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    The #1 Key Ingredient to Powerful Prayers

    In the ten years of praying every morning—it’s been about exactly ten years—there have been a handful of super-powerful breakthrough days. Today was one of those. About 30 minutes in, I can’t even remember exactly what I was praying about, but God said, “Speak to it!” So I did. Then it’s like He took me by the hand and brought up other situations, other challenges, other strongholds, other physical ailments, other people and their issues. He’d point at each and say, “Speak to it.” So I would. I was caught up in His heart of overwhelming love. His truth and His desire for each situation came out my mouth.

    It seems so strange to me that with all that power, God chooses to align our hearts with His then puts His words in our mouths. Us puny jars of clay as vessels for the Holy, eternal, perfect will of God? Crazy idea. He woos us. He cleanses us. He slowly burns away our selfishness (an ongoing process like weeds that sprout to full height overnight). Then, as His desires become our desires, He says, “Say it.”

    The power of blessing and cursing really is in the tongue. It’s not only the rudder for our individual lives, it’s the rudder that guides the course of the whole world. It’s effects even reach into the spiritual world, into the eternal world. “Speak it!”

    That’s why faith is a gift. That’s why our confidence in God’s love has to be unshakeable. When His words in our mouths are filled with absolute belief, they carry transformative power from His throne.

    To those who would say, “If God’s so powerful and loving, why is the world the way it is?” I would reply, “Because people are using the power of creation—the creative power God has instilled in all of us—to speak cursing, selfish ambition, self-absorption, retribution for harm, hatred for enemies, etc.” We’ve spoken it. We’ve established it. We’ve created our own hell on earth. Then we shake our fist at God and/or deny His presence. We have not because we ask not. We ask not because our focus and words are centered on self, on indulgence, on fear, on placing blame on others, on cursing others so we can feel superior.

    James 4:1-3 addresses this head-on: What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (RSV)

    The power of blessing and cursing is in the tongue. We in general, as inhabitants of God’s good earth and free receptors of His gift of life, have used that gift to side with evil, to slash and jab our way through life leaving a trail of maimed lives in our wake.

    Correction of this wrong has to start with “My people who are called by My name,” say the Lord in II Chronicles 7:14. When we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He promises to hear from Heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land.

    The beautiful healing of our land happens after our sin is healed. Our sin—our unforgivenesses, our pride, our fears, our selfish ambitions—prevent us from having God’s heart and mind towards others. When freed from those chains, we will be open channels of God’s unconditional, overwhelming love. That kind of flood? Nothing can withstand it.

    Giants fall.

    Evil strongholds crumble.

    Captives are set free.

    On all flesh God pours out His Spirit.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is truly at hand. Let’s take our hands off the throats of our enemies. Let’s open our hands that grasp so desperately to things, money, shallow distractions, and empty ambition. Let’s empty ourselves so He can fill us with what truly satisfies. Then we can use our tongues to proclaim from the mountaintops, “Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done!”

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall & 

    One Night With a Rock Star


    A Prophecy of Hope

    Over the past decade of daily prayer, I’ve often wondered that God has never sounded the alarm in my heart instructing us to stockpile, build a stronghold or otherwise prepare for tribulation. This morning, He spoke of the coming shaking but it was in an entirely different tone.

    We should fear the coming shaking no more than the Hebrew nation feared the plagues of Egypt. The purpose of these things is not a thing of vengeance. Rather the shaking is to display the emptiness of our idols. The purpose of the shaking is to set us free so we can embrace and rely on the one true God.

    Image from the movie "Prince of Egypt"

    We’re in a land of idols. It’s just a modern version of Egypt. We serve so many but, rather than a god of stone sitting on our mantel, it’s a rectangular, flat-screen god that provides distraction and soothes our pain. It’s little flat, rectangular pieces of plastic we swipe in machines to pay for our wants and needs. It’s small rectangular information and communication devices that make us lord of the details of our lives. (so anything rectangular is evil—joke—just making sure you’re paying attention) It’s the money in our pockets, banks and stock holdings; the car that gets us where we want to go; the readily available food and treats. All of these things become gods because we believe they are our shelter, our foundation and the answer to our needs. Problem is, they don’t last and they don’t truly satisfy. In reality, these multiple gods are our bondage. We are in a prison believing the illusion that we’re masters of our domain. We’re lulled to laziness, not realizing all the things on which we rely are like depending on a flimsy bubble for protection. All of these things are fake, empty gods.

    When God shook Egypt, he was shaking their reliance on multiple gods. Not only was he shaking the Hebrews free, He was also proving to the Egyptians the futility of their gods. In fact, many Egyptians walked out of Egypt with the Hebrews and became followers of the One true God.

    Rather than fear the coming shaking of the kingdoms of this world, let’s view it from the perspective of a loving God. God’s heart is to show us our idols are empty and unable to save us. He shakes these kingdoms and shakes us free from bondage. Until we realize we’re sitting in a prison, we won’t long for freedom.

    Rather than dread and fear, we need to take our cues from Paul and Silas in Acts 16. They were in chains, but they put their eyes on God. As they worshiped, an earthquake shook the prison. The cell doors opened and the chains fell off.

    That’s a reason to rejoice, not to fear.

    The coming shaking is to prove our gods are fake. They’re not able to save us. They are like building a house on sand. Ease and plenty are seductive but they are a lie and a prison nonetheless.

    Therefore, God’s message to us is that we are not to fear what the world fears. We are to make sure our foundation is firmly set on the one rock that cannot be shaken. We don’t scream in terror when the kingdoms of this world crumble. Rather, we bring God’s confidence, healing and salvation to those sitting in ashes of devastation. Instead of condemnation, we bring the compassion and love of Christ. We rejoice only that millions more are ushered into the arms of their loving Heavenly Father. We rejoice in chains falling away and cell doors swinging open.

    But remember, those prisoners are going to need someone to lead them into freedom.

    That’s the true job of Christ’s body when the shaking starts. We dig down deep through God’s solid foundation to His fathomless river of life and grace. Then we show others dying of thirst how to get to the water.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall & 

    One Night With a Rock Star

    A Prophecy of Hope


    The Prayer Matrix

    Image from: some time now I’ve been praying about and grappling with the deeper meaning behind Jesus’ miracles. Of course there’s the obvious: Jesus heals. But I just knew there was a deeper application to His miracles since that’s the way God works. Nothing is ever wasted.

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    When Prayer. Is. Hard.

    I admit, it’s a blow to faith when God moves in a powerful way yet the ones for whom you prayed still deal with hellish circumstances.

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    Three Hymns/Common Theme

    The three hymns that rolled through my mind during morning prayer:


    1. Take My Life & Let It Be
    2. Have Thine Own Way, Lord
    3. I Surrender All


    Hmmm. Detecting a pattern here.

    Click to read more ...