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Friday, June 13, 2014

Notes On Your Cork Board

Many people use cork boards to communicate with the people in their household.  Families may hang one in their kitchen as a general communication station.  Moms may pin to-do lists for her kids and husband.  Reminders of the weekend's events can be found up there.  And "Don't forget your lunch!" might hang in big bold letters for the one that is forgetful every morning.  It's there for all to see every time they walk by.  It keeps things in eveyone's constant vision so they can be mindful about it -- even throughout the day.

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There are days I just can't shake certain people out of mind.  For what would seem like no apparent reason, I have a name or a face of a person or family just floating around in my heart and mind. 

I started to think how strange this was.  Why in the world would I be thinking about my trash man all day?  I don't even know that woman in the grocery store and she hasn't left my mind since I saw her in aisle four.  I haven't spoken to my great aunt in 10 years.  Why is she suddenly floating around my heart so much?

And then I realized it.  God is pinning things to my 'cork board'.  The invisible one inside my heart.  It's not me putting those thoughts there.  It's God.  Like little notes tacked to a kitchen cork board, He drops 'notes' onto my heart cork board.  Things that read: 

  • "That loud neighbor down the street." 
  • "The Italian family at church"
  • "Your friend: She's going on a trip this weekend"

What God is doing is including me in on what's going on and showing me what needs prayer. I used to try to ignore it, but now I realize that I should be paying close attention to them.

Some days, I wake up and there will already be three notes attached to my cork board along with pictures of people or events or situations.  Some days, I'll just be doing the dishes or sorting the laundry and I suddenly have a new note show up on my board. 

And, I definitely don't think I'm alone.  I've heard of stories of people who can't stop thinking about their friend, for example.  Their name is pinned to the cork board of their heart for a whole day.  When they realize it, they turn their thoughts for their friend into prayers for them.  Then they come to find out later on that their friend was in a situation that really needed prayer right about the same time the note was pinned to their friend's cork board.

Is God pinning things to your cork board?  Take a closer look at the thoughts whirling around your head during the day.   It could be that God is adding things to your cork board that need attention.
 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Got Ya Covered

Eating outside can be so enjoyable.  A picnic in the park.  A backyard BBQ.  A tailgating party before the game.  Especially when the weather is cooperating, it can be a favorite summer past time for many of us.  The only downside to it all are the flies that come by to check out the grub.  As much as you try to shoo them away, they keep comin' back for more -- and bringing friends with them!  Grr!  Instead of relaxing and enjoying the company you're with, you find yourself distracted and focused on getting the flies off your food and everyone else's.  Flies not only end up dirtying your food, they ultimately steal away your fellowship and time.

But many people have discovered that there is something you can do to help avoid all this -- cover it!  How logical.  How simple!  Some grab napkins.  Some take another plate and flip it upside down on the food.  Others buy plastic dome covers that are placed over each dish.  And still others have found a way to completely cover the whole table in a giant net!  Through the simple act of covering it, everyone can now relax and enjoy their time.
 
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Our prayers have a similar effect. When 'Flies' like worry or fear (or anything else that comes to steal and distract us) come and want to make themselves at home in our lives, there is actually something we can do about it.  We don't have to just sit there and let them feast and steal.  Shooing them away in our own strength won't help but picking up the 'covering of prayer', will.  Prayer protects us.  Prayer puts angels into action and the Enemy is blocked.

Prayer puts a covering on our 'food' but here's something that is equally as awesome.  We can cover other people's 'food', as well.  Just this morning I was praying for a family I know.  I was burdened deeply for them and I sensed that they were extremely vulnerable to the enemy.  As I was praying, God showed me that my prayers were covering them from all the 'flies' swarming around them, just like someone covering a dish of food.  He was encouraging me that my prayers are highly effective.  My prayers are not falling on deaf ears.  My prayers are powerful and accomplishing things I can't see.  They are protecting.  And they are indeed covering.
 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Getting Ready for the Baby

They say it's an instinct.  They say it's a natural feeling.  That crazy urge pregnant women get to have their home and their lives in order before the baby comes.  We call it nesting.  Some husbands may call it craziness as they watch their pregnant wives suddenly become cleaning ninjas.  The dirt that never bothered them before is now suddenly screaming at them.  The clutter around the house is calling their name.  Their to-do list has tripled and things that have been put off for so long have now become priority.   "All the curtains must come down and get cleaned!" they announce.  "I need to get those floor boards done today.  Honey, have you taken care of that broken cabinet in the kitchen, yet?  The baby will be here and we need to be ready!" 

Yes, I admit it.  When I was pregnant with my two girls, I became one of those pregnant cleaning ninjas and my poor husband got sucked right into my frenzy.  There was an urgency in me to get ready for the new and precious bundle that was about to come into our lives.

I'm finding that a similar thing will happen in our walk with God.  Maybe we are nearing a new season of our lives with Him.  A 'baby' (or 'babies') are about to be born.  He knows it is near, so He begins His own 'nesting' with us. 

  • He begins to prep our hearts with an expectancy.  We start to see Him more and more as the Giver of Good things and the God of Breakthrough. 

  • He tweaks our priorities.  We find ourselves more hungry for His Presence and run to spend more time with Him. 

  • The need to hear His Voice becomes more pressing.  We take more time in the Silence to catch His every Word.  We take more time in Scripture.  We look for a timely Word. 
 
  • He points out areas in our lives/hearts that need some Spring Cleaning.  Maybe it's things we have ignored up to this point, but God is shining a brighter Light on them now.  Maybe it's personal sin issues or issues we have with other people.  We find ourselves wanting to repent and be clean.  We have an urge to go and make it right with those folks we have issues with and bring ourselves in alignment with God.

And the Nesting will overflow into the natural.  There may be things that must physically be cleaned out and changed to make way for the New Season.  For example, maybe God has plans to make a husband and wife foster parents.  The couple may suddenly feel the need to clean out that spare bedroom.  It's been untouched for years, but God puts it on their hearts to get in their now and get it ready.

Is God prepping you for something New?  Are you feeling the 'Nesting' of God?  Move with Him as He moves you into this Season.  Be ready to obey.  Be open to the Impossible.  Lean in closer -- like a child hugging his Father as they are about to jump into the air together.  Remember, you are being included in HIS Plan.  Position yourself and trust Him fully.
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Let Your Face Touch the Water

The first time was the scariest.  How unsure I was on my first dive into the pool.  It's not that I had never felt the water before.  I had done plenty of swimming.  The challenge this time, though, was to go face first into it.  And that was a very different thing than what I was used to.  But, the curiosity of it was stronger than my fear. 

So, I placed myself at the edge of the pool and with a deep breath said, "Ready.... Set..... "  and then  froze.  Uncertainty took over.  I backed up.  I waited another moment.  Then tried it again at the pool's edge. "Ready.... Set..... " and stopped myself. 

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God is ever calling us to deeper Waters.  No matter where you are in your Walk with Him, there are always deeper Waters to be explored in Him, greater intimacy to be had with Him. 

When we first started out, we may have only splashed around on the shore of His Waters/His Presence.  But, then His Voice called us out farther,"Come away with me..."  So we walked out a bit further and waded in His Presence.  "Come away with me..." He called again.  And we found ourselves carried along by His Current.  "Come away with me...Come away with Me....."  We swim out even farther.  We trust Him as we make ourselves more and more vulnerable with Him. 

Then we hear His tender call, "Now, come away with me...and let your face touch the Water."  It's the Place of greatest intimacy where we lose ourselves in Him.  The Place where we no longer pull away from His Kisses, but immerse ourselves in them instead.  It's the Place where Freedom is coupled with Security.  It's the Place we actually have longed for but may not have known how to get there.  It's the Place where we touch our Daddy's Face.  It's the Place where Lovers want go.

But, just like my first time jumping in the pool face first, we may shy away from such intimacy with God.  Being vulnerable can be a scary thing -- especially if we have had negative experiences in life with it.  We don't want to let our guard down.  We are fearful of what may happen if we let ourselves go.  But our Lover never pressures us.  Though He longs intensely for us, He remains a Gentlemen with us.  He gently comes as we give Him our nod and let Him in. 

Can you hear Him calling you?  "Come away with Me and let your face touch the Water.  Come away and let me soothe your aching heart.  Come away with me and be immersed inside my Love.  For my Love is pure.  My Love is tender.  And my Love longs to meet you Face to face."