A Prayer of Confession for our time

A prayer prayed by Pastor Joe Wright at the opening of the Kansas State Senate. Not sure when it was but sometime before 1999. Still relevant today.

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it a choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the airwaves with profanity and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your
will… Amen


Word for Australia from Brian Simmons Sept 2014

Delivered at H.I.M. Conference, Brisbane 23-26 Sept 2014

God has a wonderful word He wants to speak over Australia. The land down under will become one of the most desirable places to live on earth as the Holy Spirit begins to fall, kissing the hearts of His worshippers. Throughout your nation, the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit, a wave of God favor is about to sweep over you. Churches will grow, new converts will bring more, and churches will be filled with more new converts. Established churches will be like the fathers and mothers of this great move of God. Expect to see many who have migrated to Australia, especially Iranians and middle eastern refugees become mighty evangelists after they come in contact with God’s power flowing in the churches of Australia.

My wife and I just returned from a three week ministry tour of the beloved nation. While there we both received a number of dreams from God, Holy Spirit inspired visions, and words of prophecy for that beautiful land. Allow me to share the 7 prophetic words He spoke to my wife and me. Although Australia is highlighted, I believe these words apply to the wonderful nation of New Zealand as well! These will begin to manifest immediately and move into greater fulfillment throughout 2015:

1. Australia will experience an immediate Holy Spirit shift that could be compared to the WINDOWS of heaven being open over your nation. This involves great financial blessing that will increase (Malachi 3:10-11), but even greater will be the revelation of the Holy Spirit that comes over the nation. Of all the nations, Australia will be given insight into global events that will startle the powers that be. You will be given eyes to see and ears to hear and the Spirit of Understanding will rest upon your political leaders, intercessors, and pastors. Expect to see an even greater alliance forged between Australia and Israel.

2. Australia will be a healing center. Many healings will come to the praying believers who have great faith for healing. The anointing of Smith Wigglesworth, the noted healing evangelist of generations past will be re-deposited in the church. Healing services will begin to fill with people turning to Jesus Christ. I awoke this morning to the sounds of, “I am the Lord who heals you, I am the Lord your healer.” As a sign that you will be healing nation, there will be a great healing of the rift between the native Australians and the government. Watch a tearful move of God sweep into Canberra.

3. Truth will prevail. Aussies love the truth, hate the hype and have been given great discernment. God has put a root of truth into your DNA. You will help the global church navigate many thorny theological issues that will soon arise. Authors will be anointed to point us to truth. You will carry the Spirit of Truth and the Word of Truth as discernment flows through you. Never fall back from your calling to preach the truth.

4. The Battle of Hope continues. The Hope of Christ must win over every pocket of fear of the future. Hope is the answer and will become a great invitation to the lost in your nation to come to the God of Hope. Every state of your nation must bring forth your message of hope! Hope come back and burn bright in Oz! Hope will win in the end! I saw Perth give birth to a move of mercy, giving compassion to the Asians that have come to your land. Perth will soon be called “a global City of Refuge” (See Joshua 20).

5. Judah praises. I see high praises rising from all over the nation. Aboriginals will join in as the celebration of freedom and power sweeps through the church. Expect new moves of God, much like Hillsong, to come forth with a brand new sound that will cause shaking and trembling in God’s presence.

6. You will move from following the pack to leading the pack. As my Aussie friend says, it smells better up front anyway! Your leadership calling will not be stifled. An apostolic renewal will come. What was cut short and went dormant will now break forth with new grace as true apostles begin to emerge. This move of leadership grace will startle Australians who have been content to let other nations lead the way, but now grace has come for you to lay hold of your destiny and use your voice to bring wisdom to global decisions. Your greatest export to the nations will be the move of God’s Spirit.

7. The Gift of Fellowship (Mateship). The redemptive calling of Australia is to model community, fellowship, partnership in the gospel, fighting for your brother and sister, serving them as you display the love Jesus speaks of, “So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” John 13:34-35 TPT

Lead the way Australia, we’re waiting to celebrate your victories! So we will watch the nation of Australia experience God’s kiss this coming year. May the lovers of God take the nation!

Brian Simmons is known as a passionate lover of God. After a dramatic conversion to Christ, Brian knew that God was calling him to go to the unreached people of the world and present the gospel of God’s grace to all who would listen. With his wife Candice and their three children, he spent nearly eight years in the tropical rain forest of the Darien Province of Panama as a church planter, translator, and consultant. Brian was involved in the Paya-Kuna New Testament translation project. He studied linguistics and Bible translation principles with New Tribes Mission.
After their ministry in the jungle, Brian was instrumental in planting a thriving church in New England (U.S.), and now travels full time as a speaker and Bible teacher. He is also the lead translator for The Passion Translation Project which will result in a new, dynamic version of the Bible for this generation.


The Secret Place

Gordon MacDonald, in his book, “Restoring your Spiritual Passion” talks about us running on empty; like a motor car which has run out of petrol. We push our empty selves hard up the hills and then, exhausted we coast down the slopes. It’s not the life God wants us to have!

Somehow in the busyness of our lives and the demands of our culture we have lost our energy for God. We suspect that there is something wrong and think that either, we are not working hard enough, or God is ignoring us. Or perhaps both.

MacDonald says quite plainly that we are so spiritually flat because we have lost our intimacy with God. It is this intimacy which gives us fuel for the journey of life, which leads us into the abundance of what God offers us.

 

The various writers of the Psalms discovered this and have unburdened their souls about their own intimate journeys of discovery. Sometimes we need to share in their exclamations of praise, sometimes in their struggles and disappointments but, more than anything, we need to join with them in their delight in God.

As far as we know, the psalms were all written by men – a number by the priests and worship leaders in the Temple, but mostly by men who spent their time out in the bush. Almost exactly half of the psalms are attributed to David (another 18 can be added, if we follow the ascriptions in the Septuagint). David was the original bush poet. He was an out doors man. A man of the desert, who lived in the bush, slept in caves, hunted for his food.

He was a soldier. A man who had been in the thick of battle, who led his army from the front. He was a king, chosen by God as a child, who had lived in a palace as a boy and died at the head of a dynasty which was to lead all the way to Jesus.

David knew God. He knew God intimately as One whom he could address as the Almighty, as his Shepherd and as his friend. He knew God as the One who confronted Him, helped him, guided him and loved him. David knew the abundance and wonder of the real life of the Spirit.

The secret, says Gordon MacDonald, is to be found in time spent with God. He specifically highlights our need for a safe place, still times and special friends. As I was reflecting on this in preparation for the sermon on the Psalms today, I realised that these are exactly the things which have been taken from us in our modern age. The psalmists knew them well, especially David the Shepherd. Returning at night with the flocks, the shepherds would see them safe in a cave shelter and then sit together, as special friends to reminisce on the day, to marvel at the stars and to just be quiet together before the fire. We don’t have much of that anymore.

24-7But we can, with just a little effort. We will be setting up a Prayer Room here at the church to run from August 22 to 30. These kind of Prayer Rooms were initiated by the 24-7 Prayer Movement which started in England in 1999 and which is rapidly bringing new spiritual energy to tired Christ Followers and a new excitement to people who had already rejected Christianity. It is really not anything new though; just a rediscovery of ancient practices which are still relevant in our modern world.

People have discovered that spending just one hour alone with God is a dramatic life-changing experience. A still time in a safe place with a special friend. There is no “training” or “teaching” or “formula”. There is no expectation, or performance required. This is God changing us from within. I will tell more about it this morning and over the next few weeks. I believe that with some basic Doctrine (Alpha), the Bible (E100 Challenge) and Prayer (24-7 Prayer Room) we build a foundation for the abundant Kingdom life which Jesus has promised to those who follow Him. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” and He invites us to follow Him into the life which is worthy of the Lord.

God bless and Amen


Fellowship of the Unashamed

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me – my banner will be clear!

Anonymous African Pastor – Nailed to his wall.


The Feast of Christ the King

This Sunday – the Feast of Christ the King, marks the end of the Christian year. It ends in triumph. Not only has Jesus redeemed us from our sins, not only is He risen from the dead, not only has He ascended to the right hand of God but His mission has climaxed in a great finale. It is the celebration of Christ the King – He reigns in victory at the end of time: every issue has been dealt with, every wrong has been made right, every hurt has been healed, every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord of all.
Of course this has not all yet happened, but we are confident of its eventuality for we are a people of faith. The Kingdom has come – it is now, even though it is not yet. We trust in the Word of God, we know its truth – we know that Christ is King for He is Lord of our lives.
A feature of the sermon texts for this day is the name which is given to Jesus as He takes His place as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jeremiah, in chapter 23 verse 6 says that “the name by which He will be called is ʻThe Lord Our Righteousnessʼ”. Not, ʻthe Lord is our righteousnessʼ for the verb is absent in the Hebrew. His name is Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness. “Righteousness” is not really a good word in the translation but its the closest we can come in English. Directly translated the word means ʻstraightnessʼ in the sense that we would talk of a ʻstraight guyʼ meaning someone who has no hidden agenda, who can be trusted and who is a really good friend. It was used in the context of community where someone promotes the well-being and peace of community. In the context of Jeremiahʼs prophecy we see that Jesus comes into a destroyed and scattered community to bring them back into the place of peace and well-being. And He does it most remarkably at the Cross of Calvary. Between two criminals – a consequence of a destroyed and scattered community – He speaks peace. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”. “Paradise” is a Persian word which describes a walled garden – perhaps not unlike our image of the Garden of Eden. The Creator enters into His creation, to restore the lost, to bring back the scattered and to heal those who are wounded. He takes them back to the place of beginnings, before the
mess that it has become. He even brings salvation to those who mock Him about His ability to save Himself. Indeed He is Jehovah Tsidkenu. Our celebration of Christ the King means also that we personally proclaim Jesus as Lord of our life. We yield the struggle to Him, we accept the grace which He gives and we commit ourselves to live the new life of the Spirit. Have you done that? Are you doing that? The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (the Jewish Feast of the Harvest) was to empower the followers of Christ to fulfill the mission of Christ. We begin by living our lives differently – no longer under our own steam but in a life entrusted to Jesus. We become, as Paul so eloquently put it, “convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 8:38,39)

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me – my banner will be clear!

Anonymous African Pastor – Nailed to his wall.


The Vision

“The Vision” describes the vision for the 24-7 Prayer Movement. Its inspiring!!

The Vision – by Pete Greig

So this guy comes up to me and says:
“what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this:
The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army.
And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations.
They need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision ?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose,
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes.
Winners. Martyrs.
Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

Inside.

On the outside? They hardly care.
They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.

Don’t you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks.
Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes.
They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be.
It will come to pass;
it will come easily;
it will come soon.

How do I know?

Because this is the longing of creation itself,
the groaning of the Spirit,
the very dream of God.

My tomorrow is his today.
My distant hope is his 3D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.