Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week#7

Entry 007 Praying for Godly Success

We often pray for success in life. We want God to help us be productive on our jobs, to achieve good grades in school, to get things done in our personal life, and to help us appear blessed in our social circles. As we celebrate Presidents Day this month, We acknowledge those who have held the highest office in the land. To achieve such status could be considered ultimate success. But God’s definition of success is very different from our secular contemporary definition. God said He knows the plans and the thoughts He has for us; thoughts of peace, not of evil, and to bring us an expected end. And above all, He wants us to prosper, even as our soul prospers, and to be in good health. The world views us as successful when we have a good job, money in the bank, good family structure, and when we are noted in community with the house, car, picket fence, and the American dream.  God sees us as successful when we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. When we seek to honor and obey Him, when we love our neighbor and pray for our enemies, and when we utilize the gifts and talents He gave us to be productive and to positively effect change in His kingdom, God then sees us as successful. So even when our bank account is low and our children are wayward, God still see us as successful when we do the best we can with what He has given us, trusting Him to handle the rest. God see us as the apple of His eye, and will cause all things to work together for our good when we love and trust Him. Our success is not based on our circumstances and situations, but on our personal desire to be productive in God’s kingdom, and our willingness to do what it takes, striving lawfully, to achieve it. An active prayer life is the key to success is all areas of our lives spiritually, mentally, physically, financially and emotionally.

Simple Sample Prayer

Dear God, you desire that we have good success, that comes with peace and rest, not strife and stress. Only you can make our lives work. Trying to achieve success on our own is futile. You already mapped out the plan of our lives for us; help us to rest in your purpose, and agree with your will so that we can have peace. If we trust you, you said that whatever we touch will be blessed. So bless us Lord, and enlarge our territory, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

 

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #6

Entry 006 Praying for Others

People often ask us to pray for them, but too often that request is never granted. People forget, get busy, are consumed with their own lives and families, and never get to pray for someone else. Sometimes Christians say they will pray for someone as a kind, verbal gesture, to avoid offering real assistance, because they feel obligated to show insincere concern, or to brush someone off in need. That is why if someone asks for prayer, it may be a good idea to do it right away. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, praying for someone is the greatest expression of love. It is that selfless sacrificial act that Jesus does for us on a daily basis. And as we pray in the spirit in that moment for others, the Holy Spirit will reveal what we should ask God for on that person’s behalf. At times the Holy Spirit will wake us up or interrupt our day to cause us to intercede for someone. God is all knowing and all seeing, so when He tells us to pray for someone, we need to do it without delay. We are the salt of the earth, and God uses us to effect positive change in the earth realm. And when we pray and intercede for others, God moves and works out situations in our own lives. Sometimes the best way to activate blessings in our lives is to be a blessing in the lives of others. What bothers and concerns us is indicative of areas of life where God may want us to effect change.  Perhaps the things that upset us the most are the things God wants us to pray continuously for in others. Satan desires to sift us as wheat, but Jesus prayed for us, and continually sits on the right hand of God interceding for us daily. Therefore we can make the petitions of others known before God with the same faith and love that we use to pray for ourselves. And when we do this from a pure heart, we can expect God to richly bless us.

Simple Sample Prayer

Dear God, there are so many needs in the world today. People  all around us are oppressed, depressed and afflicted mentally, physically, emotionally financially, socially and spiritually. We cannot solve everyone’s problem, but God you are able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ever ask or think. Please meet the needs of your people, and let them sense your presence. Cause them to know that you will never leave nor forsake them, and that you desire to be good to them. Envelop them with your love and grace, and let them know that everything will be alright. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Praying in the Spirit using the Word of God for Week #5

Entry 005   A Prayer Life

In honor of National Prayer Breakfast Day, we seek to develop a prayer life. Initially called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast up until 1970, it is designed to be a forum for political, social and business elite to come together on behalf of a Christian organization, The Fellowship Foundation, to build relationships and acknowledge the importance of prayer and faith.  God wants us to pray without ceasing. He wants us to develop a lifestyle of prayer. Many religious people have various types of ritualistic prayers. One good thing about this is that it cultivates the discipline to pray. But every day new mercies we see, so we need a fresh anointing for each new day. In that way, ritualistic prayers may not be as efficient for meeting the challenges of everyday daily life. They are however effective for things were need to petition God for on a regular basis. We can routinely pray for general strength, for guidance, protection, and favor. For specific needs and immediate concerns more than a ritualistic prayer is needed. God wants to hear from us honestly, stating exactly what is on our hearts and minds. He is not impressed with flowery words or philosophical dialogue. He wants us to trust Him with our vulnerable hearts that we have guarded from the world. Some prayers we need to repeat regularly, others we need to pray once and believe that God will bring it pass in His time. The prayers that we repeat show our persistence in our belief that God hears us and will do it. They also active the angels to do battle in the spirit world to bring our answer to fruition in the earth realm. God hears our prayer the moment we ask Him. But Satan , the Prince of the Air, often hinders our answers, causing delay with the hope that we will lose faith in God’s ability and desire to bring it to pass. The prayers that we pray once demonstrates our faith, putting it in God’s hands, leaving it there, trusting He will bring it pass, and revisiting it with praise and thanksgiving until God brings it into fruition in our lives. Satan often interrupts the process of our answered prayers, but he cannot stop it. That is why it is important to pray continually, reminding him that we have not given up on God’s answer. We can pray anytime, anywhere, for anything, and in any language.

 

Simple Sample Prayer

Dear God,  I honor you on this National Prayer Breakfast Day. Lord, you are the Bread of Life and the Living Water. Like you Jesus, My meat is to do your will, and I desire to feed on your Word daily. Regardless of what type of prayer I pray, I know that you hear them all. I don’t even have to always know what to say, because you hear the groanings of my spirit. And I can rest in the fact that Jesus is always making intercession for me while I develop my prayer life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for the Weeks #5-8

In honor and Heart and Love Month, we hope these scriptures encourage your heart and help you to love and enjoy praising God’s name.

Praise Verse #005 Psalms 101:1

I will sing of mercy and judgment: to you, O Lord, will I sing.

 

Praise Verse # 006 1 Chronicles 16:29

Give unto the Lord the glory [due] unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

 

Praise Verse # 007 Jeremiah 31:4

Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.

 

Praise Verse # 008 Psalms 100:2

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #8

Entry #008 Bishop Barbara Ward Farmer

In honor of Black History Month, we recognize all African American Gospel Artist who are living legends, and who are used by God as musical warriors to destroy the works of darkness.

Bishop Barbara Ward Farmer was raised in Philadelphia, and graduated from South Philadelphia High School. She attended West Chester University where she started the first gospel choir. This choir still performs today, and is an active part of the college’s music program. The second of six children born to Bishop Lillian Ward and Elder Edward Ward Sr., Bishop Farmer is a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, counselor, elder, composer and minister of music. She was baptized at age 7 in the Delaware River, and received the Holy Ghost at age 11 under the late Bishop L. Colene Williams of Holy Temple Church of the Living God in Penn Grove, New Jersey.

After graduating from college, Bishop Farmer began teaching at the Wagner Junior High School in Philadelphia. She started the Wagner Junior High School Gospel Choir, singing directing and composing music. Under her leadership, the choir sang throughout Philadelphia, Washington DC, and many cities along the east cost. This pioneering effort later opened the door for many other junior high and high school to have gospel music in their curriculum.  In 1977, Bishop Farmer and the graduates of Wagner Junior High School Gospel Choir formed the “Wagner Alumni Gospel Choir which made many recording.

In 1972 and 1974 Bishop Farmer was called to preach her trial sermon. She was ordained as an Evangelist in the Church of the Living God by the late Bis. Arthur Lee Warren. She was ordained an Elder and served as Junior Bishop of Faith Tabernacle Church of the Living God, under her mother Bishop Lillian Ward. In January 1995 she was installed as Bishop there, and currently serves as Liaison Bishop for Music Dept., usher Board, and the Allied health Unit of the Churches of the Living God, Inc. Continuing her education, she attended Rowan College majoring in theological studies. Bishop Farmer is Co-Founder and Director of the LaBar Kids’ Center Pre-school, and is the proud wife of over 39 years to Trustee Lawrence Farmer; Sr. She has four children and four grand children.

Bishop Farmer is in great demand nationally and internationally, sing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many God continue to bless and keep this modern day Renaissance woman as she helps to built God’s kingdom.

 

 

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #7

Entry #007  The Ferebee Sisters

In honor of Black History Month, we recognize all African American Gospel Artists who are living legends, and are the musical warriors used by God to destroy the powers of darkness.

The city of brotherly love has produced sisterly affection in the form of the harmonizing quartet, the Ferebee Sisters. Consisting of four sister, Twannetta, Tameka, Toshia and Treena, the North Philadelphia natives thrive on singing about God’s grace and glory. They take their cues from gospel greats from Rizen to the legendary Clark Sisters. The Ferebee sisters blend contemporary styles with old-school savvy.

Although it took over 15 years for them to release their debut recording, “Here Am I”, they are no stranger to gospel music performances. The sister graced the stage with gospel veterans like Hezekiah Walker, Beverly Crawford, Karen Clark Sheard and Maurette Brown Clark. While growing up, all the sisters played instruments. They were inspired by their musical and artistic parents who were both in church leadership.

And they continue to minister individually and as a group in various venues throughout the local area.

Tr-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #6

Entry#006 Lois Snead

In Honor of Black History Month, we recognize all African American Gospel Artist who are living legends, and are the musical warriors used by God to destroy the powers of darkness.

A seasoned veteran in Gospel music, Lois Snead keeps the traditional gospel sound alive. Born in a small town in Florida, she now lives in a small town in Pennsylvania. She believes that God has a plan for her to write songs, so He placed the tunes and words in her heart. Snead was facing some issues in her life when God gave her the song “Hallelujah Forever.” Her spirit was low and she was wondering if her labor was in vain, or if God even recognized it. God revealed to her that He had everything under control, He has not forgotten her, and that her praise to Him is a spiritual weapon of warfare.

Lois Snead has toured the United States and parts of Europe singing to God’s glory. She performed with many gospel greats including Evang. Dorothy Norwood, Evang. Rosie Wallace, Clara Ward, Yolanda Adams and Rev. Al Green. Snead also worked with Natalie Cole, Melba Moore, and did a short tour with the Rolling Stones Opening act singing gospel music. She also performed in the play, “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God”, and ministers in local gatherings large and small.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #5

Entry# 005  The Brockington Ensemble

In Honor of Black History Month, we want to recognize all African American Gospel Artists who are living legends, and are the musical warriors used by God to destroy the powers of darkness.

The Brockington Ensemble was founded early in 1963 by Professor Irvin Brockington, who had a dream to form a mass choir of area gospel vocalist. The vision was realized as he brought together singers and family members for vocal support. As sudden tragedy struck, our nation mourned the death of President JFK on November 22, 1963. At the same time, the gospel world celebrated the birth of this group as they appeared in their debut concert on November 23, 1963, as The Gospel Singers Ensemble under the leadership of Founder Professor Irvin Brockington. After this appearance, they received numerous bookings, becoming known for their grand entrance marches and hard-hitting choral delivery.

In the midst of national turmoil and confusion, the Lord anointed the group to bring a message of hope to the world. Over the years, the group now known as the Brockington Ensemble has spread the gospel message to the masses in various mediums including television and on stage. Prof. Brockington and the Ensemble’s talents were recognized nationally by the late Rev. James Cleveland in 1967.They were invited to participate in forming his Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) in Detroit, Michigan.

The GMWA was founded in 1967 by the late Rev. James Cleveland, along with Allbertina Walker as an annual convention to bring together people who love gospel music all over the world and from a variety of faiths. The first GMWA convention was held in Detroit, Michigan in 1968 at King Solomon Baptist Church where about 3,000 delegates attended.

The Brockington Ensemble has been singing for over 40 years. They attribute their longevity to the founder; a humble God-fearing man who believes God can do anything but fail. Their success can also be attributed their unique, versatile, and electrifying presentations, with each performance taking on new dimensions. The Brockington Ensemble’s goal has not been to reach fame, but to glorify and please God while causing His people to turn to Him. Apart from their heart felt lyrics and creative arrangements, the Brockington Ensemble maintain the traditional gospel sound with harmonic and dynamic ingenuity.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotight for Week #4

Entry#004  The Victory Choral Ensemble

The Victory Choral Ensemble  was formed by members who had been a part of the Victory Choral Union, under the leadership of the father of Gospel, the late Thomas A Dorsey. The new group became the Victory Choral Ensemble, and united with Rev. James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America.

Founded in 1967 by Rev. James Cleveland and Albertina Walker, the GMWA is an annual convention that brings together people who love gospel music from around the world and from many faiths. Thousands of members met for a week long gathering of classes, outreach, musical services, showcases, exhibits and seminars. GMWA participants sing in one of the various music outlets such as the National Mass Choir and the James Cleveland Gospel Chorus.

The Victory Choral Ensemble has ministered with many gospel greats including the late Rev. James Cleveland, Pastor Shirley Caesar and Evang. Dorothy Norwood. Known for their powerful and spirit-filled delivery, they continue to sing across the nation and throughout the world.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #3

Entry# 003 The Savettes

 

The Savettes of Philadelphia continues to sing under the anointing for over 50 years. They are the epitome of excellence in singing praises to God, being known for their renditions of the great hymns of the church. Beginning as a small group of friends who gathered together to fellowship in members’ homes, the Spirit of God fell upon them in one of those meetings, and ordained them to sing with power, strength and a strong commitment to God’s Word.

One of the members of the group went on to advance his music career by winning 2nd place on Season 3’s BET singing competition, “Sunday Best”, Elder Goldwire Mclendon. His story began in Jacksonville, FL where he was born Sept. 27, 1930. His parents Goldwire Mclendon Sr., a Pullman, and Lovelle Drummond a great gospel singer, left the family when he was a small child. Elder Mclendon’s aunt Anna Mclendon took care of him and his brother Enoch. She was also a great church psalmist who got Elder Mclendon started singing at age nine. By 16, he organized the Cosmopolitan Gospel singers of Jacksonville. He did not finish high school, but moved to Philadelphia to stay with his mother. He worked at a restaurant then at the Campbell’s Soup factory. When Elder Mclendon was 19, he met his wife of 60 years, an organist at Mt. Olive Holy Temple, Ruth Augusta Byrd.  He worked many jobs to take care of his family and 5 children, as a welder at the New York shipyards during the 50’s and a pastor at St. James Holy Church in Tennille, GA in 1978. Elder Mclendon always wanted to sing professionally, and did so to an extent in 1962 with the Savettes of Philadelphia, that recorded for Savoy Records. He is currently in the studio with Gary Diggs working on his debut solo CD that will include classic hymns and contemporary tunes.

The Savettes’ ministry has extended to churches, prisons, hospitals nursing homes and wherever God’s people are in need. They have ministered with gospel greats which include Mahilia Jackson, the Hawkins Family and the late Rev. James Cleveland.