Get your hopes up

There are times when the bad news of the day threatens to overwhelm us with its negativity, bitterness and deceit.  The world seems to be spinning out of control into chaos.  Darkness tries to engulf us. There appears to be no hope for the future.

But for born again believers,  there is always hope.  Jesus is our hope.  Hope is our joyful expectation that what God has said is coming to pass in our lives.  We know that God’s word is truth.  We place our confidence in Jesus and His word.  Jesus reigns.  He is mighty to save.  We seize the hope He sets before us.  We anchor ourselves on this hope.  And our anchor holds, both sure and steadfast.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a future and a hope.       

Jeremiah 29:11

God has wonderful plans for His children.  He is working things out for our good–sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes out front, but always for our good.   We place our trust in Him.  We cannot rely on the news or social media or pop culture for direction.  We live by the light of God’s word.

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Dare to trust Him to work things out for you.  Dare to believe His words to you.  Dare to

pray and believe Him for the answers.  He LOVES you that much–and much more.

Light shines in the darkness for the godly.

               They are generous, compassionate, and righteous….

Such people will not be overcome by evil.

              Those who are righteous will be long remembered.

They do not fear bad news;

              They confidently trust the Lord to care for them.

They are confident and fearless

              And can face their foes triumphantly.

                                                    Psalm 112:4-8 (NLT)

Do not fear the bad news.  Get your hopes up.  Encourage yourself in the Lord and His word.  The best is yet to come for you.  Your future is bright in Jesus.   Piercing through the doom and gloom, Christians can shine with hope–like stars in the night sky.  The darker things appear in the world, the brighter we shine.

Arise, shine; for your light has come.

     And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

     For behold, darkness will cover the earth

     And deep darkness the peoples;

     But the Lord will rise upon you

     And His glory will appear upon you.

                                                     Isaiah 60:1-2 (NAS)

Your light has come.  Jesus has risen.  Rise up in faith.  Shine for Jesus!

 

 

Open your gifts

Have you received gifts from God that are gathering dust, some forgotten, some still waiting to be opened?  Time to bring them out, dust them off, let them shine for Jesus.  The apostle Paul mentions many spiritual gifts available to us as believers.  Among the most valuable gifts is a heavenly prayer language from the Holy Spirit.

Have you heard of the mystery of praying in tongues and wondered if it is for you? Wonder no more.  Praying in a new supernatural language is for all Christian believers. Paul bragged that he spoke in tongues more than anyone else.  He encouraged every Christian to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and exercise their spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:5).  He urged us all to pray both in our native language and our supernatural language.

So if you are a believer, God has a language gift for you.  Praying in the Spirit will elevate and empower your life.  Bad habits and sin you may have struggled with will fall off you.  Praying in the Spirit will change the lives of those you pray for.  Praying in the Spirit can literally bring God’s kingdom to earth.

 

Praying perfect prayers

The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what prayers to offer nor in what way to offer them.  But the Spirit Himself pleads for us in yearnings that can find no words; and the Searcher of hearts knows what the Spirit’s meaning is, because His intercessions for God’s people are in harmony with God’s will.   (Romans  8:26-27)

According to the Bible, praying in a God-given language ministers peace to us.  It makes us strong.  It recharges our spiritual batteries (Jude 20).  God encourages us and gives us rest.   Praying in the Spirit means you are praying perfect prayers, because they are from God’s own heart.  He gives you the words and the heart to pray them.  These heaven-sent prayers will build up your faith and trust in God.  You will become  able to hear God’s voice more clearly.  So He can warn you of trouble before it happens and shield you from danger.  As you pray, He will use you in new and miraculous ways. You will see God use your prayers to bring His kingdom here on this earth.

 

Opening my gifts 

All of this was unknown to me when I first received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at my first healing prayer meeting  over 25 years ago. I honestly did not know what that baptism was or what value it might have for me.  The speakers that night, Charles and Frances Hunter, simply invited those of us without the baptism to come on down front. So we did.  (We had already been baptized into the family of God, we were Christians, but this was to be a second filling of the Holy Spirit). As we praised the Lord together, we asked the Lord to fill us with His Spirit.  We heard our speech change from English to many new languages, unfamiliar to us.  The Holy Spirit filled us with supernatural joy.  Our worship rose to a whole new level.  We even sang heavenly new songs in our various languages.

The Hunters encouraged us to continue praying in our new languages for at least 30 minutes each day.  Frankly, I did not have sufficient fluency in my new language to continue for more than just a few minutes.  I did not understand what I was saying or why.  After a few months of wondering what the point was, and with no answers,  I decided to put my new language on hold.

About a year later, I discovered some excellent teaching tapes by Gloria Copeland, Walking in the Spirit, which explained the gift of praying in tongues in terms I could relate to.  With Gloria’s detailed Biblical teaching and the help of the Holy Spirit, I committed to praying in my new language for an hour each day–stipulating that He would have to give me the ability to do so.  I sure could not do it on my own.  It was one of the most important decisions I have ever made.  With the gift of speaking in tongues, I have become both stronger and more peaceful at the same time.  I have fended off numerous  demonic attacks.  I have prayed beyond my own personal knowledge to accomplish miracles in Jesus’ Name.  Many people have been saved, healed and delivered through these prayers.  My family and I have been protected  each day.  The Lord has shared His wisdom and His point of view on many different subjects.  He has headed off problems before they happened. My faith has soared.

Has life been trouble-free these last 25-plus years?  No way.  But with God’s help and His Spirit-led prayers, I have come out of every difficulty victorious every time. Thanks be to God!

 

Ask and receive your refreshing

So if you would like to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, together with His spiritual gifts, pray along with me now.  And if you have already received the baptism, ask God for a fresh refilling of His Spirit.  Then dust off your spiritual gifts and put them to work for Jesus.  To God be the glory.

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  But this He spoke of the Spirit whom those who believed in Him were to receive.   (John 7:37-38)

Are you thirsty for more of God?  Do you long to know and serve Him better (Mark 16:17-18)?  Come to Jesus now.  Ask Him in faith to fill you with His Spirit, expecting to receive.  Receive His gifts by faith, just as you received your salvation by faith.  Then thank Him and praise Him.

Say:  Father God, I am Your child.  I love You and am thirsty for more of You in my life.  I want to know You and serve You better.  I come to You, Jesus, thirsty, asking You to baptize me with Your Holy Spirit.  Fill me to overflowing with rivers of living water.  To Your glory, Lord.  I believe I receive now.  Thank You, Lord, for your gifts.  Thank you for baptizing me in Your Holy Spirit!  Thank You for my new heavenly prayer language.

Open your mouth and let the praises of God come forth.  Pray with your understanding and pray beyond your understanding.  Allow the Holy Spirit to pray through you to bring heaven down to earth.  The Holy Spirit wants to pray His perfect prayers through you.

 

 

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Stealth fighter

The believer who prays is God’s stealth fighter in the heavenlies.   We are God’s secret weapon against the forces of evil that threaten to overwhelm us, our families, our nation.  Our heartfelt prayers, spoken in quiet, intimate communion with our Father, echo through heaven with power and authority.  As a believing Christian, your prayers are mighty to save.

The power of one

The earnest prayer of a righteous person [that’s you!] has great power and produces wonderful results.  (James 5:16)

Faith-filled prayers can save your family members and mend broken relationships.  Together, you and God can break addictions, heal broken hearts. You can move mountains, throw the enemy into confusion and destroy his plans against our nation.  As God’s elite prayer force, we can save America and change the course of history.

Stealth fighting force

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.   (Matthew 6:6)

In the quiet of night, while others sleep, God’s stealth fighters go to their covert work.  Many other stealth fighters rise up early each day before dawn to pray in their secret place, where no one hears but  our heavenly Father.  Guided by the Holy Spirit, our strategic intercession brings His will to earth.  We humble ourselves, knowing that  without Jesus we can do nothing.  But in Him, by the  authority of His Name, our prayers are powerful and effective, tearing down enemy strongholds.

For the weapons of  our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pull down enemy strongholds.  (2 Corinthians 10:4)

We are God’s enforcers on the earth, enforcing the victory Jesus won for us when He gave His life for us on the cross and rose again victorious!  Jesus made the way for us as believers to come boldly to the throne of grace.  We are the righteousness of God in Him.  Our Father sees us pray in secret.  He knows our hearts. He invites us to come close and know His heart.  He delights to answer our prayers.  He delights in us, His faithful prayer warriors.  He rewards us openly.

Dare to believe

Anyone can pray–anyone who believes.  And every prayer counts.  God is calling you to join His mighty prayer force.  Become a stealth fighter for God.  Find a quiet place to pray, where you will not be disturbed.  Pray every day.  Make it a habit.  Pray the word and will of God.  Pray bold prayers.  Pray in the Spirit.  Ask Him to help you.  Pray in faith, believing.  God’s kingdom come.  His will be done in America.  Thank You, Jesus, Lord over America.

 

 

God’s dream for America

As many victims of Hurricane Harvey struggled to recover last week, the Lord gave me an encouraging dream.  America shall be great again.

In the dream, President Donald Trump was visiting the flood victims in their water-filled homes.  Everything appeared lost.  The people were mourning.  As the President reached out to help someone, the presidential red cap, emblazoned with the Make America Great Again slogan, fell into the murky water.  But someone quickly rescued the hat and hung it up to dry.  Certainly Donald Trump could have got himself another cap.  But this cap was special.  It was the cap he wore visiting the people hit so hard by hurricane floods. It was a symbol of victory.

The Lord went on to explain…

“Hurricane Harvey cannot keep America down.  She will be great again.  Donald Trump will make America great again.  The waters cannot overflow his dream…God’s dream for America.  America will be great again.  Watch and see. The best is about to be for America and Trump.  Watch and see.  America shall be saved.  Jesus is Lord.

“Love will prevail in America again.  Love will overcome a mountain of evil.  Drain the swamp.  Evil stands out, exposed.  

“Make America great again.  Pray it in.  I LOVE you.  I LOVE Trump.  I LOVE his heart for America.  A man after My own heart.  I LOVE America.  America the beautiful is about to be reborn.  Beauty is the best evidence of a spirit of love.  I know…love anyway.  The best is about to come. Keep the faith.  I LOVE you.”

Pray with me for America…

Father God, forgive us, forgive America for all our sins and shortcomings. Forgive us for hatred, division and quarreling, forgive us for abortions and believing false evidence appearing real.  Forgive us for turning away from you, the Father of our country.  Make us bold to speak the truth.  Make us beautiful to love one another unconditionally.  Give us wise godly leaders who will seek and follow Your ways.  We return to You God, the Father of our country. Have mercy on us, Your people.  Deliver us from evil.  Unite us. Heal us.  Recover us.  Make America great again.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

Pray for peace

Everywhere people are searching for peace.  Amidst the din of quarreling and confusion, fanned by the media, we are assaulted by bitterness and anxiety on every side.  There is little peace in America or in Washington, D.C.  And there is precious little peace in people’s hearts.

Let peace reign.

How do we find peace amidst the clamor?  The apostle Paul urged us to pray.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will keep your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus is our peace.  In fact, before leaving this earth, He gave us His own heavenly peace. He did not want us to fear or worry.

“My peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

As children of God, His peace belongs to us.  It is His free gift to us.  Only God’s peace will dispel fear and worry, giving us quietness and confidence to go forward.

Our peace is heavenly, of divine origin, not earthly.  Our peace certainly does not come from our circumstances.  Peace does not mean that all our circumstances are rosy and everything is going our way.  Our peace comes from our close personal relationship with our Lord Jesus.  We know Jesus LOVES us and takes good care of us. We choose to trust Him always.

Our peace is not the absence of trouble.  Our peace is security in the midst of turmoil.  We are trusting God at all times to take care of us.  The Lord alone makes us dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).  He is our provider, our protector, our good Shepherd. Read Psalm 23.  He does all things well.  He always has our good in mind.  We have everything we need.

God’s peace is not a warm fuzzy feeling you hope to get when all your problems are solved.  In fact, peace is not a feeling or an emotion.  Feelings are changeable and unreliable.  We cannot afford to allow our feelings to control us.  We must be led by the Spirit of God.  He is the Spirit of Peace.

The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Our peace is not the lack of problems, but the God given ability to rise above our problems.  We can be calm and confident no matter what is going on around us. We can pray to God and ask His wisdom in overcoming our problems. He will show us what to do.  He will  make the way for us where there seems to be no way.  Next, we surrender all our problems to God and thank Him that He is answering our prayers. We leave our troubles safely in His hands. Then we rest in His peace, knowing He is meeting our every need.

God’s peace is a strong spiritual force that transcends fear and trouble.  Against the tide of this world that tries to overwhelm us, Jesus gives us peace and victory.

Jesus is our Prince of peace.  Release your problems and worries to Him.  Leave them there at His feet.  Receive His peace.  And rise above your circumstances.

Jesus, You are my Prince of peace. Please fix these problems for me, Lord.  Give me wisdom to overcome. Show me what to do.  I surrender all my problems to You.  Thank You for taking them from me.  Thank You for Your peace, which surpasses human understanding.  I rise above my circumstances and rest in Your heavenly peace. May Your peace reign in my heart and all across America, in Jesus’ Name.

 

Adapted from the upcoming book Living in the Glory by Patricia Morris, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

Seven things I know about heaven

 

I have peeked into paradise.  Heaven has come alive to me.

My recent invitation to go home with Jesus has opened my eyes to the reality of heaven in new ways. (See my earlier blogs on my near-death experience.)  A spiritual place has now become very real to me.   Scriptures have new meaning.

Heaven is more than a hope or a promise.  It is real.  It is our forever home.  And God is expecting us soon….

Heaven is our home.  God called me “home” to heaven.  That means I belong there.  It is not a new or scary foreign place.   As Christians, we are God’s children, treasured members of His family.  We will feel right at home in heaven when we get there.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.  (Hebrews 13-14)

Jesus calls us home.  You won’t find Buddha or Mohammed up in heaven calling you home.  Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, the Most High God, our Savior forever.  He will call us home at the right time.

We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. (Philippians 3:20)

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The welcome mat is out.  Heaven is expecting us.  Jesus has prepared a special place for us there.  He has done what we could not do for ourselves.  He has made the way for us to enter in freely.  He has paid the price in full, giving His life as a ransom for us.   He has awarded us His own perfect right standing with God.  We are holy to the Lord.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

There is no fear in going home.  Fear has no place in heaven.  Only peace and love. Heaven’s peace is like a magnet, drawing us in.  When our time comes, we will gladly leave the chaos and fears of earth behind us, to be caught up in the arms of Jesus, our Prince of peace.

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8)

Heaven is closer than you think.  Heaven is not some faraway place.  It is right around the corner.  My own encounter with heaven came suddenly, unexpectedly, on a trip to the dentist’s office.  Your time could come suddenly, unexpectedly–on a routine trip to work or the grocery store.  You could be called home tonight…or tomorrow.  Jesus could return for us at any time.  We do not know the future or how much time we have left on this earth.  Be ready, prayed up and set to go!

“So you too must keep watch!  For you do not know the day or hour of My return.”  (Matthew 25:13)

Everyone is invited.  God invites everyone to make heaven their home.  But many have ignored or refused their invitation.  You have to RSVP.  You have to say yes!  It is your decision, your choice.  It does not matter where you have been or what you have done or what has been done to you.  Just accept right now your invitation to join the family of God.  Choose Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, the Boss of your life.  His arms are open wide to you now.  Come home to the family of God.

See how very much our Father LOVES us, for He calls us His children.  And that is what we are!  (John 3:1)

Jesus is the way.  There are not many roads to heaven.  Just one.  Surrender your life to Jesus Christ.  Receive His BIG LOVE.  Receive His grace and blessings.

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through Me.”  (John 14:6)

 

All scriptures from The New Living Translation.

From victory to victory

The Christian life is an overcoming life.  A life of victory, not defeat.  Failure is not an option for us.  Yes, we will face a sea of challenges.  We may experience some temporary setbacks and delays.  But in the end we win.  You are a winner in Jesus.  You are more than a conqueror by His grace.  Overwhelming victory is yours through Jesus who LOVES you.

“In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world  for you.” (Matthew 16:33)

Jesus warns us to expect trials and frustrations in this mixed-up godless world.  But He also says we can expect victory in these trials, as we put our trust in Jesus, the resurrected Lord.

The obstacles which our enemies hurl in our way can become stepping stones for us, as we leap over our troubles–from faith to faith, from grace to grace, from victory to victory, from glory to glory!

 

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“In all these difficulties, we are more than conquerors through Him who LOVES us.” (Romans 8:37)

 

Jesus has already overcome the world and its ways for us.  By His death and resurrection He trampled and defeated forever the power of sin, sickness and death. Now He imputes His victory to us as His family.  God has placed us into Christ, the anointed One.  So when He died to this world, we died with Him. When He was raised to new life, we were raised victorious with Him.

“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

If you are a believer, you are a world overcomer. Dare to believe! For the Lord will do great things through you!