I hope you enjoy a sneak peek at the first chapter of Unmasking Myths: Is This Prayer? — the first conceived but second born of a group of books on prayer.
In many ways, I feel like a new mother hoping everyone will think her baby as beautiful as she does, yet knowing that none could or would as much as her. So it’s time to pull back the blanket, hold my breath and wait with excitement and anticipation.
Unmasking Myths looks at prayer on the basis of relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through the testimony of dozens of Christians, Unmasking Myths unanimously declares God’s goodness, mercy and grace in responding to our petitions. It includes many miraculous interventions of God, as a result of people praying.
Even though over half the world’s population acknowledges that they pray, many don’t know who they are praying to, or feel their prayers are effective. Most Christians feel impotent and unsure about their prayers being heard or answered by God.
Unmasking Myths attempts to expose misconceptions about prayer, answering common questions and creating a solid biblical foundation to pray.
Other chapters explore topics like:
Hearing God’s Voice
The Discipline of Praying
Praying in the Marketplace
and much more
Is This Prayer?
Unmasking Myths: Is This Prayer? attempts to turn questions into answers, replace hesitancy with confidence, and conquer fear with faith. The real treasure found within the pages comes from the combined wisdom and experience of dozens of people, aged from nine to ninety years old. It is their voices, rather than the author’s, that create a fertile bed from which prayer can take root and rise strong.
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless and because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.” C.S. Lewis
God bless each of you! May you begin to pray with power as you approach God with confidence and humility.
” . . . tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!” James 5:16 TPT
Do you pray with power? Nicky Gumbel in the Alpha course says over fifty percent of the population prays. “Prayer” is the most searched word in Google today. Yet, few people know “who” they are praying to or understand how effective and powerful prayer can be.
I am excited to announce God not only has the answer — He is the answer!
“Call on me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
Pray With Power
Three years ago, I sensed God’s prompt to begin writing “a” book on prayer. Though I tried, I (and God) knew I was incapable of such a task. Through a series of interviews with dozens of people of all ages from around the world, not just a single book but several books have been conceived. They all include a combination of biblical foundation and testimonies.
Unlocking Legacy: Taking Your God-Given Territory Through Prayer also covers subjects like: faith, praying God’s Word, prophetic and travailing prayer, fasting and praying with authority, corporate prayer and more.
The last chapter contains multiple miracles experienced by those interviewed.
May you be inspired as you read this first chapter. Unlocking Legacy is available for preorder today.
Thank you for this opportunity to say a brief Easter and Passover prayer for you. I offer this small but sincere gift to each one of you.
“Lord, thank You for each person who is joining me in prayer today. May they feel the comfort of your tender heart and sense your Presence with them.
“You, O God, are gracious and compassionate. You are closer than the breath we breathe. In our weakness, we discover Your strength. In our frailty, we see Your power.
“Today, we remember the price you paid on Calvary and how You humbled Yourself even to the cross. We thank You for bearing the weight of our sin, for redeeming us from our past and purchasing the healing for our bodies. ‘By your stripes (the beating of your body), we have been healed.’
“There is no sin too great; no dis-ease too powerful; no scheme of the enemy too cunning for YOU!
“Today, God, we remember the greatest victory ever won through Your death and resurrection. Arise, O Lord! Arise in our midst and may Your enemies be scattered.
“Shelter each one today under the shadow of Your wing. Circle them with a hedge of protection. Strengthen those with feeble arms and weak knees. Fill us all with Your love, grace and boldness.
“May we re-present You well in this hour. We are not those who shrink back and perish, but because of Your life, we persevere to life. ‘Your divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.’ Your cross and resurrection created an indisputable plumb line dividing history past from future destiny — the old from the new, the tainted from the pure.
“Again Lord, we look to You. We look to the victory of the cross and the empty tomb. Show Yourself mighty on our behalf. Remove fear and fill us with audacious faith — faith that rests in You alone.
“I ask for wisdom and discernment for each one. Show us what to do and how to do it. Give us Your words to speak and a heart of grace to speak it. I declare health over weary bodies and peace over troubled minds. In Your goodness, sustain us and help us. As a Shepherd lead us, as Warrior King fight on our behalf, and as the All-Sufficient One, I ask that You meet our needs.
“Nothing can isolate us from Your Presence, for You, God, are with us. You are the Light penetrating all darkness and our God of Peace in the midst of every storm.
“May this Passover and Easter season be a transitional point in each one of our lives. We ask You to come and remove the cloud of oppression and depression that hangs over Your people. May the joy of the Lord be our strength and the knowledge of our God bring us courage. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
“I ask You to show Yourself strong to each one today. Bless them. As a Father, watch over them with tender love. Your mercy is great and Your goodness unfailing.
“‘O God, create in us a pure heart and renew within us a right spirit.’ I ask God for a supernatural move our Holy Spirit upon us . . . upon our homes . . . and in our churches . . . throughout our communities and over our nations.
“Lord, we make room for You today to cut through our busyness and establish Your rightful place among us just like You did at the original Passover. The cross and the empty tomb still speaks to our generation. Capture our attention and bring us into a deeper closeness with You.
“May our ears be open to hear Your nudging, our eyes to see Your blessings and our hearts to respond to Your love. May our lives become acceptable offerings of praise and adoration unto You.
“Lord, we come humbly before You, to give You thanks. We thank You for your great grace and immeasurable love. Thank You that Your ear is turned toward our prayer and Your hand stretches out to help us. Thank You for daily carrying our burdens
“Lord I ask You to bless each listener drawing them every closer to You this Passover and Easter. This is my prayer, Lord, that they may know You are with them.
Praying for others is an amazing privilege. Though I don’t know each of you personally, I’m praying for you. I humbly ask that you pray for me as well. This kind of praying network, connecting one with another, releases anointing, provision, protection, and power for Christians.
For many years, I thought that praying for myself or asking for prayer was selfish. I’m not even sure how I got such a distorted idea, but I’m glad it finally shook loose. It was when I began to ask people to pray for me that I experienced serious breakthrough. Whether it was for a major project, a decision, or another specific need, I immediately noticed the difference when others were praying.
There is perhaps no higher honor than being able to take the requests of others before God. It amazes me every time! Yet, I continue to struggle to ask for prayer for myself.
Jesus Prayed for Himself
The Bible passage that awakened me to truth came through the Gospel of John. Jesus wasn’t ashamed to ask for His Father’s help, how much more should I be willing to ask!
“…Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorifyyou. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
Ultimately Jesus prayed that God would be glorified, that others would receive life, that He would finish well, and would receive His reward in heaven. Sounds like everything we would also like to accomplish.
God has given each one of us a work to complete. He desires that our lives would bring love, life and hope to the people around us. We cannot do that in the fullness that Jesus did, but we certainly can in part. Ultimately, we want our lives to reflect Jesus and bring as much glory to God as possible.
So in many ways, Jesus’ prayer for Himself, is one that we can continue to pray for ourselves as well. Jesus taught by example, “Pray for me!”
Pray for Ourselves
In the darkest moments of Jesus’ life, while in heavy travail in Gethsemane, Jesus commanded his disciples to
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:42
Even His three closest companions couldn’t keep awake to pray, failing the test. Even though Jesus was in great duress, His concern was more for those He loved than Himself. Prayer would give them the support and help they needed to triumph during the next hours and days. Jesus wanted them empowered and enabled to withstand the upcoming events.
It is interesting that this is the last directive Jesus gave to His followers before His death. His words question my heart as He surely as He questioned them,
Prayer cooperates “with” Jesus. What is on His heart? Am I willing to “keep watch with” Him? My willingness to join with Him will help me to overcome the weakness of my own flesh. “Pray for me?” Jesus asked.
Pray for Others
I have partnered with others in prayer and reaped undeservedrewards. Together we have seen miraculous births (naturally and spiritually), supernatural healings, financial breakthroughs, miracles of provision and dire events turn around to become overwhelmingly good. That’s not all but it’s a beginning! Praying together unleashes God’s power.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and
always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
Paul instructs the believers to “be alert and always keep on praying.” The word “alert”means to stay awake or sleepless. Sounds like the same thing Jesus asked of His disciples to do, doesn’t it?
Just yesterday, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, my husband and I stretched out for an afternoon nap. Neither of us could sleep, however. Thoughts about one young couple were continually stirring in our hearts. Though we had just seen them a few hours earlier and appeared to be doing well, we sensed God calling us to pray for them. Immediately, we got up, shook off our sleepiness and prayed. It really doesn’t matter if we ever know what the need was. God knows their need. This was one time we were alert; but unfortunately, we’re not always that responsive.
Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night to pray for someone? Good for you, if you did! I’m so thankful for those who are alert and willing to pray even before I ask.
Pray for Me
Paul goes on to express his personal need to the Ephesian church,
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak,
words may be given me so that
I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
“Pray for me,” Paul asked. He knew that prayer is the work! There is nothing done for the Lord of any value apart from prayer.
Prayer prepares speakers, writers and artists to declare fully and freely the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It removesfear replacing it with boldness and tenacity to share God’s message succinctly and boldly. Prayer also prepares the hearts of listeners, stirring the seed bed for the word of truth to land and grow.
Let’s all try to be alert, praying for those who carry the weight of sharing the Gospel locally, nationally and internationally. Heaven will reveal the difference that our prayers will made.
“What difference does the prayer of one person make?
You will never know until you pray.
– Anne Graham Lotz
Your prayer might very well be theprayer that tips the scales releasing God’s intention to those around you.
I’m Praying for You
Perhaps the response to my writing that inspires and excites me the most is when someone leaves a request for prayer. I never allow these personal requests to be seen by the public, but I certainly make them known, loud and clear, in the heavenly realm.
What an honor it is to pray for you? That occurs mostly in a general sense. My daily clicks and likes are very small on my website, but I consider it an awesome responsibility to pray for those individuals and nations that check in.
May it be an encouragement to know that someone is praying for you. What joy when we will one day be eternally united in heaven! Thank you for trusting me to be praying on your behalf. I know that many of you pray for me too. I send a sincere thank you!
Vibrant Christian faith includes a series of intentional little steps. How can these little feet walk in step with such a big God? Only with God’s help! God promises to walk beside us. He also welcomes us to walk with Him.
Today a family of three generations walked past our house. A preschooler recklessly led the entourage while riding his bicycle. The father pushed an empty stroller, while the mother kept the little biker from running over grandpa’s toes. Grandma held both hands of a toddler encouraging its every step.
In a similar way, God walks beside me
holding my hands,
guiding my steps,
and encouraging strength.
God joined Adam and Eve for a daily walk. I imagine happy chatter bounced between the three of them as they walked and talked — that is until the fall.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God
as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
and they hid from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.
But the LORD God called to the man,
“Where are you?”
“Where are you?”
God still calls to us, “Where are you?” as he waits for us to walk with Him. The same intimate relationship Adam and Eve experienced with God before the fall has been restored to us through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ parting words to his disciples were,
“…Surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Where am I? Too busy or preoccupied? Hiding like Adam or blaming like Eve? Feeling overwhelmed or discouraged?
Where are you? Have you struggled to develop a consistent faith walk?
Every journey, including our walk with God, contains a series of little steps. “S-T-E-P-S” form an acronym for reliable practices that have proved beneficial for generations of Christ followers:
Scriptures Take away Early Prayer Sacrifice
God’s Word creates a solid footing. Like that Grandmother holding the toddler’s hands, the bible establishes sure principles for us to walk in and live by. Its eternal truths endure through all seasons, for all generations.
“God’s Word is perfect in every way; how it revives our souls! His laws lead us to truth, and his ways change the simple into wise. His teachings make us joyful
and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us
to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word
makes my spirit shine radiant. Every one of the Lord’s commands is right; following them brings cheer. Nothing he says ever needs to be changed. The rarest treasures of life are found in his truth. That’s why I prize God’s word
like others prize the finest gold. Nothing brings the soul such sweetness as seeking his living words.”
This small passage illustrates just a few of the benefits God’s word provides. Reading, mediating and studying the bible deposits immeasurable “treasures” within us. God holds our hands as we read, protectively guiding our faltering childlike steps —little steps with big God.
If consistent bible reading is new to you, start small. Choose a “quiet” spot where you can keep a bible, a small notepad or journal, and a pen handy. Establishing even a modest goal of 15 minutes a day will reap benefits.
As you read the bible seek Holy Spirit’s help for a practical “take away” — something you can begin to incorporate into your life. Ask yourself several questions as you read,
“What application can I pull from this passage?”
“How does this relate to my circumstance or relationships?”
“What can I learn about God’s character?”
“Is there a point of growth for me to pursue?”
The bible documents God’s journey with people from eternity past to eternity future. Though the bible was written by over 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years, its relevance never diminishes.
“Such things were written in Scriptures
long ago to teach us.
And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement
as we wait patiently
for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4
It’s helpful to record the daily “take away” in a journal — God’s voice to your heart for that day. He may reveal something new or affirm an old lesson in a new way. Recording the “take away” helps us retain His truths. It propels us, through little steps, as we consistently walk with our big God.
A day quickly becomes cluttered with activity or clouded with responsibility. Taking time early in the morning gives God our priority. Jesus said overcoming the pressures of life becomes possible by putting God first.
“But seek first his kingdom
and his righteousness
and all these things
will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
For some people, early in the morning may be the hardest but most important step. Jesus consistently patterned the example for us.
“Very early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house
and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
That leads into the next “little step” — prayer. Reading the bible allows God to speak to us. Prayer is our response in this ongoing conversation.
After spending time reading the bible and considering a “take away”, prayer flows naturally from our full heart. Aspects of prayer may include:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you
in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Consider writing a prayer in your journal as you confirm this little step with God.
Jesus called his followers to count the cost of discipleship. Walking with God means abandoning our way and desires. Little steps yield to God’s direction.
“When you fast,
do not look somber
as the hypocrites do,
for they disfigure their faces
to show others they are fasting.” Matthew 6:16
The word “when” implies followers of Christ would fast. Fasting goes beyond dietary restrictions. All the previous steps focused our attention toward God, fasting turns our hearts away from other attractions and distractions.
Food is the most basic need of humanity. The conscious decision of fasting professes God to be our highest essential requirement. Though few Christians in North America fast regularly, fasting acknowledges God as sufficient.
God out-measures any sacrifice we might make. With eternity in mind and joy on our faces, He empowers our little steps of sacrifice.
Five Little Steps
Anne Graham Lotz writes about two basic rules needed for anyone to walk together:
“The first rule is that we must walk in the same direction.
The second rule is that we must walk at the same pace…
If we want to walk with (God),
we must walk in His direction…at His pace.”
Many generations of followers have incorporated these five little steps in their walk with God: reading of Scriptures, finding a “take away”, seeking God early in the day, prayer and sacrifice. God walks with us encouraging our every step. So let’s keep walking with him. Step by step we will reach the finish line!
It is hard to stand firm when you feel like you are being pulled in, dragged down, or run over.
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in history.
1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818: His mother died.
1831: Failed in business.
1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860: Elected president of the United States
Failures Who Became Successes
History reveals many who society would call failures yet ultimately wrote great success stories through their lives:
Thomas Edison’s failed 32,000 times before he invented the phonograph.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.
Henry Ford endured a couple of failed automobile businesses.
Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed vacuum cleaner prototypes and his savings
Walt Disney was fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a fried chicken empire.
The bible also has a long list of its own of social failures who names are now synonymous with success: Moses, David, Jonah, Peter to name a few.
Jesus – The Example
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before him
he endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12: 1-3
Jesus Taught – Pray and Don’t Give Up
“One day Jesus told his disciples a story
to show that they
should always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1
I’m not sure if any of you needed this little pep talk today, but there are times and seasons when I need to encourage myself to keep going. Reminding myself that life is a marathon, not a sprint, prepares me to get up and go again.
A reward awaits…
You are stronger than think,
more resilient that you can imagine.
You are not running the course in vain.
Jesus Christ and a great crowd of witnesses is cheering
they see and know the victory