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    Entries in prayer (8)

    Sunday
    Sep222013

    A Surprising Way to Develop Character Depth

    My author’s journey didn’t start with a burning need to write or ambition to be a bestselling author. 

    It began with desperation.

    At one of the lowest points of my life I was inspired by a book about prayer-inspired revival to pray every day, first thing, for at least an hour. A year later, crazy things started to happen. 

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jul242013

    Wanna Know Why I'm Obsessed?

    "I started writing with no clue what had begun, much like a first kiss that can’t conceive of a mortgage and parenting."

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jul032013

    What's With This Crazy "Speaking in Tongues" Stuff?

    This morning, God woke me with thoughts of His Word Made flesh, of Jesus as the Tree of Life and of those who sneak over the walls and steal this fruit for their own, selfish use.

    “My words are Life to those who find them and health to their whole body.” Prov.4:22 

    “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue...” Prov. 18:21 

    *Our tongues need to be cleansed and redeemed to speak God’s words that are powerful and transforming.

    *Thus the necessity of Speaking in Tongues. God’s will and words flow through our spirit and out our mouths. The main thing that is sacrificed for this to happen? Pride/Ego/Selfish Ambition—by any name it’s the fruit of Lucifer’s lineage, the thing that takes God’s place on the throne of our lives.

    How I wish I could capture the simplicity and blinding truth of those first semi-lucid moments when God was whispering to my mind when it was like a mirror-smooth lake as I was coming out of the grogginess of sleep. It’s like hearing a beautiful song in your head and then trying to put it in a form others can hear that will still capture the beauty of what was in your head.

    The basic words were the scripture above of “My words are life to those who find them and health to all their bones (all their flesh).” Those words repeated in my mind maybe three times then I was thinking how Jesus was “the Word made flesh” and how we are to “consume” Him into ourselves so He becomes integrated into us/living through us. 

    Then I was thinking about “The Secret” and so many religions, even “Word of Faith” groups who can grab on to this truth of the power of the tongue but when it’s used in a selfish way it’s as occult as someone practicing witchcraft. (ouch)

    The key is to submit our will to God’s will so we use this power of the tongue to accomplish His will, thus building the Kingdom of Heaven and not our own selfish/self-serving kingdom. 

    I started thinking about four dear friends suffering from wasting disease right now. If God’s Word, alive in the person of Christ, is “life to those who find them and health to all their flesh” then speaking God’s words by repeating God’s will and life through the tongue would break the hold of disease and take their bodies toward life.

    But pretty quickly I was dealing with residue from bad doo-doo we came across in the Word of Faith movement of people placing so much pressure on folks to “do it right” that grace went out the window. It’s like walking a knife’s edge because, while speaking Christ’s will through our mouths is such a deep and vital truth, it can so easily be perverted. We humans are good at that. Our selfish nature can rear its ugly head in the blink of an eye. 

    But does that mean we toss out the truth due to perversion? No. Jesus died and rose again to work this power of the tongue through us to right a multitude of wrongs due to sin run amuck. 

    The true key then is to keep God on the throne—“not my will but thine be done.” 

    But that can so easily get skewed into lazy prayers with no “teeth” to them that just pile together a bunch of pious, empty phrases. 

    When we pray in the Spirit--also called "in tongues"-- it bypasses our mind. We are choosing to submit by saying, “I don’t even know where to start therefore I’m asking YOU to pray through me.” Then, as the clear stream of God’s heart flows through, our will and emotions shift into line with God’s will. THEN we can pray with confidence, “knowing that whatever we ask in His name, He will do it.”

    When we ask in Jesus’ name after submitting even our tongue to His Lordship, it’s like putting the seal of the King’s signet ring on our request. It’s HIS request therefore it carries authority and we will see “whatsoever is bound on earth is bound in Heaven and whatsoever is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven.”

    This is a freeing, exciting, potentially earth-shaking concept. But, it has to be kept razor-sharp in its alignment with God’s will or we can very quickly find ourselves pushing our agenda. Again, that is just as occultic as practicing witchcraft. The aim subtly switches from, “Not my will but Thine be done” to “Do what thou (self) wilt,” which is Luciferian to the core.

    With all the warnings of perversion, it’s really hard to keep hold of the vital, transformational truth that God wants to speak His will through our words. 

    Wow. I long to be His tool, speaking His words, seeing Him flow through to REALLY set the captives free!

    Chana is a wife, mom-of-four & bestselling author of two books: The Fall (Rapha Chronicles #1) and One Night With a Rock Star.

    She brakes for God, her family, old barns, hot chai, old movies and dreams of sailing around the world someday.

    Connect with Chana on Facebook, Twitter, or her Amazon Author Page.

    Please share this article with friends and family and/or leave a comment.

     

     

    Wednesday
    May152013

    I Can't Handle It

    I came to a shocking realization today. I can’t handle it.

    “It” has many definitions:

    Homeschooling the kids.

    Maintaining a happy, healthy marriage.

    Writing what I’m supposed to write.

    Managing the marketing of those writings.

    Keeping the house clean.

    Keeping the kids healthy and well fed.

    Juggling the myriad tiny tasks related to all the above.

    Plus there’s this crazy desire to save the world, especially those running from God—and all the kids and animals without proper homes.

    The result? A tired, overwhelmed, whining housewife dragging my exhausted carcass out of bed, already weighed down by responsibilities before the day even started. 

    As I prayed this morning, laying my inadequacy before God in all its glory, He came through in His customary, profound way.

    Me: “I can’t handle it.”

    God: “You’re not supposed to. I am.” 

    It comes back to the vine and branches thing. My first responsibility is to stay connected tight and strong in God’s vine. If my focus is on trying to produce fruit, I might as well blow really hard on my finger expecting an apple to pop out my ear. I’m not the source. God is. As I tend that relationship, God fills those black holes of fear with faith--faith in Him, not faith in me.

    I’m going to constantly come up against things I can’t handle, things that are bigger and stronger than me, things that sap my small store of energy and patience.

    It’s called LIFE.

    But constantly, a hundred times a day if need be, I can take ALL of it to God. 

    “Be Still & Know That I Am God.”

    I can choose to stop, re-fix my focus, sing a worship song, state the above phrase over and over or, like this morning, just collapse in His arms, cry a bit and Let. It. Go.

    Later I woke, face down, eyes puffy, nose clogged, but heart at peace. The focus was right. The raging storm was calm.

    I don’t expect the calm to last. After all, this is LIFE. But each challenge, failure, frustration and fear is another opportunity to give up trying in my strength to accomplish something of eternal worth. I can’t. But He can. 

    “Have no anxiety about anything but in everything, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4: 6-7

    Chana is a wife, mom-of-four & bestselling author of two books: The Fall (Rapha Chronicles #1) and One Night With a Rock Star.

    She brakes for God, her family, old barns, hot chai, old movies and dreams of sailing around the world someday.

    Connect with Chana on Facebook, Twitter, or her Amazon Author Page.

    Please share this article with friends and family and/or leave a comment.

    Friday
    Mar082013

    Allow Me to Be Blunt

    Recently, a reviewer berated me saying, “If you think you’ve made some big spiritual discovery, then come out and say it. Don’t hide behind calling it fiction.” 

    First off, I’m not hiding behind fiction. I’m using the sweetness of a story to help put across some truths that I feel are vital if we are to reach so many who gasp for a relationship with God, but are scared away by the thorns. They’ve peeked down the road toward Christ but it seems that way is blocked with folks who demand they swallow an elephant of unanswered questions without even the aid of a glass of water. My goal is to give them such a blindingly compelling glimpse of Christ’s true character that they’ll run for Him with all their might, right THROUGH the thorns. 

    I had the advantage of growing to love God through relationship before I had to grapple with apparent discrepancies such as the radical difference between the seemingly harsh God of the Old Testament and the friend of outcasts and sinners we find in Jesus of the gospels. 

    Here’s the key: those two faces of God are true and there is a reason for all His actions. Those reasons are motivated by love deeper than we can fathom. 

    There is a solid gold thread of angelic DNA throughout scripture. Things created by God were “good” until this adulteration occurred. Immediately when man and woman in Eden decided to follow Lucifer’s advice all hell broke loose because the core of God’s intended harmony was shredded. Look for the references to giants and struggles of “royal blood” and celestial “lordship” and the cultures who claim their ancestors came from the stars. This mystery, when applied to scripture and even history, archaeology and current events, makes knowledge light up with understanding. For me, grappling with the crazy idea of screwed-up bloodlines and defective DNA reduced the elephants in my faith to “oh, that makes sense.” In fact, the whole circuit board of decades of scriptural study lit up as if a small but key link was finally joined. 

    It sounds smug and, frankly, scary in our pragmatic society for someone to say, “God spoke to me.” I don’t have an easy way to say this but—He still speaks to us. He still teaches. He still turns bits of knowledge into life-giving wisdom. I wrote a controversial novel because that’s what God caused to burst out of my heart. 

    No, I wasn’t actually IN the Garden of Eden although my kids probably believe I’m old enough to have been there. But I will say this. Every day of writing and editing THE FALL started with prayer—deep, gut-wrenching prayer to the King above all Kings who showed his character through Jesus.

    To quote one of my favorite literary characters of all time, Gandalf from Tolkien’s The Hobbit, “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure.” 

    I’m willing to lay my heart on the line for anyone who wants to trip down the rabbit hole with me by providing the journal of prayers and ponderings that led to writing THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1). But be warned, God did not take me on a safe journey. It was beautiful and fulfilling but also painful and, at times, very frightening. 

    But God is fascinating beyond compare. I wouldn’t have missed His adventure for the world.

    Onward through the thorns.