So...our 365 Days of Praise DAILY ATTRIBUTE blog post for 2016 came to a close. But, I still think of you every evening - when I would typically compose the post; and every morning as I continue to kneel and use one of God's attributes as the springboard for my prayers. My tattered 2016 Prayers of My Heart journal is a diary of prayers, praises, repentance, intercessions, and notes and thoughts I've had in my prayer time with the Lord.
I couldn't wait to open my NEW journal and write 2017 in anticipation of all God will do this year. I can't WAIT to see His blessing unfold, Him provide, defeat Satan, and do exceedingly beyond what I might imagine or think.
On TUESDAY, JAN 10, 12-1:00, I'm hosting a PRAYER JOURNALING WORKSHOP at our KERRVILLE MINISTRY OFFICE, 1127 E Main Street, 1st floor conference room. COME & LEARN how journaling your prayers can be a blessing and celebration of God in your life. Call or email to let us know you're coming - 888.815.9412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please RSVP by this Friday, Jan 6. There is no charge to attend, but we need to know you're coming!
Today, Lois Shaw, a dear sister in Christ, came by the office to get her 2017 Prayers of My Heart. My heart was warmed by her comments on how the Prayer Journal Workshop last year helped her know how to use the journal and the blessing it has been in her life to journal.
Then, after Lois left, I received an email from a sister-in-Christ who had this to say, "I want a Prayer Journal for myself and am going to send one to my boyfriend in Kuwait." I was so touched...thinking of one of our own in Kuwait who will be journaling his prayers and recording God's answers. You can be sure he will be in my prayers!
SO...maybe you've never recorded your prayers, or you've tried and it hasn't "been your thing." However, we never know when God is turning a page in our life and opening a new door of communication and communion with Him. It's not too late to give journaling a try. If you're local, come to the Workshop next Tuesday. Otherwise, order your journal and watch the tips on my web site. You can also reply to this email/blog post if you'd like to come to the Workshop. Or, perhaps I can bring it to your church!
I pray you have a BLESSED 2017!
"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth," Psalm 145:18
“Then the Lord will be ZEALOUS for His land and will have pity on His people.”
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Our home was filled with the laughter of grandchildren. I felt like a short order cook in the kitchen and loved every minute of it. I prayed. Lots. Christian families have an enemy who wants to destroy them and their relationships. But, we have a GOD who is bigger than any of Satan's schemes. When we pray, God hears and moves to act on our behalf. When people say, "but God didn't.....," we have no idea what God DID do behind the schenes. We don't know all the ways He acted and intervened on our behalf. We won't know until heaven. God is zealous for us. In Joel 2:12, He calls us to return to Him with all our hearts, with fasting, weeping and mourning; to rend our hearts. His response to the one who does that? He relents. Why? Because He is ZEALOUS for us. He wants sin out of our lives and His joy and peace in our lives.
As we think about 2016 coming to an end, what are ways you've seen God's zeal? Is He pursuing you to draw closer to Him? Is God prompting you to put aside sin so you are a more pure vessel through whom He can work?
In Jesus's zeal, He cleansed the temple of the money changers; saying, My Father's house shall be called a house of prayer." His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.” (John 2:17) Today, we are the house or temple of God. So, what do you think Jesus, in His zeal, wants for us?
To be filled with sin? Or, to be places...people of prayer?
I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to be people of prayer.
Will you join me in making 2017 a more prayerful year?
Many of you have shared with me the powerful changes journaling your prayers has made. Others have shared that you want to journal, but don't know how.
It's simple. You write your thoughts to God. You also wait and listen. As we speak to God without audible words, He speaks back without words we hear.
This year, I've sent you an attribute of God each day to begin your praise of Him. I'll not be doing that in 2017, but I will be continuing to focus on a different attribute of God each day in my personal prayer time. Why? The more in-depth we know God, the more our relationship with Him grows. The more we'll trust Him and turn to Him.
I hope you'll order your 2017 Prayers of My Heart Prayer Journal today, and give journaling a try. You can journal every day, once a week, or once a month. There's no right or wrong way or amount to journal. But try sitting in God's presence with your journal open; recording what God impresses on your heart. Be blessed, not stressed, as you talk to God about your day, relationships, and His will. Record your intercessions for others, then go back and write "PTL" for "Praise the Lor"d when He answers your prayers.
You can order your Journal HERE. And, if you've been blessed by the 365 Days of Praise attributes you've received in 2016, please consider making a donation to Hill Country Ministries. We are a non-profit 501 (c)(3) which depends on donations to continue our blog posts, prison ministry, ministry to moms, P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference, and so much more. And, in 2017, we're expanding our ministry to the deaf and Vietnamese. If you'd like to learn more about these ministries and how you can join us, please let us know.
It's been a blessing and honor to be a part of your day in 2016, and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us in 2017. Thank you for helping us CONTINUE.
Lord God, You are ZEALOUS for us. Forgive us when we sin. Cleanse and purify us as You did the temple so we are houses of prayer - worshipping You and interceding for others.
"God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Jehovah (YHWH) is one of the primary names of God. Scholar Charles Ryrie explains:
- I AM WHO I AM, the inner meaning of Yahweh - "I am the ONE who is" - emphasizes God's dynamic and active self-existence.
- Yahweh, literally, YHWH, is the most significant name for God in the Old Testament, occuring 6,823 times in the O.T. and is especially associated with God's holiness, hatred of sin, and gracious provision of redemption.
When we read, "God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you,” we can't help but be reminded that just as God sent Moses to rescue the Israelites from bondage in Egypt; God sent Jesus to rescue us from bondage to sin. Yahweh, a holy, loving, redemptive, rescuing God. How we praise Him!
YAHWEH, self-existent, dynamic I AM, we tremble at Your holiness and love for us. Rescuer, Savior, we worship and adore You with abounding thankfulness on our hearts.
"In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and EXALTED, with the train of His robe filling the temple.”
"I saw the Lord." Let those words sink in.
There was a time - the year of King Uzziah's death.
There was a place - sitting on a throne in a temple.
There was a description - lofty...exalted...the train of His robe FILLING the temple. How does that even happen?
There were others - Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (verse 2)
There was talking. The seraphim called out to one another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (verse 3)
Someone called out and this happened - "And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke." (verse 4)
This was Isaiah's response - "Then I said, 'Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'” (verse 5)
What will be your response when you see the EXALTED LORD JESUS?
EXALTED Lord, we can't imagine what it will be like when we see YOU. Our hearts tremble at the thought of Your majesty and glory. May our awe and reverence for You be lived out in our daily decisions and behavior...in anticipation of the day, time, place we see You.