In Your name we pray. Amen.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
With the whole earth caught in the grip of this pandemic, it’s time now to ask the Lord for a shift in the battle for the nations, so that millions of lost will come to Christ, and strong, vibrant, multiplying churches, grounded in truth and love, will spring up all over the world.
Will you join me?
Tomorrow May 5, let’s set aside the day to pray for a global awakening to God’s love.
In preparation, I encourage you to write lists in your prayer journal of neighbors who are lost, nations God has placed on your heart, missionaries, top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted, ministries that fight against abuse and human trafficking, and anything else the Lord lays on your heart. Begin praying even now for spouses and children who are undergoing abuse during quarantine, for frontline workers who are experiencing anxiety, for government leaders, and especially for every heart to hunger for the Lord. Let’s seek Him for a global breakthrough, so that millions, even billions will be saved, and strong, vibrant churches will be planted all over the world, even in the least likely of places.
Below, I’ve written out some suggestions for how to get your family, church, or others involved. But you’re welcome to pray any way the Lord leads you. You can also sign up here for a free guide to knowing God’s voice.
- Fast until supper.
- Cook an international dinner, and pray together during the meal.
- Have a family worship service, and spend time in prayer for the nations.
- Lay a map of the world out on the floor, or use a globe, and lay hands on each country as you pray.
- Let each person in your family (church, Bible study group, etc.) choose a country to pray for. Do research on that country’s specific problems, needs, government, religion, etc., and pray with purpose, either on your own or together over the internet.
- Write out your prayers for governments, peoples, nations, the hurting, the persecuted … and post them on social media, so others can join you in praying for that.
- Prayerwalk your neighborhood or other areas where there are internationals, businesses, families in need, or others God lays on your heart.
- Do drive-by prayer to cover government seats, businesses, hospitals, internationals, the elderly, schools, homeless, churches, etc.
- Make a poster, and write out the prayers and verses God lays on your heart, and then keep that poster somewhere where you can continue to pray daily.
- Write the prayers and verses in your journal, and keep it by your Bible, so you will continue to pray daily for worldwide revival.
- Other ideas (Please share in the comments. 👇)
Lord, we ask You for the nations. Please bring forth a mighty revival all across the world. Turn every heart to You. Suppress wrong, and increase right. Expose evil, and give every person from every nation a hunger for what is right and good and holy. Make seekers out of every lost heart. May they seek You in earnest and find You, Lord. Come and meet them in their dreams, in their trials, in their sin, in their triumphs, and in their failures. Bring them to their knees, so desperate for a Savior, that when they hear Your Good News, they will turn to You and be saved. For the backslidden, Lord, we ask You to break the bonds that tie them to the enemy’s plans for their lives, and set them free to run after You with all their hearts. Reunite marriages. Heal the sick. Make the lame to walk, and the blind to see. And do it in a way that all will know You are the One Who did that. Usher in an unprecedented era of miraculous signs and wonders by Your hand that will turn the world’s attention to You. Whenever someone cries out to You, Lord, hear their prayers, and answer. Show the world Your love. Show them You are strong. That You are more than enough. That You are the One they are looking for. That You alone are Good. And that You love us with a love that is without borders. May every tribe and language know that You alone are God. In Your precious name. Amen.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations…,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV
For guided prayer journals, Bible studies and other books for all ages on walking as one with Christ and making a difference in the world, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.
What must it have been like for Jesus to wash the feet of Peter, knowing he would soon deny Him? … or of Judas, knowing he would betray Him? John 13.
What an example Jesus gave us to love those near to us, even when the things they do and say are not so lovely! Romans 12:9-21.
How have you “washed the feet” of your spouse recently? Or that rebellious child? Or that friend you loved and trusted who betrayed a confidence?
I know it’s hard, beloved. These are trying times. Love has grown scarce in so many hard places, and sparse where once it flourished with great fruit. But take heart. For I have overcome the world, and I am yet here with you. John 16:33. You do not have to do this on your own. And the love I require from you is not even within your own power to give. Matthew 22:37-40. For I am calling you to a greater Love. Tap into My everlasting, all-abundant, never-ending flow, and let Me rush through you like a mighty River, overflowing your “on-edges” and spilling out onto everyone around you, … effortless and true, … because I am the One flowing in you, and you are overflowing with Me….
But to get there, My beloved, you must step into the Secret Place. You cannot keep going in your own energy or you will wear out; what you spend on others will deplete and spoil all too soon. They will not have the best of you, until you first give your best to Me. Find in My currents the rest and nourishment you need to wash over what wears you down, cleanse what has festered, and renew your weary soul with life and breath and joy abundant.
Come. I’m waiting for you.
This lockdown is a perfect opportunity for the whole family to draw closer to the Lord through worship. Create your own playlist, or stream from playlists already available on music sources like Spotify or YouTube. (Leave a comment sharing your favorites, so we can get some new ideas!)
Begin the family worship time with prayer, inviting God to fill the room with His presence and angels, to block out distractions, and to show you anything He wants to show you. Encourage your children to personally invite God to speak to their hearts. Here are some of our family’s favorite ways to draw near to God in worship, as the music plays:
- PAINT. Pull out colored pencils or watercolors, so they can draw and paint in their journal what God is showing them.
- SOAK. Throw pillows and blankets around the room, and invite your children to pick a place to get comfortable and close their eyes, as the words and music wash over them. Invite them to ask Jesus to take them anywhere He wants to take them and show them anything He wants to show them. (Almost every time we do this, someone falls asleep. Don’t let that worry you. That means they’re at peace. Besides, Jesus just might meet them in a dream!)
- EXPRESS YOUR LOVE. Invite them to sing, use hand motions, dance, kneel, or express worship to the Lord in whatever way they like. Encourage them to pick a position to be still in, as well, so they can listen to what God wants to say in response to their worship.
- INTERCEDE. Pray for the lost, for the nations, for your neighbors, siblings, friends, etc., as the music plays. You can spread a map of the world on the floor, so each person can lay hands on the countries they’re praying for. Or you can give out notecards to write someone’s name on one side, and a prayer for that person on the other.
- JOURNAL. Urge your kids to write in their journals what they feel God speaking to their hearts as the music plays. Suggest they ask Jesus questions (like, “Jesus, when You look at me, what do You see?”) and listen for His answers. Place Bibles around the room, so they can look up verses that come to mind.
Then, share with each other what God showed you. (Here’s a free guide to knowing God’s voice, if you need one to help with that discussion.)
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him.
Psalm 22:27 RSV
What did God show your children during your worship time together? Feel free to comment below.
Have you ever been through a “wilderness” season — trials beating you like a relentless desert wind, and mountains looming so high, you thought you’d never make it out?
Are you in that wilderness now?
I’ve been there. As if living thousands of miles from family in a country where Christians are persecuted isn’t “wilderness” enough, a few years ago, we went through six long years where many loved ones died, and my closest friends attacked me, cutting me out of their lives. Other tragedies howled against us, as well — too many to write in one blog. Suffice it to say, it was hard.
He awakened me in the wee hours of every morning, and calmed my racing heart. He healed my wounds, set me free from what made my grief all the more painful, and set straight what the enemy had knocked askew.
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek You;
I thirst for You,
my whole being longs for You,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
I have seen You in the sanctuary (of my wilderness)
and beheld Your power and Your glory.
Because Your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify You.
From Psalm 63:1-3 niv
“Persecution bleeds anointing,” one of my friends once said. And it did.
Each book the Lord has called me to write together with Him in our quiet times has flowed from that anointing. The lost have come to Christ. Hearts have been healed and set free. Strongholds have fallen. Marriages have mended. Teens have caught on fire for Christ, and their parents, too. The wilderness was worth it.
But even more worth it is walking hand in hand with Jesus, feeling enveloped by the Lord’s presence constantly, like living every moment in the mist of His breath.
He found (me) in a desert land, in the howling wasteland of a wilderness;
He (encircled and shielded me). He took care of (me). He protected (me) as the apple of His eye.
From Deuteronomy 32:10 amp
As beautiful as that sounds, when I sought the Lord at the beginning of 2019 for His word over this past year, “wilderness,” was not the answer I wanted to hear.
I’ve always thought of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in Luke 4 as agonizing, lonely, hungry, thirsty, dangerous, surrounded by wild animals, with no roof over His head, and nowhere comfortable to sleep; not to mention that sinister visit from Satan. Reminds me a bit of my own howling wasteland.
But in a dream the Lord gave me, I saw Jesus smiling at me, hand outstretched, welcoming me into His wilderness. He pulled me up onto the edge of a high cliff with a spectacular view of the rising sun, as it poured out its brilliant colors upon the desert. The Father’s thick presence enveloped me, and took my breath away. I looked at Jesus standing next to me, holding my hand, the fire of the sun lighting up the joy in His eyes. “Now, this is the wilderness!”
I realized for the first time how glorious, how radiant, how powerful and even joyful those 40 days of alone-time with His Daddy must have been.
When I awoke from the dream, I stepped into a 40-day fast to start out the year. (I’ve actually been on a fast from certain foods for about three years now, praying for the unreached millions in this dark corner of the world where God has called us to serve Him. But this was a greater fast on top of the first — complete during the day, and then joining up with the first fast at night.) Was I hungry? Yes. And yet, completely satisfied, for my Father was with me.
And then … our family traveled constantly for many months, far from home, laying our heads down in a new place every few nights. Many of those beds were on the floor or otherwise uncomfortable. And we did see a lot of wilderness. In fact, one week, we stayed in the middle of a jungle on the top of a cliff at the end of nowhere, with a murderer on the loose in that very jungle. We had no phone service, no electricity, no locks on the doors of the house, and no neighbors to yell to if we got in trouble. But we had the Lord, and He surrounded us and spoke to us, and filled our days with more of Him. We slept in peace, knowing His angels guarded us. If that murderer had walked through those open doors, he would have found a hot meal, and an earful of the Gospel!
Now, at the end of the year and beginning 2020, the darkness has darkened all the more in the corner of the world where we live. Most of our friends and other Christians have fled or are in hiding because of increased threats and persecution. We don’t know what this year will bring, but we know the One Who holds our hand, and He is Good.
Whether or not the coming days are hard for you, I pray you’ll find peace and rest, carried by the One Who lovingly allows the trials so we will draw closer to Him. May your wilderness bleed anointing.
Here is my prayer for you:
Lord, open up our eyes to see as You see, to not be distracted by other things in our view that move us away from You. Please, God, get up in our face. Invade our space. Make sure we SEE what You’re doing, such that we can’t miss it. Grab our face in Your hands and hold our gaze, Lord. We need You. Now more than ever. Open up our ears to hear Your voice over all other voices. Captivate us with the songs You’re singing over us, so that we catch the tune and sing along. Let us hear Your heart for the nations, and join in those prayers to see Your Kingdom come. Move us at the sound of Your voice. Don’t let us become stagnant or complacent. But speak so clearly, so powerfully to our hearts, Lord, that we tremble with holy fear, and fall on our faces before You, completely surrendered, and overwhelmed with such awe, that all we want to do is obey You. Open up our hearts to bond with Yours, Lord. As we look at the people around us, distract us from our judgments and criticisms with Your LOVE and GRACE and TENDERNESS. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours, Lord, and open us up to truly love those around us. To stop making every situation about me. And to finally become about truly loving You and loving others. Matthew 22:37-40. Draw us into Your arms of love, Lord, so we can love others, not in the way we think we should, but with Your powerful, life-transforming Spirit flowing through us like a River to touch, renew, knock down the old, and cleanse with the new. Flow through us, before us, around us, and behind us everywhere we go this year, so that everyone who knows us gets “wet” with Your Living Water, and thirsts for more of You, until they all dive into that River themselves. Make us light in others’ darkness, shelter from their storm, and confident in our own Light and Shelter in You. In Your name. Amen.
I encourage you to take time to look over what God did last year, find the miracles and the things He has taught you, and seek Him for what He has in store for you in 2020.
In fact, seeking the Lord together as a family, and walking out in obedience as one, is a powerful way to train your kids up in listening to the Lord and following His lead. Proverbs 3:5-6, John 5:19.
This is one of my favorite methods for doing that:
- Gather everyone together, and begin the time with prayer, asking the Lord to speak to your hearts and show you anything He desires.
- Invite everyone present to personally ask Jesus what He wants to say (In this case, ask Him for a verse or word or picture or whatever He’d like to show you about this coming year.)
- Leave time to listen for His answer. You can play soft worship music in the background, if you like, or just be silent. They can dig in the Word, write in their journals, draw or color what He shows them, or anything they feel led to do.
- Then invite everyone to share what came to mind.
If the Lord leads, put those drawings, words, or verses somewhere where you can look at them often throughout the year and talk together about how you see God doing those things, as the months progress.
For a free guide to knowing God’s voice, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.
What’s it like to live in a country where celebrating Christmas is forbidden? Where Christians are persecuted? Where millions have never heard about the God Who loves them and gave His Son to die for their sins so they can be free?
I’ll tell you. Because we live there.
For most of the people we pass every day, Christmas is just one more day of the year. They’ll go to work like any other day, sell their wares on the streets, gather up vegetables to take to market, chat about the weather.
You’ll find no decorations in shop windows. No mad rushes to shop for last-minute presents. No fighting over toys. No disputes about whether or not a store can play Christ-centered Christmas carols. No complaints about how commercialized Christmas is. No office parties. No family gatherings. No lighting of Christmas trees. No reading from Luke. No nativity scenes on the table or in front of churches. No presents under the tree. No worrying about what to get for that one person that’s always so hard to buy for. No stockings stuffed with gifts hanging over the fireplace. No choir concerts. No hokey Christmas movies. No Santa. No reindeer. No discussions about whether or not it’s a pagan holiday. No houses lit up with colorful decorations. No mistletoe to stand under and kiss that loved one. No Christmas Eve services. No Messiah sings. No driving through ritzy neighborhoods to look at the lights. No cookie exchanges. No Advent wreaths. No preaching about the Greatest Gift of All….
I’m crying as I write this, because my heart breaks for the unreached people all around us. In times past, people here have been so hungry to know about this forbidden Christ that they begged us to tell them about each decoration in our home — the baby born in the manger, the ever-green unending love of our Savior, each and every ornament lovingly painted with verses and scenes to remind us of the miracles of love He’s done in our family. In fact, one Christmas, 50 people crowded secretly into a tiny room with our family and a local brother to hear the Good News in their own language, and nearly all of them came to Christ!
But this year, the darkness feels heavier. In other areas of the country, it may be different, but here in our corner, many Christians have fled or gone silent because of increased threats. Some have even given up the faith. The ones who boldly love God are under constant pressure. And seekers have been warned not to associate with them.
No one has asked us about Jesus this season, and those we’ve shared with have quickly changed the subject.
Oh, God, please don’t give up on this place. Lift the clouds of darkness here, and invade every heart and home with Your light. Perform signs and miracles. Pursue the lost relentlessly. Visit them in their dreams. Block their paths with Your truth. Bring them face-to-face with the Living God Who loves them and gave His Son to die for them so they can be free. Let them hear that Good News in a way they can easily understand. Make Christians bold, grounded in truth and love, and empowered by Your Spirit to SHINE like lights in the darkness for all to see, drawing all people to Yourself like moths to a flame. Deepen our faith. Give us a hunger to meet together to study Your Word, pray, and worship You, even if it must be in secret, even if we fear for our lives. And if we are brought before the authorities, give us Your words to speak (Matthew 10). Draw every persecutor to his knees in worship of You alone as the One True God. May they see the love, joy, and peace in Christians and long for that. Sustain us, empower us, embolden us, renew our strength, chase out all fear with Your perfect love, and make us wholly Yours. In Your name. Amen.
That is the prayer of my heart this Christmas.
As you gather with your families and worship openly in churches, enjoy every ounce of your freedom. Celebrate Jesus vibrantly. Love others deeply. Help the needy. Forgive that family member who has a grudge against you. Encourage those who slander leaders to pray for and bless them instead. Live your faith out loud. Tell your children about the glorious things God has done in your life. Make together special remembrances of His goodness. Sing of His beauty. Don’t be afraid to let your children see your tears of gratitude and joy, as you read that passage or sing that carol that touches you so deeply. Tell them why it moves you so. As you shop, look for gifts that will make a difference in others’ lives.
And as you celebrate, pray for those like us who cannot be with their families, those like our brothers and sisters here who suffer for their faith, and those like the millions around us who will not know Jesus unless someone tells them.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of Whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:13-15 niv
God is bringing the nations to you now. Right there in your neighborhood are people who may not know the truth unless you share with them. Ask the Lord how you can show them His love this Christmas. Pray for their nations.
May He bless you richly as you celebrate His gift of grace.
What makes a good marriage?
A mountain of grace, and an unending source of love.
We could go into more detail, of course, and include under grace listening to each other, not jumping to conclusions, and not getting angry so quickly. We could include kindness, forgiveness, serving one another, … FIDELITY — wow, that‘s a big one you don’t see much of these days!
But most of all, LOVE is all we need. 1 Corinthians 13. Because love not only covers over a multitude of sins, but absolutely every ingredient needed for a happy marriage falls under loving each other—not in our own power, but through the unending love of the One Who first loved us. The One Who invented love. The One Whose name is Love. 1 Peter 4:8, Matthew 22:37-40, 1 John 4:7-12.
And this is where our marriages fall apart. We base love on a glittery feeling, and say “I’m not in love with you anymore” when that person doesn’t heat us up inside or give us butterflies. And we base that glittery feeling on how well that person treats us, on whether or not he/she does or says or looks like what we want.
But this is love: not that we’re all that or others are all that for us, but that the Spirit of the Living God Who is Love Himself lives within us. When we walk in His light, we love one another. 1 John 1:7, Matthew 6:22-23, Ephesians 5:8.
As we allow God’s love to fill every nook and cranny of our broken hearts, He heals us, and then seeps out to coat and transform the people around us. We can love our spouses and children, even when they’re acting unlovely, because HIS LOVE empowers us.
We must lay down who we think we are to walk out in WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST. Galatians 2:20, Psalm 45:10-11.
You might think of yourself as the bride of that man you married, that you have all these rights, and he should treat you like a queen…. But, FIRST, you are the bride of CHRIST.
You are His, bought with a price you could not pay. John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 7:23. He gave His life so you could live forever with Him. He loved you THAT much.
His love has no boundaries. He is always for you. He will never leave you, never forsake you. He is always good. Always faithful. Always loving. Even when you don’t deserve His love.
Because you can never deserve that kind of love.
He just IS … in love … with you.
Listen, O daughter. Lean in and listen closely to what I’m telling you: Forget your people, forget your culture, forget your rights, forget your past, forget the ways you’ve been mistreated, forget your unfulfilled dreams, forget it all! The King is enthralled with your beauty. Bow before Him, and receive His unending love. For He alone is your Lord. (from Psalm 45:10-11)
Part of our problem with love is we’ve forgotten Who He is. That love is not a thing, or even a verb, but the Living God Who empowers us to stretch out in His power and be love together with Him in this fallen world.
We’ve chosen hurt as our lord. Or anger. Or bitterness. Or depression. Or lust. Or seduction. Or pride. Or selfishness. Or self-pity. Or whatever else.
We’ve forgotten Who our Lord really is. That He is Love.
Bow before your King. Love and serve Him above all else. And He will leave you breathless with His beauty, enamored by His love, undone by His grace.
(For studies and prayer journals on receiving His love; breaking free from depression, pride, anxiety, and other strongholds; listening to God; following His lead; and loving others well, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.)
Welcome to Kingdom Culture Parenting!
This is the first blog on this new website devoted to parents who desire to raise up our children to walk as one with Christ and others (an off-shoot of our Facebook group by the same name). I hope you’ll feel excited and encouraged. Please feel free to share this website with others you know will be blessed.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the activity of the Christmas season, and miss out on the greater things God has planned for your family.
So, before your schedule runs away with you, STOP. Get alone with the Lord, or gather together as a family, and pray, “Lord, what do You want to do this Christmas?” Lay before Him all the events on your schedule in the coming weeks, and ask Him, “Which of these do YOU want us involved in, and how? What plans are we making that are not in Your plans for us?”
Surrender opens up the way for miracles, for joy that only comes through walking in the Spirit, and for the greater, deeper, God-things you and your children were created for.
Our family serves the Lord in a dark part of the world where few have heard of Christ, and where Christmas isn’t really celebrated. One year, the snow fell so heavily that those who worked on the streets crowded inside to get warm. As we shared God’s love with them, more than 50 came to Christ! What an exciting way for our children to see what it truly means that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Christmas decorations are also a great door-opener for the Gospel, as people ask about the nativity scene, the lights, the ornaments…. We make new ornaments every year featuring the truths God has taught us, and miracles He’s done for our family, so we can remember those stories every year, and share them with those who come into our home.
One year, our children prayed for God to lead them as they picked out some of their like-new toys, and wrapped them up. Then we took them to an orphanage, where the children wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas otherwise. As our kids played with the children, they asked the Lord which gift was for which child. Then they handed out the presents to those God showed them. What joy on the faces of those children! And what a way for God to lead out in building love and kindness in our children’s hearts.
You may not have those specific opportunities near you like we do, but here are some ideas to pray about:
- Are there internationals or other lost people in your neighborhood you can invite over, who may not have experienced a Christian celebration of Christmas?
- Is there a homeless shelter, or a poor neighborhood you can visit with food and presents for the children?
- Are there singles far from home, or someone else you know who doesn’t have a family to celebrate Christmas with?
- Is there a nursing home you can visit on your caroling route?
- Do you have lost family members you can visit for the holidays, or invite to visit you?
- Are there other ways you can involve your children in shining Christ’s light this Christmas?
- What presents can you give family members this Christmas that will truly make a difference in their lives? (See some ideas below.)
Ask the Lord. Then step out and obey.
If you’re looking for gifts to make a difference in the lives of those you care about, check out the Bible studies, prayer journals, novels, and children’s books on walking in oneness with Christ and others at www.MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com. All proceeds the author receives go to shining Christ’s Light in dark corners of the world where few have heard His name.
Find these and more at MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.