Prayers for American Christians’ Eyes to be Opened (10/3/2017)

dscf1526

After a while, the grief lifted. I held my head in my hands, trying to catch my breath. Sweat rolled down the side of my ribs from the all-out mourning. Peace eventually quieted me. Praise God, I thought, this is over.

The female pastor walked to the pulpit and began the eulogy for my friend. I have no idea what she said because the Lord chose this moment to speak to me once more.

I felt Him whisper to my heart: “My church is a bunch of nice losers. They lay their hands on the sick and pray for them, but when they die, they aren’t mad at all. They don’t check themselves out to see what happened or what they may have done wrong with their prayers and actions. They accept defeats and don’t think anymore about them.

“Now, Major League baseball teams are all filled with good players. Each player has to be one of the best in the world to make it to the Major Leagues. Losing teams have good players on their rosters, too. But after a while, losing teams’ players don’t mind losing because after all, they still receive their Major League paychecks and bonuses.

“But winning Major League baseball teams are different. They hate losing and will do anything and whatever it takes to win. They hate losing.

“I want My church to hate losing!”

This time the grief, which hit me, measured a ten on the Richter Scale.

 

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

This took place twenty-three years ago.  From may viewpoint, the Church still does not hate losing spiritual battles yet, or at least, not enough to do whatever it takes to win them. Same old same old!

My prayer today:

Lord, do whatever it takes to open American Christians’ eyes to the world we now live in so we will take up the weapons of our warfare to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (Based on 2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened.

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under America, Christians, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

 

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

Greetings with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus, Lord, Saviour, Messiah, King of kings.  May HE be known, glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and edified.  May we all hunger for Him more and more, and be restored to our first-love.

As I begin this letter to you the world is in such turmoil.  Terror attacks, bombs, destroying storms and fires, wars, a world being propelled out of control.

And yet, some things continue in their cycles, even if the very seasons seem to become more unbalanced.

Yom Kippur is fast approaching, on the heels of Rosh h’shana.  Yom Kippur − the most somber of days on the Hebrew calendar arrives tomorrow, Friday at sundown and takes us through sundown Shabat.

It is “The Day of Awe,” the day of fasting and prayer, the day of repentance − seeking forgiveness for sin.

According to Judaism, The Book of Life is opened on Rosh h’shana, and sealed for the year ahead at the end of the Yom Kippur fast.  It is the time of reckoning, of weighing, of seeking, and of judgment.   It is a time of cleansing and changing and it is an awesome time.

The entire country comes to a full standstill.

NO stores, NO restaurants, NO public transportation, NO PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION. TV and radio broadcasts cease, the airport shuts down, many people neither wash nor wear leather items, the synagogues stay open and the prayer books open. Only hospitals remain open for emergencies. Ambulances make quiet rounds as people will not use phones to call an ambulance if one is needed, so ambulances quietly roam the streets and can be flagged down.

Yom Kippur (the day of the Atonement) is the singular day that MOST Jews, secular as well as religious and traditional all observe.  Statistics report that somewhere between 73%-95% of all Israeli Jews observe the total fast of Yom Kippur.

LEVITICUS 23:27-28 says: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.”

LEVITICUS 16:29-31 says:   “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.  For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.  It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.”

Perhaps it would interest you to read a bit of one of the sources of information:

When the second Temple was destroyed in the year 3830 from creation (70 CE), the Yom Kippur service continued. Instead of a High Priest bringing the sacrifices in Jerusalem, every single Jew performs the Yom Kippur service in the temple of his or her heart.

Forty days before Yom Kippur, on the first of Elul, we begin blowing the shofar every morning and reciting Psalm 27 after the morning and afternoon prayers. In Sepharadic communities, it is customary to begin saying Selichot (*PRAYERS SEEKING FORGIVENESS) early every morning (Ashkenazim begin just a few days before Rosh Hashanah)—building an atmosphere of reverence, repentance and awe leading up to Yom Kippur.

For the week before Yom Kippur (known as the 10 Days of Repentance), special additions are made to prayers, and people are particularly careful with their mitzvah (COMMANDMENT) observance.

Just as Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, the day before Yom Kippur is set aside for eating and preparing for this holy day. Here are some of the activities that we do on the day before Yom Kippur:

Kaparot (FORM OF SACRIFICE)  is often performed in the wee hours of this morning

We eat two meals, one in early afternoon and another right before the commencement of the fast.

Many have the custom to immerse in a mikvah (RITUAL BATH) on this day.

Extra charity is given. In fact, special charity trays are set up at the synagogue before the afternoon service, which contains the Yom Kippur Al Cheit prayer.

Just before the fast begins (after the second meal has been concluded), it is customary to bless the children with the Priestly Blessing.

Holiday candles are lit before the onset of the holy day.

Like Shabbat, no work is to be done on Yom Kippur, from the time the sun sets on the ninth of Tishrei until the stars come out in the evening of the next day.

On Yom Kippur, we afflict ourselves by avoiding the following five actions:

Eating or drinking (in case of need, consult a medical professional and a rabbi)

Wearing leather shoes

Applying lotions or creams

Washing or bathing

Engaging in conjugal relations

The day is spent in the synagogue, where we hold five prayer services:

Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur;

Shacharit, the morning prayer, which includes a reading from Leviticus followed by the Yizkor memorial service;

Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service;

Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah;

Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset, followed by the shofar blast marking the end of the fast.

Beyond specific actions, Yom Kippur is dedicated to introspection, prayer and asking Gd for forgiveness. Even during the breaks between services, it is appropriate to recite Psalms at every available moment.

All around me, I observe the above traditions being applied in a myriad of subtle but real ways, both personal and public. I ask God to show me how to walk in the midst.  It is amazing how the secular music on the radios playing on buses and in other public places expresses so poignantly a sincere and naively unashamed cry of the heart to KNOW and be close and restored to God, from Whom we really don’t WANT to stray.  It is not unusual to hear religious songs on our secular radio stations, but I am always riveted when I hear the heart of a secular musician crying out and seeking God through his music.

In my own life experiences, this is unique.  It’s funny in a way because when I first came to Him, one of the first and immediate responses I had toward His love was to turn completely away from all secular music. It represented my past and I wanted nothing to do with it.  It dragged me down to my filthy memories.

Here, in a different language and culture, it doesn’t always hold the same sinful connotations for me and doesn’t stir the same memories and emotions. So it allows me a certain freedom to listen to the words with clean ears and heart.  I don’t know if ANY of that makes sense to you AT ALL, but it gives me a taste of the hearts of the people around me and the ones whom I am praying for or wanting to pray for. I am thankful for that.

So, the music takes on a longing note.  The party stops and people begin to say to one another, “gmar chatomah tova” or “may you end (the fast) with a good signature.”  This means “MAY YOU BE INSCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE!”  What a greeting, when you stop to think about it!

When we first came I used to answer, “Thank you.  I know that I am.”

But whereas,  I felt good about saying that, it impacted no one, and people would just look at me strangely.  None the less, I couldn’t bring myself to use that greeting UNTIL THIS YEAR.  Suddenly the question came to me, “Don’t you WANT them inscribed in the Book of Life, as you are?”

I thought, “Well…yes I do, but not in a superstitious way, but in reality!” And I thought, “So why don’t you STAND in that as a prayer as you say it? Stand in the prayer for them to be inscribed in THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE?  YES!  So this year I echoed the prayer back to each one, and as I did, I stood in my spirit in the gap for them and their families.  For me it was a liberating experience in prayer and I do pray that it will be FRUITFUL which is all that really counts.

MEANWHILE, AT THE SHUK − The separate section for the shuk h’kaparah is set up. It’s the place where the rather strange old custom of sacrificing a chicken, swinging it over your head while reciting a prayer for forgiveness of sins takes place.  The chickens are then donated to charity.  As animal rights activists have gained more voice over the years, there is now the counter demonstration taking place outside of the cordoned off sacrifice area.  I admit to this being a sometimes bizarre scene and even more surreal as it takes place in the early morning hours. BUT LOOK AT THE LENGTHS THAT PEOPLE GO TO, TO GET TO GOD.  And HOW do I translate His Way to those whom I long to see rejoice at the sight of Whom they seek.

Who would think that a day of fasting for an entire nation would be preceded by such a focus on food!  You would think that a mighty winter storm was approaching if you entered the shuk or the market and joined the throngs stocking up least we starve.  Everyone comments every year:  “Why is it that we need so much FOOD for a fast day?”  I agree.  It’s funny.  Even at this, the holiest most profound day in the Jewish calendar, there is comic relief. QUICK! RUN TO THE STORE!  WE ARE GOING TO FAST!

And fast we do, as a nation, as a people, as believers fasting for the salvation of our people. For the scales to FINALLY come off of EVERY EYE. FOR ALL OF ISRAEL TO BE SAVED AS IS WRITTEN IN ROMANS 11:25-27

 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;  For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

AND IT FINALLY COMES TO PASS AS ZECHIARIAH WROTE IN CHAPT 12:10-14

 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;  the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;  all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

ZECHIARIAH 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’

HE IS ONLY GOOD AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. May you be encouraged by His faithfulness as you pray for His purposes to be fulfilled in and for the whole house of Israel.  May you be comforted in your griefs and needs and pains by The God of all comfort.  May you be found hidden in Him as we face ever increasing disasters.  May you fulfill all of His purposes for HIS GLORY.

Lovingly,

your sister J

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Prayers for America (9/28/2017)

11160680_10202970551704040_6853963304935390655_n

Many years ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and whispered, “There are no holidays from spiritual warfare. You have to fight everyday.”

Since then, I’ve also learned Satan will never be satisfied. Our enemy is like a roaring fire which never says, “Enough.” He will never offer us a cease-fire. Never! The war between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of God will continue right up until Jesus returns.

If we’re thinking the evil that is infiltrating America today will back off some time soon, I have bad news for all of us. It will continue and worsen in the days ahead.

So, we have two choices:

  1. Step off the battlefield and sit on the sidelines in defeat.
  2. Or pick up our weapons of warfare, fight, and love not our own lives even unto death.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American Christians to be watchful and serious so we can stand steadfast in faith, resisting Satan until our dying breaths. (Based on 1 Peter 5:8)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

4 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Prayers for American Christians’ Eyes to be Opened (9/26/2017)

dscf1526

Good marriages are not built on democratic principles, but rather on living together in consensus or agreement.

For example, let’s say Carol and I arrive at a Y in the road for our lives. Carol believes we should turn to the left and I think we should go to the right.

Democratically, the vote is one to one or a tie, which results in a stalemate.

But what we usually say when this happens: “Let’s pray and allow the Lord to speak to us on what He thinks.”

It may take an hour, a day, a week, or whatever, but the Lord is always faithful to speak to one or both of us, changing our minds on the positions we held at that time. So then, we can walk together in agreement.

Can two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)

My prayer today:

Lord, open the eyes of American husbands and wives to the power of agreement  in our marriages so whatever we ask is done for us by our Father in heaven. (Based on Matthew 18:19)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened.

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Black Mothers Choose Life For Your Sons (Part 3)

AP_Ferguson_tear_gas_bc_140817_16x9_992

abcnews.go.com

If I had not been there, I would not have believed what happened, not in a million years.

That particular Saturday morning was Farmer City’s annual Sidewalk Sales Extravaganza. Crowds of people filled the streets of the downtown business district. All checked out the sales bargains lining the tables in front of retail stores. Brown jersey gloves were three pairs for a dollar at Hesston’s Hardware. Dollar General sold Handi-Wipes for seventy-nine cents a package.

Though the city was populated with nineteen hundred tight-fisted Norwegian and German-Americans, these blond-haired, blue-eyed conservatives liked nothing better than saving a buck or two.

My little concession trailer sat on the street in front of the courthouse. Popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy were hot items for the first two hours. Sales slacked off around 11:30 a.m.

I took a break and stood outside the trailer, smoking a cigarette, when I saw the stranger heading toward me. And if ever a fish was out of water, it was this man. An African-American in Farmer City. His pockmarked face was covered with four-day stubble. A jagged scar stretched from the base of his neck to his left ear and he wore a black Oakland Raiders’ sweatshirt rolled up to his elbows, revealing gang tattoos on his bulging forearms. Plus, he had the thousand-yard stare of an ex-con.

As he passed by, he nodded at me.

“Hi, how are you?” he whispered without breaking stride.

Being curious, I turned to watch him.

He walked over to a green bench in the city square and climbed up on it. Then, he cupped his mouth with his massive hands.

“Hey, everyone, listen up. I’m holding a healing crusade in Jesus’ name this morning. So, if you need a miraculous healing, come over here,” he shouted.

People stopped what they were doing and looked at him. They had to be wondering who he thought he was, an Oral Roberts or some other evangelist like that. But believe it or not, the crowd moved toward him as if he were a Pied Piper.

An eighty-year old lady scooted her walker up to the front of the group. She looked up at the stranger.

“Okay, sonny, let’s see you do your stuff,” she said with arched eyebrows.

A slight smile etched his chiseled face. He jumped down, and in one continuous motion, he grabbed the walker and flung it onto the lawn, saying, “In Jesus’ name, be healed. Now, dance for Him.”

The crowd gasped as she teetered there, her weak legs straining to hold her up. A man reached to grab her, but the African-American slapped the Good Samaritan’s hands away.

“Don’t help her,” he said. “Let the Lord finish His work in her.”

A few in the crowd booed the African-American, but he paid them no attention. He knew what he was doing.

Then, it happened. A big smile lit up the lady’s face. She straightened up, kicked one leg up in the air, and then the other. She followed with a scissors kick, using both legs at once. Tears streamed down her face as she lifted up her hands and danced on the sidewalk, praising Jesus for the miracle.

People instantly formed a line in the street. Some were young. Some were old. There were cripples, amputees, cancer sufferers, heart victims, mentally ill, and numerous others who were afflicted with some malady or another. They waited patiently for the stranger to pray for them.

As the black man moved toward the first person in line, an arm reached out, and grabbed his shoulder. The stranger stopped and turned around, looking into the face of a blond-haired man wearing a black suit.

“Yes, may I help you?” he asked in a deep voice.

“I’m Reverend Adam Johnson, head of Farmer City’s ministerial board,” said the man. “We don’t believe you should be holding a healing crusade just yet. No one knows whom you are accountable to. Allow us to check out your credentials. And if everything turns out okay, you can hold some healing meetings in one of our churches next week.”

The smile on the African-American’s face dipped downward.

“To whom were you referring when you said we?”

Reverend Johnson pointed to six men dressed in dark suits, standing under an oak tree behind the bench.

“Those are the other pastors on our board. And like most pastors, we just want to protect our flocks from unknown strangers like you.”

The African-American put his hands under the armpits of Reverend Johnson, picking him off the ground. He tossed him as if he were a basketball over the bench at the other six pastors. The clergy reached out their arms and cushioned Johnson’s fall to the ground.

The stranger stood there, clenching and unclenching his fists, as if he were deciding further action against the group. Fear crept into the seven pastor’s eyes. They stepped back away from him.

“Don’t you ever get in my way again! I came here to hold a healing crusade for Jesus this morning and people like you are not going to stop me. Do you hear me?” he proclaimed, pointing a finger at the pastors.

They nodded in agreement at the man’s words and fled the city square.

The stranger then turned around and began praying for people.

What happened next was unbelievable. It was as if Jesus Himself was holding a healing meeting in Farmer City. Everyone received his healing, no one left in disappointment.

When the stranger finished, he walked away. A few tried to stop him, but he shook them off.

“Just thank Jesus and give Him the glory, okay?” he said over his shoulder.

But as he headed toward me, he slowed down and stopped a few feet away from me. He eyed me up and down for a few seconds as I puffed a cigarette. Our eyes locked, but neither of us spoke.

I looked away.

The burning love and compassion in his eyes made me feel like I was standing naked in front of him. He knew the type of man I was and yet, he still cared about me. Why? I do not know, but I wanted to know.

When I looked again, he was gone.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

 

(Continued in Part 4…the full series to date can be seen here.)

2 Comments

Filed under African-American, America, black people, Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Race, spiritual warfare

Prayers for America (9/21/2017)

11160680_10202970551704040_6853963304935390655_n

The Lord carried the prophet Ezekiel to a valley of death and sat him down there. All around the prophet were dry human bones scattered everywhere. The Lord said to Ezekiel –

Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3)

Ezekiel wisely answered –

O Sovereign LORD, you alone know the answer to that.” (Ezekiel 37:3 NLT)

Then, the Lord said to Ezekiel –

“Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:4-5)

The dry bones represented Israel and its dead hopes while the nation was in exile. The prophecy revealed God’s plans to restore Israel and His people.

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up believers who are anointed by You to prophesy life to the cities of America, especially San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, and Seattle.

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Prayers For American Christian’s Eyes to be Opened (9/19/2017)

dscf1526

Many years ago, I had a vision of thousands of Christians walking along a high mountaintop. Life was good. Everyone enjoyed the blessings being given to them by God. I then saw a whirlwind of calamities strike the believers. So overwhelming were the calamities that almost all of the Christians lost hope and were swept over a cliff into deep despair and defeat. A few believers still hung onto the edge of the cliff by their fingernails. I knew these few survivors could not last through another trial without giving up and also falling into despair and defeat along with the others.

As I looked at this horrible scene in the vision, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “These Christians did not like the Word of Faith messengers I sent to the Body of Christ. They did not like their hairstyles or their clothing or the way they talked or acted. But most of all, they did not receive the revelation of faith, which I wanted the Body to have so they could withstand the trials, which are heading toward America. I want you to go and tell them they need the Word of Faith revelation.”

(Excerpt from Prophecy 101 by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2013, Amazon eBook)

My first few years as a Christian, I read dozens of Word of Faith Books written by Kennith Hagin, Charles Capps, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, and others. This is my foundation as a believer.

Sadly, today, when Word of Faith teachers are mentioned, most critics categorize them as “prosperity preachers.” Many have fallen into that rut, but that’s not the case for all of them.

Kenneth Hagin and Charles Capps are the two teachers that have blessed me the most. I recommend their books to those who want a deeper faith revelation, especially in having their prayers answered.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers sort the chaff from the wheat when it comes to faith teachings so that our faith pleases You. (Based on Matthew 3:12 and Hebrews 11:6)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened.

4 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare