Making God famous on the inside

One of the nuggets of wisdom that I recently wrote and that I will share next weekend is about fame and notoriety. Are success and fame goals we should pursue for ourselves? Is it important to become famous? Is it a way to advance on our spiritual path? For many people, being popular and known is being successful. If they can be famous on social media, they have it made. The more followers, the more success. That is the definition of fame and success in the world nowadays. Why is it so crucial? I believe that part of it stems from a lack of love.

People are trying to plug in the holes left from the absence of God’s love in their lives. There is a void that they try to fill. It is also a question of feeling powerful and not just feeling loved. Power is appealing and it is tempting. We can’t control what happens to us most of the time so we try to find a form of power, something we can manipulate. Does God love famous people more than people who have no notoriety? Absolutely not. Does God want His people to be superstars with millions of followers? Well, I believe that it depends on how the fame is used and perceived. All we do should be done for God’s glory and to exalt Him. Making God famous is key here. Exalting ourselves above Him is dangerous because we are putting the focus on His creation and not on the creator.

When I was praying about fame and success, trying to understand it all, I heard that making Jesus famous in our hearts and minds is more fulfilling that making ourselves famous in the world. God should be the celebrity we honor and worship and the first step before making Him known to others is to make Him be adored on the inside. Is Jesus the celebrity that your body, mind, soul and spirit adore? If not, that is where it should start. Today I want to encourage you to make Jesus famous in you. Let your soul exalt Him. Let your heart keep Him nice and warm inside and let your body honor Him. Work on your mind so the Lord is the One that you think about the most and that guides your thought process.

What is a powerful way we can make the Lord famous inside of us? Relying on the Holy Spirit can get us there. The Spirit of the Lord always points to Jesus. He extols Him and He can’t lift up anyone else. I talk to the Holy Spirit. I thank Him for keeping me centered on Jesus and for helping me in all I do. I acknowledge in all my ways the best I can. He guides me and He opens me up to the Lord. He speaks gently and He speaks of love and it is always about Jesus, related to Jesus, and connected to Jesus in one way or another. Accepting God’s love, accepting that He is love is a good way to make Him famous in our hearts. Love has to be the biggest part of the picture we have of God in our minds and hearts. It has to be the frame and the picture. It has to invade all the visions of God that we have. It has to be an anchor in our minds, in the way we think. The Holy Spirit makes that happen when we keep the door to our soul wide open for Him.

If Netflix is more popular in us than Jesus, how will we make Him famous when we don’t know Him well enough? I now there is nothing wrong with having hobbies and entertainment in our lives. We need them but when they are our only outlets, we run the risk of knowing the world better than we know the Lord. It’s easy to be well acquainted with the world. We are always in it and the world gets inside of us. Knowing the Lord intimately requires more work. We ought to try our best to be as intimate as we can with God so that He is on the inside of us more than the world is. We can read His Word, pray, have communion with Him, praise Him, thank Him and let His Spirit have His way in us. When we make the conscious effort to see all these things happen, the Lord will be more popular inside of us. Our mind, soul and spirit will be in harmony with Him. When we get there, we can present Him to the world more easily. Let’s make Jesus famous on the inside so we can introduce Him to the world on the outside!

 

Suggested reading: Psalm 96:3; Mark 16:15; Matthew 24:14

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 103)

God is not always a blessing in disguise. He is a blessing in plain sight. He dresses the part and He shows Himself the way He truly is. The question is, are we recognizing the blessing?

Jesus gets in the way when there is no way. He makes a way and blows you away with His mysterious ways!

Consider God as the highest source for everything. Highest source for life, love, peace, freedom, wisdom, victory, deliverance, truth and joy.

Some people are only in your life for a season and only God knows the reason. Don’t try to figure out the departures and arrivals. God is in charge of everyone’s journey.

Some doors are more like windows. They are shorter and thinner so the opportunities are fewer but they are still there. Ask God to reveal the doors and the windows in your life.

Put one foot forward in faith and keep walking in love. Put the other foot forward in faith and keep running your race. Put one foot forward in faith and let God show you the way. Put the other foot forward and see how God leads you to amazing places one step at a time.

Stress and anxiety are conduits for the enemy to get into our lives. They are open doors for negativity and depression. Open the door to faith and hope and positivity will follow you everywhere.

Peace is what God gives and what we should expect. The absence of peace doesn’t mean the absence of God but God can make peace present even when there is turmoil and chaos.

The Lord gives us notifications about how much He loves us. They are reminders of His goodness and kindness. Let’s be aware of those promptings and embrace His loving nudges.

Your breakthrough will come true. Your blessings will show up. Your answers will come. Your deliverance will manifest. Your Lord will keep His promises. Your current misery is not the end!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 20:4; Philemon 1:25

God has already been there

The other day I was talking to a close friend about how amazing it is that God is omnipresent. He is omniscient. He is everywhere at the same time. He has been to the past, He is in the present and He has been to the future. It seems so unreal but yet it is so true. God has been to every part of your life, present, past and future. When I was talking to my friend, I told her that God had been to the meeting I had to attend later that day. He had been to every class I had to teach that day and He has lived and seen everything that will ever happen. He is never taken aback by anything. He is never surprised by anything. He has been everywhere and He can take you and me everywhere.

Wherever you have to go physically, emotionally and spiritually, God has been there. God is ahead of you and He will accompany you. It’s always reassuring when we travel to an unknown place with someone who already knows the place. Having a well-traveled guide is key. That is what God is. He is the company that goes with us and knows exactly what to expect on our journey because He has visited it and He is still there. Your situations and circumstances are not foreign to God. There is absolutely nothing that will ever stop God from traveling with you. Your worst tribulations don’t scare Him. Your strongest fears don’t derail Him. Your darkest secrets won’t keep Him away from you. He saw them way before they were formed in your heart and He still loves you. My message today is to remind you that God has been where you are going and He will always be with you. He can always protect you, bless you and love you no matter where you are.

Do you ever play your day in your mind before it starts? Do you ever wonder how parts of the day are going to go? There is usually some apprehension and some anxiety attached to the unknown and what we picture is not always the most positive picture unless we are very anchored in faith and hope. We all have moments when we get nervous about an upcoming event. Now, if we take into consideration that the Lord has already been to those events, we can look at them from a very different angle. We can see ourselves more as spectators of those events and the Lord as the main actor. When we leave everything in God’s hands, He takes care of everything. All we have to do is show up with faith and let Him be in control. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It takes practice and when we do it that way, we stay in the Lord’s way. He has a way of making all things work out for good. Your interview next week has already been visited by the Lord. The exam you have to take has already been taken by the Lord. The move you have to make has already been made by the Lord. He has been there and He will get you there with flying colors.

 

Next time you get scared of something that is coming up, declare that the Lord has been there and you have nothing to worry about. God took care of it before you have to go there. It will be handled nicely by the One who created the universe. There is nothing to fear and nothing to worry about. Not only has He been there but He is right by your side when you are there so you can rest assured that He will help you deal with whatever you have to deal with. Think about it. He is by your side and He will never leave you nor forsake you. You don’t have to do anything by yourself. God is your helper and your guide. His Spirit will show you what to do and His presence will cover you. You are covered everywhere you go. Step out in faith and keep walking. You are going places and the Lord has paved the way for you. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6

Sing a new song to the Lord

Music is a big part of my life. I know that a lot of my friends and family also love music and can’t go a day without it. Life without music would be like a tasteless dish with no salt, no flavor and no joy. You probably have one ingredient, one condiment, one spice that you love that makes your food a joyful experience. Music is what makes my life a joyful experience because the music I love is music that exalts the Lord. It is uplifting and it is exquisite. It puts Jesus on a pedestal and it minimizes the influence of the world on my mind and in my heart. The world has ways of getting inside our heads and in our spirits and shaking everything up by taking the place that rightfully belongs to the Lord. Music is powerful. It is one of the most powerful things that exists. It was meant to exalt the Lord but we often see that it exalts the world over the Lord. When I had the big change in my life over 6 years ago, one of the most impactful encounters with the Lord, the music of my life changed. I started singing a new song to the Lord. My life started being a praise song instead of the sad song that I used to be so attached to. God gave me new lyrics. I embraced them and I have kept them all these years. What song is your life singing? What are you singing to the Lord repeatedly? Who oversees the lyrics of your life? What tune do you choose first thing in the morning? What song do you keep throughout the day? Do you let life change the record and put on a song that brings you down? Today I am here to encourage you to sing a new song to the Lord every day. Let me explain.

Our words are melodies to the Lord. He loves hearing our voices. He knows what we are going to say and He understand the songs of our lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He hears every note played by our lives and He listens to the cry of our hearts and the laughter that comes out of our spirits. He knows the rhythm and the beat of every day of our lives. He can’t miss a beat and He never tune out. He is always in harmony with our thoughts, our emotions and our ideas. It doesn’t mean that we are in harmony with Him. His desire is for us to change our songs and tune into His music. He wants our lives to be vibrant sounds of hope and sounds of joy. He has a song for us to sing that He gives us through His Spirit. We can choose to sing it or we can side with the songs of the world. The songs of the world can be very whiny and very depressing. They can bring you down without you saying anything. Those songs are in our heads and they don’t have to be sung to create havoc in our lives. All we have to do is play them over and over in our minds and the enemy has us where he wants us. He wants us away from the Lord, away from faith and hope. The more we play the negative music of the world, the less receptive we will be to the melodies of the Lord. His melodies are what we should long for and what we should express. Our lives are songs that we should choose carefully.

I have mentioned before how I often hear music deep down inside. I hear songs of praise. Songs that I have never heard in the natural but that sound amazing. Songs that focus on Jesus and that glorify Him. Now, I have noticed that those sounds from Heaven come more naturally when I am positive and I stay on God’s wavelength. When I stay tuned to joy, faith and positive confessions, the music starts. God has a song for you and me to sing but it can’t grow amid doubt and negativity. It won’t emerge when we put a pile a negativity on top of it. The secret to a beautiful song to the Lord is to sing to Him no matter what happens to us. Maintaining a song of praise through the way we lead our lives and how we approach every event is a great dedicated song to our Lord. It is a wonderful way to praise Him without words. Our actions and our deeds can produce incredible music that highlights faith and the goodness of God. Emotions should be taken out of the equation and faith should be the instrument we use to sing with our lives. You can always sing a new song to the Lord. Decide to make it a good song that celebrates Him. Keep the lyrics in line with His Word and His love. Sing a new song to the Lord with your life today!

Suggested reading: Psalm 40:3; Psalm 96:1; Isaiah 42:10

You are the missing link

When I was praying the other day, I had a vision of two chains. One was in gold and the other one was made of silver. They were up in the air and the silver chain was trying to reach the gold chain but it couldn’t. There seemed to be some human emotions going on in that interaction. The silver chain was lower than the other one and it was extending its arm in an effort to hold on to the gold chain that was supposed to pull it up. I meditated on this vision and that is how I received this revelation. I knew it was important otherwise the Lord would not have brought it up to my attention. It came out of nowhere when I was praying. I find that oftentimes the Holy Spirit comes out of nowhere with ideas and revelations that take us everywhere. He gives us messages that broaden our horizons and that gently guide us through a maze of discoveries and secrets that help us grow spiritually. He speaks in parables; He speaks through signs and He speaks in ways that require for us to spend time and ponder on what He is telling us.

 

The message in that vision became clear quickly as the meaning unfolded during my quiet prayer time. The Lord was showing me how when we pray, we bridge the gap for others. We can pray for ourselves and that is encouraged, but prayer is an expression of God’s nature and His nature is found in the giving more than in the receiving. Prayer is giving some of our time and love to others. It’s blessing those who need an intervention from God. Isn’t it beautiful that we can get involved in people’s lives by pressing on in faith through prayer? The main message contained in the revelation was that there is a need for us to pray more for other people. God is looking for men and women who are willing to stand in the gap in prayer and help people reach a higher level in life. This higher level can be a higher level of peace, of love, of joy, of freedom, or of deliverance. There are millions of silver chains in the world that try to hold hands with the gold chains and receive a blessing, a healing or some loving.

 

Once the silver chain manages to reach the gold chain, they form one long gold chain hooked by love and resting in harmony. Do you know of anyone who is going through a “silver chain season” and who longs to reach the gold chain status? Do you have friends or family members that don’t know how to make ends meet and that need prayer? Do you ever see strangers struggling, people who have no idea that there is a gold chain out there that they could hang on to? Everyone needs prayers. There are no exceptions. There are a few things that everyone has in common. Two of them are that God loves everyone and everyone can benefit from prayers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, put God’s love for everyone with everyone’s need of prayers and that is where you and I come in. We have been given God’s love and we can pray through this love and with the power of that love. You and I are the missing link that can join the silver and the gold.

 

The silver chain could have been something else but for some reason that visual spoke to me the most. It looked as if the silver found its greater value once it was attached to the gold. God sees everyone through the eyes of love and to Him we are all golden. Silver has less value than gold and many people see themselves with little value. Some people consider themselves to be copper or fake silver. Now, it is thanks to prayers that the silver chain was able to become one with the gold chain. That image was very symbolic; prayer helps recover the value that the enemy has taken away from people. How? Prayer activates the hand of the Lord. It allows Him to uncover hidden treasures and expose the beauty that was buried by pain, trials, low self-esteem, problems, fear, anxiety and other negative agents.

 

Let’s be the missing links and let’s pray for others. Let’s pray that they discover how much God loves them and how much value they have. When someone feels loved and valued, he or she can thrive and grow. The Lord is all about growths and blooming. He wants to see His people reach their potential and enjoy the amazing individuals that they are. We can pray for healing, financial blessings and peace and we should but we shouldn’t forget to pray for people to see how incredible they are in God’s eyes and how wonderfully and fearfully God made them. Today I encourage you to pray for family, friends, strangers, anyone. Pray for peace of mind, for peace in their hearts, pray for a revelation from God, pray for a touch from God, pray for deliverance by God. Thank God for everyone and pray for everyone. You will see silver chains turn into gold chains and miracles will take place before your very eyes. Keep praying. You are the missing link!

Suggested reading: Psalm 139:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; Ephesians 6:18

Let God your refuge be your filter

When I get overwhelmed by everything that is going on in my life I go to my Refuge. The Lord has been my refuge for a while but I have learned recently how to find refuge in Him.  He has always been there but I have not always been open to His presence. He is my Rock and my Protector. He is the best place to be. Some people find refuge in alcohol and drugs or some other types of addiction. Food can be a refuge for others. We all have our go-to place where relief can be felt. I have found that many places of refuge give us temporary satisfaction and long-lasting addiction that doesn’t bring real peace. When I made the Lord my only place of refuge, my life took a turn for the best. I still have problems and trials. They will never go away but my Rock, my Refuge follows me wherever I go. I can go to Him when I am on the mountain top or when I am buried in the agony of the valley. God is my refuge, my ever-lasting help in times of trouble and I go to Him all the time. I don’t wait for the storm to come to spend time with Him. He is my life, my shield, my joy, my peace. He is my habit, my lifestyle. I am learning to live life through Him. He is my filter for everything and that what matters to me. Do you have God as your filter for life? Do you go through Him to get to all the places you visit every day? If not, I am inviting you today on this beautiful journey of having the Lord as the filter for your life. Let Him be your Refuge, your fortress and your filter.

I have a few students who have no filter. When they talk, they say whatever goes through their minds. They speak without thinking. It comes with the age group but it is also a characteristic of some adults as you might know. Having no filter can be detrimental because anything goes, good or bad comes out. More often than not what comes out is not good. Living life without a filter means that anything goes. Anything good or bad comes out. We let life happen and we let it take control without restrain or check. When I found out that God was my refuge, I decided to let Him be my filter. How He sees life, how He approaches life became important to me. Having the creator of the world be the lens through which I can see everything impacted me greatly. He is my buffer, my shield. When life gives me headaches, God is my medicine. I take a few pills of His Word and life is more manageable and pleasant. They say life is 10 % what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Let God be your 90%, let Him be your filter. React to life with God. React to life with peace, joy and love. Let your refuge be the place from where you react to life all the time.

A refuge is a comfortable place. When you are in your refuge, you feel safe and you can enjoy yourself. When God is your refuge and your filter, you feel safe and comfortable wherever you go. It doesn’t matter what happens to you and where you find yourself, your mind has the filter that makes everything better. Have you ever thought of a refuge as a filter? It makes sense with God because He is our protector and when you put Him between life events and yourself, you can only expect good things. When you have a job interview, filter your fears and your apprehension with your Refuge. When you have money issues, filter your emotions and your anxiety with your Refuge. When you don’t know what to do anymore, filter your doubts with your Refuge. Let Him be the place you run to all the time. He can handle anything. He can give you everything. He can bless you in everything. He can direct you through everything and He can protect you against anything. Let the Lord our God be the filter in all you do. Let Him be your refuge against fear, doubt and anxiety. Filter all negativity through His protective arms. You will have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about!

Suggested reading: Psalm 46:1; Psalm 145:18; Hebrews 6:18

God has better for you

We all have dreams and wishes. Some of us see them clearly and know exactly what we want. Some of us are still trying to design our dreams and make a list of our wishes. Some of us have had those dreams and wishes for as long as we can remember and we won’t let go of them. What are our dreams based on? Are our wishes God-centered? Do we wish to have the best in this life because of how the world describes what our lives should be like? God wants us to dream big dreams and those dreams should align with His desires for our lives. We too often go passed God and create dreams that are far out because we think God gave us those dreams when in reality they were born in the realm of our ego and they are not from God. How do we know what’s best for us? What’s best for us is not necessarily what the world says is best. The world presents ideals that lure us but they are not the Lord’s best. In this message today, I want to invite to rethink what’s best for you and to open up to God’s best. What you might consider a dream could be a fantasy that doesn’t even come close to God’s best for you. God will always have better for you and when you get into His mindset, you will understand what’s best.

What is the best thing that has ever happened to you? If you are a Christian, getting saved is by far the best thing that has happened in your life. Having Jesus as your Savior is the very best thing! You entered salvation and your life was rescued from the claws of eternal death. Having a relationship with your Savior is the best relationship you can have. Now that you are saved and you are an heir to the Kingdom of God, you should expect a “Kingdom lifestyle” here on earth. Your inheritance entitles you to a lot more than you could hope for before you were saved. God’s Kingdom is the absolutely best place to be and we Christians can be in that place today. How? By faith. It’s by faith that we seize the Kingdom. It’s by faith that we reach out for the best. It’s by faith that we dream God’s dreams and see them come to pass. However, we ought to feed our faith the right manna from Heaven and not the junk food of the world in order to develop those big dreams.

The junk food of the world looks appealing, filling and delicious. It imitates God’s food. It is a diluted and processed version of God’s food. It is not sustainable and it won’t help you grow. It won’t keep you spiritually healthy even though it looks like it would. My point is that if you base your faith on what you hear in the world even if it’s not confirmed in the Word, you will have dreams that don’t align with God. For instance, your biggest dream could be to become a millionaire. God says He will provide your needs so becoming a millionaire sounds about right. It’s one of the world’s goals but is it the best that God wants for you? God tells you He has better for you. What is better than being a millionaire you might ask? Being rich in the things of the Lord is way better. Having an intimate relationship with Jesus is better. God is love and He desires for all of us to know and experience His love. His love is always better. It manifests in many ways and that is what the Lord wants us to dream about. His love is bigger than anything we can fathom so His dreams are always bigger. Expect big things based on God’s love. God loves you so much that He wants you to have better than what you want for yourself. Leave it up to Him and let Him show you the best!

Suggested reading: John 3:16; John 10:10; Ephesians 3:20

God is a refiner

To refine is to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. It also means to improve by making small changes or making something more subtle and accurate. God is the ultimate refiner. He purifies, He changes and He removes impurities like no other. Our lives can’t be the same when we let the Refiner do His job. How willing are you to let the Refiner do something new and pure in your life? Are you willing to give Him your life so He can refine it? It’s not a sacrifice. It’s an honor and a privilege. Coming to the realization that the Lord can refine our lives is a blessing. Preparing ourselves to being refined and changed by Him is priceless.

The fire of the Holy Spirit can refine us and burn all things that weigh us down and that we don’t need. I present my life to the Lord on the altar of His love and I ask for refinement and change but I need to let go first and let God be in control. We can’t hold on to our lives with both hands and hope the Lord will take them away from us by force. He is gentle. He is caring and loving and He won’t remove what we love dearly. It’s a lesson I am learning and my goal is to get to a point where God can purify my heart without my ego or my insecurities getting in the way. Today I want to invite you to give all of you to the Lord and let Him refine you. Burn for Him and only for Him with a heart that is surrendered.

The process of refinement and purification is not always an easy process. Like I mentioned before there is a need for letting go and being open to the fire of the Lord. Burning is a powerful action that results in transformation. In the natural when we burn something it comes out looking differently. There is a transfiguration that happens. When God burns us, He changes us for the best. The process leads to beauty. He burns the ugliness and leaves us looking beautiful. We come out of the ashes and we rise up thanks to a touch of His love. God will take the worst parts of our lives and refine them. He can take our shortcomings and our worst traits and refine them. His burning process leaves a mark on our soul and spirit.

The mark of the Lord shows through the light that comes forth when we have been refined. The process will not always be easy but it is always worth it. David asked the Lord to purify his heart and renew his spirit. His prayer wasn’t in vain. God has the power to purify any heart and renew any spirit. You and I are examples of how God renews spirits. We got saved and with salvation came the transformation of our spirits. That was just the beginning. Now we have to press on and allow the Lord to purify us continually.

I am not sure we are always aware of what needs to be purified in our lives. The Holy Spirit can convice us and show us what needs to be put through the holy fire of the Lord. The Lord’s Spirit can open our eyes to all the areas that need to be refined. Besides, God the refiner is excellent at changing parts of our lives that are not in line with His will. I am not just talking about sin and the purification of what we do. I am referring to fine tuning the situations in our lives. Problems and trials can also go through the refining process. If there is something in your life that is not going well or that is not where it should be, call on the Lord, the Refiner.

The Lord will make things right. He will tune your life so it is in harmony and goodness will follow you. He will burn the tribulations and put them through His fire until you have the victory. God the refiner can do that and He will do it if you put your life in His hands. Don’t hesitate to give it all to Him. Give Him the good things and the bad things. He will do what He does best and make everything be in line with His will for you life. Let God the refiner refine your circumstances and bring you peace and joy again! He is going to improve you and make changes that will transform your life.

Suggested reading: Psalm 51:10; 1 John 1:7; 2 Corinthians 7:1

The power of hope and joy through prayer

One of the things that stands out from spending time in prayer is how much hope I get every day. I mentioned yesterday that when I come out of my prayer time, I come out a changed man. The more time I spend praying, the more I notice the change. It can be just a simple burst of hope or it can be a tangible impression of the presence of God. I can’t control it. I just let God do His thing and I let it happen. The point is that prayer changes us and it leaves a footprint of the Lord on our hearts. His footprint is what we need at the time. We ought to be open to it and to yield to His will completely. Prayer for me is a time of surrender and a time of adoration and listening. I bathe in the presence and my fears are washed away by the end. I want to underline the burst of hope that I get during prayer. The joy of the Lord is our strength and hope in Him is everything. God knows what we need and He meets our needs in many ways.

 

We might have a particular need and not be aware of it but He knows. For instance, if we go to Him with a need of a financial blessing, He will hear us and see the need but His perception is larger than ours and He will see more than can meet the eye. He might see how we are spiritually unbalanced and He will meet our need by giving us the balance we lack before the finances. When we go to God in prayer, we never know what He is going to say or do because He knows way better than we do. Hope is one thing that we should have all the time. When we pray to the Lord and spend time in His presence, hope will come. He will meet that need of having hope before most things. He understands the value of hope and joy. Very often hope comes with joy. God is a joyful God and time with Him results in getting an impartation of His character. God’s hope allows you to stay positive in the middle of the worst situations. That is what God desires for us. Hope is a supernatural power when it is anchored in the Lord. Today I want to encourage you to spend time in prayer so that hope and joy become friends that you take with you wherever you go.

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13). The God of hope is the One you and I trust. We trust that He is good and that He loves us. Since He loves us, He always wants to bless us and to give us what’s best. I used to think that God loved only certain people and I might not be deserving of His very best. I was wrong. God loves everyone with no exception and His heart desires for everyone to come to Him, accept Him, embrace Him and make Him the Savior of their lives. He is the Father who bestows blessings and who shares His nature and that includes hope. We are children of the God of hope, children of hope. God’s Spirit is in us and He helps grow into the fullness of hope. He can give us abundant hope when we spend time with Him and when we acknowledge Him in all we do.

 

Praying once a week is a not enough to get us to where we need to be in Christ. It is the daily communication and the intentional devotion that takes us there. I wrote about the different aspects of prayer yesterday and praise is one of them. It brings the Lord to the scene so to speak. God is in the praises. When you believe that, all you want to do is praise Him because you want to be close to Him as much as possible. Praise lifts our spirits and gives hope an entry way into our hearts. Here is a challenge for you. Pray every day and start prayer with at least 15 minutes of praise every time and see how hope seeps into your spirit. Make it a habit and hope will inhabit your life. It will become a permanent resident who brings in other members of his family such as joy and peace.

 

The power of joy and hope are tremendous. They are underrated at times. I have noticed how in some Christian circles there isn’t much emphasis on joy and hope. There is much more of a focus on self-help and self-improvement without too much hope being mentioned and joy is often left out. It sounds more like the pursuit of finding the tools that will make people survive and not so thrive. God is more than a God of survival. He is about thriving and exceeding all expectations. Hope is the guiding force that we ought to adopt and look for. We can find it during prayer time. We should pursue it and cherish it. Hope will keep us connected to faith and we need faith to please God. Let’s rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Let’s stay where hope is through daily prayer!

 

Suggested reading: Psalm 71:1; Romans 5:1; 1 Peter 1:13

 

What prayer will do for you

There are many things I love about my prayer time. I am a big fan of communion and fellowship with the Lord every day. It makes me very happy. It warms my heart. It gives me strength. It gives me a big dose of love and it allows peace to invade my space. During prayer time, the Lord dominates. I let Him lead the way. I rarely start prayer by talking. If I do, it’s to exalt the Lord. Prayer usually starts with singing. Praising is how I enter prayer. Praise is an open invitation to God. He is free to come in and take over. I don’t want to start prayer on a negative note so I start it with joy and with the intention to celebrate Jesus. Prayer is about hearing from God and in my opinion, it is easier to hear from someone when they are there. God is always around. He is always there but praise manifests Him and gives Him the front seat in our minds and hearts. Praise is an expression of faith. We believe that God exists so we praise Him. I can’t see prayer as being disconnected from praise. To me they go hand in hand. They feed on each other. Prayer is a celebration. It’s never somber and it is never sad. It fixes my mood and it sets my mind on the right track. When I have problems and they are weighing on my mind, I get into prayer. I don’t overpass the praise part. I emphasize the praise part. Today I want to encourage you to have a life of prayer that is attached to a life of praise. Find refuge in the Lord in prayer. Find joy in the Lord in prayer. Find yourself in the Lord in prayer. Let prayer define your day. Let prayer be your daily bread and your daily portion from Heaven.


Aren’t you glad that you and I have the chance to talk to the Lord every day and to hear from Him every day?
We are so fortunate to be able to pray. Are we making the most of that privilege? I have to say that I could do an even better job with my prayer time. It just feels like I could be in prayer all day and I would still want more from the Lord. Prayer is a way I get refreshed and I get renewed. It is what I am looking forward to during the day and what I can’t wait to do when I wake up in the morning. Jesus deserves all my praise and all my attention. Prayer is a fraction of my time that I like to multiply all day so I can check in with God and give Him my undivided attention as much as I can. Prayer requires isolation so we can get into communication. I can pray anywhere but I love spending time in my prayer room. When I was buying my house, one of my nonnegotiable was having a prayer room. I love the one I have and I have been spending more and more time in it. It is by itself on the top level of the house and I feel very isolated up there. It is perfect. Once the isolation has begun, the communication flows. I give an offering of praise and the Lord gives me the gift of His presence and His messages. Just writing about prayer time in my prayer room fills me with anticipation and joy. Prayer gives me joy and it restores my joy when needed.

Like I said earlier, I sometimes enter prayer with a heavy heart or a burdened mind.
One thing I know though is that I won’t come out of prayer the same. If I put in the time and I give my heart a chance to let go and let God do what He does best, I am a transformed man by the end of prayer time. It is impossible to spend time with God with an open heart and not be touched by His love. There is always a part of us that gets enhanced, blessed or modified when we spend time in prayer. David knew the power of prayer and singing was part of His prayers. Jesus prayed. The apostles prayed. Prayer creates miracles. Jesus prayed and miracles took place. Peter prayed for Tabitha and she came back from the dead. Prayer will change you and it will change the world around you. It will resurrect hope and bring it back to life. It will change the atmosphere and inject faith into your environment. It will give you a new lease on life and it will keep you in the peace and the joy of the Lord. Pray. Get into the habit of praying as much as you can. Make it a celebration and make it a time of communication where you get into silence and listen to the Lord and then speak and open your heart to Him. Prayer is for all occasions. Whatever is going on in your life today can be fixed by prayer. Prayer will bless you and it will make you sing a new song of praise. Pray knowing that God hears you. Prayer will do a lot for you and to you. Pray in the name of Jesus and your life will be blessed!

Suggested reading: 1 Chronicles 16:11; John 14:13-14; Acts 9:40