Morning Prayer Summary for Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pastor Heather…

Welcome to Morning Prayer, everyone.

I had something in my heart this morning to share. I thought it would be good to just kind of set a tone or an atmosphere as we go into worship. I’m reading a book called, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer.

We live in a fast-paced world, and I think one of the biggest things that the Lord just keeps impressing on my heart, and I feel like it’s kind of a resounding theme as He’s speaking to His people is to “be still and know that I am God.” And so the author of this book also has a devotion in YouVersion for those of you that do devotions or read your Bible in YouVersion app. And his devotional just spoke to me the other day, so I just wanted to share.

“Un-hurry to the Pace of Jesus.”

“The philosopher Dallas Willard once called “hurry” the great enemy of spiritual life in our day and urged followers of Jesus to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. When I first came across Willard’s anti-hurry version of life in Jesus Kingdom, it struck a deep chord in my soul. And yet his culprit for the great enemy of spiritual life is not what I expected. And yet the more I think about it, the more I agree. Corey Ten Boom once said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. Her logic is sound. Both sin and busyness have the same exact effect. They cut off our connection to God, to other people, and even to our own soul. Many of us are just too busy to live emotionally healthy and spiritually rich and vibrant lives. Granted, there’s a healthy kind of busyness where your life is full of things that matter, not wasted on empty leisure or trivial pursuits. By that definition, Jesus Himself was busy. The problem isn’t when you have a lot to do. It’s when you have too much to do. And the only way to keep the quota up is to hurry. Hurry is incompatible with the life in Jesus’ kingdom.”

Emily P. Freeman quote…

That spoke to me this morning. Also, I love this quote from a book that I read by Emily P. Freeman. She said, “He weaves eternity into our minutes. Every day He’s creating minute after minute, and He hands us the grace we need for each one as they come. Worry and anxiety show up when we try to rush ahead into the minutes that haven’t been made yet. And we try to manage the future inside a time that doesn’t even exist. And we wonder why it makes our stomachs hurt.”

And that’s kind of how we are. We want to manage the minutes that haven’t even been made yet. And God is a “now” God. He moves in the present. And while it’s good to think of the future, it’s good to have vision, we just have to let Him move in the present and make that space for Him. We simply cannot live with Jesus in His kingdom and live a life of speed. How did Jesus unhurried present to the moment nature increase His capacity to meet the woman with the issue of blood in her need?”

Jesus resisted “hurry” and took time with the woman with the issue of blood…

And so I just want to take a minute this morning to just unpack that scripture and really look at it through the lens of Jesus, not giving into a life of hurry. He had many opportunities just in this story alone. Luke 8:40–56… I’m reading it in the Passion translation.

“When Jesus returned to Galilee, the crowds were overjoyed for they had been waiting for Him to arrive.” Just sit in that for a moment. All these people were waiting for Him to arrive. So when He showed up, already there was a crowd. There were needs. There were lots of “Jesus… Jesus! Can you… I need… over here!”

“Just then a man named Jairus, the leader of the local Jewish congregation, fell before Jesus’ feet. He desperately begged him to come and heal his 12-year old daughter, his only child, because she was at the point of death.”

So now you have a man, “My daughter’s about to die, Jesus. Hurry, we have to get to my house. You have to heal her. You have to pray for her.” Jesus started to go with him to see her and a large crowd surrounded Him.”

Just imagine that moment, the urgency of this little girl that’s about to die, and this crowd is so thick that He can’t even get to the house to pray for this young girl.

“In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for 12 years from slow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had healers, she was still suffering. Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of His garment. Instantly, her bleeding stopped, and she was healed. Jesus suddenly stopped.”

He didn’t hurry off. He didn’t say, “I’ll get back to her after I pray for this girl that’s about to die.” He stopped. And He said to His disciples, “Someone touched me. Who was it?” While they all denied it, Peter pointed out, “Master, everyone is touching you. Trying to get close to you.” The crowds are so thick, we can’t walk through all these people without being jostled.”

So just picture that. Jesus in this moment is being jostled in a crowd. But He knew Himself enough and He knew His Father enough to know something had happened. Power had gone out from Him. He knew Himself to know what was going on. He wasn’t distracted by the busyness, by the jostling, by the great need around Him.

“Jesus replied, ‘Yes, but I felt power surge through Me. Someone touched Me to be healed, and they received their healing.’ When the woman realized she couldn’t hide any longer, she came and fell trembling at Jesus’ feet. Before the entire crowd, she declared, ‘I was desperate to touch you, Jesus, for I knew if I could just touch even the fringe of your garment, I would be healed.’ Jesus responded…”

And I love this moment because He stopped and He saw her and He validated her even though everything was happening around Him.

“Beloved daughter, your faith in Me released your healing. You may go with My peace.’ While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, someone came from Jairus’ house and told him, ‘There’s no need to bother the master any further. Your daughter has passed away. She’s gone.’

So now imagine Jairus. If Jesus just would’ve hurried, if He would’ve not stopped for this woman with the blood, He was supposed to come and heal the daughter. Just imagine all the emotions he’s going through. That fear and that hurry and that urgency. Jesus knew it because right away He turned and said to him, “Don’t yield to your fear. Have faith in Me, and she will live again.’

In Mark 5:36, it says it this way. “But Jesus refused to listen to what they were told and said to the Jewish official, ‘Don’t yield to fear. All you need to do is keep on believing.’ When they arrived at the house, Jesus only allowed Peter, John, and Jacob along with the child’s parents to go inside. Again, here’s Jesus taking control of this situation. I’m going to select people that I know are going to represent Me, that are going to calm this moment.

“Jesus told those outside who were sobbing and wailing with grief, ‘Stop crying. She’s not dead. She’s just asleep and must be awakened.’ They laughed at Him knowing for certain that she had died. Jesus approached the body, took the girl by her hand and called out with a loud voice. ‘My sleeping child, awake, rise up!’ Instantly, her spirit returned to her body and she stood up. Jesus directed her stunned parents to give her something to eat and ordered them to tell no one what just happened.”

Again, here’s another moment where Jesus could be like, “Tell everybody, cause I want everybody to know what God is doing.” No. He had a purpose. Tell no one. Because He knows that He is being led to the people He is supposed to be reaching during this time. He has a short time and there are specific people that He was to reach.

So you just think of the pressure that Jesus could have felt in that moment. A girl dying. The overwhelming need of crowds pressing Him as He tries to reach the girl. The woman with the issue of blood stopping the procession. But He still took intentional time to see her, to acknowledge her, to validate her, and to love her. The news of the girl dying. His instructions not to give into fear.

Fear will tell us to hurry.

Fear will tell us there’s not enough. Fear will tell us there’s not enough time, not enough resources, not enough healing for all. “I have to hurry. I have to get what I need first.” Fear will tell us it’s too late. We missed our chance. Jesus took control of that moment in so many ways. All throughout that story, He slowed time. I literally see it that way. Like He refused to give in to that pressure of hurry. He spoke against the fear. He was intentional, not rushed. It’s not just a coincidence that just before these miracles, He calmed the storm out on the sea.

So think of that before this happened…

He had been traveling, so He was probably tired. He had been speaking in all these villages and all these towns and doing miracles and healings. And then this huge storm rises up as they’re coming to Galilee and He stops the storm.

And what happened when that happened?

Like the disciples are freaking out, right? “Oh my gosh, Jesus. Wake up.” He’s sleeping. And it just shows how much He just knew God had a plan in every minute of every moment. And He wasn’t going to give into fear. He wasn’t going to give into hurry. He wasn’t going to give into pressure. He refused to be moved by circumstances. So what did He say to the storm? “Be still!” In Aramaic, He said, “Peace, submit to the will of God. Peace, be still, slow down.” Jesus was not moved by hurry or driven by need. He was only moved by God’s direction.

When Lazarus died, what did He do?

He waited. He waited for the direction of the Holy Spirit of when to go. That was somebody that was dear to His heart. He could have ran and been like, “We have to get there. We have to hurry.” No, He listened to God’s direction. He waited and went when He was supposed to go. Jesus was empathetic to need, but He was not driven by it. He was not reactive. He was purposeful. He was intentional. He was led. He did not hurry. What would it look like for us to slow down today, to move through our day intentionally waiting for God’s leading? Notice the temptation to hurry and what that feels like, the sensation of stress in your body, distraction, irritation. Notice how that inhibits you and your ability to be present and to love. Pause throughout the day today simply to breathe, take in God’s loving presence and invite Him to everything you do.

Go into worship with this mindset…

I just wanted to go into worship this morning with that mindset that we have cleared this time for Him to do what He wants to do. We’re being intentional about this time to say, I’m stopping what I’m doing. I’m ceasing putting my hand to something, and I’m saying this time is for you.

And so, Father, we do that. We dedicate this time to you. We thank you that you slow our busy minds, you slow our frantic hearts, that you make space. There’s space and time to be in your present and to be present in your presence. And so we thank you. As we go into worship today.

Group worshiped…

Pastor Folu shared…

When Heather was talking about Jesus and His lifestyle, I was reminded of what the Lord said last week about the importance of just following Him. That’s the key, isn’t it? Yesterday, Miss Kay in accounting asked me, “What is the Lord speaking to you these days?” And I said, “Sister, it’s all about passion for His presence. That’s what He’s speaking to me, you know, to know Him.

Last week, when we were getting ready to begin this new adventure, there’s a word that the Lord spoke to Living Word. And I think it’s important to revisit that word again. It’s an old song. That song that goes, “There shall be showers of blessing.” So let me just read it real quickly.

“There shall be showers of blessing. This is the promise of love. There shall be seasons refreshing, sent from the Savior above. There shall be showers of blessing. Precious reviving again, over the hills and the valleys, sound of abundance of rain. There shall be showers of blessing. Send them upon us, Oh Lord, grant to us now a refreshing, come and now honor thy Word. There shall be showers of blessing, oh that today they might fall. Now as to God, we are confessing, now as on Jesus we call. There shall be showers of blessing if we but trust and obey. There shall be seasons refreshing if we let God have His way. Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need. Mercy drops round us have fallen, but for the showers we plead.

The Lord is doing something new now in this church. He’s moving. And He definitely wants you to move with Him. But if you choose not to because you’re in rebellion, because you can’t get with the program then… see you later, brother or sister.

Now let me read this word real quickly that the Lord gave this church. It says…

“Now about this church. Oh my, I hear many different languages from all over the world being spoken in this church. People coming from far and wide because of miracles that have been happening here. And the outpouring that began. It began in one of Brother Hagin’s meetings [at Living Word]. The glory fell and His power fell so strong on Pastor Mac that he supernaturally… I saw it! [This is brother Copeland’s speaking here.] He said, I saw it with my own eyes. This is me talking. I saw it. But I just heard the Spirit of God say, “It began that night.” He was picked up from where he stood. God picked him up and he stood on top of that pulpit and then stood him over on the other side of it. No way could he have done that. It began then.

Listen to this, saints.

“For I have picked… (this is almighty God speaking). For I have picked this place up and I’m thrusting you into the place of your calling.” So for staff members, for congregants, this is the word of the Lord. The Lord is thrusting us into the place of our calling. That’s why unity is very important. That’s why one accord is very important.

So I want us to pray about this for a couple minutes here.

He said that this house is a house of different languages from all over the world. And He wants to get us ready for that. So when these different languages start coming, people from different nations, that we are ready to receive them. We’re ready to welcome them in. That there’s no barrier. That we’re already ready. We’re already positioned. Can we pray please?

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