How I pray

I love to pray.

This week I had several days of “non-work” due to snow and such…I tried to do stuff, but ended up spending most of the time in prayer.

It was great…

Wasn’t always this way.

It used to be great effort to pray.

I never felt like I prayed enough.

Never felt like it did much good…

Oh I had moments when I knew I connected, but for the most part I did not enjoy it and it seemed like warfare/work and not something fun, more something essential if I was to survive, so I did it in self preservation….which means I only prayed when I really had to.

All of that has changed…

…rather than tell you how I got here I will simply tell you what I do now.

My primary activity in prayer is just thanking God for who He is in my life…I start with some general thanks and praise, I try to articulate something more than “You are glorious”, I really attempt to connect His Glory to some facet of His current activity in my life and declare my gratitude for what He’s doing…then I wait…

…and wait…a little more…

Sure the crisis thoughts (head noise) try to crowd in and dominate my mental activity, but when they do I just go back to thanking Him for who he is even in those situations…

So I thank him…I thank Him some more…I tell Him I love Him…I worship Him a bit…and then I ask Him what He wants me to pray…

See it really is kind of rude to dominate the conversation with someone as High as He is, His majesty alone should shut us up, and frankly when I ponder His greatness my issues seem to take a diminished importance in the room…I wait to hear from Him about how and what I am to pray, rather than impress Him with my language and thoughts, I am learning to wait for His thoughts and His ways…

Frankly, He doesn’t say many words, but He says a tremendous amount in the few phrases/verses/pictures that He impresses to my spirit…

Once I know what He wants me to pray, I pray it several different ways.

I declare it to myself, I sing it to Him, I cry aloud and lift my voice, I meditate and consider what He is asking me to to ask Him, I look up verses He gives and pray them back to Him, I express in all my persona the prayer I receive from Him.

Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes it takes only moments, but when I do connect with the prayer He wants me to pray, there is a confidence and a faith quotient that is not possible from my own human efforts.

It is fun.

I have no idea where it will go.

He always surprises me, and He is radically consistent with all the ways He has dealt with me throughout the years.

I am deeply aware that He is present and wants me to partner with Him…He has a plan and an agenda that includes my faith and my character being fully challenged and developed as I choose His prayer for me to pray.

I now keep pretty serious prayer journals that coincide with my prophetic journals…and I usually maintain a very high focus on my inheritance and life verses, because God will continue to grow the revelation of who I am and who I am to be based upon what He has always said to me…see prayer is more about changing me than anything else…and if I approach prayer as some way to strong arm or manipulate Him to do something for me…well that just seems rude and ungrateful…and how can I have intimacy with someone if I’m trying to manipulate them?

True love creates liberty, and liberty is just another way to say “options” and as I love Him I want to give Him every option in my life that is possible…even the impossible options…

…and my Father seems to enjoy the free will offering of options…when He’s in charge He gets to pick the menu…

“He sets a table for me in the presence of mine enemies…”

Prayer is exciting this way…makes me wanna go pray right now…

Thanks Dad.

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Our Prophetic Identity

Recently I had one of those “Ohhhhh….” moments…you know the instant something suddenly makes sense, like the cogs falling into place and the gates opening up when you say the right magic password.

I have been reviewing my journals for the last few months because I noticed some things coming round that I had completely dismissed and forgotten about and when I recognized them I realized they were in my journal as prophetic words/prayers/events.

As I reviewed my prophetic history it dawned on me that God was very consistent, and He always remembered what he had said to me before…like “duh”…that is so obvious…maybe to you but not to me, I tend to see shadows and silhouettes rather than the things right in front of my nose.

So here’s what I am discovering…God speaks to us about who we are in the future and then refuses to acknowledge any other identity we may try to walk in. There is a distinct conflict between our prophetic identity and our current personality, usually manifesting in negatives and problems.

I am beginning to see that this is what means when scripture tells us to put on Christ, or put on the new man, the bible is pointing us towards an identity that is recognized in heaven, but perhaps not so manifest in our daily walk…and I am seeing that this is actually one of Gods “ways”, it is how He approaches us and if we fail to see it we will miss it completely.

I can see He deals with all the saints in scripture this way, He speaks of their favor, their authority and intimacy with Him, and then He refuses to recognize any other version of them that they may want to fall back on.

God always see’s us from the perspective of our prophetic identity, and NOT our current personality, and whats more, ALL of the resources that accompany that prophetic assignment are connected to that person as seen in heaven.

So if you pray from a negative personality, there will be a distinct disconnect from the resources and function of heaven in your life because God has spoken over you a particular identity and He will refuse to hear any other persona…thats right I said He will refuse to hear any other persona, especially when He WANTS TO GIVE us everything we need, he will refuse to give it to the negative persona that we might manifest because it is in direct conflict with the person He declares from the future.

All prophecy is simply a picture from your future of what God see’s and what is possible if you will believe.

So the challenge is how do we grow into the prophetic person that is seated right now and known in heaven?

I’ll tell you….just not right now.

All will share alike

There is an odd story in 1 Samuel 30 where David and his men are pursuing some thieves and part of the team by virtue of circumstances needs to stop and wait by the stuff rather than continue and fight in the battle…

When Davids men get the victory and return to the “waiters” an argument breaks out about who gets what stuff, the men who went on the battle suggest that those who waited by the stuff only get to keep what they guarded of their own, David tells them NO!

“So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.”

David made it an eternal decree that those who wait by the stuff get the same reward as those who go into the battle…

“All will share alike”…meaning the division of the spoil of battle will be given to each person equally regardless of if they were in the battle or simply guarding the stuff.

I started out in ministry with a lot of hope and lot of energy and a whole lot of ignorance.

I look back and realize the incredible hand of God in keeping me on track…I have been adopted by just about every ministry that I have encountered, I somehow managed to be grafted in to ministries and covenants that really I had no right to.

This has been really humbling to a guy deeply aware that his natural father did not want him, his adopted father did not understand him and his dream partner left him for someone else.

To be grafted in to families and ministries by the hand of God speaks volumes about His grace and Agape love for me in spite of my insecurites.

As I finished a chapter in my life last year I became accutely aware that Jesus had a promise for me…just as real as any other visitation from Him Jesus let me know that my “remaining by the stuff” these last 16 years did not go unnoticed and I would recieve the same pay as those who went out to battle.

It is an eternal decree that the House of David has made that if you stay by the stuff, being obedient to guard and nurture what has been left behind you will in turn receive the same reward as anyone who manages to keep it together enough to stay in the battle.

Within that promise to me are very specific words about the things I stopped pursuing in order to raise my kids…in some fashion I put my own dreams on hold, my own needs on the back burner and poured out my life in order to remain a Godly example to my kids as I raised them.

Really the reward I was seeking was to see them made whole and complete and God has been faithful, my kids have not been messed up or disabled by the divorce and heartache that a split family normally produces, for the most part my kids are confident, whole and serving God on their own which is a testimony to His Grace.

Frankly I did not make those sacrifices for a reward, I made them because that’s the kind of person I wanted to be.

So when Jesus showed up with this promise of ministry and relationship and life, that I would recieve the same share as someone who had never left the battlefield, I was completely undone.

I still am…it messes me up to know that Jesus is thinking about the stuff I quietly sacrificed and turned away from…

My heart was always in the battle, I have always been driven to advance the Kingdom of God and really…I felt that my part would simply be in raising my kids for the kingdom and that would be it…

But God is always bigger than we believe, and He is always better than we imagine, and His promise is always greater than what we can hear…and He enjoys rewarding His kids…as a matter of fact I am discovering it is His nature to reward us as often and as much as we will allow.

So what does it look like?..this promise of sharing the same as those who go out into the battle?

I dunno…for me it will involve traveling to nations, building the kingdom, the prophetic, worship, music, art, a thirty year marriage, pretty much everything I managed to set aside in order to guard the stuff.

Two years ago I was invited to teach in a Bible school in Scotland…I immediately said no since I was raising kids…I imagine I get that back…I get back the relationships I had with missions in Bern, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, and Apai and Samoa…at least I get the same pay as if I had continued down that ministry path…

So 2010 is not just a new year…it is a new epoch…and I’ve got a lot to do, a lot of mental “catch-up” and releasing the kingdom to get on with…its a bit daunting…it will require planning and faith, both of which I need more of…but like Leahbeth told me recently:

“Dad sometimes I don’t have enough faith and I just tell God to give me some more and He does…”

…The stuff we’ve been guarding was/is training us for greatness…

So let me ask you…what is it that you’ve sacrificed in order to “guard the stuff”???

…”All alike will share”…