Entry 34 Praying to not be a Failure
There is no failure in God. And when God is in us, there is no failure in us. That is not to say that sometimes we do things and not successful in completing them. We may even work had to accomplish something, but fail at bringing it to fruition. A just man falls seven times but rises again with the right mind. That mindset is total dependency on God. Anytime we have a determination to do something positive, or we are seeking to build the kingdom of God, we will be met with resistance. Satan studied our future, and does everything he can to derail the plan of God for our lives. We may lose many battles, but we have already won the war. Jesus snatched the keys of death, hell and the grave from the Devil, and is now victoriously seated in heavenly places making intercession for us. The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s. God’s desire is not for us to fail. He wants us to be victorious in every area of our lives. When we work in our own strength we will be met with some success; but then we will eventually fail as our strength fails us. But if we rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ, have our steps ordered by Him, and as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we cannot fail. So if we are working out our soul salvation through the grace and empowerment of the Lord, and we are met with failure, it is then that we must not quit. We are only a failure at that time if we stop trying. Failure can be an indication that we are on the right track, and Satan is throwing his fiery darts at us to discourage us. It may also be indicative of the fact that we need to reassess our goals, methods, plans and procedures. The only way we will know which one it is is if we go to God in prayer. So praying to not be a failure is praying to be lead by the Holy Spirit who gives us the grace and strength to not quit.
Entry 33 Praying in the Secret Place
He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The secret place can be anywhere we have created an atmosphere for intimate prayer time. Some religious people pray under a shawl that forms a type of tent for private conversations with God. Some cover their heads, build an altar, or go to a specific place allocated for prayer, meditation and supplication. In that secret place we can be transparent, vulnerable and honest before God, as He already knows what is on our hearts and minds before we come to Him. As the temples of the Holy Spirit, God hid His treasures of wealth, wisdom and inheritance inside of us. The stillness and quietness of our souls can become the secret place where we can escape the turmoil of the world to embrace God’s peace and rest. There are higher heights and deeper depths that we can daily seek God to reach in a very real way. And with each new revelation comes a higher understanding of us, our purpose, and our destiny. The greater our vertical relationship with God is, the greater the horizontal conflict with others will be. Therefore we have to be selective as to what we spend our time and attention on, and what we allow into our inner man. Carnal things feed our flesh but can poison our spirit. If we take time regularly for introspection, prayer and meditation on God word in the secret place, we limit Satan’s ability to deceive us. Sometimes God hides us in a cave from the Enemy to heal, strengthen and prepare us for a greater work. And when we come out as pure gold, we can do great exploits for the kingdom of heaven in Jesus name. So praying in the secret place is being in the position to hear from God in a deeper way so that He can bless us and make us a blessing to others.
Entry 32 Praying to Be a Situational Believer
The bible is full of real stories about real people in real situations that a real God brought them out of. As we study the word of God, we can get confirmation from a bible teacher or preacher about the revelation God already placed into our spirit. What we believe about God and His word determines our destiny. What we believe about our future determines how we live today. Being steadfast in the things of God shows we believe in heaven. When we are saved from sin, we become believers. God has given to all believers a measure of faith. We only need mustard seed faith to move mountains in our lives as believers. But we can always seek to grow and exercise our faith muscles. It is possible to have the faith of God but doubt in our hearts. The problem is not that we didn’t have enough faith, it that we had too much unbelief. Unsaved, we had no faith. Being converted we can have little faith, saving faith. Coming out of trials we can develop great faith, relational faith. And going through tribulation we can have failing faith. What we should strive for as a believer is perfect faith, lordship faith. This faith is total dependence on God as Lord and Savior, and as the Author and Finisher of our faith. When faced with opposition, we can see it as an opportunity to believe God to show Himself strong in our lives. Satan is content to have us remain conceptual believers because the things of God are merely products of mental processing that we can decide rationally to embrace or not. He doesn’t want us to believe in God’s love for us so that we cannot experience God’s grace, mercy, joy, hope, freedom and victory. But when be become situational believers we see every problem as an opportunity to pray with the expectation that God will work things out. As situational believers, our situation becomes the location for spiritual qualification to the next elevation after receiving a deeper revelation. So praying to be a situational believer is praying to believe God’s word in its entirety, and asking God daily to help our unbelief.
Entry 31 Praying to the Name above all Names
Jesus was given a name above all names after He sacrificed His life for our salvation. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is the Lord. For there is no name given unto men whereby we must be saved. Jesus has been called many things; the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, The Alpha and Omega, The Lily in the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, the Root out of Dry ground, the Rose of Sharon. The name of Jesus is a weapon of spiritual warfare. Demons tremble at His name. Because of Jesus, we have a song that the angels cannot sing; we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Because of that redemption, God has signed our names on heaven’s book of life, and has changed our name. Now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be, for when He comes back for us we shall see Him as He is in all of His glory and splendor. In times past, names had more significant meanings than that do today. People would name their children based on what they experienced having them, the destiny they wanted them to walk into, and/or the endearing feelings they had toward them. Often people lived up to the meaning of their name. Our names sometimes indicate our heritage and family legacy. But if our name here on earth is not significant, we have a new name written down in glory. If what people call us now is not positive or inspiring, we can choose to focus on what God calls us; His beloved, the apple of His eye, heirs and joint heirs of Jesus Christ. So praying to the name that is above all names is tapping into the authority, anointing, power, and grace that Jesus has made available to us.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #34
The ministry of John W. Howard Jr. and The End-Time Levites were birthed on the campus of Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ on September 23, 2000 after being led by God to II Chronicles 29. Minister Howard Jr. is a lifelong gospel singer, composer and drummer who became a minister of the gospel in 2002. The choir consists of various young people from different walks of life and church denominations. They have traveled extensively and appeared with many gospels greats from Richard Smallwood to Shirley Caesar. The End-Time Levites goal is to spread the message of hope, deliverance, peace and salvation bringing Christ’s end time message to God’s people through the gift of song.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #33
Rev. John Alexander Thompson of the Johnny Thompson Singers began his musical studies at age 5. He has served as pastor, choir director, musician, musical instructor, and composer, and has written nine stage plays. In 1955, he founded the Sunlight Jubilee Juniors (The Blue Robe Boys) and wrote his first gospel song “The Creation”. Rev. Thompson has played for, sung with, and recorded for many great gospel artist, choirs and groups from Rosetta Tharpe to the Mighty Clouds of Joy. He is the Founder and Director of the Johnny Thompson Singers since 1965 which has toured over 50 countries around the world.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #32
Stellar Award nominee Syreeta Thompson, known as the “Trumpet Lady”, is a noted instrumentalist and clinicians in the musical arena. Thompson is a skilled and educated minstrel who is in demand for speaking, teaching, writing school district curricula, and for performing musical presentations. Her extensive education began at age 12 at the Merit Music Program and Sherwood Conservatory of Music to obtaining a Masters Degree in film scoring and jazz composition and arranging. Thompson has served as one of the Instrumental Music Coordinators for Dorinda Clark Cole’s Singers and Musician Conference and at a variety of retreats, guilds, conferences, and music departments. She has shared the stage with various gospel greats lending vocals as well as smooth trumpet melodies.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #31
Born in Newark, NJ to parents who were gospel musically inclined, Natalie Wilson is a choral conductor, composer, producer, and gospel singer. The youngest of four children growing up in the church and around gospel music, she joined the Sounds of Praise choir at age six. At her father’s request Wilson became director of Sounds of Praise, (SOP) Chorale after the death of her brother Glenn Simmons. Wilson was one of the first women to lead a gospel choir that signed to a major recording label.
The career of Natalie Wilson’s husband Joseph Wilson advanced with hers as he served as co-producer for their recordings. The SOP Chorale had a roster of 26-40 members which included Lauryn Hill and Faith Evans at various times. Natalie Wilson has composed much of the music they sing, and has written for many contemporary gospel groups like Trin-i-tee 5:7. She appeared in the film “Kingdom Come”, and has won many accolades and awards.