Intercession Takes Time

Intercessors don’t often get to hear the answers to their prayers for people. Often, people move on with their lives and forget to update. Or prayer requests are passed along so many times that we pray for someone we don’t know and can’t contact.

Sometimes the answer itself takes time. That can be the hardest of all, especially when we are watching for fruit and don’t see the results. This doesn’t mean God is not working. It just means we can’t see, with our eyes, what He is doing. He is faithful to answer our prayers. Like the widow in Luke 18:1-8, we have to persist and trust.

Recently, I’ve had two opportunities to see major transformation in the lives of people I prayed for many years ago. I have been through a long season of discouragement. I am grateful for God’s kindness in showing me the fruit of intercession because it encourages me.

Even so, I didn’t stop to think of these changes as fruit of intercession until a friend reminded me that’s what I was seeing. Lest you miss it like I did, this is my advice to you:

Keep a prayer journal. Mark your prayers for other people. List the date and write what God is leading you to pray for that person. Leave space to update with a praise when that time arrives.

Periodically go through your journal and ask the Lord if He still wants you to pray in specific areas. Remind yourself of the things you have asked Him in intercession, and realize He is still working in the lives of those people, even if He has moved you on to pray for others.

This will help you to be aware when He gives you the opportunity to see the fruit of intercession. At that point, go back and look for your original prayer entry in your journal. Add today’s date and write a praise of what God has done.

Recognizing the fruit of intercession and praising God for His faithfulness will help you to grow in faith. It will encourage you during bleak times. If you feel called as an intercessor, those moments when you can see the fruit will keep you persevering in prayer during those long times when you don’t see results.

God is faithful. He is always working in our lives. He responds to our prayers. Keep praying. Trust Him for the rest.

Hearing God’s Voice

God loves you so much. It is His desire to share His heart with you – just because You are His child.

He speaks to each of us in many ways – even through a beautiful sunset! – and He gives us many ways to hear and understand His voice. In John 10:27, Jesus tells us that His sheep (that’s us!) hear His voice, and follow Him.

One of the ways we can learn to hear His voice more clearly is by “journaling with God.” This is the privilege of sitting at His feet, seeking His heart, quieting your mind and spirit, and listening. Then you write what you hear from God – His words to you, as nearly as you can hear them. Journaling with God is a conversation, and you transcribe both parts.

Start by sitting quietly and inviting His presence.

Let His presence surround you.

Then open your journal – I use a plain spiral notebook, but you can use whatever will inspire you.

Write what you want to say to God.

You might have a lot to say – things you just need to get out and share with Him. You might have a circumstance you want to ask Him about. Maybe you just want to ask, “God, what would You like to tell me?” You could ask Him to help you understand a verse of Scripture. Or you might just want to say, “Hello, God. I love You.”

Whatever is on your heart to communicate to Him, write it in your journal.

Then get ready to write His reply.

Hold your pen to paper and listen.

God will reply.

He might just give you one word at a time, or a whole sentence.

Write what you hear.

You might need to ask Him to repeat something. If you come to a word and you are not sure, pause and ask again. If you don’t hear Him, write that: “God, I don’t hear You. Please help me hear You.” Keep asking, and He will help you to hear.

A word of caution: As you write, you might encounter interference from the enemy and from your own mind. Write what you hear, but realize that every word might not be from God.

Use your discernment: Does it line up with Scripture? Does it line up with the nature of God? Does it feel in your heart like God? Then it’s probably God.

Are there words of condemnation, or sarcasm, or hatred? That’s not God.

Scratch out the words or phrases that are not from God, and continue to ask Him for His words. He will help you to hear from Him, and He will help you discern.

Remember – He wants to talk to you. He wants you to hear Him.

You will find that writing your words to God, along with listening for and writing His responses, will help you to hear Him more clearly and will help you with discernment.

You will also discover clarity, guidance, and healing from God through this process.

Journaling with God does not replace prayer, meditation, or Scripture reading; it complements them.

And it will bless you head over heels, as God touches your heart and speaks to you in ways only He can.

If you would like to journal with God but you are struggling to hear His words, let me know. I would love to pray for you. I teach “Journaling with God” at Christian inner healing retreats, and every time I teach it, I stand with each person in faith that God will help that person to hear His words. I will be glad to pray this for you too.

If you read my book, Renewing, you will see some of what I’ve heard and written from God through journaling. In each entry of the Renewing journal, I am seeking God on a verse of Scripture, asking for His words of renewal for those who have received inner healing in certain areas and are walking it out. Every time I’ve asked, He has responded, and His words have touched my heart deeply. I hope they will touch your heart as well.

“Rise up, My darling! Come away with Me, My fair one!” — Song of Songs 2:10 (NLT)

 

Love

Hear My heart. My desire is for you, My love. All for you.

I have always loved you. I have always longed to see your face alive with grace, precious beyond knowing. How beautiful you are to Me. So beautiful.

Lift your gaze to Me. Let Me look on you with gladness in My heart.

Arise. Come away with Me. The winter is past. The springtime is here, which brings joy beyond measure to your heart. Open your heart to receive My love, My blessings. Receive My bountiful goodness. Rest in My love. Soak in my love. Let Me love you. You haven’t begun to know the goodness of My heart, and the life-giving fullness of My love.

Open your heart and let Me make you whole. I desire to make you whole. Draw near to Me. Come rest in My arms. Let Me hold you to My heart. Let My grace pour into you and lift you up.

Come see what I see and be forever changed by My love.

I love you forever.

I love you here and now.

… from my prayer and meditation journal, Encounter of Worship service, Valentine’s Day …

You Look like Me

Walk with Me for a while. I’ve been waiting for you. I want you to understand that you look like Me.

Endless
Radiance
Zephyr
Heart
Magnified
Glorified
First Born
Endless as the stars
Deep well
Fountain
Mercy overflowing
Gilded
The hills rejoice
All for you
Where you walk
Angels kneel
Light
Beyond
Above
Echoes of joy
Fire within
Rejoice, Daughter!
I’m your King
I laid down My life for you
I delight in you
Nothing can separate you from My smile
Like the deer
Hillsides glisten
With your beauty
Everlasting light
Sparkles
In your eyes
The light of a thousand suns and more
Like diamonds, like sapphire
Like jewels of all kinds
Your whisper
Is My heart’s delight
Shine, Daughter!
Let your beauty shine
Come to Me
Return to Me
Daughter of Mine
It is My heart’s desire to bless you

I desire to give you the Kingdom.

Walk with Me for a while. I’ve been waiting for you. I want you to understand that you look like Me.

(Keep a notebook with you.)

Aren’t They Beautiful

At our harp and bowl worship service on April 26, I “saw” this and it was beautiful and I wrote it down on a bulletin at the time and just wanted to share it:

I saw the Lord standing on a hillside covered with flowers as far as the eye could see, flowers of all sizes and colors. Some were open and free, others were tangled and cluttered and struggling to find the sun, but each one was exquisite, magnificent, a beautiful creation, and the fragrance was intoxicating.

He caressed each flower as He moved among them, smiling tenderly. He knew what each one needed. He was bringing each one to perfection.

He looked up at me and smiled, his eyes glistening with love deeper than the deepest river, and He passed his hands over the hillside, and each flower responded to Him.

“Isn’t My garden beautiful?” He said. “Aren’t they beautiful?”

Amen.

Abba, Hear Us!

During our Harp and Bowl worship service tonight, the Lord helped me to feel with the shattered heart of those who are crying out for help and can’t find their way to Him. The darkness, the cold, the loneliness, the desperation, the panic, the fear that all is lost forever. It was devastating … until He gave the answers. The prayer went something like this; I wrote this in a journal right after praying in the spirit.

Abba!

Lord, we can’t see you, we can’t find you, we don’t know your name. We’re trying to call you, can’t you hear us? Where are you, Father? You gave us life, we’re your children, why don’t you answer when we call out, we don’t know your name. Lord, please, hear us, don’t leave us, where are you? Lord? Father? Abba?

Help us. We’re lost on a dark road. We don’t know where you are. How can we get to you? We’re outside the temple gates, we know you’re in there. We see your veil – blue, purple, red like scarlet. Lord, how do we get to you? Help us. We don’t know your name. How can we call you? Don’t you know we need you but we don’t know how to reach you? Don’t you know?

Why do you turn away from us? Lord, Father God, please don’t leave us alone! Help us! Hear us! Tell us where you are. Tell us how to call to you. Tell us how to be found by you. You gave us life. Don’t you know we’re here? When we cry out to false gods and speak lies and seek after things that aren’t of you, don’t you know we’re looking for you? Show us how to come to you. Show us how to walk through the veil into your glory and love. Please, Father, don’t leave us! We’re out here! Can’t you hear us?

Lord, we need you. We’re deaf, we can’t hear you. We don’t know your voice. Our throats are dry, we can’t call you. We don’t know your name. We don’t know who you are. It’s so dark and cold, Lord, and the path is so long, and we’ve wandered forever and we’re lost, and we can’t see you, Lord, please, hear us. Open our eyes so we can see your light. Open our ears so we can hear your voice and find you and run to you and know your name.

Open our hearts so we can receive your love and know that you have torn the veil wide open with your flesh, and we can come to you and be your children forever. Don’t leave us forgotten, Father, don’t leave us alone. We’ve lost our voices crying out to you, Father. Soothe us, revive us, save us! Tell us your wonderful name. Teach us to cry, “Abba, Father!”

***
It’s simple, really.

Speak with the Father’s words of truth, that their ears may be opened.

Let His light shine in you, so that their eyes are opened to see His grace and love.

Open your heart, let yourself receive His love, that you may be His love for someone who is lost.

Let His Spirit flow through you, that they might be awakened and revived and remember their birthright.

Reach out your hand, that they will know they’re not forgotten.

It’s simple. Why do we complicate it?

***

Father, help us to speak Your words of truth, always. Let Your light shine in us, and Your Spirit flow through us. Don’t let us stand in Your way. Keep our hearts open to receive and give Your deep love. Give us ways to let others know You’ve never forgotten them, and You never will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s “To Do” List

How many times do we try to take on God’s work for Him? There are all these “impossible” things that need doing, and we know only God can do them. He doesn’t need our help. He just wants our faithfulness and obedience in what He asks of us each day. Yet how many times do we still try to do the things He’s said, “Leave to Me”?

I was thinking tonight about the things I keep trying to put on my “to do” list that are actually things only God can do. I compared those “big” things with the things He’s asked me to do. Any time I spend thinking about the “big” things is time I don’t spend doing the things He’s asked.

Suddenly I got this idea: I opened the little notebook where I keep my “to do” lists and at the top of one of the pages, I wrote “God’s To Do List.” On that page, I wrote down every huge, “impossible,” completely out of my reach thing that I “need” but that I can’t possibly do. It looks something like this:

God’s “To Do” List

Find Janet a place to live
Take care of Janet’s family
Pay Janet’s medical bills
Provide for Janet to go to seminary
Heal Janet’s body

My own “to do” list looks quite different:

Janet’s “To Do” List

Pray
Read my Bible
Write the kids’ study that I feel God’s leading me to write
Make prayer bracelets
Rest, so I can recover from my surgery and get back to teaching the kids at Eagle Ranch

What a difference between those two lists! And what a huge weight fell off of me as I wrote God’s list and gave it all to Him!

The truth is, if I applied for the job of handling the things on His “to do” list – there is no way I could ever qualify. And praise God … I don’t have to!

Thank You, Lord, for this revelation – and for being our Everything!!!