5 ways to increase your prayer life

Have you ever been at a loss for words when in a prayer group or ministry time and felt intimidated by those around you, especially the way they prayed and spoke over someone?    My idea was, they prayed everything and so well and so eloquently, I possibly could not add to it.  So therefore, I would not pray.

The Bible says some of the  Apostles were unlearned men.  But, they were with Jesus and spent time with him and learned to speak like Jesus.

Acts 4:13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Imagine speaking like Jesus!  Do you think this is available for us today?  I do.

5 ways to increase prayer life

So how did I learn to pray and not feel ashamed about saying what was on my heart?

Here are five steps that I learned along the way that can be of some benefit to you.

a)  I listened to the way others prayed. I paid attention to their prayers and the words they used.  I was especially impressed with how they were able to incorporate scripture when praying over someone.

b) Learn to hear the voice of God.  There are many wonderful books on how to hear the voice of God.  Just to mention a few authors:  Shawn Bolz, Mark Virkler. Don´t just read the books, apply the principles taught in them.  When you do, you will be pleasantly surprised.

c) Spend time in prayer and meditation of the word.  God invented meditation, and it is something we are to do. It is simply repeating the scripture over and over.  Writing down the verse will help you memorize it, and chew on each word.

d) Journal.  Where would I be without my journal, I write everything down.  In my prayer times, I express my gratitude, my love, my frustrations and prayer request.  While journaling, don´t forget to listen and write down what you hear God saying back to you.  Develop two-way communication.  It is available to you and within reach.

e) Practice, step out in faith. There comes a time where you have to take the plunge and step out in faith.  You will be surprised as you yield to the Holy Spirit, He will guide and lead you.  Don´t worry if you make a few mistakes, we all have to start somewhere.  The idea is to get going, and before you know it, your will have a flavored prayer life.

Start praying those awesome prayers inside of you.  As you do, the receiver is blessed, and so are you.

What other ways have you learned about developing a prayer life?  I would love to hear about in the comments.

 

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The finger of God

When was the last time you read the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20? Have you ever read what came before Moses received the laws of God?

Exodus 19 describes something out of a movie;  loud trumpet sounds, thunder, lightning and thick clouds around Mount Sinai.

Finger of God

Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, and the entire mountain quaked. I am thinking only the mountain quaked as the Bible says. Did the land quake too?

Then as the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.   Could this be in an audible voice?  Did everyone hear God´s voice, or just Moses?

Imagine witnessing these events of thunder, smoke, trumpet sounds, and earthquakes. The Bible does not mention if this lasted minutes or hours, nevertheless, it must have been something to behold. When we read this, there is no room for doubt it was the finger of God that wrote the Ten Commandments. Who could deny it?

The entire populations witnessed this, and as Moses climbed the mountain, after some time, the people below began making an idol out of gold.

It seems they forgot the display of power rendered by God.

I have been practicing gratitude in my journal writing. While we may not have the thunder, smoke and trumpet sound today, writing out what I am thankful for does something inside of me.

It reminds me of everything  God has accomplished in my life.  I am reminded how He has answered my prayers, protected me, and shows up at the last minute.  I know it´s God when at the eleventh hour, a financial need is met.

He does not answer by way of a long and loud trumpet sound, but I see it in the simple things. There is no smoke around the mountain where I live, but His protection is with me.

Gratitude keeps me aligned with God, tuned it, and so very thankful.

For some reason, saying why I am thankful to God makes me feel safe and loved by him.

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A Crown of Glory in the Hand of the Lord

last month I was invited to give a workshop on spiritual warfare at the  ICAP Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin.   When asked to participate, I immediately said no out of fear and feeling unqualified.  It was suggested that I should pray and seek the Lord for His answer, (not mine) which I did and received a yes.

After receiving a yes,  I knew I had to prepare as I would be amongst experts in the field of rescue and recovery of those in the sex trade industry, and my topic would be something new for many.

A crown of GloryWhile at the conference, I learned so many things.

Most women in this field are not there by choice. Many have suffered abuse at a very young age, are trafficked and suffer trauma, and PTSD.

I was pleasantly surprised to see people from all around the globe involved in this type of ministry. Some have a calling, others have been rescued and are now rescuing others.

Seeing and hearing these testimonies have brought me much encouragement.   God is at work, and yes, there are many success stories.

Being amongst these survivors and hearing their stories has brought a new faith and hope in me.  I feel as though I received a huge vitamin shot.   God is everywhere;  at work in the brothels, strip clubs, rescuing those in need. When I think of my own needs, they seem insignificant compared to what these women and men (yes, young boys are trafficked) go through, and because Christ sets them free, they are strong and enduring to the end.

It´s funny how God works. I went there to serve and to bless in what I can give, but I was the one that came out blessed and with a renewed hope and faith in God.

The theme for the conference was  Isaiah 62:3  You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.

After spending just a few days with these precious people, they truly are a crown of glory in His hand and the love was palpable. They choose to be molded and shaped by the master potter and continue to be used by Him for His glory.

My I continue to do the same with my life.

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12 deadly D´s sent from the evil one

Do you ever find yourself in a blah mood at times?  I know I have, and it would take a while for me to get out of it.  Then I came across what is known as the deadly D´s.   These subtle attacks are ways in which the enemy distracts us.   Perhaps you have heard of some, maybe not.

There is a warning to heed:  If we believe or fall for any of these, it will cause us to waver in our authority in Christ and get us off track.

I have a confession to make.  I fell prey to many of these symptoms until I began to identify them and only then I was able to put a stop to it.

Below are a few of the deadly D´s you may have heard about already.

Deadly D´s

Distraction
Divides your attention and prevents concentration.  You begin to look at what others have, instead of what the Lord has placed inside you, you lose your focus.  When you are distracted, it causes an interruption. You are pulled in different directions.

Solution- purpose in your heart to focus, and have a heart of gratitude towards the Lord.

Discord
Lack of harmony, disagreement, strife, fighting with family, friends, co-workers and even your pastor and church leaders.

Solution- Choose not to participate.

Discouragement
We become discouraged when we focus on what is not happening. It will cause us to be ungrateful and hopeless.  It will keep us in misunderstanding and we lose communication.  We do not come to the unity of the faith, and it keeps us divided.

Solution- Give thanks for what you do have.

Division
The enemy does not like it when the body of Christ comes into agreement.  Where two or three are gathered together in His name, Jesus is there in the midst of it all.

Solution- Just think what will happen when believers come together to pray and do warfare, we win the battle!

Despair
Despair causes one to lose hope and give up and may lead to depression. Our God-given call can take a detour. Don´t fall for the enemy’s scheme to place upon you unrealistic expectations and disappointments.  It is vital to ask for vision during prayer, to be encouraged and continue in your calling.   Vision is a powerful tool.  Ask for it, and see what God will do for you.

Solution- call on friends and those you trust to pray for you and ask for a clear direction while in prayer.

Demoralized
This destroys the persons’ morale, throws you into confusion and deprives you of your courage. When this happens, you stop everything, there is no purpose.

Solution-Lift your eyes to the Lord, ask for a clear and fresh perspective.

Doubt
You hesitate to believe and are uncertain.  You doubt God has called you and has placed unique gifting’s inside of you.  You can begin to question God´s ability to answer prayer in your life.

Solution- hand over your doubt to Jesus, and ask Him to replace it with faith.

Disappointment
Disappointments come from unmet expectations. These could be expectations of what we believe God should do for us or expectations we have of our spouse, church, children, Christian leaders or even of ourselves.

Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Solution – For that reason, we should immediately forgive, release and apply the grace of God to our lives.

Disbelief
The inability to believe or accept something as true, also doubt.  We doubt what God has placed in us, or even in others and lose out on the blessing.

Solution-place your trust and confidence in the Lord, and not in man.

Deception
Deception is very easy to fall into.  It is an act of making someone believe something that is not true.  This could be about yourself, your calling and integrity of God.  Deception is misleading.

Solution- go to others that you trust and ask for prayer, be honest and vulnerable!

Discontentment
Here is where we stop seeing the positive in our lives and become negative. You have a lack of satisfaction with your accomplishments, status and even the spiritual gifts placed inside of you.  Everything around you is in darkness.

Solution-choose to be content with what you have.

Disillusionment
When we become disillusioned, we may want to drop out of a marriage or a ministry or a commitment the Lord has called us into.  We can become cynical and lose sight of the vision, which is exactly what the enemy wants us to do.  We can´t give him the satisfaction of seeing his wishes fulfilled in our lives.

Solution-perhaps you need a break or some time out, that is perfectly fine.  I need to do this from time to time.  When I do have a chance to get away, I come to the Lord in prayer and ask him to hit the refresh button!

All of these deadly “D´s” keep us under a spell to self-destruct, to thwart God´s plan and purpose for our lives.  Don´t give him the pleasure of winning, instead, take control and continue steadfast in your calling.

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9 ways how Satan attacks man

It is no secret Satan has a hatred toward man, especially those that are in the kingdom of God.  He hates us because we represent God, and it reminds him of the battle he lost on the cross.   While Satan does not accept defeat, he is always out to attack us in any way he can.  Below are some of the ways he works against us.

9 ways how satan attacks man

1- Satan deceives man  1 Timothy 4:1 -2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

Along with deception, he lies to us about everything. He lies about how awesome and wonderful we are in the eyes of God. He uses other people to hurt us with condemning words to crush our hopes, dreams, visions, and what God is speaking to us. These words will place doubt and unbelief in our heart. 

2- Satan blinds the minds of God’s people 2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

He blinds man through deception, and we begin believing lies in all areas of our life.   He will also try to distort our Biblical World View

3- Satan is fierce and cruel   1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.

I use to hear Christians say, ” Oh, Satan is a toothless lion.”  I don´t think so.  He has teeth, and when he bites, it hurts.

4- Intelligent and subtle:  2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is Christ’s.

We need to understand Satan has been around a lot longer than we have.  He has wisdom, but a wisdom that is pure evil.  He is out to destroy the plan the Lord has given and guided us into.

He will always attack your giftings, always placing doubt. 

5- He tempts us   1Th 3:5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

He will tempt you in your weakness, and only you know what that is. Its goal is to get you off track and cause a separation between you and God, and then he will place guilt upon you for falling into temptation.

6- He accuses us   Rev 12:10  Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Be sure he will remind you of your past sins.  Dwelling on the past will make you ineffective for the future. 

7- Steal, kill and destroy  John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Sad to say, but Satan is doing a very good job of this.  His goal is to steal, kill and destroy your hopes, dreams, plans vision, family, finances.  

8-He puts fear in us, influences our emotions  2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The fear in us will paralyze from moving forward.  

9-Isolates us  Luke 8:27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

Isolation is a big one, sad to say,  many do not think so.  It is important to be around those that you can go to for prayer, advice, and counsel. In being isolated, you are unaware of how much of a grasp the enemy has on you. God has called us to fellowship, and it´s also fellowship outside of the church. 

He wants to keep us away from other believers, where we can grow, share and pray for others.

Now that you know and understand how he works against us, what is the solution?

Resist.  

James 4:7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

Once the attack has been identified, you will have the strength to resist, and he will run away from you.  He will have no choice, and in resisting the enemy, you continue your spiritual growth. 

 

 

 

 

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7 ways to grow your faith

We live in a very busy world. Everywhere we go, people and things are vying for our attention. It could be the latest cell phone, tablet, or book to read, the choices today are endless. Our families complain because we don’t spend time with them, our boss wants more of us, and we go to bed tired.

Our time is valuable.

Grow your faith

If we are not careful, neglect can set it. We need to be intentional about what is important to us,  how to prioritize and learn to say no to what is not beneficial in our lives.

One of the relationships we should never neglect is our relationship with God. We should not allow our spiritual growth to languish.  This should be on the top of our list.

But where do we begin? How do we grow our relationship and faith with the Lord?

Here are a few tips. It is up to you how long you would like to spend in each section.  Doing just a few of these a few days of the week and consistently, you will notice a change begin to happen inside of you.

Here they are:

Read your Bible. Yes, a very common one, but one that is often overlooked. Reading or hearing the word has become very easy. There are excellent Bible apps and even audio versions of the Bible.

Resist the sins of the flesh. The world is full of advertisements, and the world portrays evil as good. Sexual sin, pornography, addictions are strongholds. It’s best to avoid them then fall into their trap.

Help where you can in your church. Our pastors and leaders need us. Helping, even in the most minimum of way brings gratitude to your heart. If you see a void, fill it. If unsure, ask and it will be given to you.

Learn to surrender. We love to hold onto things, to be in control of our lives, family, and circumstances. But there is One who holds our future in His hands, and He really does know best. In a struggle, surrender to God and peace will fill your heart.

Practice gratitude. Thanking and giving thanks with a sincere heart causes the enemy to flee seven ways. Even when things are not going well, I am sure you can make a list of many things to be grateful for. Go ahead, say them out loud, and experience the gratefulness that fills your heart

Practice love. Learn to love like Jesus did. Avoid strife, gossip, and contention, and learn to walk away from arguments.

Learn to hear God´s voice. Yes, you can hear God´s voice and receive peace and guidance. There are many excellent books and teaching if you are unsure where to begin. I would like to recommend Mark Virkler Book, 4 Keys to Hearing God´s voice.

I hope these are useful for you. If you know of other tips, please share them in the comments, I would love to hear from you.

 

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What is the Gift of Discernment of Spirits?

As a young child, we lived with certain “activity” in the home which I deemed normal.  I knew nothing else, and felt what I experienced was part of life. When I accepted the Lord, I learned what we were going through was actual demonic activity.

Because I had experienced this side of the spiritual world, I knew it was real.

Discernment of Spirits

When I accepted the Lord, the gift of discernment of spirits was automatically given to me.  I am sure I had it before, as I was able to sense my surroundings. There were times where  I could see, feel and smell the demonic.

What is the gift of discernment of spirits, exactly?

This gift allows the Christian to know for sure whether a given behavior originates from a divine, human or satanic source.

In other words, whatever is going on, you can tell what type of spirit is behind it.

As with all spiritual gifts, it is wise to grow and develop them.  Here I list a few helpful tips to grow in the gift of discerning of spirits. This can also apply to other gifts of the spirit.

  • Read you Bible and become knowledgeable in the word.  Satan would love to plant doubt and confusion, much like what he did with Eve in the garden when he said:   “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
  • Confirm what you are sensing with others around you.  It´s o.k. to make a mistake. Recognizing these mistakes will only cause you to grow, and the Lord allows them to shape and mold you.
  • Make sure you don´t judge, calling it discernment.  Learn to listen, and don´t fall into judgment.
  • Have your heart right before the Lord. Our filter is our heart, so a heart of purity is needed with any spiritual gift.
  • Operate your gift in love.  Some people with this gift can operate in coldness and be very firm.  Remember, we do not fight against flesh and blood, so please operate in love at all times.
  • True discernment is based on love, false discernment is based fear and not trusting.

Here is a Biblical example of the gift of discerning of spirits in operation.

Act 16:16-18  Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”  And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

What this girl was saying was true, but the Apostle sensed the spirit behind what she was proclaiming was not of God.  Of course, he was right.

Grow your gift

If you have this gift or any other spiritual gift, water it and have it grow.   How?   Ask God to increase your gift.  Look for opportunities to use them.  Look for others with this gift and learn from them.  Join a prayer/intercessor group.

This gift is very important, it is part of God´s gift to us to protect us from error, of which I am very thankful for.

 

 

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