Asking

What you ask of the Father in my name (Jesus) He will give it to you.

That’s some statement right there. Not one to be taken advantage of but the name of Jesus is powerful and provides access like nothing else can. 

On Sunday morning I took that promise and prayed. This is more or less what I wrote in my journal… 

‘Father God I ask today in the name of Jesus for Your presence to be tangible and evident across our services’. 

I don’t know if that’s a prayer you should even ask but God was most definitely in the House. In the team gathering, in the worship, in the word, His presence was evident. 

I ask in the name of Jesus for me to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. I ask for people to return to church and be in the House of God today and that they recommit to You. 

I ask for this town – that You will move upon it and cause some to wake up and feel an unknown urge to be in church today. 

Father God, in the name of Jesus I ask for healing upon bodies. I ask for miracles of all kinds in people’s lives. In my life. 

In the name of Jesus I will keep on asking. Like the King told to strike the ground I keep hitting the spot, keep on asking,  until the victory is won. 

I ask all these things in the glorious name of Jesus to the glory of that name and thank You in advance for answers to prayers. Amen’

In the name of Jesus, what are you asking the Father for?

A Call to Tarry in Prayer

This week we have focused some prayer into the life of Xcel Church and into the lives of those associated with it and beyond. We want to see God move.

God moves when people pray. One thing is guaranteed too, 100% of unasked prayers will go unanswered. The only person to blame for that in my own life is me. If I don’t ask, God cannot answer. So it begs the question ~ why don’t I pray more?

I want to. I want to see God move. I want to see things change. However, as I have said before about intentions, they are not enough. An intention to pray is not a prayer. I actually have to pray. I have to make time to get with God and ‘tarry’ a while with Him.

Jesus spoke to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane and asked them ‘Could you not tarry in prayer for one hour? Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?’ That is a challenge to me. To make space for prayer. On my own and with others too.If I desire to see things change then I have to do something different, I have to move away from what might be good, get on my knees and pray and believe for what I know in God is better.

Prayer does not come naturally. It’s amazing what can seem interesting or how my time can be filled with nothing of any consequence, rather than spending an hour in prayer. I pray and ask God to help me to pray.

What are you asking God for? Where do you want to see God move? Are you taking the time to pray and to ask in faith in the name of Jesus? 

One last thought, something that has helped me. Write your prayers down. My mind wanders when I pray. I start to think about a hundred other things when I close my eyes to pray so about 3 years ago I started to journal my prayers and it has helped me so much to keep my focus, plus I can read back through them and see some incredible things that God has done in my life because I asked Him to.

And if you are part of Xcel Church, why not join us tomorrow night at the Xcel Centre from 7.30pm for one hour of prayer as we pray for our world, to see people come to Jesus and for His kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.

Prayer & Expectation

Prayer is a huge and sensitive aspect of the Christian faith. I don’t think prayer is easy to understand. It’s easy to pray for stuff, to pray for some wants, to even pray with real faith. In my experience of believing for God to do anything in my life, be that healing, a change in circumstances, something practical, guidance in decisions, problem solving, for the kids, miracles of all kinds, this is what I have discovered.

Pray. Not just once or twice but always. Have an attitude of prayer and keep praying. We don’t get because we don’t ask. God is more than able but rarely barges in, He longs to be invited, as we pray ‘Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven’. We pray, we ask, we intercede, we get on bended knee, and we don’t move until we have our answer.

Expect. If we don’t think God is able then why bother to pray. For me, to expect is to have faith. To expect is to be waiting, with a confidence that an answer will come. Both praying to God without expectation or to expecting God to move without a willingness to pray may be considered a faithless act.

Pray & expect. Then allow God to be God. His answer may not be my answer. His ways may not be the way of my choosing. I have to learn to accept the mystery that is God otherwise my frustration in not getting what ‘I want’ may cause me to miss out on what God ‘is giving’.

Maybe this is a simplistic view of prayer but that doesn’t bother me, it’s just my view. I pray, I expect in faith for an answer and then I allow God to bring His reply.

We Don’t Need More Faith

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it. (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭6‬ MSG)

Am I wrongly praying for more faith? Maybe. When I read these words this morning it was like a kick to the shin, a jolt of a reminder to me…

I don’t need ‘more’ faith. I just need to put to use the small amount I have. 

We all have a measure of faith and that measure is acceptable to God. What is not acceptable is my unwillingness to put it to use, or to use it sparingly as if it might run out. I am reminded today to exercise it, to pray using it, to stand on it, that when I do so it makes God happy. 

Maybe I don’t think my small amount of faith can make any difference in the light of such big difficulties. It can. It will. It does. 

So this morning I am praying in faith for those who are not well. I am believing in faith for mountains to be removed, cancers to leave bodies, debts to be cleared, relationships to be made right, circumstances to change. 

Let’s make sure we don’t belittle the little faith we have but instead just put it to use and leave the rest up to God. 

Your thoughts? How’s your faith today?

28 Days of Prayer

This month I am giving some additional focus to my prayer life. I can be easily frustrated that things are not changing the way I would like, be that in my own life or in the life of Church.

In sharing these thoughts with God the simple reply came to me, ‘Are you praying about that?’ It was as if God was saying ‘You haven’t asked me about it.’

So that’s what I am going to do. I’m going to pray over my church. Join me if you want to. Here is what I will be praying for this first week…

Day 1: All our Sunday services across our locations
Day 2: The incredible Xcel staff
Day 3: Those who lead ministries
Day 4: Our Lead Pastor and family
Day 5: Those in the church family who are unwell
Day 6: Planet Youth. The leaders & team
Day 7: Those who preach the word

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭7-8‬ NKJV)

Who will join in?