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Blessings Multiply Church Life Discipleship Ministry Prayer

After Disciplemaking – What?

So now they (disciples) have transformed your Christian life through your learning to and the practice of making of disciples. So much changes when we do this. It’s exhilarating, joyous, fun and very, very encouraging. You learn a lot! You grow tremendously. This is a major step on your Christian journey, and this changes your life for the better. You are more rich for the rest of your life when you are making disciples.

What’s next?

  • Continuing to grow in applying Spiritual Gifts?
  • Continuing to grow in faith and applying faith?
  • Continuing to learn to get to know our Lord more?
  • Continuing growth in learning who you are in him?

Yes! All these are not only good, they interact with each other. There is synergistic growth – growth that multiplies and often grows exponentially. These are not only all good, they each provide what can be a wonderful pathway for a lifetime of growth on earth and into eternity.

And yes, there are other steps after Proclaiming the Good News that Jesus Taught. There is following the progression of things that Jesus taught and showed us so often and so wonderfully well, such as healing the sick & freeing the bound, (cleansing lepers and raising the dead), and the making of disciples of all people groups – all kinds of people. (See The Great Commission at Matthew 28.)

He showed this next step with the 12 and the 70, and more…and Paul showed step this every time he planted a local church.

What is this next step? Community and the expansion of Community. Why? Because it roots all Christian Community into the Trinity Community of Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Or at least resonates with these Persons. And we all crave community and grow best in community – even us introverts!

Without this next step, churches stagnate and grow smaller. Too many are closing. The lack of this is the major reason evangelization is too often too hard these days, and yields so little fruit with too much work.

Ecclesias! Ecclesias enforce the standards and method of the Kingdom of God and results in the rapid and healthy spread of Christian Community.

Ecclesias made of disciples who encourage, support and edify one another. Who socialize, share Communion, and who serve one another.

Ecclesias are the major driving element that results in New Testament speeds of making new Christians and planting new local churches.

What’s their first gigantic step in serving each other and in serving others, resulting in so much marketplace ministry that the Ecclesias reach so many and transform the people they touch through Jesus and born again into the Kingdom of God?

Prayer. Massive amounts of loving and faith filled prayer. Prayer for one another. Prayer for others they know about. Prayer for community people they network with and can so easily touch. People who need help and have needs. Oh, yes! People with needs who are thus prayer and ministry targets.

What are prayer and ministry targets? Prayer for and ministry to people and situations where you can see the wanted results as the Kingdom of God spreads.

Massive prayer precedes and results in people being sent. Sent to share the Gospel, to minister, to make new Christians, disciples, form Ecclesias that result in the planting of local churches.

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Discipleship Getting Help Intercession Prayer

Prayer & Ministry Targets

joshua-earle-9idqIGrLuTE-unsplash

What are prayer and ministry targets? Prayer for and ministry to people and situations where you can see the wanted results as the Kingdom of God spreads.

Answers to prayer with targets that you can see for yourself. Fruit of ministry that can you can see and and appreciate.

Too few people know this. It’s a sort of secret. More people should know: most prayer gets results, and quickly. With wonderful speed. Most ministry yields good fruit – with very good and rapid results.

Why do not more people know? Why are we ourselves so slow to recognize and see this? Well, for me, it’s anxiousness for wanted results. We focus so much on results we want and do not see that we focus less on our Lord. We focus on so much we do not notice how rapid the results usually are, because we’ve moved on to the next thing we do not have or do not see. And we focus on and remember our pain and disappointments more than on our joy and successes.

It’s sort of amazing that we have enough faith to get so much done. But we look at results so little because we focus on the next thing we do not yet experience or have.

In your Prayer Journal or elsewhere (I used index cards) note what you pray for and what you minister for – and note the results and date each of these. You will be as astounded as I was to discover that most prayer yields excellent results and most ministry bears good fruit. And you will delight at the speed. And you will wonder why this sometimes doesn’t happen – you will investigate and learn.

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Discipleship Jesus's Communication Learning

We Miss What Jesus Didn’t Say

In our culture, we notice things thing spoken. This is especially true of the more left-brained among us, the more verbally oriented.

We too often miss things that Jesus shows us but does not put into words.

We need what he speaks about, and we need what he shows us: we need both!

He tells people, not infrequently, that it was their faith that made them whole (healed them). Yet it was their faith touching his Anointing that resulted in the miracle; that’s when miracles often happen.

He shows us exorcism, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process used in healing!

He tells us to heal when preaching The Good News of the Kingdom. He shows, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process.

He tells us to free the bound, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and make disciples of all people groups. He shows, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process.

I believe if the dead were unwilling to be raised, they would not be: it needs agreement.

Miracles involving people being healed or freed seem to require some agreement; it takes some decision.

Miracles involving things such as calming a storm – he commands. Yet we hear not of water being turned into wine – was it implicit? (He told his mother what to do – was that enough? The rest implicit? I wonder….)

He commanded a storm, commands material things & demons – neither of which have their own authority and are under his authority. Now our authority, too. I do not recall him explaining such differences. He showed us differences.

I can’t claim to know every example and that I can even explain every example. What I can tell you is this: watch what Jesus shows us and listen to what he tells us with words. You may learn something new and even something wonderful.

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Anointing Conversation with God Discipleship Getting Help Healing Intercession Ministry Prayer

Experience Ministering with Jesus

So…by now I hope you are praying well – having conversations with Father, Jesus, &/or Holy Spirit: one God, three Persons. Getting answers quickly. Getting guidance and persisting. If you are having difficulty hearing God, doing one thing appears to be especially valuable.

I’ll focus on Jesus – which is easier for many of us and is a splendid fallback position when you are not doing as well or being as resourceful as you prefer. You can talk to one, two, or all of the Trinity – one at a time or together.

This is your genuine family. The root and basis of who you really are.

Remember how Jesus ministers: doing as Father shows him or tells him. You can do the same.

So…to minister with Jesus, or through Jesus when you need to depend on him even more and especially when you are not ready to be more active, here’s how to experience this.

Pray. Talk to Jesus. Listen, sense, watch – receive guidance and answers. Ask how to pray. In active ministry, it’s especially valuable to converse quickly and get helpful responses. Here’s how to get quick and reliable guidance from God about how to pray.

Tell Jesus what’s on your heart. Ask for guidance or how to pray, just as in the links above. Or, when you want to intercede and ask God to help – ask Jesus to take care of what is already on your heart. It’s a brilliant way to intercede. Intercession is asking God to do something for someone – so literally do this!

Minister with Jesus. Minister through Jesus. You can do this. And it’s as easy as having a conversation. Because that’s what prayer is – having a conversation where you share your heart and where you are attentive to and allow Jesus to share his heart with you.

He loves you that much. He wants to minister that much. He wants to minister with you and through you. And he loves it when you minister with him – and when you minister through him. He loves this much.

So minister with Jesus. Minister through Jesus. Love and serve, with and through our Lord and Savior. You can do this! He makes it easy.

Put your compassion to work. Add your faith – you only need a teeny, mustard seed size bit of faith. Or have someone pray with you and allow them to use their faith. This is one of many excellent reasons for having prayer partners. (More on Prayer Partners, soon.)

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Conversation with God Discipleship Getting Help Hearing God Holy Spirit Journal Key Article Ministry Prayer

Get Guidance & Persist

Ask for Guidance. Best is to be full of Holy Spirit, first. Easier to notice and receive.

When you receive Guidance, make note of it. Best is to write it in your Prayer Journal or Conversation with God Journal, or Guidance Journal – best is with your own handwriting, but a computer will do.

Pray for your Guidance to succeed. That you will be faithful and follow through to see whatever is about is finished and complete.

Getting Guidance isn’t enough. We need to follow through. To complete what the Guidance is about. So praying for that is also a “best practice”.

Journal about your guidance. It’s an excellent way of supporting yourself, so you remember better and follow through.

An outstanding idea is to get support from people who want to encourage and support you and help you do what is valuable and important to you. Just because it is important and valuable to you.

If you do not have such support, go get some! You can even ask for Guidance how to best do this.

And – follow through. <warm grin>

Persist in following the Guidance gives you. The Guidance you receive is God telling you not only how to do something, but if you think about it or ask God – it’s also God telling you what to do. You have heard God’s “Voice” for this. It empowers you to do what God said to do. To do otherwise is to fail to do what God has asked you to do. Oops!

Persist. Until the doing of what you have asked for Guidance about – is complete and done. Finished!

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Conversation with God Discipleship Getting Help Hearing God Holy Spirit

Hearing God Better – What’s Most Important?

What is most important in hearing God well, and in having good conversations (prayer) with God?

Is it buying more books or going to more conferences to learn how to hear God? These can help. And yet, there is one thing that will make hearing from God and being able to have good conversations with God much, much easier. And this thing is easy to do. And it’s not the usual advice – this may at first come as a bit of a surprise – but then be obvious by hindsight:

It’s being more full of Holy Spirit.

When you are more full of Holy Spirit, being able to converse with God is not hard, and is not a problem at all.

Some people teach that a person who has not been born again and who does not thus have Holy Spirit in them cannot hear God. I do not agree. After all, how else is faith enough to be born again come to come to someone except by hearing God?

So we can all hear God – if we are ready. Whether born again or not.

God prepared me for years so that when I heard a certain evangelist sharing how to be born again, I heard confirmation from whom I now know to be Holy Spirit. Who confirmed to me that what this man was telling me was what God was saying to me. And I knew this was God confirming; which gave me necessary faith. And I had been hearing from Holy Spirit for years, without being clear about who I was hearing. I was kept safe many times…. Being born again led to amazing love – but that’s a story for another time.

Here’s the thing. If you want to hear more from God and to converse more effectively, there is one thing you can do. Ask for more of Holy Spirit for this purpose. You will be equipped and given exactly what you need. Just ask, and by faith, receive.

There may be no drama as you receive more of Holy Spirit for healing and communicating with God better. You may not even notice you are having an attitude adjustment if needed – or you might notice, if God wants you to notice. Either way, Holy Spirit will help and guide you into better conversation with God.

When you need to learn something new, your Teacher will guide you. When you need help, your Helper will help you. When you need comfort, your Comforter will help. When you need help with devilish thoughts or accusations, your Advocate will help. When you need help with Gifts of the Spirit or with Fruit of the Spirit – Holy Spirit delivers generously. Intimacy with Father – Holy Spirit helps. Want to live more and better out of your New Self – Holy Spirit is key. Minister more lovingly and powerfully – Holy Spirit for a Purpose helps. Conversations with Jesus – Holy Spirit especially loves to help. With whatever is needed.

Just ask with and receive by faith; and it only takes a teeny amount of faith – like a mustard seed, as Jesus has told us. So worry not about this, just do it.

Ask for more of Holy Spirit so you can converse better with God. And God, who is generous, will be wonderfully glad to help you, and will give you good gifts.

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Discipleship Healing Jesus Preaching Key Article Kingdom of God Ministry Miracles Prayer Success

Jesus Taught a Progression – Going Beyond Disciplemaking

Jesus taught lots of things; in particular, there is an important series of things to do in order to minister more like Jesus. From one point of view, here’s an overview:

First, it’s valuable to know what an Ecclesia is. That’s a Greek word frequently translated as “church” in many bibles, today. And that can be confusing because the meaning has changed over the years.

When the Roman’s conquered a new territory, one of the things they would do was to appoint people to transform the local culture to Roman culture. To teach them how to talk, dress and in many other ways act like Romans. So that when the Emperor would come, he would feel at comfortable and at home. These people were backed up by the power of the Roman Empire.

Jesus apparently borrowed the term and used it to mean local Christians, disciples, who would meet in small groups – such as peoples homes (in addition to public places). Encourage and build each other up. Teach and help one another And, to change and transform the surrounding culture – into becoming a Christian culture with lots of disciples. An Ecclesia is backed up by the Kingdom of God, led by Jesus – our King.

This was a period of extremely rapid growth of the Body of Christ, and this was a huge method of helping that to happen. Ecclesia’s made of disciples were very important to the rapid spread of Christianity.

They practiced what is now called “Marketplace Ministry”. Not in local churches with separate buildings where they sat passively as one mostly person spoke. Everyone participated and many were business owners – fishing business, sheep business, a tax collector. Jesus was a worker of wood – making many different things. Later St. Paul was a tentmaker. At that same time there was also a dealer in expensive dyes. And others….

How were such disciples made? Through Ministry. It went something like this:

-Jesus and later his disciples always began with prayer. Prayer, prayer and more prayer. Always much prayer before growth in numbers ad in effective ministry happened.

Then to go. Going for the Harvest of souls. Going took several forms, which we will explore later. The key point: people were sent.

-Then the Proclamation or Preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

-Then in that context, the healing of the sick, freeing those bound by unclean spirits; and also the cleansing of lepers and raising the dead. (I often speak of this as being healing the sick and freeing the bound for a shorter phrasing as well as focusing on what is more usual these days. The other two items are still valid.) This attracts a lot more people!

-Then was the making of disciples (of all ethnos, – all people groups). People who learned and who applied and practiced what they were learning. And reported back to a rabbi for more instruction as needed. Most people went on with their lives, happy for the ministry help. A few even said, thanks. A much smaller number were open to learning and to applying what they were learning. The custom among in Israel at that time (where Jesus was ministering) was that a rabbi would teach, disciples would go practice and report back to the rabbi. Who would give more teaching to help, as needed.

-The disciples would in turn become sent ones, who prayed for their areas, then were sent to represent the Kingdom and make more disciples by going through this progression of steps.

-The disciples who were going through this progression and making more disciples would also meet to encourage, help, minister to, and teach one another. All participated. Leadership had the purpose of helping them achieve unity in the faith, maturity in Christ, and to prepare these people for ministry – and more. Ministry was to be done by people helped by leadership to be prepared to do such ministry. This was the biblical pattern.

And this was the progression. Prayer, then going to help gather the harvest – sent in a few but somewhat various ways. Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Healing sick, freeing the bound – prisoners and captives. Making disciples of all people groups. Planting Ecclesia’s who prayed massively for the local area, ministered generously – who shared the Gospel, healed the sick, freed the bound (attracting many people), making disciples who again applied this progression that Jesus taught – and who made yet more disciples. Then ecclesia’s were planted who continued these continuing cycles leading to rapid growth.

When this pattern is followed, evangelization and ministry spreads faster better and more powerfully than any other method I have ever heard of. This is what Jesus taught. It’s Scriptural. It works powerfully. It helps Missionaries avoid money trouble, when the other methods of sending are added. (Can’t wait? See Luke 10; and also Matthew 10.)

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Conversation with God Discipleship Getting Help Hearing God Journal Prayer

Always Talk to God About Your Dreams

The title is a quote from a book written by Dr. Barbie Breathitt, Dream Seer: Searching for the Face of the Invisible. It’s the name of a section of the book.

What a great section title! There is a lot going on these days about dreams, and prophetic dreams. What to do with them and what not to do. Opinions vary – opinions vary about what to do with dreams!

Dreams fascinated me as a child, noticing how many there were and how important they were in the bible. I’ve been recording dreams and studying about dreams ever since.

Dream journaling is an excellent thing to do, and if there is enough interest I may write about how to remember your dreams and how to work with them. Let me know if you are interested…comments will do; or email me.

Dreams can be challenging. So asking God about your dreams is always wise. Aside from the usual dream-work methods, even the dream-work methods I recommend – which work well for people who use these, asking God about your dreams is likely to be the most important thing you do.

Being attentive and listening to God about your dreams follows asking. Hearing God is very important, another subject we may cover here, and there is this article about How To Receive Quick & Reliable Guidance for Prayer that you may want to apply to asking God how to pray regarding understanding what to do with your dreams. And there are many wonderful books on the subject. It’s a fascinating subject and valuable to know about and to follow through with.

The key point is: talk to God about your dreams. Listen to God about your dreams. And listen carefully with your heart to everything else God has to say to you. Put to work and do as it leads you. This disciples do: learn, and apply. Get feedback. Learn and continue to put what you are learning. Get feedback and continue.

When you ask God about your dreams and listen, you may hear him speak through Still Small Voice. Or through your own thoughts – so pay attention! You may have a memory, see or hear something…and many other possibilities. Assume this is an answer to your prayer and be attentive. This is God’s answer to your prayer about how to pray about your dreams. You are now listening to God about your dreams.

Now pray that way. The way God showed you to pray. And keep on praying that way, enforcing the answer given you – until it is done.

Conversation continues. Ask more. Tell God what is important to you. Always be attentive and pay attention to what you what you experience. Best is to write it down – forgetting even powerful impressions is too easy at first when a response is still in brief term memory. So write it, preferably in your own handwriting. You’ll remember better than if you use a computer. Whatever you do, whatever method you use, commit to remembering by writing.

So talk to God about your dreams. Ask. Focus. Note what you asked and what you received, what you “heard” by writing it.

Take action on what you are learning and be ready for feedback and further guidance.

Continue the conversation – God loves talking with you. God loves it when you listen, and when you do as he says.

Have wonderful conversations with God about your dreams, learn and grow through doing this. Enjoy and rejoice at his goodness!

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Conversation with God Discipleship Hearing God Holy Spirit Journal Prayer Prayer, Intercession, Angels,

Conversations with God – Fast & Slow

Some conversations with God are really fast. Only taking a moment. Like when you are reading scripture and a passage speaks to you more personally and more deeply. Or when Holy Spirit pulls you up short with a correction. And your answer is a wordless – or maybe with actual words, maybe something like, “Yes, Lord!”

Other conversations are slower and can go on for months or years. As when God brings us back to a particular scripture time and time again. These are usually topics of great learning and deep transformation over time. At other times, you may have a back and forth conversation with God where you are led and learn more gradually – over a longer period of time. There is a lot God has to say, and he speaks to you, one key notion at a time, over a long period of time. The conversation can cover many topics, even. Like a long walk in the rolling hills where the grass and trees are fresh and full of life.

Once I had asked to go west, to the western United States. I had asked strongly and repeatedly. I asked many, many times. Then I heard Still Small Voice say, translated into words, “Not yet!”. I had no idea Still Small Voice could be so loud and so definite.

God has taught me on particular subjects that go on for months, pointing out various things to me. Such as his teaching me about the Kingdom of God. We keep coming back to that, again and again. Sometimes there is no conversation on the subject for a while, at other times the subject is picked up again and he shows me new things, or he reminds me of previous lessons. A lot of my learning is this way.

I keep a Prayer Journal. A record of our conversations, often two way conversations. Reviewing these brings me valuable lessons back to mind again, it’s too easy to forget or lose track of key ideas. Writing also helps make the conversations more real and definite than when they are just “in my head”. I recommend learning about and doing this. Perhaps we’ll explore this in this blog. In the meantime, you can go to cwgministries.org and look for his book or video series about hearing from God, conversations with God; and especially, “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice”, as an eBook or as a video series – offered on the same page.

Mark Virkler teaches that when we do all four of these things at the same time:

  1. Stop and be still.
  2. Look with the eyes of our heart towards Jesus
  3. Listen to what God says to us or shows us, especially through flowing thoughts, and
  4. Write down what we experience

He guarantees that we will hear from God or get our money back. Quite an encouraging guarantee!

Any area of your life where you let God freely operate and rule is part of the Kingdom of God. The King rules his Kingdom. This is my favorite place from which to hear God. His Kingdom is at hand – within reach. Now. Always.

If you are having a good conversation with God, especially a longer one over a greater period of time, you are probably having such a conversation inside of the Kingdom of God. You know what that’s like, then!

St. John had such a conversation, an unveiling. A showing. A revelation; it’s called the Book of Revelation. This will take a lot of time to study and study well. This will be a longer conversation.

See, the Kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking – no, not of things like that. The Kingdom is standing rightly before God, in peace and joy in Holy Spirit. (See, Romans 14:17.)

God has already been talking to you and with you for a long time. Are you ready to notice and realize how this is true? Can you recognize and remember some of those “conversations”? Appreciate them? Maybe even take notes. Begin or continue with a Prayer Journal or a Conversations with God Journal, if you like. I encourage you to write daily. When you do, your life and your faith will grow and transform. I promise you. So…do such as this, and be sure to give thanks and rejoice!

Categories
Angels Discipleship Hearing God Holy Spirit Intercession Ministry Miracles Prayer, Intercession, Angels,

Always Praying

It is more practical to continue praying and to be praying always than many of us have thought. It’s easy, it’s good to do – and it can be important, even life saving.

The first time this happened, and I was led with conscious awareness by Holy Spirit was after my father collapsed and threw up a rather large amount of blood.

He was rushed to the hospital, and immediately sent to emergency surgery. Which took a surprisingly long number of hours.

I prayed for him and for his surgery to go well and for his healing. Holy Spirit was directing me. I saw a star, a smallish star, and I knew I was to keep my attention on this star as a part of my prayer.

So where ever I was, what ever I was doing, I kept part of my attention on this “star”, as I was being gifted and led to do.

I was helping, I was praying, and I would be learning from this.

It turns out that when they thought they were finished with the surgery, they miscounted sponges and thought they were missing one. So they opened him up and looked for it.

As they were looking for this sponge, they found a small artery that was bleeding. They said it would have killed him, but was small enough so that there would be no dramatic symptoms right away – which would delay or even keep them from knowing they had to cut him open again to find the bleed and save his life.

The found the small bleeding artery, closed it, and closed him up. Surgery was successful, and he lived.

He not only lived, he went on to change his life in other good and needed ways – which gave him a longer life and a better one. That’s another story.

From what I could tell, the time I the star and the flow of intention and dunamos energy stopped was about the same time the opened him up again, found the bleeding artery and fixed it.

The timing was to teach me something about how prayer goes.

And I learned consciously how to pray in the Spirit, with my spirit. How to notice and respond to the signals I was given, to obey and continue. Until it was done.

You can do this too. Pray in the Spirit, noticing and paying attention, obeying what is given you, until it is done.

You will be praying continuously, and can continue until it is complete: until the prayer work is done. You will know when it’s done, because a part of you is still and continuously paying attention.

You can pray in the Spirit. With your spirit. Notice what you are given to do, led to do; and to obey until it is complete.

You will over the course of your lifetime, by doing this, help many people in many situations. Including following Holy Spirit as someone heals. Lives will sometimes be saved. Other blessings will accrue.

Pray in the Spirit as directed until it is done and complete. You can do this, and our Lord wants you to do so.

Thus you will be doing what you are shown, and ministering more like Jesus.