Category Archives: Inspiration

What is Contaminating the Excellence of the Heart?

“The beauty of the human heart originally permeated by our God Creator is abruptly attacked by the sin of the human being himself.”

 

In previous articles I have emphasized that excellence starts from the heart of God, and our Creator has definitely permeated the excellence of His heart in ours.

Yet sadly, the human heart is not always aligned with God’s heart. Why? The answer is simple but truly profound … because of sin.

In one of the articles I published recently, “Excellence Stems from The Heart – Part 1,” I briefly shared one of my traveling experiences in submarine, in Hawaii. And yes, when traveling to the bottom of the sea it is indisputable to meet the enchanting creation of God. Colorful vegetation and a diverse and extraordinary array of marine species that leaves us breathless when proving that there is indeed an exotic underwater world, of wild beauty and endless secrets, not all discovered, not entirely revealed.
The depths of the sea resemble the depths of the human heart. So much beauty, although sometimes damaged and even destroyed.

Carthaginian II – Lahaina, Maui

While my eyes reveled in the beauty of the underwater species, every colorful and vivacious image suddenly ceased when it faced with the ruins of a rusty and destroyed boat. An image that certainly produced other images in my brain, images of destruction and consequently, loss, pain and even death.

Any similarities with the depths of the human heart? For if we are honest and travel towards the depths of our heart, we will observe that we find not only beauty: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23).

But sadly, we also find: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:19).

The beauty of the human heart originally permeated by our God Creator is abruptly attacked by the sin of the human being himself.

And sin is simply man’s disobedience to the laws set forth in the life manual that God has given us through His Word -the Bible.

And many may say, and in fact have told me, “I do not sin, I do not harm anyone … I live my life the best I can … I try to do good…”

But let me invite you so that in the solitude of your room you make an honest journey to the depths of your heart and see if you do not find some elements that have contributed to the contamination of your heart: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lust, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Galatians 5: 20-21).

The Word of God, our life manual tells us: Let God be true, and every human being a liar (Romans 3: 4). So if we are truly honest, we all have absolutely fallen into at least one of these sins. Consequently, we have broken the law of our Creator’s life manual.

And if we are honest, by breaking His law, our heart does not experience peace, our sinful heart does not rest until it finds forgiveness and healing from its Creator.

Many marine species have been endangered because of the various contaminations they have suffered: oil, fossil fuels, garbage, among others.

If we recall the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, “the oil spill area broke through the ranges and the habitats of more than 8,000 species including birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, sea turtles and marine mammals (…) shrimp found themselves without eyes, crabs without tweezers, and fish with injuries and tumors through their bodies”. [1]

Likewise, the human heart is in danger of death, and eternal death if it does not return to its Creator, to Jesus Christ, the Giver of life, the eternal life. He Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14: 6).

Certainly, there is beauty at the bottom of the sea, but it is in danger of being contaminated. The responsibility to take care of it and to preserve the wonderful marine species is undoubtedly ours, the human beings.

And excellence is found in the depths of our heart. However, it is at stake of being contaminated by sin. It is our responsibility to seek the solution to preserve it pure and healthy, free from the slavery of sin.
Indisputably, the solution is Jesus Christ. And in His Word He clearly states, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

How is your heart today? I invite you to embark on a journey into the depths of your being and call out to your Creator, Jesus Christ, so that He comes to your rescue, heals and restores your heart, because life flows from it.

Sources:

[1] http://www.oceanfutures.org/news/blog/Derrame-de-petroleo-del-Deepwater-Horizon-5-anos-de-secuelas

 

Excellence Stems from the Heart – Part 2

“The excellence of the heart of God was definitely impregnated in our heart, now it is we who must expand the heart of God wherever we go.”

 

As I shared in the previous article – Part 1, God did not only prepare everything in advance to welcome us in this planet, but when He created us, He certainly did it with excellence, with deep love and by the way, carefully and wonderfully.  The Bible – His Word reveals it so and science does confirm it as well.
Psalm 139:13-14,16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…Your eyes saw my unformed body.” This is expressed by this Psalm with vivid poetry that God, the Creator knotted us in such a way, which as a result every human being is truly His masterpiece. But His creation does not only encourage poetic expression; but science as such, definitely confirms how wonderful it is.

So let’s take a look at what National Geographic states about the human brain: “It is, nevertheless, one of the body’s biggest organs, consisting of some 100 billion nerve cells that not only put together thoughts and highly coordinated physical actions but regulate our unconscious body processes, such as digestion and breathing.”[1]

The brain is the most complex information management system in the universe. [Image from the Internet]

And for instance, let me quote Wernher von Braun (1912 – 1977), a space engineer who stated, “Certainly there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?,” [2] questioned the creator of the V-2 Rocket for Nazi Germany and Saturn V for the United States.

 

Dear friends, here we are talking only about the brain, which, by the way, we see it as one of the key organs of human life, in fact, it is the most complex information management system in the universe.
As we see, science itself leads us to study and understand that the human body is a wonderful, extraordinary machine. It is the most accurate and efficient machine that has ever existed and does not compare at all with any machine created by man.

But, not only our complex physical body as it is, is the evidence of the existence of “an intelligent being” who is certainly behind the creation of all this magnificent universe, but also our soul that is sealed with the mark of excellence of this being, called God, the Creator, Jesus Christ himself.  “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation …—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1: 15, 17)

And it is precisely our soul that was made in the image of God, the Creator, “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created him; male and female he created them”. (Genesis 1:27).
Wernher von Braun recognized it so, God’s masterpiece is the human soul. [3] And it is in the human soul that God has impregnated His image.

Let’s just take a look around us for a few minutes… look at those living beings that are close to us and are not our peers. Namely, we contemplate the garden of our house, the plants that embellish our room, we hug our pets, or maybe we remember some of our visits to the zoo or some botanical garden. These beings are extraordinary, the animals, flowers, plants, trees; but none of them would dare to compare itself with the smallest of human beings, if it could.

Human beings are truly privileged and unique. Only men and women are the ones who reflect the extraordinary characteristics of God, the Creator.

We are highly creative beings. The creativity of the human being is evident every day, in the music we listen to, in the works of art that delight us, in the beauty of the varied crafts that characterize different peoples and nations, in the extraordinary scientific inventions.

One of the greatest inventions, the car by Ford. [Edison & Ford Winter Estates]

We are intelligent. The human brain has intelligently created the horse’s saddle, the carriage, the boat, the bicycle, the car, the light aircraft, the plane to transport increasingly faster and more comfortably.

But his creativity and intelligence is ongoing, the human brain has crossed the limits of our planet, it has reached the moon and continues to explore space non-stop.

We are beings who communicate with each other. The spoken, written word or sign language are exclusive to the human being. We have been given the privilege of expressing what is in our heart through the word. In fact, God created the universe, through His Word (Genesis 1). Through the word we have the power to build or to destroy, to spur or to discourage, to love or to hate.

These are just some of the characteristics that our God, the Creator has impregnated in our soul. We are indeed His masterpiece! And every “masterpiece” is admirable and worthy of replication.
The excellence of the heart of God was definitely impregnated in our heart, now it is we who must expand the heart of God wherever we go.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Sources:

[1]  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/brain/

[2] http://www.icr.org/article/wernher-von-braun-father-space-flight/

[3] http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/this-rocket-scientist-had-amazing-view-of-god/

Excellence Stems from the Heart – Part 1

“Excellence stems from the heart of God, our Creator, who, by means of his eternal love for men and women, called this planet out of nothing…”

 

In the bilingual blog “Towards Excellence” and in honor of its name we begin to develop a series of articles with short reflections on the world of excellence, the depth of its meaning and why not, a forthright challenge to post-modern and post- post-modern society that we, in general, are living worldwide.

Submarine trip, Maui, Hawaii

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to venture a submarine trip in Hawaii. A short but surprising journey to the bottom of the sea, where the wonders of the marine realm only seen on the small and big screens, became a beautiful reality. This incredible experience simply confirmed me that wherever we are, we will always be surrounded by beauty and magnificence.

Let me invite you then, to take a look around you, your surroundings. What do you see? … And after a few minutes we will surely have very different answers. There will be those who describe extraordinary mountainous landscapes, others perhaps even the greatness of snow peaks on a sunny day, many others the beauty of its beaches and the vast sea, and probably some more, the exotic landscapes of a dense jungle.

And all this without considering the magnificent diversity of fauna and flora in each of the most amazing

An enchanting underwater world

An enchanting underwater world

places of our planet.

Our environment, our planet, in short, our home proves that we live in a world of excellence. From the summit of the Everest to the Dead Sea bordering Israel, the lowest point on earth, our gaze certainly delights with the “7 natural wonders of the world” and beyond.

Let’s take a look now, at the beginning of this planet. And for that purpose, if I may, I want to refer to the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis (Bereshit) in Hebrew, precisely means “In the beginning.”

In sum, Genesis 1 tells us how our planet, our home began, who built it and, in fact, how it was organized, decorated and filled with food, all of this before our arrival, the arrival of human beings.
I challenge you to read Genesis 1 carefully. You will be amazed about how wonderful this story is. However, and for the purposes of this article, I just want to highlight two aspects of this reading:

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

1. Throughout this chapter and while it mentions step by step the creation of our world…the light, the heavens, the earth, the waters, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, birds, fish; then God, our Creator, states 6 times: “And God saw all that He made, and it was good;” and a seventh time, after He created the animals and the human being, and He finished His creation, “ And God saw all that He made, and it was very good”.

Thus, one of the most important things that this text stands out is that the creation of God is definitely “very good.” In other words, the creation of our God, which of course includes us humans (Gen. 1:27, 31) was done with excellence, without imperfection, without mistake.

2. “He [God] has made [and still makes] everything beautiful in its time”, (Ecclesiastes 3:11); therefore,

Mt. Everest view from base camp (courtesy of Amosji Attaché Gorkhas)

Mt. Everest view from base camp (courtesy of Amosji Attaché Gorkhas, Nepal)

His heart is willing to do everything with excellence, because His essence itself denotes excellence.

If we look again around us, we confirm this Word; we are surrounded by a majestic nature that certainly delights our gaze and even more, our heart.

Excellence stems from the heart of God, our Creator, who, by means of his eternal love for men and women, called this planet, our world, our home into existence out of nothing, so we can dwell in it.

As parents prepare the best for their new baby to come, his room, his crib, her clothes, her toys and

everything the little baby may need; in the same way, our God, our Father the Creator prepared this world with everything to receive man and woman, creatures made in His own image.

Yes, God is our example of excellence!

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

“His wisdom is profound, His power is vast…

He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.”
                                              (Job 9:4,8-10)

In our next issue, we will discover more about the bases and roots related to a life Towards Excellence. There is much more to discover! Coming soon!

Let´s get ready! _God is Speaking — [Towards Excellence]

By Anne Graham Lotz …Blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. [Revelation 1:3] Do you long for revival? Not a tent meeting. Not a series of church meetings. But an outpouring of God’s Spirit that results in God’s people waking […]

a través de God is Speaking — Towards Excellence

God is Speaking

By Anne Graham Lotz

 

…Blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

[Revelation 1:3]

 

Do you long for revival? Not a tent meeting. Not a series of church meetings.

But an outpouring of God’s Spirit that results in God’s people waking up…to God! I do! And as I have prayerfully pondered what more I can do to work for revival, God has reminded me of what took place in the beginning. Genesis 1 relates that God’s Spirit hovered over planet earth, preparing and energizing it to receive God’s Word. Then every day God’s Word went forth, a change took place, until in the end God blessed it, said it was very good, and saw His own image reflected there in man whom He had created.

What has impressed me is that from the beginning, God has used the combination of the preparation of the Spirit, which in application for us is prayer, and His Word to bring about change. For the last eighteen months, AnGeL Ministries has been calling people to prayer through various online initiatives such as 777: An Urgent Call to Prayer; Mayday! Mayday! A Distress Call for Prayer; and most recently, 111: PrePrayer for the New Year. And this May my new book, The Daniel Prayer, was released, which not only challenges people to pray as Daniel did, but helps to lead them in prayer that moves Heaven and changes nations. Now, after all of this preparation of the Spirit, I would like to see what would happen if together we listened to the Word of God.

In the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles, when King Josiah rediscovered God’s Word and read it to the people, revival was the result. In Nehemiah 8, when God’s people returned to Jerusalem following their years of captivity in Babylon, Ezra read God’s Word to the people, and revival was the result. In Acts 2, after ten days of prayer in the upper room, the Spirit fell at Pentecost, Peter preached the Word, and 3000 people were saved!

In these days of chaos and confusion, hopelessness and helplessness, what would happen if everyone hit life’s pause button and made the time to listen to what God has to say? I want to find out.

So I am partnering with Faith Comes By Hearing in order to offer the audio of God’s Word in over 900 languages for one hour each day, for eight days, in the eighth month of August.

Please join me. Help pass the word to your family, friends, church, and online community. Catch the vision. Let’s not just long for revival. Let’s ignite revival!

God is speaking. Will you listen?

 

GodSpeaking(5x7)card_edited

 

Copyright © 2016 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved http://www.annegrahamlotz.org

 

111 – Preprayer for the NEW YEAR

By Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz

Let us join Anne…Preprayer for the New Year!  Let us intercede for our nations, families and ourselves!

* Please click here  to listen to Anne pray this prayer.

*****

The unmistakable sound of the Shofar could be heard coming from the wall surrounding Jerusalem, echoing across the sun-scorched valley. The blowing of the trumpet heralded great public distress and was used to summon the people. It was the first century B.C. and a severe drought was threatening the very existence of the city. So the city elders called for the people to gather outside the city walls. Then they sent for Honi.

Honi was an old man who, after this day, became known as the Circle-Drawer. Because when he was summoned, the elders asked him, “Pray that rain may fall.” Honi prayed, but nothing happened. So he drew a circle around himself in the dust of the ground, and prayed again, “O Lord of the world, Your children have turned their faces to me… I swear by Your great name that I will not stir from here until You have pity on Your children.”

The rain began to fall, one large drop at a time. But Honi protested, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns.”

In answer to his prayer, the heavens opened and the waters descended in a violent gully-washer that threatened to flood the city. So once again, Honi pleaded, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing and graciousness.” It is said, and recorded by the Jewish historian, Josephus, that in response to Honi’s third prayer, a long, soaking rain began to fall that ended the three-year drought. [1] Honi had prevailed in prayer.[2]

As I look ahead into 2016, I feel compelled to draw a circle around this city, this state, this nation… and pray! Until God answers. Do the same. Please. On this first day of the New Year, draw your own circle. Then pray for everything that’s inside of it.

…Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate… Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing. Joel 2:13-14

O God of creation. We bow before You acknowledging Your greatness and Your glory. No one compares FB_IMG_1451701190863to You. No one is Your equal. We look at Your creation and marvel at the infinite power and wisdom that are Yours. Nothing is beyond Your reach. “You bring out all the starry host one by one, and call them each by name. Because of Your great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing…You pitch a tent for the sun…It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat…Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.” [3] There is nowhere in all the Universe where You are not. Surely Your arm “…is not too short to save, nor [Your] ear too dull to hear.”[4]

I acknowledge You as ___________________

Yet we honestly confess: when terrorists randomly kill; when women and children detonate themselves as suicide bombers; when innocent people are grabbed from behind and stabbed in the back; when floods, tornadoes, and storms ravage our land; when our national leaders don’t lead; when our business leaders lie; when our political leaders put their own interests before the people’s; when our spiritual leaders contradict Your Word; when our social leaders divide; when our allies become our enemies and our enemies become our allies…what’s going on? Where are You?

We are tempted to think You are…
Distracted…disengaged…disinterested,
Inattentive…inactive…impotent,
Out-maneuvered…out-moded…out-classed,
Unable…unaffected…and even unaware…
of our fear… our helplessness…our confusion…our outrage. Why do You seem so small while our problems, disasters, and enemies seem so large?

Why ___________________?

Help us to regain our focus.

God of our fathers. Lord of the nations. You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. No one can understand Your ways. But we turn to You. We return to You. Now. “Are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.”[5]

Did we not establish our nation as one under God? Have we not pledged, “In God We Trust”? But now we find ourselves constantly bombarded with the shrill voices of those who demand we distance ourselves from You; that You are just one of many gods, if You are a god at all; that we cannot risk offending each other by calling on Your name. We hear the enemy insinuating that You are “not fixing this” because You can’t fix this. Our faith is being assaulted.

And so our spirits rise up within us and throw off the smothering cloak of spiritual oppression and political correctness. We shout Your Name. You are Yahweh. Jehovah–the personal God. The great I AM–the eternal God. The All-mighty–the Powerful God. You are Jesus. Savior. Immanuel. God with us, never to leave or forsake us. Your power has not been diluted or depleted over the ages. You are just as powerful…just as much in authority…as You were in Creation; in the deliverance of Your people from Egypt and in the parting of the Red Sea. You are the One who sends down the fire.[6] Who fells the giants.[7] Who makes wars to cease.[8] Who raises the dead![9]

I shout Your name: ___________________

As we look ahead into the New Year, we choose to place our trust in You. If “…the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord,”[10] we trust in You. If “…the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,”[11] we trust in You. Though …”nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall…,”[12] we trust in You. When …”the wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright…,[13]” we trust in You. We trust You. We trust You!

I trust You when ___________________
I trust You for ___________________

We are told that we can worship You in our own churches, but we cannot bring You into the marketplace or the workplace; into the State House or the school house; onto the battlefield or the football field; into the courtroom or the back room or the bedroom. As though the God of gods can be contained, boxed in, restricted, bound, hidden. We laugh at such foolishness and exalt You as the Most High God who strides the winds of the earth. The clouds are the dust of Your feet.[14] The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain You.[15] How much less any local church building. We invite You to have Your way in our lives. In our state. In our nation. Within our circle.

I invite You into my ___________________

Now arise, O Lord God. Look on us, Your people who are called by Your name. Listen to us, as we cry out to You on behalf of our nation. Do not reject us. Have pity on us.

We feel the encroaching evil. Darkness and gloom are descending. Those who hate us are infiltrating us. Those who are dedicated to destroying us are all around us. Are You at the head of this army? Is this the beginning of the Day of the Lord? Have we tried Your patience and crossed the line into Your judgment? Are You holding us accountable for our sin and rebellion and defiance, for our profanity and blasphemy and idolatry? “You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before You when You are angry?”[16] Are You?

Most Holy God. As we draw a circle around ourselves, we want to make everything right with You within that circle. So we confess our sin. You are righteous. We are not. You always do the right thing. We have done wrong. We are covered with shame because we know better. We have had generations of blessing and prosperity, yet we have refused to thank You, and instead give ourselves credit for what has come from Your hand. We have agreed with those who contradict Your Word. We have turned away from Your truth, and believed lies. We have treated life casually. We have destroyed our environment selfishly. We have passed by the needy uncaringly. We have demanded entitlements defiantly. We have not listened to those who have warned us of the consequences of drifting from You.

I confess my sin of ___________________
I will stop ___________________
I will turn away from ___________________
Thank You for forgiving and cleansing me of ___________________

And now, as we look into 2016, we come face to face with a mess. What can be done to save us from ourselves? Even as the question reverberates in our minds, the answer is given: the solution to our spiritual and moral meltdown—to the restoration of the crumbling foundation of our nation—is not politics, nor the economy, nor health care, nor welfare or immigration reforms, nor free higher education, nor the court system, nor corporate or Wall Street regulation. You are the Answer. You are the Solution. Yet instead of turning to You, we seem to be turning farther and farther away from You. But not now. Now we turn back. We turn around. We re-turn to You. We run to You. We cling to You. We plead with You…

Turn to us! Draw near to us![17] If You do not help us, we will be defenseless. If You do not protect us, we will be exposed to danger. If You do not deliver us from evil, we will be overcome by it. If You do not have plans to give us hope and a future, we will slide into the past tense as a nation.[18] Into oblivion.

Father of all mercies. You have said that our land is a land that You, the Lord our God, cares for; that Your eyes are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.[19] As You look on our nation from this day forward, from January 1st to December 31st, 2016, we ask for what we know we don’t deserve. We ask for Your blessing. Please…

  • Bless our national and local elections. Raise up men and women who will lead us back to you. Raise up another Asa, who was fully committed to the Lord all his life.[20] Raise up another Jehoshaphat who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.[21] Raise up another Josiah who renewed the covenant of his people with You—“to follow the Lord and keep His commands.”[22] Raise up leaders of moral and spiritual integrity who have a strong faith and a healthy reverence for You and therefore the wisdom to make right decisions. Put Your choice in the Oval Office.
  • Bless our homeland security teams. Give them eyes to see the bad guys, ears to hear the evil chatter, minds to understand the tweets and codes, and the will to act before the enemy does. Protect us from evil.
  • Bless our policemen and firemen, our armed forces and border patrol—all those who risk their lives to keep us safe. Restore to them the respect they deserve. Protect their lives and their families. Bring to the light of justice any corruption and abuse so that we can trust those in uniform. Guard those who guard us.
  • Bless our judges and prosecutors. Cause them to serve faithfully and wholeheartedly, remembering that they are accountable to You.[23] Punish those who do wrong. Encourage those who do right.
  • Bless my ___________________

You are the Fountainhead from whom all blessings flow. The list of our needs and our requests is endless. Please. Bless our doctors. Our lawyers. Our bankers. Our teachers. Our commissioners. Our farmers.

  • Bless our preachers, Bible teachers, and seminary professors. Like Ezra of old, stir their hearts to be devoted to You first, then to the study and the preaching of Your Word.[24] When they preach or teach, compel them to preach the Word, not books about the Word. Motivate them with holy fear of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account for the way they have impacted others by their words and by their deeds. Remove those whose lives are out of sync with their lips. Raise up a generation of spiritual leaders that You approve of as workmen who do not need to be ashamed because they correctly handle the word of truth. [25] Fill them to overflowing with Your Spirit.
  • Bless our families. The unloving spirits of infidelity, dishonesty, treachery, hypocrisy, immorality, pornography, and adultery are sweeping through our homes. The enemy seems to be attacking us on every level, on every front. A vast army of evil seems to have been unleashed against the home. Especially the homes and families of Christ-followers. “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”[26] We plead for Your divine protection. We plead for Your divine wisdom to counter the attacks so that our families are strengthened in their relationship with You. Be the center of our homes.
  • Lord of love, we pray for You to bless our enemies. Yes, we do. Open their ears to the Truth. Open their minds to understand the Gospel. Open their hearts to long for Your love. Draw them to Yourself as moths are drawn to a flame. Your Light is stronger than their darkness. Bring them into the Light. Save them for all eternity. BUT if they reject You, we ask that You turn them on each other. Distract them. Destroy them. Prevent them from continuing to attack and persecute the righteous.
  • Lastly, O God our Father, bless us. Bless me. Make me into a vessel of honor, an instrument “…for noble purposes, made holy, useful to our Master and prepared to do any good work.”[27] I know the night is coming when work for You will cease.[28] Help me to redeem the time. Use me now for Your Kingdom and Your glory. Open my lips to boldly and fearlessly make known the Gospel:[29] the Good News of redemption for the past…hope for the future… joy for the present regardless of circumstances… love that is unconditional, boundless, and eternal[30]…found at the Cross. Open my lips to just give Jesus to a world that is increasingly desperate. Use me as an ambassador of peace on earth by first leading people into a right relationship with You, then with each other. When the world around me unravels, help me to stand strong on my faith in You. And when people see me standing strong, help them to see You.
  • Bless me.

Make me into ___________________
Help me to ___________________
Use me for ___________________

And now, God of grace, as we preprayer for the New Year, we ask bottom-line that You fill our circles with Your glory. Send down Your Holy Spirit in fullness. Ignite the fire of revival in our own hearts. Protect us. Defend us. Comfort us. Empower us. Equip us as we put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes…so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground…taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God…and pray. With this in mind, we remain self-controlled and alert while we keep on praying until we prevail in prayer.[31] And we keep on watching expectantly. Is 2016 the year of Your return? We hope so! Come Lord Jesus…[32]

For the glory of Your name…

Amen.

* Please click here  to view the PDF version of this prayer.

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[1] I first read the story of Honi in the introduction to Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker. The account I’ve shared in this book is based on the writings of Josephus, a first-century scholar and very credible historian who was born in Jerusalem shortly after the first coming of Jesus Christ. His writings are held in high regard, and have been used by the secular world as the primary source for both Jewish and Christian history.
[2] Taken from The Daniel Prayer; Chapter 7; Anne Graham Lotz; by permission Zondervan Publishing; May 2016
[3] Isaiah 40:25-26, Psalm 19:4, 6; 139:7-8
[4] Isaiah 59:1
[5] 2 Chronicles 20:6
[6] 2 Chronicles 7:1
[7] 1 Samuel 17:1-50
[8] Psalm 46:9
[9] 2 Kings 4:1-37; Luke 7:11-16; 8:40-42, 49-56; Ephesians 1:17-21
[10] Psalm 2:2
[11] Psalm 46:2-3
[12] Psalm 46:6
[13] Psalm 37:14
[14] Nahum 1:3
[15] 2 Chronicles 6:18
[16] Psalm 76:7
[17] James 4:8
[18] Jeremiah 29:11-13
[19] Deuteronomy 11:12
[20] 2 Chronicles 15:1-17
[21] 2 Chronicles 19:4-20:32
[22] 2 Chronicles 34:1-33
[23] 2 Chronicles 19:8-11
[24] Ezra 7:10
[25] 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:1-2
[26] 2 Chronicles 20:12
[27] 2 Timothy 2:21
[28] John 9:4
[29] Ephesians 6:19
[30] Ephesians 3:14-19
[31] Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 4:7
[32] Revelation 22:20

Copyright © 2016 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved http://www.annegrahamlotz.org

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, ´God with us´.”

(Matthew 1:23)