As someone who has grown up partially deaf, it can be hard to imagine what life would be like hearing everything! Up until a certain point, there were sounds I had simply never heard: birdsong, for instance, the purring of a cat, the hum of a refrigerator, or the whisper of a friend.
Not so with God!
Praise God, we never have to wonder whether God hears the cries of our hearts, as this beautiful word illustrates. Perhaps these quiet-time whispers He shared with me will not be as revelatory to those who grew up hearing everything and wishing for silence. But for someone who heard mostly silence and wished to hear everything, these words are good news! I pray they will minister to your hearts as they did to mine.
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.
~Isaiah 62:7, ESV
I believe that today the Lord wants to both encourage and honor His "watchmen:" those who regularly wait and watch for Him in prayer!
Most of you reading this have an interest in either prayer or the prophetic gifts, and many are called to be “watchmen:” intercessors and prophets for the Body of Christ.
Watchmen (and watchwomen!) are appointed by God to serve as protectors of the Kingdom’s flock. (See Ezekiel 33:7.) They devote hours of their time, usually unseen and often at night, listening to the Lord and praying His heart for His people. Because they make themselves available to Him, they become the first line of defense when the enemy tries to ravage the flock.
I saw this truth demonstrated dramatically during my prayer time one morning.
A wise friend listened to me recently as I poured out my heart about a situation that seemed - despite all the promises of God - to remain stubbornly and decisively unchanged.
You know the kind of situation I’m talking about: no amount of praying, prophesying, persisting or proclaiming makes even a dent; in fact, it sometimes makes things worse!
I was fed up, confused, worn out and honestly annoyed at what seemed to be a brick wall I would never surmount.
Sure, God had given me some terrific and specific promises, but it had been years - decades, even - and nothing had changed! What was I to do?
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!
This timeless truth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what’s in our hearts. Most people long to be heard, to be understood, and to make an impact. To do this, we need to pray not just for right thoughts and right words, but also for right timing as we speak. Our words must "fit" the moment, like apples of gold in settings of silver.
“We are like common clay jars that carry a glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.”
Never is it more clear that we are “treasures in jars of clay” than when the pressure is on!
Our desire to love dissipates as we are squeezed, it seems, almost unmercifully, and what spills out of us is not love or power at all but hatred, judgment, anger, or fear.
“Lord, I can’t take this anymore! I am so stressed. People don’t understand. I simply can’t continue doing life this way.”
This complaint was mine recently, as life itself seemed to strangle and choke me. Pressure and disappointments from family, a lack of time for the things I most needed to do, some boundary issues that needed confronting, and - for good measure - several troubling issues with our house all conspired to crush me.
The funny part? That was the week the Lord whispered to me: “Write about love.”
For a moment, I wondered if God had missed something. Perhaps He was slipping as eternity wore on? Because at that point in time, my attitude was far from loving!
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
I am writing to you this week from about 35,000 feet - roughly 7 miles up - in the air.
Two of my children and I are returning from a visit to North Carolina with my sister and her family. My younger boys have never flown before, and one of the most wonderful parts of our journey is showing them what it is like to soar above the clouds, in a place where bright daylight is radiant no matter what the weather below. We took off in a fog; we now soar in a luminescent sky with pillow-like clouds that beg us to somehow step out and walk upon them!
The contrast is amazing. My boys have loved every minute of their flights to and fro, with the change in perspective they bring. To be "above and not beneath" (Deuteronomy 28:13) is a blessing indeed, and it started with a simple choice to shift our focus.
"I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." -Matthew 16:19, NASB
Following is a word I received in prayer just two nights ago. I believe it will be a great encouragement to you as well! God is releasing great revelation to His people: prophetic keys that unlock vision, hearts, and even storehouses, all for Kingdom purposes! Don't miss your appointments with God, which have the potential to unlock so much for so many. Enter His gates with expectation, believing that He is ALWAYS speaking good things to those who will listen!
Press in! Press in! For the time is short and the Kingdom’s agenda still long before the coming of the Lord!
Those who linger behind will miss the joy of receiving My new assignments for age-old plans! There are still many people I wish to reach, and you must know the ones I am calling you to in this hour. Every person has a task, every believer a work to do to fulfill My hope in the nations worldwide. I can use you! I can use you as you are; only come to Me to hear and learn. Let Me touch your lips, and fill your mouths with good and mighty things!
Let My Spirit open you up in this hour to receive from Me and give to others. Without an internal opening up of your heart, there will be no external reach to the nations. Only what I will give you will have the weight and substance necessary to unlock the difficult “puzzles” of men’s hearts.
LAST CALL! There are still some spaces available in this summer's E3 Prophetic Roundtable Group! If you or someone you know would like to grow your prayer life and learn how to hear from God more accurately, I invite you to take advantage of the upcoming "E3" mentoring course.
"E3" - which summarizes the biblical mandate in 1 Corinthians 14 to "Encourage, Exhort and Edify" others, is focused on developing your prayer life and challenging you to move forward in the prophetic gifts - something every believer is called to do! Even if you've never had the opportunity to function prophetically, this series of teachings will help you see how God can use you to bless people in your sphere of influence as you share meaningful and personal words from His heart. You don't need to be a prophet to prophesy! You can develop the art of listening prayer and hear from God directly yourself. (See John 10:27)
This small group setting is ideal for those who want deeper teaching on this topic but also desire a place where they can ask questions and be mentored in their individual gifts!
We will be meeting Tuesdays from July 22 - August 27th, during the day, sometime between 10 and 2pm. (Exact time TBD by participants). Easy to join in via the Zoom app (download from Google Play to your phone or computer), so you can participate from wherever you are.
Here's what a former participant said about the E3 course: "This course came at the right time. I was in need of guidance, mentoring, teaching and encouragement. I received all of that! I am encouraged to step out and take a risk in the giftings the Lord has given me. I appreciated the detailed information, steps of action, and personal examples of what that looked like."
Interested? Register Now to secure a spot, or contact me first with any questions! Information on how to call in to each session will be provided once you are registered.
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!
As I listened to the Lord last night, I felt His heart of compassion and I believe strongly that He asked me to simply pray for you today. Prophetic words are wonderful, teaching and devotionals help us grow, but there is nothing like the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer!
There is no distance in the Spirit (see Colossians 2:5; 1 Cor 5:3a). God is omnipresent and unlimited in His ability to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. As I pray in the Spirit for you, and you agree with me, I believe I am effectively standing beside you, IN HIM. Our unity with the Savior means we are never alone!
Please join me in agreeing for these very biblical promises and blessings to take place in your life today! Read them out loud over yourself; insert your name if you'd like to make them more personal. They represent God's heart for you!
Living a godly life is actually quite simple: In every situation where you honor God, He honors you in return. One choice made for God, in the midst of many other potential choices, can mean the difference between a victory or a defeat in your personal battles!
So many of us long for more of God. More love, more intimacy, more security. I do, and I have talked to some of you who desire the same thing. The Holy Spirit is drawing us into a deeper relationship with a Father who SO loves His children!
At the same time, the enemy is launching wide-scale attacks to challenge that love. He’s presenting more options than ever to keep us from entering the secret place of God’s Presence, where we are renewed.
As I contemplated this, I heard the Lord emphasize one single truth: the power to fully comprehend God’s love begins with a life of consecration!
Far from a religious ritual, and beyond the obvious biblical requirement for priesthood, the Lord’s heart is to communicate how simple and how powerful our consecration to Him really is in our quest for more of Him. Take a moment to listen to His heart; to understand how HE sees consecration and the blessing it can be for you.
Evil roots bear bad fruit.
Have you ever said to someone:
“Well, that’s just the way I am.”
“I’ve tried to overcome ______ (fill in the blank), but I’ve never been successful.”
“It’s part of my personality; I’m a _________” (insert label here).
“I guess some things never change.”
Or has your spouse, parent, or close friend ever said to you:
“You always do this….”
“I wish you would stop ______.” (Fill in the blank)
“Can’t you see that you’re the problem here?”
I believe most of us have said or heard at least one of these statements in our lifetimes. I certainly have!
Typically, comments like these stem from issues we or others have noticed about ourselves that don’t represent our best selves. You know what I mean: the nagging wife. The controlling husband. The angry child. The fearful friend.
Ask any one of us why we do what we do and we’ll say, “It’s because _______ (name a situation or offender) made me do it. I was bullied as a child, so I never became who I wanted to be. My mother was always angry. My husband doesn’t help me around the house unless I nag him. You get the picture!
Evil roots bear bad fruit, and while it’s easy for people to spot the bad fruit (and want to throw you out like a rotten tomato for it!), it’s not so easy to deal with the roots.
Instead of thinking we are bound to bear bad fruit in some areas, we can take a more comprehensive approach to prayer and work with the Lord to destroy evil roots and establish righteousness.
For the past few weeks, the Lord has been bringing to my mind a vision as I’ve reflected on prayer. The scene is so unlikely to ever happen in the natural that it is almost humorous! Yet the Lord is impressing on me that this scenario happens daily in the lives of many believers, and spiritually, it can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Today I’d like to share this vision with you because I believe it identifies a particular problem we face in prayer and gives us a strategy for greater victory. This vision could be the one major reason why Christians are defeated on the battlefield, and I don’t want you to be a casualty!
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, followers of Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem to pray. They had no idea what to expect; they only knew what Jesus had told them: “Wait until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
That first church prayer meeting resulted in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit so great that it enabled every person present to hear, see, and experience personally the power of God! That day alone, 3,000 people were saved.
Our tendency as modern-day believers is to leave the Pentecost story in the history books. After all, we think, God was just beginning to establish His church; He had to do something amazing like that!
Too many years of powerful encounters and answers to prayer have convinced me: that kind of thinking is nothing more than a cop-out. God’s power is alive and well, and the only reason we don’t see more of it is that we don’t pray for it!
My life has been powerfully impacted by prayer. The prayers I pray and the prayers others pray for me bear amazing fruit. There are countless stories I could share of God’s faithfulness to answer prayer, but I want to remind you, instead, of God’s stories.
How familiar and comforting are these words from the prophet Isaiah!
I have been quoting this verse all week, praying it over myself as I battled sickness that overtook my son and me. Weary and decidedly un-energetic, I knew I needed God’s strength!
Then a dear friend called me and said he had been quoting that same verse this week, as he was in severe pain and could not walk. It is a wonderful promise to those who love the Lord. The Bible promises renewal, not just in our minds, but in our physical bodies!
When I woke up this morning, however, it was as though the Holy Spirit were urging me to dig a little deeper. “Those words in Isaiah are not reactionary,” he said, “but preemptive.” Isaiah does not envision only a battle-weary tribe of godly people, clawing their way desperately back into God’s renewing presence! (Although historically, that is what happened.)
No, in fact, Isaiah’s words also envision a victorious people, whose “waiting upon the Lord” connects them daily to a God who is “Everlasting;” who never grows faint or weary Himself (verse 28).
In other words, we are not just the weary who hope to run again; we are runners with the potential to not grow weary in the first place!
Why? Because we pray.
Strength In the Waiting
We may begin in weakness, but our time with God enables us to persevere. Our waiting on God precedes our running and precludes our weariness. All our strength is predicated on waiting!
Waiting on God may seem like a slow start to your day when you see those java-loaded, caffeine-energized sprinters heading out the gate, leaving you in the dust of their wake! But the quiet peace and renewed energy you gain from those first moments alone with God will cause you to keep running when the golden hours come, overtaking those who have long since dropped in exhaustion by the wayside.
Not only that - but if you do fall - when you are wearied beyond belief and think God has forgotten you, Isaiah reminds: “His understanding is unsearchable.” (40:28) Compassion, not condemnation, is extended to you like a firm and sturdy hand, lifting you back to your feet.
No matter how you look at these verses - whether preemptive or redemptive - they carry tremendous hope. Either God will sustain us as we run because we waited on Him and received our sustaining strategy; or He will come to us and assist us when we fall. There is no situation in which you could find yourself where God cannot renew or restore you.
For this reason, Isaiah says, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God? Do you not know? (Hebrew yada, to know intimately) Have you not heard? He is your EVERLASTING God!”
In case you missed the irony of this verse, Jacob and Israel are the same person! (Genesis 32:27-28). Jacob represents our fallen nature, the soul that cries out in desperation to God. Israel, however, is the victor who emerges after that struggle, the one who learns to run his race successfully in the strength of the Lord. No matter how you feel today, or whom you most identify with, God is still your God!
Wait a Minute!
God has said that this is the year of “recompense.” (Isaiah 35:4) Do you believe He is renewing and restoring all things to you, both physically and emotionally? Do you rely on Him to help you walk - even run - through situations that made you stumble before? Are you believing Him for the prophetic strategies and insights that come from having divine perspective - the eyes of an eagle soaring above? Most importantly, is your life and are all your movements founded on the directions you receive as you wait upon the Lord?
For Isaiah, prayer precedes our daily walks and runs for a reason. Waiting on the Lord is preemptive. It protects us from the burnout and weariness that others experience in their eagerness to run ahead. Prayer is also redemptive when we run ahead of Him ourselves. We could ask for no greater God than this, whose compassion never fails and whose strength towards us is undying!
Teach us, Lord, to wait!
“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.
"Without a vision, the people perish..." Proverbs 29:18
I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but there was a time when I got stuck. Really stuck.
A complex situation, one which had bothered me for some time, gathered its strength, reared its ugly head, and reminded me that no, I had not yet found a way to “overcome.” I did not know the answer, even after hours of searching my Bible, wondering “What would Jesus do?” I was not moving forward or making any real progress in this particular area.
In fact, if anything, the situation was becoming worse. My frustration level soared. My first response to the situation, which used to be tolerance, morphed into anger. It was as if this one situation, stirred up by some malevolent demon, finally depleted me of any remaining strength or willpower I possessed and convinced me that no, this was not worth my effort any more. I simply could not resolve it, especially since other people were involved.
Have you ever felt this way?
"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..."
My oldest son came home from college last weekend. For me, his mom, it felt like Christmas! I cleaned the house, bought extra food (he’s 6-foot-1, folks!), and prepared a quiet place for him to sleep near his brothers.
My heart, which felt such utter loss and lack when he left for school five weeks ago, now filled with joy as I anticipated his return. I couldn't wait to talk to him, to hear how his new life was unfolding, to celebrate his growth.
As the day of his arrival drew near, I became almost restless waiting for him, like a child waiting for Christmas morning. Everything was ready; I longed to spring into action, to make the drive to pick him up, to hold him in my arms again. The appointed time could not come fast enough!
When at last that moment arrived and my boy was home, it was as if a hole in my heart had been filled. All was well again. Everything about him – the new growth in his beard, his manly smell, even the overstuffed bag of dirty laundry he brought with him made me happy and complete!
I am mom. He’s my boy. He’s back home.
Jesus is on a rescue mission to our nation and to the next generation!
Beginning at 9pm tonight (Thursday September 27th, 2018) a powerful movement of prayer and intercession will be launched in ALL 50 STATES and on 100 COLLEGE CAMPUSES around America.
Our goal: to bring the Presence of Jesus into every state in our nation, and to impact this generation to bring in a billion-soul harvest.
I want to personally invite you to find the location nearest your home (see below), and join us for an hour, a day, or the entire weekend.
Never before has our nation needed God so desperately, and never before (to my knowledge) has every state in our nation joined in unity to seek God simultaneously through prayer and praise. This is an historic moment you don't want to miss!
Who is invited: anyone, anywhere in the US
What: 50 hours (3 days) of continuous, 24/7 worship to exalt Jesus and pray for revival in our nation, our children, our government, our churches and our homes.
When: September 27th (Thursday, 9pm) through September 29th (Saturday, until 11pm)
Where: Every State capital in our nation (see list of locations below) and 100 college campuses
Why: 2 Chronicles 7:14
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.
Do you know the difference between prayer and intercession?
Prayer, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an address or petition to God in word or thought.” It is, as most people imagine, making an earnest request to God.
Intercession, which many people believe to be the same thing, actually takes prayer one step further. While it may include praying to God for something, to intercede is to “intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences; to mediate.”* In other words, intercession is prayer in action!
As I spent time with the Lord today, I asked Him, "What is Your Kingdom priority for this moment?" The answer came quickly and powerfully: "SATURATION!" God is ready to SATURATE you with His Presence! Are you positioning yourself to receive all He has? Keep reading for the full word.
“Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” -Philippians 2:12, NKJV
This week, I woke up early one morning to the unmistakable musing of the Holy Spirit. As I opened my eyes and peered into the darkness of our bedroom, I heard Him saying, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling!”
This seemed a strange sort of thought at first. Until I padded my way downstairs, where I could pray and write without disturbing anyone, I wasn’t sure why this fragment of a verse from Philippians 2 was reverberating in my spirit. It was as I sat with the Lord and listened further that He began to clarify…
Why Pray? What reason do we have, in a world that depends almost exclusively on what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, to reach for a supernatural God? This is the question I answer in my newest book, which was just released on Amazon this week.
If you've wondered what difference prayer makes, or need a faith-building resource that is easily shared with a friend, this is your book. It is short (four chapters) yet packed with stories, scriptures, prayers you can pray and questions you can answer in your quiet times. A compilation of several recent blog posts, this book provides four compelling reasons why we should pray: to know God and make Him known; for power to become effective Christians in a fallen world; to overcome a supernatural enemy; and to fulfill the Great Commission.
Order your paperback copy today on Amazon.com for $7.00, or a Kindle version of the book for just $2.99. Click here for more!
Have YOU signed up for the Destiny Conference? Last chance! Make plans to join us in West Boylston, MA next week, June 8th & 9th, for a powerful time in the Holy Spirit! Click Here to listen to our Radio Ad. Click photo for Registration information.
When you live in Jesus, your words are as the words of a King. Every sentence you speak is an edict in the Spirit, for better or for worse! Watch that your words are doing what they are designed to do: to edify, exhort and encourage others.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
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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.