Perhaps the #1 reason why we pray is because we need God. We come in great need to Someone who suggests that He might meet our needs for us, something no man has ever done before. We have not seen this kind of love this side of heaven. We discover God’s amazing goodness and generosity, and we are compelled to love Him more.
But prayer is not meant to end at the meeting of our needs! We begin here, but soon realize that our needs are meant to be a gateway into greater experiences with God. It is always relationship that God seeks with us. He means to be Father, not just Provider! To focus on God as Jehovah-Jireh alone is to miss the myriad other aspects of His character and Names, to miss the greatness of Him.
The short story that follows is meant to illustrate our passage from beggars to sons and daughters. Our story unfolds like that of a weary traveler:
If you’ve been a Christian for even a short time, you’ve already realized that despite God’s promises of both eternal and internal peace, you’re constantly confronted with the enemy’s plans for chaos and suffering!
As soon as you begin to get serious about prayer, the enemy gets equally serious about keeping you out of your “secret place” in a bid to rob you of your peace. He knows, as you do, that prayer is the difference between a defeated warrior and a powerful victor. This is one compelling reason why we pray: because we have a supernatural enemy.
There is power in prayer, but we don't want to stop at just receiving God's power for ourselves. God's power has a purpose. We can know for certain that we are praying effectively when we partner with that power!
The first time I ever heard someone speak on prayer was when I was around 25 years old. I was helping to coordinate a large conference for Christians in New England, and I had a few minutes free between responsibilities. I slipped into a workshop on prayer with a speaker I had never met, and those few minutes changed my life.
On 2-9-18, I had a prophetic vision of a stairway connecting earth to heaven. In the vision, I encountered the Lord, who gave me wisdom concerning what this staircase represents for every believer. Keep reading to discover a unique way of understanding your quiet times, and what happens within them!
This week's blog also contains a link to an in-depth interview I did on Pray.Network, with Phil Miglioratti. Click here to listen in as Phil and I talk about Life-Giving Prayer in greater detail.
During the month of January, many Christians have been fasting and praying, seeking God for His plans for the coming year. At the same time, many of us have felt like the enemy's attacks also increased. This Facebook Live video is meant to encourage you if you feel wounded, battle-weary, or abandoned. (20 minute video replay with prayer for listeners included.) Click the link below to watch!
Like Free stuff? Enter Deborah's February Giveaway on Goodreads to win 1 of 100 FREE copies of Life-giving Prayer for Kindle/e-Readers! now through February 28th. Click below to enter!
Sometimes the voice of the enemy is LOUD. Embarrassing. Even publicly humiliating. Sometimes the devil is uncomfortably close to home. Like a strong-willed child, he tries to draw you into a power struggle. He hopes you will cave to the factual truths of his accusations against you. Has this happened to you?
It happened to King Hezekiah. And it’s happened to me. The question is, what do you do?
I am humbled by the extravagant promises the Lord is extending to His people for this coming year. I shared some of these prophetic promises last week (Click here to read them), and many other voices are echoing similar themes. 2018 promises to be a year full of expansion, growth, connection, and acceleration.
But this growth is not automatic.
At the beginning of this year, the Lord whispered to me, "If you will listen diligently to Me, I will reward you with a book by the end of this year." Well, October came, and then November, and the inspiration for a book just did not appear, no matter how hard I tried!
Then this month, in one of God's "suddenlies," my breakthrough came and I knew what the book was. Within days Life-Giving Prayer was edited and published, which is a real tribute to the work of the Holy Spirit! Then, I remembered a dream the Lord had given me, also near the beginning of the year, in which a shimmering gold angel handed me an equally glorious book. I now know that this is that book!
Life-Giving Prayer is a 108-page collection of some of the most powerful articles I have written on prayer, along with an appendix which contains several of the resources from our online Subscriber Resource Library, in giftable form. Chapters include: "Is That You, Lord?" "How To Develop a Lifestyle of Prayer;" "Heaven's Courtroom;" and "Prayers for the End Times."
Who will benefit from this book?
Life-Giving Prayer can be ordered directly from Amazon.com. Click on the photo for a preview or to order today!
Author, Speaker, and Christian Ministry leader Deborah Perkins inspires people worldwide to discover "Life-Giving Communication with God." Join her daily on social media, or visit her website for prophetic words, Bible teaching, and a free weekly blog. Need more direction in your spiritual life? Find her books on Amazon.com!
Let me be the first to admit that sometimes, my prayers don't get answered. It happens to everyone. We're all on a journey, growing in the knowledge of who God is and how He works. No one - not even the most "spiritual" believer you know - has his prayers answered all the time!
But in 30+ years of growing in the Lord, I've discovered that there are some prayers that are powerful. More powerful than others. One such prayer is asking God for what we call "Divine Appointments."
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to become sidetracked from prayer, on a regular basis, by the “stuff” of life. Work, family, friends in need, and even church obligations pull at us constantly, demanding our immediate attention. It isn’t always easy to pray.
The real power to live life victoriously is found in our consistency. Consistent efforts in any area – professional, religious or otherwise – yield success. We cannot expect to reap a harvest where we have not sown! In fact, it is this law – the law of sowing and reaping – that the Lord says will endure forever. (Genesis 8:22.) Like the law of gravity, its application is timeless, its results guaranteed.
Why, then, do we so easily fail to be disciplined in our prayer lives, when we know that consistency will produce a great harvest for us?
Our reluctance is rooted in a wrong belief: that Jesus is a detour, not the highway.
I have a confession to make. There are days when I just don’t want to pray. Or write. Or do anything “spiritual.” I’m not alone. Pastors have days when they just don’t want to deal with another person, or another problem. Moms and dads just can’t fathom dragging their kids through another tedious family devotion.
Don’t get me wrong. I love prayer. I love all things related to the Lord and His Spirit. I love celebrating what He has done for us and getting to know Him, and His people, better. But I am just tired sometimes. My flesh cries out for “downtime,” for a place where I am relieved of responsibility and free to just “be.”
This week, I had the honor of interviewing Pastor Jason McGee, Senior Pastor of One Family Church in Shrewsbury, MA, for His Inscriptions readers. My husband and I have known Jason for several years, and helped him plant his church in Shrewsbury.
One of the things that most impressed me during the church plant was his emphasis on prayer. I was curious to know, several years later, how he views prayer and what priority he gives to prayer in his growing congregation. Here are his thoughts.
The Lord once said to me, “I am a Speaking Spirit.” To define Himself in this way is to emphasize His desire for communication with His creation. Although He is Spirit, and seems very different at first from our own flesh and blood, we must remember that we, too, are spiritual beings who have the capacity to hear what the Spirit is saying:
“Draw near to listen to My “Speaking Spirit,” and you will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of who I am and what motivates Me!”
These are His words for us in this season. How do we get to know this “Speaking Spirit?” We return to one of God’s introductions of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him [Jesus], the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” ~Isaiah 11:2
Of course persecution will increase, but let's not let that upstage what God is doing in the foreground of this story - expanding His Kingdom. - Southeast Asia's Regional Director, Voice of the Martyrs Ministry
Ever attended a prayer meeting, only to find record-low turnouts? This may be the reason: 82% of American adults prefer to pray silently, by themselves. A new study just published by a Christian research organization, the Barna Group, gives insight into exactly what is happening in Americans' prayer lives.
Who is most likely to pray? What do we pray for? To whom are we praying? The answers are intriguing to me, and I'm guessing they will be to you, too! Today's post contains a link to an informative Barna Group article, which every Christian leader and layperson should read. Are we missing something by not praying together? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
One of the fun parts of this ministry is that I get to meet all kinds of amazing people who love the Lord! One of my favorite people is Teresa DeMatos, who co-pastors the church I attend with her husband, Lee DeMatos. Together, they have experienced some powerful encounters with Jesus and - even more exciting - some very personal answers to prayer.
"Power to do the impossible resides in the spirits of those who know Me," I heard the Lord whisper early yesterday morning. I am more convinced than ever that every day that we neglect God is a day that we give more ground to the enemy. What is deposited in us cannot be taken from us, but in order to be effective against the world's daily assaults, in order to do the impossible, we must tap into God's power at least daily!
Having a “Type A” personality has become synonymous with being perpetually occupied, moving quickly from one task to the next, or prioritizing tasks at the expense of relationships. Type A’s are typically happier when busy, value efficiency, and maximize the use of their time. I know what I’m talking about. I am one.
This week, as we Bostonians celebrate Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon, I hear the Lord speaking about the spiritual races we are running. He’s saying:
Too often we want God to agree with us in prayer, when the real work of prayer is to agree with God! We see in scripture that we are to pray with “all kind of prayers and supplications,” and jump joyfully into prayer, asking God to agree with our human assessments of life’s difficult situations. Then we wonder why our prayers didn’t work. I know. I’ve done it!
Here are just a few of my not-so-fruitful prayers: “God, would you take that difficult person out of my life?” Or, “Can you please (I even said please!) get me out of this trial?” Or even better: “Make my children (wife, husband, etc) obey you!”
I’ve found that God is not interested in agreeing with my flesh. My human nature. Nor will he override someone’s free will to get them saved! While praying through our emotions can be cathartic (David did it in the Psalms), it’s not the most fruitful way to pray. So what really works?
To believe God for greater things requires that we know God in greater ways. Asking boldly in prayer means we must move beyond superficiality. God's compassion is stirred by those who attend to Him daily, listening to His words and seeking His face. God is looking for deep friendship with His people, and for those friends, He has great promises. Here are some of the promises He is making for this season.
"And pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." ~Ephesians 6:18, NIV
Most Christians realize early on that it takes a mixture of both prayer and action to fulfill the Great Commission. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Good works alone won’t fulfill God’s purposes any more than they’ll get you into heaven. (They aren’t rooted in the leading of the Holy Spirit.) And isolated prayers won’t accomplish everything, since someone must still put food on the table for the hungry!
It takes a partnership between the two: a “syncing” of Mary’s God-infused stillness with Martha’s active sense of mission. Only when we begin to balance the two do we really start fulfilling the Great Commission. One look at Isaiah 58:6-9 seals this truth. (Hover your cursor over scriptures in every post to read them.)
In a culture that seems to have forgotten its Godly heritage, how can we bring God back to the center of our Thanksgiving celebrations and prayers? Will it be disrespectful to other faiths to say "grace" at our table? How do we remove some of the awkwardness of prayer if our families are not accustomed to praying together on a daily basis?
This Thanksgiving, I'd like to give you some practical ideas to honor God as you celebrate the harvest with family and friends. Grab a pencil and jot down the ones you think might work for your festivities. Above all, don't let a fear of offending others keep you from shining your light! You might be surprised at how attractive that light becomes!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.