Confidence Catalyzes Prayer

God can do in us what we can never do alone! But we can't live another day measuring our lives against sub-standard comparisons. We must stop setting goals that are attainable by human effort because when we hit them they ring hollow. We can no longer undershoot God's promises, undervalue our worth, and underestimated our resources. The only way forward is conversation with God. Prayer is conversation with the one who can take us beyond our whims and our wants. But why don't we pray and what do we need to change that?

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (I John 5:14)

Confidence in God is critical for prayer and we'll never gain confidence in God if we never risk trusting him with our heart. Please, taste and see that the Lord is good.

If you suspect you're leaving too much potential on the table, prayer is for you. If you're tired of rationalizing your mediocrity, prayer is for you. If you're stuck and can't seem to get going, prayer is for you. If you feel like life has passed you by but are willing to give it another shot, prayer is for you. If you know there's more inside you but can't seem to dig it out, prayer is for you. If you've been pounded and left for dead by a barrage of condemnation, prayer is for you. If you've tasted the richer life in Christ but slowly turned away, prayer is for you. If you're ready to chase a dream God gave you, prayer is for you. If you are tired of blaming circumstances and are ready to take personal responsibility, prayer is for you. If you've been trying everything in your power and can't make life work, prayer is for you. If you desire sustained victory, prayer is for you.

The God who holds the universe in his hands is waiting to talk with you...let us pray!

Beating Demons of Self Sufficiency - Pray Dependently (Part 2)

Self Sufficiency is also the primary means of Satan getting you and me disconnected from God. Satan knows that if we never hear God’s voice we’ll never become a threat to the darkness. So rugged individualism always gets the green light from demons.

The answer for not hearing is to stop doing. We have to give God a chance in our lives. We need to "taste and see that the Lord is good”. Self sufficiency is holding us back from untold blessings because we’re busy trying to make it happen on our own. 

I’ll never forget the battle I had putting a roof on my tree house. It was already up high in a big birch tree but I wanted another level. Thank God my dad saw my frustration. He yelled up at me, “do you need some help, son”. Boy, did I! In just an hour dad had fastened some higher cleats in place and told me to be very careful. Dad didn’t want mom to see how high this thing was in the air and he certainly didn’t want me falling out. But dad wanted me to experience my tree fort as I’d dreamed and he knew I needed him to make it happen. 

God is waiting for us to call out to him. Or at least listen to him as he’s calling out to us. Yes, God wants us to be safe but also to take hold of a richer life. He desires to take us to the next level, to a place we simply can’t reach in our own power. That place isn’t for our glory but it is for our joy.

The early church called out to God, “give us the courage to speak the word boldly, while you stretch out your hand to do signs and wonders”. He did! And that same God is ready to help you today. Pray dependently. Tell God how much you need him and desire for him to lead your life. But don’t just tell him…let him. 

You can beat the demons of self sufficiency and the joy will be all yours. 

Psalm 34:8, Acts 4:30

Beating Demons of Self Sufficiency - Pray Dangerously (Part 1)

Self sufficiency is the enemy of abundant life. It leaves Jesus standing out in the cold while we stand in our own strength. We make a life for ourselves and it always comes up short of the life God promised us. 

Jesus described this life as "wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked". That's a serious problem. And just like the church of Laodicea, we freeze God out of our lives and settle for less. There is one question: How do we break free from self sufficiency?

It's time for serious heartfelt prayers - praying dangerously!

Dangerous prayers aren't reckless prayers. Praying dangerously is a heartfelt appeal to God. It begs him to renew in us a vision for life that goes his direction, that is not achievable in our own strength, and that lands us smack dab in the middle of abundance. You can do this!

You might ask "what makes that so dangerous"? It's simply that we will face significant uncertainty and be left with a sense that if God doesn't show up we're in big trouble. From all human instincts, that's just plain dangerous. 

But the alternative is not acceptable so we need to step out of the path we've walked, away from the plan we've concocted. We must ask God to take control of our life. 

The earliest followers of Jesus were faced with a dangerous decision - run for their lives or remain in harms way and see what the ascended savior would lead them to do. So "they prayed". Without knowing the future they ate uncertainty for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - they prayed dangerously. Soon the Holy Spirit fell on them and gave them power to preach boldly God's gospel. 

A revival broke out! The fires of revival then are the hope for our dangerous prayers today. Yes, some lost their lives, but they NEVER lost an ounce of abundance. Rivers of living water were flooding their souls and "many were added to their number".

Pray dangerously. Pray beyond your self sufficiency and abundance is your prize.

Rev. 3:17, Acts 1 

Time With God...We'll Be Blown Away By What We Hear

If we can live and bask in God's direction and wisdom, we'll be tasting a life that is out of this world. To take in a breath and have God's peace grip our heart is a dynamite reality, and it can happen frequently. The potential for us to rise above the noise of a twisted and tangled world is real. The hand wringing, white knuckles and shortness of breath will never be fully eradicated but they can be radically reduced. This isn't "super saint" stuff. And I'm sure not proposing a false spirituality that looks down our nose at others. I'm championing humble dependence on God. This is child of God stuff. So put this in the spiritual bank: When we desire to be blown away by the voice of God...we're in the will of God.

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Here's a danger: We can let the power of time with God slip through our hands. Asking, sharing, praising, singing and a bunch of other "ings" are great, but without listening we're going to miss something that could well be mind-blowing. 

Here's the great news: When humble people take time with God, God speaks. The earliest Jesus followers received the biggest breakthroughs from God while opening their hearts and ears to God. While they were worshiping and forgoing some food, "the Holy Spirit said...". This "word" resulted in a massive movement of the gospel around the world. What a beautiful thing. No strategy sessions, no polling and no consultants (by the way, these have their place and are great gifts from God). But this time was just time with God - willing and ready to hear his voice.

Now the payoff! Listening is within the reach of everyone. We don't need a PhD in hearing. All that's required is a humble heart and willing feet to go the direction God points. We can do this. My only advice is simple but a touch painful. Get a sharp spiritual knife and carve some time to hear from God. Keep a bible open in front of you and confirm what you hear with some wise counsel. But make no mistake: We set aside time with God...and we'll be blown away by what we hear.  

Acts 13:2-3