Knowing God’s Heart

Let’s revisit one of the most encouraging stories in the scriptures I believe—Matthew15: 22-28, the Canaanite woman, who would not settle for anything but a miracle for her daughter. This courageous mother was willing to press in to Jesus no matter what the consequences. Mark 7:25 states that she “Heard about Him.” She must have heard of the wonders and miracles that followed Jesus. It was this deep understanding and undeniable confidence that drove her to humble herself and not take offense. This mother would not give up for she knew Jesus was the answer for her afflicted daughter. I believe she was persistent and unrelenting because she got a glimpse of His heart and knew He was merciful and loving. The end result of this sometimes-misinterpreted story declares His heart is truly to heal and set the captives free.

History has documented mothers, which have done extraordinary things for their children. But, how many mothers today have caught a glimpse of His heart to the point that they are just as willing and persistent for their children’s healing? Our families would be eternally changed if we all caught a revelation of who He is and what is in His heart.

Mary who was sitting at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42) listening to His words wasn’t there asking for her lists of wants, but was intent on knowing what was in His heart. So often, we spend our precious prayer time focused on what is burning in our hearts. Then we get busy doing things for Him and never just listen to His words. I believe God has so much He wants to share with us and He wants us to partner with Him in His purposes. In John 13:23 I love where it says, “there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” I can imagine John with his head on Jesus’ chest wanting to understand the secrets of His heart. To me this is such a good picture of the kind of deep spiritual intimacy that we should have with Jesus. I believe as we commune with Him in prayer that He invites us through His great love to lay our head on His chest, and hear His heartbeat and learn of His will. That is the greatest honor and privilege that we will ever attain to—knowing what is on the heart of our Creator and King.

Paul himself reveals this same desire as he writes to the Philippians saying, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” (Phil. 3:10). He didn’t want the shallow acquaintance and unhealthy religion that he was raised with. He desired a understanding of what was on God’s heart. In other words, Paul wanted to know everything about Him, whether in His suffering, His death and definitely in His powerful resurrection.

Do we have that same hunger to know Him? Or, are we so caught up in our life goals and religious duty that we aren’t really concerned about His heart. The scriptures clearly reveal God’s desire to be among us. Communing with His children has always been at the center of His heart. The Holy Spirit woos us to seek after Him and pursue knowing Him as He knows us. Only then will we be as the young gentile mother and never be discouraged or offended at Him.

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I am Not Letting Go!

holding onOne of my favorite stories is found in Matthew 15:22-28, where we see a woman from Canaan come to Jesus. You could say she was from the other side of the tracks. Yet, I believe she came to the one person who she knew could help her daughter. In Mark’s gospel he records this same story in chapter 7:25. It says that she “Heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.” What did she hear? By her actions I believe she heard He was a merciful loving miracle worker; therefore she was persistent in getting His attention. She believed He was good and just, so she honored and worshipped Him as Lord. As if there was no other hope, this gentile woman cried out to Jesus for divine mercy, that her daughter would be delivered from the enemy’s grip.

The response she received could have easily discourage and offend her, causing her to give up. First, Jesus kept silent and did not answer. Most people hate the silent treatment—it deeply frustrates them. I think the majority of us in this situation would have stomped off offended. Right?

Secondly, Jesus says in a roundabout way that the miracle she desired was not for her. And as if that was not devastating enough He tells her that the promises were not for her. Then, He calls her a dog (Mk. 7:27)! But, instead of getting bitter and offended, this woman replies with the most astounding words. “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table,”(Mk. 7:28). She declares that the crumbs from the Master’s table are good enough for her situation. In essence, she says it only takes one crumb from the Master to solve her need.


                        Persistence and commitment in prayer will always bring a fruitful and rewarding result.   (Tweet)


            In all this, she is worshipping Him, undistracted by her feelings or her pride. Her persistence reveals the faith within her. I believe she had a glimpse of His heartbeat, therefore, she pressed in towards Him. In her time of great need, her request seemed to be long in coming, but she wouldn’t stop. Her faith was being purified and perfected to the point that Jesus announced that she had great faith! The result was her daughter was healed that very instant.

            As we press into His presence concerning His promises, we can be faced with elements that can cause us to either back down or press in harder. Sometimes, God is silent and at other times He deliberately offends our minds to reveal what’s in our hearts and to see if we are serious about seeking Him. If we tenaciously press in and not let go of His promises we will see them manifest. Too often, when our requests are slow to be answered we are offended and gripped with bitterness towards God. The bottom line is that we don’t understand God’s workings and therefore we are robbed many times of God’s miracles. We might not understand God’s ways, but He is always working in us both to will and to do for His pleasure. The same was true in this woman’s situation. He is always working in us for His glory.


     If we tenaciously press in and not let go of His promises we will see them manifest. (Tweet)


It’s God’s heart for us to walk in His purposes and blessings. However, there are often delays in what we ask because He desires to work in us things that will enable us to see the manifestation of His promises. When we understand these principles, then we will have a confidence and a persistence that will enable us to hold on to His promises until we see their fulfillment.

Any Time is the Perfect Time

clock time The times of prayer can be as different as the places of prayer. Looking back to my childhood I can remember my parents, being involved in many different prayer meetings. Therefore, they would bring different ones of us children with them to the various meetings. In fact, I feel I had the privilege of cutting my teeth in prayer meetings. As I look back over the many years there is one definite fact that I’ve come to realize about prayer. That is, there is no one set time to pray, on the contrary the scriptures reference many different times of prayer.
In Psalm 55:16-17 we read David’s words, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” The religious culture of that day held prayer three times a day. We see this also in Daniel 6:10, “…he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”


The perfect time for prayer is any time that allows you to connect

to the God that loves you. (click to tweet)   


For many years, I have been involved in morning prayer meetings. I started this routine when I was just out of bible school and attending a church in Rockwall, Texas. God used my pastor to stir thousands to pray in the mornings for one hour. The scripture Mark 1:35 was the inspiration, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out …and there He prayed.” This teaching swept through America and abroad. motivating multitudes to get up early and find their place of intercession each morning..
Some churches hold all night prayer meetings. Luke 6:12 tells us that Jesus prayed all night, “… He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” When I was a youth pastor my pastor would call the whole church, to an all-night prayer meetings. Different departments were assigned to lead different hours through the night. As well, I remember a time in Haiti some years back where I had the privilege to attend a prayer meeting. Thirty of us, with the stars as our backdrop, prayed from night until early morning on the housetop.
In 1857 New York City was ablaze with the fire of prayer. God had placed a burden to pray at noon for revival and spiritual renewal on Jeremiah C. Lamphier. This movement of noon prayer spread like wild fire across the city and then the country. At one time the famed newspaper editor Horace Greeley sent a reporter by horse and buggy to count the attendance at the different noon prayer meetings and was only able to get to twelve locations, but counted 6,100 who had come to pray.
We see in the last 10 years across the globe the explosion of 24 hour continuous prayer and praise meetings. Inspired by David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 23:5; 25:7), where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians that were dedicated full-time to minister to the Lord and serve others. In Luke 18:7 Jesus says that God will bring justice to those that “cry out day and night to Him.
Believers are crying out to God in prayer every hour of the day and night. Whether it is morning, noon or evening, once a week or special times, there is a stirring in the belly of the church to cry out to Heaven in prayer. The perfect time for prayer is any time that allows you to connect to the God that loves you

Passion For Revival

Through church history we have seen the people of God lose their passion and hunger for more of Him, resulting in spiritual dryness and mediocrity. Then through God’s faithfulness and mercy, He raises up a remnant to turn from their evil ways and seek Him resulting in Heavens outpouring.

New Book Just Released

New Book Just Released 

Only when this same action is done will we see the outpouring of God’s spirit in our society! I believe that is exactly what we’re beginning to see come to pass! Men and women, boys and girls, church and churches are seeking the Lord with all their hearts. They’re crying out for an outpouring of God in our land!

In recent years, we have seen revivals ignite in places such as Toronto, Smithton, Pensacola, Lakeland, and Kansas City. The cry for revival in the earth seems to be getting louder! In some of the most unlikely places of the world, God is beginning to open the windows of heaven upon those that want more of him. Peter confirming God’s outpouring on the day of Pentecost, declared the prophetic word of the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17 which says, “In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh”. We too can wait and anticipate in confidence that God will continue to fulfill His promises to His people in this hour.


Revival starts in the very heart of God. It is his will before it ever becomes our will!  (Tweet) 


 Many pulpits are agreeing that one of the greatest revivals that the church has ever seen is beginning to trickle through our sin-soaked generation. Every day, we can see the desperate need of our society as it continues to spit in the face of our creator. Michael Brown says, “Revival comes when things are wrong. It comes to set them right. It renews and corrects and fixes and repairs. It comes to make us whole.

Though we haven’t seen the total outpouring yet! We’re hearing the sounds of abundance of rain; there’s thundering, there’s lightning, and there is the smell of spiritual rain in the air. I am drawn to 1 King 18:41–45, a familiar passage that I believe is very applicable to the day that we live in.

Even though Elijah knew there was the sound of abundance of rain coming, he still had to endure with expectancy until he saw the manifestation.   It says the sky became black, the winds began to blow, and then there was a great drenching and saturating rain. Yet it started as a little cloud the size of a man’s hand. Is this what is happening in our midst? Are we hearing the sound of abundance of rain and seeing a cloud the size of a man’s hand? I believe it is! We need to endure as Elijah with expectancy as we intercede for a move of God.

For even in this season of limited spiritual rain, these individual outpourings have wet the appetite of the church to desire more of God. As the rains steadily increase, we must get ready! For when the rain comes in its fullness, it will uproot, tear down, and rearrange things. It will do exactly like we have seen in the natural world all across our nation in recent years. The rains and floods have affected every part of the country. I remember seeing the news and reading the articles about the Little Salmon River in Idaho, where most of my family still lives. The uncommon rains of that year totally saturated the soil in the beautiful mountains. The rivers were full to capacity. The roaring creeks continued to flood the river bottoms until things began to change. Mountain bluffs that we had played on as children came crashing down. The river began to carve a new path through the valley floor. Houses that seemed so permanent were knocked off their foundations and plunged down the river. Peoples’ lives were drastically changed forever. It will be the same in the spiritual realm.

Revival starts in the very heart of God. It is his will before it ever becomes our will! Too often, it seems like we think we must convince God to send forth his Spirit upon us. Yet, that’s not it at all! We don’t have to talk God into it. He wants to pour his spirit out upon us more than we even desire it ourselves. Let us agree with God’s heart and cry out for revival in the earth!

Passion For Revival For Those That Are Hungry for More of God!

             This book will be dangerous for those that are satisfied with a spiritual lifestyle of mediocrity.  It reveals to the reader the need for an undeniable revival and outpouring of God’s heart in and through the church worldwide.

Understanding God’s passion and principles for reviving His children is our only hope of bringing a radical change in our society.  Passion for Revival, will cause an intense hunger for more of God and is for those that desire a change in their families, neighborhood, country and the world.

For all those that are sick and tired of being sick and tired, this book is a must read.  You will never be the same!

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Living from the Place of Prayer

ImageLiving a life of prayer will always be a life of adventure and power.  Reading in Eph 6:18 we read, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”(NKJ)  As we pray let us not forget to uphold one another in prayer.  Standing and holding each other up in their time of need.  Persistence and commitment in prayer will always bring a fruitful and rewarding result.  Let us not be found sleeping as were the disciples in Gethsemene.  But, let us be as Anna in Luke 2:37 where it says she, “served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”(NKJ)  She was an example of a life committed to prayer.  Let us follow in her example.  Living in the place of prayer brings power in any place!  I thank the Lord for those that have stood on the wall of this community and have been watchful through prayer.

I Caught Something!

Image   The April sun broke through our kitchen window. I had sleep in my eyes. My siblings and I sluggishly forced ourselves to eat our morning oatmeal. There was nothing uncommon about this morning in 1967. It began like any other typical day. Until, the telephone pierced the silence and brought all of us to attention. My mother answered in her normal cheery voice, but immediately her tone changed. Her cheerfulness went to a devastating, “Oh my God” and from that moment my life changed forever.

Our daily priorities were obliterated by the news that my dad had just suffered a heart attack (that would later become fatal). As my mother hung up she insistently cried, “Everyone go and pray in the front room for your dad.” The sluggish sleepiness that just moments earlier was so prevalent vanished as we all began to cry out to the Lord. In the midst of disaster, we prayed!

Praying became a natural response in times of crises and need in our household, because it was instilled in us as a daily way of life. I can remember how my mother loved to take walks on our ranch in the beautiful Rocky Mountains to pray. On several occasions we would run up the trail to catch her only to find her deep in prayer. It was memories like this that had a profound impact on my life.

I believe some things must be caught not just taught. Joshua had evidently caught something as he followed Moses. The young Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He talked to God and then walked in His power every day.  Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion with God will result in a walk of power.

A lifestyle of prayer was birthed in my own life through being raised in the shadow of many great men and women of prayer. Even once I had left for college and then continuing down the road to marriage and raising a family; it seemed that God would always place me in the midst of men and women of prayer. Through colleges and seminaries rooted in prayer such as Christ for the Nations Institute and others. Speakers that taught and motivated us to minister out of the place of prayer such as Dick Eastman, Mike Bickle, Bill Bright, as well as, great Pastors such as Dr. Larry Lea, who were used to call a generation to pray. God was definitely orchestrating in me a lifestyle of prayer.

Over the years I have reflected on many of those days and memories and have been encouraged that I had caught an attitude of prayer to sustain me in and through my life. It has kept me through many trying times and has become a lifelong message of mine as well as a book I have published, “Igniting the Power of Prayer”.  It is my desire to see God’s people live a life empowered through a life of prayer

We Can Do It If We Will

haystack  “In 1806 a group of students at Williams College in Massachusetts sought refuge from a sudden rainstorm in a haystack.  As the rain beat down, they turned their retreat into a prayer meeting.  They asked God to use their lives.  As they prayed, their faith rose to believe God could use them significantly to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.  When the rain subsided, they left with the rallying cry, “We can do it if we will!” This unobtrusive meeting went down in history as the Haystack Prayer Meeting.  Today this spontaneous prayer time is seen as the beginning of the mission movement in America.  As a result, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was birthed.”[i]

Through a simple small non-organized prayer meeting the world would never be the same.  God used a group of young people that had a relationship with Him to shake the world through missions. Not because of who they were or even that they deserved anything.  It was all because they chose to allow God’s heart to be vocalized through prayer. That small group came in agreement with God’s will and because of it changed the world!

If the believers of God would only understand there is an incredible power when we come in agreement with heaven through our prayers. We could virtually change our surroundings and our world. The question is, will we no matter what the circumstances are find a place and time and begin to pray prayers that will make a difference?  Let us also make our rallying cry as did that small group many years ago

“We Can do it if we will!”

 

[i] David Shibley, A Force In The Earth, Florida: Creation House, 1989 P. 85