Hurricane Dorian and an Atheists Call to Prayer

Do you pray? Do you believe in the power of prayer? These aren’t judgements whether you do or not, they are simply questions.

Recently we have been having passionate conversation in our home about the effectiveness of prayer [if you’ve been following Hurricane Dorian you may know that a group of believers in Jacksonville, FL gathered together on the beach and began to pray against H. Dorian]. The question has been posed that if God is all knowing and knows the outcome of where Dorian will hit, if it does, is it ineffective to still ask Him in prayer to stop the hurricane. My short answer is, no, prayer to God is never ineffective especially because we don’t know the reasons, aside from the obvious, why God has called us to pray about certain things.

After being informed that a group of Christians got together to rebuke Hurricane Dorian and based on the question that was asked, which is relevant, I dug a bit deeper and came across an article written by The Happy Atheist. You can read Mr. Mehta’s article here. I left the following comment on his article:

Thank you for your article. What you may not realize is that you just put out a call to prayer for everyone who reads and shares your article and believes in prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 


Thank you for content for my blog today. I will definitely be encouraging my readers to pray and share your article as a tool to encourage others to pray.

Only God knows the reason[s] He led this group of believers to pray. However, through their obedience to show up as a group on the beach and rebuke this hurricane in the Name of Jesus, The Happy Atheist constructed his article. Is it irony that God used someone who proclaims atheism to write an article that I believe will bring attention to believers around the world and unite us in prayer? Perhaps. Maybe this is two-fold, believers uniting in prayer and praying for the salvation of The Happy Atheist.

Dear friends I encourage you to not only read Mr. Mehta’s article and pray but to share, share, share (with grace of course) and encourage your readers to pray and share as well. Or, you can simply repost my article to your website. Either way let’s come together as the Body and use our gifts for the glory of His kingdom and the saving of many lives.

Don’t Stop Now

When my mom opened the door her heart sank. She knew the only reason these men stood in front of her was as bearers of sad news.

The year was 1968. Two men, dressed in their Army uniforms came to our front door. One was an officer the other a chaplain. When my mom opened the door her heart sank. She knew the only reason these men stood in front of her was as bearers of sad news. She immediately thought that my brother, who was eighteen and had been drafted after he graduated from high school and sent to Vietnam, had been killed in combat. But these somber men who carried the news of a soldier’s death had the wrong house. Sadly, our neighbors son was the soldier not coming home.

My mom, devout in her religion, prayed three times a day everyday for my brother until he came home safely but not unscathed. He told us many stories with too many close calls. Stories of how he ought to have died but miraculously survived.

Maybe you’ve heard the expression prayer changes things. I believe prayer does change things but more than that I believe prayer changes the atmosphere around us. Prayer is a very real weapon that can stop the enemy dead in his tracks. Prayer infiltrates the unseen world like a stealth bomber causing ripples in the air not seen by the human eye and shakes up the constant warfare going on around us.

The Apostle Paul was a prayer warrior and an intercessor. He considered it an honor and a joy to pray for others. He knew the power of prayer and reminded others he was praying for them consistently. Paul’s discipleship heart was that all believers know and follow God’s will for their life. Asking God to fill them with His knowledge through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So he prayed.

Maybe you don’t have anyone praying for you or perhaps you are a part of multiple prayer circles. I want to encourage you that I am praying for you asking God to fill you with His spiritual knowledge and wisdom drawing you closer to Him day by day. I am praying you will hear Him and desire to be obedient to what He tells you and what He shows you.

Prayer is our authority in Christ. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes the atmosphere.

#bestealth

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Prayer

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May I ask you a few questions? Have you bound your will to the will and righteousness of God today? Are you willing to exercise your free will to do this? Whether you stand on the mountaintop or on the valley floor, would you like to see more of your prayers answered?

At the same time, would you be willing to loose from yourself your unsurrendered soul and any false thinking or beliefs, generally called stronghold thinking, from yourself?

Recently, others have remarked to me, “If God already knows what is going to happen why should I pray?” Or, “Nothing is happening, prayer doesn’t work.” My response is always, “Prayer changes things. Mainly prayer changes our heart”

Prayer aligns our heart to the heart of God. But, what if, we made a preemptive strike? Before we even begin to pray we determine to align our will with God’s will and righteousness and loose from ourselves anything God is revealing to us that needs to go (fear, anger, pride, ego, rebellion).

I challenge you to begin praying this way for thirty days. When we align our will with God’s we begin to pray according to His will and His righteousness and he is always faithful to answer these prayers.

More to come!

Shalom!

©2017 TereseJMBelme

Prayer Requests From The Gym

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I can be such a creature of habit. Every morning I arrive at the gym at least a half hour before class starts. My reasoning for this is these morning classes are quite popular and I have my favorite spot and want to set up my weights and mat and anything other equipment we might be using. This leaves me with about 10 to 15 minutes before class starts. I burned 458 calories this morning! But, I digress.

Most mornings I sit in the lobby area and either read “Power Of A Praying Parent” or the huge stack of colored 3×5 cards that have Scripture that I have turned into prayers for my family. Over the past several weeks my gym friends have been asking me what I am studying and I have had the awesome opportunity to share that I am praying for my family. If you know me you know I love the opportunity to share my faith. My intent wasn’t to share my faith in this way but it was for God! I simply wanted to spend my time before class in a constructive way rather than on my phone, which is exactly what I would be doing.

Since this all began I have learned that one of my favorite instructors is also a believer and shares the same passion of studying God’s word that I do. I even shared with her the awesome Bible software that I blogged about not long ago.

I discovered that one of my new gym friends is a believer as well and she asked me to pray for her. Today we exchanged numbers so we can encourage one another and meet every now and then for coffee.

Last week another gym friend asked me what I was studying and after I told her I was praying, she immediately asked me to pray for her best friend who was having a procedure. Today she told me her friend’s procedure went well! Praise God and thank you Jesus!

Just this morning another ‘classmate’ asked me what I was studying. He was so cute, when I told him I was praying for my children, he smiled and said, “Well, I’ll see you in class.”

Faith in motion.

Precious One, NEVER underestimate how God will work through you. Take a leap of faith with open eyes, open ears and an open heart.

Shalom!

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Use Your Words

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Earlier this morning as I was praying I was thinking about an encouragement that I see often across social media in various forms. The thought is if we are meeting with resistance or experiencing push back then surely God is getting ready to bless us. I’m still looking for where that is specifically in Scripture and if you have any verse references please leave them in the comments.

Resistance and push back are simply part of the enemy’s plan to lie, cheat, steal and destroy.  Especially when we begin to choose to go deeper into an intimate relationship with God. Satan doesn’t want us to know one iota more about our identity, authority or inheritance in Christ than we currently do because he knows what that will look like for him and glory to God it isn’t pretty!

As I continued to pray this morning I heard Holy Spirit gently whisper, “You push back, you resist.” In a moment’s notice my prayers did an about face and I began to fight back in prayer like the mighty warrior that I am.

Spiritual warfare is so real that is why it is so important to be in God’s word everyday. Holy Spirit infuses you with Scripture that he imprints on your heart and in your soul and when the moment is called for He brings the right verse to mind. He gives us His words for the battle.

Precious One, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fightin’ words!”

Shalom!

 

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Prayers of a Pastor

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There we sat, the room empty, except for one other man. The light was dim and dingy. Off in the corner the television was on and bleating louder than it ought to have been. She sat next to me doubled over in pain with tears streaming down her face wondering what was taking so long. It was 3:30 in the morning. The man brought my attention to the rain that had started again and the howling of the wind.

I sat feeling helpless trying to control the panic beginning to creep in. I closed my eyes and began to pray. I simply said, “Jesus we need you.” The door opened and we were called back. The man came right up next to me and followed us. Just as I was beginning to feel unsettled about this, he said, “I want you to know I was praying for your daughter.” With a relieved smile, I answered, “Thank you.” He said, “As a Pastor that is my job.” I thanked him again and told him there is something special about the prayers of a Pastor.

As we sat in the exam room engulfed by the privacy curtain, listening to the activity of a busy ER, I marveled at HIM. His lavish love poured over us creating a sweet perfume for our souls. Before I ever uttered a word in prayer, God had already answered and placed that Pastor right near us.

If that isn’t love, what is?

Precious One, God is ever close, his love knows no bounds and he is always listening to the sweet tinkling of your voice.

Shalom!

PS she is fine and God is good….ALL the time.

Sheets of Rain

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As I sit at our big living room window enjoying the last of the dark of night before the sun comes up, I am reminded of the song; Everything. Here are a few of the lyrics.

“God in my hoping; There in my dreaming; God in my watching; God in my waiting.”

And, I watch literal sheets of rain fall.

We live in the state that for the last five years we thought would become a desert, yes, that state. Now there may be concern that we might need to build an ark!

And yet, I see God. I see God in the sheets of rain. The visible presence of a supernatural and loving God.

I am overwhelmed, I am awed and I am humbled that my God would choose to reveal Himself in a very real and tangible way. He doesn’t have too; Scripture tells us we walk by faith not by sight. He loves us so much He many times chooses to show us that his presence is always with us and there are countless times we completely miss these beautiful blessings of His nearness to us.

Precious One, the drought is over in more ways than one, but you can only see this by staying connected to The Vine.

#readGod’sword #daily.

Shalom!

 

Here’s to your Health

810-9148-64-166Some people like to listen to music while they run but I like to reflect, ponder and talk with God, catching the thoughts Holy Spirit brings to me as they flitter into my thought process. That was the case this morning. I was running in the neighborhood of one of my first friends when we moved to this area and the old French proverb, “the more things change the more they stay the same” came to mind. What this proverb means is that tumultuous changes don’t affect reality on a deeper level. As I thought about this I began to see this a bit differently. Sadly, my friend passed away about three years ago. Her husband sold their house and their four children no longer reside in the area. Things changed and nothing is the same for them. Yes, on a deeper level their loved one is no longer with them, but that is only a part of their total reality. A reality that has changed and is constantly evolving and being shaped by the hand of God.

A few days ago I wrote about Daniel’s seriousness to prayer. You can read that post here. As I was writing the Daniel post, Holy Spirit began to answer a question I had about my prayers in a current situation and by the time I was done writing He laid a plan tailor made for me to make some changes to the way I approach prayer. He gave me an assignment; the names of three people who are struggling with their health and asked me to devote some uninterrupted time each morning for three days discovering what I could about what He says about healing and applying these truths as prayers over the three people he asked me to pray for. He is an amazing and good, good Father indeed! While there are many verses about healing and health, here is my favorite so far and at first glance one might not think this has anything to do with healing but allow me to show you the gem I found.

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. Jeremiah 29:11

Hope in the original text is actually the word peace, which can mean health. The words ‘a future’ in the original text is an expected end; it is an expectation, hope of deliverance, a thing that is longed for. Literally it means a cord of attachment. This cord of attachment comes from a word that means be strong, endure, remain, patiently wait for, on or upon.

God knows the plans he has for your life, plans for health and the hope of deliverance. All you need to do is patiently wait upon him connected by the cord of expectation.

Are you feeling discouraged, angry, discontent or hopeless? Perhaps you’re thinking a change of scenery might make you feel better. Maybe a job change, moving to a new neighborhood or seeking out new friends. Then yes, the more things change the more they stay the same; you bring the same heart and soul condition to your new changed reality.

However, as a believer in Christ if you stay firmly connected to Jesus it is impossible for you not to change on a deep level because the truth is Holy Spirit is always transforming you through the ongoing process of sanctification; drawing you closer and closer to Christ like behavior; experiencing his characteristics, his joy, his love, his peace and his healing. Your choice to say yes to Jesus didn’t end when you asked him to be the Lord of your life. Everyday you get to choose to say yes to the lover of your soul.

Precious One, maintaining health, spiritually, mentally and physically, is a choice. So, what will it be? Superficial change where everything remains the same or real down deep change and the hope of deliverance as you stay connected to the cord of expectation?

Shalom!

Spaghetti or Waffles

 

 

 

Raw homemade pasta with pumpkinHave you ever heard the analogy that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles? Women’s thoughts tend to overlap and intertwine together in an elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures mixing together like a big pot of pasta! Men’s thoughts tend to be compartmentalized, rarely touching, if at all, but still their own elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures.

 

Sweet Belgium waffles

The husband of one of my good friends says he even has a box or compartment for nothing. He says it is his compartment where he simply is. How can this be?! How on God’s green earth can he have a box for nothing? No thoughts, no distractions, no nothing?! I have to, no, I must find my own box of nothing!

This morning as I read through Acts and came to 14:23b …..“with prayer and fasting.” It stood out at me because I had just read a few days ago in Chapter 13 ….“fasted and prayed.” These two instances had me thinking about when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive out the demon in the boy from Mark 9:27-29 and Jesus told them this kind can only come out through prayer and fasting. Some translations list prayer only but the original Greek states prayer and fasting.

The Holy Spirit began to impress on me that not only is it important to stay connected to Him through prayer so that we can have a clearer understanding of his power, his will for our life and how he wants to work through us on behalf of others, but that fasting brings us to a deeper level of understanding where we begin to ‘see’ through prayer.

Fasting is directly related to the Day of Atonement, the day that occurred once a year when the Nation of Israel would seek atonement for their sins.

Atonement is God restoring harmony and unity between Himself and humanity. Because of God’s atoning grace and forgiveness we experience a restored relationship with him in spite of our sin because of our belief in his beloved Son Jesus.

We are “at-one-ment” with God. Fasting then, draws us closer to God where we can experience being one with him. Fasting brings us to a place where we can experience a box of simply receiving his lavish love for us. No thoughts, no distractions, only His love. Fasting makes us aware of the gift of atonement that is the result of what Christ did for all humanity as he hung dying on a tree at Calvary. The forgiveness of sin, the defeat of death and eternal life for all who believe.

set of gift box isolatedPrecious One, join me in preparing a box among the compartments or spaghetti of your mind. Not a box of nothing but a box of simply being. Being at-one-ment with Him.

Shalom!