Friday, April 24, 2015

2015: The Year of Prayer - Week 16

I opened my Bible this morning, kind of a shot in the dark, to John 6 - where Jesus walks on water, then declares (more than once....quite a few times actually) He is the Bread of Life.

This is one of those I AM statements which has been hard for me to grasp.  In fact, in the ensuing text, the statements Jesus makes and questions those statements raise are hard.  They were hard to hear for His Disciples and they are hard to hear now. But in light of the last 9 days, I'm starting to really get it.  You see, this week in prayer has been about miracles.  Our worship leader called that out on Tuesday of last week and they became real the very next night.

People delivered from the grip of sin and the enemy, filled with the Spirit of God.  Lives changed.  Love, healing, grace on full display.

It's one thing to hear about it and be amazed.  It is another thing entirely to be a participant in someone's healing - to be a witness.  If When you have the privilege to be a part of it - when you have surrendered the details and outcome of the work to the Lord and then just let Him do changes you and your prayer life FOREVER.

It has not been hard to ask the Lord to do miracles in people's life in the last 9 days.  When, like in Acts 2, you are filled with awe....asking for big, bold things doesn't seem as hard anymore.  It makes your prayers (or at least mine) more specific, targeted and centered on the will of God.

No more lukewarm prayers.  It's time to ask Me for what you really want.

God gave me that word last Thursday morning.  I'd been dancing around asking for something really big for maybe 10 years.  I've known I'd been lacking in faith for it the last 2.  Last Thursday, He finally put me on the spot.

It was what Mark Batterson writes in The Circle Maker, "If Jesus were to meet you face-to-face and ask, “What do you want Me to do for you?,” what would you answer?  What would you dare to ask of Jesus….and have the confidence that it is something He wants to accomplish in and through you?

(No coincidence there I start teaching this premise of drawing circles in prayer on Sunday.....)

Very early, as I lay in bed that morning, I humbly but boldly asked God for the thing I most wanted Him to accomplish in my life.  I'm waiting to see the reality of it, but because it is His will (and I've seen His will accomplished innumerable times in my life, especially in dramatic ways here recently) - I KNOW THE ANSWER IS ALREADY YES.

The timing of reading John 6, like the time and place of Jesus' declaration He is the Bread of Life, is significant.  He is at a place where they needed faith, not miracles, to believe.  15 weeks into this journey and it feels like I'm to the place of assured faith and the miracles are the icing on the cake.  Maybe it is has taken this long to prepare me (although I don't always feel prepared or very capable of doing what He asks of me).  Maybe I'm finally full enough - on His Bread, His Way, His Nourishment - instead of depending solely on my own.

I do know one thing: Prayers are my legacy.  A lot of people don't feel like you are doing very much when you pray, but I want to assure are doing the most powerful thing in the universe.  When you pray about something or someone - especially when you pray in the Spirit - you are literally shaking the foundations of the spiritual atmosphere around you.  You are making room for the God of Heaven to come and make His Home on your plot of Earth.

I don't just pray, I expect God will continue to do bigger and betters things.  Not just because I've seen the miraculous in the last week.  But because I am, my family is, nothing short of a miracle.  It took many months/years for the miracle to be revealed.  We are living stones representing the grace and love of God.  Jesus has given/is giving me (and us) more than our fill, more than our share of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical blessings.  He has given us the entire package - Himself.

With Him running things, we will never go hungry.  Whoever believes in Him will never be thirsty.

Who else, in the history of the world, has dared to make such an audacious, bold, impossible declaration???  No One!

I'll leave you with this....maybe you are in a situation where your faith is sagging or you've prayed for something for years and it is like a big empty hole in your soul.  Take that prayer back to God and really listen.  Ask for eyes to see how He is filling you and answering that prayer.  Change your position (from sitting to on your knees....from on your knees to on your face on the floor); change the place where you pray.  Change something in your atmosphere, so you can be given a different perspective on what and how you are praying.

The Bread of Life will meet you there.  Jesus will satisfy you.  He promised and He never goes back on a promise.

Maybe you are my friend who doesn't pray, doesn't believe in God.  I ask you to give Christ another shot.  Don't lean into what you already know about Him or what you've seen of Him in the lives of others.  Really open yourself, not for a minute or a day, but for longer than you ever have.  Give the Lord some space, reserve a chair for Him at your proverbial breakfast/lunch/dinner table.

I'm praying you will experience Him in a way(s) that change your life - your eternity - forever.

He has yet to disappoint me.  I've thought He had but looking back on those moments of doubt, they were clouded by fear and uncertainty in my situation....not in God.  Keep praying, He will not delay.  My refuge and strength...I will not fear.  He promise is true.....ALWAYS.

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