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Archive for the ‘Contributor: Jennifer’ Category

Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer #1-12

Posted by Cinda On March - 19 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is Executive Director of The Praying Life Foundation, a respected author and speaker, and contributor of Coffee Cup Friends. “Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer” is a must-read if you want to grow in your prayer life and relationship with God.

prayer1. Prayer is the most aggressive, pro-active, offensive, invasive action one can take in any situation. Prayer reaches into the spiritual realm and accesses all the power of heaven for the circumstances of earth. (Live A Praying Life) “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

2. What God wants to do on the earth, He will do through intercessors. When God wants to change the course events will take on their own, He searches out an intercessor on whose heart He can place His  desires. (Live A Praying Life) “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30

3. Through an ongoing prayer relationship with the Father, He will reproduce His heart in me, shaping my desires to match His. He will take my self-centered heart and fasten it on Him. (Live A Praying Life) “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4

4. Prayer is the means by which you will be freed from your earth-bound, time-bound thinking to participate in eternity. (Live A Praying Life) “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

5. Prayer will work as God intends for it to work when it becomes what God intends for it to be. Prayer is not an activity, but a relationship. Prayer is not a formula, but a life. Only when we have learned to live prayer, breathe prayer, be prayer—only then will the power promised in Scripture consistently be your experience. (Live A Praying Life) “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:18

6. Don’t focus your faith on an outcome. Instead, focus your faith on God. (Live A Praying Life) “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’.” Daniel 3:16-18

7. His sovereign decree has established prayer as the bridge between the spiritual realm— where the Word of God is settled forever and all the promises are already ‘Yes’ in Christ— and the material realm. Prayer bridges the gap between heaven and earth. (Live A Praying Life) “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10

8. God initiates prayer. Scripture tells us that God is awakening desires, initiating spiritual hunger, creating in His children the inclination to seek Him. When you pray, you are opening your life to His power and provision. (Live A Praying Life) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20

prayer089. True prayer is when God’s heart is expressed through your words. Prayer in its highest form occurs when the words I articulate, with my mouth or in my mind, are merely the containers for God’s thoughts and desires. (Live A Praying Life) “I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand.” Isaiah 51:16

10. God’s heart is the beginning point of prayer. Powerful, earth-changing prayer starts in the heart of God and flows through the hearts of His people. (Live A Praying Life) “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” Psalms 25:14

11. God wants to answer prayer in such a way that He will be glorified. He wants our lives to be billboards upon which He can advertise Himself. He wants our lives to be stages upon which He can perform. He wants our lives to be trophy cases in which He can display His mighty deeds. (Live A Praying Life) “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Psalms 50:15

12. As you are learning to live a praying life, prayer takes on a much broader definition than “saying prayers.” Much of what prayer is accomplishing cannot be condensed to a list. Sometimes the direct answer to a specific petition is the least important aspect of what prayer accomplished. Most important is what has occurred in the heart of the praying person. (Live A Praying Life) “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.” Psalms 119:76-77

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean
Used with permission.

Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer #13-24

Posted by Cinda On March - 19 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

13. Your need or your desire is simply His entry point into your life. In meeting your need and fulfilling your desire, He is drawing you to deeper dependence on Him and deeper intimacy with Him. (Live A Praying Life) “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

heartwall14. You cannot know the desire of your heart until you know the heart of your desire. Usually, what we describe as “the desire of my heart” is really a secondary desire orbiting around the true desire. What we think we desire is really the way we have imagined the true desire will be met. We often mistake the desire of the moment for the desire of our hearts. Give Him access to your heart. He will peel back the desire of the moment and show you the desire of your heart. To the desire of your heart, there will always be a resounding “yes” from heaven. (Live A Praying Life) “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11

15. God has a good, loving, and productive purpose for scheduling waiting periods into the prayer process. When He has called on you to wait, it is because the wait is necessary to the outcome. He is doing something during the waiting period that He could not do without it. (Live A Praying Life) “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalms 130:5

16. His desires poured into our hearts so that they become our desires—this is the secret of powerful and effective prayer. (Live A Praying Life) “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” John 4:34

17. It is His pull on our hearts that causes us to desire Him. Our longing for Him is but the echo of His longing for us. (Live A Praying Life) “This is love: not that we loved him, but that he loved us… We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:10, 19

18. Through a consistent, daily intake of His Word, God will reveal His heart and direct our prayers. His Word becomes the mold in which our prayers are shaped. (Live A Praying Life) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

19. The person who is abiding in Christ has desires that are God-shaped. Out of the life that is abandoned to God and His purposes flows the prayer that God has promised to answer. (Live A Praying Life) “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

20. Power flows from purity. Seek purity and you will find power. (Live A Praying Life) “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Psalms 24:3-4

21. The Spirit’s quiet whisper bids me bow before Your throne ‘Til my heart’s deepest yearnings are the echo of Your own. (Live A Praying Life) “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

22. Faith is not knowing how God will bring His will into being; faith is knowing that God will bring His will into being. God’s ways are not our ways, but you can be assured of this: He is faithful and trustworthy and your heart can safely rest in Him. (Live A Praying Life) “All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful to those who keep the demands of his covenant.” Psalms 25:10

23. He does not have “one size fits all” answers. God’s agenda is always bigger than the immediate  circumstances. The immediate circumstances are going to merge with an eternal agenda. (Live A Praying Life) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your  thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

24. We seek God through the spiritual disciplines. By engaging in the spiritual disciplines, we keep our lives open to God so that He can do in us and through us what He desires. He can fulfill His purpose through us when we are accessible to Him. (Live A Praying Life) “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalms 57:2

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean
Used with permission.

Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer #25-38

Posted by Cinda On March - 19 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

milk-and-meat25. The same scripture is received as “milk” by some and as “meat” by others. Some believers, it seems, have not ingested enough of the Word to develop a mature spiritual digestive system. They can only access what they can skim off the surface. Others, though, have taken in enough spiritual food that their spiritual digestive systems can metabolize meat. They can access the deeper, more substantive truths in God’s Word. How have they reached this maturity? The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: “…who, by constant use, have trained themselves…” Hebrews 5:14. Do you want to move on from milk to meat? Make constant use of the Word of God. (Live A Praying Life) “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14

26. To live in intimacy with God, we must build into our lives the discipline of solitude and silence. We must respond when the Lover of our souls calls us to a place of solitude to be alone with Him. (Live A Praying Life) “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14

27. The promise of prayer is a transformed heart. Through the ongoing flow of prayer we are brought into contact with the Father’s heart. As we behold His glory, we are changed into His image. Our lives begin to reflect Him. Our desires begin to reflect His desires. The promise of prayer is a heart that matches His. (Live A Praying Life) “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

28. Dear friend, put away childish things—little flesh-shaped desires; short-sighted, earthbound understanding. Yield yourself to His bigger agenda. Let Him do more than you can ask or even think. Let Him do His full and mighty work in you. (Live A Praying Life) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21

29. Faith is not believing something; faith is believing Someone. Faith is not committing yourself to an idea, but to a person. Faith is responding to the present-tense Voice of the Father. (Live A Praying Life) “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even  though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

30. Leave behind that tame, tepid, play-it-safe, follow-the-rules kind of faith. We have been called to an outrageous faith—a reckless faith that risks everything on the trustworthiness of God. (Live A Praying Life) “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Hebrews 11:17-19

prayingwoman231. Obedience is crucial for powerful praying. Disobedience dulls my spiritual hearing. It causes me to los my ability to hear the subtle nuances of His communication. Jesus once said to His enemies, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you cannot hear what I am saying” John 8:43. Do you see that you can hear the words, but not hear the heart? Do you want to hear Him? Do you want to hear all the layers of His words? Do you want all of Him? Then He must have all of you. (Live A Praying Life) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-12

32. Holding on to anger and bitterness is cutting off the flow of His power through us. The scripture tells us that unforgiveness gives the enemy an opening—an opportunity to carry out his schemes. (Live A Praying Life) “And what I have forgiven-if there was anything to forgive-I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

33. Think of your Spirit-directed prayers as “smart bombs” falling on enemy territory. Your persevering prayers are systematically demolishing the enemy’s strongholds. The air war is preparing the way for the ground troops to invade. (Live A Praying Life) “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

34. Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer. In listening prayer, spoken prayer is born. (He Restores My Soul) “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1

contemplatingwoman235. Brokenness is the ground from which spiritual power grows. Welcome brokenness. Embrace it. Don’t fear or resist it. Like the kernel of wheat that falls into the ground to die, the outer layers of your flesh—self-centeredness, pride, self-trust—must be broken so that the life within can emerge. (He Restores My Soul) “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

36. God engineered your salvation not only for the purpose of cleansing you of sin, but also for the purpose of filling you with Himself. The work He is doing in you—the breaking, the crucifying, the cleansing—all have one purpose: to prepare His chosen dwelling place for His presence. (He Restores My Soul) “The priests went into the sanctuary of the LORD to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the LORD. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley.” 2 Chronicles 29:16-17

37. The trust of which scripture speaks is not an emotion or a doctrine, but a way of living in which every thought, every word, every act is an expression of total dependence upon the Father. The righteous live by faith. Faith is not something that you get out and dust off when you want something from God. For your spiritual life, faith is the air in your lungs and the blood in your veins; it is the active ingredient in your spiritual composition. (He Restores My Soul) “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21

38. Everything God requires of you, He has already provided for you. When God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac Genesis 22:13-14, He introduced Himself as “God Who Provides.” What does He provide? He provides what He requires. He required a sacrifice and He provided a sacrifice. Through the Son’s indwelling power, He has already made available everything necessary for living out your new life. (He Restores My Soul) “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

Jennifer Kennedy Dean
Used with permission.

Thoughts on Intercessory Prayer #39-52

Posted by Cinda On March - 19 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

bricks39. Every act of obedience to the voice of the living and present Jesus steadies the heart. As a house is built brick upon brick, so a steadfast heart is built obedience upon obedience. (He Restores My Soul) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-26

40. As you submit to God’s work in you, the acoustics of your heart are improving daily. The word acoustics means “the ability of an enclosure to reflect sound waves in such a way as to produce distinct hearing.” If a structure does not have the proper shape or dimensions, or if it is cluttered with objects that absorb or redirect sound waves, sounds will not be distinct. God is reshaping, molding, and cleansing your heart so that His voice will be clearly heard. (He Restores My Soul) “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:7

41. Praise is the spontaneous and natural overflow of the inflow of His life. (He Restores My Soul) “All my springs of joy are in you.” Psalms 87:7 NASB

42. Praise is a powerful spiritual antioxidant, keeping your spiritual immune system strong. It destroys spiritual toxins before they have a chance to do damage. Praise changes your focus, fixing your eyes on the Supply rather than the need. Just try to remain discouraged or hurt in the midst of genuine praise. You can’t do it. (He Restores My Soul) “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.” Psalms 71:8

43. As you praise, you are releasing tremendous spiritual power. Praise dispels the enemy’s troops. Praise lays the groundwork for the display of God’s power. (He Restores My Soul) “He who sacrifices thank  offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalms 50:23

biblereading1144. Outward forms of worship were intended to express true, inward worship. The danger is that they will disguise inward emptiness. The Holy Spirit is the guard against empty, surface religion. (Heart’s Cry) “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

45. Jesus has pulled you into His inner circle, those to whom He will impart His secrets. A person who is following a doctrine need not listen. There is nothing new to know. The person who is following Christ must be continually listening. (Heart’s Cry) “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

46. Prayer is not a benign, feel-good, stress-relieving exercise. Prayer releases the power of God to change the circumstances of earth. (Power Praying) “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

47. Are you willing right now to open your entire life to the flow of His power? Even knowing that His power may interrupt cherished sin patterns or challenge comfortable beliefs? Do you want all of Him more than you want any other thing? You can have all of Him that you make room for. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:17-19

48. As you live moment-by-moment in His power and presence, He will speak through you to those around you. Jesus wants to speak His healing, encouraging, strengthening, eternal, life-giving words through your mouth. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “The lips of the righteous nourish many.” Proverbs 10:21

49. God is in the details. He is engineering even the smallest detail in order to establish His divine purpose. Happenings that seem random, choices and decisions that seem spontaneous and uncalculated, paths that cross in seemingly serendipitous ways—all are being put in order by the Lord. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33

bibleinspired50. The kingdom of God is not idle chatter, or empty words, or even eloquent and reasoned arguments. The kingdom of God is power. When Christ in you becomes Christ through you, the power of God becomes operative in your world. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

51. God is able to do more than all we can ask or even conceive of. When you ask God for the best thing you can think of, you ask Him for less than He can do. When you feel that your request pushes the limits of His power, He wants to do more than you can imagine. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

52. You are the temple of the living God. You are the place where His glory dwells. He lives in you; you are His house. He says of you: “My house will be a house of prayer” Luke 19:46. (He Leads Me Beside Still Waters) “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean
Used with permission.