Thursday, April 21, 2011

Passion during Easter Passion Season

Brothers and Sisters in Christ living in the Middle East are seeking partners during this Easter season. the following are documents from them for your action.

First document:
Dear Friends,
Greetings from Jordan after our first AGSL  meeting with Tom Elliff as our new president.  Tom has started by calling all of us to be people of prayer.  I thank the Lord for how Tom’s heart for our Lord has placed our daily walk and talk with Him as priority one. This further stirred my heart because I knew you were already redoubling your commitment to focus on listening to and sharing your heart with the Father.
A question that is shaping my heart these days is, “What can I ask of the Lord that only He can do and if He does it only He can get the glory?”  As I watched the demonstrations across our AG, this question caused me to remember the children of Israel as they cried out while they suffered in the land of Goshen.  The Lord reached out during those days and prepared for a way of redemption and a pathway to follow as they journeyed to live in His great promise.
This week we will all be thinking of the great journey our Lord took as He provided our redemption and opened the way for us to live in His great Kingdom. Remember that the “us“ includes a multitude from every people, language, tribe and nation. That includes all the peoples of NAME. This is something only He can do. This week I am trying to list the impossible things that need to be opened up so that our peoples’ hearts will cry out to HIM. I ask that you join me in thanking Him for the fact that NAME peoples will come to know and worship our Lord Jesus. This is already established in heaven and we are now beginning to see it come here on earth among our NAME peoples as it is in heaven.
Psalm 107:19-21 has helped me have words to voice my prayer.
    “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
     He saved them from their distress
     He sent His word and healed them;
     He rescued them from the Pit.
     Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race.”

Join me as we ask the Lord to speak to us as we listen to Him. Also, let us ask Him to see His Kingdom come among our peoples as we lift them to Him this week.
John Br
Twitter account: @jbr2
2nd document:
When April 17-May 8
Palm Sunday - Mother's Day
• Fast from food or other things as
God leads you.
• Pray "outside the box" every day.
• Listen to His voice with a "whatever
it takes, whatever You desire, Lord"
frame of mind.
• Report what He says to you:
4ThyName@post4us.com
Invite others to join you.
Yes, ask me for anything in my name and I will do it! John 14:14
A CALL TO PRAYER AND FASTING FOR 21 DAYS
LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO DURING THESE DAYS OF UPHEAVAL
AMONG NORTHERN AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN PEOPLES?

3rd document:

Fasting
If you do not already know of the power and importance of fasting, here are some very important facts:
& Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, "when you fast," not if you fast.
& Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the "first love" for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
& Fasting is a biblical way for you to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
& Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
&The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
& Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
& Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.
& Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of II Chronicles 7:14:
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
The Bible Recounts Primarily Two Types of Fasts
A partial fast is described in the book of Daniel. Although the water fast seemed to be the custom of the prophet, there was a three-week period in which he only abstained from "delicacies," meat, and wine (Daniel 10:3).
Another type mentioned in the Bible is the "absolute" fast. These are total fasts-no food (solid or liquid) and no water. Paul went on an absolute fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:9).
**The first page is from an article by Bill Bright.  The rest of the article is from various sources.
Occasional Food Fasts and Permanent Worldly Fast
Many people God has greatly used began their calling in intense prayer accompanied with one type of fasting or another. Although fasting is basically abstaining from food, self-denial from other things of the flesh is also fasting.
There are many things of the flesh (of worldly value) that hinder sensitivity to the spirit of God. Some require occasional fasts like interaction with certain people.  Some require frequent fasts like certain foods and quantities, certain books and multimedia, etc. (TV, e-mail, Facebook, etc)
Others require permanent fasting. Anything that does not add to our closer walk with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit requires a permanent fast.
In spite of the absolute safety and benefits of fasting, there are certain persons who should NEVER fast from food without professional supervision. For example:
  • Persons who are physically too thin or emaciated.
  • Persons who are prone to anorexia, bulimia, or other behavioral disorders.
  • Those who suffer weakness or anemia.
  • Persons who have tumors, bleeding ulcers, cancer, blood diseases, or who have heart disease.
  • Those who suffer chronic problems with kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or other important organs.
  • Individuals who take insulin for diabetes, or suffer any other blood sugar problem such as hyperglycemia.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing.

Children
In general, children should not fast from whole meals, or at least no more than one meal at a time, but they can be encouraged to give up certain favorite foods, activities, or fast from media for a period of time.

Fasting is to be done under the guidance and leadership of the HS.  Please ask the Father what He wants you (and your family to do). 
4th document:
Listening to God

This is a time for each of us to be alone with God.  My prayer is that it will be a time of refreshment for you as well as a time to be still and listen for God to speak.  We want to truly hear what He has to say to us as an affinity, but we also want to hear whatever else He has to say to us personally or as a group.  After our three weeks of praying and fasting we will put together what God has said to us as a whole.

When spending time with the Lord, set aside some time without interruptions.  Sit, change positions, lie down on the floor, sing.  Have a sweet, blessed time with the Father. 

Step 1... Be Still

God has given his people express commands governing the turbulence of their own hearts and the peace that he offers and expects. None stands out so markedly as Isaiah 30:15, which declares that the Lord's purpose is for his people to find quietness and confidence before Him. The indictment was that his people "WOULD NOT" and therefore had no peace.

Isaiah 30:15 "In quietness and confidence will be your strength and you would not..."
Isaiah 32:17 "The effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever."
Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am thy God..."
It is the mandate of God that we still ourselves before him in order to find his peace and hear his voice. So thus, we have as the first and most important step in the believer's prayer life to STILL OURSELVES before the Lord. The New Testament similarly reflects the same need of mental quietness when it refers to bringing...
"EVERY THOUGHT INTO THE CAPTIVITY OF CHRIST"
(II Corinthians 10:5)
We live in a busy, noisy, tumultuous society. There are demands for our attention almost constantly every waking hour.  Therefore we must find an inner solitude in the Lord's presence.



PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
HOW TO STILL YOUR MIND
1. Find a quiet undisturbed place. Jesus called it a closet of prayer. That means you are to be alone, shutting out every distraction and interruption!
2. Kneel in the Lord's presence. (Only under real medical prohibition should you do otherwise. Kneeling or prostrate are worship positions.) You need not be uncomfortable but neither should you be lazy in prayer. Philippians 2:10-11
3. Make your mind stop its commotion and noise.  Your mind is not a noisy playground. It is a sanctuary. Your mind is yours. Make it obey you. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Bring it into subjection to Christ." Prov. 25:28 "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city with out walls." 1 Peter 1:13 "Gird up the loins of your mind." Take control of your thoughts!
5. Slow down! Relax! Refuse to be rushed in the presence of God. Consciously loose the tension of every muscle. Begin with your neck, then shoulders, arms back, thighs, legs and finally your feet.
4. Breathe slowly. Inhale slowly! Exhale slowly!  You'll be amazed at how it begins to quiet your body, which in turn affects thoughts too. Remember, if you cannot control your body, you cannot expect to control you spirit either.  1 Corinthians 9:27.”I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection..."
6. Refuse to go on to the next step until the body and mind have obeyed you. This step is by far the most difficult! That is because it is the most contradictory to our natural lifestyles.

Step 2  Worship and Thanksgiving
¯Sing
¯Remember His mighty works.
¯Exalt His names.
¯Physically express your worship and adoration.
¯Read scriptures of praise.
¯Acknowledge His sovereignty and power.

Step 3 Confession

Ask God to show you if there is anything that needs to be dealt with before proceeding.
In your prayers, confess not only obvious sins, but the less obvious ones as well--the sins of omission as well as the sins of commission experiences. These may be experiences of leaving your first love for our Lord: worldly-mindedness, self-centeredness, spiritual indifference, and unwillingness to share your faith in Christ with others, not spending sufficient time in God's Word and in prayer, a poor relationship with your spouse, your children, your leader, or other members of your team.

Step 4 Listening and Intercession

Read the focus passage for the week to use for meditation.  Feel free to go to any other scriptures that God leads you to.  (Please write down what you hear.)

Which verse grabbed your attention? 
How can you apply it to yourself personally?
What do you see in this passage that is new?
What do you think God is saying to our affinity through this passage?

Step 5 Thanksgiving

Thank the Father for meeting with you and for giving you His word.

Ideas for Families with Children at Home

We would like everyone to participate in this intensive three-week call to prayer.  You may want to lead your children in a group time in the word and prayer and then encourage your children to meditate on the passage.  You can discuss together questions like:

What is God saying to us in this scripture?
Has God pointed out a sin He wants you to confess?
What do you think He wants you to do?
What can we do as a family to obey this scripture?
Pick a verse to memorize.

Write down your children’s responses to the scripture.
Lead them in praying for the affinity.

This should be in addition to your own one-on-one time with the Lord, listening to Him.

These documents arrived today and the matter is long overdue. Our God is moving in the Middle East and we must decern His wisdom and join Him with all our passion.
For the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God,
your coworker,
mike






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