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THE BREAKTHROUGH MAY BE CONTINGENT TO BLESSING YOUR OFFENDER

Most are familiar with the teachings of Jesus to be good to your enemy, turn the other cheek or even to bless your enemy rather than curse. These are easier said than done especially if the betrayal or the hurt is too deep and too close. However; have you ever thought that by blessing the enemy, blessings are released in your favor instead?

There are two examples that I would like to highlight in this week’s blog. The first example is Job’s. In Job 42:7-8 we see God directing Job’s friends to go to him for prayer. These were the three friends who had judged Job harshly citing that Job’s affliction were tied to his sins.  Verse 10 of the same chapter says that “the Lord restored Job after he prayed for his friends”

Can you imagine turning around to bless someone who has just offended, hurt or betrayed you? Learning from Job, what did that blessing look like? Blessing your offender requires another level of humility and surrender! God may require you to: forgive your offender, pray for them, wish them well, meet their need or offer to help the one who had just hurt you. I believe this is what it means to throw hot coals through these good deeds to your enemy; Proverbs 25:21-22 and Romans 12:19-20

As you bless your enemy, God will restore what the same enemy took. God will restore with plenty, see Job 42:10-12. In 2 Kings 6:8-22, we see Elisha leading the Syrian army that had come to fight Israel to Israel’s camp. Once in Israel’s camp the King asked Elisha whether he would attack them. This is a normal reaction, at times we just want to retaliate in return, but no Elijah instructed the King to feed his enemies. The outcome was “the Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel”

Could it be that the answer to your prayers, your breakthrough is right at the door waiting for you to forgive someone, to be merciful to someone, to extend a hand to someone, to release someone or something. Think about it this week.

When God restores, He does so exceeding, abundantly, above all we ask of think; with running over overflow, with double the measure, with great things!

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MAKE THIS A THURSDAY AND A WEEKEND OF THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is often associated with heavy meals and gatherings. However, it should be incorporated in prayer daily and even practiced as a lifestyle. The prayer of thanksgiving is a powerful prayer that in my opinion draws God’s attention faster and results to a quicker release of breakthrough. Intercessors can attest that thanksgiving prayers usher them faster into the realms of the Spirit. This prayer though can be very difficult to utter especially when the answer is nowhere near. I believe being thankful to God amidst uncertainty is what makes in a sacrifice.

Most of us are familiar with the song; I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart… Or the we give sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord… and we offer unto Him the sacrifices of thanksgiving. Being thankful is more powerful when you don’t see the answer. It is faith in practice, thanking God in advance of what He is about to do or what He is has already done,

As I engaged the Holy Spirit in devotion this morning, He advised me to pray the prayer of thanksgiving. I resisted initially because “Thursdays are not my scheduled days for thanksgiving prayers”. Afterwards I complied realizing that God must have a good reason to direct me to pray this way.

You see, normally we barrage God with REPEATED PRAYERS OF PETITIONS. We forget that He heard us the first time. Isaiah 65:24 says that before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. It could be that God’s directive to thank Him is because He already answered you and It’s just matter of the manifestation of the answer! Remember Daniel’s story in Daniel 10:12-13?

Make this Thursday, tomorrow and the weekend, thanksgiving weekend. Thank God for the petitions you submitted to Him with fasting at the beginning of the year. Thank God for the petitions you have made from January to June 2019. Thank God for where you are now and where He is taking you. Thank God for the past, present and the future.  Thank those around you; who have stood with you and supported you. Thank God for your family, kids, spouses, jobs, businesses and ministries. Whenever you struggle with praying or you feel resistance during prayer, switch the prayer to a prayer of thanksgiving.

Wishing you a joyful weekend, graced with gratitude and thanksgiving!

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TRUTH-SHIELD-BUCKLER

Often after prolonged periods of waiting for answers to prayers, we give up praying and lose hope for the answer. However, there is a powerful tool that can be used beyond, and this is the Word of God.

Believe you me, waiting for answer or breakthrough is an aspect of spiritual warfare because we have to fight all other voices and options if we want to stay true to God and wait for His best. Psalm 91 comes to mind. I recommend reading the entire chapter, but a few months ago, verse 4 caught my attention. It says He (God) shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

What does it mean then to have God’s truth as a shield and buckler? God’s truth is the Word of God, (2) Jesus is the truth; see John 1:1 and John 14:6.  A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand or mounted on the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat OR a person or thing providing protection.

A buckler is most useful for deflecting the blow of an opponent’s weapons by binding his arms or hindering his movements. A buckler was mostly worn on the forearm. In Ephesians 6, we are encouraged to put on the full armour of God with righteousness as our shield.

If at all you are in warfare of “waiting” or trusting God for an answer, engage these tools this week. There is spiritual warfare beyond prayer, and this is it. When you can no longer pray, find the Scripture promise that applies to your petition, then continually engage by confessing that Scripture whenever you are reminded of that petition.

That Word of God, which is the truth will be the shield that intercept those frequent attacks of anxiety and worry related to your petition. The Word of God will deflect any camouflage and alternate answer from coming through. Continue to focus on Jesus, the ultimate truth, way and life as you wait for the best outcome from God. When doubt, fear, anxiety or worry comes occupy yourself with the TRUTH-SHIELD AND BUCKLER

See the how the shield and buckler work from the definition in the Blog. Like you, understanding their use gave me courage to continually apply the Word of God while waiting for answers. This week’s blog, can’t wait to hear from you so BLOG BACK PLEASE

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LET US PROPHESY OVER OUR CHILDREN

The first chapter of the book of Luke in Bible, gives historical accounts of first cousins John, then Jesus. Among the similarities of these two births is that their conception and births were announced by an Angel, most likely the same Angel Gabriel.

The other similarity is that both these births are for a greater purpose; John to be the forerunner for Jesus then Jesus to complete the assignment. If you read further you will notice where John is filled with the Holy Spirit when he encounters Mary his aunt. You will also read where John realizes his assignment is over and steps aside to let Jesus take the lead.

What intrigued me as I read this account was the role of the parents in prophesying the destinies of the children while they were still in the womb and after they were born.

In Luke 1: 46-55, we see Mary praising God and prophesying the destiny of Jesus. In Luke 1:67-79, we see Zechariah John’s father prophesy of John’s destiny. This is encouraging too because we see Mary a female, prophesy over her Son and Zechariah a male prophesy over his son. This means any gender can prophesy over their children.

Whereas God has already outlined our destinies, there are things that we have to contend for. This week whether your children are adults or infants; whether they are at home or away and or whether they have “wandered away”, still prophesy over them. Hold their names up to God in prayer, find a Scripture that aligns to that prayer and prophesy over your children. If the children are not there in person, print their photo, lay your hands over the photo, anoint that photo with anointing oil if led and pray fervently for your children every day.

Luke 1:37 –Nothing is impossible with God. The eyes of the Lord that go to and fro will locate your children. You are the righteous of the Lord. God desires that everything about you prospers. That includes your children. Calling mothers and fathers to prophesy over them today; call forth their destinies daily!

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BE THE PRAYER MOUNTAIN

Spiritual retreats are integral part of our journey as believers. They are often recommended to allow us to recharge, refocus and refresh. We often return from these retreats, energized ready to face life. However with time, we tend to get tired again, relapse and want to head out for another retreat. My encouragement to you this week is that you can have an endless prayer mountain experience right now, wherever you are.

I do not refute the need to go to mountains to pray or take breaks for retreat; it is my hope these are not the only ways you can stay refreshed in the Lord. Prayer is an area that most believers struggle with; yet it also the most potent arsenal for a believer.

To stay recharged and refreshed, consider the following:
*Review your daily routines and identify two slots of time that you can dedicate to reading the Bible, Praying and Listening to God
*Start small, may be with just 15 minutes when you wake up , and 15 minutes before you go to bed
*You can break the 15 minutes, into, 5 minutes Bible Reading, 5 minutes, 5 minutes keeping quiet and listening to God
*Always have a journal next to write what you sense God may be telling. It may come as a thought, or a song or a vison
*You may also consider praying for different things on different days of the week. For example, Mondays are dedicated to praying for work, Tuesdays- your marriage, Wednesdays-Kids, Thursdays-Ministry, Fridays-finances, Saturdays- Thanksgiving for what God has done, Sundays-praying for what God showed you throughout the week in your journal
*If praying for specific issues, always identify a Scripture that aligns to that issue and use the Scripture in prayer
*If filled with the spiritual gift of tongues (prayer language) pray more in the Spirit, in fact press to pray more in that. This is partnership with the Holy Spirit interceding  for you. See Romans 8:26-27

Consistency is the key to success in most areas of our lives. This applies to our walk with God too. As you continue in prayer, you will notice that your commitment to prayer will start to enhance you spiritually. You may notice that you are praying more with ease, God in turn will respond to your prayers.

This week, BE THE PRAYER MOUNTAIN. Start your own retreat where you are. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18.) Oh GOD who hear prayer, To GOD all men come. (Psalm 65.2)

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EXPLORE GOD’S GENEROSITY

While following up with students in the school of ministry and discipleship (MJC School) today, I inquired about the outcome of assignments from last week. One student responded, “the Lord told me ‘X” and I kept receiving the same message each day”. At that response, I realized that Lord wanted to give her more.

My response to the student was “it seems the Lord was inviting you into a conversation with Him”. You see whenever God shows you one thing, it’s a hint that there is more to come. So, probe more from God. Engage God into a one on one conversation because there’s more He wants to show you and do with you. Embrace God’s generosity.

If you see a cloud, ask God for torrential rain. Elijah had this experience in 1Kings 18:41-45. There are many lessons from this incident; but the one that applies to this blog is that a cloud was the only thing initially shown, but with persistent pray, a rainstorm fell afterwards.

In the Lord’s prayer, we often pray “Give us this day our daily bread”. This same God says in Matthew 7: 9-11Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! This means God always wants to give us good things when we ask. Like Elijah, we can persist and engage God in conversation until He answers with abundance.

Engage God in conversation and explore God’s generosity with what He has already given you, and watch if God will not give you surplus or provide more instructions about the initial instruction He gave you. The instruction -your cloud, may be a creative idea, a past prophesy, an instruction, a provision, even a blessing or an answered prayer. Ask God to show and give you more from what He has already provided you.

Has God instructed you? Do you have an old prophesy? Do you have a God given idea or a dream that needs to be put into action? Would like to see your business expand? Are you starting a new venture? Do you need clarity about your vision or goals? This week enlarge you’re the courts of your tents, spread out your tents, engage God in conversation. Embrace God’s generosity. God wants to give you more. Isaiah 54:2-3

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NEWS FLASH, RECEIVE YOUR NEED

The beauty of partnership with the Holy Spirit is that He provides continuous growth. Some occupations require ongoing educational credits (CEUs) to maintain validation of the occupation. As Christians, this ongoing education is provided by the Holy Spirit. Among these credits, is knowledge and understanding how God responds to His promises when we appropriate them accordingly

Among the promises are; ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7-8); God does not withhold any good thing to His children(Psalm 84:11); God has already supplied us with every spiritual and physical need(Matthew 6:25-34), all we have to do is to RECEIVE THEM!

Praying from this perspective requires a MINDSET CHANGE and a TONGUE (Confession) CHANGE. You see at the cross, Jesus said it was finished! Isaiah 53:5 relays that finished work. So in prayer, we no longer beg or plead, WE RECEIVE
•If sick –we pray Lord I receive Your healing
·If bound or oppressed-we pray Lord I receive You deliverance
·If you slipped-Lord I receive your forgives( 1John 1:9, Psalm 103:12)
·If condemned/feeling quilt- Lord I receive my freedom(Romans 8:1)
·If worried-Lord I receive a sound mind, peace and joy (2 Timothy 1:7)
·If need provision- Lord I receive Your supply
·In spiritual warfare- Lord I’ve put on your Armor,
·When weak- Lord I receive Your strength. Quiet often I pray Samson’s prayer, especially when I have deadlines to meet; Lord strengthen me one more time (Judges 16:28)
·Go to sleep saying –Lord I receive safety as I sleep (Psalm 3:5)
·Wake up every morning declaring-Lord I receive Your goodness and mercy that are new for today (Psalm 23.6)
·No matter what is going on around me-Lord I am dwelling in your house (Psalm, 23:6, Psalm 91:1-2)

Once you’ve prayed, watch out for the answer, it may come through an idea, through a person, a thought, a Scripture, instructions on what to do, a word of knowledge, a new revelation. Just stay receptive. God responds to His promises.

This week, identity a promise that speaks to the area of your need then only believe and receive. Let this be a prayer of thanksgiving. Saying Lord, my God are meeting all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19. So with thanksgiving, I receive Your supplies for me! Philippians 4:6

My CEU this week is receiving what God has already supplied in abundance for me. I tell you this has changed my prayer life!

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LORD DEAL WITH IT

Transitions and maturity will often require some form of evalution and often cleaning up. If you have relocated to a new home or destination you may discover that you had accumulated quite a lot that you may not need in your new home. Some of these stuff may be good and others bad. Some you may not really know what to do with. These are the stuff we are addressing this week, let us ask the Lord to deal with them!

Have you currently exhausted all you can do humanly to address the situation? It could be a relationship you have worked so hard to mend that remains unresolved. It could be issue or a person who keeps nagging and rubbing you the wrong way. It could be a difficult person that you cannot see eye to eye with and have struggled knowing how to address or deal with. It could be a prayer to a need that has not come through yet

Encourage you this week to take every issue to the Lord and ask Him TO DEAL WITH IT. This week let us turn these issues to the Lord. It is a powerful yet simple prayer of surrender and asking the Lord to take the lead.
If an anxious thought comes just say-Lord deal with it
Is it a ministry need, God assigned you the ministry, don’t you think He can provide for it?-Lord deal with it!
If the memory of the offense returns, transfer it to the Lord and say Lord I forgive, deal with it
If you hear bad news, slander or gossip, ask the Lord to deal with it
If it is worry concerning a loved one, ask the Lord to deal with it!
If an answer to a prayer has not manifested yet, thank the Lord then ask Him to DEAL WITH IT!
 
Note that we are asking the Lord to deal with the situation and this why. Jesus is the ultimate Judge. He judges in righteousness, truth and justice. He is always with us Matthew 28; 20, we are never alone Isaiah 8:10. We are not to carry burdens, He took them all, easing us from this oppression. As we are emptied out; He fills us in. Whatever we ask Him to deal with, He will do exceedingly above all that we ask or know Ephesians 3; 20. This is the freedom we have in Jesus.  He takes the burdens, and frees us to enjoy the fullness of His purposes in us here on earth, Isaiah 42.6
 
 Lord deal with this one. Are you ready to let the Lord deal with it?
 

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WORSHIP and THE VALLEY OF BLESSINGS

Have you ever experienced duuh moments in prayer. Where you drag yourself to your prayer room or simply don’t feel like praying. OR have you ever been hit so hard by an adversary that you don’t know how to pray or where to begin in prayer. In both experiences, I encourage you to worship the Lord. Make your prayer the prayer of worship.

You may feel like you have prayed all the prayers concerning the issue, fasted and stood on the promises, but while the answer or breakthrough is on its way to manifest, persevere and approach God in worship. Make worship your most valuable asset to present Jesus. Make worship your alabaster oil.
From personal experience, the prayer of worship helps me connect with God much faster. How would you know that, I describe this as an inner knowing, in such moment’s prayers flow effortless with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In worship we go without an agenda, plan or prayer list. It is simply resting in worship of God. How does a prayer of worship look like?
•Lord I worship you because you are my salvation in this situation
•I acknowledge you surpassing power to break this issue and birth forth my breakthrough
•I embrace your goodness and mercies this day
•I acknowledged your power to deliver and to set me free
•I thank you because you have already seen the end when this issue began, I bless you my Alpha and Omega, my all in all
•I worship you, all knowing, all present God, because you are with me right now, I acknowledge your presence and ability in this
•I bless you for your love for me
•I honor you my I AM because you are the solution to this right now
•Oh I thank you Lord, for your mercies are not only new for me today in this situation but they endure forever

This week, approach God in worship, end your prayer in worship and thanksgiving. God responds mightily to all prayers. But He seems to respond valiantly to the prayer of worship and thanksgiving. 2 Chronicles 20:21-25 has become a constant reminder lately. Worship intimidates the enemy. Worship brings blessings. As we worship in prayer, may we gather our answers from the valley of blessings.

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LOOK OUT! THE ANSWER MAY COME FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE

The beauty of God is that He is so relatable in that He loves to show up in our daily life affairs. I am not sure about you; but I am realizing that with time, God seems to show up as we are going about our lives. That’s when He seems to speak and teach louder; at least from my experience.

A few weeks ago, while in Orlando, He gave me one of these practical live teachings. I had just left the fitness room in the hotel and was headed back to my room to get ready for the day. The problem was with the keypad. For some reason, it could not work to open the elevators. So, knowing my dilemma, as I left the gym, I prayed, “Lord please let someone exit the elevator so that I access it as they leave. So, I stood by the elevator for about a minute facing and looking straight at the elevator. A minute later, I saw a lady walking from my left side; she keyed the elevator and we both got in.

I smiled and exclaimed; wow, Lord you have just taught me a lesson at 6:20 am in the morning. You see, the Lord answered my prayer. All I needed was the elevator door to be opened. It did not matter to God how it got opened! While I stood, and stared at the elevator for someone to get off it; the Lord instead, brought the answer through a totally unexpected means; the lady from by left with her morning coffee!

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. This scripture came to mind as I was reflecting on the elevator lesson this morning; hopefully the following will help you throughout the week, that:
1)God hears all prayers; no prayer is too small or too big or irrelevant for Him to respond to.
2)Once we have prayed and petitioned God, leave the issue to Him; God knows how He will answer us.
3)Do not rationalize how the answer should come. It is not up to us to figure out how God will answer the prayer.
4)God may not respond exactly how we want the answer to come
5)Stay open to whichever way; means or person God will us to bring the answer.
6)Look out, God may bring the answer from a totally different direction or person; He may bring the answer through an unexpected source. 1 Corinthians 1:25