Local Church Prayer

Prayer in the Local Church, Jim Sterns –

Here is a powerful and direct 13 minute video message on prayer in the local church, and I realize that this is a very challenging message that might provoke some strong feelings or opinions on this topic. But I hope it causes us to look around at our local church to see if there is an actual culture of prayer. I know it is one thing to say that prayer is valued, but is prayer a reality in the midst of your local church? I don’t believe that prayer is just a new ‘trend’ for the local church, I believe God is reviving His royal priesthood and restoring a relationship to Him.

Here is a great diagram that Jim Stern made that breaks down some of his points.

Prayer-Shift

Check out some of the past Message Monday posts.

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The Moravian Revival

Well folks this is what we have all been waiting for!  Thanks for the patience to all my faithful followers.  Here are the past posts if you missed any: MORAVIAN MOVE SERIES.

 

August 13, 1727 was a day not to be forgotten to those who lived in the community at Hernhut.  Now as you know from the previous post, this community of Christian believers had held a variety of doctrines and beliefs when it came to their faith.  There were many persecuted denominations represented including the Moravian Brethren (Unity of Brethren), Lutherans, Reformist, Schwenkfelders, Calvanists, separatists, and Baptists. A few months prior to that day, the community was in turmoil due to bickering and quarreling over their religious differences.

Count Zinzendorf, the owner and visionary of the land was grieved over the disunity of the Christian community.  And during the month of May 1727, he and his family came to permanently live in Hernhut. He gave his life to see this home of refugees be a place filled with the presence of God.  His passion to see this come to pass drove him to a deeper level of prayer for the people at Hernut.  He taught fiercely on the unity of Christians found in the Bible, the importance of prayer, and he also had the members sign a “Brotherly Agreement.”

He called all of them, “to seek out and emphasize the points in which they agreed”

This dedicated approach from Zinzendorf blew open the doors of grace for a great level of repentance, prayer, and unity! After this raising of a new standard, passionate prayer groups started up and new hymns flowed forth giving praise to the Savior.  God’s presence, unity and intercession increased through out the summer and much travail went out from Hernhut for even more of His presence.

It was August the thirteenth when Zinzendorf called the congregation for a special communion early that Wednesday morning.  Then it happened; the whole community felt the tangible outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  This was a moment that was unexplainable to many but was said to be much like the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts 2.

Rev John Greenfield a Moravian historian said, “They hardly knew if they had been on earth or in heaven.” in his book Power from on High.

James Montgomery a Moravian Hymn writer, wrote this piece later on describing the event:

“They walked with God in peace and love, But failed with one another; While sternly for the Faith they strove, Brother fell out with brother; But He in whom they put their trust, Who knew their frames that they were dust, Pitied and healed their weakness. He found them in His House of Prayer, With one accord assembled; And so revealed His presence there, They wept with joy and trembled: One cup they drank, one bread they brake, One baptism shared, one language spake, Forgiving and forgiven. Then forth they went with tongues aflame In one blest theme delighting; The love of Jesus and His name, God’s children all uniting; That love our theme and watchword still, Thy law of love may we fulfill, And love as we are loved.”

It was a glorious day for the Moravians that launched a deeper passion for God’s Word, prayer, Hymns, and eventually missions. From this day forth they held meetings three times a day (4am 9am and 9pm) to pray and give thanks to God.

They also established 24-7 prayer! They started with 24 men and 24 women, each being assigned to one hour of the day to pray and they dubbed it Hourly Intercession.  Yes, it is true that this 24-7 prayer model lasted 100 years! This developed what they called Daily Watchwords resulting in one of the oldest and most popular daily devotionals.

Out of their prayer meetings they received a great zeal for missions.  They ended up sending out many missionaries’ abroad being among the first to reach out to slaves.  The Moravian missionary’s even made it to the United States and received a burden to spread the gospel to the Native Americans.

The missionaries going out from Hernhut were fearless unto death for the sake of Christ.  This Moravian mission movement was the first successful wide spread surge from the protestant reformation.  Zinzendorf and the Moravians helped lay a foundation for the great mission move that followed in the 18th century with men like William Carey.

The Hernhut community was modeled and duplicated near and far while small renewal groups broke out all across Europe.

 

•••

Does this inspire you at all???  It has definitely impacted me.  Last year I  got caught up in the “quarreling” of doctrine and theology and nothing was accomplished.  I have seen how ugly and immature it can get.  The end result of being in it and watching it from a distance caused me to realize that I need to be in His Word, prayer, and fellowship.

The Moravians were not perfect (who is but Christ) but I admire Count Zinzendorf for his bold leadership and convictions that lead him to find the good and common ground that each member had.  I personally think the Body of Christ needs to come back to this reality.  There are even more denominations and church splits in this day and age than ever before, let’s face it we probably will never fully agree on everything! So let us move forward in our love for Christ and our love for one another…isn’t that what He called us too?

I am hungry for this type of outpouring on the Church again.  I do not believe that the outpouring of Holy Spirit was a one time thing, I do believe that He wants to pour out His Spirit at an even greater measure today!  We saw it in the book of Acts and you can see it displayed through this Moravian Move and with other historical revivals.  The believers started in fellowship and prayer and the result was a great outpouring which lead to even greater prayer and fellowship PLUS souls saved for Christ!!!

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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I am starting a new series called, the Moravian Move, it will be several posts that are all related to the Moravian Revival I will be putting up other stuff as well in the midst of this series, but I wanted to give you a heads up on my latest research.

As far as I can tell, John Wycliffe’s (a forerunner in the reformation) teachings heavily influenced John Hus, who was burned at the stake for his beliefs that opposed the “organized” Church of his day.  The martyrdom of Hus, caused his “supporters” heavy persecution, causing them to unite together as the Czech Brethren and then later on becoming the Moravians.  Almost 100 years after the death of Hus, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 theses into a church door, which catapulted the Reformation, as we know it.  After centuries of persecution among the Moravians and having to flee to Germany, a man by the name of Count Zinzendorf offered them refuge on his estate.  The property was called Hernut, “the Lord’s Watch” and it was here that the Pentecostal like revival broke out.  In 1727 The Moravian Revival was described by John Greenfield in his book, “Power from on High”, as,

“No one present could tell exactly what happened on that Wednesday morning, 13 August 1727 at the specially called Communion service. They hardly knew if they had been on earth or in heaven”.

It was from this revival that Revivalist such as Charles and John Wesley were impacted, as well as many others.  This revival launched a 24/7-prayer movement that lasted 100 years!

Part 1: John Wycliffe

Part 2: John Hus-“Goose”

Part 3: Revolution and Reformation

Part 4: Unity of Brethren

Part 5: Count Zinzendorf

Part 6: The Moravian Revival

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I just want to give a quick thank you and God Bless to our Congressman, Jeff Denham!  I was recently encouraged by David Bereit, 40 Days for Life Director, to send an email, “to your Member of Congress RIGHT NOW and tell them how you feel about removing ALL taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers!” So, I did, letting him know how I felt and why I believe funding needs to be pulled from Planned Parenthood.  Here was his response to my email.

Dear Patrick,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the sanctity of life. This is an issue of utmost concern to me, and I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. I believe that life begins with conception, and that abortion is the immoral termination of an innocent human life. I feel we must emphasize the value of human life, and restore rights to unborn children.

Since 1976, Congress has included the Hyde Amendment in appropriations legislation to prohibit the use of federal dollars to fund abortions through programs like Medicaid. The amendment does not prohibit State funded or privately funded abortions; it only prohibits federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services from using federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

I am committed to banning the use of federal funds to pay for the performance of abortions. For that reason, I support H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on January 20, 2011. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 25% of Medicaid-eligible women who would otherwise choose abortion choose life when public funds are not available. With 1 in 10 American women covered by Medicaid, the implications of this funding ban are significant.

On February 19th, the House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund federal departments and agencies through the rest of FY2011. This bill restored long standing prohibitions against the use of federal and local funds for abortion and needle exchange programs. I voted in support of Amendment 11 to the CR which prohibits the use of any federal funds from being used by Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliates. Amendment 11, introduced by. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) was included in the CR that passed the House. Currently, the CR is pending in the Senate.

In Congress, I will be an advocate for the rights of the unborn. I will support bills that are life-affirming, increase parental rights, provide necessary barriers to make it more difficult to get an abortion, and deny federal funding to groups and practices that provide abortive procedures of any kind. I care deeply about the dignity and sanctity of unborn human life. Rest assured, I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn.

Finally, I encourage you to visit my website at www.denham.house.gov to get the most current information on my work in Congress. Once again, thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

JEFF DENHAM
United States Representative

Thank you Congressman, Jeff Denham, for being an advocate for life, a voice for the unborn!  I pray that God will continue to use you in this position to bring justice and to influence others in your sphere about the importance of life.  Also a BIG thanks to the rest of our Congressmen who voted yes on the Pence amendment…find out who voted what, HERE.

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Have you caught wind of the latest HISTORIC VOTE to defund Planned Parenthood by stripping them of their taxpayer funding?

What is Planned Parenthood might be your first question…It is an organization that, “is many things to many people, to me, it is the LARGEST abortion chain in America! They do about *320,000 abortions a year!

If that’s not enough they have recently been exposed on undercover cameras for,

“Willing to aid and abet the trafficking of underage “sex workers” by offering advice to an undercover investigator posing as a “pimp” on how to obtain secret abortions, contraception, and STD tests.” Lifesitenews.com

You can find that video coverage right HERE

And you can find other videos of PP and their abuses HERE

How much funding do they actually get a year from taxpayer funding…Around *$350,000,000!!!

What was the vote in the House of Representatives…It was an overpowering majority vote of 240 to 185! A huge victory for pro lifers!

And just so you are aware, the voting of this amendment is not removing all money that the government offers to health care providers…NO, it is just removing the funds from the health care providers that provide the killing of innocent babies with the money that is offered to them.

I believe Lila Rose response to this momentous news says it best.

“We applaud those in Congress who championed the safety of women, young girls and children today, and refused to funnel hundreds of millions of tax dollars into an organization that furthers the trafficking of minors and enables sexual abusers. We now turn our attention to the Senate. Now they must examine the facts and move to pull the plug on subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s exploitation of the most vulnerable among us. The case to cease funding is crystal clear. But for any Senator who remains unsure, imagine explaining to your constituents that you voted to keep sending $350 million of their tax dollars to a ‘non-profit’ that puts young girls in harm’s way and made $63 million in profits by aborting 300,000 unborn children last year. It’s time once and for all to stop financing these activities.” – Lila Rose, President of Live Action

Sadly, in a new video, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards condemns House passage on February 18 of an amendment that would defund PP by saying ,

“It’s funding that saves lives, and they killed it”…

The abortion of 320,000 murdered baby’s is not saving lives, it is in fact the killing of lives!

This is far from over, as now the amendment must be passed by the Senate.  The opposition is heated and the line has been drawn very clear.  LIFE or DEATH?  I pray that you join in this HISTORIC CAUSE by spreading the word and taking a stand for LIFE.  The passing of this amendment will be a day to remember.

*PP annual report source

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2011: Our Transition into a Mission


Dear friends and family,

I wanted to enlighten you with the latest happenings of our little family. As I hope most of you all know the Lord blessed Aimee and I with a wonderful baby girl, Liberty Reign Atkins. Liberty was birthed October 26th, at 8lbs 9oz. and 21″ inches long. She was definitely the highlight of 2010. We love what the Lord has taught us in the past year, while setting us into a launching position for transition in this New Year.

The transition being, as of January 15th 2011, we moved to the bay area to plug into the Convergence House of Prayer in Fremont! It has been our dream for a long time to join a House of Prayer and we have taken a huge first step of faith to obtain it! We will continue to step out in faith in order to chase after the dreams that the Lord has planted in each of our hearts.

Let us fill you in as best as we can…

What is the Convergence House of Prayer? (cHOP)

The cHOP has a vision to establish individuals in partnership with Christ through prayer and worship modeled after the Tabernacle of David (1Chr. 22-24). Our desire is to partner with God in becoming a perpetual worship and prayer center in our region linking His presence and the supernatural lifestyle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What will we be doing?

Aimee is pursuing her gifts in worship while singing in the Prayer Room on worship sets: Devotionals, Worship With the Word, and Intercession. I will be an Intercessory Missionary: ministering in prayer, fasting, worship, and service in the House of Prayer. Serving 15+ hours in the prayer room as well as ministering at least 5 hours of “helps” each week. My focus will be to grow in the Love and Knowledge of God, while being committed to the forerunner message of preparing the way of the Lord.

We will both be taking courses from the Convergence Supernatural School of Ministry (CSSM). CSSM is the convergence of two streams, using both the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry DVD series as well as curriculum from the International House of Prayer University. Believing that a supernatural lifestyle stems from and is fueled by intimacy with God.

We also know that the Lord will be opening up new doors for us to minister in, as this House of Prayer just launched officially January 2011. Our heart is to serve and be used by Him in a way that will impact those around us the most. We will also be raising, Liberty, in the prayer room, establishing a deep foundation in the love of Jesus in her.

How can you help?

Just as missionaries overseas require financial support for their needs so that they can give 100% of their time to do good works of justice and minister to His people; we too will need financial support. Our heart is to lead a lifestyle of full time missions. Our prayer in this matter of giving is 2 Cor. 9:6-15: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (v7).” We know it is, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food (v10)”, and we ask, if the Lord wills it, that some of your seed would be sown towards us for our bread so that we may join in unity and watch Him, “multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God (v10-11).”

CLICK THIS LINK FOR SUPPORT INFORMATION: Historyishiring/SUPPORT

We thank you for taking the time to read this and pray that His Spirit will lead you with what you have purposed in your heart. We know that your support will help position us better to attain a holy and righteous lifestyle that is pleasing to our Lord, Jesus the Christ. If anything, lift us up in prayer and petition that the Lord leads us and guides us through this transition to a position of full time mission.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick, Aimee, and Liberty Atkins

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This past year has been a wonderful season of growth in the midst of patience and waiting upon the Lord.  Looking back on 2010 makes me appreciate where I am today.  It was not just the preparing for a new chapter in my life, but it was a preparing of a whole new series.  As always Aimee and I started the year off excited, but this was different than years past.  Aimee and I had just ended a four day One Thing Conference going into the New Year and then attended a leadership training immediately after while we were out in Kansas City.  The whole experience pierced our hearts and really shook us up, in a good way.  What we had heard and felt caused us to search our hearts and we knew that we could not go back home doing business as usual.  There was something bigger going on and we knew He was calling us to it.  We felt like the Lord was telling us to step down and to step out into a realm of Faith that we had not previously walked in before.  It was not easy, but it had prepared and equipped us far beyond anything we could have done if we had continued down our safe street while driving at the speed we were.  The Lord really taught us patience as we waited on Him.  I can look back and see His Hand with every step of faith that we made.

The only way we could get to where God was calling us to was by letting go of some things.  The fruit from our decisions to let go of some selfish things that we were holding on to began to show almost immediately.  By the end of January Aimee and I had found out that we were pregnant! It was joyous news and we couldn’t have been happier.  It seemed like the Lord was already getting His plans in motion for us.  Not only was our little girl on her way but also her cousin Cambria was just three months ahead of her.  Then before you knew it, it seemed like every young couple in the area was pregnant!  Yes, God was moving and He was bringing in a new army of HARVESTERS!  I can’t even count how many girls were born in the last year.  Which is a very cool prophetic picture of how God places a high value on women for the Great coming Harvest.

I was still growing and learning to be a husband (and will continue to do so) and now I had another awesome “job” title in the works.  Speaking of jobs, at the time I was out of a job, but I did not let this get me down in the midst of the good news.  If the Lord was going to bless us with a child, I new He would lead me to a job…and He did, when I least expected it!  It came in March after a last minute decision that we had said yes to when a door opened for us to go on a mission’s trip with our church.  We had not planned on going due to Aimee being pregnant, as much as we had wanted to go.  Then at the last minute it was like God had nudged us.  We took another step of faith and before we knew it, all three of us were in Mexicali, Mexico!  It was such a blessing to be apart of.  It was our first mission’s trip as a family, it was my first mission’s trip ever, and Aimee was a veteran…only this time she was carrying our little one inside of her.  We poured a lot out into the church and children and we were rewarded heavily with laughter and smiles that will always be carried in our hearts.  It just so happened that my next boss was on the trip.  I had never met him before, but he offered me a job and when we got back home I started working full time again.  How faithful is our God!

Time started flying by after that.  Aimee’s belly was growing and we were both staying busy with work and family time. The following months were filled with, “Do you have a name picked out.” And us saying, “NO”, then in our heads saying,  “Ok, God, what is her name?”  “God, could you help us out?”  “Well, let us know when you’ve got one picked out for her!” Then…it came!  But, was it from the Lord?  We read it in the name book before, but there are a lot of names in the name book.  Well when we heard it this time it was different.  We were on a short get away up in Redding, visiting Bethel during a morning worship set when Aimee looked at me and said, “What about Liberty Rain/Reign?”  I loved it!  So we agreed that this was probably going to be her name but we wanted to get some more confirmation.  We did, several small ones and then the kicker.  We started seeing the name Liberty everywhere we looked.  It was on cars, chip bags, bedding brands, walls…and all U.S. coins.  Ok, so these are pretty common things.  Then we were invited over to some long time friend’s house for dinner.  We talked and discussed life and they asked us the very familiar question, “Do you have a name picked out?”  We responded with a, “Not really.” The night went on and as we were getting ready to leave they wanted to pray for us.  We both sat down as they each started praying for us and then they started praying for our baby.  The husband started praying and said that he sees that she is going to have a lot of “freedom” with her.  Aimee and I kind of nudged each other while he continued to pray.  Then he reinstated the fact that she is going to have a lot of “freedom” and…LIBERTY! We started laughing out loud and they were a little perplexed.  After saying amen we explained to them the story.  He is faithful in the little things!

My brother and his wife gave birth to Cambria in July and this really caused our hearts to pound with anticipation! Before we knew it, the big “due date” was coming around the corner for us.  We were as ready as we could be.  We just wanted to meet our little Liberty already!  There was the possibility that she might even come early.  Well time was passing and the pregnant stage was getting a little old.  We found our free time being filled with family and preparing the baby room.  It’s always good to have family so close when life decisions draw you into a new focus during a new season.  Our focus, having a baby; our season, trusting God.  Then a few weeks out before Liberty’s “due date” our focus intensified and continued so as we PASSED THE DUE DATE! God really wanted to stretch our patience and trust in Him.  One week over due and we were doing EVERYTHING possible to speed this whole labor process up.  Still no ding from the oven…another week comes and met us face to face.  We were ready 9 months ago, now we were just plain tired.  Coming into the second week of being late and we were wondering if she was ever going to come out.  She did!  It was a very heart warming moment. It was not always easy, but it was WORTH IT! Seeing the hand of God in that surreal moment gave my heart a new hope for the rest of my life.  Liberty Reign Atkins was born October 26, 2010, healthy and happy.  The faith of a mustard seed moves mountains and that seed bears much fruit!

The year of 2010 has set the course for 2011 and beyond.  My life will never be the same and I will continue to pursue Him in a way that will not stop to think about what the “world” has to say.  If I am going after Him and laying my life down to get closer to Him, I can’t lose.  I want to encourage you all to step out in faith with the big things and the little things this year.  I have found more JOY in letting go and embracing Him and His ways.  There is nothing in this world that can compare.  Pray for me and my family as we go into this year with all 6 legs stepping out into faith.  He is faithful to the end!

Blessings in 2011,

Patrick Judah

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Liberty Reign

The long awaited DAY OF DELIVERY (October 26, 2010).  I can now officially say that I am a Father, a Dad, Poppa…Daddy! I have been looking forward to this day for a long time and I can say the same for my wife.  This pregnancy has been a wonderful experience and saying the typical, “it’s life changing”, does not get close to describing the monumental moment.  The months leading up to this have been fun, challenging, exciting, and sobering. I would relate these last 9 months of pregnancy to the coming of the Kingdom, “the now but not yet.” Liberty was in our presence the whole time and yet we knew that it was not the “full” experience that we were promised.  We watched her kick and move all around and yet we still could not fully see her and hold her.  God has promised us the Kingdom in the now and many times we can see it moving and kicking, but we also know that it is not yet fully manifested.  I cannot wait until the fullness of His kingdom is ushered from heaven to earth, what a glorious day!

I learned some things during the labor part of the pregnancy.  Matthew 24:13 says, “The one who endures to the end, will be saved.” This is such good news! When the birthing pangs came at times I felt like it was impossible, like they would never stop! Also, it is not easy to watch someone that you love go through suffering.  Now I can say I have a very small glimpse (like really small) of what the Father felt when His Son was crucified, or even when I am faced with trials or troubles.  But during the labor and contractions I was reminded of the Misty Edwards song that refers to Matthew 24:13, “If you don’t quit, you win”, “It’s going to get better, it’s going to be worth it!” Then I saw and felt the pattern of resting and “fighting” during the whole labor.  These small pockets of rest were very important for my wife and I found that it was even more important for me to pray and fight on her behalf while she was resting.  I heard the Lord say that it is important to allow Him to fight for us when He has called us into His rest.  There will be times when it feels like we are fighting and He does not seem to be present even though He is there.  Those are the times when our faith is being tested by trials and tribulations.  But it is important to perceive when He has called us into “rest”, so that we can allow Him to do the fighting for us and not take things on our own.  I hope that makes sense, just know that He is our rest and our strength.

You can read about it and talk about it, but there is nothing like encountering it for yourself! I thank God for His supernatural presence through the whole process.  Now that Liberty is here, I know no other way of living…IT IS THE SAME WITH MY SAVIOR IN MY LIFE!

Yours Truly,

One Proud Dad

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