Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 4

February 28, 2009

Today’s scripture from Seeking God for the City. Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Brought to my remembrance, Isaiah 6:5-6. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! Then flew one of the seraphim [heavenly beings] to me, having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from off the altar; And with it he touched my mouth and said, Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity and guilt are taken away, and your sin is completely atoned for and forgiven.
As an intercessor, I understand the importance of obedience to prayer. Praise, God, I also understand grace. Yet, as God has given me burden for my city, my family, and more . . . the enemy continues to lob those nasty but mostly misguided missiles into the territory of my mind and sometimes my lips. One of the dearest desires of my heart is to use my lips to encourage, exhort, and build up others. Yet those same lips that desire to bless can get ugly. Lord, forgive me. Create in me a clean heart. Renew your spirit in me day by day and keep me faithful. I love the joy of your salvation. If someone says something that my “hurt” my feeling, I don’t have to retort with a tongue lashing. How grateful I am that Holy Spirit fills my mouth with your message in my time of need. It’s not about me, Jesus, it’s all about you.

All week long the words of this song have been singing in my head. Purify my heart, cleanse me from within to be like Jesus. Purify my heart, Lord. Keep me tightly attached to you. I want to be holy, set apart for you, my master, ready to do your will. As I ask you to change my darkened city, I ask you to cleanse my mind, my life. Cleanse my lips. I want to serve you well and with integrity.

Today I pray: Lord, there are so many in Siouxland who are captive to sin, desperate to find something to satisfy the hole in the heart. Underneath most of the cynicism is brokenness and hopelessness. Lord, move, I pray. Position appointments with these to begin to hear and see light. Move hearts to be desperate to be free from sin. Move hearts to be hungry for the compassionate one, the approachable one . . . hungry for you, Lord.

Lord, I pray today for my pastors: for Gene and for Dan and for their families. I’ve looked so long for pastors, for a church like I have today. I absolutely do not take them for granted because I see your hand upon them, I recognize your anointing. Multiply that anointing day by day, Lord. Pour out your Spirit upon them. Call them to deeper places of intimacy with you. Let them know the deepest meaning of “friendship” with you, Lord. Protect them and protect their families and their land from any wiles of the evil one. Do awesome things on their behalf. Amaze them with your favor. Make them magnets for other pastors in our city. Draw our pastors together that we might seek you as one voice. Protect our pastors in our city. Shake them up, wake them up, bring fire!! Bring healing!! Bring intercessors to guard their gates and watch over them in prayer.

And today, Lord, we pray for the strongholds of Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Move, Lord, move. You are able!! Where there is oppression, be the light that shines brightly in the darkness. Where sin abounds, let grace be boldly evident!!

In Jesus name.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 3

February 27, 2009

Today’s scripture, Psalm 130:3-8. If You, Lord, should keep account of and treat [us according to our] sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You [just what man needs], that You may be reverently feared and worshiped. I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope. I am looking and waiting for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, I say, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is mercy and loving-kindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Lord, I am so grateful this morning that I have opportunity to come before you as I start my day. I am so grateful that you have rescued me from such a broken foundation, and consistently and steadfastly day by day over the years turned my hopelessness into such joy. I love you so much because you loved me so greatly. In my sin, you sent Yeshua, Jesus. You began a new work to change me from the inside out that continues to this very day and will no doubt continue until that time I stand before you face to face. You, O Lord, draw me unto you and change my heart. Even this day, I see you at work in my life changing flesh driven thoughts and remolding them into Christ driven direction. You waken me in the wee hours of the morning and my thoughts are of you. I love the way Holy Spirit ministers to me, even as I sleep. I just want to say thank you. I just want to tell you that I cannot imagine my life without you. I give you all of me to do with as you will, Lord.

Today I pray:

For all the Christians in my life, in my church, in my city, who have wandered from you because something has come into their lives and replaced the time they used to spend with you. Or maybe they have been broken or wounded within the Body of Christ. I ask that you draw them, Lord. That you breathe new passion, new hope, new fervor into them. I ask, my Lord, that you position each one of us with best friends in Yeshua . . . some one to help us be accountable, someone to give strength when the load is heavy, someone to encourage us in our excitement for you. Breathe fire in us, Lord.

I pray for those I love who don’t know you and who are held captive by invisible prisons of sin. I ask that you call them, Lord, that you lead them to new life. I pray in the name of Yeshua that the scales which keep them blind be removed. Bring revelation and transform them by His mercy.

I pray for those who have lost jobs and have not found employment. Father God, in that name above all names there are those I especially lift before you today and ask that you go before them and prepare the way. Lord, I ask your favor for my dear friends Rick Z in S CA, Donovan W, Tom V, Krista H, and Terri B in Houston. When the time of John’s service to his sister is over, I pray you arrange appointments for him and find him a good job. I ask you to guard over and watch Otis and Jim and Bob. I pray you walk before Rayne and all those at GTW who are waiting for termination dates. You are the God who is able!! Provide for these, Lord. Open new doors of opportunity I pray.

In a time of economic challenge, I praise you for provision over your people. Your word says I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God. Ecc. 3:12-13 Your word also says in Philippians 4:18-20, But I have [your full payment] and more; I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. [They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights. And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever (through the endless eternities of the eternities).
Amen (so be it).

So be it, Lord. Have your way with us. Have mercy upon us in our sin. Bring revival to our land and our territory. You, O mighty Father, already desire that no man should perish, that all would know you. Let us release your will on earth through prayer and declaration in Jesus name.

Today we pray for Canada, Lord, and ask your spirit to fall on Canada our neighbor as it falls on the US. We pray for the British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, and the countries of Chile and Columbia South America needs you, Lord. The island territories need you, Lord. Fall on them, we pray.

Seeking God for the City, Day 2

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The message today encourages us to pray for break through in complacency and pride. The scripture: Isaiah 29:13-14 (Amplified Bible) And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning], Therefore, behold! I will again do marvelous things with this people, marvelous and astonishing things; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discerning men will vanish or be hidden.

Lord, I pray that I never become skilled in religious performance. I don’t mind being a fool for you, but I don’t ever want to be a phony. I sit in the front of the church so I am ready to receive all that you have for me. I lift my hands and stand to worship because you and you alone are worthy, but guard my heart so that my focus is always on you and that as I am called to worship, I am oblivious to my surroundings.

There is nothing more dear to my heart than those times you call me to meet with you or those times when I know you have given me the words to pray over a son or daughter you call your own. I don’t care that others may find me a bit “peculiar”, but I do care that the actions of my being are congruent with the content of my heart. What I want others to see in me is you. I want my attraction to be Jesus in me.

I confess, Lord, that I struggle with pride. But I know that you know the desire of my heart to be completely sold out to you. Wash me in Holy Spirit. Those times spent in communion with you are the life force of my existence. I love you so much. You, Lord, YOU are the delight of my heart!! Mold, make me, form me more to your likeness so that I can be a useable vessel. I am yours, Lord. Don’t let me grow lukewarm or complacent. Don’t ever let me lose my excitement in you, Lord. I ask that you always frame my vulnerability in your faithfulness over me. Without you, I am capable of no good thing.

Lord, today I pray that you would help me to be humble before you and others. Help me find that sweet line of demarcation between a spirit of humility and the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Cover me in your grace. I pray today, Lord, that you will call many in Siouxland to yourself. Among them my dad and my brother. I pray that you will indeed intercept our run away lives and draw us close to you.

I pray today for marriages. Everywhere I look, I see broken marriages. When the enemy destroys the family, he destroys the future. Lord, the walls and the foundations are so broken, but you are the master builder. Restore the foundations in you, Lord. Repair the walls in you, Lord. Lord, without you as the corner stone, one is unable to love in the way that others need to be loved. Heal broken hearts, restore intimacy. Be the center force of the home, Lord. Restore the hearts of the parents to the child and the child to the parents.

Today, Lord, I ask that Holy Spirit do a mighty work in Babados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolvia, and Brazil. Draw these unto yourself O Lord. In Jesus name.

Seeking God for the City, Day 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

O Lord of Hosts, dear Father God . . .

I do sincerely pray that you will revive your people, the Church . . . especially the American Church. We have strayed so far from you. Our hearts have grown so cold and apathetic. Too many of our pastors have strayed from you and embrace a foreign doctrine. Too many of us have taken you for granted. As a result, our families, our cities, our nation is broken. Is it beyond repair? You, O God, are the God of ALL possibilities. Begin with me, my Father. Burn a passion in my heart to walk before you in obedience. Burn a passion in my heart for faithfulness in all your precepts. Burn a passion in me for daily time spent with you and you alone. Forgive me for not crying out more, for not praying more for those lost and in bondage. Burn in my heart an unquenchable passion for intercession. Perfect wisdom and discernment in me.

Surprise me and delight me with your confirmation of faithfulness. Mold me into the kind of Christ follower I desire to be. Anoint me so that I can be a usable vessel. I cry out before you in urgency this afternoon for my loved ones, my friends new and old, my neighbors, my co-workers, Lord.

I pray today for the young people, for Tony’s generation, for John’s generation. Move mightily in them that would be called the plantings of the Lord. I pray that all our young people would be Christ followers in the years ahead. Guard them, Lord.

I pray today for the Americas and the Caribbean. I pray for America. Wake her up, Lord, shake her up. Bring revival to our cities and our nation. You see her totter on the abyss Intervene for the sake of your people, Father . . . we need you, we cry out to you, because you are merciful, because you are faithful to our cry. I pray for South America and the Caribbean. Move, Lord, move! Such brokenness, such desecration, such sin. Bring redemption, bring salvation, bring healing, I pray.

I'm back

Well, I started out with gusto, and then wham . . . all those things to do that just got in the way of my blogging. So why do I blog? To lighten the load on my hard drive? It would be a justifiable reason, but not true. The real truth is I love to write, mostly to and about my Lord. I haven’t been lacking in talks with my Father nor have I been far from the Lord. It’s been an amazingly sabbatical. I’ve walked in Galilee. I’ve stood on the temple mount and prayed at the Western Wall. I’ve said good bye to another child, now in California. I went through my first Christmas apart from my kids. I survived additional massive cuts at Gateway.

But now I want to start spending some intimate time with Jesus and with those who care to share my thoughts again. I love the times when the Lord calls me to come meet with him, generally during the hours of the 3rd watch, but also in various times throughout the day, I love the conversations that I have with Jesus in my head. I love the way he speaks truth to me through scripture, through the direction in the quiet place, through imagination and joy, through sweet conversation with other sisters and brothers in Christ.

When I stood on the top of Mt. Scopus overlooking Jerusalem, I cried. The Lord had revealed so much to me in Israel, and as I gazed upon the desecration and brokenness from the Mt. of Olives, I felt so connected with Jesus. Then Holy Spirit challenged me. He (not “the” nor “it”) and asked if I was weeping for Sioux City and the brokenness and desecration of my city. For its lost, its captives, its sick. Then God marvelously placed a booklet in the hands of my sister Miki and myself called Seeking God for the City.

Now it’s Lent. And through the incredible support of pastors that I love so much -- because I see what kind of heart they have for Jesus and others, and I know that I have a church home making a difference in my city – my whole church is engaged and Seeking God for the City during the 40 days before Easter. Sooooooooo . . .during the next 40 days, I am going to share my Lenten devotions and prayers in my blogs.

Please come and dine with me. Come and share with me. Come knowing that we serve a mighty king, and He is about to do great things in our midst.

Much, much love,