Morning Prayer Summary for Thursday, January 19, 2023

Pastor Heather prayed…

Father, we just invite you here. We know you’re here, but we just invite you. We say have your way. We do make room for you… in our hearts… in our agenda… in our minds.

We just clear away distractions. We clear away worry. We clear away fear. We clear away doubt. We clear away anger. We clear away pride. We just lay our hearts on your altar today; Father, we make room and we say, Have you way. We get our eyes off of ourselves, off of our problems, off of our successes, and we put our eyes on you today, Father.

We say breathe, breathe, breathe on us today. We’re nothing without your breath. We’re nothing without your Spirit. We’re nothing without your power, your love, your grace. And so now, Father, I yield myself as a vessel this morning. Let my words be your words, let my thoughts be your thoughts. We dedicate this time to you. And we say, do what you want to do, whatever you want to do. Father, we thank you for that. Hallelujah. Let’s just pray in the spirit.

Roll over us like rivers, rivers, rivers of living water.

We speak peace today… peace. I thank you, Father, that as we yield to your presence, you are going into places in our hearts, places in our minds… in our soul… like healing oil, healing balm. You’re just going in … doing surgery. You’re healing hurt places … like oil, you’re refreshing dry places. You’re illuminating dark places. Nothing is hidden from you, Father.

I see like an uncovering of hearts, things in our heart … that you’re going into those places, removing things that don’t need to be there. Healing things that are broken. Bringing your oil to dry places… rekindling fires … just blowing on embers of fire and hunger for you, Father. Blow, blow, blow with your Spirit on those embers.

Father, right now we just remember our first love. Thank you, Father. You’re just bringing to remembrance our first love, what that felt like when we first met you… we first understood just a fragment of who you were, how much you loved us.

Rekindle that love, or push us further into that love. Maybe we haven’t even experienced it yet, Father, maybe there’s people listening that have never experienced that love right now. I speak that they would feel your love, your presence, Father, overwhelming them. Your peace, your love, your joy, your grace, your strength, your provision, Father… you are everything, Lord. Everything. In your presence, nothing is missing, nothing is broken. There’s fullness of joy. Thank you, Father, that you’re taking care of everything… you’re taking care of worries, details, healing, finances.

Pastor Heather shared…

I just wanted to start out by reading Philippians 3:7–15 in the Amplified Classic.

“But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake. 8 Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), 9 And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. 10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] 11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. 12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. 13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. 15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions.”

There’s so much in there. We can sit on almost every word, every verse. But “my determined purpose is to know him.” And that’s the thing I feel like He keeps driving and we keep getting this word. This word keeps coming around. “My determined purpose is to know Him.”

And so know is a Greek verb and it’s ginosko, which means “to come to know, recognize, perceive, especially through personal experience firsthand acquaintance.” To experientially know is used, for example, in Luke 1:34 when the angel came to Mary and she said, “Well, how can this happen since I don’t know a man?” And so know… like intimately know. Intimately know!

The difference in knowing about and knowing intimately…

So I can’t say I know Abraham Lincoln. I know about Abraham Lincoln. I’ve read books about Abraham Lincoln, but I don’t intimately know him. Why? I’ve never spent time in his presence. Right? And so that’s the knowing. It’s that experiential knowing like by experience through our senses, through letting Him take hold of our senses, our emotions, that we feel Him, we sense Him. Like when you know your loved one is in the house, you know who it is by the sound of their footsteps, the sound of their voice, the way they do things. You know their mannerisms because you spent time with that person. And that’s the kind of knowing He wants… that personal experience.

God can move through our feelings when we surrender them to Him…

And we don’t make our relationship with God about feelings. It’s not about feelings. But we will feel something because we are feeling people and He gave us feelings. So we’re not guided by our emotions, but when we surrender our emotions and our feelings to Him, He can move through that so that we can sense, we can feel His presence. It’s an experiential knowing. It’s not, “I read a book and I know this person.” It’s “I’ve walked with this person, I’ve spent time with this person, I’ve had meals with this person.” And that’s the knowing that He wants from us, that knowing.

Be still and now that I am God…

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 46:10. And in the Amplified, it’s “Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!” And I think, the place that we’re in right now, the world being still is not really trendy right now. It’s not a part of our culture to be still. We’re very impatient. We’re very distracted. We always have to be going and moving and striving and pushing. And so when He says be still and know that I am God, there’s something in there that I think our generation really needs to grasp.

Strong’s Concordance says…

And so “be still” in the Strongs means “to abate, cease, consume, draw toward evening, fail, be faint, be wax, feeble, forsake, a primitive route to slack it.” In many applications, literal or figurative, to cease, consume, draw, fail, faint, be feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone, go down, be, slack, stay, be still, be slothful, be weak. And so it’s this idea of just letting everything go.

And in the world that we’re in right now, a lot of definitions of success is like this proving and striving and producing. And God is telling us the opposite of that… just to let go. And then “know” in this scripture in the Strong’s is “to acknowledge, be acquainted with, advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, to know properly, to ascertain by seeing.”

Barnes notes…

So Barnes notes on this scripture: Be still. The word used here from, Rafa, means properly “to cast down, to let fail, to let hang down, then to be relaxed, slackened, especially the hands,” like just relaxing your hands. It also employed the sense of not making an effort. That sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Like “God, I’m just coming to you. I’m not going to make an effort. I’m going to be still.” Not putting forth exertion. And then it would express the idea of leaving matters with God or of being without anxiety about the issue.

Anxiety is a hot button issue for a lot of people…

How many of you know anxiety is a real hot button right now for a lot of people? And we have a good percentage of the population on anxiety meds, and I’m not here to talk about that. That’s between you and God. But what I’m saying is, why do we have so much anxiety? Why? We’re not resting. We’re not being still. We’re not opening our hands and relaxing our hands and saying “Everything that I have, Lord, today it’s yours. It’s not mine. I don’t have to prove myself. I don’t have to push. I don’t have to pull. I don’t have to strive. I don’t have to run. I don’t have to work.” I mean, obviously there’s practical things. Yes, you have to work and have a job. But what I’m talking about is your identity is not wrapped up in that. It’s a relaxing and letting Him go. There was no anxiety.

Stand and see the salvation of the Lord…

So compare that to Exodus 14:13, when he says, “Stand still and see the salvation of God in this place.” The word seems to be used as meaning that there was no anxiety, that there was to be a calm, confiding, trustful state of mind in view of the displays of the divine presence and power. The mind was to be calm; in view of the fact that God had interposed and had shown that He was able to defend His people when surrounded by dangers. If this the divine interposition when Jerusalem was threatened by armies of the Syrians under their commander. The force and beauty of the expression will be most clearly seen in “know that I am God and see what I have done.” The evidence that I am God. See a work accomplished, which none but God could effect.

Our determined purpose is to know Him…

I downloaded a lot of scriptures and ideas, but if our determined purpose is to know Him, that’s the only purpose we have. Then it releases this pressure of having to try to prove ourselves to others. And I think a lot of anxiety and fear comes from that. The idea of like, what does this person think of me? What does that person think of me? How am I going to do this? How am I going to do that? How am I going to… But if your determined purpose is to know Him… Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added onto you.

So it’s that keeping our eyes on Him and knowing that He is taking care of every detail. And not only does He want us to do that, He’s commanding us to do that. He’s commanding us to be still and to rest. And when God created the universe, He had a Sabbath. If God needs a day to rest, I think we probably do too.

You have to be diligent about resting…

And so bringing that practice into every day of that rest, just a rest and knowing… and it is a work to rest sometimes. You have to be diligent about it. You have to be intentional to go into rest. Because the minute you do, those thoughts will start coming. “Hey, what about this? Did you remember this? Hey, don’t forget this. Hey, what did that person say? Why did they say that? Are they mad at me? I have to get groceries. I have to pick up the kids. I have to… whatever.” The lists are always going.

But taking that time to say, “I just relax. I lay it all at your altar, Lord.” And so I just want to take a little time today to just… let’s press into that. Let’s make room. I think the thing that the Holy Spirit has been showing me is sometimes when we’re like forgetting all that is passed and striving to… I think sometimes we think that it’s only the negative things, but when you look at that scripture, Paul was actually talking about his successes. And forgetting all that’s passed. Like before that scripture, he talks about all these amazing things he did. And you’re like, wow! Like if anybody has a moment to brag, it’s Paul. But he says, :I counted it all garbage.” It’s garbage!

Forget the bad—and the good things…

And so not only are we forgetting the hurts, the pains, the stress, the hard times. You forget those good times too. You give it to Him because if you get stuck in this moment of, “Oh, I remember in 1995, I was so close to God.” Well, what about today? Where are you today? Or look at what I did. I did this, this, this, this, this, this, this. But He’s saying, but what about today? What about this moment? What about this second? What about this minute? What are you allowing Him to do through you today? And so it’s really making room by clearing out those things, clearing out entitlement, clearing out idols, things that we’ve put in that place, that throne that is only supposed to be for God.

Let’s make room for Him…

Let’s just take time to make room for Him. And, I know sometimes people, you come to prayer because you are like, we’re going to tackle this, this, this, this, this, this, this. And I love that about pray-ers. They’re like, “Let’s go, let’s get it.” And I agree about that. That’s good. But then I think there’s also a moment too where it’s like, let’s take care of this today. Because if we take care of this and we get our eyes on Him, then when He does call us to say, “Hey, you need to pray for the nations. You need to pray for this,” you’re ready. Your heart is ready. Your mind is clear. Because I know we are in a day and age where the enemy wants to distract us. He wants to get us off course. He wants to get us worried, stressed, anxious, sick, poor, whatever, all those things. He wants to get us off track. So if we keep our eyes on Him and we take care of this, our determined purpose is to know Him more than anything else because once we have that right, everything else falls into place. And so let’s make room for Him and as we’re singing, let Him show you things that you might need to lay down… things you might need to start… things you might need to be like, Hey, that was a great time of my life, but what am I doing now? Where am I going now? What do you have for me now? And that just resting in Him and allowing Him to show you those things.

So let’s go ahead and do that.

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