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Conversation with God Discipleship Hearing God Prayer Worship

A New Way to Pray

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For many of us, this will be a new way to pray. If not, good for you! You get to be reminded, anyway.

Jesus was asked how to pray.

11 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our[a] Father [b]in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
[c]Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
[d]But deliver us from the evil one.”

Luke 11:2-4, NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+11&version=NKJV

While most of us think of prayer as first being petition, this prayer is not so much petition as it is a series of declarations of what is true. It’s a series of important and true statements that are already true, that we are being taught to affirm and declare.

Now, let us be ready to not only declare or ask, but also be ready to pause and listen, pause and hear, after each declaration. (Always a good idea, is to pause and listen for a response from God. And this also allows what we declare and say to sink in more deeply. While also giving Holy Spirit a better opportunity to work in us and through us.)

The whole prayer, made clearer as a series of declarations might be read like this:

Our Father is in heaven. (We have the same father, he is not on earth so much as he is in heaven. We are speaking this to Father. Just as Jesus prayed – to our Father; and just as Jesus taught us to pray.)

Your Name is holy. (The nature of who you are, is holiness.)

Your Kingdom is coming.

Your will is being done.

It (your will) is being done on earth as it already is in heaven.

You give us this day our daily bread. (You meet our needs each day.)

You forgive our sins in the same way that we forgive others.

You never lead us into temptation.

You deliver us from evil.

Now for the next step in learning to pray this prayer.

After you declare each idea, each line, one at a time, pause and be silent, be still in the Presence of God. Listen and pay attention.

You might not hear words, but I believe you will find it is different when you do this, and that you are transformed, so that you are different.

This can be a wonderful way to pray. After all, Jesus teaches us this. With Holy Spirit.

Let Jesus teach you, and you – you be responsive to Holy Spirit.

Let it all sink in deeply.

You will be blessed, greatly blessed.

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Gifts Spiritual Gift

Activate Spiritual Gifts More Easily

Heart-shaped candle in her hands.

Activating Spiritual Gifts may be much more easy than you expect. And there are keys that help, keys that help hugely!

This key will make sense by hindsight. The key is service, or actually seeking to use your gifts. And there is another key that successful users of Spiritual Gifts do more than the rest of us – they ask questions.

The error I long made, and maybe you have, too, is to try to discover or use a gift without actually applying it in service or asking questions.

A useful way of thinking about this is to Follow Jesus. Model your ministry after what Jesus does.

Jesus ministers as he sees or hears from Father.

You can do this, too.

But how do we start, and get results? Simple: respond to a need. Bring the Kingdom of God to what is needed. Restoration is what Jesus did again and again. And, he destroys the work of the devil, the adversary.

You can do the same. How?

Look for needs, look for a need in someone’s life. Ask questions, such as:

  • How do I help or minister to this need?
  • What do you want me to do about this?
  • How do I pray for this situation, this person?

Then simply pay attention to what comes to your attention next. Being careful not to let thoughts, associations, ideas, images, or any experience pass by without assuming and accepting that this is an answer to your question.

And, because, as Dan Pendergrass once told me when I was asking about why replies from God are so often surprising, he said simply that God knows more than we do.

What we miss, in activating our gifts, too often or easily, are things like this:

  • Forgetting to bring God’s agape love to a person with a need.
  • Neglecting to ask how to minister.
  • Forgetting to ask how to pray for the person you are loving and for their need.
  • Not realizing that what comes to your attention next is actually an answer and reply from God. It’s unexpected, seems too easy, seems too ordinary.

How do you get started, if you don’t see where or how to get started? Ask Jesus to point out to you or bring to your attention people who need ministry or service or restoration (of health or well being).

Ask and serve. Ask and minister. In serving or ministering, you are applying and using your Spiritual Gift where needed. A great way to be living.

Categories
Church Life Disciple Making Glory Holy Spirit Kingdom of God Worship

Simon Xing on Worship

Worship – aliane-schwartzhaupt-raeSgX3u3ZA-unsplash

I once asked a good friend, Simon Xing, who lives in China, about worship. He’s a fine worship leader, with wonderful experience to share. What follows is an edited version (for readability) of our conversation.

D: Simon – I have a question…I can use your help. How might you describe different levels of worship?

S: Thanks for your questions. Personally, I would divide it into four levels.

D: Tell me!

S: The first is surface level. Just singing.

D: Makes sense. Please go on.

S: The second is when you are infected by another person’s spirit to worship.

D: Good. Go on….

S: The third is when you can worship anytime in any place.

D: Tell me more about this.

S: Just feel like God is on your side.

(D: That sounds so simple; it’s useful and profound.)

D: Wow! Tell me more.

S: The fourth, also the deepest, for me, I think is when you are the performer standing in front of God. (D: This is what your attention is full of. Nothing else.)

D: Please go on. More!

S: And angels are your audience. They are listening, and maybe even join in.

D: Ahh…I love this!

S: This is a moment of holiness. You don’t care about anything but God. You may cry. You may dance. You may sing in tongues.

D: Ahh….

S: Nothing but holiness.

D: Wonderful!

S: You will not care, in such moments, about timing. No concern or worry. Your focus is single and complete.

D: I never thought of that….

S: You just want to continue and go on – in that environment. This is just my experience.

D: Your experience in such things as this – is valuable.

S: I experienced four levels. Maybe there is a fifth. It may take time….

D: Go on…think out loud.

S: Now I don’t know…. I just hope there would be a fifth one. (D: Simon is getting ready to speak and put into words a deep intuition of his understanding, so far. Holy Spirit whispering to his spirit.)

S: Which may be that God only wants me to worship.

S: He cares about my worship most at such a moment.

D: Go on….

S: And I can feel his holy touch.

S: Not by saints, but by him.

S: (Simon spoke briefly of some Internet difficulties.) He blessed me, sent his deep love.

We said goodbye for now.

D: (This was a fascinating and lovely conversation, with thoughts from an experienced worship leader.)

Categories
Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Jesus Learning Prayer

How I hear God More Easily – Not Buying Another Book.

Holy Spirit – from Unsplash.com

I’ve learned that when I think I need to buy another book about hearing God well, what it really means for me is that I am not full enough of Holy Spirit.

I have not asked to be more full of Holy Spirit and received by faith. It’s easy to do. I may not feel Holy Spirit, but the results are easy to notice.

Hearing from God is lots and lots easier for me when I am full of Holy Spirit. And all I have to do is ask, and receive by faith. No drama needed. I rarely notice more of Holy Spirit, except for the side effects, which are extremely obvious. Such as hearing God better.

(I mention that twice because it’s so important, and too easy to miss.)

When I follow Holy Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit is easy, and just flows. Love, patience, self-control, and other good Fruit.

I am operating out of my New Self instead of my Old self. New Self has no wounds or over-reactions. No traumas. No lack of access to wisdom and love and…other wonderful things.

Best of all, I am hearing from God more easily.

And I didn’t even distract myself by buying yet another book on the subject – because that wasn’t my issue. I just need to pay attention and ask for and receive more of Holy Spirit by faith.

Which is really easy. Even when I don’t feel it; but the results are easy to notice.

How does being more full of Holy Spirit help you with hearing from God better?

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Conversation with God Discipleship Father Hearing God Holy Spirit Jesus Lessons

Use All Your Senses

Hearing God

When God speaks to you, be alert with all of your senses. “Speak” is a metaphor for anything God “says”.

You might see something, sometimes quickly and when it’s surprising, its too easy to ignore. So pay close attention to what comes next after you ask a question or pause to listen and “hear”.

You might hear something. Still Small Voice may speak to you silently, before words.

A memory may come. An association – an idea. It can come in any good way.

And more. Events, people, book covers, songs, billboards, birds, forests, seas, lakes and rivers. Flowers. (Can you tell I love hearing God through nature?)

To get more used to this, learn to pay attention to the many kinds of “Voices of God“.

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Disciple Making Evangelize Gospel Healing Hearing God Holy Spirit Jesus Key Article Kingdom of God Ministry Miracles Success

Disciple-Making on Steroids

Miracle of Jesus Healing a Blind Man

Discipling someone, or several people, can can succeed a lot faster than most of us are used to. I call this “Disciple-Making on Steroids” because this approach is so powerful and fast.

Here’s an example to learn from, that, with variations – depending on your situation, can be done more easily and more quickly than perhaps we have ever seen.

On the street or in a supermarket or other store, or maybe a shopping mall, you see someone who obviously needs healing. Their injury or disability or pain is obvious to you.

So you walk up to them and say, “Hello. My name is ____; it looks to me like you have some” pain, difficulty, injury, disability – whatever it is. Make it easy for them to talk to you about it. Make sure you discover what it is that they cannot do or cannot easily do, because of that particular need of healing.

Ask them if it’s okay for you to pray for them. Most people will be glad for such prayer, if by then you are in rapport. If they are not willing, thank them and let them be.

You can pray for them at a distance if you like.

Keep doing this until you discover someone who is willing to be prayed for.

Pray for them, praying to Jesus, maybe something like, “Dear Jesus, help this person with ____” whatever is needed. They expected you to pray for them, and it’s easy for them to say yes to such a request. Then be sure to quietly but with authority – like when you are talking to a child or a pet and you really mean it – tell that need for healing to be healed. Be sensitive to Holy Spirit and do as seems best.

Ask them to test, to do what they could not easily do or could not do. When they succeed, give thanks to Jesus!

When that does not go well, you can be like Jesus healing the blind man who could see a bit more at first, but needed more healing and said something like, “I see men walking, but they are like trees walking”. So, like Jesus, you pray (and command with authority), healing again.

If you want to do it like Jesus did, and was so successful at healing so often (always), you can do it like this:

Keep testing the healing until it is done. Persist.

Now comes the cool part, disciple making on steroids:

Now that they have been healed, ask them something like, “Would you like to give your life to Jesus and have him as your Lord?” When they say yes, lead them in such a prayer. When they say no, just continue as if they had. Because of what happens next, they probably will.

Take the person who has now been healed and who now has Jesus (or not) in them, and go with them. Find someone else who has an obvious need of healing. Instruct them to pray for and command healing, just as they experienced. Have them heal the person in need. Pray for them and their ministry, and their good success while that do that. Help them out loud as called for and needed.

Now you have someone with you who has been healed, who has come to Jesus (or not, yet). If not yet come to Jesus, ask them if they want to make it official now, and help them accept Jesus as Lord. If not, get their contact information, pray for them, and follow up and give them encouragement and help as you are led with Holy Spirit. Just do the best you can and ask for help through Holy Spirit.

I like to ask for more of Holy Spirit before I pray for someone or minister. My prayer and ministry is more effective when I do this, and I hear God better, too.

.

I believe that this is how Jesus wants us to minister in these times. In these days. The time is short: make disciples, with Holy Spirit, on steroids!

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Conversation with God Disciple Making Discipleship Evangelize Faith Friendship Getting Help Gospel Jesus Joy Kingdom of God Ministry Prayer

There are Multiple Biblical Ways to Salvation

John Benitez – Unsplash

Those of us who use even a somewhat Evangelical approach to salvation have a few prayers that we encourage so that someone can experience salvation.

The Bible takes a different approach. So much so that the most frequent method to attain salvation in the bible is one I’ve never seen or heard of being used with a potential convert. By hindsight, this is a bit astounding.

Yet in real life, it makes perfect sense. And the usual prayers are used for several good reasons.

It really is wise and good that we get to know more consciously about Jesus, and Jesus as our Lord. And that this be expressed clearly in our prayer.

So what is this most frequently mentioned method of achieving salvation in scriptures that is so unused for making converts? It’s actually a method frequently used by the rest of us.

A very common prayer, used by many of us when we need help, when we need and want to be saved. Just seldom used to help someone become a convert to Christianity.

What is this frequently used approach for getting help when most needed, but seldom if ever used to help someone become a convert?

It’s simply this: call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved.

Biblical theology is probably wider and more inclusive than our theologies. God is certainly more broad minded than we are.

And this illustrates very well how some things are taught about to us and for us in scripture from many angles, in many ways. And we tend to focus on one way, sometimes proof-texting, yet even so, we tend to focus on one very good way. But God and scriptures offers more options than we often think about and sometimes more options than we even normally trust or believe in.

Thank you, Lord, for being so broad minded, for thinking differently than we do, for being more loving and generous than we yet are able to grasp.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us eternity to continue to get to know you and your love. We need you. And we need eternity to explore and learn about your love and your depth. Thank you, Lord!

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Emotional Pain Empath Friendship HSP Missing the mark: Sin Pain Tribulation

Please Be Careful What You Say….

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Imagine, if you will, being an Empath (feeling what others feel, or even feeling things around you – which can make you a gifted mechanic if you can feel what car parts are like – or skilled with plants or with animals – maybe even gifted with people), and highly sensitive (noticing and responding deeply to all sensory input). These are wonderful and powerful gifts, though not always appreciated by today’s macho, rationalistic society.

(There are Empaths in this world. Most of them are people who are highly sensitive. Some researchers suggest 20% of the population is gifted this way, and they are useful to the rest of us because they notice things we have overlook. Such gifts are especially useful for leaders, for people-groups of all kinds; useful for counselors, healers, and intercessors. For teachers, and all who are gifted leaders in church who help prepare the saints – that’s all of us – for service.)

Imagine being asked to study propaganda in depth, a long series of very convincing videos that explain how a particular group of people (another political party, of course) is full of child molesters, and even people who drink the blood of babies. Seriously. A long series of videos to show and prove how such things are actually real.

And then later being told by others that since you do not happen to appreciate, laud and love a particular politician, you must be one of these awful people you have had rehearsed so much through studies friends repeatedly ask you to engage in.

Imagine, if you will, being sent videos (and very convincing ones) about a vaccine, and being told it is dangerous not only to you, but to people around you.

So dangerous are you assumed you will be, if you take such a vaccine, that a good friend will no longer tolerate being around you or be in your presence because you are so dangerous.

Most people who send such videos and propaganda for you to consume do so with deep sincerity and the best of intentions – to protect you from such horrors.

Some creators of such propaganda also have good intentions, to share an important message. Even when some knowingly and systemically exaggerate to make their point stronger. (When I was younger and more insecure, I used to do such things myself. I understand!)

Imagine, if you will, that you happen to rather strongly suspect that some people are purposely propagating lies. Sometimes for their purposes that they deem good. Others, perhaps, love to share mischief or even wilful evil.

Imagine, further, being told by someone else that your choice to do such a thing as to have this dangerous, killing vaccine – that is so dangerous to yourself and to others – if you make such a choice, this amounts to a decision to be a serial killer.

Remember – as an Empath and highly sensitive person, you imagine and feel the message, it’s details, it’s intent — deeply. Very deeply. Even if you decide for yourself that this propaganda is not real. You are still affected. Even if you happen to believe this is all based on lies being propagated for political purposes. Lies, lies, and more lies – or so it seems to you. Imagine experiencing such things as these.

And you are considered to be the equivalent of a serial killer whose very presence is considered dangerous and unwanted. And you are one of the people in this world who when told they are unwanted, you tend to automatically feel this too much. (I think a lot of us are like this.)

Now that you’ve imagined all this as if you were a highly sensitive Empath (thank you for going along with this), and you’ve taken these things in very deeply – let’s consider something more.

Can such things be real? Maybe all these messages are genuine and always sincere! You just happen to be highly sensitive and empathic.

Nah! Such imaginings are unrealistic and unplausible. Such things cannot be real. No one would communicate such things on purpose, would they? But some people do communicate such things. And many who do so do this with the very best of intentions!

What do you think? What kingdom do these stories and messages come from? The Kingdom of God?

Really?

Categories
Disciple Making Evangelize Faith Jesus Preaching Kingdom of God Ministry

Jesus Never Said that He Came to Save You

In him was Life, and Life is the Light of men. (See John 1:4.)

Sometimes the assumptions built into our local traditions help us get things wrong.

Jesus repeatedly said that he came to give us Life. The Life of God (in New Testament Greek: Zoe). Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus say his purpose was to come to get you into heaven.

He repeatedly said that he came to bring you Life, Zoe: the Life of God. Heaven is included.

He came to get Life into you: the Life of God. (Something the first Adam lost.) Relationship restored!

Jesus never said to make converts; he said to make disciples. (Converts are included in making disciples.)

He came so you can start helping to bring heaven to earth – now. Wow! You get to help bring heaven to earth.

Salvation is included, and you will go to heaven. And later in our New Heaven and New Earth, God will literally be our Light that we see by, in the Temple.

Help bring Heaven to earth: preach the Good News of the Kingdom. Heal the sick. Free the bound. Make disciples of all nations, all people groups.

Also, you get to pray for heaven on earth:

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6: 8-10, NKJV

So…my thesis here is that Jesus did not say he came here to get us into heaven, even though he does get us into heaven when we respond with faith. What he repeatedly said was that he came here to give us Life. The Life of God, in us, does result in heaven. And later, into the New Heaven and New Earth.

It’s like that he did not say we were to make converts. He said to make disciples – this should be our focus when evangelizing. Which will result in stronger and more effective Christians than by focusing on making converts. Let’s follow Jesus and do what Jesus said.

Let’s do and minister as Jesus showed, taught, and as he still says to us today in Scripture, with Holy Spirit. Doing as Jesus teaches is better than following local traditions.

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Discipleship Gifts Holy Spirit Learning Prayer Prophecy

Practice Using Your Spiritual Gifts

Actively Practice using Your Spiritual Gifts

A friend, who believes she has gifts as a prophetic seer and gifts of healing, asked some important questions. This may answer some of your questions, too. We need to practice using our Spiritual Gifts to we become more skillful; just like we need to practice playing an instrument even if you are gifted at music. Here’s our dialogue, lightly edited for clarity.

Q. Will be for Questioner, A. for Answerer.

Q. Will there be anything happening soon in my life?


A. Yes.


Q. Like?


A. You are learning to ask Jesus questions, and pay attention to Holy Spirit for answers.
As you learn to do this, and to act on what you learn, your life will transformed hugely.
This opens whole new worlds of doing and ministry for you.
And you will be adding even more love to your ministry. The generous, God kind of love: agape. As in 1 Corinthians 13.


Q. Amazing


A. When you minister and if someone experiences love, that is successful ministry! This is an important standard to learn.
As you learn and do this, your life transforms even more.
And sometimes you will see or learn that healing has happened (not all healing is instantaneous). You will learn to listen to Holy Spirit for how to love and how to minister; how to use your gifts more and better.
This changes everything!
And you can apply asking Jesus and paying attention to and learning to hear and see answers, and acting on them — then our Lord himself is tutoring you. Your Helper is your Teacher.
He is already in you.


Q. Amen 🙏


A. And you can ask for more of him in you. I find this makes hearing God much more practical and better. When I do this, I hear God so much more and more easily and better. Even though I don’t feel a thing – I can experience the difference, having asked for more of Holy Spirit.
And I can ask for Holy Spirit to be on me more. On me for ministry for others.
Holy Spirit can transform the atmosphere of where you are, the room you are in.
Ask how, and do as you are shown. It’s a wonderful thing to do – for yourself as well as others.


Q. I will


A. People will gradually learn that the atmosphere is better where you are. Some people will learn more quickly, others more slowly. Yet many will learn.
And this opens doors.
For more ministry.


A. People who come to my house report that the atmosphere is full of peace. That’s the Presence and Spirit of God doing that.


Q. Wow.


A. You will do this, also. You will transform the atmosphere of where you live and work. The Presence of God and Holy Spirit will transform the atmosphere of places you go. People will notice and be helped. Some even heal without your doing anything, as Holy Spirit ministers in the place where you are.
You get to be an active participant in all this!


Q. Glory to God!!
Interesting


A. You invite more of Holy Spirit. You are transformed, and Holy Spirit will do what Holy Spirit does in that place and with the people there.
Invite more of Holy Spirit. And receive with faith.
So simple; easy to forget to do. Yet Holy Spirit is literally our Helper. Your Helper.


Q. Got it


A. The same Helper that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and will help you. Invite and call on and receive more of Holy Spirit.


Q. Ok


A. I find this stunning, I am amazed, and when I remember these things I want to call out to God in praise or even song. (Considering how much I love worship in silence, that’s amazing.)


A. And when you find a partner who will pray for you as you do these things or minister, ministry results will improve even more. And later, you can pray for them as they minister. And talk to each other about how it went. What you are learning. Encourage one another.
Jesus always sent out his disciples in pairs.
When I have no partner, I look for someone who will pray for me when asked. Then I have prayer support while ministering.
They and I can talk about it afterwards, what happened, what we’re learning. It can be exhilarating and joyous.
This is what I want for you; these very things.


Q. Oh how I want this for myself


A. Good!
This is what our Lord wants for you.


Q. God will send me some really special
A. Yes.
You can copy and paste from these notes into your prayer journal, or start one. Or other notes in a file or notebook.
Then start practicing these things and learn as you go. Learn as you ask your Helper to help you learn these things and to help you do these things.
And give you even better ideas, from Jesus. Who knows so much more than you or I.
Here’s an interesting principle, not well recognized: how much you seek God with your heart – is how much God will make himself known and present to you. And even more. He will always do the same or more, as you. (I think more; yet the more you do, the more he multiplies the grace he gives you.)
If he made himself totally known to us, our brains would fry.
So he is gentle and careful. And gives of himself in proportion to how much and how strongly you seek with your heart.

A. – The principle above is courtesy of Al Mack (Nor’west Prophetic).


Q. Amazing and wonderful!
.
A. Yes. So just practice.
Look for people who need healing, ask how to heal them, and do as Jesus tells you through Holy Spirit. You will be ministering like Jesus, who only did what he heard and saw.