Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today's Encouraging Word

The Proclomation of the Kingdom of GodImage by Michael 1952 via Flickr

In this hour in which we are living, God is supernaturally revealing His keys to bring about productivity in people’s lives. People are tired of a Gospel, no matter how true it is, that they can’t get to work. Matthew 16:19 says it this way: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be (“must already be,” Amplified version) bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed (“must be already loosed,” Amplified version) in heaven.” Somehow, the church has managed to reduce the magnitude of this verse to semantics in prayer like “I bind the devil,” etc. While there is some truth to this thought process, this passage is more about “keys” or laws that govern access or attract the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven (or the kingdom of God) is God’s rule. It is also the combination of the location and resources of God and the system by which you access them in your life. Accessing kingdom resources allows believers to dominate their environment (Genesis 1:26) and establish God’s rule on earth……God’s rule (kingdom) occurs primarily when a person’s heart is under the influence of the grace from kingdom laws (principles). The supernatural rule of the kingdom on earth is activating God’s supernatural provision by yielding to it in our hearts.

Ron McIntosh
(from The Greatest Secret)
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Personal Prayer: Identity and Optimism

Thomas à Kempis on Mount Saint Agnes (1569)Image via Wikipedia

L.D. Turner

It is often said that prayer is a personal thing and this is a true statement. Prayer is the one place where we can take off our masks, open our hearts, and speak openly and freely with our Creator. At the same time, some prayers are meant to be shared. I know in my own spiritual journey I have often been inspired by the prayers of others. In fact, there have been numerous occasions that the prayerful words of other have triggered new insights and valuable new pespectives on things.

Like most things, I suspect each person has to make up his or her mind about using the prayers of others.

As mentioned above, I have frequently found blessings in using the prayers of other Christians, especially those who have walked the path at a level much deeper than myself. Significant figures of the past immediately come to mind when I think of prayer: Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, William Law, Thomas A' Kempis, John and Charles Wesley, just to name a few.

I have especially found the practice of "praying the scriptures" to be of consistent value to me. This powerful practice has received quite a bit of ink of late, but it should also be noted that this sort of praying has a long history in Christian tradition. Further, I suspect that the discipline of praying the scriptures in a positive manner was far more widespread than we are aware of. After all, we only know of those who have published their ideas on the subject, as well as those who have shared their own personal prayers. I don't feel it is a huge jump of faith to believe that for everyone who wrote on this subject, there were many more who simply practiced the discipline for their own edification.

Whenever I pray the scriptures, I keep several guidelines in mind. First, I find passages of scripture that are clearly related to what I am praying about. Second, I always form the prayer in positive terms and, as much as possible, put my words in the present tense. Doing things this way is a result of my own personal experimentation with the discipline of praying the scriptures. Personally, I find my prayer time more rewarding and positive if I use relevant scriptures, couched in the present tense. However, that doesn't imply you or anyone else should pray in this manner. My only suggestion is to keep at it, be persistent and see where the Spirit leads you.

As an example, I would like to share a personal prayer wtih you. Since composing this prayer, I have used it many times with the goal of letting the words and principles soak deep into my sub-conscious mind. That way, the prayer becomes more personal - it becomes a part of me.

A bit of background: this prayer, entitled, "Father of Lights," came to me during a time when I was looking to the Bible for a deeper understanding of my identity in Christ. Paul speaks often of the fact that, as Christians, we are "in Christ" and also states that we should take solace and inspiration from the reality of "Christ in you." As the weeks passed, I experienced a deeper awareness of my new identity "in Christ" and this knowledge gave me an encouraging sense of optimism. If what Paul says is true, and I believe that it is, we Christians have every reason to be optimistic, not only in the next world, but especially in this one.

Feel free to use this prayer whatever manner you discern, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is best for you. If you post the prayer or publish it, please cite its origin.

Father of Lights

Father of Lights, you have said that in aligning with you I am a Child of the Light. I thank you for that honor and privilege and also thank you that you have made me a new creation. Today, I seek to take possession of my reborn identity in you and I thank you for providing me with the ability to do so, through the blessed work of the Holy Spirit.

Father, I know you have placed in me from birth a right, preserving and steadfast spirit and I know that the Holy Spirit will empower me to contact, develop, embrace and enhance those divine qualities, all to your glory and for the sake of others as well as for the purpose of growing in sacred character.

I know Father that above all, you are a God of restoration and a God of renewal. I know that according to your holy Word, that you are, at this very moment, renewing in me the mind of Christ – the most sacred mind. Your Spirit is at work in me today, enabling me to live a life of integrity, enthusiasm and empowering me to maintain a commitment to excellence. I thank you Father for your faithfulness and the blessings you are bestowing on me today, both seen and unseen.

Father, thank you for your unfailing faithfulness. You have proven time and time again that you are there, walking as my companion, even when I don’t see you and even more when I don’t acknowledge your presence. I know that you have said that you desire my best and that all things, whether I can understand them or not, work together for my greatest good. Therefore, looking to you, I expect good and good alone.

Father of Lights:

I thank you for your presence with me;

I thank you for your presence in me;

I thank you for protecting me;

I thank you for providing for me;

I thank you for empowering me.

I am grateful my Lord, knowing that I will find in you all I will ever need.

(In the name of Jesus, the name at which every knee shall bow - Amen)

© L.D. Turner 2010/All Rights Reserved
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