Archive for February, 2017

Repentance and the Lenten Season

Charles Spurgeon wrote:
Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it. It is, in fact, a change of mind of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what once he hated, and hate what once he loved

The Lenten Season (March 1 to April 9) is a time of repentance, self-examination, fasting and prayer in preparation for Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Renewing your sense of who you really are before God is the core of the Lenten experience and repenting of your sins. Today seek God with a repentant heart (See Joel 2: 12-24) and honestly search your heart (Psalm 139:23-24). As you pray through the 40 Days of Prayer Journey allow the Lord to examine your life thoroughly. Join us this month.

Resist the tendency to deny the need to repent and be cleansed of the Lord. Be transparent with the Lord. God offers so many wonderful results of repentance, including healing, restoring, freedom, joy and reconciliation. In Acts 3:19 the call to repentance brings hope and renewal: “Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”.

Despite the benefits of repentance, we are resistant to the thought of repentance. Repentance isn’t a popular word. Our culture encourages us to do whatever we want when we want and does not encourage repenting. TV, music videos and movies very rarely show the consequences of our sins.

It is one thing to know that you have done something that is wrong. But it is another to be saddened and sorrowful about your actions and determine that you will turn away from that sin and never do the act again. To repent, “I” or “we” must come to terms with and acknowledge that we have sinned and then turn away from such sinful behavior and be reconciled back to our loving Lord. Therefore, repentance is a change of mind that involves both a turning from sin and turning to God. Christ began his ministry with a call to repentance. (Mathew. 4:17).

We must examine every attitude, every motive, every action and ever word of evil. Repentance means that you are deeply godly sorrowful and hurt about what you have done unto the Lord and that you are determined to do all that you can not to commit that sin again. “Repentance means we are sorry about our sin to the point of grief, and we have turned and walked away from it”. Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Woman” p. 40, Harvest House Publishers, (2002).

Before we can truly repent we must admit our sins and tell them to God. Confession means we recognize we have done wrong and admit it. We cannot hide from God no matter how we try. God knows what “I” have done and wants “me and you” to know and admit in detail what “I” have done. If we do not confess our sins one consequence is that our prayer life will suffer as God will not hear our prayers if we have iniquity in our hearts (Psalm 66:18).

God offers many wonderful results of repentance, including healing, restoring, freedom, joy and reconciliation. In Acts 3:19 the call to repentance invites you to “repent, then turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”.

Here is an example of a prayer of repentance to help you get started in initiating self-examination , prayer and a spirit of repentance.

Prayer of Repentance

Lord, I come humbly before You and ask you to cleanse my heart of my every sin. “Have mercy on me O, Lord according to your loving kindness and blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity and cleanse me of all of my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2) Lord create in me a clean heart. Please Lord renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10-11). Forgive me for thoughts I have had, words I have spoken and things that I have done that are not pleasing in your sight and do not glorify you. Father, forgive me I pray for my sins of_______(state them)________________________. I confess it is a sin and truly repent of these acts, words and thoughts. ( 1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:5 Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 51:6, 10). Lord search the inwards hidden places of my heart and reveal my sin to me that I may not sin. (Psalm 139: 23-24). I seek to repent of everything that You show me Lord. I confess my sins to you in the full realization that you are faithful and just to forgive me of all my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.( 1John 1:9) I know that my sins are against You and You only. Grant me a broken, willing spirit and a contrite heart so I can offer it to You (Psalm 51:1-4, Psalm. 51:12, Psalm 51:17).

Thank you Father in the name of Jesus

So that you can begin the process of self-examination through prayer, confession, and study of the Word that leads to repentance the following action steps are suggested:

Action Steps:
1. During the Lenten season I want to encourage you to join this or a 40 day Prayer Journey even if you are beginning at day 7 or whatever day. Just begin where you are. Determine to spend quality time with the Lover(God) of your soul every day. Decide to start out with half an hour and increase it slowly. Be diligent, consistent and be faithful. We can never grow or develop an intimate relationship with God unless we spend quality time with Him.
2. Confess any sin you may be guilty of against man and God. Ask God to search you and reveal any unconfessed sin to you daily.
3. Say or write a prayer of repentance out of your heart. Above is an example of a prayer of repentance. Your prayer need not be perfect, but sincere, sorrowful and heartfelt.
4. Have a journal. God has so much to speak into your life. It may not happen overnight if you haven’t been praying on a consistent basis. But remember He is right there. Don’t give up.
5. Leave a prayer request or comment.

Linda Fegins, “The Prayer Leader” has served as Prayer Coordinator for over 13 years( later Director over the Prayer Ministry) for the Lydia Circle Christian Business and Professional Women. As part of the Lydia Circle she has lead over several prayer boot camps, and has lead prayer services and workshops in the Bahamas and in South Africa. Linda served on the prayer team of a medical missions trips to Jamaica under the leadership of  Pastor Jackie McCullough. She is also a member of the National Church Prayer Leaders Network and serves as the Prayer Leader of the Intercessory Prayer Team of her church. Currently the Prayer Leader Linda also serve  as an intercessor/ teacher/trainor with Global Force Prayer Missions on the Live@5AM Prayer call and as a volunteer/intercessor with Girlfriends Pray Ministry

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Don’t Complain: Praise and Pray.

Don’t Complain: Praise and Pray.
Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:22–26; 2 Chronicles 20:15

Miss Clara (in the movie War Room )points out to Elizabeth that Satan is the enemy, not her husband—and that all of her complaining brings curses and not blessing or healing to her marriage. Complaining is the praise music of hell. Satan loves to hear us gripe and grumble.

On the other hand, Satan hates to hear us pray. He can deceive, distract, and discourage us all he wants until we turn to God to fight for us—and then Satan is defeated! God has no tolerance for complaining; it does not express faith.

If you want to fight the good fight, it is time to turn our eyes on Jesus and profess our faith in Him. Praise expresses the awe-inducing, unchanging, mighty attributes of God. As we profess that He is Almighty, we perceive that our problems are not big and bad after all.

Write down some attributes of God from Scripture and pray them to remind yourself and the enemy that God is stronger and sovereign. Write down blessings to pray over the people connected to your prayer strategy. Remember, asking God to reveal anything they are doing in deceit is a blessing as long as you pray repentance and redemption over them as well (2 Timothy 2:22–26).*(Kathy Branzell)

Bible study and prayer are essential to the life of every Christian. Intentionally read and study the scriptures and listen to God’s words. Fill your mind and soul with His stories and His truths. Spend more time in prayer. Learn to pray on your knees or prostrate on the floor. Confess your sins. Ask God to reveal to you areas of your life that need His transformation. Commit to deeper Bible study and times of prayer.

This is a time to repent, recall, refresh and renew our commitment to communing with Christ, talking to him but also listening to hear what He has to say to each of us individually and corporately.

Linda Fegins, The Prayer Leader

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Praying Through Difficult Choices by Carl Mathis

Praying Through Difficult Choices

Making decisions can be difficult. Often there is a lot at risk. Our choices have the power to change our lives for the better-or for the worse. Making a choice certainly means taking a risk. We may fear not succeeding, undergoing displeasure from family or friends, or being eventually frustrated by our choice.

Many people have never been shown how to make prayerful decisions, especially decisions about their career or vocation. When we are unsure what criteria to use in selecting a career, we may look primarily at material factors like compensation, or ultimately make choices based on our instinct or feelings about the possibilities. We may know that there are other factors we should consider, but are unsure what they are.

To further confuse the situation, we may also wonder, “Isn’t finding my purpose a mysterious spiritual process instead of a logical process? Could it really be a calling if it is something I have decided to do instead something to which God has directed?” These kinds of questions stem in part from our struggle in knowing how to strike a balance between our humaneness and the divine.

Considering the frustrations of making choices, it is understandable why some people avoid it. Instead of making choices, they tend to let their path through life be molded by outside circumstances and choices others make for them. They may use phrases like “I didn’t choose this career, it kind of happened” or “I just found myself in this situation, but it’s not what I really wanted to do” which convey a sense of just letting life happen instead of purposely choosing a route.

Many Christians struggle with knowing what to do when they are faced with important decisions about their life. Is it up to God to guide or up to us to decide? The key to resolving this dilemma is through prayer, realizing that it is both: God promises to guide and you are called to choose.

3 Steps to Praying Through Difficult Choices

  1. When faced with difficult choices get still and use paper and pen. Listen for God’s still small voice inside of you and write down whatever prompts, thoughts or feelings that you may have.
  2. Outside influences can cause people to lose focus and not have clarity which makes hearing from God a lot more difficult. Take time out periodically to walk in nature and talk with God making sure to balance the time talking and listening.
  3. Realize how powerful it is being connected to God who hears and sees all things.  Doing so helps ease the burden of having to make difficult choices alone. Praying for wisdom is one of the most powerful prayers.

Carl Mathis: Motivation speaker: Author of “Pursuing Your Purpose – How To Discover God’s Revelation For Your Life”  1 (305) 300-6155

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