Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches!
Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.

Lamentations 2:19 ESV


Friday, July 22, 2016

Waiting Watchwomen

Waiting always requires patience. In the New Testament, the word often used for “patient” is the Greek word “hupomone.” This is another word for endurance. One of my favorite Old Testament pictures of this is in Psalm 131.
 
O Eternal One, my heart is not occupied with proud thoughts; my eyes do not look down on others; I don’t even begin to get involved in matters too big, matters of faith, state, business, or the many things that defy my ability to understand them. Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You. Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet. My soul is like this weaned child. O Israel, stake your trust completely in the Eternal—from this very moment and into the vast future.
(The Voice)
 
We lean back into the Lord and trust Him while we are waiting. However, that doesn’t mean we “do” nothing. We are to wait actively. A visiting pastor to our church recently noted that our waiting is to be “full attention waiting.” It’s the waiting of the watchman. Merriam-Webster defines a watchman as “a person whose job [it] is to watch and guard property at night or when the owners are away.”
 
One Hebrew word for “watchman” is the word “tsaphah” which gives the sense of someone bending forward in order to view, even lying in wait. Another word, shamar, is used even to describe someone who not only guards but also preserves, as with lovingkindness, which involved keeping someone/something in mind. As the pastor, Becci Curtis, said, this is full attention waiting.
 
Moms, we are, yes, to endure, leaning on the chest of our Lord. But, we are also to be actively guarding our children through our prayers, watching for the Lord’s answers AND not leaving our post. Our voices are not to be quiet. They should be continually speaking the Word of Truth into our children’s lives—in prayer and in instruction. Just as Ezekiel, what we learn from the Word, the mouth of God, is to be passed on to our children. (3:17),
 
It’s what a watchwoman does—she waits, watches and speaks the Truth.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

God's Perfect Timing

We just finished moving our elderly uncle from one assisted living facility to another. We knew about a year ago that this time would come. So, we’d been seeking a room for him at a large facility in town, the same one where my mom-in-law resides.
 
However, that facility has a waiting list. And even though my uncle was high up on that list, there were issues keeping him from being next. As the months passed, our time to get him moved, due to financial reasons, was getting shorter and shorter. It was beginning to be difficult to stay in “trust.”
 
We’ve always been taught that God’s timing is perfect, that He knows and understands what we don’t. As a visiting pastor to my church a few weeks ago reminded us, when we don’t wait, we often do impulsive things that can get us into trouble. Can you attest to that?
 
So we kept waiting and praying. A few weeks ago, we were still getting no closer to moving my uncle to this large facility. My husband said we may have to have him live with us. But that would mean major renovations to our home in order to accommodate his needs that we had no finances for. And, though it may sound silly, I was afraid for my cats should my uncle move in with us. He is not always the best driver of his electric chair. My husband thought we should just go ahead and plan on him moving in with us. I decided having others also pray would be better.
 
Then, I called the Department of Social and Health services AND got an immediate answer. I called this smaller facility, and was told they had an opening AND they were having a discounted rent special beginning this month for four months. Hmm.
 
We took a look at the facility. It was perfect! A larger studio than the other, just right for him. The facility itself was easy to find for his family visitors yet was tucked up next to a green space that just gave the whole place a sense of quiet and peace.
 
From the first contact to moving my uncle in, less than a week transpired. He is adjusting well in spite of his slight dementia.
 
Could I venture to say again, it is perfect.
 
God’s timing is perfect.
 
Moms, if you are in the waiting zone, keep praying and keep waiting. Let God do the work behind the scenes to make the end result perfect.
 
The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him,
to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word].
Lamentations 3:25 (AMPC)
 
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hope Gives Peace

In reading 1 Samuel 1, the passage about Hannah made me think about what it means when another comes alongside you to agree with you in prayer before the Lord. It means hope. Eli's prayer—
 
“Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to Him.”
1 Samuel 1:17 (ESV)
 
—invoked Hannah’s response: “Let your servant find favor in your eyes." Then Hannah "went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad." 1 Samuel 1:18 (ESV)
 
Think about it. Someone, though, not at first, agreed with her pleas from sorrow before the Lord.
 
Her husband's other wife didn't. Instead, she “provoked her grievously to irritate her.”
 
Even her husband didn’t. He said, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” Logical and reasonable questions, but just not coming alongside.
 
Even Eli at first questioned her, thinking she was drunk. But, after hearing her heart, he came alongside her.
 
That’s what I love about praying with other moms. They hear my heart as I pray for my child. AND then they come alongside me in prayer.
 
And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for,
it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.
Matthew 18:19-20 (TEV)
 
 
 
If you would like other moms to come alongside you in prayer, join or start a Moms in Prayer group. Click here for the website link or email me at WA@MomsInPrayer.org and I will help you get started.
 
 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dangerous Prayers

Did you know that prayer is dangerous?

First of all, it is dangerous to Satan. But prayer is also dangerous to us.
 
Prayers of praise affirm God's authority and bring His Presence and power among us. And, running into God's Presence defeats the enemy.
 
Prayers of confession reveal our unbelief and defeat Satan's attempts to get us off mission.
 
Prayers of thanksgiving free us up to see God and encourage us to stand against the enemy in God’s wondrous working power—the same power that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
 
Prayers of intercession are both defensive and offensive in character and go over the head of the ruler of this world to the King over of all creation.
 
When we stand in belief, there are no wimpy prayers. The enemy considers each prayer dangerous to his objectives. We're here to take back what the enemy has stolen.
 
Prayer is dangerous to us, too, to our flesh. Prayer strengthens our walk with the Lord and helps keep us in step with the Spirit.
 
So, whatever you do, don’t stop praying!


Be unceasing and persistent in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (AMP)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Junk Mail

Once when I opened my email and checked the junk mail folder, I had emails about Costa Rica Dream Vacations, Dental Implant Info, and African Safaris, among others. They quickly went to the delete box.
It made me think. Am I a junk mail sender to the Lord when I pray?
 
How do you or I begin our prayers? Do we go right into One to one time with a long list of requests? Or, do we begin by worshiping the One whose presence is worthy?
 
King David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), implied in Psalm 37:4 that the priority in our lives and in prayer is to delight ourselves in the Lord—to worship Him—and then consider our petitions in light of that worship.
 
As believers, our lives are about knowing our Lord. We do that by abiding in Him, the Living Word, and by letting His truth “shape all that we are—and all that we think.” (Daniel Henderson)
 
Jesus Himself puts it this way, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 AMP) His beloved disciple wrote, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NKJ)
 
Daniel Henderson wrote, “The Holy Spirit empowers us to know Christ. Worship-based prayer brings us to a greater sensitivity and surrender to the Holy Spirit. As a result, our prayers become Spirit-fueled.” That means we pray by His power and in His wisdom and guidance.
 
So, when we come to our Lord in prayer, if our first priority is praise and adoration of the One, we won’t be sending God junk mail.


Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.
Psalm 138:2 (Message)

 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stronger!

The PBS show, “Midwives,” is a series based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. As a recent episode began, a “street walker” was assaulted. Although, she was found and helped by a nurse, she refused to report the assault. She didn’t want people to know what she did to support her children after her husband had abandoned them. Then, a young mom was assaulted. She had been walking with her crying baby in the night air hoping to calm him. When it didn’t, she was so upset at his crying that she walked away from the pram. That’s when she was assaulted. She didn’t want anyone to know what she’d done so she refused to tell authorities. Both women for different reasons didn’t have the strength.
 
At a point earlier in the episode, the head nun told a younger nun during chapel that her voice needed to be stronger when they sang and worshipped. She said that it not only helps her but others.
 
This same young nun was then assaulted. At first, she, too, refused to cooperate, and she was very angry with God. Why would He allow that to happen to her?
 
Then, it occurred to her—the first two women could not be strong to tell and stop the attacker, but she could. So, she went to the police and told, going through the difficult process that required. Through her testimony, the man was caught and stopped. Her experience, though, resulted in making her stronger, including her voice in song and worship.
 
A song Kelly Clarkson sings, “Stronger,” says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller … What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter…” That part of her song rings true.
 
Christian artist Mandisa’s “Stronger,” does better by reminding us that even in the “rain,” even when it’s hard to see God, He is still right there and He still cares. But He knows if you hold on, you will end up stronger. Her words echo Peter’s, “After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.” (1 Peter 5:10 TLB)
 
It’s tough for us as mothers to see our children go through the hard things this life can throw at them. Sometimes it seems that we can do little or nothing to help them. But our prayers can do what our hands cannot. Our spoken prayers for them can help bring God’s power to work in their lives and help them become stronger.
 
When suffering comes, hold on. Stand firm. Pick up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and fight like a warrior—PRAY! You will bring the strength of God into play.
 
He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place,
and make you stronger than ever.
1 Peter 5:10b (TLB)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Our God is UNHINDERED!

[This is from one talk I gave at our April 23, 2016 Washington State Moms in Prayer Getaway Unhindered.]

We often sing about our God, praising Him and declaring our beliefs.
 
But … what do you and I really believe about the Lord?
 
How do we picture Jesus?
 
Perhaps our picture of Him reveals His passion, such as when, with a whip in hand, He drove the moneychangers out of His Father’s House of Prayer. Perhaps we see Him tenderly lifting a widow’s son off his death carriage and giving him back to his mother. Or perhaps we see Him gathering up the little children to snuggle on His lap. Possibly we see Him compassionately feeding the thousands that gathered to hear Him speak in the wilderness. Do we picture Him purposeful and assertive as He spoke truth in the face of hypocritical religious leaders?
 
These are among the many “pictures” we see in Scripture. But one thing is for certain, we see Him choosing to boldly without hindrance walk out His Father’s plan and purpose for His life.
 
Jesus was and is unhindered. That’s the truth of Scripture.
 
Our God is unhindered.
 
No one can stop Him or thwart His plans. From Genesis 37, we learn Joseph dreamed—twice—that his family would bow down to him. Even his father, Jacob, found that difficult to hear. In verse 20, as they plotted to get rid of Joseph, his brothers said “we’ll see what becomes of his dreams.” But, God’s plans were unhindered by theirs.
 
The cross is another example. That certainly backfired in the enemy’s face! To his chagrin, he found he’d now have to deal with temples—houses of prayer—all over the world! God’s plan!
 
Our God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and on His throne. He can make a way when there is no way. Jeremiah 32:17, 27 remind us that nothing—nada—is too hard for Him.
 
Christine Caine wrote:
 “…nothing can hinder His plan. …
No promise is too hard for God to keep.
No prayer is too hard for God to answer.
No problem is too hard for God to solve.
No person is too hard for God to save.
No mountain is too big for God to move.
No need is too great for God to meet.
There is nothing our God cannot do!”
 
Our God is unhindered: unblocked, unbound, unbridled, unchanged in His character and eternal plan; He is unconfined, unconstrained, uncontrolled, undefeated, never undone, unencumbered, unfettered, unimpeded, uninhibited, unmoved from His purposes, unobstructed, unprevented, unreserved, unrestrained, unrestricted.
 
Our God is unhindered!           
 
Do we believe it?
 
Job did. He said—
 
If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
Job 9:12 (NKJ)
 
But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.
Job 23:13 (NASB)
 
Even the foreign ruler Nebuchadnezzar recognized God is unhindered. Daniel 4:35
 
The Pharisee Gamaliel, Paul’s Rabbi, knew this when he told the Jewish Council, “if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it.” Acts 5:39
 
The Lord God Himself in His own words confirms this truth. Just read Isaiah 14:24, 27.
 
Tozer wrote: “God moves undisturbed and unhindered toward the fulfillment of those eternal purposes that He purposed in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
 
Do we believe it?
 
Dorothy Sayers wrote: “The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore—on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”
 
And Jill Carattini wrote: “God who moves unhindered among ordinary people, touching life and history, is not the tame and therapeutic being we attempt to package.”
 
That’s what Job recognized of God when he said, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.” (42:2)
 
Chris Jordan wrote: “Regardless of the circumstances, God is powerful, and He is not thwarted, He is not contained, He is not opposed by man in a way that prohibits Him.”
 
Take a Selah moment to think about these statements.
 
Our God is unhindered.
 
In the Book of Revelation, we are reminded by Jesus Himself—He was there in the beginning, at the very end He will be there, and He is in control of everything in between. He is standing today in the midst of His Church. His eternal plan is progressing. He is unhindered!
 
So, how should we respond?  Romans 14:7, in the Amplified Bible, says, “None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord].”
 
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus was at the temple watching people put money into the temple treasury. He pointed to a widow who, though obviously poor, put in everything—all. In essence, she “stepped” into the offering plate. BUT, what could have hindered her?
 
Because our enemy sees believers—us—as those who threaten his territory, he will plot and scheme to slow us down and/or stop us. In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis alerted us to the fact that one of the devil’s main aims is to hinder, especially to hinder our prayers. To instead do that to him—to hinder him, we need to throw off what hinders as the writer of Hebrews 12:1 tells us.
 
What things do you need to drop at the cross? Fear…worry…unforgiveness…anger…bitterness…?
 
By throwing these things off, we are enabled to get up and move forward unhindered. The truth is we cannot go from here to there without leaving “here.” But, Michael Youssef wrote, “the same Lord who saved your soul and has sustained so many others will enable you to overcome—all the way to the finish line.”
 
So, let’s make sure we are not carrying anything that hinders our God’s power in our lives. Let’s drop those hindrances, those stones, so we are free and unhindered to move forward in boldness. Remember, we have a High Priest who is not only able to empathize with our weaknesses but is able to give us what we need to be unhindered by them.
 
That is because—
 
Our God is unhindered!