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?

Is Anything Too Hard?

Is anything too hard for the Lord? [Genesis 18:14]

As we walk with God there will be all sorts of moments. Think about your own walk and your experiences with God, the Words from God, the way you have grown. I’m sure like me, there have been some glorious life altering moments, some powerful Holy Spirit moments and more than likely, some frustrating, confused and questioning moments. Maybe you have even had some moments of unbelief too.

For Abraham and Sarah this is one of those moments. Put yourself in their shoes. Gods talked about an heir before but now He is saying that the son will come from them, a couple of very old people, they were in their nineties. That’s not a union I really want to think about, yet God spoke the birth into being.

However, knowing how easy it is to look at certain characters in the Bible as always being great and amazing, I am encouraged once again that these are just ordinary human beings, with the same kind of flaws that I might display from time to time and I can learn quite a lot from them. In this case about unbelief.

Unbelief comes to everyone. None of us are so close to God that we don’t have moments where we wonder if God we actually come through for us, that what He has said, can and will come to pass. Like Sarah, we have laughed at the thought. Our realistic view of the world has reminded us that such things are just not possible even though God says they are.

Unbelief can go one of two ways. These moments are pivotal moments. Right now the trajectory for Abraham and Sarah is going in one of two ways. Unbelief doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad Christian but we have to be mindful of it. Behaviour is influenced by our beliefs, so realistically that means that unbelief will have an impact on us in some way.

Unbelief might lead us away from God. How might we react in the same situation? Really God? I just can’t believe for that. We begin to doubt Him, we begin to drift a little, then before we even realise, that moment of unbelief has drawn us away and we are not walking with God in the way we once did.

Unbelief can bring us back to our knees. Maybe we recognise that we can’t solve everything and that the best place to find ourselves is on our knees before God, crying out in a moment of honesty, and ultimately of trust. Maybe there is someone who will challenge our response and keep us on our walk with God. Either way, whether we can believe it or not, God will and that’s the most important truth to grab hold of.

Wherever you are when it comes to waiting on God for some miracles, choose to fall on your knees. Don’t allow the seemingly impossibility of them draw you away from God but instead towards Him. After, God knows what He is doing and nothing is impossible for Him.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God [Luke 18:27]

The Wider View

And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” [Genesis 15:5]

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. [2 Corinthians 6:11 Message]

For many, when they first find Jesus and become a Christian, amazing things happen. Life changes in dramatic ways. Maybe that is your story. Remember ~ you discovered a new sense of purpose for life, found freedom in God and began to live life according to the truth of God’s word. It was like a whole new world. Some have described that feeling of liberty like seeing in full, high definition colour. The lights have well and truly been switched on.

So how’s the journey now? Why is it for some of us as we read this, that life-changing moment just doesn’t seem to have the same effect anymore. The fizz has definitely gone and our walk with God is just a little flat.

  • Why did we begin to ‘settle?’
  • When did we let ourselves ‘make do?’
  • What caused us to stop believing in the bigness of God?
  • Where did our child-like wonder of all that God can do vanish to?
  • When did we start to fence ourselves in, bring the lines in on what was possible in our lives, and make the boundaries smaller?

A narrow view of life may be easier to handle but it’s not the life that Jesus wants us to have. The wider view that God has called us to, a bigger view of life, one that only God can bring about is the one He won for us at the cross.

Here’s what I think we often forget about the wider view God wants us to embrace…

God’s imagination for what our life can be is way bigger than ours. Think about, God told Abraham he would have descendants that were numbered like the stars. Too many to count. That is impossible in the natural.  A little scary and overwhelming to most people. what if God shows you something like that, something too big to handle. A God-given view of your life is always bigger than the one you can imagine for yourself.

God wouldn’t show us the view if he wasn’t going to help us to handle it. God is in this with Abraham. It’s God’s vision for Abraham which makes it God’s responsibility to make it happen.

A wider view is only possible by stepping outside of what we know now, a narrow view. Abraham was made to separate himself from certain constraints. Being inside the tent narrowed is view. he could have looked upward but would have only caught a glimpse of what God was wanting to show him. Sometimes we have to move away from the things that limit what we see.

The wider view is built by faith. Abraham had to see it, catch it in his heart and then take a hold of it by faith. If Abraham hadn’t exercised his faith to trust that God could accomplish it, then maybe it wouldn’t have happened. To take God at His word always involves faith.

Let this be our attitude as we walk with God, embracing the bigness of all that He has for us now and in the future. It will take faith and a confident trust in God’s ability to accomplish it.

3 Things to Help Build Our Faith

I’m sure between us we could add to this list but here goes with 3 things that can help us build our faith, the faith which we need to see the change we desire.

1. Pray.

2. Read the Word.

3. Be in a bible-teaching church

That is some combination.

Each one on their own are powerful but together they build our faith and it’s our faith in praying what God has said He will do that helps us to overcome the world. If that’s the kind of faith I need then I must be about doing all that I can to build it.

Simple then. I will stop letting excuses get in the way. I will pray. I will read the word. I will get to a bible-teaching church.

Anyone going to join me?

In Jesus Name…

Tonight we prayed again. Around 200 names to pray for. Names that people from Xcel Church wrote down recently. Family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. People we want to see become Christians.

Tonight we prayed for them all. Believing for a harvest of souls, for salvation to come to people’s homes, for lives to be changed. Praying for those who wrote the name down to have boldness and courage in the Holy Spirit and to take the opportunity we are praying that God can engineer for you.

We pray like it depends on God. We work like it depends on us.

Really got stuck on praying for the names on the tables that represent the Prodigals, the lost that we want to see return home. In Luke 15:17 it says that the young man ‘came to his senses’ and that was my prayer tonight. That wherever they are in the world, whatever they are doing, they would come to their senses and whether they think they have it good or otherwise they will remember what it was like in their Father’s House. In Jesus name they will come home.

Keep praying. Keep asking. Keep standing in faith for all the names you wrote. I am genuinely excited to see people we have prayed for coming into the Kingdom. Oh and by the way, do me a favour ~ let me know when something happens. When you have a conversation. When you invite and they say yes. When you lead someone to the Lord. However small, it encourages our faith!

Why not join me next Friday night. 7pm at the Xcel Centre and we can stand together to see the breakthrough.

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.

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?