these two pieced of brain science. 

-6 Our brains are designed to work best in community: 

-Describing out internal mental content, out loud to another person, helps us to feel it’s importance and to recognize it’s meaning. 

-Including this piece in our Immanuel prayer will enable us to perceive subtle manifestations of the Lord’s presence that we might otherwise miss, and enable us to recognize and receive subtle interactive content from the Lord that we might otherwise miss. 

-7.  Immanuel Approach safety nets: At the beginning of the session we set up a positive-memory, appreciation, connection-with-God “home base” and then we can coach the recipient to go back to this home base if we get into trouble at any point later in the session, or if we run out of time at the end of the session and the recipient is still connected to unresolved traumatic content. 

-8. Splinter-free memories: It is really important to use splinter free positive memories for the safety net.

From Videos in the Resource Page at: https://www.immanuelapproach.com/

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Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Prayer

The Answer isn’t Always What You Think

When you are praying and seeking an answer, you are likely to get a good reply. God is like that.

Here’s what can be confusing. You get a reply. You think it is your answer. And in a way it is –

  • It may be a direct answer. All you need.
  • It may be an indirect answer. Something that leads you to what you are seeking. It’s your next step in your search.

Here’s an example:

I recently was looking for some information about my wife, her Social Security Number. There was a need for this. I had not memorized it. Could not find it.

Then Holy Spirit showed where I should look. I opened up that storage area and looked and did not find the folders I was looking for. Instead, I found something else that had the information I was looking for.

If I had not followed the lead I was given, I’d still be without what I was seeking. I followed the lead, thinking it was an answer. It was a lead to my answer.

I praise God for such wisdom in how to lead me to answered prayer. Through what I thought was the answer and yet was a lead or hint or clue that led to the answer and information I needed.

Thank you, Lord, for how you lead us!

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Conversation with God Getting Help Prayer Tribulation

An Outrageous Command

2Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials.‡ 3Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].‡

4And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4, The Amplified Study Bible, eBook. Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

This command just isn’t natural. It isn’t natural to rejoice whenever you fall into various trials. It isn’t even natural to be able to do this. Only by faith and with the help of Holy Spirit, can you do this.

Rest in Jesus. Faith is easy.

Ask for such faith and receive it. Ask for wisdom, receive it, and act on the wisdom you receive.

Read on in James 1 if you need help with receiving such wisdom; the directions are clear. Follow the directions our Lord has given us.

What I write here is sharp and to the point. There is no softening of what I call for you to do. Your life is much better when you are doing this. You are not being pampered: go do this.

Your life will change!

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Discipleship Getting Help Leadership Learning Ministry Prayer

Discipling like Jesus

Jesus had a pattern for making disciples. We can see some of it in Scriptures, and we can make educated guesses to fill in some details. How he taught was common to Hebrew teachers, rabbi’s, in those days.

I’ve spoken with seasoned disciple makers and missionaries who’ve done this, and they helped me get an even better practical picture.

First, as with everything, get guidance. Then pray. Pray with clear prayer targets – such as successful disciple making of disciples who make yet more disciples.

The basic pattern is simple: show, tell, and do. Probably even explain, show, discuss. Repeat until they are ready to do.

When you care, being a disciple is easy. (Good Friday by Anita Brown.)

The pattern is not classroom instruction, reading about or learning about things. It’s being shown, discussion before and after. It’s learning to do what you do. With an explanation. It is not learning about things. Theory isn’t nearly enough.

It might have worked something along these lines:

  • First, discuss what you will do, what they will see, especially so they know what to look for, what is significant.
  • Demonstrate in front of them, so they can see.
  • Third, discuss how it went. How it was as you’d hoped and expected, things that were different. Issues and complications, if any; and especially how it went well.
  • Let them ask questions as part of this discussion. Answer.
  • Maybe show them several times. Is often a good idea, especially with something new.
  • Send them out to go do as you did.
  • Have them report back to you. Let them ask questions. Make comments so they learn even more. (If they rejoice that even demons do as they command, give them the perspective that yes, this is good, and that it is even more important that their names are written in heaven – for instance.)
  • Send them out again.
  • Repeat this cycle until all are satisfied that good learning has taken place.

Disciple making is demonstration with explanation. Then they demonstrate, and ask questions, and you give additional perspective as is useful.

Disciple making is not a classroom activity. It is not talking about things. It’s being shown and then doing as shown. With explanations as is useful.

Additional notes:

  • Train disciples in how to make disciples. They will demonstrate. Disciples multiply by themselves, making disciples.
  • Disciples normally go out and minister in pairs. Ministry is normally in pairs. Always minister in pairs when you can. The more senior is making a disciple of the less experienced person. The less senior person assists and helps the more senior. This gives them something useful to do and provides practical help.
  • When ministering, when one talks, the other prays for the one ministering. Results are much better this way.
  • Grab someone out of a crowd who is watching, if you have no one else. Let them assist you and pray for you while you minister. Help them learn and discuss what happened. Not just ministering, always teaching.
  • A prayer support group is even more helpful. Set one up. If nothing else, find local people who are sympathetic and ask for their prayer support.
  • Prayer support is primarily for the minister, so they are more inspired and do well. They will do better. The people praying will pay more attention as they are invested, and they will learn more. Prayer is not primarily for the person being ministered to, as tempting as this may be. It could be helpful, but not nearly as helpful as praying for the person ministering.

Go, and make disciples. Make mistakes. Admit them and discuss them, so everyone can learn from them: we learn a lot through mistakes. Share the learning, and do not hold back such a wonderful opportunity. And of course celebrate what goes well!

This is the pattern that Jesus used. Go, and do the same.

And, there is a next step….

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Ministry Miracles Prayer Presence of God Worship

Worship & Prayer

aaron-burden-lPCu8HnGU2E-unsplash

So…prayer is conversation, two-way conversation, with God.

What is worship?

I remember someone telling me that worship is giving highest worth. Highest Worth-ship. So putting the Kingdom of God first is very close to, related to, or maybe sometimes even the same as worship.

This seems to be correct, as I easily found this:

“The most commonly cited definition of the word “worship” is based on the etymology of the English word: “Worship” is derived from the Old English word “woerthship.” So, when we worship God, we are proclaiming (or giving him back) his worth.”

https://thinkingworship.com/2011/04/25/worship-theology-101-whats-in-a-word/

“So, when we worship God, we are proclaiming (or giving him back) his worth.” Wow.

And the experience of worship helps us experience our relationship with God more intimately and closely.

Worship is actually very simple. Powerful. Good for us. Has wonderful side effects, including:

Prayer – two way conversation with God is easier and more powerful.

As we gaze upon Him, it gradually transforms us into becoming more like him.

Healing and other ministry is easier in such a context.

Miracles come more easily in such an atmosphere.

Fellowship and brotherly love increases, easily.

The Presence of God is much more powerfully experienced.

Baptism in Holy Spirit easily changes people forever.

We experience heaven and being in the Presence of God with ease.

The Aaronic blessing becomes real to us!

23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

24 The Lord bless you, and keep you;

25 The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

27 So they shall [a]invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+6%3A23-27&version=NASB

Having God’s face shine upon you and his countenance on you is, I have been told often, a way in Hebrew to talk about the Presence of God.

Experiencing God face to face – so intimately and personally, is this not the essence of being in heaven? Being in the Presence of God so intimately and personally, with such closeness? What can be better?