Sunday, March 8, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 12

March 8, 2009
This week, we embrace a new theme and pray for the spiritual awakening of those who do not yet follow Yeshua, Jesus. Oh Lord, how sweet for me to lift my father and my brother before you and tell you what they mean to me and have meant to my life. How I long that they would come into the presence of the King of Kings. You, my Lord, are the God of the impossible, so a few hard headed and hearted Swedes are not too much for you! You can draw them and break the yokes that bind them. I rejoice because you have promised me that you will. I just want to praise you for that Lord. To me belongs obedience, to YOU belongs fruit. Yet as I pray, I also pray today for my neighbors: for Bob and his family, for Sharon and Denny, for Margaret and Pete.

I believe the current situation in the US will bring many people to repentance, Lord. As difficult times come, folks begin to understand their need for you; they begin to look for answers. We do everything possible to avoid pain, but pain brought salvation to me. My need for you, and your faithfulness to me created a relationship that I could not imagine living without. What do people who do not know you do in times of trial? I cannot imagine a life without the Lord of hope. Many are in despair today, Lord. Draw them, I pray. Many have heard the gospel and rejected it. You are the God of mercy. Remove the scales that blind them and help them to see. Open ears and hearts to hear and receive. Bring them to sincere repentance, Lord.

Your word says for today . . . Isaiah 55:6-7. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Matthew 13:15. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. Soften the calloused heart, Lord. You desire that no man should perish. Let your kindness and love reveal mercy anew.

I pray today for our government. It is calloused, Lord, blind and deaf. I pray Lord that you call our government to sincere repentance through the kings you have positioned in its seats of authority. May corruption be driven from the high courts and places of decision. May you guard our kings and send them wise counsel. May you create in them a repentant heart. May they know and honor YOU o God.

Today we begin to pray for Asia and the Pacific. We pray for Afghanistan, a womb of terror and ask that you bring hope to believers there. Move in Afghanistan, Lord, to reveal the God who is the real and true and only God. And we pray, Lord, that you move in these countries too: American Samoa, Antarctica, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, and Cambodia.
In Jesus name.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 11

March 7, 2009

Oh, Lord that you would manifest your presence and your glory!! You are our God, we are your people. The scriptures declare: Ezekiel 3:27-28. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.' John 1:14. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. What incredible love, what incredible grace you bestow on us, Lord.

Move in us, come upon us, form us to be a people who know and celebrate you. Yes! I love the words of the booklet when they say, “Utterly preside over us”. Manifest your splendor. Mark us with holiness. Let your beautiful character be notorious in us!!

Jesus, in YOU we do glimpse the glory of God. Jesus you DO anchor heaven’s life on earth. What will it be like to know you in your fullness? Glory too wonderful for me to grasp here. Open my eyes, Lord, that I might see you. Open my ears, Lord, so that I will not miss your call. Let your Spirit fall upon us like an avalanche. Burn your truth in our hearts to refine us into useable vessels. We want to see YOU JESUS!! Lord, let our minds be filled with you. Reveal your magnificence in our community.

Lord, we pray today for gangs. Fill the longing for significance of these broken children with your significance to changed lives. Break the yokes that bind them and keep them bound. Send Christ followers into their midst. I pray especially today for Linda Olson and all of the workers in Kid’s ROCK and youth. Bless them, Lord. Anoint them. I pray for Ted and Miki and the work at the Boy’s and Girl’s Home. I pray for Tony. Let his desire be not linked to broken kids but to be linked to you, Jesus.

Lord, I weep and repent for the United States. Move in her, O God. Move mighty and strong in her. Lord, we are so desperate for you. And as you move in us, move too in Uruguay, Venezuala, the Virgin Islands. Pour out your Spirit, Lord. Pour out in Jesus name. Manifest your mighty presence and your glory!!

Seeking God for the City, Day 10

March 6, 2009

Seeking God for the restoration of families . . .Lord, we have turned our backs on the values of our parents and the foundations of righteousness that made us a great country, that caused us to see your protective hand upon us. Today more children live in one parent families than two. If you just looked through natural eyes, it would appear that the enemy has been victorious over the structure you designed to teach of relationship with you.

Today’s verse in Malachi 4 says in the Amplified version, And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to [the piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction.

Lord, our land is rapidly deteriorating. Our fathers and mothers have abandoned the gates. For so many years, we have had broken children making broken children. As a result, too many children have no foundation, no hope. They are angry, Lord. They rebel.

Lord, you are the God who is able. Come today as Father to call the broken children of all ages. Set watch in the church that we who know the love of Christ would arise and stand and embrace our broken brothers and sisters and children. Lord, we have a nation of walking wounded who have not learned of your precepts. Call them to healing, Lord.

I pray today for the prodigal children. I thank you for your promise over them, Lord. I thank you that you word says in Jeremiah, This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." This is what the LORD says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD. "They will return from the land of the enemy. Comfort the hearts of those who wait upon you mighty God.

I pray for Christian ministries, Lord. May the boundaries that have been stretched so far they are almost impossible to see lead back to truth. Pour out your anointing on those with a fresh message, a bold word, those who strive to be obedient. Renew your vision in your people. Encourage your laborers.

We pray today for the people of St. Kits and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and the Caicos Islands. We could use some of the pureness of those who serve you in small island nations.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 9

March 5, 2009

Ah Lord, the subject today is obedience, that thing that calls us to daily determinations to serve you in righteousness and truth. We will never really reach that place of full obedience here I don’t think, but every day I walk with you, I desire more to be obedient to your precepts and your standards for a daughter of God. I love today’s verses . . . from Ezekiel 36:26-27, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. I can’t do it without you, Lord. It is you who changes my corrupted heart and through Holy Spirit changes my desire so that I can walk just a little better in your statutes and your judgments. You see how I struggle. But like your servant David, you also see that my heart hungers for you, and that I truly long to be renewed in Your Spirit.

I also love the scripture today from Mark 12:30-31, and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” I do love\you, Lord, with all of my heart. And I love your people. I long to be in your presence and I rejoice in the fellowship of the saints. But do I take enough time to reach out to my neighbors? I think not. Do I persevere enough to witness to those I love who do not know you? I keep thinking about Esther before Xerxes as she poured out to the king about how much Mordecai meant to her, what he meant to her life. She longed for Mordecai to enter into the presence of the king. Oh God, I long for those I love to enter into your presence. Help me love better.

I don’t always know the defining line between nagging those I yearn to see in your presence and just sharing my love for you with them. Help me with discernment, Lord. I hunger for those I know that love you to walk in the full measure of your blessing. I didn’t always do that, yet you were faithful to draw me to you. Help me discern between your nudging and my own desire. I know that if I am not operating in you, any thing I do is vain. With unfeigned humility, I do ask that you fulfill your ancient promise to change hearts of stone into hearts that burn with passion.

Father, let me reflect Jesus, I pray. There is no good thing in me without Jesus. I pray you pour out your blessing on your sons and daughters, Lord. May many be surprised by the love of their Christ following neighbors.

Lord, I lift women before you with delight. I pray in agreement with thousands that women would be honored for their unique glory as created by God. I pray that every injustice toward women would cease. I pray for sisters to be released today, Lord, in the freedom that comes from loving you. I pray for renewed hope for women. I pray for Godly companions for single women seeking a spouse. I pray that single women would know the hope of great joy and purpose you have for them in your glory! And I pray a special blessing today over each of my sisters in the Lord. You know who they are, Lord. Thank you for positioning them in my life.

And I pray today for Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. More of those island countries, Lord. I love the music of the islands. I pray today for the songs of praise of your people to ascend to the throne from the islands.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 8

March 4, 2009

Lord, today we ask that you renew our passion to worship. On Day 8, our Seeking God for the City guide leads us to Psalm 70:4 and says, But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "Let God be exalted!" Luke 10:21 addresses the joy of Christ . . .At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . .”

I sometimes wonder how often we rejoice in the “joy” of our salvation. Or if we are fully aware of what is contained in the blessed eternal covenant in which those who accept the work of Christ and the cross are transferred into the family of God. Lord, too often we cry “help” instead of offering praise. Our outcomes are established. What could possibly happen here on earth that would separate us from your love? Your word says nothing. We depend so much on feeling. Yet faith and love are not feelings, in the fullness of both is a decision, a determination to believe you.

I love to spend my time with the family of God. It is different knowing the love of those who know the love of the Father. I think about conversations about Jesus with my sisters and brothers, and I see the delight through their eyes as they speak of the one who loves them. And worship is a decision too. True worship is obedience. The real song of the heart comes through obedience and communication with you, Lord. As we seek you first, a song rises from your faithfulness over us.

Lord, so many Christians are trying to straddle the world’s fence today. We can’t do it. A man cannot serve two masters. Father in Jesus name; call those brothers and sisters who struggle so with unbelief and depression to that place where praise abides. When we are praising you, Lord, when we are in the act of lifting our praise in sincere gratitude, depression and oppression have to leave the building!! Empower us with Holy Spirit. Show us what pleases you. Fill us, Lord.

Let us pray today for the arts and entertainment industry. Every good and lovely gift comes from you, O Lord. You are the Father of all creativity. Thank you, Lord, for those celebrities who give you the glory. Thank you, Lord, for quality Christ based movies and books. Thank you, Lord, for those righteous voices which strive to supply wholesome and value based entertainment to your people.

But Lord, please don’t let our church be performance oriented, but let us be Holy Spirit driven. Let us come to worship not expecting to be entertained, but rejoicing together in a song that rises from your faithfulness. Let our worship be acceptable to you, Lord.

Today we pray for the Netherlands, the Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. As we’ve prayed this week, I am reminded of the vast number of countries who are bordered by the oceans. Let the living waters cover your people, Lord. Awaken our hearts in Jesus name.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 7

Today, I join with thousands of others in the nation, to ask God to reveal His glory amidst His people. The scripture reference is found in Isaiah 60:1-3 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” John 17:22 says, I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.

Oh Jesus, how I hunger for your light. How I hunger for your glory in midst of your people. There is so much darkness every where we look, even in us, Lord, and only the flame of Holy Spirit can change it around. Today has been a tough day for me. Don’s cancer was removed from his lip. Tony had the flue, I had what looked like a hundred unanswered emails, many with some kind of dilemma to deal with. I am grasping for structure, but things have just been out of sorts for many reasons.

Yet tonight, I knew that I could come into the quiet place and meet with you and be refreshed in the water of your word. You, Lord, are an every ready sanctuary I can run to, a shelter in the chaos that surrounds me far to often. I love to run to you, but my heart grieves for those who do not know the lover of their soul. Yet, your word says that you have given us the glory that the Father gave you, so that we might be one. Let your glory in us, Lord, shine in the place where we have been planted.

Lord, draw your people together in our city. Make us one. Bless those who work diligently to bring unity to the Body of Christ in Siouxland. Help us understand the central and core issues of Christianity and help us not get lost in things that do not matter. Let our light shine as your glory falls so that those with no hope, those so in need of the Son might see and be attracted. I thank you, Lord, for this day.

We pray for those men and women in the military today. O Lord, who know where this country is going except for you? I am so reminded of the wonderful Israeli gentlemen I sat with on the airplane from Tel Aviv to Zurich. He said {of the IDF} we teach them not only of the faithfulness of God over our people from the earliest of days, but we teach them that they must all do their part to protect this land for our survival as a nation depends on both. Lord, bless our soldiers. Keep watch over them, I pray. Draw them close to you. Such young faces, such horrific responsibility. Quicken the hearts of this nation to support them and quicken the hearts of those who love you to pray for them. Be with the families who wait for sons and daughters to come home. Let your glory cover those who serve.
Lord, we also pray today for the Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico and Montserrat. Have your way, Lord. Blessed be your name!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 6

March 2, 2009

I love the encouragement in Day 6 of Seeking God for the City to stir us to persistent, united prayer. Ezekiel lived in a time not terribly different than our own. As the Lord spoke with Ezekiel, He gave a word that was instrumental in my own exhortation to become faithful in prayer. It is from the 22nd Chapter of Ezekiel and says, “Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says'-when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD." O Lord, may it never be that your people abandon the walls, and may there always be those called to stand in the gap.

Today’s SGFC guide gives us this marvelous promise from Isaiah 62, I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. I am convinced that we will never understand the mystery of prayer completely - nor will we grasp how important prayer is to the releasing of God’s purpose upon the earth - until we meet Him face to face. But how wonderful to know that God has, in fact, appointed watchmen on the walls! They are called intercessors, and my personal prayer today is that through Christ Jesus a strong army of them rise up in every church in Siouxland to watch over and guard the walls of our people . . .to especially watch over and guard the walls of our pastors and their families . . . to watch over the walls of the city . . . to be obedient to the Lord in prayer.

Lord, move in us to make a fresh commitment to time spent with you in prayer. Teach us, O Lord, to pray kingdom prayers. Help us to see your broader vision. As our guide says today, Infuse us with YOUR adamant, enduring zeal. Train us to pray in patient pursuit of Your promises. Lord, we pray, create new movements and opportunities for prayer in our city . . . with each other . . . with other believers and churches. Create in us a pure heart, a clean spirit that we may be used by You!!

And today, Lord . . .We do pray in alignment with Seeking God for the City and intercede for those who are sick in our community. Give them healing and comfort; Let them grow in Godly character as You walk with them in their ordeal. Provide for their financial needs. Strengthen and encourage and refresh the care givers and loved ones who stand with them. Renew for all their trust in Christ and encourage them to follow him boldly, even in affliction. Amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Seeking God for the City, Day 5

March 1, 2009

Today’s scripture is mighty, and I receive it, I declare it, and I praise God for its promises, for they are most dear to my heart!!! Isaiah 44:3-4 {By the way, Isaiah is one of my favorite books to dwell in}. And God says, For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

At the end of my life, I have but one deep, deep desire of the heart . . . that all of my children and grandchildren will know Christ in His fullness and walk with Him in the valley of surrender and Lordship. My kids had a rough beginning. I am convinced to this day that their dad was saved, but addictions he could not gain victory over would steal his life. I remember in the early days of struggle, having a sister in Christ remind me that God’s promise to me was that He would be my husband and father to my children. Over the course of many years, that truth would become so real, such a central part of my love for him. I would (and still do) continue to lift them to God and bring to His remembrance that promise that He would be “Father” to them.

My kids have not escaped the natural consequences of the sins of the parents, and they have struggled. But they have also learned that the yokes are broken through the atonement of Jesus, and that He is their salvation, their healing, their hope. Today, all of my kids love God, though not all are walking in intimacy with Him. God’s favor over Shawna has been incredible to say the least. John has all of his natural father’s good character traits and gifts and a few that have created some problems for him, yet the Spirit of his Father God is strong in him too. I see that. Summer also loves God, and I am confident that He watches over Summer in a way that I cannot. I see God move in Tony, and I know that as much as I worry about him, God loves him and will care for him. God will complete His promise in my offspring. My descendents will be blessed! They WILL know God – not just know about him. That my friends, makes me dance in the Spirit. And God’s promises also pertain to my dad and to my brother. In due time and season, they will know God. It is my promise from my Father who has always been faithful to His word. And if God says it, it’s good enough for me!!

My granddaughter Kate has already shown a mantle for prayer. My grandmother was a woman of prayer. I didn’t know my mom’s mother. She died before I was born, but as I understand it, she was one of those baptized in Holy Spirit in the first great outpouring of His Spirit in the early 1900s. I wonder about those in my family who held a mantle of intercession before I was born, who paved the way in prayer for me to know God. Someday, I will know them. Some day I will thank them.

Today I pray, Lord, pour out on those I love. Deluge them in the flood of Holy Spirit. Let the waters of the river of life soak them in steady streams. Let your holy rain forever fill any dry or parched places. Make appointments for my kids while I am away from them with strong people of God. Make appointments for me with someone elses kids who need to be loved on a little. Make appointments for every abandoned and neglected child in this city. Draw the hearts of the parents, and bring hope to the broken child. Let your streams of living water flow through Sioux City and the Church of Sioux City. Awaken the intercessors. Let us boldly arise to declare Sioux City as Kingdom Territory!!

I pray for families today. Our families are broken. Our people confused and in bondage to the one who lies to their soul. Make them thirsty for you, Lord. Draw them. Heal families, Lord. Restore. I love you Yeshua. I love you, Father. I love you Holy Spirit. Thank you for changing my life and giving me a new foundation.

Father, today I pray for El Salvador, the Falkland Islands, French Guinea, and Greenland. Pour out on them, Lord. Pour out in their children. In Jesus name.