A few weeks ago, the Lord asked me to set aside some time for Him, as I do several times a year, for a prayer retreat. Several days became a week, then two, of deeper encounters with Him, and I am now in the third week of intensely seeking His heart.
I have never felt more of an urgency in the Spirit, especially for our nation and the world, and I know many of you are feeling the same desire to draw close to the Lord in repentance and prayer. I believe our prayers can change even the worst outcomes predicted by man!
During the course of these weeks with the Lord, I was awakened one morning at 2 am. I often go downstairs in the early hours of the morning to worship, read, or pray, but on this morning I was led to go and share communion with Him with no Bible or notebook, just heart to heart.
I feel strongly impressed to share with you what happened during this time because I believe it is an urgent call for all of us as His Body.
In the past few months, I have been blessed to have several encounters with the Lord in which He revealed Himself to me chiefly as the Shepherd. In modern-day terms we might say he manifested Himself as a Pastor, or perhaps as a very wise and dear Companion.
Whatever the terminology, I was reminded more than once of the scripture in 1 Peter 2:25 which reads: "You were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." I have been thoroughly captured by the gentleness, patience, and love I have seen as He manifested Himself to me this way!
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Throughout history, God has looked for people who were either curious enough or sensitive enough to turn aside from their daily routines and spend time with Him.
Just as the Lord longs for us to turn to Him, so He also draws near to us when we do so, revealing Himself in greater measure.
Abraham showed hospitality to strangers and entertained angels. Moses turned aside to see a burning bush and encountered God. Joshua, Samuel, Daniel, Anna, Zaccheus, Mary, and so many others made quality decisions to seek God, and were rewarded for pressing in.
Their reward? To hear God's voice and to know Him personally.
For the past week or so, the Lord has brought me repeatedly into an unusual story: the story of Hosea.
As I've prayed through this “minor” prophet’s book, I have been so captured by the Lord’s heart for His Bride in this hour! Please allow me to share what I believe He is saying today, and join me in praying Hosea’s prayers at the end of this post.
"Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
Last night as I meditated on Jesus our Intercessor, I entered into a deep place of prayer. I interceded for various people as Holy Spirit led me. As I did so, I suddenly became aware of the Lord’s unmistakable Presence in the room.
Because prayer is a work done mostly in secret, it is rare for an intercessor to immediately know whether his prayers are effective. It is rarer still for someone to realize they are being prayed for, since humility constrains us from boasting about our praying!
Yet from time to time, we do hear of amazing answers to prayer and have the joy of knowing that there is indeed power released when we pray. In the midst of a very difficult week, God allowed both me and my pastor to see the power of prayer.
Every year, I take time to go away on several prayer retreats with the Lord. I especially like to spend a few days alone, prior to the new year, listening to God’s heart for the following year.
This year, God pulled me away in September, at the Jewish New Year, to speak to me about the year 5780 and our civil year 2020.
The Lord led me to visit Northfield, Massachusetts, the place where Dwight Moody was born in 1837.
Moody built a Bible school that overlooks the Connecticut River, and in recent years, there have been many revival meetings held on his Northfield campus by different Christian ministries. Moody’s birthplace and grave are in Northfield, along with his wife’s, and I prayed about revival as I walked the grounds.
I had a powerful dream a few nights ago. I will share portions of the dream with you here, but the most notable aspect of it was that when I woke up I heard the Spirit clearly say these words: “The church as you know it is disappearing!”
Immediately I was reminded of the Scriptures. In Matthew 24, Jesus’s disciples are admiring the beautiful Jewish temple: its courts, structures, and architecture. Jesus turns to them and says: “Take a good look at all these things, for I’m telling you, there will not be one stone left upon another. It will all be leveled!” (Matthew 24:2, TPT)
As I sat down to write and pray this morning, the Spirit of God impressed upon my heart to turn the pages of Paul’s letter to the Colossians into a prayer. With several translations of Colossians in front of me, I began meditating on the powerful words about Christ’s preeminence, transforming them, paragraph by paragraph, into personal prayers. I realized then just how rich God’s Word is when we pray it as promises over ourselves!
Never are we closer to praying the will of God than when we are praying the Word of God! The Spirit and the Word work together as we pray, making our divine inheritance manifest as we speak God’s Word back into His heart.
To pray the Word of God is to agree with what God has already said He will do, setting in motion spiritual blessings that have been seen throughout history and can be activated once again by faith.
Space limits me to sharing just the first section of my prayers from Colossians with you today. If you would like to order the complete booklet of "Pray Colossians!" please click below to purchase in our store.
May this heartfelt “prayer paraphrase” of Paul's first-century letter to the Colossians reveal more to you about your inheritance in Christ and build your confidence to begin praying the will of God over your life!
Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8, NIV
How fitting that this year, Passover begins at sundown on Good Friday. The biblical feast that celebrates our deliverance from bondage in Egypt is forever entwined with the death and resurrection of Christ, our sacrificial lamb! Hallelujah!
I am so glad that God brought us together as one family, bound by the love of our Savior and elder brother, Jesus Christ. There is no greater family and no better blessing!
Whether you are celebrating a Seder or an Easter dinner this week, I pray that you will focus on the wonderful truth of who Jesus is. Because Christ became the Passover Lamb, He has brought us deliverance from every curse and every affliction known to man. We may not see the full manifestation of our deliverance yet, but we are being changed daily into His image each time we encounter the Risen Christ!
I am praying for every reader of our His Inscriptions community, that you will be full of joy and aware of Christ's abiding presence in your heart this week. You are loved by Jesus and by me!
P.S. - Want to meditate more deeply on the significance of Christ's sacrifice? Read Charles Spurgeon's powerful sermon, "Christ our Passover," here.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
There are some Bible stories that are so powerful, they have the ability to change your entire perception of who God is and how He feels about you. For me, one such story is found in Luke 24.
In the midst of great grief, turmoil, and confusion, two disciples encountered the Wonderful Counselor and were forever changed. In places of pain and confusion myself, I reread this story and see such beauty in it. Take a walk with me along the Emmaus Road to see how brokenness is turned to beauty.
As I spontaneously worshiped the Lord this morning I noticed that every song that came to mind seemed to center on the Name of Jesus. I simply couldn't stop singing about His Name! It was as if the Holy Spirit were gently reminding me: It's the Name that frees you. It's the Name that delivers you. It's the Name that heals you. It's the Name that sustains you. Every time you call on My Name, I answer!
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35
In a world where there are so many different kinds of prayer and meditation, what is the right way to pray? Should we pray the Lord’s Prayer? Do we pray alone, or with a priest? Do we need rosary beads, or a tallit? Can we pray effectively at home, or does prayer work better in church?
What does the Bible really say about prayer? And how can we be sure that our prayers will be answered? Read Deborah's newest post, published by LivingBetter50 magazine, right here.
"Sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level."
The above dictionary definition could easily describe the life of prayer. After all, prayer is the place where we develop "Life-Giving Communication with God" (our His Inscriptions mission), sharing our thoughts and listening to God's heart.
Actually, the definition above is not for prayer, but for communion! Far from just a sacred sacrament, communion is one of the most powerful ways to connect with God in prayer.
I often take communion as part of my personal prayer time. It is a way of remembering the Lord's sacrificial death and renewing my commitment to the New Covenant. As I meditated on His death once again this week, the Holy Spirit highlighted these words: "The Lord Jesus, on the same night He was betrayed, took bread..."
At the beginning of September, Jewish New Year 5779, I heard the Lord give a warning. The enemy, it seems, is bent more than ever on undermining believers in this hour. (One glance at the Kavanaugh hearings is enough to convince me of that!) This is the year, the Lord emphasized, to go deep in Him. To hold on to the Word of Truth as never before, to guard against deception, to seek Him for greater revelation. We will need it!
There are two great choices every Christian must make. The first is a choice to be free; the second is a choice to surrender that freedom.
I am eager to share a very powerful vision with you today. The vision isn’t mine, but comes from a father in the faith who ministered during the "Latter Rain" movement. Before I share it, let me remind you of a story.
In 1998 a movie entitled “The Horse Whisperer” was released. In the film, a very young Scarlett Johansson (Avengers star and now the world’s highest-paid actress) plays the role of Grace, a horse-loving 12-year-old. A traumatic winter accident injures Grace and her horse and kills her childhood girlfriend. After this, both Grace and “Pilgrim” (her horse) seem broken beyond repair.
Enter the Horse Whisperer. (Played by Robert Redford).
God has issued a Divine Invitation!
It’s not just an invitation to salvation, although believers begin there.
It’s not just an invitation to experience healing or deliverance, although those are benefits of belonging to the Kingdom.
It’s an invitation to come up higher spiritually, to experience the supernatural dimensions of the Kingdom of God.
Why would we need this? Francis Frangipane says it best: “A Christian is not just a person going to heaven. Shouldn’t a Christian also be a person coming from heaven, with the goods, power and virtues of heaven?”
Christianity isn’t meant to be a just a security blanket, providing comfort when we contemplate death. It’s meant to be a dynamic relationship involving supernatural power here and now. The beloved disciple, John, understood this and gives us a glimpse into God’s multi-faceted invitation.
If you spent any time in Sunday School as a child, you know that God is love. You know the Christmas story and the Easter story, and you know that Jesus died for you. But when the harsh realities of life kick in, sometimes these stories can seem like fairy tales.
When you feel disconnected from the Lord, or you feel like God doesn’t love you, what will help restore your trust in His goodness? What do you really need to know about Jesus that will keep you “on track” spiritually?
Here are "5 Essential Things" you to know about Jesus, things that will get you through the tougher times in life. They are not EVERYTHING there is to know about Jesus, they're just some essential things I believe will help you hang on when the going gets tough.
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.
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.
One of the secrets about communion is that you don't need to be in church to partake of it! As I've taken communion more frequently in my own personal devotional times, I have discovered that it is a powerful way of knowing Jesus better. Today's post is a YouTube recording of a sermon I preached in a local church on "Knowing Jesus through Holy Communion." I pray it will bless you and open your spiritual eyes so that you, too, know Him better.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” Galatians 5:22, NJKV
Jesus came to earth looking for a Bride. He is as interested today in a pure, spotless Bride as He was when He walked the earth. As any marriage counselor will tell you, the preparation of a bride’s heart is far more important to the marriage relationship than her preparations for an elaborate wedding ceremony.
Spiritually, our wedding with Christ has yet to take place. (See Revelation 21.) The central question for us during this time of “engagement” is: Are we busier with our religious activities than with preparing our hearts for Him? Are we focusing on religious ceremonies, but neglecting the Kingdom of God within us? Are we living a life of peace and joy, rooted in intimacy with the Bridegroom?
My father used to have a “personal proverb” he lived by, a saying I heard him repeat many times when I was young. He said: “Keep your expectations low. Don’t trust anybody, and you’ll never be disappointed.”
To my little ears, this seemed like a pretty good formula for success; after all, who has not been betrayed or disappointed at some point in their life? His proverb, while it reeked of self-protection, seemed a sure guarantee for a pain-free life.
God speaks in the most unusual and unexpected ways! Sometimes we dream, and a person in our dream imparts wisdom to us. We don’t realize until we wake that it was Jesus, and we wish we had known it was Him at the time!
Sometimes, He shows up in human form, in a conversation that leaves a mark on our minds and causes us to realize something deeper or receive something we need.
And sometimes, He speaks from the mouths of babes…
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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.