Saturday, February 28

Ten I's of Prayer 5

5) Instruction

Do we seek the Lord’s presents or His presence? Do we follow after Jesus merely seeking something from Him as the multitudes did? Or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be near Him, to hear His precious heart beat? Or do we sit at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and our tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

Much of the time when we pray, we rush into the Throne Room handing God a list of the things we want or think we need. We don’t stay long enough or sit still long enough to listen to what He has to say. God does not have carryout service like a drive-through Taco Bell, and we don’t get to return what we receive if it isn’t prepared and served to us the way we want it or as fast as we like it.

To ready ourselves for the day, we eat, shower, get dressed, brush our teeth, even read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, but then we leave out the most important part of the day: our fellowship with the Lord.

Do you spend time with the Love of your life in the morning? God will not jerk you out of bed in the morning to get you to pray. It’s up to you. Don’t steal the day out of His hands. Give Him time to speak to you. He is the only One Who can make the day go as it should. He waits for you to join Him in that inner holy of holies.

Solomon said, “Through lowering of hands, the house leaks.” (Eccl. 10:18b Masoretic Text) Though he was referring to being physically lazy, this same slackness applies to our spiritual house as well, for if through negligence or idleness we lower our hands from lack of prayer and praise, then, according to definition, the house begins to weep.

If you’ve been reading along in this series, you saw before that God inspired men to write His Word. I used the familiar scripture, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16 NKJV)

According to some of the definitions of the key words in this verse, God’s inspired Word is profitable or useful for learning, conviction of sin, correction of error, restoration or bringing to an upright state again, and improvement.

‘Instruction’ means to give or impart knowledge, for training, disciplinary correction, chastening, nurturing, and instruction which aims at the increase of virtue.

If laziness strikes, causing our hands to lower to do all the things listed on our schedules rather than gently nestling the Word in our hands for prayer, what have we gained?
If God’s Word is to bring about the learning of His heart’s desire for us, conviction, correction, restoration, and improvement in our lives, and if we do not read and study it, how will God’s ultimate purpose for our lives be fulfilled?

As I said in my last post, the Word is the divine influence exerted upon the spirit and heart of man for the enhancement of righteousness, as verse 17 adds, “…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How can the seed of the Word accomplish a transformation in our lives if there is no planting? How will it furnish us completely, equipping us for every good work, bringing a harvest?

Do you allow time for God to speak to you, to give you instruction for righteousness, to comfort you, to fill you with His presence?

When the swelling of our calendars and our self-sufficiency keep us from spending enough time in the inner recesses of our prayer closet, nothing we claim in God’s Word will be accomplished.

The Still Small Voice has no destination if there is no listening ear. If we do not listen, scripture says, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him.” (Prov. 28:9 Msg) Do you blame Him? He says, “Oh, that My people would listen to Me.” (Ps. 81:13a NKJV)

It only costs us our time to listen but it costs us our quality of life not to listen!

Companionship with the Lord with its soul-rest, with its comfort, with its instruction, is too often sacrificed for petition.

May you sit adoringly at His feet to be instructed in His Word.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, February 24

Ten I's of Prayer 4

4) Influence

They never locked their back door, or front door for that matter. Whenever you wanted, you could enter Roy and Leah’s house and you would be welcomed with open arms.

Even if you were a stranger, their greeting would be, “Come on in and sit a spell. Glad to see ya. Who sent ya? Anyone we know?”

“Sure. Your son Lee sent me. I’m down on my luck and he said you might be able to help me,” would be a typical response.

Had a need? They would do their best to meet it, giving you of what they had in order to ease your suffering. It was theirs to share, not to hoard it for themselves. It didn’t matter what status you held in life; you would be well received. Your influence on them was merely that God loved you, no matter who you were, so they loved you also and welcomed you into their home. They accepted you in the name of their son, Lee.

Our heavenly Father’s attitude toward us is the same. Paul told the Ephesians that, in Jesus, “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” (Eph. 3:12 NKJV) ‘Access’ in the Greek means admission, approach, or a leading or bringing into the presence of.

You are no stranger to the Father. He loves you and always readily welcomes you into His House…in the Name of His Son, Jesus. Your influence on heaven’s gate is the Name that turns those hinges, swinging wide that door to the Throne Room and bringing you into the presence of the Father.

We come before the Father to make our petitions of Him in the Name of Jesus. Our requests can even be encapsulated into a one-word prayer, which is prayed so often with varying intensity: Jesus!

Because of that Name, you have heavenly influence.

~~Use your influence…Lynn~~

Wednesday, February 18

Ten I's of Prayer 3

We return to our prayer series...

3) Inspire

What does ‘inspire’ have to do with prayer? Let’s see…

The dictionaries describe ‘inspire’ as to fill with an exalting or quickening influence, to impel, arouse, or produce a thought or feeling, to communicate, suggest, guide, or control by a divine or supernatural influence, to stimulate or impel as to some creative or effective effort, and so on. The archaic definition means to infuse life by breathing, to breathe into or upon, or to inhale.

In the Old Testament, several scriptures contain the word ‘inspiration’ as the form of ‘inspire.’ The Hebrew word is ‘neshamah’ and means the breath of God or man, the spirit of man, divine inspiration, intellect, and so on.

This word is used in Genesis 2:7 (NKJV) this way, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” And Job 32:8 says, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (KJV)

In the New Testament, the Greek word for ‘inspiration’ is theopneustos, which means God breathed or divinely breathed in.

This word is used only once in the NT in 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV), “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” So, it is divine influence exerted upon the spirit and heart of man for the enhancement of righteousness.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (NIV) Just as God’s Word gave life to the universe and mankind in the beginning, His voice still resonates with His creation and His Word still gives life. Jesus is the Word of God; He is “the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1) The disciple John recorded Jesus’ words in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit that makes alive…The words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (Received Greek Text)

The writer of Hebrews tells us that this inspired “word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12 RGT) The Bible in Basic English interprets this verse this way, “The word of God is living and full of living power.” The Amplified says, “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective].”

God’s Word is alive and powerful. Not ordinary words, His words are unseen, living entities, actually working energy and living matter of the eternal kind. Right before his death, Moses said of God’s commands, “These instructions are not empty words - they are your life!” (Deut. 32:47a NLT)

So what does this have to do with prayer? If God breathed His inspiration into His Word, infusing it with life and power, then we need to allow Him, in our quiet times, to breathe it into our souls, our minds, our hearts, to penetrate the very depths of our spirits that we might receive all its benefits for our spiritual growth and learning to pray in accordance with it.

The Word is the essence and inspiration of your life. Do you read your Bible in your prayer times? If not, oh, my friend, you are missing so much of what God desires to instill in you. He inspired His Word just for you. Let it be the divine guide in your prayers.

~~Be blessed and be inspired, Lynn~~

Friday, February 13

What is Love?

Okay, so February is considered the Love Month because of Valentine’s Day. With all that has been written about love, is there anything new to say about it? Well, I had a thought.

More than likely, you have heard about Twitter, the online social network or community. Since I am on Twitter, I decided to get a little feedback from my Twitter friends and asked them this question…

What is the essence or meaning of love to you?

I received some awesome answers. Because Twitter limits responses to 140 characters, these are short responses…

* karenrobbins said, “Love: emotion that sends adrenaline soaring and brings tears of joy with tenderness when it is returned unconditionally.”
* Hetty4Christ quoted C. S. Lewis, “God will look to every soul like its first love because He IS its first love.”
* Pepperfire said, “Love is the meaning of life. Without it, we are naught but a bunch of self-centered egos trying to kill each other.”
* Molly_Mac said, “I always go back to 1 Corinthians 13:4, Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous...can’t improve on that one!”
* pamelareilly had two responses, “Love is being willing to do EVERYTHING biologically necessary while your partner has two broken arms. Been there. Done that…Love is my husband’s willingness to make dinner, chauffeur the kids, clean house, massage my neck, and be my rock while I write.”
* rachaelmphillips (married for 34 years) said, “My husband Steve demonstrates love’s essence. Like Jesus, he celebrates the good in me, forgives my bad, & shelters me in His strong arms.
* PPureIndugence had two responses, “To love and be loved in return is the greatest gift God has given. He loves unconditionally and asks us to do the same. Seems this is a challenge for man. We tend to love but want to change others. Been guilty of this myself…In Ps. 107 God speaks of his “Unfailing Love” 6 times. Even as we are wandering, imprisoned, afflicted, and in the storms of life, His Unfailing love is always there.”

Out of the responses I received, the #1 answer was contained in one word…sacrifice!

* ProfessorAlan and lizdyer both said, “Love is sacrifice.”
* lucyannmoll said, “Love. . .sacrifice, unselfishness (as if this were humanly possible), God. God is love. Sounds like a Bible verse!”
* topabbott said, “The essence of love to me is one word, sacrifice. If we’re not willing to give something up for another, it’s not love.”
* filoiwiedenhoff said, “I thought about yr question yesterday and the word that keeps coming to mind is sacrificial. John 15:13 - No greater love than that…I’m learning love is to be willing to lay myself aside but it can only come through the power of Jesus. His love being poured out through me.”

Laying Himself aside, Christ poured out His physical life for the redemption of the world. As the Bridegroom, Jesus selflessly surrendered His life on earth for His bride, the church, whom He “loved…and gave Himself for her.” (Eph. 5:25b NKJV)

When we receive this sacrificial love into our lives, do we then willingly pour it out to others? Or are we too selfish and set in our own ways?

Peter tells us, “Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts.” (1 Peter 1:22 TLB)

Do we love others unselfishly as Jesus does, whether our spouses, families, friends, or others? Do we forget ourselves in order to help another? Do we endure being uncomfortable in order to make someone else comfortable? Do we forgo acquiring something in order to give to another?

Remember, “Whoever lives in love lives in God.” (1 John 4:16b NIV)

On this Valentine’s Day, from my heart to your heart, I wish you an infilling of love in Jesus’ name…

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, February 10

Ten I's of Prayer 2

Here’s the second “I” of prayer…


First, let’s see what ‘invade’ means. Although some of the dictionaries’ definitions of the word ‘invade’ have a very negative connotation, some of the other definitions mean to enter as if to take possession, to permeate or penetrate, descend upon, go in, access, or to crowd into.

When we think of prayer, we must possess a certain characteristic to invade or crowd into the God’s throne room. What do you think it is? It’s boldness!

‘Boldness’ defined in Greek means all unreservedness in speech, frankness, confidence, assurance, or the absence of fear in speaking boldly.

As children of God, we have permission to access our heavenly Father’s presence in boldness and without fear or rejection to make our requests of Him. Cringing is not necessary for God accepts us as we are and does not sit on His throne with a rolled up newspaper waiting to swat us. He welcomes us with a knowing smile, a loving heart, and open arms.

Scripture says…

* “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace,” (Heb. 4:16a AMP)
* for “We can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus,” (Heb. 10:1 NLT)
* “in Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear),” (Eph. 3:12 AMP)
* for it is the righteous who “are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1 NKJV)

Down through the ages, God’s righteous people have gone before Him in boldness. The disciple John said, “Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence.” (1 John 3:21 NLT)

With this bold confidence, we are able to pray the kind of prayers James talked about, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:15 NKJV) The Greek translation says, “The prayer of a righteous one has great strength, having been made effective.” It literally says, “Much strong a petition of one righteous being made effective.”

The Greek word for ‘avails,’ ‘strength,’ and ‘strong’ means to have or exercise power, prevail, be a force, capable of producing results, and so on.

The word for ‘effective’ and ‘fervent’ is the word ‘energeo,’ which means to show self to be active, operative, or efficient, be mighty in, work effectually, putting forth power, and so on.

In other words, of great strength, prevailing force, and capable of producing results is the petition of a righteous one, which is made active and operative, mighty in its working.

Those who prayed effective prayers prayed boldly because they expected God to reply. Joshua and Elijah are two examples.

When Joshua and his army faced the Amorite kings, the Lord told him not to fear the opposing armies for He had given Joshua victory over his enemy. Joshua prayed and the sun (and moon) stood still for twenty-four hours, giving Joshua time to defeat all his foes.

Elijah prayed that the rain would cease because of King Ahab’s allowance of prolific idolatry. God answered that prayer. Three and one half years later, after another confrontation with Ahab and his prophets of Baal, Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel (meaning the fruitful or plentiful place) where he bowed down with his face between his knees and prayed again. From that fruitful place, he said he heard “the sound of abundance of rain,” (1 Kings 18:41 NKJV) even before a single cloud was seen or a drop of rain had fallen.

James reassures us, “Elijah was a man just like us.” (James 5:17a NIV) What an awesome thought! The same spiritual power available to those righteous ones of yesteryear, scripture says is within our reach today. Granted, not all prayers necessitate boldness, however, it is ours to use.

But do we pray with confidence and boldness? Do we truly invade the heavenlies in behalf of some request? Are we as bold as Joshua? Do we have a fruitful place like Elijah? Are our prayers effective, having force and producing results?

Worth thinking on, isn’t it?

I pray boldly that your prayers will become bolder, more effective, and more fervent every day as you build your confidence to enter in God’s throne room and present Him your requests.

~~Blessings to you and keep dancing, Lynn~~

Friday, February 6

The Ten I's of Prayer

This is the first of ten I’s of prayer...unless I find some more!

1) Intercede

In Greek, to intercede means to chance upon, confer with, entreat, deal with as to meet a person in order to converse, consult, or supplicate. It comes from two words, one meaning in, by, at, and on, and the other means to affect, hit or light upon, make petition, plead with a person either for or against others.

Paul wrote to Timothy, “First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men.” (1 Tim. 2:1 AMP)

Do we go before the throne of God to make intercessions on behalf of all men? Let’s do a little checking…

Do our prayers focus more on “me, my, and mine,” or do we pray outside our circle of friends and families? Do we pray for those we say we will; for those involved when we hear sirens; for a Christian going through scrutiny in a public arena; for children who are abused, and for their abusers; for people the camera focuses on in the audience when we watch Christian programs; for our preachers as they stand at their pulpits to preach and for those listening?

Do we pray for the person who cuts us off while driving or when we accidentally cut someone off and they show us their digit of intelligence; for our children going through a nasty divorce, and for their spouse; for a friend to be blessed who has stabbed us in the back or spread harmful rumors about us; for children who are abducted, triggering an Amber Alert, for their parents, and the abductor; for the children of those heart-wrenching commercials for the support of children’s funds (if we cannot support them with our finances)?

Do we pray for the one in line in front of us who obviously needs prayer and may have no one else to pray for him or her; for the family of someone who has been murdered, and for the murderer; for the President, whether we like him or not; for the terrorists; for the Democrats if we’re a Republican or for the Republicans if we’re a Democrat; for those on the front-line of Christian ministry; for those opposed to Christianity?

Do we pray for the peace and safety of Israel; for those precious people around the world who have been mutilated because they refuse to denounce their faith in Christ, and for their attackers; for the safety of those Christian unknowns hidden in dark corners of the globe, working tirelessly for the Kingdom; for spiritual revival in us, our church, our city, or our country; for the outpouring of the Spirit and God’s glory to be manifested? Do we have a worldview, praying around the world to save the oppressed, the hungry, the poor, the naked, the hurting, the lost?

Jesus’ purpose for coming was “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) He prayed to the Father for lost souls, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me because of their testimony.” (John 17:2 NT)

When Paul told Timothy to pray for all men, he said, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, for He wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4 NLT)

We should also take to heart what Samuel said, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you,” (1 Sam. 12:23 NKJV) whoever the you may be.

All people are of concern to us because they are of concern to God. Who knows, maybe our intercessory prayers will physically save the life of one on the other side of the planet, or bring one back to health, or better yet, save a soul! Won’t it be exciting in heaven to find out?

~~Keep dancing, Lynn~~

Monday, February 2

Finger Painting

We have power! It will take me a while to caught up so bear with me! I appreciate all of my readers. May the Lord bless you!

A blank canvas begs my attention,
A palette of white before my eyes,
Awaiting my fingers to begin.
What will be its completed surprise?

Painting images that dance in my head,
Drawing them in orderly fashion,
To give them substance and come alive,
That’s my desire, that’s my passion.

Coloring, shading, tinting here and there;
There must be a point at which to start,
To choose from the hues of my palette,
And blend them into a work of art.

Stirring scenes depicted by my touch,
To express the feelings of the heart,
Offered when troubles surround a soul,
For it’s comfort I long to impart.

Giving my fingers freedom to move,
Yet sketching with a divine restraint,
Guided by the Master Craftsman’s Hand,
I click on the keys, and start to paint.

Sunday, February 1

No Power...Yet Again!

To all my precious readers, I'm sorry I have not updated my blog but we are without power...again! We lost power in September when a hurricane came through our city.

We just happen to live in the path the recent snow and ice storm that swept through many states, including Kentucky. The storm took down power lines all over the state. Hundreds of thousands have been without power and many without water. The entire National Guard of Kentucky has been called to active duty by the governor, the first time in the history of the state.

We lost power early Tuesday morning, Jan. 27, and, after the temperature in the house dipped to 48 degrees, we decided on Wednesday to leave our home and stay with our son. We are still staying with him. The power company is still saying it may be another 7-10 days before power is restored.

If you would say a prayer for all the volunteers and workers who have worked so hard to fix power lines, serve hot meals, and man shelters and centers for those who have nowhere to go, I know it would be appreciated.

Bless you and thank you. Keep dancing!