Friday, January 6, 2017

Going Deep in Daily Favor Prayer

The library was just a few blocks from our home, and since we had finished watching a video we decided to return it on the way to church.  Technically, it wasn’t due back until Tuesday, but in case of snow it would be something we didn’t have to concern ourselves with during the week.  Besides who would want to be responsible for withholding Anne of Green Gables from anyone? 

Traffic was pretty good for a New Year’s Day morning.  Hubby easily pulled up to the side of the library and opened the return deposit box slipping the video into the slot.  Banging on the door a few times the movie finally dropped into the bin. 

Looking to my right I noticed a man standing outside my friend’s church, which was located directly across from the library.  His behavior was a little unsettling, not because of something I thought was unusual but he looked as if he was waiting for someone to show up and they hadn’t arrived. 

Back and forth the gentleman turned his head checking out his surroundings.  My husband and I watched the situation and began wondering what was really happening.  Both of us felt that something was not right.   

A few moments later the man opened the church door and went inside.  Not feeling comfortable about what we saw our church plans changed in an instant.  “I guess we know we’re we are going today.” I said as my husband made a quick right into the church parking lot. 

You see, this wasn’t only our friend’s church, the pastor is our neighbor and my husband made a commitment to him that he would always have his back (something that I wasn't aware of until later that day).  Well, that confession was about to be put to the test. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFB – Reservoir, VIC, Australia; Afghanistan; Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa; Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela; Suva, Central Division, Fiji; Germany; Kenya; Malaysia; Sweden; France; Guyana; Seychelles; India; Slovakia; Netherlands; Pakistan; Cambodia; Ethiopia; Jordan; Kharkov, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine; Berkhamsted, England, United Kingdom; Greece.  

USA Hanceville,South Vinemont & Wilmer, AL; Red Bluff, CA; Sudbury, MA; Fruitport, Ionia & Whitehall, MI; Crystal, MN; Hollis, NH; Jaars, Richlands & Thomasville, NC; Poteau, OK; Doylestown, PA; Converse, SC; Strawberry Plains, TN; Elmina, Prosper & Sherman, TX; Yakima, WA.

I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  Join us in our new series as we spend time in the study of Daily Favor Prayers.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Be sure to visit Tell Me, Q & A or other sections.

In the Beginning 

At the beginning of every year I’m full of joy in anticipation as to what God is going to do and can’t wait to dive into new projects.  Oh who am I kidding … I get that way every week.  Just ask my husband.  Yesterday I asked him if he was excited about re-roping the cat towers.  You can imagine the look I got! 

As my story begins, this isn’t something that I would have added to my Christian bucket list … or any list for that matter, but God chose to begin the year His way as He does anyway and always! 

The Unlikely Visitor 

Opening the door to enter we were immediately brought into a heated confrontation that has taking place in the middle of the corridor.  The pastor was dealing with the man that we saw outside of his church.  Not getting into his business, we proceeded to go into the sanctuary when a woman from the church tugged my arm quietly pulling me aside. 

Walking into the sanctuary, hubby had no idea that I wasn’t behind him and began to talk to one of the members we knew.  Being a small city you get to know the people and the churches in town. 

After filling me in on the situation, I told the lady not to worry and we’d take care of it.  She wasn’t exactly asking for my help, but being a friend of ours she felt it was necessary to inform us about what had taken place that morning. 

Now I wasn’t being prideful, but went into action for what I had been trained for in dealing with special needs such as in emotionally disturbed cases.   The pastor was calmly trying to “talk him down” when I observed the faces on the congregation.  They were distressed and unfocused, but extremely concerned about the life of their pastor.  What congregation wouldn’t be if they witnessed this going on in their church? 

Fashion Always Matters 

Walking up to my husband who was engaged in deep conversation with his friend, I motioned for him to come with me and said, “Follow my lead.”  Without hesitation he tagged behind and we stepped out into the vestibule area. 

There was no question of what had to be done, and being in the situation many times in the past hubby was spot on with his actions.  Spending a lot of time ministering among the people in South Jersey and Philly streets was about to pay off for us. 

The first thing we needed to do was to separate the pastor from the individual.  Quickly my husband stood between the two as I began to stir up a conversation with the visitor distracting his attention so the pastor could leave the vicinity. 

Addressing the pastor I intervened and suggested that he was needed inside, and that he should go prepare the congregation for the service.  The pastor wasn’t sure if that was what he should do, because he was concerned about the flock's safety and the uninvited guest that was making his presence very well known.  Assuring him that it was the right thing at that time, he left us to take care of the situation. 

Safely inside the sanctuary the pastor led his people and the service finally began.  It was behind those doors that we learned why the traveler was so angry.  He shared events that had happened in his past and current situations that caused him to behave in such an unruly manner.   

Seeing that his body language was changing another diversion was needed.  Making sure to be in a safe position I slowly took his hand and gently touched the top of it as I softly spoke to him.  Looking down from his over six foot stance he looked me in the face, and as if a bird flew in front of him as a distraction in a calm voice he said, “I like your sunglasses.  They’re really cool.”   It always pays to be in fashion! 

Unwelcome Spirits 

Taking over the conversation my husband asked the visitor some questions keeping the backpack of the visitor in his vision.  While listening I noted the young man’s clothing, appearance and overall look.  He was dressed nicely, his clothes were in fashion and clean.  There was no sign of alcohol or drugs that we could detect, but there were definitely “unwelcome spirits” present. 
To look at him you couldn’t tell that he was not in his right frame of mind, but listening to his speech there was something distinctly wrong.  The possessions he was carrying weren’t ones that could be sold or distributed on the streets, if you get my drift.   

When I asked him if he was from this area he was quick to tell me of his current living conditions, thus the needed backpack setting by his feet in the corner.  His travels for justice had taken him across the country leaving his mark from state to state.  Raising his voice he was passionate about the things he spoke and even rattled on without error large quotes from the Bible.  Aww… but even satan knows scripture! 

He had done his homework and used specific passages to justify and promote the vengeance that was in his heart and on his mind.  He demanded respect and felt mercy had been violated therefore warranting his actions that were to come. 

Talking him out of his plans I convinced the stranger to come inside and worship with us.  You might not think it was a sound thing to do, but at that point the Holy Spirit was leading me to do this. 

Grabbing his backpack, with a smile on his face he stated he was glad to join us.  Observing where I was about to sit he glanced at my husband and slipped into the pew in front of us.  Sitting down he settled back and stretched his very long arms out along the back of the pew making himself right at home.  
Whew … had we weathered the storm? 

The Status Quo Has Changed 

My husband sat directly behind the young man with me moving about three or four feet to his right putting some distance between us.  Making sure that the man’s hands and backpack were always in clear view, hubby kept an eye on him remaining poised to go into action lest something started to go amiss.   

The congregation geared their attention toward the man my husband was talking to earlier.  He asked for song requests among the congregants and I called out, “It should be a song of praise.”  Rising we began to sing every verse of the first and second selections. 

We watched as the visitor sang the songs as if he knew them, but something happened when we sang the words “Holy Spirit.”  Putting down the hymnbook the man latched onto his backpack and abruptly left the sanctuary, with hubby following right behind him.  The status quo had changed and both my husband and I knew it.

I’m Diving in … Going Deep Lord! 

The congregation stopped singing and sped into panic mode as the pastor swiftly made his way out into the corridor.  I watched as the sheep lost focus when their shepherd left the room.  Taking the leap of faith I stepped out prepared to let the Holy Spirit take charge through me, and called for the congregation to make their way to the altar at the opposite end of the room.   

From the outer hall we could hear an up roaring with the man’s voice rising to a shout.  No longer did he hold back, but had risen to the point of violence like angry ocean waves crashing down to destroy anything in its path, only water was nowhere in sight and there were no wild “pigs” among us.   

We didn’t know what we were walking into that day, but like the rains from Heaven that morning, the river of God had carried us there for a reason.  I wasn’t sure why but I was excited and invigorated; God had answered my prayers of discouragement as to my usefulness and He was about to be glorified through His servants. 

“That’s my son,” the reverend's mother called out.  I could almost imagine Mary, the mother of Jesus when she witnessed her son being taken away to be nailed to the cross.  How her heart must have been breaking as she called out to him not being able to stand in the gap for His safety.   

Disregarding what I was hearing and seeing, the Spirit of the Lord led my steps as to what we were to do. 

“Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor;
be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. 

Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:11-12 AMPC) 

Wanting to rush to his side, I took hold of the woman’s arm urging her to turn around and come with me to the front of the auditorium.  “I know he's your son; it’s going to be all right and the best way to help him is to enter the Throne room of God and intercede for him.” 

One by one the people obeyed and gathered hand-in-hand to enter into prayer.  I began to pray aloud, but as I did the Holy Spirit led me to pray over the faith of those who stood in the midst of this ordeal.  I thanked Him for their faithfulness and servanthood as I continued to call on the promises of God through His shield of protection and favor.   

The prayer seemed to last forever and the grip of the hands I held got tighter as my voice uttered the power of the Holy Spirit to protect and form a shield around His people.  I was fully aware that my husband was in danger, but never feared for his safety.  God was with us, and His peace overflowed in my spirit with compassion as I prayed in agreement for the troubled soul who entered this dwelling.  

The Word of the Lord 

I could hear that the disturbance at the back of the sanctuary had calmed, but was still involved. When I finished the prayer the people remained gathered around me.  It was then the Holy Spirit had me ask about their vision and preparedness for the future of the church in situations such as this.  At that time I didn’t know that this was something the pastor wanted to discuss with their “changing” church. 

Could God count on them to be bold warriors when encountering difficult situations, or would they be like so many other churches and turn these people away never giving any thought for the soul that could be lost for eternity?  Would they be servants God could use or a wussy church that wanted to live in a bubble and not see any of the messy things in life? 

With smiles on their faces, shortly afterward the pastor and my husband returned to the sanctuary.  Not knowing what happened to dissuade the intruder, the people were still afraid and two men had locked the doors to the building.  At that point the congregation was relieved and ready to make haste in getting out of there, when the pastor said he was going to close in prayer and dismiss us.   

This was a test from the Lord for the readiness of His people to be prepared for the end times and I didn’t want to fail it.  The distraction from satan wasn’t going to stop the work of God in this church, and again I spoke out in boldness.   

“Oh no … I came to hear from God.”  Looking at the pastor I humbly said, “Didn’t you spend time with the Lord?  What did He say to you?  I’m not leaving until I hear what God has told you.” 

I walked back to my seat and watched as the others returned to theirs as well.  The spirit in the church changed and we couldn’t wait to hear what God had revealed to His servant to share with us.  Even though it was late, the pastor spoke with wisdom on the peace of God that dwelled among us continuing a message from the previous week on Luke chapter two: “Where is the Peace?” 

He spoke on how we are to do things in love with the help of the Holy Spirit. His message shared how God’s children are to live in peace among people and how we aren’t to become derailed when evil distractions come.  Hindsight would have worked here! 

The understanding of a situation or event only
after it has happened or developed!

How appropriate for the situation, and exactly why the devil didn’t want this word to be spoken to the church.  The Word of the Lord indeed refreshed and renewed us as the Holy Spirit drove home the message we lived out that morning.

To the Current Church 

Today I’m writing this to the church for the end times.  If we are to be used by God, He will always send people into our lives to cause us to live out His Word and the faith we declare through Christ Jesus.  Some situations may not be easy, but that’s when we are to step up our game into the next level through prayer. 

When we walked into church last Sunday our hearts and minds were set on doing whatever God wanted us to do for Him that day.  We didn’t anticipate what would take place, but prayerfully were prepared. 

What you may not realize is that we pray daily over the people on our street, which includes our neighbor who is the pastor of that particular church.  Before he entered that church building on January 1st the prayer of God’s favor shield had already gone before him.  Although we didn’t know the events that were about to take place, God did.   

The Loving Shepherd 

That Sunday the pastor’s message extended into the passage in Romans on the behavior of God’s people when they encounter things that are unlovely and wicked.  The Apostle Paul shares the mind of Christ with us on how we are never to lack confidence, zeal or react in fear to anything satan tries to throw our way. 

“Let your love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil (loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness),
 but hold fast to that which is good. 

Love one another with brotherly affection (as members of one family), giving precedence and showing honor to one another. 

Contribute to the needs of God’s people (sharing in the necessities of the Saints); pursue the practice of hospitality.” 
(Romans 12:9,10,13 AMPC) 

After the congregation had left we spent some time with the pastor.  I expressed how the first thing I wanted to do was to feed the boy; his thoughts were the same.  Giving word that he had eaten the pastor gave him a bottle of water.  The conversation took a twist with both of us being teachers, and we began to dissect the situation as we would with a child in distress. 

Obviously there is much more to this story than I am able to reveal as to why fear went rampant that Sunday morning, but I can share this with you.  The pastor told us that the man never asked for anything of him materially and in fact had his own wad of cash stashed inside his coat pocket.  We didn’t find out the contents of his backpack, but learned from the police that he was on the FBI watch list (wanted) for situations involving Washington, D.C and the president.  So you can kind of tell … it was a big deal to some people! 

Everywhere this man went he was treated as a threat and removed from the premises, yet he was still free to roam the country.  Was this the only church that ever prayed for his soul!  Is this the sort of place God is looking to use to shower favor on in the midst of trials and tribulation? 

I was so proud (in a godly way) of how the pastor handled this situation with kindness and love, despite how he was being treated by this individual. 

14 Bless those who persecute you (who are cruel in their attitude
 toward you); bless and do not curse them. 

16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to (people, things)
and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself
or be wise in your own conceits. 

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble (aiming to be above reproach)
 in the sight of everyone. 

18 If possible, as far as it depends on you,
live at peace with everyone. 

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for
(God’s) wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine,
 I will repay (requite), says the Lord. 

20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil,
but overcome (master) evil with good.”
(from Romans 12 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition AMPC) 

What a wonderful way to begin a new year with the shield of favor wrapped tightly around God’s people for protection and deliverance!  God had worked in the heart of a loving young shepherd who had spent time in fellowship with The Great Shepherd Jesus, through prayer and studying the Bible.  We witnessed him walking out the Word of God before he ever preached a word!   

This Week’s Challenge:
Dive in to Daily Favor Prayer 

I’m truly excited about what God is going to do in this year that He has graciously given us.  In my time with the Lord I’ve asked Him what our focus should be.  Every step I’ve taken has led me back to the Throne of grace and the Daily Favor of God given to us through prayer. 

With that in mind, I hope you will follow along as we “unwrap the mysteries” of Daily Favor prayers over the coming weeks.  As the end time church we need to be prayerfully prepared for whatever or whomever comes our way, so that the Word of the Lord reaches every soul, everywhere! 

Are you ready to dive into the glorious plans of God through the work of the power of the Holy Spirit?  Let’s go … 

Our first challenge of the year is to begin in prayer.  To help get ready for the new things that God is about to do in our lives this year, I’d like to share with you an inspirational prayer of deliverance and protection from my brother in Christ Jahmadar Cassie.  Pray this prayer daily declaring it to be so by faith in your life.   

Behold, God is thy Helper
and the Lord is with them who faithfully uphold thy soul; 

The Lord hear thy prayer,
give ear to the words of thy mouth and honor the petitions
of those standing in the gap for thee;
He shall continually keep thee no matter thy lot
and shall duly make a way ...
even when none seemingly exists!
He is God of the impossible! 

That morning my husband and I didn’t expect to be rerouted, but we obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He used the gifts and skills He gave us in that matter not to usurp the pastor’s authority, but to honor it and protect the shepherd so he could do the work God has appointed for him. 

God is looking for people that will allow Him to do new things in their lives so that His favor of salvation can be shared with every nation. Are you willing to be swept away by God’s Holy grace (favor) to experience all that He wants for your life?  Let’s begin by going deep in prayer and watch how God releases His Daily Favor on our lives this year. 

Be forewarned, the supernatural new thing may begin in your very own church or home and it certainly won’t be what you expected!  How will you react to the unlikely “visitor” He sends your way?  By prayer and faith we can do this! 

It’s time to be prepared … be very prepared! 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert
(… or even in the church)."
(Isaiah 43:19 AMPC)

Dive by Steven Curtis Chapman 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, prepare for God’s favor in prayer!
“Seek me in prayer and reap the favor of My presence.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.

What’s New This Week: Click on the photo or link.

Building Your Personal House of Prayer by Larry Kreider on Daily Favor Blog
The Master's Plan for Daily Prayer
by Larry Kreider
Available in paperback or eBook.

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
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