Beyond the Christmas shake

It was Christmas season and the prayer meeting in a friend’s home was about to start. But I was distracted. A picture had popped up on my mental screen: an ornament, a small glass ball containing a snowy landscape. When the ball was shaken, the white stuff swirled up and created a magical scene of falling snow. But it didn’t last long – which is exactly the way it was designed. For more magic it had to be shaken again and again. It turned out that the picture wasn’t a distraction but a focus for the praying: the urge to live beyond the occasional shake; the welcoming of a God-given shaping that brings lasting changes to life’s landscape.

Once again the Christmas ball is being shaken to stir up an image of seasonal magic and the flurry of celebration. This is a time when the heart of the Church should be reaching, more than ever, for a deeper experience of God-with-us. The Immanuel truth is the greatest miracle in history, one that completely redresses our living. Christ became man to redeem us; he rescued us so we can live with him. That starts now not in the future. The immense God, at home in our tiny lives…. Wow!! We live every second Coram Deo (before the face of God); his presence makes the ordinary day extraordinary. Life becomes a journey of learning to enjoy the Lord from close-up, and prayer is at the core. Prayer is a lifestyle response to his presence, while the awareness of his presence feeds prayer enjoyment. Presence and prayer are inseparable constants.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23)

Before he left them, Jesus whet his disciples’ appetites by telling them of the plan he was looking forward to, one that would cost his life. Then the risen Lord would, in Spirit, come live with his followers. That Immanuel miracle is happening now, a present-moment enjoyment, and the One who planned it wants us to participate in it… .more and more.

The Christmas shake will come and go, but encounters with the Immanuel truth leave us marked and changed. Whatever our level of experience of God-with-us, there is always much more. The journey we’ve been given is as endless as the size of God. And he will keep taking us beyond current boundaries, as long as we keep welcoming his (sometimes uncomfortable or painful) shaping in Love.

ENJOY Praying

A key to ENJOYABLE praying: Learn to GAZE! Praying is meant to be enjoyable. Not only a discipline but a delight.

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This is YOUR chapter of History

Be EXTRA-ORDINARY! Redemption has freed us to live extra-ordinary lives in response to the resident King. We’re his priests, serving enthroned Glory from close-up.

We’ve been liberated from the confines of self-focus Continue reading

12. Praying as a Bridal Warrior

The beauty of God’s nature shines out through His love. But also through His holy violence. He is glorious both as Lover and Warrior. His compassionate touch as Lover and explosive zeal as Warrior are both expressions of His Goodness. As His image-bearers we are redeemed to conform to His holy love as well as His holy violence. Both impact the way we pray. Living in the Father’s love gives us a place of safety and confidence to pray from. The romance of being Christ’s chosen Bride impassions the heart of the pray-er and fills the praying with love’s celebration. The same heart has been freed to enter into the zeal God has for His name and kingdom. He is God of breakthrough but insists on His kingdom people moving with Him to possess what the Lamb has purchased. It’s crucial that we know our enemy and the authority,  weaponry and strategy God has given us in Christ. This track draws attention to both the tenderness and aggression that characterizes  the praying priesthood under Christ. What’s at stake? The fame of His name, the fulfilling of our God-given, enemy-contested destiny, and the future of entire communities.

WHAT IT COVERS

  • The Glory of God the Lover
  • The Father’s love
  • The passion of the chosen Bride
  • The Bride on bended knees
  • The Glory of God the Warrior
  • Rest and violence
  • Kingdom conflict and breakthrough
  • Anointed for war
  • Warrior zeal
  • The enemy’s profile
  • Weapon and strategy
  • Fighting for your future
  • Fighting for a city

11. Praying for Transformation of Communities

Each new day provides an arena for God’s mercy to work reconciliation.  His plan is to change lives and transform communities as He reconciles all things to Himself through Christ. Can the foundational beliefs, values and practices of a community be exchanged for those that reflect the nature of God? Can the spiritual DNA of a city, be altered? Can governance, justice, education, commerce and media  receive a new heart and character? Can a nation be given a new song? Impossible for man but not for God. And He calls us to work with Him in His mission to harvest and transform. The Spirit of the Lord empowers His church to displace spiritual darkness and display Light that can transform hearts and cultures. Transformation is not about creating perfect societies on earth. It’s about the Spirit working undeniable changes in communities, transformations that defy natural explanation and point clearly to God at work.  Mercy’s work of reconciliation  will climax and culminate when Christ returns. But until then He works through us  to extend His rule in all the earth and into all of life. Prayer is both core and cutting edge of this Kingdom movement to transform hearts and communities. That is what the track, ‘Praying for Transformation’ is about. It focuses on praying for the Kingdom’s penetration and healing of target communities. It builds understanding of the foundations of earth’s city, and of Christ’s church as the Kingdom’s agent of healing and reconciliation.

WHAT IT COVERS

  • What is community transformation?
  • Kingdom, now and not yet
  • Babel foundations
  • A land in mourning
  • Christ, the protos
  • The church, the agent
  • Destiny-the story of you and a city
  • Seeing the invisible & impossible
  • Create a wisdom map
  • Inner room, Upper room, and streets
  • From humility to healing
  • First sign of transformation
  • Gatekeeper authority

10. Living in the Gap to Influence History

We are Christ’s company of bridal priests. We are both lovers and warriors. He has given us His spirit of rest and violence. We are content yet at the same time restless for change. We are His Kingdom messengers of reconciliation and agents of transformation. We live by a dual compulsion, to make His name famous in all nations and to rescue humanity living on our page of history. We  live now by design not chance. We carry a God-given mandate. It involves placing ourself in the GAP the Father has set between Himself and human need. It’s a gap filled by the Perfect Intercessor who calls His Kingdom people to partner with Him. So we become a voice of prayer in the gap, an incense able to affect God’s heart on behalf of people, communities, even nations. We discover both the exhilaration and gravity of being little people with a major mission. By our praying in the gap we affect the future of communities and the course of history! The privilege is free (thanks to the Lamb!) but the practice is costly. The track, ‘Living in the Gap’ will inspire you to embrace the cost of living in romance and warfare with Christ in the gap.

WHAT IT COVERS

Introducing prayer types
Prayer basics
Focus, goal and passion of prayer
The gap for God’s friends
Releasing incense
Praying God’s nature
Praying God’s promises
Prophetic praying
Fasted lifestyle
Today’s prayer movement