Monday, June 28, 2010

Increase Our Faith

"The utmost possibilities of prayer have rarely been realized. The promises of God are so great to those who truly pray, when He puts Himself so fully into the hands of the praying ones, that it almost staggers our faith and causes us to hesitate in astonishment. He promises to answer, to do and to give 'all things', 'any thing', 'whatsoever', and 'all things whatsoever' are so large, so great, so exceedingly broad, that we stand back in amazement.”  E. M. Bounds

As we grow in prayer, we need to ask God to increase our faith. We are going to need an increase in our faith for prayer for the future. The days are going to get tougher. It is very Biblical to ask God for increased faith. Intercessors need to take action in radical faith for the many things that are happening in the world globally, nationally, and citywide. Faith is able to break through tremendous obstacles. This was the prayer of the apostles. The Bible says in Luke 17:5, "The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’"

Why is faith so important for us at this time? 

Faith gives us the ability to obey God even in impossible situations. It’s a way to receive supernatural help from God. In these coming days we will be called by God to obey in a way we have never seen before. We will need his supernatural help more than ever. We need to see His power demonstrated in the needy world around us. We need great faith in order to stand firm in God's peace with all the rapid changes we are experiencing all over the world. 

In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul encourages the church to "stand firm in your faith." Faith in God and His supernatural provision will keep us steadfast and stable when all around us is shaking. Increased faith in prayer will bring forth mighty results, and God will move in a supernatural way.

An extraordinary example of the prayer of faith was in a young man who believed that God answers prayer in a powerful way. Duncan Campbell, a well-known preacher, had been speaking in Scotland and stopped preaching because of spiritual resistance in the meeting. He took notice of a young man who had extraordinary faith in prayer that brought extraordinary results. Kathy Walters record the following in “Notes from the Welsh Revival”:
“Just then he noticed Donald, visibly moved under a deep burden for souls. He thought, ‘This boy is in touch with God, and living nearer to the Savior than I am.’ He said, ‘Donald, will you lead us in prayer?’  The young lad rose to his feet… He began to sob, then lifting his eyes toward heaven, cried, ‘Oh God, there is power, let it loose!’ The Spirit of God swept into the building and the heavens were opened. The church resembled a battlefield. On one side many were prostrated over the seats weeping and sighing; on the other side some were affected by throwing their arms up in the air in a rigid posture for an hour. God had come!  

As the preacher came out of the church, the Holy Spirit swept in among the people in the road like a wind. They gripped each other in fear. In agony of soul they trembled; many wept and some fell to the ground under great conviction of sin. Several men were found lying by the side of the road in such distress that they could not even speak - yet they had not been anywhere near the church! 

So great was the supernatural moving of God that most of the homes did not escape the conviction of the Spirit, and the routine of business was stopped, that the island might seek the face of God like Nineveh of Bible days. The town was changed, lives and homes transformed…”
See how God can touch a town when there is fervent faith in prayer together with a holy life. This young man knew how to touch heaven and change earth with his prayers. Donald is a good example of fervency in prayer. You and I must pray for increased faith for prayer.  But how can we increase our faith level personally?

Ways to Increase Our Faith

Take time to study these points along with the Scriptures.  Pray them into your life. Learn to live life expectantly, linking your faith to God’s ability.

Ask God to increase your faith - This is what the apostles did. They linked their faith to God’s promises. Nothing is impossible with faith. We read in Matthew 17:20-21, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.

Study diligently the Word of God - Ask God to speak as you meditate on Scripture. The enemy will throw fiery darts, so be sure to stand against his lies with the truth of God’s Word. Paul says in Ephesians 6:16 to "take up the shield of faith.

Read the Bible out loud for spiritual breakthrough - There is something powerful that happens when you speak out the Word of God. Reading the word out loud makes it more tangible and breaks through demonic powers.

Recognize God’s greatness, and don’t magnify your problems - Concentrate on God’s attributes rather than your weakness. Problems seem to grow when you dwell on them and that will minimize your faith. God is far greater than any problem, and we must believe Him for miracles.    

Push past your limitations - Stretch past your boundaries, and live outside your comfort zone. Learn to step out by faith in what God tells you to do.

Practice positive confession - If you say what you believe and confess it with your mouth, you are lifted into that domain. Once you know the heart of God, you can pray it boldly and then walk in faith even before you see the answer. 

Learn to pray with expectancy - Believe that God will do something when you ask. Believe that He wants to answer your prayers. Don’t just act like he can do something, but believe that He will do something.

Your faith will be tested and stretched, but this is how it grows strong.  James 1:3 talks about the “testing of your faith.”  I had to learn to walk in a deeper level of faith over the last few months. After spending 3 months at the IHOP (International House of Prayer), we felt that we should sell our house and move there.  It was a big step of faith.

We came back to Virginia Beach and were just beginning to get our house ready when we saw a realtor in his car further down the street. Suddenly without giving it a second thought I ran down the street and asked him if he was looking for houses. I explained that we were going to put ours on the market. Without hesitation he asked me if he could show it to a young couple. I told him my husband was painting our upstairs bathroom and it was messy. There was paint and torn wallpaper everywhere!

He didn’t care. It was a God moment. I ran home, raced upstairs, and told my husband someone was coming to look at our house immediately! Five minutes later the doorbell rang and there they were. We gave them a tour of the house and they loved it. They left and ten minutes later they were back and wanted to buy our house! 

We packed up our home in a big truck and a few weeks later we were gone on our way to Kansas City. The home we had wanted to buy in Kansas City was sold so we had to leave Virginia Beach homeless and by faith. It was a real test of our faith. We had prayed with expectancy for that house but had lost it.

Could we ever find a house like that one? We questioned our hearts very seriously. We had prayed with expectancy, we were outside our comfort zone, we had practiced positive confession, but everything had fallen through. And here we were riding in a truck with most of our belongings to Kansas City without a home.

Due to some unexpected difficulties we actually closed on our house in the middle of our journey, signing papers at a truck stop and faxing them back to the lawyer. It was amazing. The week after arriving, we looked and looked at houses. We felt exhausted from the looking and were getting quite discouraged as our faith was being tested.

Finally we looked for the third time at one house. It was the perfect one for our ministry. It was better than the first one. God has broken through in a marvelous way and 2 days ago we bought the house! We are so excited. God answers prayer. When he closes one door, he opens a bigger one!   

I was not always successful in my faith. At times in this journey I doubted and my faith seemed small. But God was stretching us.  

I desperately want to grow in faith and believe God for the impossible. I realize that if I am not asking God for something that is beyond my capabilities and in the realm of the supernatural, than I am not asking big enough” in my prayers. I want to see God move in miraculous power as in Donald’s testimony. I want to ascend the heights in prayer. My desire for all of us is Paul’s statement in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, "their faith was greatly enlarged." I encourage you to step out in faith in your life and watch what God can do. Ask God to increase your faith.   

To purchase my new e-book called Breakthrough Prayer: Praying God’s Truth - overcoming Enemy Lies see Be sure to put 1 for quantity. The paperback version is not yet available.

"Prayer is not an indifferent or a small thing. It is not a sweet, little privilege. It is a great prerogative, far-reaching in its effects. Failure to pray entails losses far beyond the person who neglect it. Prayer is not a mere episode of the Christian life. Rather, the whole life is a preparation for and the result of prayer. In its condition, prayer is the sum of religion. Faith is but a channel of prayer. Faith gives it wings and swiftness. Prayer is the lungs through which holiness breathes." 
Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Power of Worship

"Whatever the issue in your life is, the key is to worship a holy God who created you and knows everything about you - your failures, shortcomings, insecurities, besetting sins and fears. He sits on His throne, omniscient, and says something like this: 'I know your final destination, and I know how to get you from where you are now to where I want you to be. I know why I created you. If you'll worship Me, I will visit with you. I can tell you how to get untangled from the snares in your path and how to move forward. I can even reveal to you things to come that are pertinent to your life and world.'"  Chuck Pierce with John Dickson

There is power in worshipping God. If we want to see breakthroughs in our life and in the lives of others, than this is the time to enter into deeper levels of worship both personally and corporately. It is only as we ascend to the throne room in worship that we can descend back into the harvest field here on earth, praying and warring for victory in every area of life. When you and I come boldly to God's throne in worship, He gives us His plans and strategies for our lives here on earth. There is no way that we can walk in His peace, power, and perfect plan without a lifestyle of worship  

To ascend is to arise, come up, increase, recover and restore. God wants us to rise up. He knows what He is doing here on earth. He can make sense of things that are happening and can show us the way through challenges. He can strengthen us in prayer and intercession and give us keys during our seasons of worship that unlock the path before us and bring glory into our situations here on earth. It's time to devote our self to a greater worship of the Lord.

Worship changes our lives and how we see our circumstances. 

It is amazing to see life from God's point of view instead of our own. Living for many years on a missionary ship, at sea I would often feel seasick. Some voyages could be quite long and very stormy. If you’ve had the flu, you can imagine how uncomfortable that could be. One day on a rough voyage would seem like an eternity! There was no way to escape the up and down or side to side motion of that ship. 

But I did find one way to lessen the pain. My solution was to walk out on deck with my worship music and praise God as I gazed at the ocean. After an hour on deck worshipping God, my situation would seem very different - I would even feel better physically. It seemed like a miracle at sea, and in a very real sense worship does bring forth miracles.   

A lifestyle of worship is the key to life. 

We are entering turbulent waters, and we must lay hold of this reality so that each one of us may stand firm, hold steady, and pray fervently as the days unfold before us. There is no storm that Jesus will not be able to conquer. If we worship Him in the midst of resistance, we shall see His victory. He can break through any obstacle when we make worship our lifestyle. The Psalms are filled with worship. Psalm 96:1-3 is a good example.

"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 

Best-selling prayer author, Stormie Omartian, shares about an extremely difficult time in her life when she felt empty, paralyzed, and depressed. During that time the Lord spoke to her and said, “Simply worship Me.” This radically changed her life. In her book, The Prayer That Changes Everything, she says,

“We were created to worship God. It’s a state in which our soul finds true peace, rest, and purpose. But it must become a condition of the heart, a way of life, a pattern woven into the fabric of our being. Worship must become so ongoing that it is no longer even a decision that has to be made because the decision has already been made. Worship must become a lifestyle. When you make worship a lifestyle, it will determine in whose image you will be formed and what you become. Sometimes praise and worship will be the only thing you do in a situation. You will stand and praise God while the tornados of life whirl around you, and you will see God move on your behalf. And then you will understand the hidden power of praise. When you understand that concept, it will change your life.”

We all go through difficult times. In the midst of them, God loves persevering worship. Do you find it easy to worship God when facing difficulty? None of us do. This week we are moving out of our home in Virginia Beach after living here for 15 years.  It is not easy packing, selling cars, or saying good-bye to so many people. It is not easy for my husband to drive a truck loaded with all our belongings to a place where you do not yet have a home.  But the solution is praise and worship.  God has it all figured out, and worship opens the way before us. There is power in worshipping God.   

John Dickson was a man who faced an oppressive cloud of difficulty. He operated a Christian bookstore that went through a terrible financial crisis. Here is his testimony of how God broke through in his life. 

"Sometimes we just have to tell our soul what to do. Our soul does not always feel like praising God. As I praised Him as an act of my will, my spirit began to awaken inside me. As my soul began to line up with my proclamations, a flow of anointing began to be released. The oppressive cloud would lift, and the presence of God would come into my store. Over time my business turned around, and I knew it was not because of my keen business… It was the Lord. He turned my business around because I praised Him in the hard place."

Are you overwhelmed by the troubles of life? 

Are you overwhelmed by your circumstances? 

Then praise and worship God with all your heart. Be radical and see the enemy flee. As you press through the heaviness, a transformation will take place. You will begin to see the beauty and greatness of God. Your faith will rise up. Your spirit will begin to sing. But you must take the first step. Open your mouth and begin. He can turn any darkness into light.  Here is a breakthrough prayer to help you cultivate a lifestyle of worship. 

A Breakthrough Prayer for a Lifestyle of Worship

“Lord, I choose to praise and worship You today. You know how to break through the difficulties in my life. I choose not to be overwhelmed with circumstances, but instead I choose to behold your beauty and greatness. You are my victorious God. I will praise Your name and proclaim Your salvation day after day. I will declare Your glory among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples (Psalm 96:1-3). I will sing to the Lord a new song.    

Teach me to ascend to Your throne room in worship and then descend back into the harvest field here on earth, praying and warring for victory in every area of life. Help me to have a lifestyle of worship, thanking You in every situation. I believe that worshipping You is a key to breakthrough in every area of my life. I believe in the power of worshipping You  . I know that Your truth dwells in a worshipping heart. I offer You a sacrifice of praise right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Notice the transformation that took place as John Dickson began to praise God right in the midst of a crisis. God brought victory and breakthrough. We can easily be overwhelmed by personal trials, but instead let’s be overwhelmed by the beauty of God. He loves it when we persevere in worshipping Him. He breaks through in our situation when we do this.

"When things are wonderful, we praise Him. When things are horrible, we praise Him. Whether we are happy or sad or terrified or bored, we are determined to offer to God our sacrifice of praise. Everything in us should give praise to the Lord.”
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

God’s Watchmen

“Intercessors have strategic assignments in their prayer closets. The prayer closet is like those ancient watchtowers. From there, they can scour ‘the spiritual horizon’ like air traffic controllers. They often sense spiritual things discerning the good from the bad, the welcome from the unwelcome. In prayer, God sometimes exposes the enemy’s plans and shows the intercessor ‘the cards that Satan is holding.’”  Eddie and Alice Smith

If ever there was a need for watchful prayer, it is now! We need to be watchful, especially as we see major changes happening worldwide on a weekly basis. Many of us watch the daily news to see in the natural what is happening, but God wants us to watch and see spiritually what is occurring on the earth. It is time for all of us to get our lives in order before the Lord, become watchful in prayer, and find our position as God’s watchmen on the watchtower.

Intercessors are front-line soldiers. 

They see into the distance, observe what is happening, and lean forward in prayer. Sometimes they see with eyes of discernment, and at other times they may see things way in advance. God gives them insight in order to intercede. The Greek word for “watch” means, “to be vigilant, wake, to be watchful.” Jim Goll, well-known author, speaker and intercessory leader, says:

“A watchman on the wall does many things. He carefully watches what is happening and alerts the community when good ambassadors approach the city… A watchman also warns the city far in advance when an enemy approaches. He sounds an alarm to awaken the people because he knows ‘to forewarn them is to alert and arm them.’ Then they quickly can rally to take their stand on the wall against the enemy before he wrongfully tries to enter into the city.”

What does watching mean for you personally? 

What does God want you to concentrate on during prayer and intercession? 

For what has He given you discernment or a burden? 

It may be your school, neighborhood, city, nation, or a particular people group. This is where we need to watch and pray. When we see danger coming, we pray and ask others to pray. We cry out to God to bring salvation, deliverance and make His name known. We pray against evil intruding in the area where we are keeping watch. We say “no” to the powers of darkness in Jesus’ name. We pray for God’s peace instead of fear, for life instead of death, and for hope instead of hopelessness. 

At the same time, all of us need to be on the alert and pray diligently for the nations.  For many years we lived on a ship that brought the light of the Gospel to various nations.  Every hour of every day watchmen had to be on duty.  These watchmen kept alert to any possible dangers that might come toward our ship - dangerous weather, thieves, fire, and other possible threats to our safety.  During their watch, they stayed alert.  They knew that being a watchman was a serious responsibility. 

You and I must be vigilant as a watchman for our nation. Although we may get weary and tired, we have a responsibility. We are called to pray for our president, prime minister, or king. We are on watch. We read in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” In Isaiah 62:6-7 the Bible speaks of watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem:

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

God is raising up watchmen in this hour because the need for day and night prayer for our cities is urgent. Let the following grip your heart. This is adapted from George Otis, Jr., the president and founder of the research group, the Sentinel, and the producer of the Transformation videos:

"If the Church is the nations best hope, it must be awakened from its slumber and fastRevival must become an urgent priority, not just a theological or historical curiosityIts promotion must become the task of every pulpit, its implementation the responsibility of every believer. For this to happen, desperate intercessors must prevail upon God to provoke within His people a deep and widespread dissatisfaction with the religious status quo. 

The Church needs godly shepherds who will resolutely refuse to downplay the urgency of the hour and the seriousness of the present condition. She requires committed prophets who will seize every opportunity to acknowledge with Ezekiel: ‘Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them’ (Ezekiel 33:10). We have come to the point, both as individuals and as a Church, where we can no longer coast on the momentum of past deeds and choices. Our relationship with God has become fallow, and it can only become fruitful again through true repentance and unreserved obedience. 

In this unsettled hour, the eyes of the Lord are upon His people. Will He find faith in the earth? Will He find a hunger for His presence? Will He find a ready remnant through whom He can speak to the nations and their leaders? Let us press in to hear what the Spirit has to say to the Church. If this requires us to suspend, at least temporarily, some of our most cherished routines - let us seize the moment!”

You and I are in a serious spiritual war. Failing to take our post during these days of uncertainty could lead to serious consequences. We must be vigilant and not apathetic - We must be careful and not lax - We must watch with a serious gaze to hear and see all that God is saying and doing. Our families, our churches, our missionaries, and our nations are important. 

If watchmen do not keep their post on a ship during serious weather conditions, it could mean the loss of the ship and every person on board. Remember the Titanic, which sank very quickly because the watchmen were not doing their job. Let’s learn to concentrate on prayer, listening with expectation, and seize the moment as we keep our watch. Let’s learn to be God’s Watchmen.

“Watchmen are ordinarily placed on the walls of a city to give notice to the rulers of coming danger. God appoints watchmen not only to warn men - often they will not hear - but also to summon Him to come to their aid whenever need or the enemy may be threatening. The great mark of the intercessors are that they are not to hold their peace day or night, to take no rest, and to give God no rest, until the deliverance comes. In faith they may count upon the assurance that God will answer their prayers.”  Andrew Murray

Written by Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise