I love what God is doing as we continue to march on carrying this banner of prayer for the US and speaking love over our jars of dirt. He is truly opening our eyes and ears to what is really going on and what we are up against. We lost family last week in SC, but what a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ has been painted since the tragic murders. The church has risen up in forgiveness and love towards the shooter, and isn’t that what we are called to do? Forgiveness is as much a powerful force in the Kingdom as love is, and we really cannot have one without the other. There is so much to learn as a Body from the outpouring of forgiveness in the hearts of the Emanuel AME church congregation, I pray we learn it.
The events that took place last week were pivotal in the Spirit, further encouraging me that what we are doing with our jars of dirt and for this country is not in vain. Racial tensions are high in this country and have been further underscored by the unnecessary and tragic killings of unarmed young black men. Many prominent people have also contributed to them by continuing to highlight the victim status. Before you begin to react, hear me out. We have a common enemy who knows precisely what buttons to push and how to push them. We have to look beyond the person or persons and see the driving spirit behind the behavior, and this is what we must target. Our nation has a history of bloodshed and prejudice, we must continue to pray for healing of our land.
A House Divided
The Lord gave me such profound insight into the plan of Satan yesterday, that I was floored and had to pray into it before releasing it. Matthew 12: 25-30 NKJV says, “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” If a nation is at civil war, it is not strong enough, nor attentive enough to withstand an outside attack. With all of the racial tension and race baiting, it would seem that we are ripe for another civil war, however, the Lord has now exposed the plan of the enemy.
Satan wants the US divided, this is nothing new. He’s tried it before and failed, and he will fail again. He wants a civil war, he wants people groups and certain economic classes to remain in “victim” status in order to continue to feed them the lies necessary to facilitate a civil war. He uses prominent political people, he uses people on the street, people we know, people we don’t know and he does not give up. Once we, as a nation, are at war with ourselves, he plans to attack from without. He also creates diversions – look at the top national news stories, look and see what is considered news and then pray to see what it is actually covering up. 1 Peter 5:8 calls him a roaring lion, seeking to devour; Jesus called him a thief and said he comes to steal, kill and destroy, we must not underestimate him (John 10:10), we are told to be sober and vigilant. We need to pay attention to what is going on, but we must become completely Kingdom focused. Now that we know what Satan is up to, we can now pray against it and step into our prophetically given national name – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A House United
Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV).
There is great power in agreement when praying. We have been praying for our nation with specific targets for the last 14 weeks and this has helped facilitate agreement in prayer. We will continue to pray until the Lord tells me we are finished. As we move into week 15, let us begin to prophetically emphasize the name of our country, we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Not only are we speaking love and life over our nation, but we are declaring unity! The Lord is taking us to deeper levels of intimacy in prayer for this nation and it will be our prayer that changes the atmosphere. When praying over our jars, let us pray in tongues. This is a perfect prayer that goes directly from our lips to the Father’s ear and Satan does not understand it. Let us speak directly to the Father on behalf of our nation and declare a national healing and a united front.
- Pray for a national baptism in the love of God and for an outpouring of that Love upon each and every person
- Pray for forgiving hearts towards one another, for the example set by the Emanuel AME church to become the norm
- Pray for our nation’s borders – seal them against every creeping and crawling thing that Satan would use to come into our country unawares.
- Pray for courage for our leaders to rise up and walk in a manner worthy of the Kingdom
- Pray for corruption on every level to be exposed and removed.
- Pray for our nation to be knit together in love, in service to each other, in unity.
- Pray for the wounds of our nation to be healed.
God has great plans for our nation and our people! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!
We lost family and it hurts. I am deeply saddened by the senseless killing in SC. My heart breaks for the families of those who were killed and for the church who lost prayer warriors. A part of our Church family has been tragically and horribly removed from this world in a heinous and unthinkable way. My mind cannot wrap itself around it and yet it stands as a sobering reminder of how fleeting life is. May the families and church draw courage and strength from the well that is Christ and may they release any bitter feelings to God in forgiveness. I know this won’t be easy, I will be praying for them. May God be glorified in this tragedy and may His manifest Presence be tangibly felt.
I know this isn’t a popular sentiment, but it should be- if we are Christians, it should be -my heart also breaks for the shooter. He is only twenty-one; young, barely old enough to make some of life’s biggest decisions and yet he made a decision that will profoundly affect the rest of his life. And he is not the only one. I am curious as to what drove him to it, what drives others? I know what the motivation in the spiritual is – it’s our common enemy, but what is its manifestation in the natural that has driven the human heart to hate so much as to take another human life? My prayer is that he accepts the forgiveness of Christ and receives salvation in Him. God is rich in mercy and there is no sin so great that He won’t forgive.
If we were to peel the skin off of every human being, the only thing differentiating us from one another would be our anatomical parts and even then we would be only male and female. We have muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, nerves, internal organs, etc. Beneath the skin, we are the same. It is our uniquely designed outward appearance that makes us different from one another and it is our outward appearance that somehow fuels hatred in the hearts of others. However, we are all human. We laugh, we cry, we feel things deeply, we reproduce and we strive for better lives. This is part of our humanity. It is our signature in this world.
Young children are fearless and friendly. They experience life with zest, wonder and awe. They learn life from the others around them. Prejudice, hatred, and conditional love are learned through the responses of parents, siblings, teachers and other people. It often seems easier to teach someone to hate and focus on the negative than teach the bold courage of love. But we need teachers of love. If we are to truly be the model of Christ, we must extend forgiveness and love in every circumstance and we must teach the children to do the same.
Our young people are under assault. The enemy targets them and feeds them lies the world helps them chew, swallow and digest. Church, we must no longer sit idly by expecting someone else to rise up and fight. It is our duty to fight for our young people, and this fight is best done on our knees and in our homes. Oh Lord, that we would have compassionate and merciful hearts, always responding from a place of love and never reacting from our flesh no matter the wound! That we would teach our children to value people and value life, teach them to see beyond the surface to the potential beneath and to be boldly courageous in loving others.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV)
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7a).
Intercessors, guard your hearts and minds, pay attention to your thoughts and the directions they go in. Earlier this week, my mind was under a full out assault. Discouraging and disparaging thoughts and anxieties came at me from all directions and it was literally like fighting quicksand to be rid of them and take them captive. One of the directions of thought I fought against was my capability and ability to even want to continue to pray for the nation and speak life over the jars of dirt. I faced condescending, contentious and condemning thoughts regarding my ability to pray, my effectiveness in prayer, my worth, my level of care and compassion, and whether or not any of this really matters at all. At my lowest point, I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide there. This was all on a level I had not dealt with yet and only lacked bloodshed, but there were plenty of tears and sweat. After trying to articulate to myself, my husband and the Holy Spirit what I was feeling, I forced myself into God’s word. Even when I don’t feel like it, there is always something that sticks. This time was no different; it was His Word along with sharing my battle with a few key people that began the turn-around. Looking back, I can see the enemy’s hand at work in my thought life, but I also know that God was right there with me despite how I felt at the time.
As I sat down to write this week’s directives, I had no clear direction for us to go in. This battle has left me weak and almost speechless, but God is faithful. While writing the previous paragraph, He has revealed this week’s directive, and it is one we must pray for all the way until He tells us to stop. Identity. I’ve touched on it before, but we are seeing a major identity crises on a grand scale all across the United States. Our emotions drive our perceptions of our reality and we identify now with how we feel about ourselves, rather than what is true. Groupthink has become the norm and drives society’s acceptance of emotion-driven perceptions. We must stand firm in intercession for the minds of the people of this nation. Our perception of who we are begins in our minds.
Week 14 directives:
- Speak life and love to your jar(s). Do not fail to tell the dirt how much you love it, how much God loves it and declare blessings over the land, the people, and the government. Begin to renounce any curses spoken over these areas in the past, and do not allow anyone to speak a curse. Always, always bless.
- Proclaim Psalm 139:13-18 over your jars.Pray for the people in your state to have surety in their hearts of who they are, of God’s purpose and plan for their lives to be fulfilled. Pray for them to understand their true identity and not who society, people or peers say they are.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
- Pray for the government to come into alignment with heaven, for the schemes and plans of Satan to be revealed, for the removal of corruption and for the rising up of Godly leaders who are bold, courageous and desire righteousness and truth in leadership. Remember to pray for the upcoming election – for truth to stand out louder and for God to be glorified in the process.
- Pray for the Church to walk as ambassadors for Christ, to have eyes that see and ears that hear to discern the distractions and diversions of the enemy. The Church has been so focused on calling out sin that she has missed many opportunities to serve and love. Pray for the Church to rise up in love, for when we reach out with kindness and goodness as the reflection of Christ, we will draw others to repentance. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds (Romans 2:3-6). Jesus said we will be known by our love, let us love in action always.
Your faithfulness and watchfulness on this journey with me are appreciated so great! Let us continue to pray for each other. Despite the news we may see and hear, we must always remember God is at work in answer to our prayers.
Blessings, Hugs and Love!
My oldest daughter and two year old grandson live with us. It is a blessing to have them and our grandson brings the vibrancy and wonder of life into the home as only a toddler can. Viewing life through his eyes as a grandparent is a joy unlike any other. We have nights where we get him ready for bed, and we follow a routine – I bathe him and get him all lotioned and essential oiled up and then he brushes his teeth with Papa. Often the two of us will tuck him in bed, but sometimes it is just one of us and we always pray with him. Last night it was both. After he climbed into bed and grabbed his blankie, he held out both of his hands and said “I want Jesus.” Oh my, I had to bite back tears and my hold my heart in my chest! This little guy wanted us to pray with him and it was awesome! Out of the mouths of babes, I’ll tell ya! He was serious too – he closed his eyes and held tight to our hands (for the first 30 or 40 seconds anyway). Never, ever disregard the importance of praying for and with children.
This brings me to Week 13’s directives. We are going to continue to pray for our local, regional and national government and authority, but I feel very strongly that we need to begin to pray for our children (of all ages) on a national level. The devil has targeted our children’s identity and we must not tolerate it. It’s time to remove the target.
- Always speak love and life over your jar of dirt. Declare the mercy and grace of God over it and tell it how loved it is.
- Press in and declare God’s governmental authority over your state, and pray for it to radiate outward and permeate every facet of government across the nation. Pray for states to love and not harm the Church, for those called by God to lead in the political arena to heed their calling and step forward, for strength, endurance and protection over said people. Pray for corrupt leaders to be unseated and every plot and scheme of the enemy to be revealed. Do not give up, nor give in.
- Pray Psalm 139 over the children of your state, beginning with the generation after you regardless of age. Speak life over the children and divine protection over their hearts and minds, pray for the fulfillment of God’s purposes in their lives and for the courage to walk in it. Ask God for the release of angelic hosts to fight on behalf of our children, to facilitate those divine connections needed to set them on the right path. Pray for the prodigals to come home.
- Pray for the Church as a whole, that we rise up and refuse to give any more ground to the enemy and that we take back what he has stolen.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV).
I’ve been thinking a lot about evangelism and some of the techniques and styles used. This is a topic that crosses my mind a lot because I believe there is no one specific way to share Jesus with someone. We must be led of and prompted by the Holy Spirit.
The Lord showed me a picture of a hand with a tract carrying a condemning message being given to a young person. The tract was then opened and I saw the message it contained within. Simply put, the message informed the reader they were going to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There was no message of the free gift of salvation, no explanation of why He loves us so much to desire us to live in eternity with Him, and no mention of God’s great plan of redemption and salvation for the world. The highlighted message was that the reader was going to hell.
This vision deeply saddens me as I know this to be true. Many times over the course of my teenage and young adult years I was handed tracts such as this, no explanation, no love from the person giving it out, just condemnation and a reinforcement of my hell-bound destination because I wouldn’t pray a prayer with them at that moment. From experience, I can assure you that this is the one sure-fire way to turn someone away from ever wanting anything to do with Christians or Christ. By focusing on hell as the destination, especially to people who view themselves as good people, we actually confuse things more for them.
Read through the book of Acts, everything the Church and Apostles did was in and with LOVE, and this added to the church daily. God is LOVE, and condemning evangelism tactics are not motivated by LOVE so much as by the need to “get people saved” and look effective in the eyes of others. In the Gospels themselves, Jesus did not condemn or threaten hell to any sinner he met. He simply revealed Himself to them and LOVED them. Tell me something, how open are you to someone who is always extremely critical and negative about your behavior, looks, personality, etc? You are not open to them, are you? Nor do you want anything to do with them. I can assure you, when we behave like this to unbelievers, they want nothing, and I mean, NOTHING to do with us.
Jesus came to redeem and reconcile. His message was one of hope, love and the Kingdom. He met folks where they were and because He loved them so completely, they left His presence forever changed. As His Body here on earth, are others leaving our presence forever changed? Do we love so unashamedly that others crave that desire to love others the same way?
There is a proper way and time to speak of hell to unbelievers, but it should not be the standard opening line for evangelistic efforts. His great love and great grace should be. How much love do you have for others? How much love are you willing to give others in the name of evangelism?
Beloved Church, it is time to do things differently- to no longer do them because the “church has always done it this way”, to stand up and fight for LOVE, to push through in LOVE, to do all in LOVE! Be motivated by LOVE!
People need LOVE more than anything. Be Christ’s vessel of LOVE to someone today.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a NKJV).
While driving home from work today I was captured by the second half of 1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” I chewed on it and questioned just what defines bad company.
Most people would understand this to mean to be selective of the people we hang around with. I won’t dispute that. We should be mindful of those we choose to let in our lives. They do affect our behavior, just as we can affect theirs. However, the more I chewed on this Scripture, the more I realized it goes much deeper than just the people we associate with.
This also speaks to those things we do, what we read, what we watch on TV, what we listen to, our hobbies, etc. Do you get the picture I’m painting? We keep company with a host of things every day, and often we don’t give a thought to what it does to our character. Scripture tells us to examine the plank in our own eyes before trying to remove the splinter from another’s. I believe we must look at all we do and what it is doing for our character.
What books or TV shows are we watching in private that we would want others to know about? Are we verbally or physically abusive to our families in secret? Do we lie, cheat and steal when we think other’s aren’t watching? What company are we really keeping and are they complimentary of our character?
Living a life surrounded by bad company not only ruins our character, but it shackles us to what we are trying to justify as good. Jesus came so we could be free!
Take note of the company you keep. It will either help you soar, or keep you bound.
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good (Numbers 23:19 NKJV)?
Yesterday I needed to pick up a few items from a store I don’t visit very often. After I selected what I needed, I noticed they were also by the checkout with a special advertising a free tote bag with purchase. Since I needed three of the items to get the tote bag, and I have a penchant for all things “bag”, I selected a third item from the advertising display. At checkout I was pointedly informed my third item did not qualify me for the free bag. This upset me; I informed the cashier the item was selected from the display case containing multiple bottles of said item. She maintained her stance the item did not qualify and I could choose any of the other items, just not that one, even though it was with the display. I was disappointed to say the least, because this was false advertising. I decided to not pick another third item and left the store with my original items and no tote bag.
As I thought about what had just happened, I felt the tug of the Lord beginning to show me why it had happened. Satan is a master at deception, diversion and bait and switch. He is a false advertiser. Sinful temptations entice us with the allure and promise of complete satisfaction and lasting results. We are bombarded with things we simply “must have” to live our lives to the fullest with little to no repercussions, and we are told it is okay to do whatever we want whenever we want just because. As I contemplated what would have happened if I had pressed the issue and demanded to be given the tote bag, I realized what I would have gotten out of it were items I simply did not need. The tote bag was simply a ploy to spend more money on things not necessary and with no lasting investment. I was reminded how I could simply make myself a new tote bag if the need arose.
Church, we must be watchful and aware of what is going on around us as well as coming at us from all forms of media. False advertising not only leads us to go after something we are fooled into thinking we need, but Satan’s version also includes elements of unworthiness and disqualification. Just as my advertised item did not qualify me for the tote bag, Satan often bombards the minds of believers with thoughts of not being worthy of the promises. Drawing closer to God and resting in His arms ensures strength for our walk, discernment when needed and peace for our souls. Walking in the Spirit gives us eyes to see beyond what is in our face enabling us to recognize the false advertisement of Satan. We must pray for our Brothers and Sisters, especially when we see them leaning towards the allure of something free and falling into unhealthy mindsets. God has sufficient grace enabling us to soldier on.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the great Love You have for us. Thank You for the blessing of Your peace, Your strength and Your wisdom. Thank You for eyes that see and ears that hear, we cannot do this life on our own and we can only do it by resting in You. Father, may we have discernment to know when we are being misled and strength to turn away from it, may we have compassion on our Brothers and Sisters who have given in and the words of Love to encourage them to walk away. Father, we love You and give You all praise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Matthew 10:16; Proverbs 2
I am sure I am not the only one facing resistance when it comes to praying for our state(s). These last few days have been oh, so tough and it’s been difficult to press through and pray the Father’s heart, but God is merciful, giving grace aplenty to tap into and draw from! We will do well to keep this at the forefront of our minds when resistance rears its ugly head!
Week 12 Directives:
Twelve is a significant biblical number; many resources point to it being the number of government, others indicate it represents perfection and authority. There were twelve tribes of Israel and Jesus had twelve apostles. We are going to focus on government. As you know, the presidential candidacy race is getting underway and we must begin to earnestly press in for God’s authority to lead this nation. We must not forget the other governmental races which run statewide alongside the presidential. One of Satan’s most used tactics is to divert focus to one area so he can sneak in the back door of another. We must be ever vigilant in our prayer to keep those doors closed and pay attention to the larger picture.
- Remember to declare how much your jar is loved, speak life and love over it no matter what is happening in your state.
- Declare God’s righteous and just government, for leaders of integrity to rise up, for Christians to redefine ministry to include political office on all levels, and for them to lead from a place of love using Jesus as their example.
- Declare Scripture over your state, specifically ones that speak to God’s authority. As we speak Scripture over our states, we set in motion things in the spirit that will move into the natural. 1 Chronicles 29:11 VOICE “All that is great and powerful and glorious and victorious and majestic is Yours, O Eternal One. Indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to You. The kingdom belongs to You, O Eternal One, and You are the head of it all.
Blessings, Hugs and Love!