He Sees Our Faith

The prayer meeting this morning was amazing. Loved that there were more of us there, plus many others praying in their own homes too. When the saints come together in faith, incredible things can happen.

Again, we prayed on behalf of those who may not have the strength, physically or emotionally, to pray for themselves. We stood in the gap, calling on God for miracles.

Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralysed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. WHEN HE SAW THEIR FAITH, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘ our sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” [Luke 5:18-24]

HE SAW THEIR FAITH.
HE SEES OUR FAITH.

That should act as a great encouragement to us. With so many people suffering in different ways, we are doing all that we can to bring each person to Jesus. He sees our efforts in believing that God can do what others say is impossible. He sees our determination to take hold of the Word and speak it over people’s lives. He sees our faith in Him for change, for miracles, for bodies to be made hold. He sees our hope in God when those who are ill may be losing theirs. We just need to keep praying, to keep believing and to not give up.

Why not join us 7-8AM every Thursday as we pray. It may not be possible for you to join us physically but wherever you are take a moment to remember those from the ‘household of faith’ who need a miracle. Let’s stand in agreement for change – for friends, family, colleagues, fellow Christians around the world.

#xcelthursdayprayer

20 Days

I have deliberately put some markers down for this year. Things I am choosing to do to help me stay on track with God.

I have learnt that I need to do this as drifting off is so easy. It might not seem very spiritual to put dates in your diary for fasting, reading the Bible or taking time out to study the Word but if it works for other stuff in my life, why not with things that can benefit my relationship with God.

This year I decided to use the 40 days of Lent to do 2 things…

Fast TV & Pray every morning

So here I am, today is day 21. And I’m still alive!! This is what I’m learning…..

No TV seemed so hard but actually I don’t miss it. I’m reading more, as a family we’re watching less TV, instead we are talking together, playing a game or going for a walk. The purpose was about creating some margin in my world and instead of just parking my backside on the sofa in front of the box, to become more productive with my time.

This might not be such a big deal for you because your TV’s rarely on but it could easily become my default on a evening, catching up with what I had recorded and then 4 hours later thinking I should really go to bed. Removing some of the noise in my world is definitely heightening my awareness of what is around me, of what God is saying and that can’t be a bad thing.

Plus I’m talking more with God. I recently read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and it’s changed the way I think about prayer and the way I pray. The simple but powerful idea of circling my prayers with the promises of God has helped me immensely. Add to that I am writing them all down, which helps with remembering what I’ve prayed and then to see how God has answered them. I would encourage you to give it a try.

The devotional he has written alongside the book is helping me focus. I have journeyed in my prayers beyond the ‘bless-me’ type prayer to the more ‘audacious-full-of-faith-specific-requests-circled-again-and-again’ type prayers. I am believing God for some BIG things. Impossible things but I know that in just keeping on asking, He will answer, when He answers. I will not get discouraged because the Word is my stand point not my emotions about God answering or not.

I am changing.

20 days in & I’m different to when I started.

Who knows what God can do with the next 20 days.

I know this – I’m not drifting as easily. I actually think by making time, by praying through, by standing on the Word of God, I am drawing attention to myself in the best way possible and God will bless me because of it. I’ve already seen some miracles and answers to prayer and I am expectant to see more.

[What do you do to keep yourself on track with God? What are you believing God for? Tell me & I will stand with you in prayer]

Change Your View…Day 4

Believing God for change. Learning that I must wait for God.

Reading through 1 Samuel. Chapter 13: 7-12 really jumped out at me today. I saw something that I had never noticed before. Saul demonstrated an inability to wait. This character flaw cost him his kingship. Saul has waited 7 days, the time set by Samuel but the people are getting restless so he decides to make the offering himself.

When confronted by Samuel his words are amazing….
I SAW that the men were scattering…
I THOUGHT the enemy would come and attack
I FELT compelled to act

How many times when I have been waiting on God, holding out for God, believing God for change, did I not just keep waiting but act on my own initiative?

It might SEEM okay to me but is it what God wants?
I might THINK it will be okay but is it what God really wants?
I might FEEL that I had no option but is that really true?

In these 90 days of focused prayer and times of fasting I must be determined to just keep waiting. If I want to see God change things then I must not succomb to the urge to change things myself. After all as Samuel said later in 1 Samuel 15..to obey is better than sacrifice. Patience. Faith. Trust. Easy to say not so easy to hold on to.

Ever experienced this?
Ever acted on your own compulsion instead of waiting for God?

Did You Pray?

This is one of those ‘ouch’ type posts. Prayer. Is it the forgotten part of being a Christian? Is that thing that someone else does? Hope not. Everyone needs to pray. Everyone should want to be prayed for too. Never miss the opportunity.

Just finished 3 days of prayer and fasting at Xcel Church. It wasn’t easy getting up at 6.15am but I showed myself that I can do it. Did you? Did you make it to any one of the 6 prayer meetings. Did you fast…something, anything? Did you push yourself, believe for breakthrough? Did you make sure that the ministry you are involved in got prayed for?

Prayer is our responsibility. The Bible says that we do not have, because we do not ask. Jesus took himself to a place where he could spend time with his Father. If it was essential for Jesus then surely we must take it more seriously.

I do not speak a someone who is the master of this. Default mode is possibly set wrong. I fill my time with so much insignificant stuff that I often lose sight of the significance of prayer. The power that a prayer of faith can bring. REMEMBER: the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

So, be honest…how did you do? What could you do differently?

Time For a Breakthrough

Xcel Church is having 3 days of prayer & fasting. I hope if you are a partner with us that you will take this opportunity to get involved in something which naturally speaking does not make sense BUT in God, supernaturally, CAN seriously make a difference.

Here are some thoughts that I have observed from my own prayer and fasting experiences…

1. Fasting won’t kill you. It will be tough, especially 3 days but you will survive. I have confessed previously how bad I am at fasting. This year though I have committed to fasting at least 37 days. I recently did my first days. I prayed a lot, just asking God to help me not to eat!

2. It requires determination. Commit and stay committed. The struggle for me is that I have to still feed the kids which is tough. If you can, take yourself away from the food, it will help you stay committed.

3. Pray with faith. Get that one thing on your heart that you are believing for a breakthrough in and just pray for it, all the time. Obviously, Xcel Church are praying too so get to a prayer meeting. Check out what my Senior Leader John Greenow has said we will be praying for.

4. Read your Bible. This is serious stuff. When you read the Word during a time of fasting I am convinced that it jumps off the page even more than normal. You are definitely giving yourself a time of tuning into God.

How about sharing your journey here. What are you praying for? Will you be fasting…how is it going?

Prayer Meetings Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 7am-8am & 7pm-8pm. See you there!