Are You Trusting in the Mighty Hands of God?

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“As a child of God, you ought to expect God to answer your prayers. Do you ask God to do something without adjusting your life to what you are praying? If you are praying for revival, how are you preparing for its coming? If you are praying for forgiveness, are you still living with guilt? If you have asked God to provide for your needs, do you remain worried and anxious? Ask God to increase your faith, and then begin living a life that reflects absolute trust in him.” Henry Blackaby

We all want God to answer our prayers. We believe in the power of prayer, but when it comes down to our own individual lives and problems, we often don’t have the faith to believe that God will answer. Unbelief and independence trap us. But God wants to enlarge our territory and bless us with increase, because His nature is to bless. Our lack of faith and our fear of stepping out in dependence on Him are what get in the way. The truth is that the things we do for God should be outside of our own abilities; they should be evidence that we are trusting in His supernatural ability.

When we back away from dependence, we are not living by faith. We need to be willing to attempt things big enough that unless God steps in, we are sure to fail. Faith is like jumping out of an airplane at fifteen thousand feet. If God doesn’t catch you, you will fall and crash. But how do you know unless you jump? This is the kind of faith and dependence He is looking for in our lives. Remember the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10:

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”

Jabez cried out to God to enlarge his territory and bless him. He cried out for God’s hand to be with him. Jabez was greatly blessed by God because he didn’t let obstacles become larger than his faith. He knew the character of God and that He loved to bless. We, too, are made for destiny. We have a God-inspired desire to impact our world. Created for something bigger than ourselves, we are designed to touch a lost world. We long to make an impact on our land for eternity, whether it is where we work, live or minister.

But in reality most of us are afraid to step out by faith.

An African antelope called the impala can jump to over ten feet high and over a distance of thirty feet! But you can keep impalas from escaping with only a three-foot-high stone wall. They can’t see where they will land on the other side of the wall, so they won’t even try to jump it.

In the same way, we often won’t try anything we can’t see because we are locked in by our fears. Faith is the ability to trust God even when we cannot see. Faith frees us to trust Him who has all the resources of heaven. Why are we afraid to become dependent on a God who has all the resources in the world with limitless power? He wants to bless us, but we must have faith.

If we pray for God to enlarge our borders, we must depend on Him and prepare to believe for miracles that only He can do. God gives us the desires of our hearts, and He wants to answer extraordinary prayers combined with extraordinary faith. He wants us to live beyond our self-imposed limits. He wants to give us favor, but many of us don’t believe it. I encourage you to begin to pray “big” prayers, because God wants to bless you.

I realize that I must demonstrate my dependence on God even when I feel weak, by stepping out by faith in whatever way He leads. It is not easy, but I must say “no” to fear. Recently I’ve had to do that on several occasions, and it worked! I watched God perform a miracle as I stepped out by faith for Him. Our willingness and weakness offered to God’s will and supernatural power result in God’s unlimited opportunity to bless us.

God is trying to teach each one of us dependence in His strong hands and supernatural power.

A small group of scientists were searching for an extremely rare flower in the Himalayan Mountains. After a long search, they found it, but it was growing on the side of a very steep cliff and they had no way to get it. They finally had an idea and asked a young boy if they could lower him over the cliff on a rope to get it. They offered him a bribe that was quite big in the eyes of that small boy. But the cliff was scary and extremely dangerous.

The boy thought for a minute and suddenly told the scientists to wait a minute, and he ran home. Finally he returned again with an older man. He told them that if they let his father hold on to the rope, he would allow them to lower him over the side of the cliff. He knew that his father would protect him. This example is similar to our relationship with God, our heavenly Father.

If God is holding the rope, then we can trust Him completely with our lives because we know He will not let go.

When we surrender our weakness into the mighty hands of God, our needs and problems turn into His unlimited opportunity. Then God becomes great through us, and He can entrust us with an enlarged territory and the fulfillment of His plan for us. But we have to take steps of faith, even if they are small. God honors these steps and turns them into His unlimited opportunity, because at that very point we become dependent on Him. This is His plan for our lives. If we are willing to give Him our weakness and obey His Word by faith, then it opens the door for supernatural power and God’s opportunity to bless us.

What step of faith is God asking you to take today? Will you put everything into His almighty hands, adjust your life to what you are praying for, and step out by faith in whatever way He leads? When you do this, you become dependent in His dependable hands. He is waiting for your invitation to enlarge your faith.

It is time to evaluate our personal faith life. Answer the following personal questions carefully and prayerfully.

  • How is God presently testing my faith?
  • In what way does He want to enlarge my territory?
  • What impossible assignment has He given me in prayer?
  • In what way am I trusting Him for something bigger than myself?
  • How am I stepping out of my comfort zone?
  • How am I surrendering my weakness, needs, and problems into His mighty hands?
  • In what way is God teaching me to depend on His strength and supernatural power?

If asking to do more for God is our utmost ambition, then asking for His hand upon us is our strategic choice to sustain and continue the great things that He has begun in our lives. That’s why you could call God’s hand on you,“The Touch of Greatness.” You do not become great; you become dependent on the strong hand of God. Your surrendered need turns into his unlimited opportunity to help you, and He becomes great through you.

Don’t miss the FREE Intercessors Arise upcoming prayer webinar called: “How to Enjoy Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life – SECURE YOUR SEAT HERE!

“The most exhilarating miracles in my life have always started with a bold request to expand God’s kingdom a lot. When you take little steps, you don’t need God. It’s when you thrust yourself in the mainstream of God’s plan for this world—which are beyond our ability to accomplish—and plead with Him, lord, use me—give me more ministry for You — that you release miracles.” – Bruce Wilkinson

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

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How to Respond in Faith in the Midst of Fiery Trials

13260085_1175217259208046_4893245932471638029_n“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him… Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet… When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.” 

Are you presently facing a fiery testing of your faith? Are you in the dark regarding circumstances in your life? One of the things that we find hardest to handle is the testing of our faith. It calls for too much internal struggle for us to come out on the other side. We want to know the answers. We want to see the light at the end of the tunnel far in advance. It is just too much of a challenge for us to go through a long testing of our faith and the discipline of darkness, yet God requires this of each one of us if we are to grow spiritually.

I’ve taken many college courses and been to many schools. One thing I can assure you is that it is far easier to take a course where we know exactly when it will end, or the day of the final exam so that we can prepare for it, than it is to go through a life testing. But the testing of our faith is so unpredictable. It throws us off guard. We have to muster up our courage and passionately seek God deep within if we are to make it through uncharted waters. We don’t like what we can’t see.

But God engineers and even brings us into the very thing that tests our faith. Why does He do this? What we rarely can comprehend at the start – especially of a life challenge – is that He permits this type of unrelenting trial for our good and benefit. He doesn’t intend to do us harm. He intends to bless us if we move closer rather than farther away.

If you are facing fiery trials, you are not alone. God is with you and can give you confidence in the middle of your trials. You are in the loving hands of the Almighty like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. He is aiming carefully at something that you cannot see. He is stretching, pulling and straining you into His purposes. Oswald Chambers, one of my favorite Christian authors who lived out his faith with deep reality, says:

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”

In days of difficulty, how can we respond in faith? How can we rise up in confident faith in God when the world around us seems to be crumbling? We must find the way of faith if we are going to live in victory. After all, faith is foundational in the Christian life. God releases His blessings in our life and circumstances according to our faith (Matthew 9:29; 21:21-22; Mark 11:23-24; John 5:14-25). Look at what Jesus says happens through our faith:

  • “If you have faith… nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
  • “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Luke 8:48).
  • “If you believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).
  • “as you have believed so let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:13).
  • “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29).

What is God doing in this test of faith in the midst of our fiery trials? What does He want us to know and do at this time? We all have trials. Many around the world are going through severe trials. They can be anywhere from the less threatening persistent health issues, difficult relationships, a loss of our job, lack of promotion and recognition…. to actually losing our life for our faith. Trials come in all shapes and sizes. Life was never meant to be a paradise. We may be entering a trial, leaving a trial, or actually right in the midst of a severe trial.

The key that opens the door to blessing is the key of faith and confidence in God. In Kansas during a severe drought, a group of people came together to pray for rain. As they met together, they found only one girl had brought an umbrella! She was the one who responded in believing faith and confidence in God.

How to Respond in Faith

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”

Let’s see God’s purpose in our difficulties and learn to respond positively. He will give us a precious message for others if we learn to trust Him in the fire. The following are ways to respond in faith:

  • Know that faith releases more blessing into our life circumstances – We read in Matthew 9:29 that according to your faith it will be done to you.
  • Don’t be consumed with trying to figure everything out – Cultivate a trusting attitude of faith in God and His goodness even when you don’t understand.
  • Watch your thoughts and your tongue – Our thoughts follow wherever our mind goes. Our tongues can reinforce the negative, so speak positive words and worship God, knowing that He is in control. Learn to sing in the dark.
  • Let go of unproductive thinking about your problems – Don’t keep asking “Why God” or “When God.” Remain quietly listening, learn to hear God’s voice, and ask Him to show you Himself. He wants to reveal Himself to you.
  • Don’t listen to the devil’s lies – Listen to God’s Word instead. Learn the truth and it will set you free. Don’t let lies become your reality.
  • Meditate on God’s Word and talk to Jesus about it – Let God speak to you as you meditate. Then pray with our eyes on God and not on your difficulties.
  • Talk yourself into faith instead of anxiety – Don’t talk yourself into a negative mood by rehearsing your problems apart from God’s promises. Learn to declare His promises from His Word and your feelings will begin to change.
  • Learn what God’s Word says – Especially study about who you are in Christ and how God will work in your life. The enemy will always strike at our identity in Christ when we are facing fiery trials. Study Psalm 139.
  • Be confident that God is working – Even when you cannot see or feel his work know that God is working in your life (Philippians 1:6).

You may feel like you have failed in your response of faith. Life is a process, not an event. You can start now. It is never too late for a new beginning or to start believing the right things. Push delete and rise up in new faith. Let’s step out afresh in faith and entrust ourselves into God’s loving hands.

A Prayer of Faith

Lord, I ask You to enlarge my faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3). I know that faith will release more blessing in this fiery trial I am facing in my life. Please remove doubt and help me to stand firm in my faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) and faithfully pray through (Name your fiery trial). Give me a supernatural faith to believe You and to fix my eyes upon You instead of the storms around me. I ask for patient trust. I refuse to try to figure everything out, and I let go of unproductive thinking about this problem. I refuse to listen to the devil’s lies. I choose to trust in your goodness and character. I want to believe You for marvelous breakthroughs in (name situation) for Your honor and glory.

I ask that You help me to be a person of prayer and faith in the impossible. Teach me to listen, meditate on Your Word, and hear Your voice. I ask You to give me faith-filled prayers that are created and fashioned in heaven. Break every area of unbelief in my life. I choose to declare Your promises over my circumstances. Increase my faith to believe that You will answer my prayers in Your timing (Mark 11:22-24). I thank you that I am Your beloved child and that my identity is in You. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), and I am confident that You are working deeply in my life through this fiery trial. I entrust myself into Your loving hands today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God is like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says – ‘I cannot stand anymore.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith.” Quotes by Oswald Chambers

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

Standing Firm in Persistent Prayer

“God is in the process of redemption for the long haul.  My persistent praying says, ‘Count me in. I won’t cut and run when the answers are slow in coming. Instead of drumming impatient fingers, I’m going to use that hand to knock firmly on heaven’s door – again and again! Together, God and I share the ongoing fellowship of intercession.”  Sandy Mayle

Jesus was persistent in prayer. He practiced persistence in His prayer life, and He taught it to His disciples. He was passionate about not giving up in prayer because He wanted His disciples to learn to stand firm in persistent prayer. Look at His life. He spent whole nights in prayer. That takes perseverance and incredible persistence. At the end of His life, he was so intensely praying that he sweat great drops of blood. Jesus knew how to stand firm in persistent prayer. He wanted us to learn to keep asking, to keep seeking, and to keep knocking. He said in Luke 11:9-10:      
 
“So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened” (Amplified Bible).

Prayer doesn’t seem so attractive when you don’t see quick results. We think that maybe we are doing something wrong or that God doesn’t hear us. We may even question His goodness. But we are so wrong when we think in this way. God hears every prayer and He does answer us – but it’s in His way and in His timing. We are so quick to give up. In Luke 18:1-5 (NIV) Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow who never gave up:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming.'”

The word “persist” in Webster’s dictionary means “to stand or be fixed, to continue steadfastly and firmly in the pursuit of any cause, to pursue, not receding from the purpose, not to give up or abandon.” That persistent widow wanted justice and didn’t waver in her pursuit. She stood firmly and didn’t give up in her asking. Finally the judge answered her request because of her persistence. 

Persistence is Reality
 
Most people like to live and serve God when everything is exciting. I lived on an exciting mission’s ship as a young person. We went from country to country and city to city. The first three months in this exciting ministry was absolutely glorious! Young people would come to live on board and though the ship was old, worn and full of little cockroaches, the ministry opportunities were fantastic. It was like a little bit of heaven. Everything was absolutely thrilling initially – living with people from over 40 nations, sharing your testimony in a different church meeting every Sunday, and eating new food and fruits in countries you never even heard of! 
 
But time went on and all the glamour quickly wore off. 
 
All of a sudden your own home country seemed like a beautiful dream. Roommates started to get irritating, sea voyages were no longer enchanting, seasickness was a hard endurance, and many wondered if they made a huge mistake by joining for two long years. But it was a good training for young people in the area of reality because persistence is reality. During the testimony times when people were leaving the ship, they often told how long they had been on board. For example, “My name is Mary. I’ve been on board one year, eleven and ½ months.” Then they would tell what they learned during their time on board. I am surprised someone hasn’t yet told how many hours and minutes he/she has lived on board! But just to press the point, ship life had a lot of persistence and endurance for a young person. 
 
There is no getting around it for any of us – old or young. No matter who we are or what job we have, if we are going to reach the world for Christ we will have to persist. Intercessors have to persist. It’s part of their calling. Persistence is reality. The real world is not always exciting. It may have exciting moments but in between those mountaintop experiences, there is a lot of persistence.

If we all stop and think about it, life is not easy for anyone. Every job includes endurance and persistence. Prayer takes persistence. There are wilderness and dry times when you think you are the only one praying. There are times when you feel as if you’ve prayed a thousand times without an answer. Real purposeful ministry takes time and persistence as it develops. Everything good takes endurance. People think that living here at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC) is all excitement. It takes a very high level of persistent prayer for everyone here. Rick Joyner, a wise prophetic leader, author and founder of the Morning Star ministry, says:
 
“Many will come at first because a new work is always exciting. However, they will not have the stability or endurance to stay through the wilderness and dry times, which we must always go through to get to the place where we receive the promises of God and the Promised land, to the fulfillment of the promises. In fact, we can see in both Scripture and history that the quicker and easier the promises are fulfilled, the less significant the purpose.” 
 
When we are praying for something big, we need great patience. It takes both faith and patience to inherit the promise. We read in Hebrews 6:11-12 “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” The greater the purpose, the greater the faith and patience are required. Persistence is reality. 
 
Persistent Prayer Does Not Give Up
 
“Persistent praying never faints or grows weary. It is never discouraged. It never yields to cowardice, but is lifted up and sustained by a hope that knows no despair and a faith that will not let go. Persistent praying has patience to wait and strength to continue. It never prepares itself to quit praying, and it refuses to get up from its knees until an answer is received.” E. M. Bounds
 
Not to give up means not to faint or lose heart. It is steady prayer. It’s long-term and not for the faint-hearted. It stands firm. It displays a trust in God that says, “I am going to believe you for the answer in your way and your timing.” When we persist in prayer, we cover every aspect of the need from a variety of perspectives. We see it from the big perspective and from the tiniest aspect. We don’t forget the prayer because we carry it with us, and it’s in our routine. We knock and knock at heaven’s door. We are passionate about it. 
 
There is not one of us who doesn’t have to be persistent in prayer. 
 
It’s part of our training for reigning. We have to learn to wait no matter how hard it is. Patience is not one of our favorite words. It’s so exciting to run around and do things, but to wait and pray is hard work. And to keep from getting discouraged is another story. Many of us live in cultures where waiting is not considered a virtue. But God sees things differently than we do. Waiting is often the best use of our time. I’ve written about it often because I feel it is the important DNA of an intercessor. We have to patiently wait and persist in prayer. We have to stand firm without wavering and then we have to wait some more. 
 
The Apostle Paul was a fast-moving individual but he learned the secret of persistent prayer. He said to the Church in Thessalonica, “Night and day we pray more earnestly that we may see you again” (1 Thessalonians 3:10).  To the Church in Colosse he said, “We have not stopped praying for you….” (Colossians 1:9).  To the Church in Ephesus he said, “I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…. may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17).
 
When we lived in Virginia Beach, my husband and I used to walk around a lake for exercise in the evenings. Every year a carnival would set up their rides and food stands right near that area. We’d walk past it as well as through it several times on our brisk walk around the lake. Many people think traveling with a carnival must be exciting and fun. Children think it must be the most exciting life one could have! Lots of rides, hot dogs, and cotton candy all the time! We watched those carnival workers closely as we walked. They looked tired, bored, worn out, and hopeless. The weather was humid and it rained a lot, so that you had to tiptoe through the mud puddles. Often the rides had only a couple of riders. Where was all the excitement? There wasn’t any. It was hard work and persistence. 
 
We, who represent Jesus, must be persistent, patient, and persevering in our prayers. 
 
We must be the ones who stand the strongest in persistent prayer and in every occupation in life. It’s easy to give up, but we are representing a King and living for a Kingdom that will never end. Next time you feel like quitting, look up the following verses: Luke 11:5-10, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Luke 18:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, Col. 1:9, and Genesis 32:26. This is not the time to give up but to stand firm. We are laying hold of God’s strength as we pray. Keep on knocking on heaven’s door. It will pay off dramatically in the end, because God not only hears but He answers persistent prayer in a powerful way.   

The following will help you to be persistent in prayer. I invite you to see my four new facebook pages for my books: Breakthrough PrayerAscending the Height in PrayerDeeper Still, and 24/7 Prayer Arise. Join and like the Intercessors Arise facebook page for daily encouragement in your prayer life. For bi-monthly training in prayer, have your friends sign up for Intercessors Arise here.
 
“Persistence has various elements – the main ones are perseverance, determination, and intensity. It begins with a refusal to readily accept denial. This develops into a determination to persevere, to spare no time or trouble until the answer comes. This grows in intensity until the whole being is given to God in supplication. Boldness comes to lay hold of God’s strength. At one time, it is quiet; at another, bold. At one point, it waits in patience, but at another, it claims at once what it desires. In whatever different shape, persistence always means and knows that God hears prayer: I must be heard.” Andrew Murray

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org