Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God Week#23

Entry #023 Praying to be a Lifelong Learner

The biggest mistake we can make is thinking we know everything.  When we live life from a position of our ego, we stunt our growth and tie God’s hands. When we can no longer be taught, we cease to live. Even Jesus as a young child on earth grew and waxed strong in wisdom and understanding, and He is the All-knowing God. Satan daily studies our patterns, weaknesses and failures so that he can condemn and accuse us. He is always coming up with news spins on old tricks to entrap us. He doesn’t know our future or what is in our hearts now; even with all of his consistent study. He cannot learn or create; but we, who are made in the image of God, can. God has given us His creative power to speak things into existence, and to plant seeds of life that follows the principles of sowing and reaping. Satan only has the power we give him or that he steals from us. He is incapable of altering our destiny unless we listen to his lies, give his words power, and if we allow the seeds of deception to fester in our souls. But like him, we only know in part on this earth. When we get to heaven all things will be revealed to us, and we will have the capability to perceive it. But as long as we are in this world we have to constantly learn and grow. Regardless of the degrees we have, the life and work experience we possess, and the talents and skills we have mastered, there is always room for growth and knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to apply what we have learned to better our lives and the lives of others.  In all of our getting, we need to get an understanding. Understanding increases our capacity to love, forgive and serve on a deeper level. The most successful people are progressively seeking new avenues and opportunities to be effective. What brought about the dispensation of the law in the beginning were the people arrogantly proclaiming they can follow all of God’s commands in their own strength. Till this day, no man has been able to keep and fulfill the totality of the law but Jesus Christ. He is the only all-knowing all-seeing God. And when we humble ourselves before Him to remain teachable and coachable, we are guaranteed success. Every moment in life can be a teachable moment, and every experience can be a learning experience. Everyday there are new skills to master, and old talents to further utilize and improve upon. Our brain is like every other muscle in our bodies; if we don’t use it we will lose it. Continual learning is not only a good thing to do, it is crucial to our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. So praying to be a lifelong learner is staying open for new opportunities and experiences in our future, enjoying living and comprehending new things in our present, while learning from the mistakes and failures of our past.

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Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God Week #22

Entry #22 Praying to Lack Nothing

In this world, there will always be a season of lack. There will always be someone who suffers lost, and there will always be some deficit we have to contend with. Jesus said the poor we will have with us always, because there will forever be people who lack access to opportunities, and those who do not know how to properly use and maintain their resources. We were created with a God-sized hole that only His love can fill. Only in heaven will we have it all, all at the same time. There we will be overwhelmed with the brightness of the Son, because we will be eternally connected to our Source. While here on earth, however, we have to learn to savor the brief moments of love, joy and peace. Our hectic lifestyles and fast-pasted schedules often do not afford us the opportunity to stop and smell the roses. We are so busy taking care of loved ones that we don’t get to enjoy their company or even watch them grow and mature. Living a carnal life will always produce lack. We have to remind ourselves that we are spiritual being living in a natural world. Society appeals to our greed, and causes us to believe we need more, more, more. They propagandized all the things we lack, and with constant advertisement, they create a lust for constant consumption. We feel we have to impress people who really don’t care, or keep us with the Jones who actually have less than we do. But looking inside ourselves with regular introspection, we move toward a place of lacking nothing. We began to realize that everything we need is already within. God place the seeds of greatness inside of us, and hide His most precious gift, the Holy Spirit, deep in our souls. So when we get into His presence, we lack nothing. For in His presence is the fullness of joy, and pleasures forevermore. We get into God’s presence with worship, for He inhabits the praises of His people. Then we wait patiently for Him to reveal Himself to us. This takes time; just like it does to develop any relationship worthwhile. God will them show us who we are, His plan for our lives, and consequently reveal Himself to us. So when we agree with His thoughts towards us which are always good, and when we align ourselves with His plan which is always a bright future, we lack nothing. God always sponsors His own plan in His own timing. Therefore everything we need His grace has already provided. If we don’t have what we want right now, we probably can live without it. Because if we remain in a posture of being in God’s presence daily, our desires become His desires, and we will inevitably have whatever we need.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God Week #21

Entry #021 Praying to Reach the Promised Land

In life we all go through stages and phases of growth, experiences, and development. God promised that we can have all of the grace and provisions that Jesus made available to us if we choose to tap into them. The Promised Land is the place God dropped in our spirit of where He wants to take us, and how He decided to use us in a mighty way for His kingdom. It is where we are most effectively working out our souls’ salvation in God’s perfect will for our lives. Even in this sinful, fallen earth, we can have it all, just not all at the same time. Until we get to heaven there will always be some deficit we experience in this world; it could be mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially, etc. We go all through stages of not enough, to just enough, and finally to more than enough. That final stage is where God is trying to direct us to. He wants us to have a wide, open, spacious life; living life abundantly, to the full, until it overflows. For when it overflows, we are then blessed to be a blessing to others. The only constants in life are change and pain. Only Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He is unchanging, and His promises are always yes and amen. But for us, there will always be a portion of our lives that is constantly evolving, and areas where we suffer lack. We may have a great career, but have no time for ourselves. We may have plenty of free time, but no money to fully enjoy it. It is easy to get caught up with focusing on what we do not have, instead of enjoying the journey, and being thankful for what God has given us. If we are in a place in our lives where we lack something, we apparently don’t need it right now in order to survive. For if it was detrimental to our destiny, God would have given it to us right away. And when we use even the small gifts and provisions God has given us wisely and effectively, it is only a matter of time before God blesses us with more. We can survive in the wilderness and the desert of life by keeping the faith, and maintaining a spirit of hope and thanksgiving. The more we do that, we will not only survive in our barren place, but thrive in it. When we learn to enjoy the journey without complaining, we will inevitably reach our promised land. Even when we reach a certain destination in life, there will always be another hurdle to overcome. New levels in life bring new devils, and with greater promotion come greater responsibilities. So praying to reach the promised land is maintaining an attitude of gratitude, learning from and enjoying journey, and progressively moving toward our destiny with joy.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God Week #20

Entry #20 On the National Day of Prayer, Standing Up to be the One

As believers, we are often the ones who have to take the high road. We have to generally be the mature one to keep the peace or apologize first even when we do think we did nothing wrong. We often have to be the first to forgive, and be the first to help and pray for people we are not particularly fond of. It is easy to blend in with the crowd and behave like the majority of people do. It is not always popular or convenient to stand up for what is right or for what we believe in. But Jesus said if we are ashamed of Him, He would be ashamed of us before our Heavenly Father. No one enjoys being ostracized or rejected. We all want to feel like we belong to an important social group that follows a set of societal norms. The normal human reaction to offense is to be offensive to the offender. But as His children, God calls us to a higher place. He challenges the notions of our human sin nature, and bids us to walk in love, integrity and humility. That doesn’t mean that God wants us to be used, abused or misused by people. He wants us to have the meekness of Christ, not the weakness and wickedness of Satan. Now we may still make it  to heaven never making a decision to take a stand. But we will not have a great reward there, nor be an effective witness of God’s grace here on earth. We need to change our perspective about standing up to be the one from something we dreadfully have to do, to something we honorably get to do. It is an honor to be chosen of God to stand up and be the one to walk in His divine purpose. Jesus will give us back much more abundantly whatever we sacrificed for Him to do His will. And while it may not feel good in the process, He will give us a joy and a peace that passes all understanding if we continue to trust Him. God will remind us that we are not standing alone; He is always there with us. And God will never ask us to do anything that He doesn’t first empower us to do. We don’t have to rely on our own strength, we can lean on the Holy Spirit. So when God asks “who can I sent to stand up for Me in the earth?” we can boldly and joyfully reply in prayer, “Lord here am I. Send Me!”

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God Week #19

Entry #019 Praying to Count Being Used of God as an Honor not a Burden

Throughout history believers have been persecuted for their faith. Many have had to pray and worship in secret to avoid certain death. We are blessed in America to have the freedom of religion, and the ability to worship as we see fit. Yet America is becoming more and more anti-Christ. The mention of Jesus is forbidden in many public arenas, and the atheistic agenda appears to have the loudest and strongest voice. But God has hand-selected many of us to do great things for His kingdom. Yet being called of God to serve can be a daunting task. We often go through great pain, trials and suffering when God is grooming us to assist His people in a mighty way. In order to be great in His kingdom, we have to serve much. But when we glorify God by working diligently for Him, His glorifies us. He expands our capacity for compassion toward people who are going through similar issues that we have just overcame. God will restore everything we lost in the process, and give us back double for our trouble. He will restore the years that were sown in tears. But being used of God to serve others can be a burden. Our life is not our own; God can interrupt our plans at any given moment. Having an expansive ministry comes at a larger financial, physical, mental and emotional cost. With every new level come new devils, and greater rewards equal greater risks. But the good news is that we do not have to go at it alone. God never calls us to do something His did not equip us for. Jesus is always there with us to lead us, guide us and strengthen us at every turn. When Jesus’s disciples were persecuted for their faith, they counted it a joy and an honor. They knew they were being effective, and that they would be greatly rewarded in heaven. God doesn’t waste anything. Everything He allowed us to go though, good and bad, was for a greater and higher purpose. In the end we win, and He will cause all things to work together for our good if we stay in faith, trusting His process.So when we change our perspective, we can start to enjoy being used of God instead of dreading it, as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.

When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for Week # 19-23

When Praises Go Up
Praise Verse #019
I Peter 4:16
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Praise Verse #020
Psalms 95:1
Let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Praise Verse #021
Revelation 5:12
In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!

Praise Verse #022
Psalms 95:2
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.

Praise Verse #023
Revelation 5:13
Then I heard every creature in the heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #18

Entry #018 Newberry Singers

The all male gospel group The Newberry Singers were founded in 1954 by Philadelphia singer and pianist Edwin Newberry. They quickly rose to fame in the local church, and were invited to open for renowned artist like Mahalia Jackson and the Ward Singers. The Newberry Singers’ unique style, close harmony, and distinguished presentations afforded them the opportunity to travel with many gospel greats such as the Dixie Hummingbirds and Rev. James Cleveland. The group toured the US for 16 years, and performed overseas in a variety of musical venues. They continue to minister locally and abroad.

Tr-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for week # 17

Entry #017 Ernest Wilson

Singer/songwriter Ernest D. Wilson began singing at age 2. He wrote his first song at age 9, and went on to record his very first project at 12 years old. Wilson has performed along the east coast from New York City’s Apollo Theater to concerts and international ministries, to local and mega churches. His music ministry is designed to bring inspiration and encouragement to all who experiences it. Ernest Wilson continues to minister locally and abroad expressing his gratitude, appreciation and love for God.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #16

Entry #016 Sharon Baptist Church

The Sharon Baptist Church choir produced uplifting, contemporary gospel music out of Philadelphia, PA. Their Minister of Music Bryant Pugh has also served as Musical Director for Richard Smallwood and Vision. His debut project is a blend of gospel and contemporary jazz instrumentals. Pugh is a recognized keyboard player, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer. Playing the piano at age 14, by 16 Pugh was playing in the high school jazz band. He studied at Settlement School of Music and later at Temple University. The Sharon Baptist Church choir continues to minister locally and abroad with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #15

Entry # 15 Enon Tabernacle Mass Choir

The Enon Tabernacle Mass Choir is a music ministry of reconciliation and liberation. They are committed to being a praise offering so that people can encounter the living God through song. The choir is under the leadership of their Minister of Music, and their Pastor Dr. Waller; who came into his own with his solo project release in 2004. A portion of that cd’s proceeds went to the Minn Project in honor of an adopted infant who died at age 2 ½. The project was devoted to educating children living in single family homes. The Enon Tabernacle Mass Choir continues to be a ministry of education, evangelism and inspiration.